Whitpain Township and Montgomery County Community College are getting ready for the 2017 edition of the Whitpain Community Festival 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 23.
Held at the Central Campus of MCCC at 340 DeKalb Pike, the free event features children’s games and rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, laser tag, hayrides, a craft fair, a health fair, bed races, food trucks, dance performances, a beer garden sponsored by PJ Whelihan’s, fireworks and a music lineup, sponsored by the Foley Hillsley Group of Baird Financial Advisors in Blue Bell and the Lively Arts Series at MCCC, that kicks off at 3 p.m.
Performing will be School of Rock; Sunday Muse, a five-piece folk/pop group formed by MCCC alumni; 10-piece classic rock cover band The Sofa Kings; and MCCC and North Penn High School alum Elizabeth Mencel — the electronic dance music singer/songwriter known as ROZES.
Mencel, who co-wrote and sang on The Chainsmokers Top 40 smash “Roses,” played several instruments when she was growing up in Montgomeryville and said she had studied a pre-nursing track at MCCC. “I kinda also wanted a music career, and it was my dream to be in the music industry,” she said in a phone interview.
In 2014, the year Mencel earned her associates degree, the debut single by ROZES, “Everything,” was released. She also sang on the Just a Gent song “Limelight.” “My grandmom’s name is Rose, and she’s always been my idol, and she’s always taught me to be this strong, independent woman,” she said of her stage name.
Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers direct-messaged Mencel on Twitter @ROZESsounds because he liked a song of hers that had made the charts in Australia. “He liked the way I sounded,” she said.
ROZES performed with The Chainsmokers at the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, and appeared with them on “The Late Show” with James Corden and Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show.” Their collaboration on “Roses” has more than 570 million plays on Spotify and the success of the song has led to a following in excess of 15,300 for Mencel’s ROZES Soundcloud account.
Collaboration continues to be an important part of what she does. Her singles frequently get the remix treatment, and she sings on the song “All of Me” by Big Gigantic, featuring a rap by Logic. “It’s the way to ... reach each genre,” Mencel said. “For me, it’s staying focused and writing what you know. Everything I write is a true story. It’s something about me, or (about what) a friend that I know is going through.”
So “Matches” is really about a heartbreak from when she was 16? “I was feeling nostalgic,” said Mencel, who is influenced by women singer/songwriters like Adele, Amy Winehouse and Ingrid Michaelson.
ROZES made her debut solo performance at this year’s South by Southwest and Coachella festivals. Her set at the Whitpain Community Festival is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on the 23rd. “It’s me and a drummer, and he DJs while he’s drumming. It’s actually pretty athletic,” said Mencel, adding that it adds something for her fans to be able to see her facial expressions, and the emotions behind her songs, as she’s singing.
Although admission to the festival is free, there is a charge for food, drinks, rides and other attractions; so make sure to bring cash.
For more information, visit www.whitpainfestival.com.