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  • Carrie Sownie

December Show Marathon: The Most In One Day!

December is always a busy time for Bread & Roses with many special concerts. But this past month we hit some record numbers! In December 2018 we produced 80 shows, the most we ever produced in a single month around the Bay Area. We also presented six Holiday Chorus shows in Marin and Sonoma. On December 12, 2018 Bread & Roses presented 11 shows, the most we have ever produced in one day! To celebrate this historic day, we asked for photos and testimonials about the shows from each of the performers. Read on to get a glimpse of "a day in the life on the show road" and why our performers benefit from doing shows for Bread & Roses.


10:30 am | BAHIA Centro VIDA | Berkeley

When Beth Crespan performed she said, “I always enjoy singing and dancing with the children and teachers at Centro Vida. Today we did a medley of Holiday songs with jingle bells and danced with ribbons to the song Wizards of Winter. Lots of smiles and hugs at the end.”

10:30 am | VA Medical Center | San Francisco

Charles Henry Paul performed his first Bread & Roses show for a group of veterans, most in wheelchairs, who gathered around listening to traditional tunes and songs in an Americana vein played with fine picking on his banjo and guitar. Thank you KC Turner for introducing us to this new performer!

Nancy Cassidy sang with fifty children ages three to five in a little school house in Hamilton Field. She remembered their smiling faces, how they sang along and what great kids they were!

Keta Bill did a children's show mid-morning and said, "Great show today and thanks to Host Chas Kuhn for being such a wonderful Bread & Roses emcee!"

1:30 pm | Veterans Home (Holderman Hall) | Yountville

Richard Wuerth and Phil Lawrence shared a festive set of music with the audience of mostly older veterans in wheelchairs at this convalescent hospital. Host Jake Costa shared "A wonderful holiday performance by Phil on mandolin and Richard on guitar and vocals. The audience really 'warmed up' to their songs 'Hallelujah,' 'She Was a Good Friend of Mine,' 'Scarlet Ribbons,' 'Let it Be' and others. Phil and Richard connected with the audience as seen by their lip syncing; hand and foot tapping and body movements. Glad to be part of this magnificent, 11 performances in a day!" Thanks Richard for sharing this photo of (l to r) Jake Costa, Roger Pro, Richard Wuerth and Phil Lawrence.

2:00 pm | Laguna Honda | San Francisco

Michael Hatfield performed for the patients at this long-term convalescent hospital and said, “Laguna Honda has been serving San Franciscans since its founding in 1866, and Bread & Roses has in turn served Laguna Honda for some 20 years. What a blessing and privilege for me to play for an enthusiastic and grateful audience at this time in Bread & Roses’ history. It was a total blast!”

Jump for Joy Music performed a special holiday show for the children in the evening. They said of their experience, “Bread & Roses gives an opportunity to express love to the community. Music is a form of communication which allows performer & audience to share a common bond. It’s such a joy to share music with these families and an honor to represent Bread & Roses.”

6:00 pm | Homeward Bound of Marin | San Rafael

Thank you to the host Glen Barras for sharing this moment from Kurt Huget’s holiday show for adults in need of uplifting: "I think the highlight of the night, other than a great performance by Kurt, was when one of the young homeless residents - out of the blue - brought out his fiddle and played a couple of songs with Kurt. Wow, it was inspiring to see how everyone's acknowledgment of his amazing, self-taught talent with the fiddle lifted his spirit and that of everyone in attendance. My holiday spirit is definitely rejuvenated!"

7:30 pm | COTS Mary Isaak Center | Petaluma

Towards the end of the day of our Show Marathon, Miracle Mule shared, "It was an honor to be part of Bread & Roses' history-making day and a pleasure to share our swampy-tonk music with the good folks at the shelter. We noticed more than a few audience members singing and clapping along, and enjoyed getting to meet and greet the folks after the show. We look forward to our next Bread & Roses show -- when will you be going for 12 shows in one day?"

7:00 pm & 8:00 pm | SF County Jail | San Bruno

Sara LeMesh closed out the day with late evening back-to-back opera performances for incarcerated adults in San Bruno. Sara said of her experience, “The best audiences I sing for are always people I meet with Bread & Roses. Whether it’s a jail or senior center, it’s moving to see how much music helps people relax, process emotion, and let go! It’s always such a privilege to share my passion and hopefully brighten someone’s day - and teach them something new about classical music!”


Thanks to Giving Marin for the special coverage in the Marin Independent Journal of our Show Marathon and giving our performers recognition for the wonderful work they do all year long, bringing music to those who are isolated! See the article here.

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