Tag Archives: HopFest

Dartmouth Hopkins Center FREE Concert By Ethiopian-American ‘Debo Band’ On Thursday, June 27, 2013 At 5 pm (Indoor At 7 IF Rain)

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.Hop50red

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1.Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’ June 29 – 30, 2013 
>>May 28, 2013.

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To access the Hop page for this free event replete with an embedded video on the right. Just click, sit back and enjoy.


A Debo Band video on YouTube from October 2012. It is very good. Have a listen. Click to access YouTube video.


This looks like a load of fun and the price cannot be beat! Reminds me of last year’s amazing ‘HopFest‘ free 2-day festival to celebrate the Hop’s 50 year anniversary. They even have a rain provision built-in. Wow.

Thank YOU The Hop. You folks are so great. What a joy. What a pleasure.

Not sure whether we can make it. Yes, we would love to go. But, it is a 90 minute hike each way and with the mandatory McDonald’s stop in Concord, typically both going and coming, it becomes a long trip. PLUS, we are going to the ‘Les Ballets Trockadero …‘ that Sunday. That is the real barrier. PLUS, it is Deanna’s birthday … that day. As I have mentioned here, one of my manifold foibles (that drives Deanna nuts)  is that I insist on celebrating birthdays on the birthday, since I know that (and I learned this from my doctor uncle who delivered me on my birthday) that your birthday is your birthday.  You only have ONE birthday a year. Inviolable and irrefutable. Deanna, the daughter of a Maine lobsterman, who grew up in a house right by the ocean, wants to go to the ocean, in Maine, for her birthday. So, June 27 probably will not work for us.

But, mark this on YOUR calendar. It should be a blast. Enjoy.

Thank you again, The Hop.


Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today, August 15, 2012.

Click for the official Web site.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior posts on HopFest:
July 18, 2012.



Yes, I got my customary front row aisle seats (so Teischan can more readily interact with the performers in the aisle), at 8:40 am this morning; thank you. I had put a reminder on my calendar for yesterday, and that alone is unusual because, at most, I might have 10 reminders, in total, for a whole year. Since to me a day starts at midnight, I planned to buy the tickets before going to bed last night. Alas, Dartmouth works on a more pedestrian 8am to 5pm schedule. 8am, I am still asleep. But, I got Devanee to bring in her laptop and I bought the tickets, from bed, while drinking my coffee and listening to CNBC.

The funny thing is that front row seats at the Hopkins and also at Plymouth are NOT considered prime seats! So they are not the most expensive. That makes them even better. Yes, I know that there are many that find the front row too close and quite literally a pain in the neck. It has never bothered me and the kids like it. Plus, during the intermission they typically get to meet some of the performers because they come down from the stage to press the flesh.

This year it is an Irish immigrant Christmas on a ship, set in 1907 (to the shades of the Titanic). We like Irish music and dance. So that should be good, though Deanna and the kids most prefer the traditional medieval English Revels. But, I am hopeful. Revels North, who do this performance is an inspired bunch. This is their Web site. You should definitely pay them a visit.

Last Christmas, because we liked their show so much, I rushed off and got tickets for the ‘main’ Revels at Harvard, Cambridge, MA. Wow. What a location. What a show. Given that it was a last minute thing, we had poor seats. Plus, it was a Mediterranean theme. I thought it was very good, but Deanna, in particular, was very down on it. I haven’t checked what they are doing this year, though I am on their e-mail list.

So, we will see you at Revels in Dartmouth. Merry Christmas.

Filligar — This Band Should Go Far. We Saw Them At Dartmouth’s HopFest On July 20, 2012. Very Impressed.

Click for the official Web site.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Filligar

These boys (slightly older than my oldest daughter) should do very well. Outstanding personalities. Their parents should be so proud. Three of them, two of them twins, are brothers; the twins Teddy and Pete, and younger by 2 year, Johnny Mathias. They, along with their childhood buddy, Casey Gibson, who make up the quartet, all hail from Chicago, though they now spend a fair amount of time in L.A., the place to be when you are on the cusp of making it big.

Their music was loud, vibrant, vivid and pulsed to an irresistible beat. Not the music I normally listen to, but I can appreciate the contemporariness of it. The kids definitely gave them 2 thumbs up and thought they were the BEST group of the day. Who am I to disagree? They are the new experts.

Given that their merchandise table was right behind me while I was doing my 3-hour Information Booth shift, I got to talk with some of them; with Johnny in particular. Boy, was I impressed. All three brothers are Dartmouth graduates, and it shows. Johnny graduated just 2 years ago, with a degree in history, majoring in American-Arab relations. I am sure that there are a couple of 3 letter agencies in D.C. who would love to offer him a job.

I have to confess that I have always, since my late teens in the late 60s, been bit of a groupie. I used to follow Steeleye Span and Lindisfarne around the U.K. — lucky enough to have a job (with ITT Data Systems, as their UK Customer Support Manager) that enabled to me travel the country on official business during the day. More recently, Deanna and I got a chance to meet and spend some time with Alison Krauss and Union Station. Also during my 20 years of attending the NH Highland GamesI have had the chance to talk with members of many an upcoming band.

The Mathias brothers, especially Johnny, the most down-to-earth, unassuming ‘superstars’ I have had the privilege of talking to. They were great. Realistic, good heads on their shoulders. They even made their own tie-dyed Filligar T-shirts to sell to their growing band of fans. I wish them well. They deserve it.

I see that their Wikipedia entry says this about the name of their band: They invented the name Filligar (based on the Mathias brothers’ sister’s childhood pet).

I did not know the origins of the name, and given my noted interest in names asked Johnny about what it meant. He gave me a longer, more detailed and awfully cute explanation. Their sister is a ‘few years’ older than them. A ‘long time ago’, in Chicago, at a fair she won a goldfish. She wanted to name it after the cat, Figaro, in Pinocchio. The name, however, came out (as is the wont with kids) ‘Filligar’. Isn’t that cute. I like their sister. Wanting to name a goldfish after a cat shows an interesting line of thought. These kids have good genes. It made my day.

So … here is to … Filligar. We wish them all the very best.


Filligar on YouTube. Click to play YouTube video.

Click to access the official Filligar Web site.

Dartmouth’s HopFest, July 20, 2012: Was A Blast! It Really Rocked. Darmouth As Ever Delivered, As Promised.

Click for the official Web site.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior posts on HopFest:
1/ June 7, 2012.
2/ July 18, 2012.

The flyer we got in the mail in June looked promising. I have always had great luck with events at Dartmouth (or locale, with Teischan having been born at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical) and I have, over the years, going back to 1998, seen some great shows at the Hopkins Center – a ‘Gypsy Caravan’ show, for ever, altering my tastes in music. Given that we planned to be there on Friday, for the opening ceremony (WITH CAKE), we decided to volunteer as well. That worked out great. David D. Lloyd, of the Hopkins Center, who coordinated the volunteers was outstanding. When he learned that I was a Granite State Ambassador he assigned Deanna and I to the Information Booth, Deanna from 3 to 6pm, and I from 6 to 9pm. That worked out great. It was next to the stage so in addition to getting to interact with some wonderful folks, including some of the members of Filligar, the first band on the stage, and we didn’t miss out on any of the amazing music. [More on Filligar in a minute.]



We saw and heard: the Asphalt Orchestra, Filligar, Matuto and Pine Leaf Boys. They were all extremely good. The Asphalt Orchestra was good, uplifting music, performed with great vitality. They were a great way to get things moving. Filligar was refreshingly contemporary and the kids thought they were the cat’s whiskers. Nicest bunch of guys I have met in a long time, especially Johnny, the youngest of the three brothers (the other two twins), all graduates of Dartmouth, with whom I got to have a long and relaxed chat while we were both ‘working’ the info book; he promoting the band merchandize. Matuto was a hit. Very compelling, visceral music. They had the crowd on their feet. Deanna was up there dancing. I like Cajun music, so enjoyed the Pine Leaf Boys and we all enjoyed playing with their puppy.

There was a lot of crafts for the kids. They enjoyed it. We got to meet our ‘friends’ from Revels North. I even put on their jester costume. Lots of free stuff.

The food was good. Samosaman was late arriving due to car trouble. But, I still managed to get one before we left. It was good; chicken and cheese. So a good time was had by all.

This is supposed to be a one-off, to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Hopkins Center. I was urging them that this should be an annual event. It should pay for itself. Thank YOU, Dartmouth. Thank you, David. Thank you Johnny of Filligar.

Dartmouth’s Free HopFest, July 20 – 21, 2012: Map and Schedule

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior post on HopFest — June 7, 2012.

Click for the official Web site.


The map and events schedule at the Dartmouth site is ‘printed’ on a 8.5″ x 14″ page. That 14″ height makes it difficult to print, especially as it is a PDF. So I am providing images that might print better. Click on image … and at bottom right click on ‘show at full size’. Hope this helps.

Back Volunteering As A Granite State Ambassador (GSA)

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


I ‘passed’ my 2-day, SNHU run, GSA certification course, in Laconia, in the Spring of 2001. So, I have been a GSA since then. I was fairly active during the first 18 months, typically volunteering Thursday mornings at the Laconia Chamber of Commerce. It was the then director of that Chamber, the larger-than-life, Kinney O’Rouke, who got me involved with the GSA.

Kinney O’Rouke at our Gilford house in 2003.

It was the first warm day of Spring in 2001 and I was at the Laconia CVS in my daughters bright yellow 1995 Corvette (with its distinctive WOWNH plates), with the hood down. As I was about to pull out, this tall, ruddy figure, in a Hawaiian shirt walks up to my window, looks down at me, over his tinted glasses, and asks: ‘where are you from?’. In my case that questions has multiple answers. But, I could tell that Kinney was after ethnicity. He grilled me for a few minutes. He established that I was self-employed and worked my own hours (albeit quite a lot of them). Then he says, nary any compunction: ‘I have a 2 day class starting next week, in Gilford. I want you to attend. We need more people like YOU.’ That was the GSA certification class. It was a blast. As is invariably the case when I attend any kind of class (which thankfully is very rare since I turned 18) I was the ‘trouble maker’. They even made me switch seats the next day. But, I do remember winning a rather fancy moose cap from Molly Hodgson Smith, who had something to do with NH tourism at the time, for getting the answers right on some questions she posed. Over the next two years Kinney changed my life, most times without actually telling me beforehand. Shortly after the GSA course he had me inducted into Laconia Rotary. Kinney was the then President (and to be fair he was, in my case, just trying to fill his designated quota of new members). A few months later, in August, I was congratulated by another member for being elected the new ‘Sergeant-at-Arms‘. Another cute Kinney move. He needed a Sergeant-at-Arms and had me co-opted at a Board Meeting without even asking me beforehand if I would be interested. I was Sergeant-at-Arms for over 2 years, even after Kinney ceased to be the President.

Somewhere around 2003 I stopped the GSA volunteering. There was too much going on in my life. Time has always been a premium. I try to use every spare minute that I can salvage on writing and research. Between 2003 and 2011 I wrote 7 books – and managed to become an expert on papal history! So that is where much of the time went, though during that period I also ended up having two additional kids.

A couple of months ago, upon receiving a flyer, I agreed to volunteer at the upcoming HopFest on July 20, 2012. That got me thinking. I felt bad that I had not done any GSA work. So, I e-mailed them. They were, as ever, very nice. They didn’t chastise me for having gone missing for so long. Just wanted to know when I would start. Well, that was today. I did ‘3 hours’ at the Alton Bay information Center. It was fun. I like the interaction. I have a lot of fun. As has been noted, I am a ‘way off the scale‘ extrovert. Psychologist actually have a scientific definition for extroverts and introverts. Introverts are exhausted after public interactions; extrovert re-energized. Interacting with strangers has never made me tired.

Dartmouth’s Free HopFest, July 20 – 21, 2012 Looks Beyond Compelling

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click image to access Dartmouth site for Hopfest


We are hoping we can make it — at least for one of the days. We are great fans of all things Dartmouth. We do go to events at the Hop which is how we got notified of this event. I just listened to two of the bands. They sound great. Might be another event that goes on our annual calendar alongside: Revels, Plymouth Education Theater Collaborative play, Laconia Multicultural Day, Highland Games, Barnum & Baily circus …