Brackenridge native Mary Ann Mangini plays it for real in Tarentum Summer Concert Series
When she was all of 3 years old, taking a stroll with her parents, Mary Ann Mangini would climb up on the stages at New Kensington Memorial Park and Tarentum's Riverview Park and perform for her private audience, her mom and dad.
She loved to sing and dance to “Annie.”
“She'd make us sit on the benches and watch her. Passersby thought it was cute, and that would only encourage her to keep on singing,” her mom Cindy recalled.
Now as one of the most respected vocalists and musicians in the region, the Brackenridge native and Highlands High and Grove City graduate will be returning to one of her childhood stages for real.
She, vocalist Jack “Johnny Angel” Hunt and keyboardist Joe Munroe will perform as the Johnny Angel Trio June 27 during the second week of the 2018 Tarentum Summer Concert Series at Riverview Park. Her dad, veteran musician Andy Mangini, a member of the WannaBeatles tribute band, which will perform in the series July 25, will guest for a few numbers.
“This is a dream-come-true situation for me,” says Mary Ann Mangini, who performed her first one-woman show in a two-night stand at the Strand Theatre in Zelienople in 2010.
“It's tight, three-part harmonies. Joe Munroe is the best pianist in the 'Burgh, and Johnny Angel, need I say more? He is the king of harmony. The show is nice mix of old school soul, rock and R&B with a modern young pop sound,” she explains. “I'm the youth in the band!” she quips. “We never had one rehearsal. We're just in sync. These guys are pros.”
Andy Mangini is pleased and proud to be able to perform with his daughter and also return for an acoustic version of Beatles tunes July 25.
”We have a blast doing this every year. This park was made for this, well before any of us were born. Hats off to Tarentum Borough for taking advantage of this community garden spot and giving our locals the access of the free concert, like this was intended to be, even 100 years ago.”
The recreation board is quite excited about this year's concert season, which opens June 13 with the classic oldies music of American Pie, says board President Carrie Fox.
Making its debut in the series is the country-rock of The Shiners, based in Upper Burrell, who will perform an acoustic show.
“We enjoy being out in the fresh air for sure. Most of our outdoor events are ‘all ages,' so we get to see and play for the younger kids,” guitarist-vocalist Jim “Slim” Varhola says.
“I have had so many people asking for the schedule. I hope that's a good sign to a fantastic season,” Fox says. “I have so many bands that contact me about preforming in the park. I could have 40 concerts if time allowed it.”
Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.