Wishing You Peace

New London, NH, Kearsarge Presbyterian Church

As part of The New London Historical Society’s all day celebration “Holiday Festive Day,” singer and songwriter, Kathy Lowe and an entourage of guest entertainers shared an early December afternoon concert of holiday messages filled with hope, jubilation, as well as candor filled comedy. Entitled “Wishing You Peace,” the concert not only highlighted Ms. Lowe’s creative consciousness as a writer and as a musician, but it also shared her vocal imprint. That imprint in particular combined her pleasing timbre, (similar at times to the early recordings of Joni Mitchell as well as of Judy Collins) and also displayed her genetic blueprint alongside two of her sisters Kim and Susie, “The Lowe Profiles,” joined also by Ms. Lowe’s grandniece Haley Allen.

“Wishing You Peace” brought other talents to the stage as well as to the audience forum, and began with similar pageantry to that of the Christmas Revels of Boston’s processionals; just as full of colorful regalia, vigorous voices, and persuasive percussion. Once on stage, New London native son as well as New England musical favorite, Kent Allyn, complemented a host of Ms. Lowe’s center stage solos as well as songs joined by the ensemble and audience and served in a number of capacities on vocals, keyboard, electric bass, acoustic guitar, even to some percussion at times. Steve Schuch of Night Heron Music renown and well known storyteller both lyrically and musically in addition to being a master fiddler/violinist , joined Ms. Lowe and Co. on many a composition. Mr. Schuch also shared a taste of a one of his new compositions for solo violin with an unusual Scandinavian cross tuning selection. This premiered tone poem of sorts (still to be titled, but possibly known as “The Shepherd’s Watch “) captured the serenity, yet celebratory solace of the season.

Featured songster, Dr. Greg Gutgsell, also joined the cast of talent and diverged from the music of Ms. Lowe and of her family’s traditional holiday compositions singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” (written by Gannon, Kent, Ram). Accompanied by Mr. Allyn on the piano, Dr. Gutgsell’s rendition seemed appreciatively heartfelt from his spoken introduction to his performance and greatly impacted the audience with his reminder of the tenderness of the times. Another convivial participant included percussionist Julie Corey who brought a myriad of merry making instruments, from rain sticks to a chime tree, to a buffalo drum to an Egyptian dumbek. George Beaton, Ms. Lowe's brother-in-law, also heartily harmonized in song and lent support to the musical menagerie of performers.

Ms. Lowe and her ensemble’s cheerfully beckoning delivery along with audience participation of “Reindeer and Holly;” her funky “Hosanna” with its 60’s vibe like groove similar to a Mamas and the Papas’ song, and her playful children’s tune, “I Am a Christmas Tree” delighted the audience especially. Mr. Allyn also treated the audience to a funny solo of the increasingly well known holiday spoof “The Ever Expanding Christmas,” to the tune of “Hotel California” by Felder, Frey, and Henley of The Eagles.

Ms. Lowe’s “Wishing You Peace” not only imparted cheer and seasonal wisdom, but it certainly helped us to “receive the wonder” (another of her songs) of the season and sent a reminder to“share in good cheer.”

For further information about artists, please contact: The New London Historical Society: www.newlondonhistoricalsociety.org The Kearsarge Presbyterian Church: www.kcpcninh.org Kathy Lowe: www.kathylowemusic.com Steve Schuch: www.NightHeron.com

Julie Corey: The Village Drum 603-647-0622

Ellen Nordstrom
Lyric Mezzo & Vocal Coach