Year in Review: Arts and Entertainment

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

Chelsea Summers, shown here in July performance at Coastal Coffee Roasters was quite busy in 2012, playing at a number of venues locally and out of town.

Summerville and Dorchester County saw a variety of fun and interesting performances, shows, and exhibits throughout 2012. From old pros to new faces, the area continues to be a vibrant and exciting place to feed the artistic soul.
In January, a young Summerville singer took a big step toward her future. Thirteen-year-old singer Shayla Degregorio, known in musical circles as “Shayla D,” was one of 18 young artists from North and South Carolina featured on a compilation CD called “Pride of the Carolinas,” which featured up and coming new talents from the Carolinas.
But Shayla was not the only one to get something of a career break this year.
Chelsea Summers, a talented, up and coming singer/songwriter/guitarist opened for the nationally known rock band Parachute Saturday at Ziggy’s Main Music Hall in Winston Salem, N.C.  Chelsea would stay busy throughout 2012, playing gigs in a number of local venues including Coastal Coffee Roasters, Icehouse Restaurant, Single Smile Café, Firewater Grille and Madra Rua Irish Pub. She was a featured performer at the Flowertown Festival and also opened for national recording artist Justin James a special performance in Coastal Coffee Roasters in July.
Of course, singer/songwriter/guitarist extraordinaire Eddie Bush stayed busy, not only playing local and regional events such as Flowertown Festival but traveling nationally with with his band, known as Eddie Bush and the Mayhem. Bush also released a new CD, “Calloused Hands” in December.
Another local musician who stayed busy but often flies under the radar was Jesse Frank, a singer/songwriter/musician who also owns and operates Lowcountry Music Academy on West Richardson Avenue in Summerville. Frank was busy with several projects, including putting together a new band, Flowertown Theory, as well as writing and recording in the studio. He also entered one of his songs, “Stolen Lullaby” in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, an international event open to amateur and professional songwriters.
Possibly following in the footsteps of these accomplished performers were a unique group of young people, students from Herve Moreau’s Music Exploratory and Music Technology classes at Pinewood Preparatory School. For the second year in a row, Moreau’s students went head to head in a songwriting contest, held in Pinewood’s Liberty Garden in March. The songwriters ranged in age and experience from 6th graders to high school seniors. The winners of the contest received free studio time to record two of their songs.
The classes also hosted a fundraising event in April known around the school as “Pinewoodstock,” which showcased Pinewood musicians in an outdoor venue setting on the school grounds.
Pinewood Prep also held its third annual Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Barbeque Festival in November. The event included live performances by several area bluegrass bands, including Homegrown, which features two Pinewood Students.
On the visual and performing arts side of things, the Summerville Artist Guild held their 36th Annual Judged Show with a reception at the Town Hall during the spring.  The show Karen Ann Myers, Assistant Director of The Halsey Institute at the College of Charleston, judged the show, which hung in Town Hall until the end of March. Later, the guild would feature their annual photography show, which was on display in Town Hall until December.
Meanwhile, the Firewater Grille in Summerville successfully hosted comedy shows on Friday and Saturday nights throughout 2012. Not only have the shows been well received, their popularity has grown and continues to grow, says owner Bob Shipley and comedy producer Tony Kemp.
In fact, Summerville has become quite the popular underground gig for a lot of A-List comics these days, including such talents as Darryl Rhoads, Peter Hefty and Justin, Janet “The Tennessee Tramp” Williams, and Shaun Jones.
A relative “new kid on the block” entered the scene in August as Art and Soul opened in Summerville in August. Art and Soul hit the ground running, sending mimes out on opening night to guide Third Thursday patrons to the new space. In November Art and Soul hosted a special fundraiser for the Friends of the Dorchester County Library which featured a showing of works from the private collection of Robert Seay, a long-time private art collector who lives in Summerville. The objects on display included works of old masters from between the 15th and 20th centuries, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, William Hogarth, and Albrecht Dürer.
The Summerville Community Orchestra continued to stay busy with a number of performances throughout the year featuring exciting guest performers and wide variety of musical selections. No doubt, SCO’s 2013 season will be just as busy and well attended.

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