Seacoast Wind Ensemble performs 2 new pieces for Veterans Day

YORK, Maine — The Seacoast Wind Ensemble will perform a Veterans Day concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the new auditorium at York High School in York, Maine. SWE performs under the direction of Dr. Mark Stickney.  The program will include a newly commissioned piece that is based on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and a second newly composed piece that pays tribute to veterans. The program will also include classics such as Holst and Sousa pieces.  The concert is free and open to the public, but SWE gladly accepts donations. A portion of all gate donations will go to the Maine-based Veterans Adaptive Sports & Recreation that is located at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. SWE will also raffle several gift certificates. SWE, established in 1984, is a 50-piece community-level concert band, based out of Exeter. Composed of musicians from all professional occupations and trades, SWE performs annually throughout New Hampshire, Maine and northern Massachusetts. SWE is conducted by Artistic Director/Conductor, Dr. Mark Stickney, who is director of bands at Plymouth State University and Assistant Conductor Jonathan Roth, who is music director of the Shapleigh School in Kittery, Maine.

Second Jazz and Blues Festival this weekend

Jazz and blues musicians will fill Portwalk Place’s restaurants, hotels and businesses on Sunday, Nov. 11, with horns, guitars, drums, rhythm, blues and dancing. The second year of the Portsmouth Jazz & Blues Festival will showcase more than a dozen artists on eight different stages from noon to 6 p.m. The afternoon of free music will be followed by a special ticketed concert, in honor of Veterans Day, starting at 6:30 p.m., with proceeds supporting a local charity. Returning this year are the Russ Grazier Quartet, the PMAC Jazz Institute Band, blues singer and guitarist Pete Peterson, Charlie Jennison and vocalist Shelli LaTorre, pianist Mark Shilanksy, singer Sarah Kervin and celebrated singer Carri Coltrane, with guitarist Woody Allen and drummer Gary Gemmiti completing her trio. New this year are the Andrew Emanuel Quartet, country/blues duo Baza, the Michael Vincent Band and the quartet of Bill Wightman, Cliff Clegg, Matt Langley, and Jody Bregler. Admission: Free for the performances from noon to 6 p.m.; "A Concert To Honor Their Service" featuring Combo Sabroso and Roomful of Blues to benefit Vets Count is $30 in advance; $40 at the door. More info: Find porwalkplace on; tickets available for purchase there.

'A Steady Rain' opens in Rochester

The Rochester Performance & Arts Center, 32 South Main St., will present a new dramatic play "A Steady Rain" this weekend and next. A dark duologue filled with sharp storytelling and biting repartee, the play explores the complexities of a lifelong bond tainted by domestic affairs, violence, and the rough streets of Chicago. Show runs through Nov. 18. Tickets: Start at $15. Reserve tickets online or call the box office (603) 948-1099. For showtimes, visit

Concert pays tribute to WWII heroes

Curt Bessette and his wife, Jenn Kurtz, will perform "A Few Seconds with Our Fathers and Mothers: Songs and Stories of WWII" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at New Hampshire Theatre Project's West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St., Portsmouth, as a tribute to honor all veterans and their families, according to Bessette. Each of the songs to be performed will include stories of real events and people who lived and fought during wartime including World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars. The duo provides background information and context for their songs during the concert so the audience can understand the stories they are telling with their songs. Tickets are $2O. To purchase tickets, call 603-431-6644 ext. 5 or or visit

'Gift of the Magi' opens

This timeless holiday story of love and giving, "The Gift of the Magi," opens this weekend and features a remarkable cast that includes a blind man, a transgender woman, a man with cerebral palsy and a cast of 10 who range in age from teenagers to septuagenarians. The show runs through Nov. 25 at The Player's Ring, 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth. Tickets: $18 with discounts for students, seniors and Players’ Ring members. Reservations can be made at or 603) 436-8123. Details at