When Anna Fermin and Becky Aud-Jennison decided it was time to act upon their humanitarian and philanthropic desires, everything just fell into place. Fermin, a popular singer-songwriter in Chicago and Aud-Jennison, a psychotherapist living in Springfield, describe the formation of MomsthatRock Productions, a homespun charitable organization, as a nearly spiritual convergence, bound to happen as sure as the two fellow moms and activists met.
According to information at www.momsthatrock.com, Fermin and Aud-Jennison felt that coming together on this project seemed almost inevitable and predestined, a slow simmer of four years of friendship that resulted in a burst of energetic organization last spring to develop the program of MomsthatRock and Concerts for a Cause.
Last Saturday in Chicago they held the group’s first event at the Fulton Street Collective, featuring a combination of live music listening with opportunities for participants to make charitable donations and learn about helping decrease the effects of poverty at home and around the world. The fledgling group received a huge boost early on when CARE, one of the foremost humanitarian groups on the planet, came on board to help in fundraising and, more importantly, in distributing the raised funds in a planned and needed direction.
MomsthatRock presents the Springfield inaugural event of Rock for a Cause on Saturday, June 27, from 3 to 8 p.m., at 1402 West Lake Shore Drive on Lake Springfield. Tickets, available at the group’s Web site, are $10 in advance or $15 at the door with all proceeds going to CARE. Kids 12 and under are admitted free with an adult. Folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for relaxing and picnic food for munching. Young people can participate in an art project intended to be sent as an inspiration to children in other parts of the world. Featured guests include performers Suzy and the Smokers, Brandon Carnes, and Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel, with local musician and author Dave Cain reading from his new book, Who Stole My Illusion.
The whole event in geared toward families having a good time listening to live music while helping to support CARE so others around the world may share in the bounty we enjoy. You can also donate to Change for Change, an international group aiding in poverty-stricken areas of the world, as another way of offering a helping hand. Aud-Jennison’s daughter, Rachel, is currently in Kenya involved with an orphanage and village as a participant of the humanitarian organization and your donations can directly aid her work.
As they as say on the MomsthatRock Web site, “What could be better than meaningful activism with righteous rocking out! Join us. We dare you.” Who could pass up a dare like that?
In other international relations, The Sangwegians a combination of Sangamon Valley and Norwegian musicians, perform Wednesday, July 1, at Bar None starting around 9 p.m. The quartet features John Brillhart on guitar and vocals and Josh Parr on fiddle and mandolin as the Sangamon representatives, and Paul Kirby on banjo and Frank-Runar Gansmo on acoustic bass holding up the Norwegian contingency. Kirby grew up around Williamsville and during his annual visit to the homeland plans a musical performance with friends to demonstrate the universal appeal of music and to just have a blast. Kirby and Gansmo are both professional opera singers in Norway and rather boldly make the claim of being the “only two motorcycle riding, opera singing, bluegrass pickers in Norway. Probably.”
The pair of musicians are part of an Oslo-based, bluegrass-folk group known as Moving Day!, concerning themselves with standards of the genre and adaptations from all styles of music. Last year the visiting players got together on a Sunday at the Brewhaus and did some mighty fine picking and grinning. They’ll stop by on July 5 for a return Brewhaus engagement as our guests on a Sunday night as The Sangwegians.
Contact Tom Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.