written by Ramona LaBarre – photos by Carol J. Gilmore
One upscale venue, two extraordinary singer/songwriters, three-plus fabulous decades of the best in live music performances, all spelled “Go!” to a grand evening for Godfrey Daniels’ 39th Anniversary celebration. In spite of an early Spring snowstorm, about 150 were present for the annual Membership party at Moravian College’s Foy Hall on Friday evening, March 20.
Godfrey Daniels opened the doors on the first day of Spring, 1976, and each year in March, the date is marked with a special concert. A few years back, the “Birthday Bash” evolved into a free concert event for our supporting members, and new members are added and welcomed each year. 2015 being the year that marks 39 (and definitely holding), our 40th Anniversary Committee ventured out and organized a grand kick-off to our 40th Anniversary Year, which will culminate, naturally, with our 40th anniversary celebration in March 2016 – stay tuned!
Featured artists this year are two singer/songwriters who have graced our stage several times individually for the last two decades. Vance Gilbert first appeared in June 1995 and has performed for us a dozen times since. Ellis Paul debuted on our stage in June 1999, and comes in with eleven prior Godfrey Daniels shows. Ellis and Vance have a very close friendship, spanning well over a decade, and released an album together in 2003 called Side Of The Road. Yes, they toured together in support of that album; however the size of our small and intimate room prevented Godfrey’s from being one of their stops. Flash forward twelve years, add some star alignment, and the golden opportunity presents for a fantastic duo concert, part of a uniquely special affair. Both Vance and Ellis made some new friends and fans on Friday, and that’s what presenting artists is all about. Pure magic ensued for the evening, as the two traded songs, tales, jokes and histories in a living room setting on Foy Hall’s prominent stage.
Before the music started at 8pm, with an opening set by our guest Emcee Dave Fry, a reception was held in the Payne Gallery, where small bites were offered by Back Door Bakeshop, Wegman’s, and The Twisted Olive. Two Berks County music venues participated as well, with beer and wine tastings by The Other Farm Brewery and Pinnacle Ridge Winery. Godfrey’s kicked off our annual Martin Guitar raffle, and some beautiful art pieces and other fun items were displayed for a raffle and silent auction (have a look at these gifts on our previous blog) fund-raiser.
The event was a huge success, facing as we did a snowstorm on the first day of Spring – and our gratitude is endless. Thanks to our supporting membership, whose dollars add up to nearly 25% of our operating budget. It is truly enlightening and encouraging to have such a large group of like-minded supporters all together celebrating in one room, and we delight in having an annual gathering where the focus is on giving back to You.
Thank you to our Sponsors: C.F. Martin, Inc.; Bollinger Insurance Agency; The Compact Disc Center; Working Dog Press; WDIY 88.1FM; Moravian College Dept. of Music; Landhaven Bed & Breakfast; Jack Murray Design. Thanks to the enduring energies of our fine volunteer staff – the 40th Anniversary Committee: Dina Hall, Mary Radakovits, Andy Bollinger, Gail Lehman, Kiera Wilhelm and Bernie Toseland; and to those dedicated folks who braved the snow to make sure our plans stayed on track: Steve & Brenda Bomgardner, Todd Dietrich, Michael Duck, Rosalie Fry & Cory Schultz, Carol Gilmore & Rachel Luce, John Hufford, Viola Krouse, Bessie Reese, Cyndi Reichard, Bill Schachter, and Sam Steffen. It all adds up to a most memorable occasion, which came out of dedication, donations, gifts, hard work and love. Gratitude. Reciprocal. Onward to 40!
Thank you to our raffle and auction Donors: McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub Donegal Square Back Door Bakeshop Molinari’s Jenny’s Kuali Dave’s Deli Hairapy By Linda Cleo’s Silversmith and Gallery Foo Foo Shop Compact Disc Center Friends of Liberty Theatre Bollinger Glass Design Touchstone Theatre Southside Film Festival Artsquest The Lesson Center Hawk Music Center Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs Landhaven Bed & Breakfast Red House Records Signature Sounds Muses in the Vineyard The Studio at Biery’s Bridge Tallarico’s Chocolates Nawab Deanna Nagle Wendy Ellsworth Annie Giancarlo Debra Slahta Carol J. Gilmore Brian Toseland Glass Artist Fox Optical Brenda Brown Dina Hall Judi Space Andy Bollinger Godfrey Daniels Board of Directors and Anniversary Committee