Embassy Theatre to Host Alt/Punk Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Embassy Theatre   
Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:32

The Embassy Theatre will host three bands: Broken Radio (Cumberland), the downstrokes (Frostburg-Cumberland) and Jet Set Vapour Trails (Morgantown), Friday, February 17th for an 18+ show. Doors open at 7:30 pm with music starting at 8 pm. 

Opening act Broken Radio is an alt-rock/punk band playing covered and original songs. Featuring Ian Dorsey, guitar; Cameron Deal, bass; and Adron Fiscus drums, their music reminiscent of early Green Day in their enthusiasm and excitement. These kids bring the spirit and energy of punk to a whole new generation of local kids.

Some people might call it punk rock, others might call it gritty rock ‘n’ roll, but western Maryland’s the downstrokes bring a variety of influences to their mix of straight ahead, four on the floor garage music. From the Stones, the Who, and the Kinks to the Ramones, the Clash, and Social Distortion; from the Replacements and Pixies to Agnostic Front and H2O, the downstrokes are fans of the music they play. The results: a band that explores the possibilities of punk rock, with poetic lyrics by frontman author Gerry LaFemina, crisp guitars provided by Cumberland’s own Mike Holland, all driven by the rhythm section of Aaron Hoel on bass and drummer Bill Poorbough. After three years, the downstrokes still explore the boundaries of punk.

Power chords from the early 70's, the rhythmic angularity of 90's alt rock, a pinch of stoner doom and a unique melodic sense. Put them all together and you get Jet Set Vapour Trails. This power trio of Morgantown music veterans deliver original tunes, introspective and savage. Consisting of Jeffrey Goodwin on drums, Jarrod Ott on bass, and Thomas Moore on guitar and vocals, this band invokes the primal spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.

Tickets are $7.  The Embassy Theatre is at 49 Baltimore St. in downtown Cumberland, and reservations may be made at 240-362-7183.

Old-TimeTrio April Verch Band to Perform at Mountain City Traditional Arts PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:27

April Verch 1The April Verch Band will bring its world-class talent and dynamism to Mountain City Traditional Arts, 25 E. Main St. in Frostburg, on Friday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The performance is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $15.

This passionate and energetic old-time trio has performed across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and China. Their mastery of their instruments and stage presence has won over audiences worldwide.

April Verch has been deeply immersed in traditional music since she was a young child in Ottawa Valley, Canada. She has been touring full time since 2000, bringing her passion for her music to small rural communities as well as expansive concert halls. Verch has also held classes and lectures, performed at numerous festivals and was even one of six fiddlers representing the Canadian fiddle tradition at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In February, she will release "The April Verch Anthology" (Slab Town Records), an 18-track collection celebrating her life's work. Hand-picked by Verch, the songs on this compilation offer an enchanting mix of regional Canadian, American old-time, bluegrass, country and Americana tracks.

Cody Walters, a native of rural Kansas, has been playing upright bass since 1999. He has played bass in a variety of musical styles, including country, jazz, Latin, folk, old-time and more with a number of bands. Walters has been with the band since 2007, playing his upright­ electric bass and banjo.

Alex Rubin has been a member of the band since March of 2016; he plays guitar and mandolin. Though he began exploring music through classical violin, he soon changed his focus to bluegrass guitar and later became immersed in the Boston bluegrass scene. Rubin has studied with John McGann, performed in a folk duo with banjo player BB Bowness and performed in a variety of festivals and New Zealand.

Dedicated to the education, sales, documentation and perpetuation of the traditional arts in the mountain region, Mountain City Traditional Arts is a program of Frostburg State University, with support from FrostburgFirst, the Allegany Arts Council and the Maryland Traditions Program of the State Arts Council.

For more information, contact email MCTA at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 301-687-8040.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

Reflections on the Women's March on Washington PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jerri Dell   
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 21:26

Jerri etcLess than a week after Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States, I was organizing to go with fifty Western Marylanders on a bus from Cumberland to join the Women’s Woman on Washington, D.C. Having grown up in D.C. in the 1960’s,  I knew something about protesting.  I was a in elementary school when Martin Luther King had a Dream and spoke at the Lincoln Memorial;  I one of so many college students who protested the War in Vietnam on the National Mall.  I was the granddaughter of suffragists who linked arms with thousands like them to demand the vote for women. It was time to protest again, and I was eager to be there. . . .Until I wasn’t. 


As the day of the March got closer – and the horror of a Trump presidency became all the more real—I thought.  Really?  Why do I want to spend hours on a bus, then into the throngs of people in the Metro, brave the misery of Washington January?  What difference would make anyway?  Perhaps I could get a cold bad enough to keep me home or slip on the ice and bruise my shin too badly to walk.  And what about the dogs?  Who would feed the dogs?  Better to continue  media blackout – no TV, no Yahoo, no Facebook. Why march with the multitudes and force myself to face it.  Up until the night of the inauguration I still wavered. Why March? Shameful as it is, on Saturday morning I climbed up on that bus because I promised my friends I would be there.  In fact, it was me who encouraged my friends to do go.  It was me who registered us all for the March and  got our Metro One-Day Passes online.  I was the one who had sixty “Resist” buttons made to give to everyone on the bus to Washington. It was just too embarrassing not to show up


After a quiet companionable trip to D.C. on the bus from Cumberland with 54 other people – most of whom I didn’t know personally - we arrived just after 9 at the Shady Grove Metro station where the line of people waiting to get on the train snaked all the way up the hill and moved as slowly as molasses in the winter time.  But it was a friendly crowd and there were plenty of port-a-johns and it wasn’t cold or raining.We were a cheerful, orderly group getting into the Metro.  Nobody rushed; nobody pushed. Since Shady Grove was the first beginning of the Red Line, all of us to got to sit down.  Having agreed on a buddy system before we left, Krystyna and Doris and I were a triad. Sitting in front of us on the train was a pretty, pale, slender girl of maybe twenty-two, short black hair, tattoo on the back of her neck. As Krystyna and I spoke in worried voices about cell service and whether we’d be able to contact people at the march, the girl turned around, smiled shyly at us and said “There’s an app” that lets you communicate with people without service.”  Krystyna, Doris and I busily tried to find the app.


“I have severe anxiety,” said the girl, “so I like to prepare for everything.  I have all kinds of Plans B and C and D.  You know, there’s even an upside to anxiety!” I reached in to my bag and gave her one of the few “Resist” buttons still left once everyone on the Cumberland bus had taken theirs. The girl was from Boston and alone and anxious, but a stranger gave her a “Resist” button. A very good omen, she said. As we piled out of the train, her eyes darted right and left, she took a deep breath, smiled and disappeared into the crowd. I felt better already.


March4From Union Station we strolled toward the Capitol. There were a lot of people, sure.  Mothers, some with babies attached.  Teenagers with tattoos and pink and purple hair.  Fathers with little boys throwing Frisbees.  Gay couples holding hands. Grandmothers carrying signs, smiling.  Me, Krystyna and Doris kept up fine. We walked, down sidewalks, across grass, around fences left over from the day before, and with every step the crowd got a little larger. On our way to the rally – where apparently Gloria Steinem was speaking, we heard whoops and hollers.  The crowd swelled and we couldn’t see the stage. There were swarms of us everywhere packed in as tight as the proverbial sardines. We passed a women’s drum circle, then a Native American dance.  Now a few more thousand packed in closer. Moving – just slightly—first one way, then another – “Dead end” a group said, so we all turned around, continued back to where we’d been.  – “It’s blocked,” a group said, we turned around again.  A circular sort of march. March 3


When it was clear we would never see Gloria Steinem or Scarlett Johansson or John Kerry, even from a distance, Krystyna and Doris and I worked our way slowly toward Independence Avenue, turned right at 7th Street and then cut across the mall.  The huge crowd spread, took over the streets, the grass, even the trees where people could get an aerial view of things. Of course the best part was the sign “Kids 4 Kindness”, “Fight Like a Girl” “Dissent is Patriotic” “You Can’t Comb Over Racism!”, “Nasty Women seeking Bad Hombres”, “Flaky liberals are getting you Healthcare!” “My Undocumented Father Paid More Taxes Than Trump!” “Free Melania!--We’ve all had bad boyfriends!”, “Politically Correct and Proud of It!”  My spirits soared.PART 1485041355058


At noon we stopped at the Hirschhorn Museum where there were walls to lean against, eat our sandwiches and use a clean restroom. In need of a restroom, I got in line with the others. When I saw everyone hold up their hands to show the guard they were carrying nothing dangerous, I shoved my colorful “Anti sexism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia” poster under my left arm and held my hands up too. “You’ve got to drop the poster,” the guard said.  I let Krystyna go in the museum alone. No way I was dropping my poster.


Doris, Krystyna and I marched on the national mall in sight of the Washington monument, past the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Natural History. I’d done this a hundred times as a kid – either with my parents or with friends on a school trip—but this was different.  Now I was doing it with hundreds of thousands of Americans I didn’t know, mostly women.  And everywhere we went, people were kind; the marchers were kind. When someone stumbled there were a dozen people right away helping to get them back on their feet. The volunteers in neon orange jackets were kind and the police on foot, on bicycles and in police cars were all kind. People danced and chanted.  But mostly people looked around at all the thousands and thousands of other people, and smiled.  A few hours into the march – our numbers had increased a hundred fold since we left Union Station – a small group of women with shaved heads and nose-rings called out “Tell Me What Democracy Is!” and thousands of us – as far as the eye could see - shouted our response “THIS is what democracy is!”


And it was. 


Photos by Jerri Dell and Beau Hartman

march 6







Our Town Theatre to Hold Auditions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Emily Elmlinger   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:19
Our Town Theatre announces auditions for Almost, Maine, January 295-7 pm and January 307-9 pm. The cast calls for several men and women, ages 16 and older. Production dates are March 22-26. Brittney Hostutler will be directing. 
Almost, Maine is a small town buried in snow. In the town, its residents find themselves falling in and out of love. A sweet, lighthearted play, Almost, Maine is the perfect cure for mid-winter blues. 
Community Journal Project to Document Daily Life in 2017 Frostburg PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:15

The Frostburg Museum and Frostburg State University’s Center for Literary Arts are proud to announce “A Year in the Life of Frostburg: The Community Journal Project.” This interactive, yearlong activity will chronicle moments in the daily lives of Frostburg residents as told through their own words.

Frostburg businesses and organizations will receive 50 journals in late January to distribute to local residents. The journals will circulate around Frostburg throughout 2017. Participants are invited to document their daily lives during their possession of a journal before passing it along.

Whether by writing, painting, drawing or other forms of expression (even as simple as jotting down a grocery or to-do list), all are welcome and encouraged to share. Participation instructions will be found on the inside covers of the community journals.

After a full year, collected journals will be scanned, with their pages published to a blog on days corresponding with the previous year’s entries. The original journals will be housed at the Frostburg Museum for viewing by the public, preserving for future generations a slice of Frostburg life in the year 2017.

For more information about this project, call the Center for Literary Arts at (301) 687-4340.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

Frostburg Not Named Finalist for Small Business Revolution, but Momentum Continues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bethany Doyle   
Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:20

Frostburg, Maryland was recently named one of eight communities out of 14,000 nominations nationwide selected for Deluxe Corporation’s Small Business Revolution project, with a grand prize of a $500,000 Main Street Makeover and Hulu documentary series co-hosted by Robert Herjavec of ABC’s Shark Tank. Unfortunately, on February 9, Frostburg was not announced a top-five finalist for the competition. While we are disappointed that we are not finalists, our momentum does not stop here.

FrostburgFirst and the City of Frostburg are so proud of the community for rallying behind the Small Business Revolution. Main Street Manager Jessica Palumbo says, “We've been able to pull together as a community to rally behind a common goal, and that type of momentum is invaluable. I am inspired every day by the passionate and hardworking people of this community. This is just the beginning.”

Although Frostburg was not named a finalist, the nomination alone provided a huge burst of energy from business owners, FSU students and alumni, and community members. “We learned something about Frostburg businesses from the process,” says Andrea De Palatis, owner of Spectrum Design Services. “With 8-10 new businesses opening in the last 2 years, Frostburg is experiencing a shift to the next generation of entrepreneurs who bring fresh and exciting energy to our town.” Diana Iman, owner of Funky Repurps & More, says, “Even though our beautiful town was not a finalist, I am excited about the momentum that has started.”


This nomination has instilled, not only a sense of community pride, but also a sense of state pride. Coverage on Frostburg’s nomination has been featured by the Maryland Department of Planning, Main Street Maryland, and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Support has come from across the state and beyond. In fact, Katie Morgan, an FSU alumna from southern Maryland, submitted the original nomination for Frostburg to the Small Business Revolution contest! Katie says she nominated Frostburg because, “This small town quickly became my home away from home. I loved the small town feel and the beauty of the mountains surrounding us.”


The online #MyFrostburg campaign led up to the finalist announcement on February 9. Social media users were asked to post about their love and memories of Frostburg using the hashtag. Posts were tracked diligently by Deluxe, the sponsoring organization of the Small Business


Revolution competition. The hashtag campaign allowed Frostburg to connect with a much broader network of communities via social media engagement. Stories poured in from former Frostburg residents, Frostburg State University graduates, and out-of-state citizens with family ties to the area. Common themes throughout the posts were the beautiful scenery of Mountain Maryland, tales of local folklore, and the past and present small business community.


While our journey with the Small Business Revolution has come to an end, we view this only as the beginning of a new journey. “Frostburg is a very resilient town,” says Frostburg Mayor Robert Flanagan. “We’re going to keep moving forward, because that’s what we do. We’re tough, we’re hardworking, and we’re always looking to the future.”


Keep the Frostburg love going on social media. Follow along with Frostburg on our journey on social media and keep the Frostburg love going using #OurFrostburg. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @FrostburgFirst. For more information on how we got this far, visit www.downtownfrostburg.com.

FSU’s Mountain City Traditional Arts to Present “Maple Syrup Production in Western Maryland” PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Monday, 23 January 2017 10:34

LeoMountain City Traditional Arts will host the program “Maple Syrup Production in Western Maryland” on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. at 25 E. Main St. in Frostburg. The event, which teaches the local community about maple syrup production in the region, features recent Maryland Traditions Heritage Award Winners Steyer Brothers Maple Syrup and S&S Maple Camp. Both were recognized by the Maryland Traditions Program of the Maryland State Arts Council for their roles in continuing the tradition of maple syrup making in Western Maryland. The event is free and open to the public.

“Maryland is home to a wealth of agricultural traditions, and one of the sweetest comes from the Appalachian west, where families like the Steyers and Shinholts have been passing down maple syrup-harvesting practices for generations,” said Chad Buterbaugh, director of the Maryland Traditions Program, who will participate in the MCTA program.

Maple Syrup production has a rich history in Western Maryland, where operations may have numbered in the hundreds at one time. Only a handful of those remain today, with the Steyers and Shinholts being some of the few producers remaining to keep the tradition alive in Western Maryland.

(Leo Shinholt - photo by Edwin Remsberg.)

“Wind from the north, sap comes forth. Wind from the west, sap runs best. Wind from the east, sap runs least. Wind from the south, sap is a drought,” Leo Shinholt, owner of S&S Maple Camp, is fond of saying. When most residents of the region are still staying indoors and out of the winter weather, Shinholt, of Corriganville in Allegany County, and Michael and Randall Steyer and their families, near Oakland in Garrett County, are walking miles, sometimes in snowshoes, to drill holes in maple trees, set taps and collect sap.

Sap can run for two months or more, from mid- to late February through early April, but the sweet spot of that time frame, when sap runs best, may be only a third of that time. It is during that intense period that running and boiling sap becomes the focus of life in the Steyer and Shinolt families, both of which have been at it for three decades or more. Shinholt learned the tradition from his grandfather; the Steyer family has been engaged in the practice for more than 100 years.

In early spring, the Sugar Camp becomes the hub of social activity for both families. Family and friends gather nightly to share stories, trade gossip and socialize while the sap is boiled down to produce syrup. “The maple syrup-making process represents ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, but it also provides a source of fellowship for the immediate and extended family members who come together each winter to participate in tapping, boiling and bottling,” said Buterbaugh.

The program is being presented as part of a partnership with the the Western Maryland Heritage Association, which is partnering with the Maryland Humanities Council to bring the Smithsonian travelling exhibition, “The Way We Worked,” to Western Maryland. The main exhibition will be hosted by the Allegany Museum in Cumberland from February through March. Additionally, six Allegany County museums and historic sites will develop companion displays featuring labor and work themes.

A program of Frostburg State University, Mountain City Traditional Arts is dedicated to the education, sales, documentation and perpetuation of the traditional arts in Western Maryland.

For more information, contact MCTA at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call 301-687-8040.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

CES at FSU Presents World-Class Performers in Spring Lineup of Its 60th Anniversary Season PDF Print E-mail
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:17

CES at Frostburg State University continues its 60th anniversary season with a spring lineup of award-winning musicians and professional artists from around the world. Performers include French songstress Cyrille Aimée, contemporary violinist Daniel Davis, the Buddhist monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, the a cappella group The Filharmonic, the Irish musicians of the Brock McGuire Band, jazz musician Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Russian pianist Yuliya Gorenman, who will join the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of Beethoven.

Romance is in store with a LIVE! at StarScape club performance on Friday, Feb. 10, from magnetic singer Cyrille Aimée. Winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s Vocal Competition and the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition, Aimée displays her versatility with crowd-pleasing originals and new takes on old-time standards. This 7:30 p.m. Valentine’s Day celebration in the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall in FSU’s Lane University Center features full bar service and a club menu. An additional dinner option offering a selection of entrées is served at 6 p.m.

Contemporary violinist Daniel Davis performs on Thursday, March 2, at 8:15 p.m. in Lane Manicur Hall as part of the On the EDGE club series. With charisma and brilliant technique, Davis and his band offer a performance that takes the violin into the modern musical landscape by fusing elements of hip-hop, R&B, jazz and pop.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet presents Buddhist monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, who arrive in March for a five-day residency endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Events held Sunday, March 5, through Thursday, March 9, include the creation of a mandala sand painting and multiple lectures and workshops on Tibetan philosophy, art, meditation and culture. A public performance of “Sacred Music, Sacred Dance,” which combines multiphonic chanting, sacred music and dance, takes place March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU’s Performing Arts Center.

The On the Edge series hosts the youthful a cappella singing group The Filharmonic on Thursday, April 6, at 8:15 p.m. in Lane Manicur Hall. This talented group of young Filipino-Americans first gained national attention in the semi-finals of NBC’s competition show “The Sing-Off” and through their appearance in the popular movie “Pitch Perfect 2” as Team Philippines/Manila Envy.

Traditional Irish music from the Brock McGuire Band is offered in a LIVE! at StarScape club performance on Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Lane Manicur Hall. The band is led by button accordionist and melodeonist Paul Brock and fiddler Manus McGuire and is supported by pianist Denis Carey and vocalist Garry O’Meara on banjo and mandolin. Their performance emphasizes traditional Irish music along with lively arrangements of American old-timey, bluegrass, French-Canadian and Celtic traditions.

A LIVE! at StarScape club performance from iconic jazz musician Dr. Lonnie Smith takes place in Lane Manicur Hall on Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. After a 50-year career, this authentic guru of the Hammond B-3 organ is still making waves. National Public Radio says, “You can probably count on one hand the number of people who’ve mastered the Hammond organ in jazz. Dr. Lonnie Smith can claim that distinction and more.”

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, led by Musical Director Elizabeth Schulze, presents a Masterworks concert, “A Fifth of Beethoven,” on Friday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. in PAC Pealer Recital Hall. Two Beethoven works will appear in the program: “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73” and “Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67.” Award-winning Russian pianist Yuliya Gorenman, who has been hailed as one of the most exciting Beethoven interpreters of her generation, joins the orchestra in the piano concerto.

Tickets may be ordered by calling 1-866-849-9237 or 301-687-3137 or by visiting http://ces.frostburg.edu. Tickets can also be purchased at the CES box office on the second floor of the Lane Center, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CES is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business and Economic Development, MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. The CES 60th Anniversary season is supported in part by the city of Frostburg and the FSU Foundation.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

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