Music Under the Water Tower’s 2016-2017 Season Begins October 22 with Pre-Concert Soup and Pie Supper

*Featuring food and presentation by  cookbook authors Barbara Massaad (“Soup for Syria”) and Beth Howard (“Ms. American Pie”); Music by Sally Weisenburg

Music Under the Water Tower launches its first concert of the 2016-2017 season with a pre-concert Soup and Pie Supper. Special guest, Barbara Massaad, a photographer and cookbook author from Beirut, Lebanon, will be visiting fellow cookbook author Beth Howard in Donnellson, Iowa. The two are teaming up to put on a dinner party featuring soups from Massaad’s bestselling “Soup for Syria” and pies from Howard’s “Ms. American Pie.” The supper, located at the American Legion Hall in Donnellson, begins at 6:00 pm, followed by a presentation by the authors. The music begins at its usual time of 8:00 pm, with the talented rhythm and blues singer, Sally Weisenburg, a MUTWT favorite.

A year ago, Howard spent 10 days with Massaad in Lebanon, where they delivered a dozen of Howard’s homemade pies to the Syrian Refugee Camp in the Bekaa Valley. This is the same camp where Massaad found her inspiration for her “Soup for Syria” project, making soup for the refugees, eventually photographing individuals in stunning portraits and bringing their personal stories to light. The photography alone would make this a worthy book, but the cookbook also includes soup recipes from world-renowned chefs such as Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain, and Yotam Ottolenghi. All proceeds from Massaad’s book go to aid the refugees.

Books will be available for purchase and for signing at the event.

Doug Seyb, MUTWT producer, states, “Beth and I are  excited to host Barbara in Southeast Iowa and introduce her to our community. Having a soup and pie supper in conjunction with the concert is a perfect way to do that. Plus, it’s a chance for Beth to repay Barbara’s hospitality, Midwest-style.”

Concert-goers can still bring their potluck dishes, as per MUTWT tradition, and make a donation of $10 at the door to cover the music costs. A separate donation of $10 for the Soup and Pie Supper will be requested to cover the cost of ingredients.

For anyone wanting to volunteer to help prepare the dinner alongside Barbara and Beth (i.e.: chop vegetables, stir pots, roll pie dough, peel apples), please contact Beth Howard directly via email (

The full 2016-2017 schedule is not yet complete, though there are sure to be some good surprises. Confirmed dates include Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon on November 12, traditional blues artists Joe & Vicki Price on January 14, and March 4    William Elliot Whitmore with Dave Zollo.

Additional events for Barbara Massaad’s Iowa visit include a Soup Tasting and Book Signing at At Home Store in Fairfield on Thursday, October 20 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, and a Soup Lunch and Book Signing at Uptown Ivy in downtown Burlington on Friday, October 21 at 1:00 pm. For more about Barbara Massaad and her books, go to


Music Under the Water Tower is a family-friendly concert series in Donnellson, Iowa featuring a variety of mostly acoustic music including Americana, folk, blues, jazz, and bluegrass musical acts. Held in the town’s American Legion Hall—located under the water tower, as the name suggests—the series was started by Doug Seyb in 2003, with the mission of introducing the local community to music they would not otherwise be exposed to. The atmosphere of the concerts is casual and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own drinks and potluck dish, and make a suggested donation of $10 at the door.

For more info, contact Doug Seyb  319-470-8202,
Or go to



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s