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May 20th, 2018 / Special Edition at Sandwich Town Hall / Trio Vivo & Klarinetista: Bruce Abbott,

We are spreading our wings!

Sandwich Arts Alliance invites Open Mic Classical on a trip around the Cape, more exactly to the Sandwich Town Hall, on May 20th, 2018.

We are very excited to announce that our guest performers on Sunday, May 20th, 2018 at the Sandwich Town Hall will be the Trio Vivo & Klarinetista: Bruce Abbott (saxophone), Mariellen Sears (flute), Lucy Banner (piano), and their guest, clarinetist Monika Woods.

Collaborative pianist of the day will be Ben Healey.

Trio Vivo was formed after musicians Bruce Abbott, and Lucy Banner met at Open Mic Classical in June of 2015. Bruce was our featured guest performer, who needed a pianist, and Lucy was our collaborative pianist.

A natural musical connection was obvious from the start.

They invited flutist Mariellen Sears to the mix, and what followed is the birth of Trio Vivo., an uncommon ensemble, exploring new repertoire while honing older material, preparing and organizing concert programs, and enjoying the beauty that results from combining their creative energy. Viva la Trio Vivo!

Trio Vivo performs classical music of varied style and mood by composers from the Baroque era to the present day. This unusual ensemble of piano, flute and saxophone presents lively and informative concerts of trios, duos and solo selections exploring the exciting possibilities these three instruments inspire.

Monika is honored to collaborate with Bruce, Mariellen, and Lucy for this occasion.

Mariellen Sears - Flute

A native Cape Codder, flutist Mariellen Sears has performed as a chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and Eastern Europe.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts/Lowell (BA and MM), her primary teachers were Virginia Sindelar Leguia and Iva Milch. She also studied with Martha Woodward and Eleanor Lawrence and studies Irish Traditional Flute with Shannon Heaton.

Currently Mariellen performs with the Cape Symphony, Trio Vivo, the Scorton Chamber Ensemble and the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra and was a member of the former Simon Sinfonietta. She has also performed with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra (PA), the Manchester Philharmonic (NH) and the Plymouth Philharmonic (MA) Orchestras.

Mariellen taught in the Nauset Public Schools for 34 years and is currently on the faculty at UMass/Dartmouth and at the Cape Conservatory (West Barnstable) where she teaches both Suzuki and Traditional Flute pedagogy. She is the director of the Cape Conservatory Adult Flute Choir. Mariellen is a certified Suzuki Flute Instructor and a trained “Kinderflute” teacher.

Bruce Abbott - Saxophone

Bruce Abbott has served on the faculties of Nauset Regional High School, Salve Regina University and the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a Masters Degree in Music Performance.

He has performed at events and in concerts and clubs throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Highlights of his performing career include a concert tour of South Korea with the Rhode Island Saxophone Quartet and a concert performance in Americus, Georgia with the North Star Jazz Ensemble as part of the festivities for former President Jimmy Carter’s 75th birthday celebration. He has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and has toured with the Artie Shaw Orchestra.

Currently Bruce performs with Trio Vivo, North Star Jazz, Cape Cod Jazz Quintet, Fred Fried and many others. As a recording artist he has performed on over a dozen CDs with North Star Jazz and CommonGround as well as many other artists.

Lucy Banner - piano ​Lucy Banner is well known to Cape Cod audiences as a solo pianist and collaborative pianist for instrumentalists and singers throughout southeastern Massachusetts. She holds degrees in piano/performance from Oberlin Conservatory and Ithaca College. Ms. Banner was a former music director of Cape Cod Opera and was their pianist for opera productions, concerts, and outreaches. She is also a collaborative pianist for Cape Cod's Open Mic Classical. Ms. Banner is the pianist for First Parish Brewster (Cape Cod) Unitarian Universalist congregation.

Monika Woods - clarinet

“Chosen by the clarinet”, Transylvanian born Hungarian clarinetist, and symphony soloist winner, Mónika Woods, was noted for her “tender and insightful playing” and “exquisite musicianship” in a review by Keith Powers, which also stated “her soft passages sounded like whispers, and when she played with force, it was with complete confidence.”

Monika was featured as a guest artist by Cape Symphony and became the 2013 New England Concerto Competition first prize winner.

As a natural gesturalist and born educator, the strains of Béla Bartók caught the ear of Monika Woods at an early age and so she inherited the music bug. Soon after she attended a High School for the Arts.

Diligent undergraduate study in clarinet performance earned her a prestigious spot at the "Gh. Dima" Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she graduated with high honors and a Masters in Stylistics of Clarinet Performance.

Monika is co-founder of Open Mic Classical (, an organization promoting classical music.

"Inspiring Blue Zone Communities" is Monika's most current project which includes: Open Mic Classical (, which she co-founded, and launched in 2015. Open Mic Classical is a monthly event bringing together classical musicians of all levels, and ages to support, and learn from each other, giving a chance to classical musicians from all walks of life to be able to perform in public. Open Mic Classical has held 30 events to date, all extremely well received, and supported by the Cape community, and beyond.

To learn more about Mónika visit her website:

Collaborative Piano: Ben Healey

Ben Healy is music teacher at the Oak Ridge School in Sandwich, MA. He is also the music director at Swift Memorial United Methodist Church in Sagamore Beach. Ben studied classical piano performance at Salve Regina University under the tutelage of Stephen Erickson.

He received his Master of Arts in Teaching from Bridgewater State University.

When not playing the piano, Ben enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with his family.


So what is Open Mic Classical?

An “Open Mic” is for popular music only, right?


We are bringing you Open Mic Classical, a new experience in classical music, to help our community's musicians share their music with a friendly, supportive and appreciative audience.

Are you a doctor with a classical horn habit, or an orchestra member who misses playing in small ensembles? Are you an aspiring young student who doesn't ever get a chance to play with a pianist, but would like to develop your performing skills? Or a composer eager to try out your newest work?

Dust off your flugelhorn, oil your keys, drink your raw egg, and come share your talent in an intimate and casual atmosphere.

Admission is donation based, and classical musicians of all ages and levels are welcome.

Pianist on site is available on request to accompany you.

“Open Mic Classical” is brought to you by clarinetist Mónika Woods (winner of the Cape Symphony's 2013 Soloist Competition) and amateur violist and sculptor Robert Marcus, with a great list of collaborative pianists including Lucy Banner, Ana Glig, Anne Perrault, Elizabeth Tipton, Sylvia Karkush Furash.

It is held at 3:00 pm on the third Sunday of the month October through June at the Brewster Meeting House (1969 Main Street on Route 6A). But in Sandwich Town Hall on Sunday May 20th, 2018. Participants are asked to sign up in an email or by 2:30pm on the day of the event, rehearsal with pianist on request a 1-2 weeks before the event.

Further information and sign-up sheet is available on Performers Page.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Sandwich Cultural Council, Brewster Cultural Council, Harwich Cultural Council, and Orleans Cultural Council, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Thank you to supporters: Canary Burton at, Eli Woods & Co, Monika Woods at, Bob Marcus at,, Sandwich Cultural Council, Brewster Cultural Council, Harwich Cultural Council, Orleans Cultural Council, Sandwich Arts Alliance, percussionist Amy Lynn Barber.

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