For the 2nd weekend this summer, on August 4-5, the New London Maritime Society - Custom House Maritime Museum hosts Sentinels on the Sound, a celebration of New London's lighthouse heritage. The celebration's signature boat trips to New London Harbor Light and to view the 'Three Sisters' lighthouses in the harbor take place on Saturday and Sunday, and boat trips to Ledge Light take place on the Saturday, only. All tours leave from the Custom House pier. To see this year's boat tour schedule, visit the museum's website: www.nlmaritimesociety.org. To reserve a place on a tour, call the museum at 860-447-2501 (best between 1 and 5 PM). This year, the Custom House Maritime Museum is again partnering with the Ledge Light Foundation and Project Oceanology on the tours to Ledge Light. The three lighthouse weekends are sponsored, in part, by a grant from Veolia / New London Water Authority.
In addition to the boat tours, renowned musician and photographer John Mock will present his unique multimedia maritime concert presentation From The Shoreline at the Custom House Maritime Museum in New London, CT, on August 5, at 4:00pm. Mr. Mock is donating his time and the concert will benefit the preservation of the New London Harbor Light. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for members of the New London Maritime Society, and $5 for children 14 and under. Donations will be accepted at the fundraiser. Please visit www.nlmaritimesociety.org for more information.
Although he is now an internationally touring musician, John Mock is a native of the New London area - his father was in the Coast Guard stationed in New London - and it has always remained close to his heart. "Growing up I remember two ships in particular; the Coast Guard Eagle, and the Mystic Isle. When my father would go to the CoastGuard Chief's club or PX (at the Academy), he would take me and my brother along and drop us off at the Eagle, where we would pretend to be pirates on the ship for the afternoon. After my father retired from the Coast Guard he worked as a mate on the Mystic Isle, the Fisher's Island ferry out of New London, and he would often take my brother and I to work with him," remembers John. The New London Harbor Light has also intrigued John for years and he is thrilled to be able to perform a concert to help raise funds for its preservation. "I was always curious about the New London Harbor Light. As far back as I can remember it was private property, so I could only view it from the road or a ferry. A couple of weeks ago, I finally got to stand at the lighthouse and actually go up the steps and view New London from the top - I was thrilled. Not only did I feel nostalgic about old times, but it was very nice, at age 51, to make new memories of New London."
John's art and music are now centered around memories like these and is inspired by the Atlantic coast and the ocean. From New England to Chincoteague to Ireland, the Atlantic's beautiful coastline and quaint villages, its wooden boats and whitewashed lighthouses, continue to inspire and inform John's art. He captures in music and in photographs the heritage of the sea. He shares this heritage with audiences everywhere through his elegant and unique concert presentation From the Shoreline, where John performs original instrumental compositions on the guitar, concertina, and tin whistle. John's own photography is projected onto a screen behind him, and his casual narration and storytelling tie it all together. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Director of Education, Robert Forloney, commented that "John's process of tying photographs of unique places along with original music is simply phenomenal. Through sound and image, he is able to create encompassing atmospheres that capture these special landscapes and stories. Whatever your age may be, a concert of John's is a wonderful experience." John's CDs The Day At Sea and The Keeper's Companion can be found in many of America's maritime museum shops and his concerts have been presented at a diverse array of venues including the keeper's house at Atlantic City's Absecon Light, the famed Guthrie Center in Massachusetts, and museums and performing arts series on both coasts.
John's work has taken him around the world. Widely sought after as a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, he has worked with such notable artists as the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Nanci Griffith, Maura O'Connell, Sylvia, Kathy Mattea and Mark O'Connor. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by orchestras throughout America and abroad, including the London Symphony, the National Symphony and the symphonies of Atlanta and Nashville. John's credits as composer and featured artist include performances with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Ireland, and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo performances throughout the country.