Manchester Arts Commission to inaugurate town troubadour
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., Apr. 4, 2013
The town of Manchester and the Manchester Arts Commission have an open call for a town troubadour, “whose musical attributes and town spirit will enhance and celebrate the people and cultural arts of our town.” Those interested in assuming this office have until Monday, April 15, to send in an application.
The concept harkens back to the Medieval and Renaissance periods, when the historical troubadour made a living by entertaining, singing and telling stories through song. “We're trying to replicate that here,” said Joyce Hodgson of the Manchester Arts Commission. “The music of a troubadour tells the history of a town, the history of an era. It shares news and stories and folklore. And that's what we're hoping to see with this troubadour as well.”
The town troubadour will hold the position for two years, and will entertain at various town functions. This is part of the Manchester Arts Commission's effort to promote arts in town and to celebrate local businesses, leaders and people. The appointment will also localize a tradition that has existed at the state level. “The state of Connecticut has such a position and the Commission wanted to name one of its own for similar purposes,” said Bob Eckert, chair of the Manchester Arts Commission.
The top five applicants will perform at a public concert held Saturday, May 11, at Cheney Hall. During intermission, guests will vote on their favorite performer and thus elect the town troubadour. In the second half of the concert, two past state troubadours, Hugh Blumenfeld and Lara Herscovitch, along with singer David Sutherland, will give a performance as well.
The future town troubadour will be an individual of musical ability, a Manchester resident in good standing, and someone who is committed to the two-year term. Hodgson also notes that the ability to engage the community is vital. “There are a lot of singer/songwriters who are not really interested in being in the public eye,” she said. “We want someone who is engaging the people they're performing in front of.” The musical style of a troubadour is typically folk and Americana. Original pieces are encouraged, though the troubadour does not need to be a songwriter and can sing songs by other composers.
Applications can be found at the Art Commission's website, artscommission.townofmanchester.org, or can be found at customer service at the town hall. Applicants are asked to submit either a photo and CD, or a DVD of a performance. For more information, contact Hodgson at 860-550-4584.