Three-act opening for Charlotte’s Web

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//img-VGxRBnLfhz.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Musician Bryan Bowers performs at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14 at the Lions Den at Rockford College.’);

Charlotte’s Web opens the new year with three performances this weekend—something for all ages.

Lily Henley

At 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, Lily Henley comes to The Tin Whistle, 1414 N. Main St. Here’s your chance to catch a rising star. At 18, Henley has performed extensively both as a solo musician and as a member of numerous bands including spots at the Chicago Celtic Festival and the New Hampshire Highland Games, performances with her sister at venues including First Night and Milwaukee Irish Festival. She has also been a guest on stage with American music duos Ellie and Leela Grace, Tashina and Tristan Clarridge and internationally renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser.

Her ensemble experiences include years as a fiddler in local band Celtic Feast, and with an Irish music ensemble at the Irish-American Heritage Center in Chicago, which took first at the Fleadh Cheoil, the Midwestern qualification for the Irish International music competition. She has had two RAMI nominations in the World Music category. Henley has studied under Natalie MacMaster, Cherish the Ladies’ Liz Knowles, and Grammy-winning fiddler Darol Anger and Mark O’Connor. She was one of three young musicians who received scholarships from the RAMI committee in 2004 to continue music studies in college. Recognized for her achievements as a young musician, she was encouraged to attend the New England Conservatory of Music, and is currently studying Contemporary Improvisation at the conservatory. Her poise, charm and stunning musicianship will blow you away. Admission is $5.

Bryan Bowers

Bryan Bowers will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, at the Lions Den in Rockford College, 5050 E. State St. Bowers has become a major artist on the traditional music circuit. He has redefined the autoharp and is also well known as a singer-songwriter. Bowers got his start in New Bohemia near Petersburg of Civil War fame, where as a child, he would tag along with the field workers and gandy dancers and learned to sing old call-and-answer songs. He later enrolled at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va., but dropped out seeking something more fulfilling. Bowers discovered music when he took up the guitar.

He played for the Dillards in Washington, D.C., and they took him to a bluegrass festival at Berryville, Va., where he was introduced to the audience in a second encore. Bowers’ creativity and talent have won him induction into Frets magazine’s First Gallery of the Greats after five years of winning the stringed instrument, open category of the magazine’s readers’ poll. This put him alongside other luminaries such as Chet Atkins, David Grisman, Itzhak Perlman, among others. In 1993, Bowers was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Sherri Farley

The Kids’ Show will be presented at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 15 in the Rockford Public Library Auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St. Sherri Farley will demonstrate, through songs and anecdotes, the rich history of dulcimer music. From the one-time popular parlor instrument, the hammered dulcimer, to the more humble and familiar “common folks” mountain dulcimer, she masters the instrument. Kids will get a chance to try the instruments themselves. This show is free, co-sponsored by Rockford Public Library Youth Services.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!