The Boyertown Area Times
Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band perform May 6 at the Miller Center
After performing a sold-out solo show last May at the Miller Center for the Performing Arts, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter returns to the Reading Area Community College venue on May 6, this time with his Royal City Band in tow.
The concert will come on the heels of the release of Ritter’s anticipated new album, “Spectral Lines,” scheduled for April 28.
One of today’s most thoughtful and prolific voices, Ritter has released 10 studio albums, including 2019’s widely acclaimed “Fever Breaks,” of which NPR Music said, “He remains a hydrant of ideas while embodying an endless capacity for empathy and indignation, often within a single song.”
“Spectral Lines” is full of wonder and light as Ritter considers the ideas of love, devotion and what it means to be connected, to each other and to ourselves.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Josh Ritter with his full band to the Miller Center,” said Anthony “Tony” DeMarco, vice president for RACC and executive director of the Miller Center. “Our beautiful stage is the perfect setting for Josh and his erudite lyrics on the American spirit.”
Tickets cost $42 and $55 at millercenter.racc.edu.
Shillington native Kim L. Shipe’s memoir, “Fear Not, Angels Are Summoned: How One Woman Overcame Unimaginable Suffering To Live a Life of Joy,” is available for pre-order on amazon.com ahead of its release on Feb. 14, which is International Book Giving Day.
Shipe spent her youth traveling across the country with her father’s military career. She earned an associate degree in nursing and business administration, then launched her own career as a critical care RN for over 15 years. When her husband, Rod, got the opportunity to run a metals company, the family moved to Connecticut, where Kim became an elementary school nurse.
The book recounts her journey, surviving the trauma of sexual assault, spousal abuse, addiction and co-dependency to become a nurse and a runner. After re-marrying, she and her husband live happily with their three kids until a freak accident in 2002, when an elderly driver mistakes the gas for the brake and slams her car through the wall of an outdoor café. In horror, her 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter witness the crash that changes their lives forever.
With shattered legs, Shipe believes she is dying in the ambulance. Just then, a heavenly Angel appears and whispers unintelligible words over her body, dissolving all the pain and fear. After enduring dozens of painful surgeries, thinking her ordeal might be over, she is diagnosed with breast cancer and must undergo dozens more.
With help from her earthly angels and the Lord, she learns to heal her physical and psychological scars, builds a successful business, and lives in joy with faith, forgiveness, fun and lots of therapy.
ReadingFilm has announced a Black History Month Film Series for youth and families in collaboration with Reading’s Youth Commission and the Reading School District.
Cammie Harris, ReadingFilm’s executive director, said: “ReadingFilm seeks to celebrate and embrace our communities’ diverse cultures by engaging and inspiring our youth with the art of storytelling through film.”
This series of films and activities will take place throughout February with the support of R/C Reading Movies 11 & IMAX, Centro Hispano, Divine 9 Community Members, Berks Community Action Program and the Reading Branch, NAACP.
Student and families can register for free at https://www. eventbrite.com/e/black-history-month-film-series-tickets-517232726007.
To complement the film series, the City of Reading’s Youth Commission will run a spoken word contest. Themes can include Black roots, women coming of age, civil rights and AfroLatino experiences. Videos are to be no longer than three minutes (only one submission per person). Introduce yourself (name, school, and affiliation to clubs or organizations) and email your video to YouthCommission@readingpa.gov. The winner will be announced at a dinner, “Courageous Conversations,” hosted at Centro Hispano on March 2 at 6 p.m.
The four movies to be screened during the Black History Month Film Series are “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (2022), which illustrates the people of Wakanda’s fight to protect their home from intervening world powers as they mourn the death of King T’Challa; “The Woman King” (2022),a historical epic inspired by events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries; “Selma: (2014), a chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965; and an “Audience Choice” film that was chosen during the first screening on Thursday.
For more information, see readingfilm.org.
As contract negotiations among other symphonies across the county continue to face difficulty, the Reading Symphony Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 135-211 of the American Federation of Musicians negotiating committee announced the signing of a new three-year agreement.
“The Board is pleased to have been able to work with the musicians to reach a labor agreement that is good for all parties.” shares Mike Duff, Reading Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors President. “I want to personally thank our musicians for the professional and collegial way they approached the negotiations, which made it clear we are all dedicated to the RSO’s mission to provide and promote high quality symphonic music to the citizens of Reading and Berks County.”
The new contract provides a 5% wage increase in year one, 4% in year two, 3.5% in year three and continues the legacy that the Reading Symphony Orchestra has upheld within the Berks County community since 1913.
“The Reading Symphony Orchestra is on a wonderful upward trajectory,” said Music Director, Andrew Constantine. “A new contract with the musicians is a strong testament not only to their fabulous work, but to the terrific partnership we all enjoy being a part of.”