Folk mu­sic tra­di­tion

Free con­cert set for Sun­day at Sweet Ar­row Lake

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COR­RE­SPON­DENT Con­tact the writer: [email protected]­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

As­tate park con­ser­va­tion group in­vites the pub­lic to come en­joy a post- hol­i­day hoo­te­nanny this week­end in south­ern Schuylkill County.

Vine­gar Creek Con­stituency, a Lan­caster- based blue­grass/ folk band, will be play­ing at 2 p. m. Sun­day at the Sweet Ar­row Lake Club­house, 108 Club­house Road, Pine Grove, as part of Sweet Ar­row Arts in the Park pro­gram. The per­for­mance is free and open to the pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to Denise Don­moyer, pres­i­dent of the non­profit Sweet Ar­row Lake Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, which or­ga­nizes arts in the park. The pro­gram is made pos­si­ble through an arts grant from the Schuylkill Area Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion, she said.

Vine­gar Creek, which just re­turned from a tour in Europe, “chan­nels the ven­er­a­ble old ghosts of Amer­i­can blue­grass and folk mu­sic tra­di­tion through imag­i­na­tive, emo­tive orig­i­nal songs de­liv­ered with rock ’ n’ roll in­ten­sity,” ac­cord­ing to the band’s web­site.

“They are very en­er­getic en­ter­tain­ers and they do good, tra­di­tional blue­grass melodies. … Some foot- stomp­ing is go­ing to be go­ing on,” Don­moyer said ex­cit­edly of the five- piece band. “We’ve had a great arts pro­gram this past year and Vine­gar Creek will prob­a­bly be the cul­mi­na­tion of this year’s round of en­ter­tain­ment.”

And quite a fit­ting cul­mi­na­tion it’s set to be, Don­moyer said, con­sid­er­ing the 2018 acts Vine­gar Creek is fol­low­ing, which were unique in their own right.

“We try to bring per­form­ing arts here that peo­ple might not oth­er­wise get to see in the county. The grant fund­ing helps us to do that. But we do go out and scout our groups, so to speak, and try only to bring in the very best for the peo­ple. Be­cause of the help with the fund­ing, we’re usu­ally able to of­fer th­ese pro­grams free to the pub­lic. We like to do that since we are a county park. We try to bring in dif­fer­ent genres of mu­sic and dif­fer­ent cul­tural things” such as Kaska Ukrainian Dancers and Ir­ish danc­ing groups, Don­moyer said.

In keep­ing the per­for­mances free and the acts greatly vary­ing, Don­moyer hopes the arts in the park pro­gram will draw vis­i­tors to the park who may not oth­er­wise get to en­joy its seren­ity.

“Our pur­pose is to pro­tect and pre­serve the lake, but also to make it a place for peo­ple to come and en­joy, be­cause his­tor­i­cally, that’s what it’s al­ways been,” Don­moyer said, adding that she and the con­ser­va­tion group are grate­ful for the grant from SACF that helps them ful­fill that pur­pose.

“I think we are so for­tu­nate to have the Schuylkill Area Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion here,” she said. “They do a lot of good, and they have cer­tainly helped us out quite a bit to pull off” th­ese per­for­mances.

The next Sweet Ar­row Arts in the Park event has yet to be an­nounced as the group is await­ing the next round of grants, Don­moyer said, but the Ground­hog Day cel­e­bra­tion will be held again at the lake in Fe­bru­ary with mu­si­cian Matthew Dodd per­form­ing.

MICHAEL JOHNSEN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY / SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Vine­gar Creek Con­stituency will per­form a free con­cert at 2 p. m. Sun­day at Sweet Ar­row Lake Club­house, Pine Grove, as part of the park’s Arts in the Park pro­gram.

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