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MIDDLETOWN: NANCY’S MUSICAL FIREWORKS

nancy-scharff-5448419Veteran denizens of the greater Red Bank Green may remember Nancy Scharff for the annual Christmas extravaganzas she presented in seasons past at the Count Basie Theatre — some big joyous benefits that found the Middletown-based devotional singer, songwriter, musician, choirmaster, producer, conductor, and educator taking on yet another role: that of shepherdess tending to a flock of choral performers, orchestra members, rock bandmates, kid choirs, bell ringers, event volunteers and interactively inclined audience members that numbered in the hundreds.

While those logistically complex events have taken a hiatus in recent times, Scharff remains very much on the scene; as a faculty member with Red Bank’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music, as a busy music-maker who’s even been known to hit the sidewalks as a Red Bank Street Life performer — and as the long-standing music director at King of Kings Lutheran Church, the New Monmouth landmark that’s served as the globally touring artist’s home base for decades.

Nancy’s Christmas shows have long had a summer-season cousin in the annual God and Country Patriotic Concert, the 2016 edition of which returns to King of Kings this Friday evening, June 24.

Getting a bit of an early jump on the holiday-weekend interlude of sparklers, stars-‘n-stripes hats, and Aunt Tootie’s famous potato salad, the 7:30 p.m. event welcomes one and all to the church at 250 Harmony Road (crossroads of Cherry Tree Farm Road), for a grand program of American patriotic standards that finds Scharff joined by her dozens of friends in the Ecumenical Choir, the St. Peter’s Brass, and Liberty Oak Chorus.

There’s no charge for admission, but a free-will offering will be taken at the event, with all proceeds dedicated to the local chapter of the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation. Additional information can be found on Nancy Scharff’s website, or by calling (732)671-3348.

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The patriotic sounds of the season return to Middletown on Thursday, June 30, when the Middletown Township Public Library hosts a free concert by the Banjo Rascals inside the facility’s Community Room.

Together since 1968, the Amityville, NY-based quintet of old-timey musicians will perform a program of timeless tunes by John Philip Sousa, George M. Cohan and others during the event that starts at 7 p.m. While no registration is required, space is limited, with attendees encouraged to arrive early.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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