FAIRFIELD — Singer and songwriter Emily Mure has spent most of her musical career playing on the streets of Galway, Ireland, and the stages of New York City’s Lower East Side.
Thursday night she will make her first trip to Maine to play a show at the Bishop Auditorium on the Good Will-Hinckley campus, with proceeds from the show going to the art and music program at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences.
While she is here, Mure also will teach a class on songwriting at the school and reunite with an old friend from New York, Mady Spiegel, who is an AmeriCorps volunteer at the charter school. Her show tonight is open to the public for an admission fee of $5.
“I’ve never been to Maine, so I don’t really know what to expect. The idea originally came from Mady, and I thought it was a good idea to play and also have some time to teach music,” said Mure, who is 28 and lives on Roosevelt Island in New York.
The two women are friends who attended LaGuardia High School, a specialized high school for music and the arts and one of New York’s most prestigious public schools. They also both lived in Ireland after graduation from college. In New York, Mure has played at Rockwood Music Hall, which typically books 10 to 15 live acts every night between its two stages, and the Living Room on the Lower East Side, both popular spots in a nightlife-dense neighborhood. She also has played at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in the Berkshires and the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass.
A classically trained oboist who studied at Ithaca College in western New York, Mure writes her own music and has released one album, “Where I Began,” which came out in 2009. She said the music has undertones of her classical training mixed with inspiration that she draws from contemporary folk and bluegrass music. Among her favorite artists are the Lumineers, Bob Dylan, Feist and Andrew Bird.
“I really wanted her to come up here and play. The kids have been helping out with the concert, and I think it will be cool for them to see what she does,” Spiegel said.
Those who bring an item of canned food to donate to the Fairfield Interfaith Food Pantry can pay $4 for admission to tonight’s concert instead of $5.
The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, which opened as a charter school in October, emphasizes the sciences and sustainable living as core to its curriculum. Spiegel said many students on campus also are interested in developing an arts and music program.
Last month they organized the first on-campus coffeehouse, an evening showcase of student work in the performing arts.
Mure, who attended a specialized high school for music in New York, said that starting a grass-roots community around music could help the school to grow.
“My advice to students would be that if there is something they want to get done, like starting an arts program, they should start their own community around it. They should have workshops and just play music with their friends,” she said.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bishop Auditorium in the Prescott building on the Good Will Hinckley campus. Admission is five dollars or four dollars with the donation of a canned good for the Interfaith Food Pantry in Fairfield.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368