Suddenly, it’s here: And this year will be special because for the first time it will feature the U.S. Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble. And for only the second time in its history, Summer’s End will end with a fireworks display. Guest vocalist is EG’s own Mary Pat Denci.
The Navy Band and Mary Pat Denci will take the stage at 8 p.m., but there will be a number of acts performing earlier, all with local ties, including vocal group the Hurricanes, the singer-guitar duo the Headliners, and the East Greenwich High School Jazz Band.
The gates at Eldredge field open at 5 p.m. with the EGHS Jazz Band taking the stage at 6. The Headliners go on at 7 p.m., followed by the Hurricanes.
The ever-popular children's parade steps off at 7:30, followed by the military veterans parade. The National Anthem, with the Navy Band, will follow. The main event is set to begin at 7:40 p.m.
The main concert will feature one 15-minute intermission, scheduled for 8:30. Fireworks will begin at 9:30, at the conclusion of the music.
"It's going to be a great event," said this year's Summer's End president Russell Knight. A Navy veteran himself, Knight decided to ask the Pops Ensemble to perform as both an homage to East Greenwich's position as the birthplace of the U.S. Navy and as a way to keep costs down for the festival so it will be able to take place for years to come.
The event is free, but a freewill donation at the gate is encouraged. Bring something to sit on – chairs or a blanket – and a picnic if you'd like. Or buy from one of the event vendors.
Dogs (and other pets) are NOT invited to Summer's End.
Here's a rundown of all the performers:
The Hurricanes was born in 2011 to provide music for a fundraiser at the East Greenwich United Methodist Church for the youth groups mission trip to South Carolina. The band features Stephen Reale, a local football coach; his wife Carol, a pastor and director of Christian education and families at EGUMC; and Dana Wronski, co-owner of and .
The Headliners Jamie Millard and Bill Wray are East Greenwich residents. As West Point cadets (long ago!) each played in Headliners, a folk group aligned with the Glee Club. Now they carry on that tradition locally, playing at various venues. When not playing music, Jamie is a leadership consultant, and Bill works at Blue Cross.
East Greenwich High School Jazz Band This group of energetic dedicated high school musicians gives up hours of summer vacation to practice as an ensemble group under the tutelage of music director Brendan Carniaux.
Mary Pat Denci A dramatic coloratura soprano, Mary Pat is accompanying the U.S. Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble. Her musical theater experience includes Eliza in My Fair Lady and Fred in Once Upon a Mattress at Woodstock Theater Company in Woodstock, Il. Her professional opera experience will include the leading role of Margherita / Helen of Troy in Boito’s Mefistofele this fall with Taconic Opera in New York. Last Fall, she had the role of Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco. She has also had roles in Jancek’s Jenufa and Lehrer’s Merry Widow, both preformed at the DuPage Opera Theater, Glen Ellyn, Il. She has also appeared as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute; The Impressario by Mozart and in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Her concert work includes performances with Viva Verdi! and the Opera Gala at the University of Rhode Island, when she sang arias from La Rondine, I Pagliacci, La Traviata, and Die Fledermaus with baritone Rene de la Garza and tenor Ray Bauwens. Ms. Denci is founder, director, and cast member of Oper’ A La Carte, an interactive outreach program to promote and enhance the enjoyment of opera among school children and other community groups.
U.S. Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble Navy Bands have always been an integral part of the Naval presence in Newport, dating back at least to the Civil War period. Navy Band Northeast was established in 1974, and is one of 13 official bands of the United States Navy worldwide. Under the direction of Lieutenant Scott Mythen, the band is attached to the Naval War College on board Naval Station in Newport and serves the military and civilian communities throughout the Northeastern United States.