Sandy Point Open Mic features worksonger

Sep 07, 2017
Worksonger Bennett Konesni with his musician guest, wife Edith Gawler.

Stockton Springs — The annual Open Mic Plus series returns Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Sandy Point Community Hall, 684 Route 1.

The events run on the third Wednesday of every month, May through October, and are open to all ages and levels of talent. Poets, storytellers, jokesters and musicians of all stripes — all are welcome. After a 15-minute break for refreshments, the feature performance hour begins about 8:15 p.m.

Performing Sept. 20 is musician, worksonger and farmer Bennett Konesni. He has long studied work songs and how music can boost workplace efficiency, group dynamics, and add a sense of joy to work. His varied performance repertoire includes fiddle and dance music, and local indigenous work songs from the Northeast, lumbering forestry songs, as well as songs from Georgia and Mississippi.

Konesni's work has taken him to 10 countries on three continents, including Tanzania, Ghana, Mongolia and Holland. He leads The Worksong Project (, dedicated to creating a comprehensive archive of work song videos and teaching tools, and making them accessible to everyone for free.

A native Mainer, Konesni also runs the family farm, Duckback Farm in Belfast, where they grow and sell gourmet garlic, teas and culinary herbs. He is also the co-founder of Sylvester Manor, a 243-acre educational farm on Shelter Island, New York, on a piece of land that has been in his family since 1652. He oversees strategic planning, leads projects, and directs the annual fall festival “Plant & Sing,” which brings the community to the farm to complete two weeks of garlic shucking and planting in a single morning, all while singing worksongs.

Admission is a sliding scale donation of $3 to $10, free for children younger than 18. For more information, call 567-4044. The historic Sandy Point Community Hall overlooks the mouth of the Penobscot River, just 3.5 miles south of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. For more information, visit


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