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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Benefit Concert for Italian Hall Victims' Memorial Monument to feature local musical talent Oct. 8 at Calumet Theatre

Poster for Oct. 8, 2017, concert at the Calumet Theatre to benefit the Italian Hall Victims' Memorial Monument. (Poster courtesy Joanne Thomas)

CALUMET -- Local musician Oren Tikkanen will host a Benefit Concert of American Roots Music, featuring a variety of local talent, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, at the historic Calumet Theatre. Following the concert, a reception with fine local food will be held in the Theatre Ballroom.

This fundraiser is a donation event to purchase the monument that pays tribute to the victims of the 1913 Italian Hall tragedy. All donations are welcome.

This image shows the current layout inscription planned for the monument, listing the names and ages of the victims in family groups. It does not reflect the natural variations in color and dimension of the granite stone, nor the metallic sheen of the copper-colored dividing line. (Image courtesy Italian Hall Tragedy Victims Memorial Facebook page)

The show is both a remembrance of the Italian Hall Tragedy and a celebration of the music and lives of American working people. The program will include songs of sadness and loss, joy and humor, unity and hope.

The performances will include the following:

The 1913 Singers -- Today's 1913 Singers include Alice Margerum (coordinator), Brad Baltensperger, Victoria Baltensperger, Molly Chabalowski, Ric Catoni, Bill Fink, Barbara Lide, Susan Martin, Fred Quivik, Charlie Wallace, Chuck Young, Clare Zuraw (at the piano).

Preceding the screening of the documentary 1913 Massacre on Oct. 24, 2013, at Michigan Tech's Writing Across the Peninsula Conference, the 1913 Singers perform "Strike Songs." Today's 1913 Singers group will perform at the Oct. 8 Benefit Concert for the Italian Hall Victims' Memorial Monument at the Calumet Theatre. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

The 1913 Singers group was formed by Alice Margerum to perform songs that were sung during the 1913 Copper Strike. The 1913 Singers performed many concerts during 2013, the centennial year of the Copper Strike. This performance includes a hymn that was sung in the funeral procession for 59 of the victims of the tragedy. In the middle of the hymn one of the singers will read a newspaper description from that time about the funeral procession.

Michelle Hawkins and Valerie Anderson DePriest -- Both Michelle and Valerie have deep roots in the Copper Country. Michelle has performed and recorded in the acoustic music duo "Viney Willa." Valerie has had a long musical career as a professional singer, choral director, and public school music teacher. This will be their first appearance together; and they will present songs from Iris Dement, Stephen Foster, and the Carter Family.

The Acoustic Jimmy Hats -- Adam Kentala, Tony Laux, Luke Dedo, Matt Bradley, Josh Mortti, and Jake Tenharmsel. The band plays and sings classic American folk and country songs in a lively and rollicking style.

Keweenaw Brewgrass is a popular eclectic and bluegrass-oriented group featuring vocal harmonies and acoustic instrumentals. Today's performers are Bogue Sandberg, eight-string dobro; Doug Oppliger, guitar/vocals; Kora Melia Johnson, fiddle; Marshall Weathersby, mandolin/guitar/vocals; Matthew Durocher, bass.

The Thimbleberry Band -- Dave Bezotte, Belinda Mattfolk, Matthew Durocher, and Oren Tikkanen -- is a group devoted to playing the folk and ethnic music of the Keweenaw region and is acting as the "house band" to provide musical support for the featured performers as needed.

Food vendors will include the Keweenaw Cooperative of Hancock, Jim’s Pizza and the Keweenaw Coffee Works of Calumet.

For more information about the Italian Hall Victims' Memorial Monument, visit their Facebook page.