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Honk! Festival bursts into Somerville

High stepping during last year’s Honk! Parade in Somerville.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

BRASS AND MORE For 11 years, the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands has been marching through the streets of Somerville and surrounding areas to promote an appreciation of culture and social justice.

This year, the sounds and spectacles – including outrageous costumes and dancing — of 26 brass and percussion bands are part of the event Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 9.

Honk! originated in Somerville and has inspired related festivals in cities across the country and the world. There is even a Somerville-based School of HONK that carries on the spirit of the festival throughout the year.


Many of the bands – both local and from around the United States and Canada – are repeat performers. And, this year, there are two performing groups from France.

Traditional features include family-friendly lantern parades through the neighborhoods of Somerville; nine hours of continuous performances in Davis Square; the Honk parade down Massachusetts Avenue; and more performances in Harvard Square in Cambridge.

The festival is open to all and free, and takes place rain or shine. Call 617-383-4665 or visit honkfest.org.

TAKE NOTE The first annual Haunted Harmonies a cappella festival takes place on the streets of Salem on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Ten college and high school groups compete, perform, and learn during the daylong event, which culminates with a professional showcase by Vox One, an a cappella jazz quintet.

The scholastic competition includes S#arp Attitude from UMass Amherst; Fermata Nowhere from UMass Lowell; Unisons from Northeastern University; Tonal Recall from Colleges of the Fenway; 4GotteN Suitcase from Ramapo College in New Jersey; Upper Structure from Berklee College of Music; the ArgoNotes from Maspeth (N.Y.) High School; Acapocalypse from Emmanuel College; Saugus Sachimes from Saugus High School; and Ingrid Sound from Danvers High School.


The competition is hosted by Phoenix, a Boston-based, all female a cappella group.

Haunted Harmonies was created by Alex Grover, music director of Danvers High School and former director of Salem High School’s a cappella group WitchPitch?, and Tina Jordan, director of the Salem Witch Museum.

The scholastic competition runs from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fountain Stage on Essex Street. The groups perform and are judged by a panel of professional a cappella performers and professors from Berklee College of Music and the Women’s A Cappella Association. Viewing the competition is open to the public and free.

Street singing by non-scholastic groups will be held from from 1 to 4 p.m. .

The school groups perform again from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at five locations on Essex Street between Liberty and Washington streets.

The day climaxes when Vox One, an award winning a cappella jazz quintet that combines elements of blues, funk, gospel, and folk, performs along with the winner of the scholastic competition at 7 p.m. in Murray Hall at 211 Bridge St.

Tickets are $8 in advance; $10 at the door. Visit HauntedHarmonies.com.

Vox One performs at the first Haunted Harmonies a cappella festival in Salem on Saturday, Oct. 8. Handout

LAUGHING SCARED In keeping with the Halloween season, Arts After Hours in Lynn presents a new comedic horror musical Friday, Oct. 7, through Oct. 29.

“Silence! The Musical,” written by Jon and Al Kaplan and Hunter Bell, was named Best Musical of 2012 by the Off Broadway Alliance.

This production is directed by James Tallach with musical direction by 2016 Elliot Norton Award winner Tim Lawton and choreography by Arts After Hours veteran Nicole Spirito.


“We’ve assembled award-winning stage and musical directors, an amazing crew and production staff, and local professional actors, all to bring this hilarious, outrageous and bawdy musical to Lynn for its New England premier and I couldn’t think of a better place to present it than Arts After Hours,” said Tallach.

The show marks Arts After Hours’ fifth year of drawing people from Salem’s Halloween celebration to downtown Lynn.

“Last year, we had audience members from every corner of Lynn combined with people from Australia, Canada, South Africa, and three-time repeat visitors from England,” said Corey Jackson, managing director of Arts After Hours. “It is a naughty, silly, frighteningly good time every year.”

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 4 p.m. on Sundays at the LynnArts Black Box Theatre, 25 Exchange St. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call 781-205-4010 or visit artsafterhours.com.

ARTS IN PARTNERSHIP The Arts Collaborative of Wakefield is presenting a members show Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 6-8, in the Wakefield Cultural Center.

Sixteen artists offer their paintings, fiber art, photography, ceramics, and mixed media for show and sale.

The mission of the collaborative is to support the area’s visual artists and craftspeople. It provides opportunities to display work, as well as meet others, share ideas, and network. It also aims to create partnerships among artists and local businesses.


The show is open 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday; 6 to 8 p.m. Friday; and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. The center is at 9 Albion St. Visit artscollaborativeofwakefield.com.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at wdkilleen@gmail.com.