Will Hoppey, The Tara Minstrels coming to the Columns Museum

Milford. The Pike County Historical Society continues its Music at the Museum series, held on the museum’s grand porch, to help with shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

23 Sep 2020 | 12:48

The Pike County Historical Society announced two more musical performances in its Music at the Museum series, which is held outside on the grand porch of the Columns Museum in Milford.

Will Hoppey and the Key West Experience will perform on Saturday, Oct. 3, and The Tara Minstrels will perform on Saturday, Oct. 10. Performances are from 4 to 6 p.m. The series helps the museum and historical society pay their bills during the pandemic, which has caused shortages of revenue.

“The society finds itself at a crossroads these days given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lori Strelecki, museum volunteer. “Museum visitation and fundraising events and programs have suffered greatly due to the current restrictions placed upon us. These things are our bread and butter, as state and local funding is minimal, and we hope these smaller outdoor events can help get us through the winter and help pay some bills while we try and navigate our way through the current situation.”

A $10 donation is requested, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. Proceeds will be used to repair the glass enclosure used to house the historic Hiawatha Stage Coach, which will return to Pike County in October, fully restored.

Will Hoppey and the Key West Experience

Will Hoppey and the Key West Experience features singer/songwriter Will Hoppey with Randy Adams and Steve Tanzyn accompanying on bass and drums.

A singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist, Hoppey plays mostly solo, but also performs as an acoustic duo or trio from time to time. On his own Bag-O-Cats Music label, he has released three albums, “Lonely Hotel,” “(a koos tik),” and “Places.” He’s also released various compilation albums.

People like his live performances because he has a story for every song and gives the audience background on the pieces he performs. Many fans have purchased the famed “Shut Up and Play” tee-shirt. “We hope the talking to music ratio will be favorable, to the music side, when he plays on the porch at the Columns,” said Lori Strelecki, museum volunteer.

The Tara Minstrels

The Tara Minstrels is a collaboration of six musicians from Milford and Hawley, Port Jervis, and Hugenot who specialize in traditional Irish instrumental and folk music.

Founding member Maryanne Ford (tin whistle, flute, bodhran, guitar, and vocals) comes to Irish music through her late father from Ireland, an accomplished button accordian player, Sean Mac Mahon. He named the band when Ford was struggling to come up with one. Father and daughter enjoyed many years of playing Irish music together. Ford has been playing music since childhood, starting on piano.

She was put in touch with local fiddler, Bill Ramagosa, in early 1998, Right away they started getting together weekly to play Irish tunes for hours at a time. Before long, The Tara Minstrels were born, playing locally at Irish cultural functions, restaurants, bars, music festivals, art galleries, and farms.

Rich Northup of Hugenot plays tenor banjo, octave mandolin, and vocals. He’s currently working on fiddle and bodhran too. He is also the “Bard of the Hills” when performing solo. He can be seen at Foundry 42 on Saturday mornings, playing original songs for the children’s story hour.

Mike Zimmerman of Milford brings years of experience as a guitarist/singer to the group. A lifelong lover of traditional and modern folk music made his transition to Irish music an easy one. When not playing he is busily involved in local musical events like the Ann Street Park’s summer concerts.

Essential information:
What: The Pike County Historical Society’s Music at the Museum series
Who/When: Will Hoppey and the Key West Experience from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3; The Tara Minstrels from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10
Where: Columns Museum, 608 Broad St., Milford (outside, on the front lawn)
How much: A $10 donation is requested; food and beverages will be available for purchase.
COVID-19 precautions: Attendees are asked to bring along their own lawn chair, wear a face mask, and practice social distancing while enjoying the performances.