last updated: 3/29/19 3:00 pm
This year marks the 25th anniversary of our programs. We are working on many things right now, some behind the scenes and some as part of our summer productions. One immediate piece of note: we are seeking old posters, pictures and stories of and about the Meetinghouse and our performances. If you have anything to loan us or share pplease let me know. Brad Foster; firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-335-3489; PO Box 8, New Salem, MA 01355.
Our Summer Series concert list is now complete; coming soon will be detail about each band and online ticket purchasing. Latest news: online tickets for Christine's show are up and running; click on the link below to buy tickets.
Saturday, June 8
CHRISTINE OHLMAN & REBEL MONTEZ, WITH GUEST MITCH CHAKOUR
Roots Rock Extraordinaire
Sunday, June 9
QUABBIN VALLEY PRO MUSICA
Classical Music with our Resident Chorus
Thursday, June 13
Guitar-driven High Energy Blues
Saturday, June 15
THE RICHARD CHASE EXPERIENCE
Singer/songwriter & Talented Multi-instrumentalist
Thursday, June 20
GLENN JONES / WEEPING BONG BAND
American Primitive Guitar / Psychedelic Folk
Saturday, June 22
THE GREEN SISTERS
Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass in Wonderful Harmony
Sunday, June 23
Award-winning Improvisational Piano
Thursday, June 27
Folk with a dash of Country Rock, Punk & Blues
Saturday, June 29
Rock & Roll, Country, Cosmic Jazz Grab Bag
Sunday, June 30
Energetic Mix of Bluegrass & Gospel
Thursday, July 11
Wonderful Folk Harmonies
Saturday, July 13
Accoustic Blues, Black Gospel & Old Time
Sunday, July 14
Solo Cello from Bach to Beyond
Saturday, July 20
MAD AGNES / PETE NELSON
Witty & Wildly Innovative Mix
Sunday, July 21
Thursday, July 25
Old-time, Swing, Roots, Celtic & more
Saturday, July 27
LUI COLLINS with ANAND NAYAK
Fantastic Folk Singer/songwriter
Saturday, August 3
SAMIRAH EVANS & HER HANDSOME DEVILS
New Orleans Jazz & Blues
~ Brad Foster, Executive Director
In 1987 a small group of dedicated individuals with a passion for the performing arts had a dream to preserve a historic building and to create a cultural center in north central Massachusetts. That vision was the inception of the 1794 Meetinghouse Performing Arts Center.
We're just 20 to 25 minutes from Amherst, 40 minutes from Northampton and only 50 minutes from Brattleboro, Keene, and Worcester.
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Your contribution will help sustain the performing arts; all donations are tax deductible.
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.
1794 Meetinghouse is pleased to announce our 2018 Season Sponsors
[Click on the performer's name to jump to their bio.]
Christine Ohlman — Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar
plus special guest Mitch Chakour — Keyboards, guitar, vocals
"I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire."
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 (SNL40's anniversary post-show concert also featured her star turn onstage with Jimmy Fallon, Elvis Costello and the B-52s), whose latest CD, 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. Ohlman topped the Alternate Root.com's Readers' Poll as top Americana vocalist, joining other winners Paul Thorn, The Mavericks and Rodney Crowell.
Ohlman's legendary voice and stage presence (she's known as "The Beehive Queen" for her towering blonde hairdo) have most recently been featured at the 2016 AMA Conference in Nashville; The PBS series "Music City Roots" with Bonnie Bramlett, Sarah Potenza and the McCrary Sisters during June, 2016; 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival's Tribute To David Bowie; on numerous guest vocal slots on the HBO series "Vinyl" that feature a duet with Elvis Costello; on SNL's 40th Anniversary telecast (pulled onstage by Jimmy Fallon at the after-party concert at the Plaza Hotel, she tore the roof off with the B52s as her backup vocalists), "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" (guest slot with Black 47); the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Concert in Cleveland (filmed by HBO); the Carnegie Hall tribute to the Rolling Stones; the 2012, 2013 and 2015 Little Kids Rock galas in NYC (taking the stage with Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Steve Miller, Graham Nash, Bill Medley, Tom Morello and others); and the 2012-2015 WC Handy Festivals (she was the special guest of the Blind Boys Of Alabama and soul queen Candi Staton, and helmed a sold-out tribute to legendary producer Jerry Wexler; in 2015 she was the festival's Grand Marshall and co-billed with iconic guitarist Travis Wammack), as well as on both SNL's 25th and the aforementioned 40th Anniversary telecasts; Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary bash at The Garden (with George Harrison, Chrissie Hynde, and others); the 2013 Obama Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.; The Lincoln Center "American Songbook" series with Sting, Lou Reed and Van Dyke Parks; and the Central Park Summerstage Tribute To Janis Joplin (where she fronted both Big Brother & The Holding Company and the Kozmic Blues Band).
In 2017, she was inducted into the National Blues Hall of Fame of American Heritage International. She appears on Grammy nominee's A Tribute To Howlin' Wolf (with Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams) and Charlie Musselwhite's One Night In America (with Marty Stuart); sings the theme song for NBC's 30 Rock; worked on a musical with the late Cy Coleman (who compared her sense of timing to Peggy Lee's); duets live with friends like the aforementioned Miss Spector, Mac Rebennack (two private evening of duets she calls "absolute highlights"), Americana stalwart Paul Thorn, Bonnie Bramlett (who has become a longtime friend), Muscle Shoals legends Donnie Fritts and John Paul White of the Civil Wars, and New Orleans mainstays The Subdudes (she joins The 'Dudes, BB King, Irma Thomas, Richard Thompson and others on Get You A Healin' to benefit the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic and has guest-hosted five editions of "Down On The Bayou" during successive Jazz & Heritage Fests with Widespread Panic's JoJo Hermann, again to benefit The Clinic); worked often with the late blues giants Hubert Sumlin and Eddie Kirkland; collaborated on critically-acclaimed tracks with Marshall Crenshaw (Labour Of Love: The Music of Nick Lowe), Big Al Anderson (Pawn Shop Guitars), and Ian Hunter (When I'm President and Shrunken Heads); edited legendary Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham's autobiography 2Stoned and appears also on Oldham's historic 2013 release "Andrew Loog Oldham and Friends Sing The Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2"). A musicologist of note, Ohlman is a cover-story-writing contributor to Elmore Magazine, and worked with Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder & others on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Awards.
Ohlman tours relentlessly with her band Rebel Montez, torching clubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard in support of her recordings: Strip, The Hard Way, Radio Queen, Wicked Time, 2008 career retrospective Re-Hive, the aforementioned The Deep End, 2011 concert DVD Live Hive, and 2016s The Grown-Up Thing.
"I've come here tonight to set your souls on fire," she'll tell an audience. And she will.
Rebel Montez: Cliff Goodwin, Michael Colbath & Lorne Entress
Cliff Goodwin — Lead Guitar
Cliff Goodwin, a native son of Worcester, MA, came up, as a founding member, with legendary New England rock n' roll gods The American Standard Band, appearing on their self-titled LP. In 1976, he answered the call to become Joe Cocker's lead guitarist, where he stayed until 1988, sharing the stage with Nicky Hopkins and Bobby Keyes; recording Luxury You Can Afford (Asylum), Cocker (Capitol), Live In Central Park (Casablanca), Standing Here, and Live in Montreaux (famously appearing on singles like "Leave Your Hat On" and Grammy-winner "Up Where We Belong"); and cementing his reputation as an musical director par excellence when he assumed that role for Cocker upon joining the band. Along the way, Cliff worked with John Mayall, Steve Miller, and Robert Palmer, appearing on Palmer's Secrets, (and, again famously, on singles "Bad Case Of Loving You" and "Suspicion"), three Billboard Hot 100-charted singles with the New City Rockers, and the million-seller Twisted Christmas with The Bob Rivers Comedy Corporation.
His 2018 solo CD, "Rhythm & Blues Union," was recorded with an all-star cast and features guest performances by Jon Butcher, James Montgomery, Elliott Tuffin, Michael Lynch and Craig Rawding.
Goodwin is profiled in the Sept. 2013 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine. His ongoing tenure as MD and lead guitarist with David Foster & The Mohegan Sun All-Stars has brought him to stages across the country with Delbert McClinton, BB King, and other notables of the blues world. Goodwin's production projects have taken him most recently to Amsterdam, and he continues a career as a sought-after sideman both on-stage and in-studio. Additionally, he consults with the Bose Corporation as Musical Director for Research and Development for the new L-1 Amplification Speaker System and leads the band that demos the system worldwide.>
Goodwin stepped seamlessly into the musical shoes of Eric Fletcher (1954-2006), Rebel Montez's charter member and guitarist, who passed away suddenly in May, 2006, bringing with him, then and now, a wealth of musical knowledge and a rock n' roll sensibility that is soulful, fresh and inspiring.
Michael Colbath — Bass Guitar
Michael started out a jazz freak, and in many ways it's still his first love. But from the time he picked up his first bass to the present, his interest in music has been truly global. Mike got his start working out with R'n'B soul groups in Hartford's North End and continued to cut his teeth on the Hartford scene with the Hibachi Brothers, a World Beat band, while at the same time playing with a succession of jazz combos.
Known as "The Buddah Of The Bass" for his unflappable Zen-trance stage presence, Colbath goes to the well of Duck Dunn, James Jamierson, and John Paul Jones for inspiration. He says, "Playing with Christine allows me to work on music in an original context, which is very gratifyng to me as a musician." Michael brings many influences to his playing style and bass lines and a spark that few can match when he straps on his axe.
Lorne Entress — Drums
Lorne Entress is an American drummer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. While known mainly as a producer and drummer/percussionist, Entress has been described as playing "every instrument under the sun, all with taste and restraint."
Special guest, Mitch Chakour
Mitch Chakour is the real deal in the world of roots rock. He has performed both solo and with such well-known acts as The Joe Cocker Band, the J. Geils Band and more. In addition to being a stellar, heart-wrenching singer, pianist, Hammond B3 organist and guitarist, Mitch brings along precision, professional players such as Cliff Goodwin (an original member of local rock legend Albatross, as well as a member of The American Standard Band, The Joe Cocker Band and Robert Palmer's band); the "Vincent Van Gogh of Sax" Deric Dyer (also a Joe Cocker Band alumnus, as well as Tina Turner’s sax-man for a number of years); legendary bassist Wolf Ginandes; and drummer Marty Richards (formerly of The J. Geils Band and The Joe Perry Project).
Mitch Chakour is a world-renowned musical director, pianist, guitarist and vocalist. He has been performing, recording and producing music for 35 years. He has previously shared the stage with James Brown, B B King, Aerosmith, Muddy Waters and many others. He has also written for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Geoffrey Hudson — Music Director
Judy Johnson — Collaborative Pianist
Quabbin Valley Pro Musica — Chorus
Quabbin Valley Pro Musica will sing a radiant selection of music about spring, birds, love, nymphs, shepherds, and whispering waters, with a few fa-la-las thrown in for good measure. The program centers on Frostiana, Randall Thompson's much loved setting of seven poems by Robert Frost. Frostiana has strong local roots, having been commissioned in celebration of the town of Amherst's bicentennial. Also included on the concert are Antonin Dvorak's gorgeous Songs of Nature, a smattering of Elizabethan madrigals, and two songs by Kurt Weill.
Quabbin Valley Pro Musica
QVPM is the resident chorus of 1794 Meetinghouse. It is led by Music Director Geoff Hudson and is comprised of singers from the North Quabbin and Pioneer Valley regions. The singers are gifted amateurs who perform quality choral music from many genres. QVPM meets on Monday nights at the Central Congregational Church of New Salem, and typically perform concerts in January and June. For more information, please contact Harry Haldt at email@example.com or (978) 249-4691.
A composer as well as conductor, Hudson's compositions have been performed across the US and in Europe. His most recent work, The Quartet Project, is a six-volume collection of graduated string quartets modeled on Béla Bartók’s Mikrokosmos. More than 200 quartets worldwide have performed selections from The Quartet Project. The full collection was published in 2016 accompanied by a CD featuring performances by the Chiara, Parker, Miró, Brooklyn Rider, Jupiter, Borromeo, and Apple Hill quartets. Other recent commissions include an opera for young audiences, The Bug Opera, a concerto for viola and chamber ensemble, First Among Equals, and numerous choral and chamber works. His work as a composer has been supported by grants from the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, the International Music and Art Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, and others.
Hudson is entering his twelfth season as music director of Pioneer Valley Cappella (Northampton) and has directed the chorus at Greenwood Music Camp’s junior division for many summers. A resident of Pelham, Hudson received his undergraduate degrees at Oberlin College, where he studied American history and composition. He earned a Master’s in composition at The New England Conservatory.
Atholl Musicale, QVPM's precursor, was created by Mark Wright in 1988. In 1993 it was renamed Quabbin Valley Pro Musica when it became the resident chorus of the newly formed 1794 Meetinghouse, Inc. Because renovations on the historic Meetinghouse were not yet complete, the first concerts were held in the New Salem's Central Congregational Church. The first Music Director was Gail Ares-Laraba; she had conducted the Atholl Musicale and continued with the early QVPM. Mark Wright (now director of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce) managed the early choir and produced its concerts, and Lynn Boudreau (current Meetinghouse organization President, and still singing with QVPM) sang with that early choir.
Geoff Hudson was Music Director from September 2001 to June 2007. Charles Heffernan took over from September 2007 to June 2017, and Geoff returned to direct the chorus for a second time in September 2017.
Bill Halloran — guitar & vocals
Devin Griffiths — guitar & vocals
Jopey Fitzpatrick — drums
Chris Ball — bass
Richard Chase — vocals & guitar
Melody (Mel) Green — vocals, mandolin, guitar, bass
Betsy (Bets) Heron — vocals, fiddle, banjo
Brianna (Brie) Green — vocals, bass, fiddle, guitar
Rebecca (Beck) Mitus — vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass, fiddle
Endless Blue, The Green Sister's CD, will be out this summer. Come and hear their wonderful music and pick up a copy of the new CD. The recording includes eight originals and one cover, and was recorded in Ashfield, MA. Head on over to their website <thegreensistersfour.com/music/> to hear some of the rough takes or to to buy it online on or after June 2nd. And CDs will be available at this concert!
Sprouting from a small farm in rural Massachusetts, the Green Sisters have had a deep love of music from birth. They've been playing venues in Massachusetts and New Hampshire regularly for three years and have garnered quite the following. It's hard not to smile when treated with their tight harmonies and high energy tunes; they bounce their jovial banter around the stage as only siblings can!
The four gals get together to play as often as they can. They revel in each other's company, and jump easily from bluegrass to barbershop to blues to Celtic to originals of all styles.
Steven Schoenberg — piano
Steven Schoenberg's acclaimed recordings, Pianoworks, Three Days in May, Steven Schoenberg Live, An Improvisational Journey, and the newly released What's Going On?, are available on CD. After a finger injury stopped his piano improvisational concerts in 1986, Schoenberg started performing again in the late 1990's and has appeared at concert halls throughout the United States. His recent film scores include the documentaries Monica and David, for HBO, A Class Apart, for the PBS series American Experience; An Act of Conscience, for Showtime; and Farmingville, which opened the 2005 PBS series POV. Farmingville took home the Special Jury Award from the Sundance Film Festival. Schoenberg has scored numerous Emmy Award-winning films for other PBS series including NOVA and Smithsonian World. With his son, Adam Schoenberg, he also scored the independent thriller, Graceland, which premiered at the Tribeca Film festival, and is now available on NETFLIX. He has composed songs for Sesame Street and scored films for ZOOM and the Children's Television Workshop. He was executive producer and composer for Kid Quest, which garnered two New England Emmy Awards in 2008. Other children's projects include composing music for the award-winning book and CD My Bodyworks, written by his wife Jane Schoenberg.
"Steven Schoenberg's kaleidoscopic piano speaks with a uniquely American voice. His flowing compositions, laced with stride, folk, modern jazz, and impressionistic styles, burst open into full-scale musical dioramas." — Tom Regan, Prairie Public Radio
"Schoenberg's Three Days in May (Quabbin Records) is worth the effort. It's an eloquent, lush, and flowing series of improvisations that are spliced together to form sequential states of mind. He claims that the performances are completely spontaneous, and if that's so, they are within strict melodic and rhythmic frameworks." — DownBeat Magazine
"Schoenberg performs spontaneously improvised works and yet each one has the polish, sophistication, and technical mastery of a complex piece of music." — David Sokol, Music Editor, Advocate Newspapers
"More than a small musical miracle occurred in Amherst College's Buckley Recital Hall last night. Steven Schoenberg held more than 500 people spellbound for 90 minutes with a mix of artistry and understated spirituality. Schoenberg's concert wove together styles as different as classical, popular, and blues into a highly original fabric that is warmly familiar. His versatility and extraordinary musicianship allow him to evoke classical music one minute and the spirit of an off-Broadway passion play the next." — Rob Okun, Daily Hampshire Gazette
"Schoenberg is a bright composer, and his sparkling album Pianoworks is almost 45 minutes of Schoenberg's solo improvisations, most of them from a concert he gave at Amherst College. He's a lyrical player with a gift for delicate interlocking melodies and extended single-note runs high up the keyboard." — Ray Murphy, Boston Globe
"A concert by Steven Schoenberg is like almost nothing else in music. Others can improvise in performance, but very few can improvise over so wide a range of musical forms as those with which Schoenberg is in touch." — John Stiffler, Hampshire Life
Annie Guthrie — guitar & vocals
Doug Morton — bass guitar & vocals
Josh Gordon — guitar & vocals
Betsydawn Williams — guitar & vocals
Marshall Grossman — drums
Jim Muller — guitar & lead vocals
Sharon Horovitch — accoustic bass & harmony vocals
Richard Stillman — banjo & harmony vocals
John Tibert — mandolin & harmony vocals
Lynn Mahoney Rowan
Will Thomas Rowan
John Hanifin — cello
with Pete Nelson
Peter Blanchette — 11-string archguitar
His extraordinary repertoire of internationally acclaimed arrangements and compositions spans from the medieval, renaissance and baroque music to World Music, New Music, and his own original pieces. He performs and records in solo recital or with selected other instrumentalists to form the Virtual Consort. He has been heard on hundreds of recordings, film and television scores, public radio in the US, Canada, Europe and across Asia, on his own 17 archguitar albums for the Dorian label and his own imprint, Archguitar Music.
Performer & Bach Specialist
Since his late teens, Blanchette has been devoted to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He has made archguitar arrangements of hundreds of the Bach's music composed originally for solo violin, solo 'cello, and lute, as well as archguitar duo arrangements of keyboard and orchestral works.
Blanchette is a veteran performer at such high profile venues as NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion", and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has performed in nearly all countries in Western Europe, from Norway to Portugal.
A recipient of the Massachusetts Council Artist Grant in Music Composition, Peter Blanchette is a composer whose music has been featured in films and television for over 20 years. Credits: HBO's "Sex and the City", Cannes Palme D'Or nominated film "Illuminata" (directed by John Turturro), commissions from the Dingle Film Festival and the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts for new scores to three of Buster Keaton's silent masterpieces: "The General", "The Navigator" and "Steamboat Bill, Jr." His albums receive heavy radio airplay on "Sunday Baroque", "The Thistle and Shamrock", and on Spanish television's "Antenna 3".
Blanchette is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, a true avant-garde orchestra comprised of more than a dozen adventurous acoustic and electric guitarists from widely varied traditions. Located in Northampton, Massachusetts, HVGO, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, serves the Pioneer Valley community as it creates new and beautiful music that could only come from such an eclectic melange, inspiring musicians to work together who might otherwise never collaborate. HVGO also partners with Holyoke Summer Strings to bring free, guitar ensemble lessons to Holyoke Massachusetts elementary school children.
"The ornamentation and rhythmic intricacies in the Courante were so creative that they gave the impression that Blanchette was composing the music on the spot. Each phrase was a new delight. He highlighted and danced rhythms that I had never heard before in the music. After a short pause wherein Blanchette joked about how hard the Courante is (the entire concert was performed by memory), he continued with the Sarabande, which left me crying and speechless from its serene beauty." — Kirsten Swanson, CVNC Charlotte Journal, about Blanchette's performance at the Bechtler Museum of Contemporary Arts' Concert Series
Peter Blanchette — Archguitar website
Peter Blanchette — Archguitar Music website
Bach: Suite I for Cello, Prelude BWV1007a from Style Brisé [the Broken Style] on Archguitar.com
Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra in Concert: Glass; Etude No. 9 on YouTube
Eveline MacDougall — fiddle, vocals & accordion
Douglas Reid — guitar, banjo, ukulele & vocals
Lui Collins — vocals & guitar
Anand Nayak — guitar & vocals
This is the Closing Night Concert for our 2018 Summer Season. Please join us for a potluck Bring Your Own reception before the show starting at 6:45pm; we'll have cups and our usual water, seltzer and light snacks, and we invite you to bring wine and/or beer to share.