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Hilltown Voices: Saturday shindig to honor Worthington’s ‘Bandana Dan’

This Saturday, an all-day benefit celebration will take place at Liston’s Bar and Grill to remember the life of Daniel Steer, better known in Worthington as “Bandana Dan.”

“Everyone in town knew Bandana Dan,” Select Board Administrative Assistant Peggy O’Neil said. “He was a local musician who always wore a bandana on his head — that is how he got the nickname.”

According to Liston’s owner Steven Magargal, Steer was originally from Haverhill and had lived in several eastern towns before putting down roots in Worthington in 2007.

“He came to us from the other side of the state looking for a work and a place to play music and hang out,” Magargal said. He eventually ended up working at the Goshen Stone Co. in Goshen, he said.

Steer died March 7 at age 47. Magargal said the cause of death was complications related to COPD.

“He died way too soon. He was just about to marry his high school sweetheart whom he had reunited with after many years,” Magargal said.

Saturday’s event is a benefit for the “Bandana Dan Music Scholarship Fund,” a fund established by his family.

“Dan was a really good guy. He was a talented musician who had always wanted to help provide access to music education for kids who couldn’t afford it,” Magargal said.

The goal for the fundraiser is to raise $5,000 for the scholarship fund.

Magargal said he is expecting around 150 to 175 people, including several relatives coming in from out of town.

Tickets are $25 at the door. The event will feature live music, hamburgers hot dogs and barbeque, $1 draft beer and a silent auction.

“We will have five grills staffed by volunteers going all day. We will also have designated drivers available if needed,” Magargal said. “People can come, bring a lawn chair and enjoy the day.”

As parking may be limited, Magargal is asking that people carpool when possible.


Chamber music

For the first time, the Wistaria Chamber Music Society is teaming up with the Plainfield Congregational Church to produce free chamber music concerts during the month of August.

Wistaria’s founder and artistic director David Perkins said this will be the group’s first summer residency.

“We perform during the year but this is our first summer series,” Perkins said. “Its nice because it gives the musicians more activity,” he said.

A resident of Plainfield, Perkins said he is excited that the group is performing at the Plainfield church.

“The church makes for a beautiful rural setting. It not only has wonderful acoustics, but also a big Baldwin grand piano,” Perkins said.

The series will include three concert dates, each of which will focus on music from a different culture.

On Aug. 5, the program is titled “Voyage en France,” featuring music from composers Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

On Aug. 19, Wistaria will perform “Adventuras Latins,” with music from Astor Piazzolla, H. Villa-Lobos, Alberto Ginastera Fred Hersch and Luiz Bonfa.

The final program in the series, set for Aug. 26, “America Singing,” will feature Amy Beach, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.

The program is funded by cultural councils in six different Hilltowns, as well as private donors.

“The church kicks in funding as well,” Perkins said. “We also ask for donations at the door.”

All performances begin at 7 p.m. A reception will follow each concert.

Summer reading

Think summer reading programs are all books and no play? Not at the Chesterfield Library. Library Director Cindy Squier says that games and activities have been part of a summer reading curriculum for several years.

“Every Wednesday at 11 a.m we are doing some sort of activity on the Town Hall lawn,” Squier said. “The activities eventually get them to the library where they receive books as prizes.”

Last Wednesday, the children had a puppet show performed by Caravan Puppets.

This coming Wednesday, youngsters will have the traditional end-of-the-year activity: parachute games followed by a mass water balloon fight.

“This year we have between 30 and 40 kids coming in — there is no way that we could do this without the support of the Cultural Council and the Friends of the Library,” said Squier.

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