Sunday, October 25, 2015

Regina at The Bookhouse

The Eastern Monroe Public Library (EMPL) in Stroudsburg, PA presented Singer/Song writer Regina Sayles on Friday October 23rd as a finale to their BookHouse Series for 2015. A large number of music lovers and fans of the musician filled the library's community room to near capacity. Ms. Sayles was seated among the audience calmly checking out her text messages while being aparently unaware of the excitement swelling around her by those who eagerly awaited her performance to begin.

It was after a time did Linnae Cintron of the EMPL take her place before the microphone to welcome the gathering and to introduce Ms. Sayles. Ms. Sayles has earned a great number of well deserved platitudes during her musical career and many of them were read by Ms. Cintron during the introduction creating a slight blush of humble embarrasment upon Ms. Sayles' cheeks. After Ms. Cintron concluded her words, Ms. Sayles and her guitar took their place before the microphone and began to wow the audience.

The powerful performace Ms. Sayles shared with the crowd nearly overwhelmed them through its electifying properties and its soulful explorations. A mixture of songs created by other artists and original works filled the evening. The qualities of Ms. Sayles compositions and those of other song writers were indistinquishable although many (including this writer) find her work to be somewhat superior as its more readily relatable to the listener.

The performance was enhanced by a number of stories Ms. Sayles shared about her work and those about her relationship to the other songs she shared. Also, Ms. Sayles' theatrical experience allows her to utilize her face and body to express the deeper emotions of the song that are not found in its lyrics or music. This enables the listener to experience the all encompassing effects of the piece while exploring the contours of Ms. Sayles' open soul. The concert was a phenominal one and it was a befitting close to a wonderful Bookhouse Series that led many to eagerly await the beginning of their 2016 season. You’ll find more photographs taken during the concert in the Regina at The Bookhouse Galery at

Regina Sayles grew up in Tiffin, OH and was a drummer in her high school's marching band. She also sang in choir, performed in theatrical productions, and played softball while attending the school. In addition to this, Ms. Sayles became her class's homecoming queen. Ms. Sayles joined her first rock cover band at the age of 16. She later attended the East Stroudsburg University of PA where she began writing and performing her own songs. She graduated in 2003 and released her first EP in 2006. While Living on Ann Street in Stroudsburg, PA, Regina held a number of house concerts and in the April 2013 Regina released a live acoustic album titled, “The Ann Street Session.” She now performs in various venues throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, and more. You can learn more about Regina Sayles by exploring her Facebook Page at or her Website at You can also visit Regina’s YouTube channel to view all the videos from the Ann Street Session at

The Eastern Monroe Public Library (aka The Hughes Library) Bookhouse Series takes place in the Edinger Community Room which is located on N. 9th Street (aka route 611) in Stroudsburg, PA. The Hughes Library is the main branch of the Monroe County, PA library system which includes their Pocono Township Branch in Tannersville, PA and their Smithfield’s Branch in Marshalls Creek, PA. The library offers access to numerous books, DVDs, Audio Recordings, and cultural programs free to the public. The library’s Bookhouse series is part of its cultural programming designed to provide a venue for literary and musical events which are outside of the commercial and literary mainstream. The Regina Sayles Concert was the final Bookhouse Sereis event for 2015. Please Contact Linnae Cintron at 570-421-0800 x 28 or explore The Eastern Monroe Public Library Facebook Page at or their Website at to learn more information about the library, their Bookhouse series, and all the institution has to offer the community.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jamming The Yale Out Of A Wednesday Night

The Newberry's Yard of Ale in Stroudsburg, PA held another of their weekly installment of Jazz Jams on Wednesday October 21st. It was my second visit to the establishment and, like my first, I arrived early and ordered a meal that was even more delicious than that I consumed the previous time. After a while, the house band consisting of Jon Ballantyne on Keyboard, Tom Kozic on Guitar, Joe Michaels on Bass, and Tyler Dempsey on Drums arrived in order to set up their instruments.

An anticipatory mood filled the crowd as they awaited the music of the Quartet to touch the room. The first notes the musicians played place enchantments upon the gathering which allowed many to quietly listen to the blessings their talents would bestow. This continued for a while until a break ensued of which musicians and singers were invited to take the stage to add their talents to the evening's festivities.

The first of these to do so was a guitarist known as COG who performed a solo set while the break was going on. He was joined by Mike Kuehn who shared his talents on the drums for a number of songs. The selections of songs were a mixture of folk and rock songs from the 1950s and 60s. The voice of the guitarist added a depth to each composition as his life experiences enhanced the flavor of the song with the truths emanating from his heart.

One particularly poignant moment during the performance came about when one of the many television sets that adorned the bars showed a commercial featuring the US military while COG was singing the song titled, “Eve of Destruction” which is a protest song written by P. F. Sloan (born Philip Gary Schlein) in 1965. It was first recorded by The Turtles and appeared on their 1965 debut album titled “It Ain't Me Babe.” It was later recorded by Barry McGuire as a single that was released in 1965. Although the song proved to be very popular, it was banned from some US Radio Stations as its con­troversial lyrics were seen as giving aid to the enemy in Vietnam. So, the juxtaposition of the song and the recruitment images of the military on television provided a deeper meaning of the song.

As COG completed his set, the house band retook the stage and played a number of compositions that filled each listener with their magnificent essence. The quartet was joined by percussionist Ed Hudak for a number of tunes. After a while, another break ensued and I took this opportunity to step outside the establishment to chat with the musicians who were seated among the Cafe tables that adorned the sidewalk. It was after my conversations did I leave to journey home. You'll find more photographs taken during the October 21st Jazz Jam in The Jamming The Yale Out Of A Wednesday Night Gallery at

The Newberry's Yard of Ale in Stroudsburg, PA holds their weekly Jazz Jam every Wednesday evening beginning with their house band at 8pm and continues with musicians being invited to join the band at 9pm. All musicians (Instrumentalists and Vocalists) are welcomed to join in the party. In addition to their Wednesday Jazz Jams, the establishment offers live music from other musicians and genres every Friday and Saturday night. They also feature a number of beers originating from many parts of the world along with other beverages to enjoy alone or while partaking of a meal from their yummy menu. The Newberry's Yard of Ale also houses a game room in their cellar where their patrons can come and play. A Craft Beer Club is available to anyone desiring to be kept updated on all things related to the establishment. You'll find more information about The Newberry's Yard of Ale and all they have to offer (including how to join their Craft Beer Club) at their Facebook Page at or their Website at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Food For Thought at PCT

The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center in East Stroudsburg, PA hosted the screening of the documentary film titled, “Fed Up” on Sunday October 18th. The screening was followed by a Panel Discussion in conjunction with The Northampton Community College (NCC) exploration of The Good Life which is the theme of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) series of programs for the 2015-2016 academic year. A sizable gathering filled the theater as many who were concerned with the film's topic came to learn more about it and how to best respond to the issues it addressed.

The evening began with some welcoming words given by Dr. Elizabeth Bugaighis who is the Dean of Education at NCC which included the expression of appreciation to those who attended. She was followed by Dr. Cara McClintock-Walsh, associate professor of English at NCC and NEH coordinator, who shared her welcoming words as she introduced the film to the gathering. It was at the conclusion of her statement did the film begin.

The Film, “Fed Up” was made in 2014 and is directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig. The film has two executive producers. The first is Katie Couric who is a television journalist who served as a special correspondent for ABC News, the first female solo anchor of a the CBS evening news, co-anchor of NBC’s Today Show, and served as the film's narrator. The second executive producer is Laurie David who produced the Academy Award-winning documentary film titled, “An Inconvenient Truth” and has received a number of awards for her cinematic work. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the US and presents evidence that large quantities of sugar in processed foods are one of the main causes of the condition. The film also looks at legislative attempts to modify ingredients in foods that are produced and the successful strategies of Food manufacturers engage in to block these endeavors. The film premiered in the US Documentary Competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19th, 2014 and was released to the public on May 9th, 2014. You can learn more about the film and how to respond to the issues it addresses by exploring their Facebook Page at or their website at

As the film concluded, Dr. McClintock-Walsh took the stage and was greeted by a number of comments from the audience in regards to the film. She then introduced the two panelist who would explore the film and it's implications further. They were Dr. Alberto Cardelle who is the Dean of the East Stroudsburg University (ESU) of Pennsylvania's Health Services Department and Samantha Beebe who is an Associate Professor of Biology/Public Health at NCC. Their insightful commentary on the film and the issues it explores enhanced their impact and the urgency needed to respond to the state of obesity in the US. The evening concluded with some final words shared by Dr. McClintock-Walsh about the film and The Good Life Series while bidding the audience a fond farewell. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the screening and panel discussion of the film in the Food For Thought at PCT Gallery at

The Good Life Series is the theme of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) series of programs that will be presented at Northampton Community College (NCC) during their 2015-2016 academic year. Through programs related to literature, history, philosophy, and art, the series is designed to engage participants in considering questions about life, the world, and their place in it. Future events in the series include a Student Symposium: The Good Life scheduled to be held on Tuesday November 17th in the NCC Monroe Campus' Pocono Hall Room 108, a Student Symposium: The Good Life scheduled to be held on Thursday November 19th in the NCC Bethlehem Campus' CC 220, and Keynote Speaker, Colum McCann who will deliver his address on Thursday April 14th in the NCC Bethlehem Campus' Arthur L. Scott Spartan Center. You can learn more about the Northampton Community College (NCC) Good Life Series by exploring their website at

In addition to hosting the screening of the film “Fed Up,” The Pocono Community Theater and Cultural Center presents a variety of films both popularly current as well revivals of those films released in the past such as the film Batman” on Sunday November 8th. The Pocono Community Theater also hosts special events such as their Book Club Series which explore novels that have been adapted to the screen and are currently being shown in the theater as well as special events like their 168 Hour Film Race competition showcasing the work of local filmmakers which takes place from Sunday November 1st until the 8th and their 7th Annual Red Carpet Event scheduled for Friday November 6th. Please Explore The Pocono Community Theater Facebook Page at or their Website at for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Music and Art at the ESUMC

The East Stroudsburg, PA United Methodist Church (ESUMC) presented Organist Christopher Johnson on Sunday October 18th upon the Allen Elite OPUS III Organ as part of their 2015 Concert Series. Along with a solo performance given by Mr. Johnson, a bell choir known as the ESUMC Ringers and pianist Pauline Fox (the church's Organist and coordinator of the series) shared their talents as well. The concert was followed by reception which included a Fall Art Exhibit which the large number of music lovers who attended the concert could enjoy while snacking and chatting with one another.

The afternoon's program began with a performance given by the ESUMC Ringers who exquisitely played a hymn titled, “Cwm Rhondda” along with Joe Dorsch on Saxophone and Stacy Keller on Drums. The words of the hymn were written by Harry Emerson Fosdick (May 24th, 1878 - October 5th, 1969) who was a prominent minister at The Riverside Church in New York, NY in the 1920s and 1930s. He became a central figure in the "Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy" for presenting the Bible as a record of the unfolding of God’s will and not as the literal “Word of God.” Mr. Fosdick also reviewed the first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939 and gave it his approval. AA members continue to point to this review as significant in the development of the AA movement.

As the performance of the ESUMC Ringers concluded, Reverent James Todd (The Senior Pastor of the church) stood before the gathering to share his welcoming words and a prayer. He was followed by PA State Representative David Parker who presented a Certificate of Welcome to Christopher Johnson. This was followed by words of appreciations expressed by Mr. Johnson leading to an introduction of the first piece he would play for the concert which included a variety of styles from the 1700s to the present day.

The fist half of the program began with “Grand Dialogue in C” by Louis Marchand (1669 – 1932) and concluded with “Prelude and Fugue in D, BWV 532” by J. S. Bach (1685 - 1750). Each composition was presented with a grace which not only complimented the work but transcended its properties allowing the listener to discover the conjunctive essence of the music and their own being. As each composition concluded, Mr. Johnson would weave the next together with the previous one with a thread of joyously shared information and insights to the work. This exposition not only gave the audience a deeper understanding of the piece but filled them with amusement which further enhanced their connection with the work. A great number of conversations ensued during the break reflecting the effects of the music had one the individuals sharing their words.

The second half of the program began with “Fanfare to the Tongues of Fire” by Larry King (1932 – 1990). This portion of the concert included a Piano and Organ Duo in which Mr. Johnson was joined by Pianist Pauline Fox. The selections they played were “Pianosong” by Paul Halley (Born 1950) and “Holy, Holy, Holy” as arranged by Mark Hayen and Marvin Gaspard with the final movement from Symphony Number 5 by Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor (February 21st, 1844 - March 12th, 1937) titled, “Toccata.” As the final notes of the piece touched the air, Ms. Fox shared her appreciation to the audience by bowing to them and Mr. Johnson resumed his soloist status for the remainder of the program.

The final pieces of the concert included four Spiritual works as arranged by William Farley Smith (1941-1997) and “Give My Regards to Broadway” written by George M. Cohan (July 3rd, 1878 - November 5th, 1942) for his play titled, “Little Johnny Jones” that opened in 1904. The version Mr. Johnson performed was arranged by Jelani Eddington who was born in 1974. This rousing composition concluded the program which was followed by words of appreciation shared by Ms. Fox along with a closing benediction.

The concert was followed by a reception in the church's Fellowship Hall where a wide variety of delicious foods were waiting. In addition to the scrumptious cuisine, the 10th Annual ESUMC Fine Art Exhibit was on display as coordinated by Liz Green. The entirety of the work lured the viewer into its essence through their gentle hues and depictions. Many of those who attended the concert delved into each piece to experience the fullness of it. The work was hung the previous Saturday evening and was on display from 9am until 5:30pm on Sunday October 18th. It was fortunate that those who attended the concert and touched by it's marvelous performances were able to partake of the visual wonders that whispered their properties to each individual who explored it. You’ll find more photographs taken during the event in The Music and Art at the ESUMC Gallery at

Christopher Johnson is a native of Tulsa, OK and is a graduate of The Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. He presently serves as Director of Music and Organist at The Riverside Church in New York, NY. In addition to being a superb Organist, Mr. Johnson held a two-year tenured position as section violist with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra and performed in a number of other professional orchestras throughout the Midwest. Mr. Johnson has been a prizewinner at the 2001 San Marino Organ Competition and the 2003 National Association of Negro Musicians’ Organ Competition. He is also a commercial pilot and flight instructor at Century Air in Fairfield, NJ and plays flute in the East Stroudsburg University of PA Orchestra. You can learn more about Christopher Johnson by emailing him at

The East Stroudsburg, PA United Methodist Church (ESUMC) is a religious organization devoted to the Christian faith whose mission is “To Love Jesus Christ and to Share His Love.” They hold three services each Sunday which includes two traditional services and one that is contemporary in nature. Everyone is welcome to participate in their ministry events and worship services. You can learn more about The East Stroudsburg, PA United Methodist Church by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Once Upon A Living Room

The Sherman Theater's Living Room Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists' Reception for their Faeries, Fae, and Fantasy Exhibition on Saturday October 10th. The featured artists whose work hung beside those of members of the local artistic community were Addam Wolff and Amanda Jean. The evening also included a Costume Party and contest, an art raffle, Fairy Houses and Accessories shown by Once Upon A Fairy, and music by DJ Addam Bombb

I arrived at the gallery less than an hour before the event's conclusion. There were a modest number of individuals in the venue when I arrived but I'm sure there were many more attending earlier that night. The Art Raffle was in progress as I entered the Gallery with prizes given out to the holder of the winning tickets. This was followed by the costume contest in which several of attendees stood before the gathering and were chosen by their applause. It was shortly after the winner was chosen did DJ Addam Bombb take the stage to present some outstanding mixes of very dance-able tunes which a number of the gathering gleefully enjoyed as their forms participated.

Yet, while many danced to the rhythm of the songs DJ Addam Bombb shared, many congregated outside the gallery to enjoy some conversation and the evening air. It was also around this time did a number of people decide to go home in order to reflect upon their experience at the gallery and to begin their anticipatory wait for the next exhibition to begin. I was among those who left the gallery and found myself sharing the same reflections and contemplations before going going home to sleep. You'll find more photographs taken during the Artists' Reception in The Once Upon A Living Room Gallery at

The Sherman Theater's Living Room is located 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. The Faeries, Fae, and Fantasy Exhibition continues to be on display until October 30th. The work on display reflects the fanciful elements of the exhibit's theme with some doing so in very unique and unexpected ways. I recommend visiting the gallery to check it out. Their next exhibition will be their Halloween Part Deux Exhibition featuring the work of local artists. An Artists' Reception scheduled for Saturday November 7th beginning at 6pm. The drop off date for artists who wish to place their work in the show is Monday November 2nd from 2pm until 8pm. Please contact the gallery at 570-421-2808 for more information.

In addition to the art exhibitions, The Sherman Theater's Living Room holds a number of concerts and a weekly Open Mic Series that occurs every Sunday evening beginning at 6pm. The later event welcomes all who wish to explore their talents in a welcoming atmosphere. You can learn more about The Sherman Theater's Living Room and how it serves the community by exploring their Facebook Page at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Origins of Illustrations

The Origins Gallery in Stroudsburg, PA held an Artists' Reception on Saturday October 10th for their Attack of the Illustrators exhibition which featured work from Professor David Mazure’s Art Class of East Stroudsburg University of PA and those of local artists. Music for the evening was performed by James Howard Lininger of Formula Eden and the gallery held an art raffle that never fails to delight those who attend. The art, the atmosphere, and conversation from the many who attended the event made it a wonderful way to spend an Autumnal evening.

However, before the reception began, those who arrived early were treated to slide show presentation given by Ted Michalowski who is a professor of the History of American Illustration at The Montclair State University of NJ on the topic of which he teaches. The slide show was as informative as it was entertaining as Prof. Michalowski led the audience on a wild ride exploring the art of illustration as presented through the centuries. As the presentation came to it's conclusion, the gallery's Directors, Jody Singer and Ashley C. Fontones, took the stage to share their words of appreciation Prof. Michalowski and welcomed all who were present for attending the event. It was after these words did the directors share information about the current exhibit as well as news of future endeavors the gallery and other art groups will present during the remainder of October and beyond. This was met with an enthusiastic applause leading the company off their seats to explore the aesthetic offerings of the gallery.

The work presented encompassed the many approaches and subjects that one could explore through the art of illustration as each image told a story. Some of these stories told of an event or incident that the artist was made aware of while some shared the biography of the life of the individual depicted in the portrait captured on canvas. In either case, one could not help feel a presence in the work as each piece went into the soul of the subject in order to capture its essence. It was during these in depth explorations embarked upon by each attendee did James Howard Lininger of Formula Eden take the stage to share his music with the gathering.

Mr. Lininger employed a number of musical instruments in order to express and encourage a relaxed and introspective mood. There was a joy in his performance that proved to be contagious as he delved into each note and rhythm with a gentle abandonment which often included a nice degree of experimentation. Many who listened intently to Mr. Lininger's music found themselves flowing among each measure until their perceptions and those the music inspired became indistinguishable. It was after a time did Mr. Singer and Ms. Fontones return to the stage in order to thank Mr. Lininger for enhancing our being and to announce the commencement of the anticipated art raffle.

As each prize was introduced and each number upon the tickets called, an excitement swelled among the company. This was especially true of a special item the gallery had to offer. It was a piece created by Josue Guardia who will be the featured artist in Origin's next exhibition. The winner of the work shared her ecstatic energies with the gathering along with her gratitude to the artist whose colors will adorn her wall. It was soon after this did the gathering of art lovers and friends bid each other adieu while sharing their eagerness to return for the next exhibition.

The Attack of the Illustrators Exhibition will continue to be on display at The Origins Gallery until October 20th. It was a great reception and I recommend all art lovers to visit the work while it remains on display. The next exhibition to be presented will be their first solo exhibition featuring Josue Guardia: Painter, Pyrography artist and Illustrator. The Artist's Reception is scheduled for Saturday October 24th beginning at 6pm. The special musical guest to perform during the Reception will be DJ Stylez. The exhibit will remain on display until November 8th. You can view photographs taken during the Artists' Reception of the current exhibit at The Origins of Illustrations Gallery at

The Origins Gallery is located on the lower level of The Gamers Edge Comics and Games Store which can be found at 580 Main St. in Stroudsburg, PA. The Origins Gallery is a contemporary arts gallery within the Pocono Art District having one of the highest and fastest sales records in the Stroudsburg area, provides a space to those who teach the arts to those who would like to learn from them, and continues to do everything with the local community in mind. You can learn more about The Origins Gallery by exploring their Facebook Page at or their website at

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.