Awesome: The Under21Band

20170423_122448One of the cool things to watch at this weekend’s String Band Champion serenade in South Philadelphia will be the Under21Band of the String Band Association. These young people, up to about 60 members on the street , are future leaders in Mummery. They’re also darn good.20170423_123826The band members often have long-standing family ties to Mummery and to more than a dozen string bands.  For example, Foley Anastasi, of Duffy.  They rehearse inside the club house of Woodland String Band (WSB).  Another member is Aidan Moran who is grandson of WSB’s Dave Anderson, a String Band Hall of Fame. The baton keeps being  passed.

20170423_123215Michael Roney, above, playing the bass horn, and his sister, Aubrey, wearing red and seated to the right, are grandkids of Bob Lightfoot, a Hall of Famer from Greater Kensington String Band. Their great mom, Karin, accompanies them to the rehearsals. The horn that Michael is playing Bob played back in 1990. I mentioned that the Under21Band sounds amazing. They are awesome.

20170423_123553A.J. Ford is their music director.  A. J. was rehearsing a passage and after they played it a couple of times, he said, “See the difference when you play confidently.  It makes all the difference.”  Music and life lessons, all in one rehearsal.

20170423_123542As Mummer legends look on, both a purpose of Mummery and its future play before them.

Peace, Love and Laurel House

20170422_213502Dancing capped a groovy evening of togetherness and fundraising to prevent domestic violence and help the victims of violence in Montgomery County.  It was the annual Laurel House Gala, held at Green Valley.  It was a 1960’s theme night.  Through education, outreach, a hotline, counseling, safe haven, advocacy and more, Laurel House is a critical component in the drive to defeat domestic violence.  My thanks to both Jackie’s and Alice, also Mary and Colleen, Stacey and the entire gala committee.  You put on a great, effective evening.  Leaders from Cabrini University, which has a focus on domestic violence, also were on hand.  I might add that in my belief that Mummers are everywhere, I want to recognize the very talented Greg Phelan (at the microphone), a member of the band American Deluxe, who were awesome.  Greg is with Fralinger and formerly of Greater Kensington String Band.20170422_213447