It’s not all beaches, eating, and drinking down here. Hope Town attracts and creates lots of interesting things to attend and to do.There’s been some singing and writing going on around here.
In January, the Princeton co-ed acapella singing group, Shere Khan, comes to Hope Town to perform at the St James Methodist Church every other year, the same Hope Town schedule that we seem to be on. We were excited to hear their benefit concert again, all for the church’s youth group and for a children’s home in Nassau. There were some new members of the group as students graduate over the years and some familiar faces.
Shere Khan comes to Hope Town again.
The Princeton students warming up behind the church.
A very enjoyable evening! I must be getting older because I don’t recognize as many of the songs as I did when our children sang acapella in college, 15 years ago. Our favorite was Simon & Garfunkel’s “You Can Call Me Al.” Gee, I wonder why?
Another event combined singing and writing in the now annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival. Festival organizer Lorenzo Barigelli of the Firefly Sunset Resort on the western shore of Elbow Cay invited singer-songwriter Patrick Davis to perform at the resort in 2013. Patrick Davis is a South Carolina bred, Nashville-based country rock singer/songwriter with songs recorded by Jewel, Darius Rucker, Jimmy Buffett, Lady Antebellum & many more. Davis transformed the invitation into a trial songwriters festival which became the 1st Annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival.” Since 2013, Patrick Davis has overseen the creation of four highly successful Songwriters in Paradise Festivals in beautiful locations such as Cabo, Punta Mita, Mayakoba, and our own Hope Town, Abacos – “in the round, around the world.” These unique venues are more intimate and casual, as well as more engaging, than a typical concert tour.
The 4th Annual Festival was held for 6 days here at 6 locations – Firefly Sunset Resort, Abaco Inn, Harbour’s Edge, Sea Spray Resort, Hope Town Inn and Marina, and Lubbers Landing (on Lubbers Quarters). Meet and Greet, In the Round, Unplugged Acoustic Jam, and a Farewell Jam. Many people attend every one of the seven performances, but we just don’t have the stamina for that (How I wish we did, but the evening ones don’t begin until 8 pm……..) We did get to two of the performances.
The crowd at Hope Town Inn and Marina spread from the bar to the sand, listening to the singers/writers.
Top left – JT Hodges and Django Walker Bottom left – Macy Malone Right side – Patrick Davis
The final performance was in the afternoon at the Abaco Inn. Not only can we stay awake for this, but the photos are a little better – win-win.
Upper left – Patrick Davis on the right and I don’t know the name of the other singer. Lower left – JT Hodges Right – Kristian Bush, my personal favorite. One half of the country music duo “Sugarland” with Jennifer Nettles
To hear them tell their stories, these singers and songwriters know how to enjoy themselves here on island time.
My only disappointment was that they never sang the official Hope Town Theme song written specifically for the festival. I’m glad I have it on my iTunes playlist from two years ago and also on the blog from 2013. It’s a cute upbeat number.
Anthony & Annette (Magnolia) with us at the Abaco Inn Farewell Jam (thanks to Anthony for the group selfie.)
Lastly, we go back to “writing” this week for the 14th Annual Hope Town “Writers Read” presentation. This is an evening when the Hope Town Writers Circle selects members to read their work aloud to an audience. The circle meets on Thursdays and is open to anyone who wants to try their hand at the written word. They share ideas, encouragement, feedback and friendship. The “Writers Read” program is free, but tickets are scarce. Cruising friends gave me their tickets when they learned they could not be here this week. I could not talk either my captain or Magnolia’s into this, so it became a “girls night out.” Annette and Michele from Simple Life joined me, and we had a thoroughly delightful and engaging evening.
Writers Read was held at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge.
The twenty writers ranged in age from elementary school to octogenarian, born and raised in the Abacos to second-home owner and cruiser, male and female. Their works were poetry, biography, personal experiences, or fiction. Below are photos of four that I knew. Luke is a 5th grader at Hope Town Primary School with a passion for lighthouses; Sharon lives in Oriental, NC (remember our Joaquin hurricane dinner there?) and here on Elbow Cay; Vernon is a native of Elbow Cay and has served as minister and public official here in Hope Town; Di brings her catamaran, Caesar’s Ghost, to Hope Town each winter (in her mid-80’s, she is inspiring).
Clockwise from the upper left – Luke, Di, Vernon, Sharon
Annette, and two Michele(s), both spelled with only one L.
Another first for me on this evening – I was the chauffeur by dinghy, and it was the first time I ever used it alone in the dark. Check that one off – can do!