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Bluegrass concert will feature band of youthful performers

    HARMONY — The Maranacook String Band (MSB) will be featured in a concert at the Harmony Community Center on  June 1. The MSB is a band of mostly teenagers and 20-somethings but, as Skye Theatre/New England Celtic Arts Director Phill McIntyre says, “Their soaring harmonies belie their youth!”

    The MSB started out in the halls of Maranacook Community High School in Readfield when Stan Keach (then a teacher of gifted/talented) invited talented teenaged vocalists Julie Churchill and Lee Stetson to join him after school to sing some three-part harmony. Three years later, the MSB is a band of seasoned (though young) professionals, who play a very busy schedule. Guitarist Stetson still attends Maranacook while Churchill, a sophomore at UMaine, comes home weekends for concerts during the school year.  
    “Lee and Julie are both wonderful singers,” says Keach, now retired as a teacher, “and we have put a lot of work into our three-part harmony. Our singing is a real strength for the band. But we also have some great picking in the band. Dan Simons has become a super mandolin player.” Simons’ playing is steeped in the style of Bluegrass founder Bill Monroe.
    Simons and Keach, who have a duet act called Stan & Dan, have recently been notorious for their Youtube video “What the North Pond Hermit Knows,” a song that Keach wrote as soon as the North Pond Hermit story broke. Keach, a nationally-known Bluegrass songwriter, recently released a CD “Cry of the Loon and other original songs about Maine.” The CD features all the MSB, as well as members of the Sandy River Ramblers. The Loon CD, as well as the band’s debut “Bear in the Barn” will be available.
    The concert will start at 7 p.m.  Delicious refreshments will be offered. For more information contact Stan at 397-2241, or

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