For music-lovers seeking a night of energetic, artistic folk-style music, a concert by John Terlazzo could be the ticket to an enjoyable time Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York.
Terlazzo promises a spectacular, surreal scene at the church.
The concert will feature "man-eating lions, clowns breathing fire, a postman delivering a letter," he says. "Also a beggar at the doors of mystery singing songs and accompanied by two of the finest musicians you'll hear anywhere -- Kristina Machusick on vocals, flute and recorders, and Paul Wegmann on vocals and lead guitars. You'll also hear a harmonium played. How often does that happen in York?"
Terlazzo performs with the ensemble Voices in the Hall, a group focusing on vocal harmonies and old-world instruments. The variety of instruments is vast: acoustic guitar, accordion, flute, cello, mandolin, recorders, tin whistles, upright and fretless bass, percussion, piano and organ.
Concert: The Voices in the Hall benefit concert will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 15, with a pre-show opening act by musicians from the congregation at 6:30. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for college and high school students as well as seniors. Children middle school age and younger are free.
"We have been invited to sing for the benefit of the UUCY -- a profoundly beautiful organization that, for more than 50 years now, has offered Yorkers a home of solace, a place of sanctuary and community to anyone and everyone who wants to ask the deep and joyous questions about what it means to be a human being," Terlazzo says.
A native Yorker, Terlazzo gave his first public poetry reading at Martin Memorial Library as a young adult. He sings original music, occasionally with small bits of poetry in the middle. Terlazzo has been writing songs and performing them for 30 years as well as teaching poetry and writing.
His first album, "Honor Among Thieves," has a cult following the world over.
Meaning: "(Our) songs have been called surreal because of the images that arise lyrically," Terlazzo says. "If I'm doing this right, though, these are the kinds of songs that could arise from any human soul sitting by glowing embers, under falling stars and beside silent caravans in Ninevah or Babylon a thousand years ago, or in what's left of this culture a thousand years from now. If I'm doing this right, the songs should serve to unbind the knot of the heart."
Terlazzo says poets and musicians should be free and forget about fame and fortune.
"If it comes to you, it does, and if it doesn't, it doesn't: either way, it's meaningless dust. But if you want to write songs and poems, do it relentlessly and don't do it for anyone else," he says. "Write as if your hair's on fire. Write to realize your true nature. My advice would be to write so that every word begs truth to show itself."
The musician had but one thing to say about the overall message of his music and the message of the Voices in the Hall benefit concert.
"Place love above all else," he says.
Voices in the Hall concert
Musician and poet John Terlazzo will perform with Voices in the Hall at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, 925 S. George Street, York.
Snacks, socializing and performances by congregation musicians will start at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for college and high school students as well as seniors. Children of middle school age and younger get in free. All proceeds benefit the UUCY.
-- Reach Kyle Dunlap at firstname.lastname@example.org.