Charlotte’s Web kicks off season Sept. 14 with Sarah McQuaid

Sarah McQuaid is a gifted and captivating performer whose warm, haunting alto is delicately cradled by her “sparkling guitar.” (Photo provided)

Staff Report

The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center (MPAC) has announced the 2012-2013 Charlotte’s Web concert series, which features Sarah McQuaid, Claude Bourbon, Anne Hills, Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble, Small Potatoes, Michael Johnson, Emily Hurd, Buddy Mondlock and ellen cherry. Charlotte’s Web is now a division of the MPAC.

Sarah McQuaid, Claude Bourbon and Anne Hill will perform at the Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., on the MPAC campus in Rockford. The rest of the Charlotte’s Web 2012-2013 performances will take place on the MPAC campus (locations TBA).

Charlotte’s Web season subscriptions are on sale now: $120 for adults, $35 for students through age 25 and $260 for a family of four (two adults and two students.)

MPAC also has several new Flex Pass packages available. The Flex Pass is a punch card, in which each punch equals one concert admission. The Flex Pass can be used in any combination for any Charlotte’s Web series performance. Adult Flex Passes are $56 for four concert tickets and $85 for six, and Student Flex Passes are $18 for four tickets and $27 for six.

Single tickets are also available: $15 for adults, $5 for students through age 25.

Following is the season lineup:

Friday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. — Sarah McQuaid, guitar/vocal. Performance may include Irish and Appalachian folk songs, Elizabethan ballads and 1930s jazz numbers. McQuaid is a gifted and captivating performer whose warm, haunting alto is delicately cradled by her “sparkling guitar.” Her music is a reflection of her own eclectic background: born in Spain, raised in Chicago and currently living in rural England.

Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. — Claude Bourbon, guitar/vocal. Claude’s music is a fusion of classical, folk, jazz, blues, Spanish guitar, etc., all interpreted in his own style.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. — Anne Hills, singer/multi-instrumentalist. Anne sings and plays guitar, banjo and Tibetan bell. She is one of the better-known voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for live performances (2009 Bound for Glory live radio show favorite — Ithaca, N.Y.) and her overall artistry and benefit work.

Buddy Mondlock (Photo provided)

Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. — Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble. This group is primarily influenced by legendary Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Other influences include jazz, swing, traditional Latin, Parisian waltzes and other vintage-jazz sources.

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 7:30 p.m. — Small Potatoes. Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso, a Chicago-area duo known as Small Potatoes, call themselves eclecto-maniacs and describe their music as “Celtic to Cowboy.” They both sing and play guitar, tin whistle, flute, mandolin, bodhran and other percussion toys.

Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, 2 p.m. — Michael Johnson, guitar/vocal. Michael has performed more music and recorded more hits than you would imagine. His voice immediately identifies him as the man who sings “Bluer than Blue,” “Give Me Wings,” “That’s That” and other landmark songs.

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 7:30 p.m. — Emily Hurd, piano/vocal. Hurd’s music is best described as a mix of rock piano, soul singing, folk songwriting, and intelligent bluegrass rhyme schemes. She has been compared to Shawn Colvin, Tori Amos and Maria Muldaur (Daily Gazette).

Friday, March 8, 2013, 7:30 p.m. — Buddy Mondlock, guitar/vocal. Mondlock is an acclaimed singer/songwriter who is respected by his peers and fans alike. His songs have been recorded by Garth Brooks, Guy Clark, Joan Baez, Janis Ian, David Wilcox and Cry, Cry, Cry.

Saturday, April 13, 2013, 7:30 p.m. — ellen cherry, guitar/vocal. ellen cherry (lowercase is intentional) is a singer, songwriter, musician, designer, artist, producer, recording engineer and human. Once a character in a novel, ellen cherry sprung from the pages of a book in 1997 and began her life as a living, breathing dynamic performer.

For more information, call (815) 964-9713 or visit

From the Sept. 12-18, 2012, issue

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