Rockin' at Robbins Farm 2023

The Friends of Robbins Farm Park invited all to join them for a free concert Saturday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. This is the organization's annual Rockin' Robbins Concert, with entertainment from members of Arlington-affiliated Willstock.

It took place on Coolidge Road near Gray Street at the edge of the large park in Arlington Heights. Attendees were welcome to bring picnics and to eat while they enjoy the talent of the musicians, all in their 20s and most of them Arlington High School graduates.

Willstock has been entertaining audiences at summer concerts for the past 12 years. Listeners were able to hear vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, violin and viola, a Friends representative recently told YourArlington. Friends' members were emailed earlier that "The group is planning a special evening with an acoustic, alternative vibe. You can expect a varied song list featuring beautiful vocal harmonies."

Asked by YourArlington to elaborate, Corinne Schippert, co-chair of Rockin' Robbins, said, "Everything they perform is a cover, so [it will be] very accessible -- rock to alternative to folk to R & B.Their song choice is varied and ecclectic."

The name and the graphic at the bottom of the poster recall the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, usually just called Woodstock, which also occurred in August -- of 1969 -- but Schippert says that there is no real connection to, nor any attempt to emulate, either that world-famous phenomenon or its late '60s era.

Willstock isn't a typical musical ensemble. "The group of players isn't a real band that plays consistently in the [local] area, but they get together every year, gathering from mostly the East Coast, to put on this benefit." Schippert said. More explanation is below.

The concert was free to attend. However, while there, listeners had opportunities to donate to both Willstock's longtime cause, the nonprofit Partners In Health whose stated "mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care" -- and also to the Friends' own continuing efforts toward the refurbishment of the park itself to make it safer and more accessible to all. 

"It is dubbed Willstock by the performers to recognize the major organizer, inspiration and leadership of Will Sullivan, who started the benefit 12 years ago when he was in high school.  It has no [notable] connection to Woodstock - - only that the players dubbed the concert Willstock in a playful moment a few years in."

Sullivan is a multi-instrumentalist -- guitar, mandolin, bass and cello -- who also writes all the arrangements. In addition to Sullivan, those performing are also all AHS graduates. Schippert identified them asMason Beutler, Leah Blachman, Aaron Colonnese, Chris Hart, Siddharth Hiregowdara, Jacob Malin, Ruby Kinamon and Katrina Rosenberg. 

July 21, 2023: Harvard Alumni Jazz Band played at Robbins Farm Park on July 20


This news announcement was published Friday, Aug. 4, 2023. YourArlington volunteer Kim Haase prepared it for publication. It was updated later that day to correct its date of publication and to add a link that provides detail on plans to improve the park's playground area.