By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
Katie Hurwitz, a Walpole native, cellist, and music major at University of Rochester, decided to give back to the community during the pandemic. “All of my plans got canceled due to the pandemic,” she explained. “I still wanted to do something music-related and give back to the community.” To that end, Katie and her dad, Eric, brought Porchfest to Walpole.
The Porchfest movement, which is sweeping the nation, encourages neighborhood musicians and bands to set up on porches and play for their neighbors. The Walpole iteration happened last Sunday, July 24.
With acts at Swan Pond, downtown, and on various resident’s porches (of course), the town was filled with different styles of music all day long; open-mics, blues bands, rock bands, children’s entertainment could all be found at this event.
Among the artists were Katie Hurwitz playing bossa nova and jazz cello on her own porch in Walpole; the duo Antarctica singing 60s and 70s pop rock covers downtown; Lewis Howes performing on Coolidge Road, sparking interest with his accordion and vast knowledge of the Great American Songbook; and more. The day concluded with the UpBeat Drummers, a group that delights in African drumming,
Eric Hurwitz took photographs and supported various acts throughout the day. Sympathizing with musicians who could not make a living through the pandemic, he also wanted to be of service, and supported his daughter’s mission. “Many musicians lost their connections,” he said. “The community lost touch with one another, because there was so much isolation going on. The first Porchfest was a way to come together as a community. It’s part of a nationwide movement.”
That nationwide movement made its very positive impact on Walpole over the weekend.