Rising Sun church to de­but cof­fee house con­cert se­ries

Cecil Whig - - RELIGION - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Janes United Methodist Church is open­ing its doors and invit­ing the com­mu­nity to join them at Gath­er­ing Grounds, a fam­ily-friendly cof­fee house, be­gin­ning Oct. 15.

“David (Tay­lor) and I had kicked the idea around for a long time,” said Me­lanie Bailiff, a mem­ber of the church on North Wal­nut Street.

A re­cent re­model of the church, which in­cluded ren­o­vat­ing the youth group meet­ing room and sev­eral class­rooms, added the cof­fee house in the ex­pan­sive lobby. Bailiff, Tay­lor and Brian Fis­cher ex­pect to op­er­ate Gath­er­ing Grounds the third Satur­day of each month. The doors will open at 6:30, with per­for­mances from 7 un­til 9 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is by do­na­tion.

“We’ll just set out do­na­tion bas­kets,” Bailiff said, not­ing that the events are not about fundrais­ing, but rather com­mu­nity.

“We’ll be fea­tur­ing lo­cal artists,” Fis­cher, from Conowingo, said. “We want this to be in­ti­mate, acous­tic,

RISING SUN

soul­ful.”

Bailiff will be the first to take the stage.

What­ever funds are raised, how­ever, will go to­ward a youth group trip to Gu­atemala, Tay­lor said.

Bailiff, a singer-song­writer from North East, said mu­si­cians can of­fer folk, pop stan­dards, Chris­tian mu­sic, and es­pe­cially orig­i­nal pieces to the au­di­ence. The or­ga­niz­ers en­vi­sion it sim­i­lar to a 60s-style cof­fee house but with an at­mos­phere where par­ents can bring the kids and have a re­lax­ing evening.

Small ta­bles with chairs are clus­tered near a fire­place along with up­hol­stered seat­ing and wel­com­ing sea­sonal dec­o­ra­tions.

Fis­cher looks for­ward to hear­ing Gath­er­ing Grounds filled with mu­sic played to a full house.

“We want peo­ple to think, when the mu­sic is over, ‘That was beau­ti­ful,’ Fis­cher said.

Since it is a cof­fee house there will be free cof­fee and tea served, with so­das and snacks for sale.

Artists in­ter­ested in hav­ing a turn on stage should con­tact Bailiff at 443-5939955 or send an au­di­tion tape through her web­site: www.melaniebailiff.com

Once Gath­er­ing Grounds takes off all three agreed there would likely be an open mic night on the cal­en­dar to en­cour­age tal­ented folks to sim­ply drop in and par­tic­i­pate.

“We’re go­ing to try hav­ing dif­fer­ent themes, maybe dif­fer­ent kinds of artists,” Bailiff said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Me­lanie Bailiff, a North East singer-song­writer, will be the first artist on stage at Gath­er­ing Grounds, a cof­fee house venue open­ing at Janes United Methodist Church in Rising Sun. Gath­er­ing Grounds will be open the third Satur­day of each month from 7 un­til 9 p.m. be­gin­ning Oct. 15.

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