POMPTON LAKES, N.J. — St. Mary Church here launched its JustMusic Coffeehouse Concerts last month, raising more than $1,000 for St. Mary’s Food Pantry.
The Feb. 20 show, featuring New York-based duo The Kennedys, kicked off a year of performances at the Carnevale Center, scheduled for the upcoming months.
John Hargreaves opened the evening’s musical fare with five original songs and called on JustMusic committee member John Della Penna to join in on harmonies during his set.
“This was only an appetizer before the main course — a prelude to the uplifting and truly flat out wonderful blend of vocals of Maura Kennedy and the virtuoso guitar phrasings of her partner and husband Pete,” Della Penna said.
This was a repeat performance by The Kennedys at St. Mary’s, where Kevin Downey, OFM, is pastor. Their first performance was at the first-ever JustMusic concert, in fall 2005.
The night included songs off the duo’s most recent album, “Better Dreams,” which Della Penna described as “a mix of acoustic soulful, folk, folk-rock and pop that serves up a greater consciousness and a reminder of what has been lost and what can be.”
Both husband and wife played solo sets: Maura played requests from her first solo album, “Parade of Echoes,” and Pete off of his latest release, “Guitarslinger.” At one point, “Pete took the crowd on a musical journey — a déjà vu ride of music including Beethoven and Led Zeppelin,” Della Penta said.
They ended the night with a medley of Beatles songs, inviting people on stage to dance to the music.
Branch of JustFaith
JustMusic is a “branch of the JustFaith tree dedicated to supporting charities and promoting the arts,” according to Della Penna. Fifty percent of ticket sales and proceeds from auction items and refreshment sales were donated to St. Mary’s Food Pantry. Proceeds from past concerts have gone to the parish’s food pantry and special needs ministry as well as Hurricane Katrina relief.
JustMusic members, Brianne Dougherty, Della Penna, Dorothy Dougherty and Bob Bonnano, with help from Amanda Bialek, Jenna Castro, and Grace London, organized the event with the help of many volunteers from the LEAP organization of nearby Lakeland Regional High School, in partnership with AWARE ASAP, which is dedicated to educating adolescents about being drug and alcohol free.
The next JustMusic concert at St. Mary’s is April 10. Chuck E. Costa and Dave & Margie will perform.
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. Information about JustFaith programs at Province parishes will be included in a future issue of this newsletter. Readers who participate in an HNP JustFaith program are encouraged to submit information to HNP Today by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.