Music to be made

Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015

When Suffolk River Heritage members gather for events in the village of Eclipse, the age range is usually at the more mature end of the scale, says Caroline Smith, who serves on the group’s advisory board.

“The average age is retired people, because they have more time,” Smith said.

The group is planning an event that it hopes will bring together folks from a variety of generations. What will connect them is music.

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Eclipse Unplugged, as the event has been dubbed, will take place at the C.E. & H. Ruritan Club at 8881 Eclipse Road on March 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

There’s no entry fee, but anyone with the ability to strike up a chord or generate a rhythm is encouraged to bring along a musical instrument of choice, and to put it to good use.

Caroline Smith said she got the idea for the evening when her mother, Karla Smith, sought advice from her about ways to get more young people involved in Suffolk River Heritage.

“We just basically talked about not really an open mic night, but a community jam, so the people in the neighborhood could hang out and just informally play together,” she said.

That concept is something that used to be popular, but of late it has suffered some, Caroline Smith said.

There’s no official lineup or playlist, but Smith mentioned a few musicians that are planning to attend.

There’s Greg Parker, from the village of Driver. From Norfolk comes Bob Zentz, a much-loved performer of sea shanties. Smith also mentioned several talented teens from Eclipse.

“We threw him in as a ringer because we know he’s not shy about getting people to make music,” she said of Zentz.

“The idea is to get 16-year-olds who play rock, 65-year-olds who play the fiddle, and people from the church choir, and see what happens when we get them together in a room.”

Organizers aim to keep the format loose and organic, Smith added. “Right now, we are just trying to get more people from the community of all ages out together and talking to one another,” she said.

There might be some brief interludes explaining about Suffolk River Heritage and associated organization The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance, she added.

“It’s building community and introducing neighbors to one another, music being the excuse,” Smith said.

Smith says they’re also tuning up the hall’s historic schoolhouse piano.

Refreshments will be available.