News Column

Bandshell concert series features range of artists

May 20, 2014

By Tom Lavis, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

May 20--JOHNSTOWN -- Roxbury Bandshell on Franklin Street in Johnstown will be the site of a summer concert series that benefits the continued preservation of the historic structure.

Multiple music genres will highlight the AmeriServ Free Sunday Concert Series, which will begin Sunday, as two top-flight bands take the stage to benefit the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance.

"We are very excited for the 2014 season since it also marks the 75th anniversary of the official opening of the bandshell under the formation of President Franklin Roosevelt'sWork Progress Administration," said Mary Borkow, alliance president and the driving force behind the more than $400,000 worth of improvements that have saved the structure from the wrecking ball.

Borkow said she is pleased the opening concert at 3 p.m will feature Ole 97, a Johnny Cash tribute band. They will be followed by The Rockolas at 5 as they present a program of classic rock and roll.

Other concerts will begin at

5 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 14, except for the last concert, which will begin at 3.

"The alliance typically has two bands at the beginning of the season as well as for the final performances on Sept. 14," Borkow said.

The schedule features concerts every Sunday except for Aug. 3 throughout the duration of the series.

"We have a waiting list of interested performers, and we try to accommodate as many new groups as possible in order to give an opportunity to perform on this historic site," Borkow said. "What's incredibly impressive is that our performers donate their time and talent to our preservations efforts."

The alliance also is bolstered by sponsors, including Concurrent Technology Corp., which donates concert T-shirts, and Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance.

"While our performers get a complimentary T-shirt and the gratitude of the community, concert-goers also have an opportunity to buy a T-shirt with 100 percent of the purchase price going to support of restoration efforts," Borkow said.

The alliance is inviting people to sample food provided by members of Holy Cross National Catholic Church, 534 Woodland Ave. in Moxham.

Pam Fish of Portage, a church member and chairwoman of the food committee, said parishioners will offer a variety of foods throughout the series.

"We will have hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos with cheese, as well as several ethnic dishes each Sunday," Fish said. "We will always have pierogi and change it up with things like haluski or pigs in the blanket."

The church also will offer some sweets, including gobs and other baked goods.

A portion of the food proceeds or any donations collected at the free concerts will go toward the bandshell's restoration fund.

Beverages also will be sold.

Guests have been asked to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the concerts.

Borkow said the annual Bandshell Bark will be held Aug. 23, rather than its usual time in September.

The event is the only time of year that dogs are permitted to walk the Roxbury trail.

Tom Lavis covers Features for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on LavisTD.

Sounds of summer

Concerts will begin at 5 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 14. The last concert will begin at 3.

The following is a schedule of performers and their musical styles:

June 1: The Runaways, oldies dance music.

June 8: Striped Maple Hollow, folk/bluegrass/ country; 6 p.m., Hard Rok, KoKo & Joe, sounds of summer.

June 15: Southside Strays and 6 p.m.The Lux Republic, rock.

June 22: Circus Mutt, roots.

June 29: The Birdhouse, easy listening; 6 p.m., Midnight Graffiti, classic rock.

July 6: Felix and the Hurricanes, blues rock; Who's Your Daddy, blues; and The Desperadoes, classic rock.

July 13: Make Mine Country Band, classic country/old time rock and roll; 6 p.m., The Whiskey River Panhandlers, Americana.

Aug. 10: Hiram and the Walkers, oldies/do-wop; 6 p.m., NoMad, country.

Aug. 17: Justin Giuffre and Pilgrimage, singer/songwriter; 6 p.m., R2B2, '80s and '90s top 40 dance music.

Aug. 24: Flood City Brass Band, horn based rock and roll.

Sept. 7: The Crew of the Half Moon, folk/alternative harmonic duo; 6 p.m., Matt Otis and the Sound, folk rock.

Sept. 14: 3 p.m., The Cash Review, Johnny Cash tribute; 5 p.m., Tree, Celtic/folk.


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