A Sear Family Festival of the Arts will be held on Sunday, May 15, at Great Neck House. The afternoon will feature the paintings of Charlotte Sear, with a reception beginning at 2 p.m., along with husband Dave Sear’s new concert, Pete Seeger’s America in Song, at 3 p.m. The paintings on exhibit will remain on display throughout May.
A member of the folk-music scene since the late 1940s, sharing the stage with every folk singer through the years from Woody Guthrie to Pete Seeger, Dave Sear will perform a show of his folk classics as well as popular tunes from other artists. As a performer, Sear sees American folk music as a vast body of literature that tells the life-affirming story of our country through the songs of the people who built it.
Sear’s concert is a tribute to Pete Seeger, his good friend and mentor who inspired him to become a folk singer. Seeger was the driving force of the American folk-music revival in the 20th century and beyond. The concert carries on Seeger’s music and hot banjo style, with which he touched millions of people and brought everyone together to improve life on the planet.
Sear heard Seeger for the first time when he was 10 years old in an assembly at The Little Red School House, picking “Old Joe Clark” on the banjo and singing “I wish I had a bushel, I wish I had a peck, I wish I had old Hitler with a rope around his neck” and knew from that moment that he wanted to be a folk singer. The music and the message resonated with Sear, and over the years Seeger became his mentor. They worked together and became friends.
During the summer, Sear will open the shows at Clark Botanical Garden on Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m., and Steppingstone Park on Sunday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. He will also be hosting the concert at Steppingstone Waterside Theatre. He will be appearing with his granddaughter Marissa Mann, soon to be 16, who is performing more and more with him and adding her rich voice and sparkling clarinet and jazzing up the program with songs like “This Land” and “This Little Light of Mine.” Sears said, “What fun to play with your granddaughter.”
The Steppingstone concert is open only to the residents of the Great Neck Park District. Admission is by park card only. For more information and details on the rain venue, call 516-487-7665. Friends of the artist should contact Sear for special guest admissions. To enhance the concert experience, attendees should bring a picnic, chairs or a blanket.
The couple is busy pursuing the arts. Dave teaches folk guitar and banjo to people who want to use these instruments to accompany their singing, while Charlotte is learning to speak Spanish as well as pursuing other community interests. If you’re interested in lessons with Sear, make a list of the songs you like and send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to Sear’s live album on YouTube at www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLI
fU8IbaWaYYyz-ei1ya4UdjcQDVKiS02. To view Charlotte’s paintings, visit www.charlottesearweb.com.
Great Neck House is located at 14 Arrandale Ave. For additional information, call 516-482-0355.