Highlights: Peter and Paul soldier on with Mary in mind


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 11-07-2019 5:00 PM

The surviving members of Peter, Paul and Mary knew that they could never replace the voice of their longtime partner in folk singing after Mary Travers died in 2009.

Instead, Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey are keeping Travers’ spirit alive in part by continuing to sing the protest anthems Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and If I Had A Hammer, and the trio’s wistful hits Puff the Magic Dragon and Leavin’ on a Jet Plane, at concerts benefiting each other’s favorite social-justice causes.

Friday night at Lebanon Opera House, they’ll sing the praises of Music to Life, the program that Paul’s daughter, Wilder resident Elizabeth Stookey Sunde, is preparing to expand to the Upper Valley, in support of performers aiming to help at-risk kids develop their artistic talents.

“Peter, Mary and I used to trade off (benefit concerts), and Peter and I still do it,” Stookey said last week from midcoast Maine, where he runs community radio station WERU. “This kind of performance is a reminder to audiences of a time when we could and we did … accomplish something, to bring about change, by doing it together.”

Stookey’s twin daughters, born in 1965, grew up absorbing that ethic while Peter, Paul and Mary sang around the country and the world, and crossed paths and ideas with leaders of the civil rights and environmental movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. While Liz Sunde was pursuing a combined master’s degree in social work, business and education at Boston University in the 1990s, “Dad and I had a glimmer of an idea,” she recalled last week.

“We initiated a kind of social-justice fellowship for songwriters,” said Sunde, a management consultant. “It was so obvious that we were needed as a steward, someone to acknowledge what they were doing. To give them an outlet.”

In 2000, the Stookeys formally kicked off Music to Life, an “accelerator” program that offered singer-songwriters services ranging from showcase concerts and stipends to help with grant-writing skills and networking with other artists, mostly in urban areas.

In an effort to expand to rural areas, Sunde recently recruited her Wilder neighbor Emily Musty Zanleoni — a psychotherapist who counsels at-risk youth by day and a singer for various rock and roots groups in her spare time — to oversee Musicians as Mentors, a pilot accelerator program, starting in the fall of 2020. Zanleoni, Woodstock singer-songwriter Jim Yeager and DJ Sean, a Hartford-based disc jockey who spins records at a variety of private and public events around the Upper Valley, will work as “activist musicians” with aspiring teen artists. Its partner organizations include the Upper Valley Music Center, The Junction youth center, ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret and Windsor County Mentors.

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“We all know our youth are struggling, and it’s incredibly sad to know that more than half of the middle and high school students in the Upper Valley feel they don’t matter to the community,” Zanleoni said on Tuesday. “The best way to secure the future of our community is to give tomorrow’s leaders the extra time right now.”

All of which made it an easy call for Stookey to coax Peter Yarrow to join him in Lebanon.

“As Liz kept refining the program, beyond the concept of supporting a singer-songwriter showcase at a folk festival, we could see how impactful it was to communities in need,” Stookey said. “It was eye-opening.”

And whether playing for Music to Life or for Yarrow’s anti-bullying campaign Operation Respect, Peter and Paul can’t imagine a better way to channel Mary Travers.

“We keep doing this because we still have the energy and the throats,” Stookey said. “And we still have our marbles.”

Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey perform at the Lebanon Opera House on Friday night at 7:30. Joining them after intermission will be Maine-based roots singer-songwriter Emilia Dahlin and rapper/poet Myles Bullen. For tickets ($18 to $73) and more information, visit lebanonoperahouse.org or call 603-448-0400.

Best bets

The Parish Players unveil seven new works, including one by Lyme’s Faith Catlin, during its annual Ten Minute Play Festival which runs from Thursday night through Nov. 17, at the Eclipse Grange Theatre on Thetford Hill. For tickets ($10 to $20) and more information, visit parishplayers.org or call 802-785-4344.

■Folk singer-songwriter Vance Gilbert brings his soaring voice and stinging wit to the Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille in New London at 8 p.m. Thursday. For tickets ($20), visit flyinggoose.com or call 603-526-6899.

■The Dartmouth College Department of Theater kicks off its production of Anthony Clarvoe’s The Living on Thursday night at 8, at the Hopkins Center’s Moore Theater. The play, set during the plague that killed almost a fifth of the population of London in 1665, runs through Nov. 17. For tickets ($15 to $40) and more information visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

■Twenty-three years after he last performed at Dartmouth, two-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns to Spaulding Auditorium on Tuesday night to celebrate the approaching 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. With pianist Angela Cheng, Zukerman is scheduled to perform the master’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Major, Violin Sonata No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 12, No. 3, and, after intermission, Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, aka Spring. Admission $30 to $60.

Theater/performance art

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, musical, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Grange Theatre in South Pomfret. Tickets ($20 to $25) and more information, artistreevt.org or 802-457-3500.

Lost and Found, two one-act plays written and directed by RJ Crowley, Friday and Saturday nights at 7 at Damon Hall in Hartland. Admission by donation to Hartland Community Arts’ fund to upgrade theatrical lighting at Damon Hall.

Other Desert Cities, BarnArts production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated family drama, Thursday night through Nov. 17 at Barnard Town Hall. Tickets $15 to $20; visit barnarts.org.


Infinitus String Trio, classical and hip-hop, Thursday night at 7 at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon. For tickets ($10 to $23), visit lebanonoperahouse.org or call 603-448-0400.

■Cellist Emily Taubl and pianist Annemieke McLane, chamber works of Bach, Friday night at 7 at United Church of Strafford. Admission by donation to fund for church maintenance.

■Anonymous Coffeehouse, performances at First Congregational Church of Lebanon at 7:30 by Bradford Bog People string band; at 8:15 by jazz singer Grace Crummer; and at 9:30 by singer-songwriter Ted McManus. Free.

■Cellist Ben Kulp and violist Jennifer Turbes, classical works of Beethoven, Travis Ramsey and other composers, Saturday afternoon at 3 at First Congregational Church of Lebanon. Admission $15, benefiting Upper Valley Music Center.

■Fourth annual Extravaganza variety music show, Saturday night at 6:30 at First Congregational Church of Thetford. Admission by donation to maintenance of church.

■Cameo Baroque, chamber works of George Frideric Handel, Saturday night at 7 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley in Norwich. Admission by donation to the Upper Valley Haven.

■Acoustic guitarist Neil Fitzgerald, Saturday night at 7 at North Common Arts in Chelsea. Limited seating; tickets $12 to $15 via chelseavt-arts.org or 802-685-4699.

■Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, classical works of Mozart and Sebelius, Saturday night at 7:30 at Hopkins Center’s Spaulding Auditorium. Tickets $25.

■Beg, Steal or Borrow, bluegrass, Saturday night at 7:30, upper gallery of Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. Admission by donation.

■Farewell Angelina, country, Sunday night at 7 at Lebanon Opera House. Admission $20 to $30.


Dead Sea Squirrels, with caller Adina Gordon, contra dance on Saturday night at 8 at Tracy Hall in Norwich. Admission $8 to $12.

Bar and club circuit

Mad Hazard Band, jazz, bossa nova and blues, Thursday night at 5:30 at the Quechee Club’s Davidson’s Restaurant.

■Fiddle Witch, bluegrass, Thursday night at 7 at Windsor Station; Rusted Chrome, classic rock and country, Saturday night at 9:30; Johnny O, rock, Tuesday night at 6.

■Sensible Shoes, danceable rock and pop, Friday night at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

■Singer-songwriter Jim Hollis, Friday night at 8 at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon; The Conniption Fits, rock, Saturday night at 9.

■Wayne Canney, rock and country, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover; multi-genre guitarist Ted Mortimer, Saturday night at 9.

■The Party Crashers, rock, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon; Cruizing, rock, Saturday night at 9.

■Adam McMahon Duo, acoustic rock, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Newport.

■Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach, folk/roots, Sunday night at 5 at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.

■Singer-songwriter Jim Yeager, Monday nights at 6:30 at 506 on the River in Woodstock.

Open mics, jam sessions

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach hosts jam sessions at two White River Junction venues over the coming week: jazz on Thursday night at 6 at Cafe Renee in Hotel Coolidge, and roots/Americana on Tuesday night at 7 at Filling Station Bar and Grill.

■Chris Curtis guest-hosts open mic on Thursday night at 7 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret.

■Alec Currier’s open mic at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon, Thursday nights at 8.

■Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse’s monthly open mic, Friday night at 7 at Methodist Church in Sunapee Harbor. Storytellers welcome.

■Joseph Stallsmith’s hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass, Monday nights at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Tom Masterson’s open mic, Tuesday nights at 7 at Colatina Exit.

■Peter Meijer’s open mic, Wednesday nights at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Send entertainment news to highlights@vnews.com.