I recently created a new tag line for the Meetinghouse, a phrase that reflects much of my feelings about the hall:
A Beautiful Historic Hall with Wonderful Acoustics
It is a beautiful hall! And the acoustics are marvelous! It is such a wonderful place for concerts and theatre events, and I'm proud to be part of the organization and staff. Our programming goal is to produce concerts and theatre in our brief summer season, concerts covering a diverse range of genre from classical to folk with jazz, rock, pop and more in between. We like to introduce new performers to the hall and the region, and to bring back old friends. And, particularly now that my third season has started, I love to see the community that forms around this place, the returning and now familiar concert goers and the occasional tail-gate picnic dinner before a concert.
And it is a hall with a long history, both as seen through its life as a meetinghouse and church from 1794 through 1984 and as seen through its modern life as a center for the performing arts. Much love and work went into that transformation. Our goal is to put the hall, to put that love and work of renovation, to the best use we can while also maintaining the building itself. And as mentioned on our home-page, more work is needed now, and more funding needed to pay for that work. Although we have and continue to search for grants, such support has been hard to find in this round of renovation work, and we hope you can help us raise an additional $40,000 for the next round of repairs and renovations.
And the best way there is to support the Meetinghouse is to participate by coming to our concerts and threatre productions. Please come! Bring a friend! We guarentee a good show in a wonderul hall.
New Salem, Massachusetts. Jo Ellen Boskind has devoted her professional career as a clinical social worker to promoting the quality of connection in the lives of North Quabbin residents. While Director of Social Services at Athol Memorial Hospital in the 80's she initiated support groups for Cancer survivors and their families and Alzheimer Caregivers. In the last 26 years, she has been in private practice in Athol, she has helped many individuals and couples to achieve mastery over their challenges and experience more fulfilling relationships. A devoted meditator, she has in addition been teaching introductory courses in Meditation over the last 8 years. Her membership on the board of the 1794 Meetinghouse has enabled her to participate in the development of community connections through the provision of extraordinary performing arts. A resident of New Salem, she is grateful for the many outdoor activities she is able to indulge in including gardening, hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross country skiing. She is also grateful to her two kittens Amma & Mukti and for her horse Honey who died 2 years ago at the age of 39 for reminding her always of her place in the world.
Orange, Massachusetts. Lynn has been a board member since 2009, and assumed the office of President in 2016. Lynn was a member (and former manager) of Quabbin Valley Pro Musica since before it became part of the 1794 Meetinghouse. She has sung in the North Quabbin and Pioneer Valley area for most of her life, with the Greenfield Chamber Singers in the 1980s, Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Pioneer Valley Capella of Northampton and Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s women’s a cappella group, Clinical Notes, and has been a featured soloist locally. She is honored to have been part of the recording of Carolyn Brown Senier’s compositions in the Mattawa Song Cycle. Lynn is a retired medical transcriptionist, and now spends much of the day tending her vegetable and flower gardens and creating jewelry. She is a long-time resident of Orange where she lives with her partner, Brian Mallet, and has two children and four grandchildren, who keep her more than busy.
Athol, Massachusetts. Born and raised in Athol and worked in Athol and Orange. Married with two adult children. Enjoys reading, listening to and playing music. Have been a trumpet player in local community bands since 1981. Fortunate to have been given an opportunity to learn music as a child which has turned into a life-long interest.
"And when he feels the world is closing in
He turns his stereo way up high." - Ray Davies
Orange, Massachusetts. Peter has lived in Orange since 1979 and joined the board in 2012. He worked as a psychologist at Templeton Developmental Center for 33 years, retiring in 2011. Peter has been a member of the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School Committee since 1984. His wife Candy retired in 2015 from the children's librarian position at the Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange, and their grown children are Emily (and Shahid) and Eben (and Meridith), who live in Heath and Melrose, respectively, with their families, including two lovely granddaughters - Josephine and Aurelia. All of the Crosses enthusiastically support the rich cultural resource which is the Meetinghouse!
New Salem, Massachusetts.
New Salem, Massachusetts. Jan has lived on Eagleville Pond in New Salem since 1975. She is a graduate of UMass Amherst and has worked in the field of human services for over 40 years, serving individuals with disabilities and their families. She is actively involved at the Athol Congregational Church, primarily as a youth leader and also serves as an advocate through North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy. She has three children and six grandchildren with number seven on the way! Jan has been an avid fan of the 1794 Meetinghouse since its early days and is delighted to be able to contribute as a board member.
New Salem, Massachusetts. Adam moved to the North Quabbin in 2008, equally drawn by the region’s cultural and natural offerings. A native of Connecticut, Adam studied violin from an early age, and was a founding member of the Litchfield Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of the cellist David Darling. He now resides in New Salem with his wife and three sons. Adam has been on the board of the Meetinghouse since 2009, and has a particular interest in traditional, classical and early music.
Royalston, Massachusetts. Diane is the owner of Linqsongs Publishing in Royalston, where she resides. She’s been a board member since 2003. She currently chairs the Program Committee and Ads & Sponsorships Committee and is the Artistic Director of the Summer Program. Diane is a guitar-based singer/songwriter (stage name Linq). She has released multiple CDs and music videos, and has received international airplay. She has also been nominated for and received multiple music awards. After graduating from Northeastern University with a pharmacy degree in 1970, Diane joined and eventually took over her family’s independent business in Athol. She sold the pharmacy in 2004 to pursue her passion for music and to bring a community-oriented bookstore to Athol for ten years. She was also on the board of directors of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce for 25 years and is currently a Corporator of the Athol Savings Bank.
New Salem, Massachusetts. Jenn resides in New Salem and has been a member of the 1794 Meetinghouse since 2013. She loves being involved in the community and serves as chairperson of the New Salem Board of Health. She is the Director of Health Services at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield. Jenn is also a fitness instructor at the Athol Area YMCA. She has a loving partner Mike and two children. She owns a mustang(horse) who she adopted from the Bureau of Land Management and plans to adopt another horse soon.
New Salem, Massachusetts.
New Salem, Massachusetts. David has been involved with the 1794 Meetinghouse since it first opened its doors in 1994. He initially became involved in 1992, when efforts began to secure grants for its historic renovation and services upgrade, serving as the chairman of the Building Committee through this very active period. The electrical service was modernized, a fire alarm system installed, the windows were restored, the interior plasterwork preserved and painted, the pews painted and cushioned, new front doors built, the balcony seating removed, lighting fixtures installed, theatrical lighting installed - whew! So much work was accomplished, with the help of so many community volunteers. David also published the mailed quarterly newsletter for several years in that period as well. He took a break from his efforts in 2001, returning as the Treasurer in 2009, a post he has since passed on. He has acted in every play at the Meetinghouse, starting in 1994, and briefly sang with Quabbin Pro Musica. He lives right next door, our closest residential neighbor, and often comes over to reset the fire alarm, let in performers, or lend a ladder or bucket of water.
Athol, Massachusetts. Deb is the Health Agent for the town of Athol. She has lived in Athol for 30 years raising two children who are both very musical. She is active in her community by participating as a Board member on the Athol Hospital Patient Family Advisory Council and for Valuing Our Children. She served many years as a Board member for the Athol/Orange Literacy Volunteers. She is an avid gardener and has always enjoyed attending the varied performances over the years at the 1794 Meetinghouse; a musical gem in the North Quabbin. Deb is a recent member of the Meetinghouse and is serving as the Secretary. Although she does not play an instrument; she cannot sit still when music is playing.
Brad Foster, Executive Director
Dr. Charles Heffernan, Music Conductor, Quabbin Valley Pro Musica
Officers & Board of Directors
Lynn Boudreau, President
Adam Frost, Vice President
Deb Vondal, Secretary
Fred Bulman, Treasurer
Jo Ellen Boskind
David Van Iderstine
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.