Daybreak musicians share their music with Martha’s Vineyard

From left, Michael Haydn, Carolyn Eddy, Alexandra J. Wojnowski, David Grey, Sue Collinson, Jonathan Halperin, Merrily Fenner joined voices on the finale. — Photo by Gwyn McAllister

“We’re a conglomerate of people interested in music, coming together, and channeling our interests,” said David Grey of the Daybreakers, an informal group of musicians made up of members of the Daybreak Clubhouse for Islanders coping with mental illness.

Saturday evening the Daybreakers hosted an evening of music and poetry at the Grace Church, sharing their talents with a full house.

The evening included a wide range of music, from classical to jazz to rock and roll. Jonathan Halperin started things off with a Bach fugue and a selection of Gershwin tunes on piano. A skilled player and composer, Mr. Halperin won a composing contest in Munich in 2010. He is currently studying composition with an Island teacher.

Jameison Sennott sang and performed a number of rock songs on the electric bass. He has been playing bass for 15 years and has performed around the Island solo and with a variety of bands. His performances of “Lay Down Sally” and “Sweet Home Alabama” with Mr. Grey on vocals were big crowd-pleasers, and the audience kept the beat with enthusiastic clapping.

A poet and artist as well as a musician, Mr. Grey also read one of his poems.

“Musical Minds,” a lovely, short poem written and read by Alexandra Wojnowskiby, gave the evening its title.

Popular local musician Michael Haydn performed two jazz piano pieces, including one of his own composition called “Shaker, Jive.” Mr. Haydn has been writing songs since 1965 and has copyrighted many of his pieces. He performs often at Island venues.

The evening finished up with the entire ensemble, which included a few Daybreak staff members, singing the Bill Withers song “Lean on Me” to a standing ovation.

The Daybreakers practice at the Clubhouse two or three times a month and perform out occasionally. There are plans afoot for them to play at the Vineyard Haven Library’s Christmas party on December 6. This was the second year in a row for the Musicale, a thoroughly appreciated evening of entertainment that was followed by a lively reception.