In 1987 a small group of dedicated individuals with a passion for the performing arts, had a dream to create a cultural center in north central Massachusetts. That vision was the inception of the 1794 Meetinghouse Performing Arts Center; offering performing arts and theater of every genre, to everybody.
2013 marks our 26th year and 19th season bringing you an exciting and varied range of performances including heart-stopping bluegrass, traditional and eclectic rock, classical, jazz, blues, soul, and new age music.
And the excitement is already building in anticipation of the return of our experimental series: Northern Routes 2 - Adventures in New Music. Throughout June and July, the Meetinghouse will present the best in adventurous, underground music by artists working across the spectrum of experimental styles, from acoustic fusions of folk and improvisation to electronic textures and landscapes.
As we approach our 300th production at the Meetinghouse, we reflect upon the past and set our sights toward the future… and we come to realize how intricate the relationship is that we share with you. We cannot achieve our goals without your help. Your attendance is essential not only to us financially, but also it completes the connection in the unique relationship that occurs between artist and audience. Without you, the performance can't exist. And finally, please remember that your tax deductible donations, sponsorships and corporate underwriting are the very life blood which allows us to continue to make world class performances available and accessible to everyone.
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by Dorothy Johnson and Andy Lichtenberg
FRIDAY, SEPT 6, 2013 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, SEPT 7, 2013 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPT 8, 2013 2:00 PM
SATURDAY, SEPT 14, 2013 7:30 PM
SUNDAY, SEPT 15, 2013 2:00 PM
All performances: Adults $10 Children 12 and under free
Doors open 30 minutes before the show.
County Fair, a new original musical comedy by the team of Dorothy Johnson and Andy Lichtenberg includes everything you can think of when you think of a county fair: Ferris Wheel, roller coaster, carousel, horse races, pickpockets, too much food, pickle judging, prizes and crowds. How can this happen indoors on the Meetinghouse stage? It takes a large cast, clever writing, good songs, an appreciative audience and imagination. That's how. County Fair is the tenth and final collaboration between Johnson and Lichtenberg.
The Queen of Blue-Eyed Rock n' Soul. Incendiary and Eclectic!
SATURDAY, JUNE 8 | 7:30 PM | $15 - CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION PRECEDING CONCERTMORE INFO
This queen of blue-eyed rock n' soul, who grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples, teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process. She's the current, long-time vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band, whose latest CD, 2010's The Deep End, was honored on five national Top Ten lists and features special guests/duet partners Ian Hunter, Dion DiMucci, and Marshall Crenshaw, plus Levon Helm, GE Smith, Andy York, Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, Catherine Russell, Big Al Anderson, and others.
She's worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder & others on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards--all the while continuing to torch clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard in support of her recordings, plus a 2011 concert DVD Live Hive with her band Rebel Montez (Michael Colbath-bass; Cliff Goodwin-guitar; Larry Donahue-drums). "I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire," she'll tell an audience. And she will.
This is the official opening concert of our 2013 Summer Concert Series. There will be a champagne reception prior to the performance. Please come and help us celebrate the start of another fantastic summer at the Meetinghouse. Arrive a little early (about 6:30-6:45) and have some refreshments. It's always a great pre-concert party!
Solo piano improvizations. Dynamic, award-winning Composer/Pianist.
SUNDAY, JUNE 9 | 4 PM | $15
Steven Schoenberg is a dynamic, award-winning composer/pianist whose talents cross into musical theater, classical compositions, film scoring, children’s music, and solo improvisational piano performances. His acclaimed recordings, Pianoworks, Three Days in May, and the newly released Steven Schoenberg Live: An Improvisational Journey are now available on CD. He regularly performs improvisational piano concerts and has appeared at concert halls throughout the United States.
National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway, and Pat Wictor.
THURSDAY, JUNE 13 | 7:30 PM | $15
National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran singer-songwriters, but Brother Sun is no songwriter's round. The trio's harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions.
One of the most significant groups in Contemporary Bluegrass.
SATURDAY, JUNE 15 | 7:30 PM | $15
Southern Rail's bluegrass music is high-energy exuberant fun, with riveting harmonies, irrepressible humor, and sparkling banjo and mandolin solo work. This talented quartet has been performing since 1978, and is about to release their 12th recording. Their reputation for strong original material, heart-stopping harmonies, and infectious good humor has spread to both coasts. The group's performances range from Folk Festivals to Bluegrass Festivals, from Coffeehouses and Concert Halls to Church services, from Art Institutes to Educational Television. Southern Rail is on the Touring Roster for the New England Foundation For the Arts.
Virtuoso Cello and Piano.
SUNDAY, JUNE 16 | 4 PM | $10
Active as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator, cellist Dr. REBECCA HARTKA released her debut CD Folkfire in October 2010, receiving critical acclaim as well as NPR play including a feature on Paul Elisha's Performance Place. During her international debut tour of Southeast Asia, a performance in Vietnam was reviewed as "... no less than magical and eloquent." As founding member of Trio Lumiere, Hartka performed numerous concerts throughout New England and competed as semi-finalists in the 2012 International Chamber Ensemble Competition. As comfortable in a symphony hall as a folk club, Hartka has appeared in venues such as the Rockwood Music Hall in New York and Club Passim in Cambridge. In the past few years Hartka appeared as a solo recitalist in the North Quabbin Center for the Arts Series, the Exploring the Arts series, the 88 Keys series, and the Jazz and More series, among others. As a Deans Scholar, Hartka earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Masters in Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts and her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Oberlin College and Conservatory studying with Andor Toth, Rhonda Rider and Leslie Parnas among others.
Eclectic Celtic band.
THURSDAY, JUNE 20 | 7:30 PM | $10
Trine Cheile are a mixed media Eclectic Celtic Band with an emphasis on arrangements of music from the ancient Celtic to cutting edge contemporary ..Wrapped into all of it are Rosie Caine's compositions about wildness of the women of the her country of origin ..Wilde Irish Women ,Women in Arms and the Last High Queen of Ireland. Some of these women had fallen into obscurity but their stories have not been forgotten as long as someone is remembering their extraordinary lives and singing their songs.
Darlingside resides at the intersection of Rock, Classical, and Folk.
SATURDAY, JUNE 22 | 7:30 PM | $15
Under one roof in New England’s Pioneer Valley, Darlingside came together with five songwriters, a mandolin, a cello and violin, guitars and drums, a chorus of voices, and a van named Chauncey. Holed up in their home between a cornfield and the Connecticut River, they forged a seamless, exhilarating sound at the intersection of rock, classical, and folk music. The band just released their debut full-length album ‘Pilot Machines’ and are currently shaking rafters along the eastern seaboard with their vibrant live shows.
1794 Meetinghouse's resident chorus.
SUNDAY, JUNE 23 | 4 PM | $15
With wit and acumen, Conductor Charles Heffernan leads Quabbin Valley Pro Musica on a jaunty musical tour for its 2013 summer concert. The chorus opens with Martin Shaw's energetic "With a Voice of Singing." Gregorian chant launches a QVPM stroll through the history of music with pauses for moments of Renaissance, baroque, classical, and romantic dash. Winding up in America's twenty-first century via African-American influences, en route the chorus revisits the sounds of Aaron Copland.
The afternoon culminates with new music from nearby Orange: Carolyn Brown Senier's setting of 2010 US poet laureate Kay Ryan's "All Shall Be Restored" and Richard Chase's beatsy, bluesy Stone Man.
Featured soloists include vocalists Candi Fetzer and Allison Pollitt and QVPM's collaborative pianist Judy Johnson.
Dr. Heffernan is professor emeritus of music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His conducting and teaching careers have taken him from coast to coast in the US and Canada as he has groomed choruses, music educators, and solo performers.
William Howe Oldach, Attorney at Law | Athol, MA | www.oldachlaw.com
Breezeway Farm Consulting | New Salem, MA, Linda Overing & John Ryan; in Memory of Edyth Overing (longtime 1794 Meetinghouse Board & QVPM member).
New chorus presents music of early America.
THURSDAY, JUNE 27 | 7:30 PM | $10
Step back in time on Thursday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m., as costumed singers from western Massachusetts -- the chorus “American Harmony” -- present the songs that stirred the soul of early America. The concert takes place in the historic 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem. The program includes rarely heard fuging tunes as well as some of the most popular shape note and sacred songs of the time. The singers are directed by music historian Nym Cooke. Cooke has been leading choruses, choirs and community sings in New England for almost 30 years. He is the author of a new book coming out in 2014 titled “American Harmony.”
Classic–sounding, yet modern jazz.
SATURDAY, JUNE 29 | 7:30 PM | $15MORE INFO
The sound made famous by old guard tenor men is a rarity these days. And so we must celebrate when a Michael Zsoldos comes along and reminds us of past heroes with names like Dexter, Little Giant and Clifford Jordan. Zsoldos keeps it right down the center of the mainstream highway, and you get the message from the opening notes of 'Lullaby of the Leaves'. . .Zsoldos delivers the tenor goods in the best of the tradition.
Classical music comes to life through puppets and storytelling.
SUNDAY, JUNE 30 | 4 PM | $10
Tom Knight is a musician, puppeteer and videographer based in Northampton, MA. He grew up in Cupertino, California (home of Apple Computers), and had an early love of music, playing violin and trombone in school. He went to college at UC Santa Cruz, majoring in philosophy, and learned to play the mountain dulcimer while taking breaks from studying. The dulcimer made it easy to create simple songs, and that was the beginning of his songwriting career.
Blues and bop with a heapin' helpin' of twang.
THURSDAY, JULY 11 | 7:30 PM | $10
Boogie, Blues & Bop infused with a heapin' helpin' of twang and sass, The Twangbusters bust out their own high-energy blend of rootsy jukejoint rhythms and soulful blues! Led by dynamo Paula Bradley (Girl Howdy, Uncle Earl) on lead vocals, piano & ukulele, with the inimitable Peter "Dr. Z" Zarkadas - electric guitar (Sarah Levecque Band, Raw Symphony), "Wild Bill" Nadeau-drums (Junior Brown, The Derailers) & Brian Rost-upright bass (Tarbox Ramblers), The Twangbusters deftly mix the best of bluesy country, boogie woogie & barrelhouse into a musical cocktail, shaken & stirred. Guaranteed to make you move yer feet - BOTTOMS UP!
The Jolly Beggars add a dimension to Celtic Music that's unique and welcome. Their harmonies are delightful and soothing to the soul and every show is a feast for both eyes and ears.
SATURDAY, JULY 13 | 7:30 PM | $10MORE INFO
The Jolly Beggars bring the rich tradition of Celtic music to audiences all over the North Eastern United States. Made up of students from the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, CT, their traditional songs and musical arrangements have exposed many music lovers to the joys of Celtic music.They tell traditional stories from Irish folklore and intersperse their musical arrangements with traditional reels and jigs. Characterized by their tight harmonies and use of mandolin, pennywhistle, guitar, bass, bodhran, spoons, and more, The Jolly Beggars have quickly built a solid following and continue to spread their music through New England and the Tri-State area.
The band performs music that is largely Celtic in origin (Irish and Scottish), with some pieces coming from an extension of that music in other cultures.
Jeff DesRosier: Vocals/Mandolin/Guitar
Christopher Vece: Vocals/Whistles
Greg Wilfrid: Vocals/Guitar/Banjo/Mandoli
David Uhl: Vocals/Double Bass
Matt Torcellin: Vocals/Percussion
Chris Jasinski: Vocals/Percussion
Indian classical music, West African traditional music, and jazz.
SUNDAY, JULY 14 | 4 PM | $15
Natraj seamlessly melds the classical music of India, traditional music from West Africa, and contemporary jazz to create its own unique and infectious style. Hard-driving African grooves and graceful Indian ragas meet in the band's expansive jazz conception. Hailed as Boston's Best Jazz Band by the Improper Bostonian and nominated Best World Music Act in the Boston Music Awards, Natraj captivates and excites audiences with its exotic textures, accessible melodies, and rhythmic energy.
Lively Scottish ballads. | Pre-war American country, blues, and folk.
THURSDAY, JULY 18 | 7:30 PM | $12
ALASDAIR ROBERTS has been based in Glasgow for the past ten years. His first releases consisted of home-made four-track recordings of his songs under the name Appendix Out, including four songs on the Up Records (of Accrington, England) compilation 4×4 (1995) and the Ice Age 7” on Drag City subsidiary Palace Records (1996). Many of these early recordings also featured Alasdair’s boyhood friend David Elcock.
African, Native American, indigenous people's, South American, and Brazilian music.
SUNDAY, JULY 21 | 4 PM | $10
From the Brazilian Rainforest comes an amazing music experience of sound and rhythms...
A new and lasting fixture in Boston's Folk/Rock scene.
THURSDAY, JULY 25 | 7:30 PM | $10
In the summer of 2010, Tim Harrington and Paul Wright were playing for spare change in Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. In two short years since, Tall Heights has headlined packed listening rooms across New England, toured down to Austin, TX to showcase at South By Southwest Music Festival, and performed alongside national acts like David Wilcox, Ryan Montbleau, and Andrew Belle.
Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. An urban folk/pop music phenomenon!
SATURDAY, JULY 27 | 7:30 PM | $15 - CHAMPAGNE RECEPTION PRECEDING CONCERT
LIMITED TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. Doors open at 6:30 PM.MORE INFO
Patty Larkin grew up in a musical and artistic family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Descended from a long line of Irish American singers and taletellers, her mother was a painter, her sisters both musicians. She learned at a young age to appreciate the beauty and magic of the arts. She began classical piano studies at age 7, and became swept up in the sounds of pop and folk in the 60s, teaching herself the guitar and experimenting with songwriting. An English major, Larkin sang throughout her high school and college career, starting out in coffeehouses in Oregon and San Francisco. Upon graduation, she moved to Boston and devoted herself to music, busking on the streets of Cambridge and studying jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music and with Boston area jazz guitarists.
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26 South Main Street
New Salem, MA
1794 Meetinghouse Receives a Portion of Our Funding Through a Grant From
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities,and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
Located on the common in New Salem, Massachusetts, 1794 Meetinghouse, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community arts organization founded in 1987 and dedicated to a twofold purpose: the creation and production of a varied range of accessible, enjoyable, high quality art and cultural programs which engage, entertain, and educate people of all ages; and the preservation, maintenance, and continued service of its historic building in the beautiful North Quabbin region. The concerts at the Meetinghouse are our most valuable activity, but we also offer internships, prizes and scholarships to area high school students. In addition, we provide support and a home base for the Quabbin Valley Pro Musica, the region’s community chorus.