The Maranacook String Band will return to Maranacook Community High School for its fourth annual concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 28.

It started as a Gifted & Talented program at Maranacook in 2009, when Stan Keach, a teacher of Gifted/Talented students at Maranacook, started meeting regularly after school with three exceptional young singer/musicians; within six months, they were playing gigs all over central Maine, accoridng to a news release from the school. They recorded a critically-praised CD called Bear in the Barn in 2010, and another CD in 2012.

Most of the original members have gone off to college. Besides Keach and Dan Simons (a mandolinist who graduated from Maranacook in 2001), bassist Julie Churchill, a University of Maine at Orono senior, still sings regularly with the band. Dana Reynolds, a seventh grader at Maranacook Middle School, rounds out the current edition of the band. Banjoist Bud Godsoe, who has played many shows with the Ramblers, will be on hand as well.

The band describe their music as Acoustic Americana with a strong Bluegrass element, according to the release. They are known for three-part vocal harmony and instrumental solos. The songwriting of Keach, a nationally-known Bluegrass songwriter, and the lead singing of Churchill and Reynolds, are strengths.

This concert will benefit the Maranacook Health Center, which is facing potential deep budget cuts. Refreshments will be sold at intermission, and raffle baskets and other surprises are planned. Maranacook students Taylor Kubicki and Emma Hatt will open the concert. Tickets, available at the Health Center at Maranacook High School at 685-4923, Ext. 1063, cost $8 for adults in advance, $10 at the door; $4 for students in advance, $5 at the door; and free for children 8 and younger.


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