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Where there’s a will...

The Newburyport high school cast of “Hair” traveled to Bethel for the Woodstock Experience and enjoyed a bonus concert by Rusted Root as well.

November 15, 2012

If there was ever a doubt, this past week was proof positive that variety is indeed, the spice of life. As the Upper Delaware Valley began to return to normalcy, our hearts continue to be with those who are still digging out in Sandy’s wake. Thrilled to be home, I cleaned up the mess and got back to business, although I still have not found one of my missing shutters.

Traditionally, November ushers in special concerts at the Event Gallery ( in Bethel, NY and I made plans to check out Rusted Root playing the venue last weekend. The Pittsburgh-based band ( has been around since the early ‘90s and has toured the world with notable groups, including Santana, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and Dave Matthews Band. Upon arrival, two things immediately struck. The lack of seats (standing room only takes on a whole new meaning) and the plethora of young folks milling about.

I chatted briefly with Matt McNeil, director of event marketing, who was “excited to have youthful energy in the house” and he gave me some (hitherto unknown) background on the band, including the fact that RR has been featured on wildly popular soundtracks for TV and film, which filled in some of the blanks. Not only has the group been heard on shows like “Party of Five,” “Charmed” and “Homicide: Life on the Street,” but NASA engineers also chose to use their anthem “Send me on my Way” as wake-up music for the Mars Exploration Rover “Opportunity.” That tidbit, combined with the Roots’ contribution to the animated blockbuster “Ice Age” aided in understanding why there were so many teens in the house.

I pulled a few kids aside to inquire about their attendance and was informed that there was a large contingent of students who had arrived by bus from out-of-state. Pointing to their chaperones, I learned that the gang was part of a theatre group from Newburyport, MA and had made the trek to the Catskills to take in the “Woodstock Experience” interactive museum at Bethel Woods. Their teachers, Lisa Zaleski and Stephanie Williams explained, “We’re here to give the students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the “counterculture” of the Woodstock Music Festival, as they prepare to perform the ‘Tribal Love Rock Musical: Hair’ at the high school,” Zaleski shared. “Rusted Root was a bonus.”