Anne Dodson & Friends turns 25
Camden — For the past 24 years, Anne Dodson and her many talented friends have rung in the holiday season with a concert that celebrates life, love, loss and general silliness. This year is no exception as the concert celebrates its quarter century mark Sunday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St./Route 1.
This year’s program stays “in house” with an all-returning cast featuring The Quasimodal Chorus, Matt Szostak, Will Brown, The January Men, David Dodson, Kat Logan, Jim Loney, Hazel Delehey and Gordon Bok. As usual, the concert challenges the definition of “seasonal” with songs from Africa, Scotland and England and includes topics as diverse as homesickness, a dog’s wish for the coming year, a lullaby from the Sephardic tradition and the mixed sentiments of discovering “dem deer” while driving.
This 25th celebration will feature new material as well as bring back some of the most well loved pieces from years past. Once again, it is the closing event of Christmas by the Sea, the annual weekend of holiday festivities.
Anne Dodson & Friends began in 1987 when then Camden residents Jan and Charlie Brown were running the Camden Folk Club, a monthly series of concerts in the Pilgrim Room of the First Congregational Church. They booked Dodson to be the featured performer for December and asked if she would play a couple of seasonal songs.
It was so much fun that the tradition continued, becoming more of a holiday celebration each year until participants and audience outgrew the room. For one year the event moved to the Camden Opera House, which provided a wonderful space but lacked the intimacy that had become the trademark of the annual concert. Moving back to the sanctuary of the Congregational Church provided a larger hall while maintaining the informality for which the concert is known. It has been held there ever since.
Over the years the concert has hosted special guests from the community and from places farther a field and as diverse as Canada and South Africa, all the while maintaining a core of local stalwarts including The Quasimodal Chorus and some incarnation of The Grove Street Singers. As always, Anne Dodson and Friends is a warm, informal concert where the musicians take delight in blurring the line between performer and audience as together the community wraps up another year.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available at The Owl and the Turtle, now on Bay View Street in Camden, and at Rock City Cafe in downtown Rockland. Tickets also may be reserved in advance and held at the door. Tickets are $13 advance, $15 suggested donation at the door for adults; and $6 advance, $7 at the door for children age 6 to 12 (free for those younger). Refreshments will be served. For more information or reservations, call 236-9576.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.