Music for Moms: Annual Tandem event rocks

I just got back from the spring jazz concert at my kids’ school, and I’m still buzzing. Music at Tandem Friends School could be the hottest scene around. These talented young musicians don’t just play their part from a page of notes, they feel the harmonies and rhythms in their souls and perform with all the inspiration of the stars.
So, although I never use this forum to tout an event with which I have such a personal connection, I’m making an exception this time to let folks know about Tandem’s Mothers’ Day Music Festival taking place on May 10.
This annual outdoor jam fest invites the community up to the school’s beautiful campus just south of town to experience an eclectic mix of student talent back-to-back with a collection of local professionals, all of whom donate their time. At least 14 musical groups will perform on the program, which includes everything from rock to bluegrass, folk to blues, and of course, jazz. Word has it there will even be a bagpipe on hand. Among the notables performing are local rock bands Clair Quilty and Vandyke Brown. Mike Rosensky, a local jazz favorite heard every Wednesday night at Miller’s, is also in the line-up.
“The Mothers’ Day Music Festival is a Tandem tradition that started out as a school fundraiser in the early ‘90s,” says long-time faculty member Tom O’Connor.
Internationally known jazz trumpeter John D’earth, who taught music at Tandem back then, performed with his band, Cosmology. Dave Matthews, who was just starting his rise to stardom at the time, played the festival two years in a row — once performing solo because the rest of his group couldn’t make it. DMB band-members-to-be Stefan Lessard and Tim Reynolds were also on the early programs.
For the past several years, the tradition has been carried on by students who, when the grown-ups lost interest, decided they didn’t want to let the festival die.
In addition to the music, the afternoon will be filled with prizes, games, face painting, and lots of fun for all members of the family. Big Jim’s will be serving bar-b-que, and Chaps will be dishing up dessert. Dozens of prizes will be raffled, including gift certificates and merchandise from local businesses and the grand prize of a weekend stay on Chincoteague Island. All prizes have been donated to the festival, which is raising money for the school’s scholarship fund.
“Even before our kids were old enough to be in school, we’d look forward to the Mothers’ Day Music Festival,” says parent Mary Sokolowski. “It’s a wonderful event in a fabulous environment.”

The Tandem Mothers’ Day Music Festival takes place Saturday, May 10, beginning at 1pm. Admission is $5; raffle tickets are $10 and include admission. Mothers get in free. Tandem is on Mill Creek Road across from Monticello High School. 296-1303.

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