On Saturday, June 5, the Dover Free Library presents the Art Mob, an 11-voice New York City-based a capella group. The concert begins at 7:30 pm.
The Art Mob was started in 1979 by the late Marcia Tucker, founder of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, and was named by Terry Allen, a well-known New York City musician and artist, who wrote a song called “The Art Mob.”
The Art Mob has an eclectic repertoire of songs. They sing Victorian parlor songs, radio gospel, Irish ballads, shaped-note hymns, sacred harp (choral songs from the South), jazz, and children’s songs. Many of the performers are amateurs. Only a few have professional singing experience, but the Art Mob is led by Brent Frederick, a professional director. Singers practice weekly and perform several times a year.
Cheryl Morrison, who sings alto, shares her time between New York City and East Dover. Morrison was a longtime fan of the Art Mob, and over time, she got to know the performers and Tucker on a more personal basis. Tucker’s daughter Ruby McNeil is also Morrison’s godchild and it was McNeil’s encouragement that inspired Morrison to join the Art Mob.
“I’ve been in it for two years now,” said Morrison. “Every December and May we play in Manhattan, Greenwich Village, and SoHo and we usually perform in church quarters and art galleries. It’s whoever will have us.”
The Art Mob has performed at some of the more well-known venues such as the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery, the Tenri Cultural Institute, and several churches throughout New York City. Morrison said each concert is based on a theme and The Art Mob builds a creative program around it.
“The music for several of the songs we sing was written and arranged by individual members of the Art Mob. Our program theme for Saturday’s concert in East Dover is (called) ‘Help Wanted.’” said Morrison.
Connie Beckley is The Art Mob’s assistant conductor and will lead Saturday’s concert. The program includes two songs by George Gershwin, one by Tom Lehrer, songs from the Grange, as well as the temperance movement and the Appalachian tradition, satirical numbers, and shaped-note songs. Morrison said the songs have publication dates that range from 1696 to the present day. “Our emphasis is on having fun. We pick songs because they’re fun to sing, beautiful or silly. We hope to make it fun to all of our listeners,” said Morrison.
The Art Mob concert is sponsored by the Friends of the Dover Free Library and will benefit the library’s summer programs. Tickets are $10 and $15 on the day of the performance. For more information contact John Flores at (802) 348-7488 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.