MACRoCk XIV is upon us!

The 14th annual Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference (MACRoCk) will be occurring in Harrisonburg, VA on April 1 & 2, 2011. This year, MACRoCk will be hosting over 90 bands including Bouncing Souls, Capsule, S. Carey, Screaming Females, Turbo Fruits, Algernon Cadwallader,  Timbre, Super Vacations, Invisible Hand, 1994!, Pulling Teeth, US Christmas, Cannabis Corpse, Inter Arma, Pianos Become the Teeth, The Extraordinaires, Snack Truck, Dangerous Ponies, Snowing, Woe, Withered, Brooke Waggoner, Antlers, Gifts From Enola, Ocoai, Eternal Summers, Gringo Star, Air Waves, Arches, Andrew Cedermark, Sacred Harp, Heavy Cream and Pujol. MACRoCk will also host a variety of panelists speaking on topics such as Local Food, Booking in The Music Industry & Screen Printing.

MACRoCk was first put on by the student volunteers at James Madison University’s student radio station, WXJM, in 1997. Today, MACRoCk is an independently owned and organized organization, and is the largest independent music conference on the East Coast. MACRoCk offers a unique opportunity for bands, industry professionals and fans to interact and connect to support the music they love. With all the shows taking place in independently run and operated downtown music venues, MACRoCk was founded on a belief that corporate sponsorship and big business were not part of what makes music great. Through grassroots organization and an all-volunteer staff, MACRoCk strives to promote independent music, thought, art, business, and culture. This is MACRoCk’s 14th year, and it is going to be better than ever before. For more information about the conference, bands and tickets, please visit the MACRoCk website at

The David Mayfield Parade at Clementine

David Mayfield is the “other” voice and lead guitarist, as well as a contributing songwriter for folk rock favorites Cadillac Sky, whose last album “Letters In The Deep” was produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) but his role as a member of the Texas by way of Nashville quintet is just one of the many musical paths this Grammy-nominated artist has journeyed.

Growing up in Kent, Ohio, David was surrounded by Bluegrass music. At the age of twelve he was playing bass for the family band, traveling from festival to festival, along with his younger sister, noted songstress, Jessica Lea Mayfield, singing and absorbing the stories and lessons taught by road hard veterans, all the while picking up tips on how to play a lick on guitar or mandolin. By the time he was a teenager, Mayfield had won several national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing and his reputation was being forged in the world of Bluegrass as a player to watch out for.

In 2008 when Jessica Lea Mayfield was ready to make her debut record, Blasphemy So Heartfelt, she asked David to play bass on it. He did. And over the next year he would tour as her bassist, and as a newly minted member of Cadillac Sky all while writing and performing his own songs.

On the road with Jessica Lea Mayfield and the Avett Brothers, Scott and Seth took notice of Mayfield’s musicianship and the three quickly developed a friendship, leading them to invite David to sit in with them dozens of times including their 2010 Bonnaroo & Merlefest sets. After urging him more and more to make a record of his own, when he took to the studio the Avett’s were quick to lend their voices.

David Mayfield Parade is the culmination of that encouragement. The album reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.

The show at Clementine will start at 9:30PM.
It is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Joshua Vana will be opening the show!
This will be an all ages event.

Harrisonburg’s First Non-Morose Anti-Death Penalty Event Is This Friday

Capital punishment is hardly a cheery topic, and so it’s somehow fitting that this Friday’s benefit for Virginians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty offers a lighter alternative to your typical straight-faced anti-death penalty event.

The fundraiser, called “Execute Art (Not People),” will begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 at Clementine Cafe in downtown Harrisonburg. A fashion show, featuring clothing from nine local designers and two downtown stores, is the evening’s main attraction.

Some comments from VADP President John Sheldon, a belly dancing performance and a closing set by the Harrisonburg band Preacher are also on the program. Throughout the night, a silent auction of donated art and other items will be running, and several artists and a photographer will be making sketches or portraits for the audience.

“It’s a way to be active in this cause without having to sit through a somber movie or something,” said Linell Patterson, a VADP board member from Harrisonburg who organized the event.

VADP is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to educate the public about alternatives to the death penalty. Patterson said more than 50 people have helped to organize the event, which has a fundraising goal of $15,000 for VADP.

Similar groups across the country have hosted like-minded “Execute Art (Not People)” gatherings within the past year.

Tickets for Friday night’s event cost $5 at the door.  For more information, or to become an event sponsor with a larger donation, visit

I Regret To Inform You That I Will Never Be Rallying For Sanity Again


My enthusiasm sputtered and died as I stood in line at the concessions stand, about the time the seventh person in a witch costume walked past carrying a sign making fun of Christine O’Donnell. I tried to look at it on the bright side – she did manage to temporarily block out my view of the guy roaming a small patch of open grass while performing a minstrel version of “The Times Are A-Changin’”, pausing often for iPhone photo ops with strangers.

But then along came the guy with a sign announcing The End Is Far, after the guy demanding a Return To The Metric System, then a couple holding a giant banner warning of the dangers of a four-hour Boehner, the woman with a giant fake penis strapped around her waist, the woman wearing a sandwich-board homage to masturbation (accompanied by another dig at O’Donnell) and a thousand others that I don’t feel like describing. All of them wore semi-sheepish, aren’t-I-funny? grins, while their fellow rallygoers fell over each other in their haste to photograph the hilarity. This was my Saturday? This is supposed to be meaningful and memorable? Continue reading “I Regret To Inform You That I Will Never Be Rallying For Sanity Again” »

Harrisonburg “Climate Work Parties” Join Thousands Across the Planet

On October 10, people across the planet will pick up hammers, shovels, and caulking-guns and join the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, the world’s largest day of practical action to fight the climate crisis.

Here in Harrisonburg, three different events are planned for Sunday afternoon: Continue reading “Harrisonburg “Climate Work Parties” Join Thousands Across the Planet” »

This post was submitted by Elizabeth Scott.

Host Families Needed for Up With People Cast Members

Up With People, a traveling multicultural arts and music performing group, is planning a series of performances in Harrisonburg – and the cast members need local host families willing to provide a place to sleep, limited transportation, and a meal a day. More information is in the following press release: Continue reading “Host Families Needed for Up With People Cast Members” »

Sachedina to Focus on Furthering Relations Between Children of Abraham

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Professor Aziz Sachedina teaches at University of Virginia and will speak at Eastern Mennonite University on October 4th.

From 4-5:30pm on Monday, October 4, Professor Aziz Sachedina from the Religious Studies Department at UVA will be presenting, “Disenchantment” with “interfaith dialogue” for furthering better relations among the Children of Abraham.  The presentation will be at Strite Auditorium and will be followed by discussion.

In recent years Aziz Sachedina has had significant high level teaching roles and encounters in Iran. He is considered one of the foremost scholars on Shi’ite Islam in the world and he is at the progressive front for conflict transformation, medical ethics and human rights within the Islamic tradition. He is very interested in how the peacebuilding and conflict transformation education and training process has developed at EMU.  

The event is co-sponsored by Eastern Mennonite Universty’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and Abraham’s Tent.

Up With People Coming to Harrisonburg to Benefit the Childrens Museum

Up With People released a press release stating it will bring its cultural show to Harrisonburg for a series of performances scheduled October 25-November 6.  The performances will benefit the Harrisonburg Childrens Museum.

Press Release:  When the multinational cast of Up with People takes the stage at Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg on Thursday, October 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 31 at 4 p.m. audience members will find something for virtually every musical taste and interest. [A special show is scheduled at the new Forbes Center – more information soon]

Long before American Idol began discovering and refining new talent or High School Musical tapped into the exuberance of young ensemble casts, Up with People pioneered these attributes while touring the world with their optimistic message of global cooperation and goodwill. Continue reading “Up With People Coming to Harrisonburg to Benefit the Childrens Museum” »

Valley Delegation to Attend Stewart’s Million Moderate March

Shenandoah Valley residents are organizing to attend Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity,” scheduled for October 30 on the National Mall.  Lowell Fulk, among others, is extending an invitation for people up and down the Valley to carpool to the event described by Stewart as being “for the people who’ve been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) — not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority. If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence… we couldn’t. That’s sort of the point.”

Currently the Valley-centric Facebook event shows close to 2,000 people having been invited to attend.  See Fulk’s email below: Continue reading “Valley Delegation to Attend Stewart’s Million Moderate March” »

Harrisonburg Town Hall to Spotlight Community Safety

Harrisonburg’s Northeast Neighborhood Association will host a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the recent shootings on and around the Kelley Street area and propose solutions to make this, and all neighborhoods, a safe place to live.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23 in the Lucy Simms Center, located at 620 Simms Avenue in Harrisonburg. Continue reading “Harrisonburg Town Hall to Spotlight Community Safety” »

This post was submitted by Becky Johnston- Strong Families/Great Youth Coalition.

An invitation to Aikido: The Art of Peace

Aikido is a Japanese self-defense art that is built on principles of conflict transformation. It may look like a martial art, but its founder called it the ‘art of peace’. The aim is to resolve conflict in a way that harms neither the ‘attacked’ nor the ‘attacker’. Continue reading “An invitation to Aikido: The Art of Peace” »

This post was submitted by Phil Easley.

Sept 18: EMU Quintet to Spread Harmony Through Music

Press Release HARRISONBURG – Eastern Mennonite University’s faculty artist series will present an evening of chamber music by “Musica Harmonia,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, in Martin Chapel of the seminary building at EMU. Continue reading “Sept 18: EMU Quintet to Spread Harmony Through Music” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Redistricting Public Hearings Set

A release from Delegate Mark Cole announced today that public hearings will be held throughout the Commonwealth related to the redistricting process.  Roanoke and Richmond are the closest locations for Harrisonburg residents.

Press Release

Delegate Mark L. Cole of Fredericksburg today announced that the redistricting subcommittee of the House of Delegates Committee on Privileges and Elections has scheduled a series of six public hearings throughout the Commonwealth to encourage broad public input into the redistricting process. The six different public hearings will take place in September, October, and December of this year in preparation for the redistricting process that will occur in 2011.  Continue reading “Redistricting Public Hearings Set” »

Children’s Choir Invites Auditions for 2010-11 Season

HARRISONBURG – The acclaimed Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC), part of the music department at Eastern Mennonite University, will hold newcomer auditions for the 2010-11 year 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. from 3:30-5:30.

All interested children grades 3-7, regardless of their singing experience, are welcome to audition. A short, 5-minute meeting and game time is all that is required, and no prepared solo is needed. Children should be ready to sing some familiar songs such as “Happy Birthday,” “Row Your Boat” and an echo game. A parent should be present for the audition, and an appointment is required.

“Most children are surprised to find that the audition isn’t worrisome, stressful, or upsetting,” said Julia J. White, SVCC director. “It is helpful, but not required, to have attended a rehearsal or performance, and to have a teacher recommendation.”

To schedule an appointment, contact Yvette Peak, SVCC choir manager, at 540-432-4650 and visit the website at for detailed information about the program. Continue reading “Children’s Choir Invites Auditions for 2010-11 Season” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

Fall Semester Looms Ahead at EMU

HARRISONBURG – Warning: dates on the Eastern Mennonite University activities calendar are closer than they appear.

But there they are, hard to ignore – Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 18-19, the annual faculty-staff conference, signaling the start of summer activities winding down and preparations gearing up for the start of the new academic year. Fall semester classes at EMU will begin 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31. Continue reading “Fall Semester Looms Ahead at EMU” »

This post was submitted by Jim Bishop.

8pm Press Conference and Rally for Returning DREAM Activists

  • WHAT: Press Conference and Rally for Returning DREAM Activists
  • WHERE: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Corner of Wolfe and Mason Streets in Harrisonburg
  • WHEN: Wednesday, July 21st, 8:00pm
  • WHO: Speakers will include professors, parents, teachers, and students who support the DREAM Act
  • VISUAL: A crowd with signs asking Senators Webb and Warner to pass the DREAM Act, behind teachers, students, DREAM Activists, and parents speakers
Contact: Meghan McNamara, 847-922-1213

Local Comedy Improv Group to Hold Auditions

No Strings Attached is an Improv Comedy group in Harrisonburg.

No Strings Attached (NSA), a local comedy improv group, will be holding auditions, starting Thursday, July 15. The audition-workshops, termed “auditionshops,” will occur mostly on Thursday over a five-week period, on July 15, 22, 29, August 5, and Tuesday, August 11. The group is looking for outgoing, confident adults (18 and high school graduates) who aren’t afraid to get up on stage and have a good time. Prior improvisational theater experience (although handy) is not required, and improvisational musicians are also welcome. More information can be found at their website,, by e-mailing, or calling (773) 875-7645.

This post was submitted by Rachel Jenner.

Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business

Immerge Technologies celebrated its five year anniversary on May 17 – and is celebrating at Earth and Tea Cafe on Thursday June 24 from 5-7pm.   A JMU grad startup company, Immerge has grown into a highly profitable organization, providing web design and custom programming services to hundreds of clients including Harrisonburg Electric Commission and Casterbridge Tours.

Located in the Keezell Building in Downtown Harrisonburg, Immerge has also forged a strong relationship with Continue reading “Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business” »

This post was submitted by William Roy.