BEST BETS: The ChurchKey Saints to bless Dover with show

From left, Savannah Laity, Jessica Ingham and Jim Rezac make up the musical trio The ChurchKey Saints. They will perform in concert Friday night at 7 at Kent County Theatre Guild’s Patchwork Playhouse in Dover.

The ChurchKey Saints, an original trio from Dover, has been a group for under a year. In the short time they have been playing and singing together they have stumbled across what they come to described as “their sound.”

Tonight, the Saints take their original homegrown music with an indie edge to the Patchwork Playhouse on Roosevelt Avenue in Dover, home of the Kent County Theatre Guild.

The group is made up of local musician and Dover native Jim Rezac and sisters and Georgia transplants, Jessica Ingham and Savannah Laity.

The way they’ve come together to perform is the stuff that good band stories are made of.

Mr. Rezac, who operates Delaware Guitar School in Wyoming, was teaching guitar to the elder of the two sisters, Ms. Ingham. After attending one of his concerts with her husband, she asked if she could put background vocals to a few of the songwriter’s original tunes.

“Of course I was curious as to what someone else did with one of my songs,” Mr. Rezac said.

“So I told her ‘Yes. Be ready to go at our next lesson.’”

What the guitar instructor-turned-songwriter heard blew him away.

“When you write music it is personal and intimate. But it was so very cool to hear someone else take it further. It became something else and it made me smile. Big.”

A few months later, Ms. Ingham posted a video of her and her younger sister singing something on social media and the three decided to form the group, with Mr. Rezac on guitar and all three trading vocals.

The small trio started out a week before Christmas doing a benefit for local sound man, Keith Talmud, who has since succumbed to liver and colon cancer.

Before long, The ChurchKey Saints were booking gigs in places like Gypsy Sally’s in Washington, The Fire in Philadelphia and playing locally at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel every chance they could.

But prior to hitting the stage, the three had to come up with a name.

“We were in the studio and what was really weird was no one was drinking because one of us is pregnant and the other two of us just weren’t drinking. But I was twirling around a bar-style bottle opener with the Jameson’s logo on it. I said ‘You know, we Irish call these things church keys,” Mr. Rezac said.

“By the look on their faces and the ‘Oooooo’ they simultaneously let out, I knew we had a winner. But it just didn’t seem long enough. So after 30 or 40 more minutes we decided that we would add something that had something to do with the word ‘church’.

“We originally added the word ‘sinners’ — ChurchKey Sinners. But then after a week or so something was bugging me that it just didn’t flow like I wanted it to

“While talking to my son Jake in college, I mentioned my dilemma and before I could get the words out, he said ‘What about ChurchKey Saints?”

The three knew they had a winner with that one.

Tonight’s concert will be an evening of mostly new, all original music from the trio.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The Patchwork Playhouse is 140 Roosevelt Ave. in Dover.

Baione at Coffee House

In more local music happenings, on Saturday, Delaware Friends of Folk will present their monthly coffee house concert in the Bennett Chapel at Wesley College, corner of Division and North Bradford streets in Dover, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

This event features local music teacher and international jazz vibraphonist Joe Baione and his trio.

A Delaware native, Mr. Baione grew up in a jazz-drenched musical environment. His father, the clarinetist-saxophonist-educator Jim Baione, is a graduate of Philadelphia’s prestigious Combs Conservatory of Music.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Baione studied both music education and jazz performance, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1995. Since then he has gone on to become a passionate and creative band teacher by day and an energetic and innovative band leader and performer at night. He is joined by local musicians Joe Wilford on guitar and his brother Tom Baione on bass.

Opening the evening will be Philadelphia duo Last Chance.

Jack Scott (vocals, banjo, guitar) and Ingrid Rosenback (vocals, fiddle, harmonica) were also finalists in the 2018 Delmarva Folk Hero Contest, recently held by the Friends of Folk.

They perform exclusively original music and their unique, contemporary sound emanates from Ms. Rosenback’s classical training and Mr. Scott’s songwriting rooted in traditional folk music.

Ms. Rosenback, a University of Delaware graduate who lived and worked in Delaware for many years, met Mr. Scott when he was searching for a fiddle player to join him in Whirled Peas, a Wilmington-based band in which the two still play every week.

They formed Last Chance in 2012 and play extensively throughout the Delaware Valley at festivals, blues clubs, coffeehouses, senior centers, and other locales. They regularly participate in WXPN’s Musicians on Call program, bringing live music to patients’ bedsides, and they’ve raised money for charitable causes through benefit concerts.

Admission is $5 for members of Delaware Friends of Folk, and $7 for nonmembers and 12 and under are admitted free. Fresh-brewed coffee, baked cookies and other snacks will be available.

Delaware Friends of Folk coffee house concerts are supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Best Friends Pet Expo

The Best Friends Pet Expo is returning for its third year to The Green in Historic Downtown Dover. The event, presented by the Delaware State News, will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be vendors, presentations, giveaways, door prizes and several new offering for this year’s Expo.

At 10:30 a.m. the new Kritter Sitter Pet Parade will step off from in front of the historic Golden Fleece Tavern and continue around The Green with pet participants strutting their stuff. Some pets will be in costume, but all are welcome to participate whether they are wearing a costume or not.

Ruth Agnew of the First State Animal Center and SPCA cuddles with Monty at the Best Friends Pet Expo in 2016. The FSAC & SPCA is returning this year with animals for adoption. (Delaware State News file photo/Marc Clery)

There will be prizes for the costumed winners of the single and group entries, and all participants will receive a certificate and special treat from The Kritter Sitter. Be sure to register at 10 a.m. at the Delaware State News Information booth.

Also new to this year’s event is the pet-themed Pumpkin Carving Contest sponsored by Governors Avenue Animal Hospital. Entrants are asked to bring their carved pumpkins to the steps of the Old Courthouse on The Green to be displayed and voted on throughout the day by the event attendees. The winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m. with the prizes awarded at that time.

The Delaware State News will also host 92.9 TOM-FM. On-air personality Kathryn Alt will be broadcasting live from the event. She’ll have a pet selfie station at her booth and be handing out treats to all the pets. You can register to win “A Taste of Delaware” valued at $200.

Eugenia Thornton and her award-winning dog Dolly from Good Dog! People Training will be demonstrating “The Reinforcement Zone: The Positive Way to Keep your Dog at your Side.” In addition, Cathye Knouse from Governors Avenue Animal Hospital will talk about the importance of having your pet groomed.

The First State Animal Center and SPCA is returning this year as the charitable fundraising partner. They will have pets available for adoption and lots of other information available about their services including grooming, boarding and daycare.

Lunch will be available from La Baguette Bakery and Catering to include hot dogs, cookies and drinks.

Leashed pets are welcome, so bring them along, and there is no charge for attendees. You can get more information about the event on the Delaware State News Facebook page at or online at

Gourmet Gala Saturday

The Delaware Tech Terry Campus will host its 15th annual Gourmet Gala on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the on-campus Del-One Conference Center.

The Gourmet Gala is the premier fundraising event for student success on the Terry Campus.

Hank and Barbara Ridgely, ardent friends and proponents of Delaware Technical Community College, have been named chairs of this year’s Gourmet Gala.

Now in its 15th year, the gala is a black tie-optional affair that offers guests specialty food and beverages from Delaware restaurateurs, brewers, vintners and distillers.

The Ridgelys, both born and raised in Kent County, are pleased to be involved.

“Hank and I believe in Delaware Tech’s mission and values and feel that the College is an essential part of the community,” said Mrs. Ridgely. “It has a proven ability to provide a variety of educational opportunities that change lives for the better and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Mrs. Ridgely worked at Delaware Tech for 35 years before retiring in 2013 as associate vice president for institutional advancement. She stays connected to the college as a member of the Terry Campus Development Council and by attending a variety of on-campus events.

Mr. Ridgely is a former justice of the Delaware Supreme Court and former president judge of the Delaware Superior Court. He is currently practicing law as senior counsel with DLA Piper, a global law firm.

Live entertainment will be provided by N’Demand, a party band that covers current radio hits and Top 40 to classic Motown, soul and funk. Gala attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction.

Proceeds from the Gourmet Gala enhance the ability of the Terry Campus to offer educational opportunities and activities, scholarships, and additional financial assistance to students.

Gourmet Gala tickets are $125 each, and are available online at or by calling (302) 857-1125.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is an updated version of the horror film “Halloween” and the drama “The Hate U Give.”

Coming to download and DVD Tuesday is “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and the psychological thriller “Sorry to Bother You.”

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