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Presented by the Brandywine Heights Community Task Force


An open mic at Clay on Main in Oley kicks off the musical month at 7 PM on Monday, the 1st. Mike Hertzog and various versions of his band perform four times during the month of August (6th, 7th, 14th, 15th). Chester County Fiddlers' Picnic is on Saturday the 13th. Atonement Church in Wyomissing hosts an open mic coffee house on  the 19th and Meadowood hosts its open mic on Saturday, the 20th. Between these events, be sure to rest up to get ready for the BHCTF Battle of the Bands in Topton on September 17 and the Lyons Fiddle Fest on Sunday, September 18!

For an updated calendar, click on the static image of the calendar below to view the interactive version on our website.


Brad Haberle teaches upright bass and bass guitar at Meadowood



Brad, a bassist, vocalist and private bass instructor for more than 30 years, studied under a number of accomplished bass players/teachers, including Bill Sharrow (electric bass guitar), Ed Ferris (Country Gentlemen), John Riccardi (Vaudeville/big band bassist for Tommy Dorsey) and Gerald Veasley (jazz bass clinician). Brad holds an Associate of Arts in Music.

Brad has played festivals, parks, concert arenas and smaller venues, churches, and house concerts along the entire Mid-Atlantic region, including Nashville. He plays a diverse array of music on bass that he teaches his students: Motown, R&B, Funk/Fusion, Country (traditional and contemporary), Bluegrass, Irish, Acoustic Folk, Swing, Jazz, Traditional and Progressive Blues, Rock (traditional and modern), Praise & Worship and Chamber Music. Brad was first drawn to the bass as a member of the PA gospel bluegrass band, Sunnyside.

Brad has performed with dozens of bands over the years, playing year round for three to five bands at any one time. Right now, those bands include Johnny Never Memphis Blues (blues), Judy Green & Timber Line (acoustic folk rock), The Bluegrass Aficionados (bluegrass) as well as in the Praise and Worship team at North Pointe Community Church in Limerick.

Brad has been and still is an on-call bassist who fills in for bands who need someone for a gig or two. He frequently fills for Big Daddy and the Fender Benders (classic rock, R&B, blues). While he has not filled for Danny Boys (Irish - out of Phila) in a while, he has played bass for them and The Dotted Eighths (jazz) numerous times - as well as playing with the Montgomery County Community College Chamber Music ensemble.

It is with this training and experience with which Brad helps students apply bass playing skills to performance. 

Brad teaches his students through a mixed approach of music theory, aural skills, learning by demonstration/example, reading musical notation, reading charts and using the Nashville numbering system. He teaches proper technique on both bass guitar and upright bass, with focus on proper posture and exercises to increase strength, speed and endurance. Brad teaches both French and German bowing on the upright bass. Brad ensures that his students acquire skills to play in an ensemble/band and to interact with other musicians while performing. 

It is Meadowood's very good fortune to have Brad as a bass teacher!


7:30-10:00 PM

Express yourself creatively! Singers, poets, musicians, songwriters and more welcome for this fun, free and  night! This open mic is part of a community-building program at

Atonement Church that welcomes everyone who seeks wholeness in his or her life through honest conversation, strong relationships, and explored spirituality. The program provides opportunities for people working a twelve-step program to interact in safe, sober settings. The open mic, also supportive of people working a twelve-step program, is a venue for musicians and poets to entertain receptive audiences. 

The church provides a PA system that can handle up to five performers at a time. All instruments are welcome. If you play keys, you'll be glad to know that the church has a very good piano that it makes available to performers at the open mic (no schlepping of a big, heavy keyboard). Each act may perform either three songs or a twelve-minute maximum - whichever comes first.

When we asked if the open mics are family-freindly, Jack Williams (one of the people who put on the open them) said, "Please bring the kids!!!" He emphasized that the open mic includes FREE snacks and coffee (soda and water are $1.00). If free food isn't enough encouragement to try out this open mic, he also said, "ask anybody---we all love food and several of us are quite good cooks. Suspenders are encouraged instead of belts." So, we'd expect that you will leave full of food, fun 

For more information, contact Jack Williams by email or phone at justcalljackok@gmail.com610-781-3572.


Mike Hertzog (center of photo) sometimes performs as a soloist, but more frequently in a duo, trio or four piece band. In the duo, he performs with his wife, Linda (right of photo). The trio consists of Mike, Linda and Ted Fenstermacher (left of photo). Until this past year, when the world lost Peter Fritsch, the trio was often Mike, Linda and Peter. The full four-piece band includes Mike, Linda, Ted and a guitarist - recently the guitarist has been Joe Meck. These bands call themselves The Blue Mountain Duo, Blue Mountain Trio or Blue Mountain Gang depending on the number of performers requested.

Mike Hertzog has been been playing country and bluegrass music as a soloist and a member of the band for about thirty years. He helped to found the Bluegrass band Far From the City which was retired in the late 1980's and the band he currently fronts, The Blue Mountain Gang, more than twenty-five years ago. He plays banjo and sings for East Side Dave and The Mountain Folk Band and also with Keith Brintzenhoff and The Toad Creek Ramblers. Linda Hertzog has played music all of her life, first piano and later, banjo, mandolin and upright bass. She and Mike began performing together several years ago when they began playing gigs as a duo in churches and retirement communities. In time, when the previous bassist in the Blue Mountain Trio and Blue Mountain Gang couldn't accommodate the band's schedule any longer, Linda stepped in as the new bassist. She now contributes vocals, mandolin and autoharp in the mix.

Ted Fenstermacher has played fiddle since he was a little kid, beginning with Classical violin lessons and quickly succumbing to the lure of fiddling. He did play in the orchestra when he was a student at Penn State, but never stopped fiddling. Ted contributes fiddle, mandolin and vocals as a member of the Blue Mountain Trio and Blue Mountain Gang, and is often the fiddler with the Mountain Folk Band. 

Joe Meck has played guitar and banjo since he was a kid. While he was a founding member of the Blue Mountain Gang, life took him other directions and he is now a sometimes-member of the band, adding his guitar playing and vocals to the mix. Joe also toured as a guitarist and singer for the History Alive program with Rich. Pawling. 

Mike Hertzog and the Blue Mountain Gang have play in many nearby venues as far away as Kentucky and West Virginia. Their performances are in theaters, festivals, fairs on the radio and at private parties. 

A local church in Molltown (near Meadowood) has Mike Hertzog and the Blue Mountain Gang  perform every summer for a large picnic - we know that the church members plan to have the band back for years to come because the church has painted signs that they keep in storage through the year and hang out when it's nearing the time for the band to come entertain. The next performance for that church is on August 6th.

The Blue Mountain Gang has opened shows for legends such as The Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Little Roy Lewis and the Lewis Family, Jeff and Sherry Easter, The Boys from Indiana, Connie Smith, Marty Raybon and Shenandoah and Mike Snider.

Would you like to see them yourself? Here's a list of upcoming shows:
Sunday, July 31st, 2016
Pines Dinner Theatre
Pines Dinner Theatre - 6:00 P.M.- 9:00 P.M. Mike Hertzog & the Blue Mountain Gang
448 N. 17th Street
Allentown, Pa 18104


Saturday, August 6th, 2016

St Peter's UCC Church
St Peter's Church Picnic
219 Maidencreek Road
Molltown, Pa 19522


Sunday, August 7th, 2016

First Reformed Church
First Reformed Church - 10:15 A.M. Mike & LInda Hertzog & Ted Fenstermacher
76 S. 3rd Street
Hamburg, Pa 19526


Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Trinity Lutheran Church
Trinity Lutheran Church Service - 9:00 A.M. Mike & Linda Hertzog & Ted Fenstermacher
Topton, Pa

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Grandview Manor
Grandview Manor - 12:45 - 1:30 P.M. Mike & Linda
129 Houck Road
Fleetwood, Pa 19522


Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Keystone Villa
Keystone Ville Fall Fest - 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M Mike & Linda Hertzog & Ted
Blandon, Pa 19510

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Heemet Festival
Heemet Fest - check website for details
Luckenbill Road
Kutztown, Pa 19530



Monday, October 10th, 2016

Kutztown Manor
Kutztown Manor - 2:15 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. MIke & Linda Hertzog
Kutztown, Pa 19530

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Bowers Park
Bowers Park - 4:30 - 6:30 P.M. & 7:00 at the bonfire
Bowers, Pa

Free food & entertainment

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Macungie Masonic Lodge
Chester Johnson Night of Bluegrass - 6:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.
Macungie, Pa

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Trinity Lutheran Church
Trinity Lutheran Church New Year Wishing
Topton, Pa

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Huff's Union Church
Huffs Church New Year Wishing
540 Conrad Road
Alburtis, Pa 18011


Sunday, January 15th, 2017

St Peter's UCC Church
St Peter's UCC Church New Year Wishing
219 Maidencreek Road
Molltown, Pa 19522


Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Longswamp Church
Longswamp, Pa

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

First Reformed Church
First Reformed Church New Year Wish - 10:15 A.M. Mike & Linda Hertzog & Ted Fenstermacher
76 S. 3rd treet
Hamburg, Pa 19526
For information or bookings, call 610-463-4526. 

For information about other local musicians, visit our 'Connections to Local Musicians' page where we have captioned photos that link to the musicians' websites and social-media pages.
"Chinaman Breakdown" - The Mike Hertzog Trio
Mike Hertzog and The Blue Mountain Trio - Mike and Linda Hertzog with Peter Fritsch at Heemet Fescht, September 2014 at the PA German Heritage Center
Video by Dave Kline


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 - 2:00 to 10:00 PM

The Brandywine Heights Community Task Force formed two years ago in response to concern over a growing heroin issue in the area. According to Prudence Miller of the Task Force, part of its mission is to create events and programs that provide wholesome, constructive activity for youth. A year ago, a member of the Task Force, Kerry Meitzler, proposed a "Battle of the Bands" as one of the events. The Task Force worked out the logistics for the first Battle of the Bands and had a very successful event. Prudence Miller said, "This is something the community wanted to see us do again this year.  We have been figuring it out as we go and are having a blast planning it :)" This year's event will be Saturday September 17 from 2:00 to 10:00 PM.

Held outdoors in the soccer field at the Brandywine Heights High School, the event will include the band competition from 2:00 to 8:00, followed by concerts by two bands. Last year's winner of the Battle of the Bands, Vitruvia will play from 8:00 to 9:00 PM and Junior's Grades will perform from 9:00 to 10:00.

The organizers are accepting registrations for the contest. They can accept eight to ten bands or soloists. Each act will have 20 minutes to perform - approximately three tunes. The Task Force provides a drum kit and sound system - performers only need to bring their own guitars or keyboards. All ages welcome, but the event is designed to attract middle school and high school age performers. Participation is completely FREE. No fees to enter the competition or to be part of the audience. For more information about registering, visit the event website or FaceBook page or contact Prudence Miller or Kerry Meitzler by email. 

The competition will have three judges - at the time of this writing, the organizers were still seeking judges who are qualified to evaluate performers' presentation, originality and talent. The competition awards a $350 prize to the act that the judges select and a $150 prize to the Task-Force choice. Other prizes may also be given as the Task Force is accepting donations of cash and gift certificates. Meadowood will be supplying the event with five $20 gift certificates to be used as prizes or as items in a fund-raising raffle. The organizers would welcome other business sponsorships.

While Meadowood will be there in spirit, we unfortunately cannot be at the event in person. We already are booked to host an open mic for the night of the 17th and will be getting ready to go to the Lions Fiddle Fest on the 18th. Other vendors will be there. Vendors can still get a 10'x10' space for $25 by contacting Heather Wicke by email. Vendors bring their own tables and pop up tents and set up where people enter the field, away from the stage.

The Battle of the Bands is just one event that the Task Force is conducting as the group pursues its mission: Working to Build A Strong Community through Education, Engagement & Outreach. In June, the organization held a concert by the Hannah Violet Trio in the Topton Park and served ice cream and cake to celebrate the Task Force's second 'birthday.'  The Task Force works with the Tri-Valley YMCA and United Way to have an after school program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students and provides the the United Way's Summer Youth Activity Guide on its website. After the Battle of the Bands, on Saturday, October 21st, the Task Force will host its 2nd Annual Red Ribbon 5K and Fun Run in the Topton/Mertztown area.

If you have a bit of spare time or money, the organization can use volunteers and donations. The Brandywine Heights Community Task Force is doing very important work. Their next general meeting is Tuesday, August, 9th at 6:30 PM at the Brandywine Heights Middle School Library.

Kariana Leinbach is the most recent addition to our cadre of wonderful music teachers. She will be accepting students on piano and violin, starting in August. We have not yet posted her bio on our website, but will do it by August 1. We are excited to have her join us!
We will feature her in the Teacher Feature in a future newsletter.


We had a wonderful time at this year's festival. About 120 people came out to a unique, one-day, event for people who play (or wish to play) old-time, string-band music. This year's festival was on July 10 and included 3 master clinics (FIDDLE: Erynn Marshall, LAP DULCIMER: Sarah Morgan, BANJO: Carl Jones), 22 general workshops & 7 concerts. Held in lovely Maiers' Grove in Blandon, the festival enjoyed perfect weather and a record number of young participants. Of the 120 people, at least 15 were age 12 or younger. That fact is spectacular! Here is what the participants got to do - We'll do it all again July 9, 2017.
This year's workshops and concerts were varied. 

Instrumental workshops
included two separate hour-long instrument "Petting Zoo" sessions in which people who have never touched an instrument had an opportunity to hold/play a mountain dulcimer, fiddle, banjo or guitar. For folks who wanted to go farther than the "Petting Zoo" could take them, the festival had instrumental "From Scratch" sessions on Fiddle, Banjo and Bass. These workshops were for those who have little or no experience with the instrument, but wanted a place to begin.

For people with more experience, the festival offered "Beginning" sessions on Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar and Mountain Dulcimer. For the yet more experienced, sessions includee "Intermediate" and "Advancing" workshops on  Mountain Dulcimer, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar. Two really helpful sessions for ANY instrument were Jam Etiquette and the Onion Jam, one session in which people learn about playing with others and one in which they do it.

Vocal workshops
included Unaccompanied Ballad Singing by Sarah Morgan (master clinician for mountain dulcimer) and Singing with Confidence by Rob Yoder of Daybreak.

Children age 12 and attended all of the general workshops for free, but needed an adult companion. The adult was either a registered/paid workshop participant who actively participates in sessions with the child OR a companion who paid a modest fee to enter and accompany the child in sessions. Companion adults were welcome to actively participate in the Petting Zoo sessions and any/all of the seven concerts given by workshop teachers through the day and evening.

included six 45-minute shows by 
  • Mike and Paula of Meadowood Music
  • Rich & John Dodson, Ken Gehret & John Ehlis:
  • Roots of the Roots: Roots of Old Time
  • Master Clinicians Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones
  • Norm Williams with Rob and Anna Lisa Yoder
  • Tom and Betty Druckenmiller
  • Keith Brintzenhoff: Train Songs

Master clinics
provided advanced instrumental instruction. The sessions were be two-hours each and ran at separate times so that attendees were able to participate in any or all of the sessions. Each session included a maximum of ten students and required pre-registration. The Master Clinics were for fiddle, mountain dulcimer and banjo. All of the master clinics got rave reviews.

The Evening Concert
included almost all of the General Workshop Teachers and all of the Master Clinicians. Mike and Paula opened with Judy Terwilliger, acknowledging the many individuals and organizations that make the festival possible. The next act was a trio of the festival's master clinicians, Erynn Marshall, Carl Jones and Sarah Morgan. Tom and Betty Druckenmiller, with Stacy Bechtel came next, followed by master storyteller, Charlie Kiernan who, in turn, gave the stage to John Ehlis. Keith Brintzenhoff performed next, followed by Stan Zukowski. Rob Yoder and Norm Williams were the last two, but not least two acts. The concert closed with the festival's traditional closing with all of the teachers joining in the tune, "Friend to Me."

For more details, make a donation to the festival to help it happen again and again, to buy festival t-shirts, visit the festival web site or call us here at Meadowood Music, 610-916-1285. 

Thanks to the general workshop teachers and volunteers: Jon, Katie & Mike Andrews, Stacy Bechtel, Keith Brintzenhoff, Rich & John Dodson, Betty & Tom Druckenmiller, John Ehlis, Becky Fahs, Ken Gehret, Charlie Kiernan, Paula Taylor, Judy Terwilliger, Norm & Erin Williams, Rob Yoder. Thanks to the master clinicians, Erynn Marshall, Carl Jones and Sarah Morgan.

Thanks to Mike Dobry for support of the festival web site, the Kutztown Folk Music Society for administrative support, the Blandon Lyons Club for leasing us Maiers' Grove (and for cooking food all day) and to the Berks Arts Council, Reading Musical Foundation and Wyomissing Foundation for financial support.

Thanks especially to everyone who came out and made it a great day!
REMINDER: Meadowood's Open Mic on July 21st
We moved our open mic back a week this month because we were on vacation on the third Saturday of July. We will be having the open mic from 6-9 PM on Saturday, July 21. Also different this month: we are moving indoors because of a forecast for temperatures of nearly 100 degrees. As always, free and open to the public. If you want to perform, let us know in advance or take your chances and sign up on Saturday. See you there.
REMINDER: Half Moon Cafe Open Mic on Aug 1
Clay on Main's open Mic in the Half Moon Cafe starts at 7 PM on Monday, August 1. This monthly, indoor open mic - like the first two held at the Half Moon - will be at 313 Main Street, Oley. Please park in the nearby church lot, not on the street. There is a small suggested donation to Clay on Main to enter, but the event is open to the public. We will be there and hope you will be too.
REMINDER: Old Fiddlers’ Picnic on Sat, Aug 13
Chester County Facilities & Parks once again is holding the Chester County Old Fiddlers’ Picnic. This year it's on Saturday, August 13, 10 am - 4 pm in the Hibernia County Park. Musicians and music lovers gather for music and memories on stage and in the woodlands of Fiddlers' Field. In addition, there are kids' activities, Mansion tours, food and craft vendors. 
82nd Old Fiddlers' Picnic, August 2010

Muhlenberg River Fest

Saturday, August 27 from 10 AM to 10 PM and Sunday, August 28 from 10 AM to 5 PM at Jim Dietrich Park - 4899 Stoudt's Ferry Bridge Road, Reading PA 19605. Open mic on Saturday - sign up on the Muhlenberg Parks Facebook page.
It's going to be fun!


These are a few of the things in the store that we think are especially cool.

Ben Burleigh Bubinga U•BASS RoadToad Strings
Kala Bubinga U-Bass
Ben Burleigh Bubinga U•BASS RoadToad Strings
Cedar Mountain
Vintage L
Open Back Banjo
Buy Now
Bubinga U-Bass

Ukulele Bass
Buy Now
Ukedelic USA

Acoustic Guitar
Buy Now
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