Arts & Entertainment

Cranford Family Shares Gift of Music with Annual Neighborhood Concert

7aec0bbd7fc700a35985_ATuriniChristmasShow2016.jpg
Wanda and Michael Turini throw a Christmas concert for the community every December. Credits: Wanda Turini
16d7067737d713a5754f_IMG_0167.jpg
The 7th Annual "Turini Christmas Concert" will take place on Dec. 16. Credits: Wanda Turini
da2e151619469337beeb_IMG_0121.jpg
The 7th Annual "Turini Christmas Concert" will take place on Dec. 16. Credits: Wanda Turini
7aec0bbd7fc700a35985_ATuriniChristmasShow2016.jpg

CRANFORD, NJ – The spacious front lawn of 247 Walnut Avenue begs for entertainment, music and fun – at least for homeowners Wanda and Michael Turini.

Despite both living in Cranford for years, the Turini’s met each other on Match.com, when they found out they lived three blocks apart. After marrying and purchasing their new home together, Wanda was inspired to spread joy though their community.

“I knew Michael was the one was because he had always supported my crazy ideas,” Turini said. “So I shared my vision. Wouldn't it be amazing if we invited the town to enjoy a Christmas concert, right on our front lawn? I painted the picture of smiling faces bundled up in blankets, drinking hot cocoa, enjoying some crazy people rocking out on our lawn. He was sold.”

Sign Up for E-News

That year, the inaugural “Turini Christmas Concert” was launched. The performers included the Turini’s, their friends and Wanda’s fellow musicians.

“I asked them to think of this concert as more than just singing outdoors, a way to sit in gratitude for the day and package that wonderful feeling into their voices and gift it to others,” Turini said. “That's when it became more than giving the gift of music. It was sharing the light of gratitude.”

Six years later, neighbors, friends and strangers flock to the “Turini Christmas Concert” every December, where they camp out on lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the company, atmosphere and music.

“More years than not, we had so many reasons to not do the show,” Turini said. “Just skip it because of illnesses, deaths and other tragedies.  But we returned to the purpose: remembering what we are grateful for even when it seems impossible to feel good.  That is the gift we give to others and ourselves every year.”

Over the years, the concerts have evolved to include local performers, custom music and a front porch to use as a stage.

Performing this year, along with the Turini’s, are Cranford resident Sarah Dunlap, Kimberly Apadula from Wall’s Christmas Light Show, musical theater actor Eric Harper, electric guitarist Ken Silverman and Cranford resident Ed Helmstetter, guitarist for Brother John Brown.

“All of the people that perform have some kind of relationship with us, which is important,” Turini said. “We see our rehearsals as mini Christmas parties during the week.”

Cranford residents are invited to the outdoor concert on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Hot cocoa and apple cider will be provided. There is no fee and donations will not be accepted.

“We decided that asking for donations takes away from the feeling of this truly being a no-strings-attached gift,” Turini said. “I want people to feel so thankful for receiving this attached gift that they are just bursting to pass it on and give to someone else. And, hopefully, they will.”

For more information, text MERRY to 411321 to receive a digital flyer, lyrics the day of the event, live stream info and any weather-related updates. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Union County Democratic Committee Elects New Chair

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ – The vote for the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chairmanship came to a conclusion Wednesday night when 748 committee members from the county’s 21 municipalities descended on the Gran Centurions in Clark to vote for their new party leader.

State Senator Nick Scutari won with a 412-341 victory over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr in a battle that had become ...

Filthy, dangerous conditions, theft and assault alleged at recently-opened Newark shelter

February 13, 2018

Newark, NJ—Antoinette Jackson, Sonya Webb and Andrea Eaddy sit in a McDonald’s on a cold winter morning, not far from the homeless shelter they currently call home.

During the day, they count on places like McDonald's to stay warm. They must leave the shelter at 7 a.m. and can only return after 4 p.m., even when temperatures drop below freezing.

When the ...

Clark's CityMD Urgent Care Shares Flu Survey

CLARK, NJ - As flu season is in full gear and the probability of catching the flu is a real concern, a majority of Americans admit to taking actions that may contribute to the spread of this highly contagious virus.  According to a recent survey, roughly three out of five Americans who have had the flu or flu-like symptoms (61%) admitted to being out and about the last time they ...

Cranford Endorses Colleen Mahr

February 19, 2018

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations--Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is beyond reproach.

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

February 23, 2018

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

Cranford Police Blotter: Multiple Drug-Related Arrests & More

February 20, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 02/14/2018 @ 2226 hrs.

Raritan Road and Coleman Avenue

Arrested: Kevin Johnson, 60, Plainfield

Arrested by: Jason D’Agostino

Charges: Possession of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9cfec6f1d81f034823a4_1d4v9602

Sat, February 24, 1:00 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Kids Expo and Water Safety Event

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25, 11:15 AM

Trinity Episcopal Church (Sherlock Hall), Cranford

Seamen’s Church Institute Fundraiser & Collection ...

Food & Drink Giving Back Religions And Spirituality

Thu, March 1, 1:15 PM

Calvary Lutheran Church, Cranford

Calvary Lutheran Church Invites You to Mid-Week ...

Religions And Spirituality

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

The Definition of Insanity

February 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

There is a quote, attributed to various people, including Albert Einstein that states, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”, that is fitting for our current election for Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC) chair.

There is no shortage of polling data related to the functioning of our Federal, ...