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Fourth of July Variety Show on tap Wednesday at Gobin

Monday, July 2, 2012

There are many ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Greencastle this year, including a free, one-hour variety-show event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in air-conditioned Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

Story telling, poetry, songs from American musicals, original music from a young singer-songwriter, Gershwin's classic "Rhapsody in Blue," and a singalong of popular American songs are on the bill.

The Greencastle Summer Music Festival, which presents free concerts (funded by donations from community members) at Gobin every Wednesday through Aug. 15, is the event's host.

"We hope this will be a great way to start the evening, and we'll be done in plenty of time to make it to Robe-Anne Park for the fireworks," festival founder and artistic director Eric Edberg, a DePauw University music professor, said.

"My original plan was not to have a concert on the Fourth of July, but enough people told me they would come that we decided to go ahead. If you want to go to the fireworks, there will be plenty of time to get to the park. And if the heat and crowds are too much for you, then this is a great way to celebrate the holiday with other members of the community."

Edberg said he decided to make this event as varied as possible.

"The Fourth of July is about America, about people coming together and asserting our identity and independence," he said. "This week's event is as inclusive as I could arrange, featuring stalwarts of the community as well as summer guests.

Gigi Jennewein
"We have actor Gigi Jenewein and storyteller Bill Wieland telling stories and reading poetry, and the great French pianist Claude Cymerman playing the solo piano version of Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue,' one of the greatest pieces of music written in America. Troy Clifford Dargin of Kansas, in Greencastle for a month for work at DePauw, will be performing songs from the American musical theater tradition, and 22-year old singer-songwriter Jason Michael Howell-Dargin will perform a set of original love songs.

Claude Cymerman
The group will all sing songs together -- "The Star Spangled Banner," "It's a Grand Old Flag," "Yankee Doodle" and other favorites.

"The festival itself is about friends making music with friends, for friends, old and new," Edberg emphasized. "Usually it's the professional musicians making music for an audience. This week, we will all make music."

Storyteller Wieland is a long-time Greencastle resident. Retired from over two decades as rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, he has also been a university professor and continues to be an active composer.

Jennewein has lived in Greencastle for 20 years. For most of that time she taught, directed and designed costumes for the DePauw Communication and Theatre Department. Her career has included acting and directing gigs in New York City, Austin, Tampa and Indianapolis.

She left DePauw recently to chair the Theatre Department at the Patel Conservatory/Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. She missed Greencastle, her family and friends so much that she quit that and came back. Gigi currently serves as the coordinator of Community Service and Outreach for DePauw.

Troy Clifford Dargin
Singer Troy Clifford Dargin holds a master's degree in music theater performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Currently, he is working on his dual master's degree in Speech Pathology and Music Education in Vocology while also completing a Ph.D. in Speech Pathology focusing on the performing voice at the University of Kansas.

The Arthur Lessac Intensive, a voice body study, brings Troy back to Greencastle for a second summer.

Jason Michael Howell-Dargin
Jason Michael Howell-Dargin has been playing and singing since age six. He performs original material as a "one-man band" called The Michaels Project. Jason's music defies genre categories -- it's simple yet avant-garde, performed with an enthusiasm which reflects his unique passion for life and music. He plans a "love-themed" repertoire for the Fourth of July.

One of the treasures of Greencastle and DePauw for over three decades, Cymerman graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris with highest honors.

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