By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE — The nightlife has taken on a whole new outlook in the sleepy historic downtown as more and more performance art series are coming to the area.
MacFadden Coffee Co. is bustling with new life as musicians and poets share their work in the reopened coffee shop on Main Street.
The Morsch Family of Naples was the opening act of the night as they sang some soulful and country hits with the community. Katie, Abby and Ary Morsch have played together as a family around the campfire and living room for about four years now. Once a year the whole Morsch Family gathers at a campground to sing some familiar tunes.
“I started playing and singing music when I got married about 19 years ago. As a family we always sang together. The girls started singing with me about four years ago,” Katie Morsch said. “This is the first time we are doing this as a main performance. We have sang for open mic before, but we have never been the main performers.”
The Morsch Family was nervous to get up and do a full list of songs for everyone, but the night turned out to be a big success for them. A special treat was when Grandma Morsch sang a couple of her original songs for the group. Leslie Morsch sang a song she wrote in college about her mother and one about her grandchildren.
“My older brother used to play the guitar around me. I grew up listening to him play all the old country music and Johnny Cash. When I got older, I took a course in old country guitar at Geneseo,” Leslie Morsch said. “Once a year we do a family camping trip with my six children and 10 grandchildren. We all gather around the fire and sing some country music. My brother comes up from Tennessee and he will sing along with us.”
Stephen Lewandowski of Canandaigua has been doing poetry for five decades. He has 14 books published on his poems. The most recent being “Under Foot,” “Last Settler in the Finger Lakes,” and “I Swear.” His newest book “Hard Work in Low Places” will be coming out sometime this year.
Lewandowski read aloud 12 of his poems about the moon, village life, and his father working at the Canandaigua VA Hospital when he was a child.
“Us poets don’t write to make any money. We write for the pure pleasure of seeing something be finished. When I have written something that doesn’t need to be explained I feel good about them” he said.
Katie Morsch has written a few of her own songs over the years. Abby, 18, has written a couple of her own songs. She wrote one about her best friend, Abbey Young of Dansville. Abby Morsch was once in the Finger Lakes Ballet Academy until a tragic injury took it all away from her.
“I turned to music after I lost ballet. I used to do everything from Top to Jazz to Point Ballet. I was honestly relieved when I found music. It helped bring me back,” Abby Morsch said.
The next Performance Art Series at MacFadden Coffee Co. is on April 10. Alyssa Little is coming on April 17. On March 11 there will be a writer’s group at MacFadden’s Coffee for anyone interested in talking with some local writers. The Canadice Lake Writer’s Group is in charge of this event every second Tuesday of the month. It begins at 5:30 p.m.