Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Musical Notes: A Musical Valentine

Kurt Vile. Photograph by Jessica Xie.

Well, readers, I hope you’ve made the best of your new year so far. As always, the city is hopping with new shows and events for y’all to enjoy.

The Millennium Music Conference and Showcase returns for its 23rd year at The Park Inn by Radisson Harrisburg West, with shows throughout the area, bringing many talented acts along with it. The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra kicks off its February Masterworks series at the Forum. There are even a few free shows going on around the city if you’re still a bit short on cash from the holidays. There’s something for everyone, and it’s my hope that you try something new this year.

Orchestral and symphonic music holds a special place in my heart, and, for all classical music fans around town, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra has quite the concert planned this month. As part of its Masterworks Series, the HSO features a seasonal tribute to the great outdoors with the works of three iconic composers: Alan Hovhaness (“Mysterious Mountain”), Aaron Copland (“Appalachian Spring”) and Richard Strauss (“Alpine Symphony”). Performed together for a night of musical mountains and alpine imagery, the concert centers on Hovhaness’s work. His music rises and falls like a mountain’s snowy cliffs, and the sublime beauty of the landscape can be felt within its movements. With Copland and Strauss’s popular, nature-inspired scores, this unforgettable performance is sure to warm your heart during this cold season.  

KURT VILE, 2/11, 9PM, CLUB XL, $30
If you really want to start out the year strong, swing by Harrisburg’s hot new venue for one of the most popular artists on tour in America. Kurt Vile and his backing band, the Violators, kick off Harrisburg University’s spring concert lineup. Vile is known for his solo works, his “Lotta Sea Lice” collaboration with Australian singer and guitarist Courtney Barnett, and for his guitar work for the band, The War on Drugs. The Violators’ current lineup features Jesse Trbovich on bass, guitar and saxophone, Rob Laakso on guitar and bass, and Kyle Spence on drums. Vile’s latest album, “Bottle It In,” was released in October and is definitely worth a listen before hitting the club. Don’t miss this one! 

If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s female-fronted punk groups in Harrisburg. Joining us from Long Island, Bad Mary is led by Amanda Mac on vocals, Mike Staub on bass and vocals, Bill Mac on drums, and David Henderson on guitar. Drawing influences from the ‘70s punk scene in New York City, their high-energy sound is meant to be fun and dance-y, perfect for a night out at River City. This show is free as part of the Millennium Music Conference 2019 lineup, and joining them for the night are locals the Twindows, Single by Sunday all the way from Glasgow, Scotland, Nothing Planned from Shippensburg, Some Day Perfect from Middletown, and Ed Allison from York. A perfect combo of punk from near and far, so get your fix this February.


Green Jello, Feb. 2, H*MAC Stage on Herr;

Houndmouth, Feb. 15, Whitaker Center;

Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, Feb. 15, The Abbey Bar;

Pretty Things Peepshow, Feb. 15, H*MAC Capitol Room;

23rd Annual Millennium Music Conference & Showcase, Feb. 21-24, Various Venues;

Keller Williams, Feb. 22, Club XL

Continue Reading