The Buttonwood Tree

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Fundraiser for ‘Smiles I Can’t See’ Guitar Giveaway

June 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

It all began in August of 2020 when the owner of a company in Bethel, CT, BASE Technologies, gave each employee a certain amount of money to donate however they wanted. Vincent Rodriguez bought 3 acoustic guitars and posted a video to see if he could find any children that would be interested in one. Not only did he find people interested, a year later he has raised over $13,000 and has given away over 70 guitars. This mission is now referred to as ‘Smiles I Can’t See’, based off the fact that during the pandemic, many of the children that have received guitars were wearing masks and their smiles were not visible.

We will be running this event like an open mic, with showcases by the following performers (Performers and set times for this show are being updated periodically until showtime):









Terri Lachance is a teacher by day and musician all the other times. She has been singing and songwriting since she first got a guitar in her hands in Middle School. Her songwriting helps her process the world around her but usually has a message of perception and / or change. She plays in a duo called the Terri and Rob Duo which has 5 CD’s of original music all written by Terri on Spotify. You can check out her Facebook page or the Terri and Rob Duo page to see where she is playing.

Bonnie Jacobson from rural eastern CT plays a variety of eclectic covers and original music, known for her sultry blues style. She performs as a solo act and with friends at a variety of venues from coffee shops, breweries and local events.

“I took my first guitar lesson 10 years ago with a goal of learning a few songs to play for friends in my backyard. I enjoyed it so much that I challenged myself by performing at open mics and it was there that I met many talented and encouraging musicians and mentors. Although I perform a variety of acoustic covers, I have further challenged myself by writing an original song. We are so very fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive music community in our area!” – Kathleen Caron

Joe Stein is a 3rd grade teacher in Branford, CT who has been playing music his entire life, sometimes playing trumpet or guitar but mainly playing piano to accompany himself singing a wide range of genres, spanning from classic rock, jazz, and soul to contemporary pop and R&B. He prides himself on being able to rework various types of music into his own unique style.

Mark Koschwitz is a self-described musical wing nut, usually far more comfortable accompanying others from the shadows on harmonica, or spotlighting them as host of the original music showcase, Shoreline Music Monthly, Mark does, occasionally, step to center stage to play a few of his own, self-penned, tunes. Typically, a blend of folk, rock and blues, and often infused with an optimistic, or at least hopeful, message, his songs are reflections of lessons that he’s learned along the way.

Inspired by the folk scene of the sixties and early seventies, Barbara Brouard Harvey has enjoyed playing guitar and singing since she was a teenager. She has played solo and with several area bands and is thrilled to be part of this wonderful fundraiser at the Buttonwood.

Mary Ellen Cowles is a singer/musician from the Lower Connecticut River Valley who plays guitar, piano, and dulcimer. As an acoustic guitarist, she plays folk, classical, and jazz songs, using fingerpicking styles and strumming. A specialty is performing Joni Mitchell’s songs on guitar, piano, and dulcimer, using her various tunings and transcriptions. Mary has been a member in the LCRV bands, The Gary Torello Band, Chester Creek and CHIX Mix. Her Gramma’s Attic Music Revue video can be found on Youtube.


June 18
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center
605 Main Street
Middletown, CT
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(860) 347-4957

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