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Folk concert to honor military veterans

“It’s great to see how young people grow, not only in their level of talent and maturity, but in their understanding of the role that the arts can play in reaching out to meet social needs in the community. ”  –Bill Pere
MYSTIC – Mystic River Folk Concerts presents two Connecticut troubadours, two national Immie Award winners, and an ensemble of local students in a Veterans Day concert to honor the men and women who serve our country and to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness among veterans.
The concert will be held Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Union Baptist Church at 119 High St.
Nationally-known artists Tom Callinan, Bill Pere, and Kay Pere will be joined by a group of students from local elementary, middle, and high schools to present this family event.
Tickets are $ 10 at the door or $ 8 in advance. Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling 572­9285. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non­perishable food item for the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center food pantry.
Tom Callinan was named Connecticut’s first official state troubadour in 1991. A former Marine, Callinan is now celebrating his 30th year as a full-time performing artist. He will mark the occasion with the release of his 11th CD, ” Call to Colors,” the third part of his “American Heritage Trilogy.” It is a culmination of five years of researching classic patriot­c songs and composing new songs with historical themes (for more informa­tion visit r a c k e r b a r r e l ­
Bill Pere is Connecticut’s fourth official state troubadour and has released 15 CDs including “Profiles of Connecticut,” original songs about important people and events in the state’s history, including Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, and “USS Connecticut”, co-written with Callinan, to commem­orate the commissioning in Groton of the submarine of the same name. Pere was the 2003 recipient of the “Artist of the Year” Immie Award from the national Independent



Music Conference in Philadelphia. His 1991 song “Heart of the Storm,” inspired by local letters to and from those serving in Desert Storm, prompted General Norman Schwarzkoff to write “Thank you for your song, as it is vitally important that the troops who fought so valiantly know that the American people are 110 percent behind them” (for more information visit ).
Kay Pere, a 2007 Immie Award recipient, is working on a CD of original songs about the role of women in Connecticut history, including “The Legend of Mother Bailey,” a true tale that took place in New London during the War of 1812. The show will feature a presentation of Kay’s song “Army Boots and Satin Slippers,” co­written with army chap­lain Carol Bamesberger. Recorded in 2007 with Grammy Award winner Michael Hopkins, the song captures the moment when a mother is sending her son off to serve overseas. New London resident Cyndi Whipple, who has a son that is currently serv­ing in Iraq, said of the song, “It should come with a warning label for military parents, saying ‘ Do not listen to while driving’” (for more information visit ).
The Mystic River Folk Concerts is a series, now in its fourth year, features performers of national and regional prominence. Proceeds benefit local social services through Local United Network to Combat Hunger (LUNCH). LUNCH was founded in 1989 by Bill Pere and has raised more than $ 750,000 to support community outreach agencies and pro­grams. The LUNCH Ensemble includes more than 40 young people from throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. Some 2,100 youths have participated over the years and they see firsthand that they can make a difference in other people’s lives.
“Kids who participated the first year are still involved now,” said Bill Pere. “It’s great to see how young people grow, not only in their level of talent and maturity, but in their understanding of the role that the arts can play in reaching out to meet social needs in the community. That is something they can bring to bear as they become adult leaders of their communities.”

Originally Published Novermber 1 2007, The Mystic Times

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