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Hamilton At The Boston Opera House

Hamilton at the Boston Opera House
Hamilton Boston Opera House
L-R Candido Bretto, Michelle Booth, Erica Howland Ruska, Karen Howland

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Jefferson Elementary School Rockland music teacher Michelle Booth said, “Candido, I think you need to see Hamilton because of what you’re doing with “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.” The night of October 3, 2018 was magical. Michelle introduced me to the music, lyrics and all that is the phenomenon called “Hamilton”. The orchestra was tight, the dancing and lighting was spectacular and the cast especially Austin Scott, Hannah Cruz and Nicholas Christopher was riveting. The Secrets of Plymouth Rock just found some new inspiration. Thanks Michelle!

Candido Bretto and Hamilton conductor Andre Cerullo

I’m a late comer to the Hamilton craze. As I sat and listened I was amazed with how much work it takes to put on Hamilton. I can’t even imagine all of the logistics. The choreography alone was fascinating. When you add in the mountain of lyrics and the orchestral arrangement it’s mind-boggling. I can’t believe this all came from one person’s head, Lin Manuel Miranda. I hope to meet him someday. Hamilton taught me that early American history can be fun and interesting at the same time. It just takes the right person with the vision, talent and energy and the right team all working to see it through from start to finish.

Hamilton's Orchestra Pit

If I closed my eyes it was like I was listening to a studio album. The musicians performed with accuracy and lots of soul. Here’s a quick shot of the orchestra pit after the show.

“There’s a million things I haven’t done but just you wait, just you wait.
– Alexander Hamilton

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Children’s Music

Cybersound Boston
Yuki Kodama
Yuki Kodama

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Friday, April 22, 2019 I blocked 6 hours at Cybersound Recording Studios in Boston to record children’s music, 12 songs. I came prepared with Finale sheet music and a clear vision of what I was looking for. At the suggestion of Perry Geyer Cybersound’s owner I hired Yuki Kodama to play acoustic bass. An electric bass player myself I couldn’t hand such an important role to just anybody. No surprise though. Perry’s recommendation was right on! Yuki read my sheet music accurately and played with lots of emotion. What more could I ask for? Mr. Kodama is a senior at my alma mater, Berklee College of Music Boston. I wish him all the best in his music career!


Yuki Kanesaka
Yuki Kanesaka

Also at the suggestion of Perry I entrusted Yuki Kanesaka to play drums. The Secrets of Plymouth Rock encompasses numerous styles of music from waltzes to rock to marches to rhythm and blues. This can be challenging to some drummers but not to Yuki Kanesaka. Yuki was solid as a Rock. Bass and drums need to lock and Mr. Kanesaka laid down a groove with a nice big pocket! Yuki understood my requirements and offered me choices that were very useful. Mr. Kanesaka possesses the winning combination of knowledge, skill and a love of playing his instrument. He followed my piano intuitively. Yuki Kanesaka is a professor and also an alumnus of Berklee College of Music Boston.

Yohei Kambe demonstrates his drumming talents on my nod to “The Sound of Music”. It’s a classic waltz called “Sights and Sounds of the Sea”. Yohei played exactly what I was looking for. “That tune was fun to play for me.” Yohei said. I can tell. It came through on the recording. The imagery I’m trying to create with this song is children playing on the beach. Perfect.

This is children’s music and I can’t wait to add the angelic voices of 6 Plymouth elementary schools to these well deserving tracks! To listen to some rough mixes with my sister Concetta singing the children’s guide tracks click here.

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ArtWeek Music Drives Us Grant


Introducing, “Rocking The Secrets of Plymouth Rock”

Plymouth Rock News you can use. It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve been selected as a 2019 ArtWeek grant recipient for a $250.00 Music Drives Us performance grant. On April 9 I will be presented with a check at the Boch Wang Center in Boston. I am so excited. It’s always nice to be recognized for your hardwork even if it is a labor of love. The grant is in support of a performance coming up on Saturday April 27, 2019.

As part of ArtWeek author Diane Finn & I will be presenting the story and music on April 27 at the Mayflower Society House located at 4 Winslow St., Plymouth MA from 1 PM to 3:30 PM. The event is called, “Rockin’ The Secrets of Plymouth Rock” Meet author Diane Finn and myself as we share the story and music for The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.

At this program you will be able to:
1. Hear the story of the rock read by the author.
2. Purchase an autographed book from the author.
3. Listen and sing along with the songs composed by Candido Bretto.
4. Take a quick stroll to Plymouth rock with the author and composer as Diane gives you more historic details about the rock’s journey. (Sponsored by Plymouth Night Tours)
5. Return to the Mayflower Society House for a brief activity.

@ArtWeekMA #ArtWeekMA @MusicDrivesUs #MusicDrivesUs #childrensmusic #hamilton

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A Mayflower Medallion Adorns Plymouth Rock’s Enclosure

Visiting the Mayflower?

Plymouth Rock News you can use. If you plan to visit the Mayflower II take a second to enjoy this little gem at Plymouth Rock. Since April 2017 I have found myself visiting Plymouth Rock for songwriting inspiration. During a recent visit I saw these medallions. They look like they’re made of bronze to me. I could be wrong though. I was amazed with all the detail. In the center of course is the Mayflower, at the top you see puffy clouds, to the left are 3 seagulls and along the bottom is the ocean. I was delighted with this find. I’m sure you will be too. I don’t know who the artist was but I can tell you it was designed about 100 years ago which brings me to a related subject.

The Mayflower Medallion

The Plymouth 400 celebration is right around the corner. I began wondering how many tourists visiting the Rock missed these works of art. I certainly didn’t notice them before. That’s why I wrote this article.

Take home a piece of history.

There was a time you could take home an actual piece of the Rock. You were offered a hammer and chisel and told, “Take home a piece of history!” Part of the reason Plymouth Rock smaller than expected. You can’t do that anymore but in 2020 you’ll be able to take home this medallion in the form of a pin, brooch, belt buckle and paper weight.

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Happy Forefather’s Day!

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Today is Forefather’s Day in Plymouth MA and below is a link to a video created by Hawk Visuals that was shot at 5:30AM this morning. The event is an annual tradition of Plymouth Old Colony Club celebrating the arrival of the Pilgrims on December 22, 1620. The POC was formed in 1769. Happy Forefather’s Day America! Enjoy!

Forefathers Day Plymouth MA
Forefather’s Day Plymouth MA with Plymouth Rock in the background.

See video.

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Behind The Scenes

Have You Ever Visited Me?

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Johnny Drama and his Funky Entourage are getting ready for the 400th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Pilgrims Celebration. Check out this Behind The Scenes recording of a rehearsal of Drama singing with his sister Elizabeth (Lee Lee) Alves, the Theme Song of the book “Have You Ever Visited Me?”

Protect This Rock

Here’s another Behind The Scenes rehearsal. This time it’s of Song #10 “Protect This Rock” sung by everybody in Drama’s Funk Lab including a guest star. Can you guess who she is?

Note: At this point in the book the Town Fathers of Plymouth MA make the decision to protect Plymouth Rock from souvenir hunters.

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Karaoke video of Plymouth Rock song

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Presenting our first Plymouth Rock karaoke video! We intend to create more karaoke videos as we go along. “Have You Ever Visited Me” (sung by the Rock itself) is the theme song of “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock”.

I’ve never made a karaoke video before. How did I do?

Plymouth Rock tells the story of the Arrival of the Pilgrims in The Secrets of Plymouth Rock.

Plymouth Rock Karaoke Video

The karoake video can help children to more quickly learn the words to the songs. If you would like us to make a karaoke video of a particular song from the show please let us know. We hope you’ll share this page on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. When you do you’ll help 3rd grade children from sea to shining sea rock their knowledge of Plymouth Rock while rockin’ a karaoke video.

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Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock News you can use. Plymouth Rock is center stage on It’s been almost one hundred years since the last big celebration in Plymouth Massachusetts for the Arrival of the Pilgrims, and the planning of the 400th anniversary is well underway at Plymouth 400. We think a celebration this grand requires song. We have created a fun way to celebrate Plymouth Rock and the Landing of the Pilgrims at your school. It’s called, Rockin’ The Secrets of Plymouth Rock Assembly based on Diane L Finn and Erin Finn Zell’s “The Secrets of Plymouth Rock”. The story is told by the Rock itself.