West Haven Community House Family Fun Walk to be part of Rock & Stroll music festival Sept. 22
Summer may be coming to an end, but it will go out with a bang when the West Haven Community House expands its annual Family Fun Walk to include a one-day music festival Sept. 22.
The combined event is called Rock & Stroll.
Rock & Stroll, which takes place on the day of the autumnal equinox, will include a 2-mile morning stroll along the Savin Rock boardwalk, followed by a full day of music starting at noon.
Registration for the Family Fun Walk, which is taking place for the seventh straight year, begins at 9:30 a.m., with a 10:30 a.m. walk kick-off.
There is a $25 fee to participate in the walk, which includes a T-shirt and features a variety of fun activities along the route where participants will receive free chances to be entered in a raffle.
“This walk is unique in that there are about a dozen fun activity stations along the route, including limbo, three-legged race, hopscotch, bowling, wheelchair obstacle course and more,” said Community House Executive Director Patty Stevens.
“The stations will be staffed by more than 60 volunteers from University of New Haven’s Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams,” she said.
The walk will be followed by a music festival organized by John McCarthy of Rock House School of Music & John “Johnny Z” Ziada of Z’s Corner Cafe.
The festival will take place on the lawn behind the Savin Rock Conference Center, said Community House spokeswoman Kathy Hart-Jones.
Headlining the music festival is renowned guitarist, Gary Hoey, who has been cited as one of the top 100 rock guitarists of all time. He merges blues and rock with 25 years in the music business and 20 albums under his belt.
The festival begins at noon on the lawn of the conference center. It is free and open to the public and ends at 7 p.m.
People are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs and sit back and enjoy the music featuring more than a dozen bands, including many local youth musicians.
Participating bands include “Tears Fall Down,” 2017 Winner of CTNOW Best of CT Punk/Alternative band; “Black Catz,” a local all-girl band that includes members aged 7 to 9, and “Stratus,” a local teen cover band that has performed for the Apple Fest and Savin Rock festival, as well as Chemical Z, Fiction, Shot Down and Glenn Roth and Frank Viele on the acoustic stage.
Also performing is “CT All Stars,” a group of musicians including Rich Weber, Carrigan School principal and former drummer of Mean Carlene; John McCarthy from The Rock House School of Music; Mike Sangapore, drummer for Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister; and Jen Durkin, vocalist from Jen Durkin Soul Power and Deep Banana Blackout.
Also, Damiano Scarfi, guitarist who played on ABC’s American Idol TV show; Jordan Giangreco, keyboardist for Psychedelic Breakfast; Rob Liptrot, bass guitarist from The Brotherhood funk band; Kevin Lawless, lead vocalist for Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Ozzy America; and local Connecticut band Liplok.
“We are excited to add music to our established fall fundraising event in order to showcase and promote Teach Kids Music (TKM) programs that have been intertwined with the Community House’s programs for preschoolers and school-age children,” Stevens said.
The Community House hosts monthly TKM “Youth Open Mic Nights” where young musicians and singers, aged 19 and under, play and listen to music and get the opportunity to interact with other musicians. The open mic nights play an important role in helping children express themselves in a safe, creative atmosphere, she said.
In addition to performing, many local children come to watch and get inspired, creating a positive community experience. Parents are always welcome to come and get involved.
The next open mic night will be Sept. 28 , the release said.
“As the owner of Rock House School of Music and founder of TeachKidsMusic.org, my main mission is to help children learn music,” said John McCarthy, founder of Rock House School of Music. “By providing instruments and instruction, we are able to guide these kids to be creative and start a lifelong music journey.
“Working with the West Haven Community House has been a pleasure,” McCarthy said. “They are forward-thinking when it comes to providing music instruction to young children. The Rock House Ukulele course and Clap, Tap and Sing program” both are used as part of the Community House’s program, he said.
All proceeds from the event will benefit West Haven Community House and its programs including Head Start preschool, Community Connections’ day and residential programs for adults with intellectual disabilities and Children & Youth before- and after-school child care programs located in the West Haven public schools, and the TKM programs.
For more information about the event, sponsorship opportunities and/or to register, visit www.whcommunityhouse.org or contact Kathy Hart-Jones at 203-934-5221, ext. 131 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.