Chamber Music Festival adapts to current times
The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival is returning this week with a different format for its 19th year.
Founded in 2002 by David Yang, director of chamber music at the University of Pennsylvania, and Newburyport resident Jane Niebling, this August series of classical chamber music events fosters an interactive partnership between residents and visiting artists with international reputations. Using the city’s unique architectural spaces as backdrops, the annual festival has become a highlight for many.
“Despite general weirdness everywhere, we’re determined to make NCMF 2020 joyful with many festival-related events — some live, some virtual,” said Yang, the festival’s artistic director. “From the start, this festival has been about live music rooted deep in the community. This is not only taking matters to the next level, but is also a way to give something back to this most special of special towns.”
Starting this Wednesday, Aug. 5, Yang will release recorded “Conversations” and shorter “Artist Picks,” where past festival artists provide a surprise YouTube link with a short introduction. An email will be sent at 5 p.m. each evening with a free link to a new video, which will also be available to watch on the festival’s YouTube channel. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
Musicians featured in the videos include past festival favorites such as clarinetist Todd Palmer, pianist Clare Hammond, baroque violinist Cynthia Roberts, guitarist Daniel Lippel, violinist Nurit Pacht, sitarist Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury, cellist Eliana Razzino Yang and marimba player Makoto Nakura, as well as Yang, who plays the viola.
In between, music lovers can also visit newburyportchambermusic.org for recorded conversations with some of the artists who were scheduled to perform this year but won’t be able to make it.
Live music will make appearances from Friday, Aug. 14, through Sunday, Aug. 16, when the festival will present “Quartet Caroling,” featuring musicians strolling around various Newburyport neighborhoods and stopping for a few minutes here and there to play a few bars or perhaps a string quartet movement.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, there will be a livestream concert at 7:30 p.m. to benefit the Anna Jaques Hospital emergency room and Gerrish Family Fast Track Service. The program, which will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, will include music of Handel/Halvorsen, Bach, Barber’s famous “Adagio for Strings” and a Mozart quintet.
“The concert is a fundraiser for the good doctors, nurses, and staff at Anna Jaques Hospital, who give so much and, these days, put themselves on the line every time they suit up for work,” Yang said.
For more information, visit newburyportchambermusic.org or call 978-701-4914.
Live music returns to Amesbury’s Millyard
Every Thursday night in August, live bands will play in the Al Capp Ampitheater at Amesbury’s Millyard from 6 to 8 p.m.
Presented by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce with members Jay and Laurie Knapp and Zach Field Drums & Music, the free concerts will kick off this Thursday, Aug. 6, with Bonus Cat. The Merrimack Valley-based band has an expansive, decade-transcending catalog, ranging from classic songs to modern hits, all with a unique twist.
The amphitheater will be marked so that guests can enjoy the show while still maintaining an appropriate 6-foot distance from each other.
For more information, visit amesburychamber.com.
Beverly artist part of Black Music Matters Festival
Renowned Beverly soul singer Barrence Whitfield is one of the featured artists in the Black Music Matters Festival, being presented virtually by Country Standard Time this week.
Whitfield will perform Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. To watch, visit facebook.com/countryst.
“To be part of this project is to continue the roots of playing country music and Black music — in that both styles tell the stories of love, heartbreak, substance abuses and triumph,” Whitfield said. “And in the hope that Black musicians can be recognized like Stoney Edwards and O. B. McClinton in the history of this music form.”
Festival attendees are asked to make donations to the Equal Justice Initiative, the Bryan Stevenson social justice group featured in the book and movie “Just Mercy.” Based in Montgomery, Alabama, EJI “is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
Newburyport gallery presents second show
The new Pleasant Street Gallery is currently displaying its second exhibit of art, up through August at Vintage Chic Anew and Commune Café at 31R Pleasant St., Newburyport.
Twenty-six local award-winning painters, photographers, pastelists and printmakers have come together to show and sell their work in partnership with Kimberley Wilson, owner of Vintage Chic Anew, and Bruce Vogel, owner of Commune.
The artists have also created a virtual gallery on social media at facebook.com/PleasantStreetGallery and instagram.com/pleasantstreetgallery.
Whittier Home presents online offerings
Although the Whittier Home & Museum in Amesbury remains closed due to the pandemic, it can still be toured virtually. A 35-minute video, available at youtu.be/PbDzN7jmL8Q, teaches viewers about John Greenleaf Whittier, his deep-seated Quaker beliefs of nonviolence and his anti-racist works prior to and during the Civil War.
The annual poetry reading “Tapestry of Voices” will move to Zoom for its 22nd year, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is dedicated to the memory of John Lewis and the Black Lives Matter movement.
All of the poems being presented will be Whittier’s works, written for the abolitionist movement from the 1830s through the Civil War. Readers include the co-founders of “Tapestry of Voices,” Lainie Senechal, Amesbury’s first poet laureate, and Harris Gardner, poet and poetry editor of Ibbetson Street Press, along with Rhina Espaillat, Alfred Nicol, current Poet Laureate Ellie O’Leary and her predecessor Stephen Wagner. The student winners of the “Gathering of Verses” poetry contest, sponsored by the Whittier Home in collaboration with the Amesbury Cultural Council, will also read.
To make a reservation for the event, send a request in email to email@example.com. The event will also be recorded and be available at a later date on YouTube.
Connecting with ‘Song of the Fisher’s Wife’
Cape Ann Museum has launched an online series called “Cape Ann Connects” that explores music in the region and “how this universal and timeless art form is deeply ingrained in every corner of our community.”
The series boasts the talents of museum docents in one virtual program, with pianist Frances Fitch playing “Song of the Fisher’s Wife” while Sarah Wetzel sings along.
“‘Song of the Fisher’s Wife’ was a sentimental composition, a genre popular with American audiences during the years Fitz Henry Lane was most intimately involved in lithography,” according to a press release.
The music was composed by Boston’s George O. Farmer (1809-1875), and the work was dedicated to Phebe L. Lithgow (1826-1911).
The Cape Ann Museum collection includes the sheet music for this song, which features a lithograph drawn by Lane. The illustration depicts a young woman looking out to sea, waiting for her loved one to return. The composition includes objects related to life at sea, including nets, gaff hooks and oars, among other illustrated maritime vignettes.
To see the series, go to capeannmuseum.org.
Authors to discuss books in virtual events
Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill is presenting the Summer 2020 Author Mini-Series in August. The two-part event, held virtually via Zoom, features best-selling authors Larry Tye and Colum McCann.
Tye will discuss his most recent book, “Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy,” on Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 4 p.m. The biography details the life of one of the most reviled figures in U.S. history. Register for the talk, co-sponsored by Temple Emanuel of Andover, at https://tinyurl.com/LarryTye.
McCann will talk about his newest novel, “Apeirogon,” on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The book weaves together fiction and nonfiction to tell the stories of Rami Elhanan and Bassam Aramin, who lost their daughters, Smadar and Abir, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Register at https://bit.ly/TEColumMcCann.
Revisit the past to help the future
The show will go on online for “Walk Back in Time,” the annual fundraising concert for the Music for Music Foundation.
The Reunion Band and John “Shorty” Hill of The Shadows will perform live on Facebook on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.
The foundation is in its 10th year of raising money for music programs in Newburyport schools. It has helped fund a part-time music teacher at the middle school and paid for lessons for fifth-grade students, equipment at the high and middle schools, and the jazz class at the high school. It also awards scholarships annually to seniors at Newburyport High and Triton Regional High schools.
To make a donation, visit facebook.com/donate/2573662342885324. For more information, see the event page at facebook.com/events/1224559617889555.
Take in live music from your car
A new series of concerts, drive-in style, has kicked off at the Manchester Athletic Club, 8 Atwater Ave., Manchester-by-the-Sea.
GimmeLIVE’s MAC Drive-In Summer Concert Series features performers on a big stage in the back parking lot, surrounded by trees and rock cliffs. Attendees can bring lawn chairs to set up next to their vehicles, as well as their own prepared food to enjoy. No alcohol is allowed.
The upcoming lineup includes The Fools on Saturday, Aug. 8; the James Montgomery Band on Sunday, Aug. 9; Megan Wolf Presents Amy Winehouse on Saturday, Aug. 15; Popa Chubby on Sunday, Aug. 16; and the Paul Nelson Band on Friday, Aug. 21.
All shows start at 6 p.m., with gates opening at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $75 per car, with a limit of six people allowed per vehicle.
For reservations or more information, visit gimmelive.com.
Stage 284 launches Virtual Cabaret Series
Stage 284, the theater program at The Community House in Hamilton, has launched a new Virtual Cabaret Series with two upcoming online shows: Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.
Hosted by artistic director Katie Clarke and Stage 284 performer Cai Radleigh, the series celebrates a decade-plus of local musical theater showcasing crowd favorites from Stage 284’s most popular productions.
Registration or tickets are not required, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 per household. All proceeds benefit Stage 284’s Scholarship Fund.
For more information, visit stage284.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To check out the debut show from July 16, visit facebook.com/Stage284/videos.
Artists open studios for mini tours
The Cape Ann Artisans are hosting a Summer Mini-Tour on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seven artists will open their studios in Gloucester and Rockport following COVID-19 best practices, using outdoor spaces to safely welcome visitors. Participants include ceramic artists David Archibald, Cynthia Curtis, and Erin O’Sullivan and Scott Place of Twin Lights Studios, along with painter Jillian Demeri, sea glass jeweler Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, glass artist Beth Williams and Pam Stratton Mosaics.
After a long winter of making new works, they are eager to use their combined indoor and outdoor spaces and gardens for the mini tour. For example, Curtis will open up an entire end of her gallery to the outside by using a newly installed garage door.
Artists are taking appointments for visitors who want to reserve a specific time. All guests are asked to wear face coverings, use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.
For more information, including a map of locations, visit capeannartisans.com.
Game show fun at ‘Balderdash Academy’
Newburyport High School’s facade serves as the inspiration for Balderdash Academy, a fictional private boarding school that is the setting for a new online comedy panel game show.
Originally conceived by co-founders Bob LeBlanc of Newburyport and Steve Corning of Maine as a live variety show, “Balderdash Academy” was adapted to an online format in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
New episodes are posted regularly on YouTube and feature a mix of interview, chat, improv and game show with an emphasis on lighthearted comedy. The storyline follows faculty members as they talk to guests and compete for the coveted Balderdash Academy Reigning Champion banner.
To check out the show and for more information, visit balderdashacademy.com.
Rockport Art Association opens its doors
The Rockport Art Association & Museum, at 12 Main St. in downtown Rockport, has reopened and is featuring a number of new exhibits.
On display now are “Collector’s Corner Exhibition II,” through Sept. 6; “Collectable,” a show of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of Women Artists, through Sept. 7; a sneak peek of the annual art auction, through Aug. 9; and a solo show by Lynda Goldberg, through Aug. 20.
The museum’s current hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors need to wear masks, and there is a rigorous schedule for daily cleaning. For those not comfortable attending shows in person, all major exhibits will also be available for online viewing and sales through the website at rockportartassn.org.
Take in Shalin Liu concerts in your living room
A new virtual music series is now being presented weekly by Rockport Music.
“Concert Window” features performances from the Shalin Liu Performance Center stage, with a couple of special performances from artists in other locations.
The concerts will all be held on Fridays at 7 p.m. The upcoming schedule is as follows:
Aug. 7: Stephen Prutsman, piano (from his home)
Aug. 14: Rum Runners String Band
Aug. 21: Mari Martin & the Lucky Boys
Aug. 28: David Finckel, cello, and Wu Han, piano
The series is free to view, shared via rockportmusic.org, Facebook and YouTube.
Pentucket students featured in virtual art show
The Pentucket Regional Middle and High School Art Festival is now available to view online.
The virtual exhibit features more than 280 pieces created by students in grades seven through 12 and includes paintings, digital art, photography and sculptures.
The projects are grouped by each grade’s art class and can be explored through guided or self-guided tours at artsteps.com/view/5ecfa4ec119e17560ad5c1c6/3.
Additionally, the Virtual Senior Art Exhibit is also available to view online, either as a slideshow at sites.google.com/prsd.org/prhsvisualarts/home or via YouTube at youtube.com/watch?v=KWpXZQRAQVc.
Seniors designed their own exhibits and chose meaningful pieces from art classes taken throughout their time at Pentucket Regional High School to display. Artists include Groveland residents Lydia Baldini, Samantha Bellville, Nathan Conway, Brooke Daniels, Molly Forget, Katherine Rosa and Mikayla Tilden; West Newbury residents Alexa Berkley and Madeline Conover; Merrimac residents Samuel Bissitt, Sasha Davis, Kayla King and Maggie Peterson; and Haverhill resident Grace McIntyre.
41st annual Garden Tour blooms online
In lieu of its traditional garden tour held each summer, the Museum of Old Newbury is putting together virtual tours featuring four local gardens.
Each segment features a combination of video and photographs of the gardens in peak bloom, with narration by Bill Hallett and images by Bob Watts and Dan Fionte.
The first installment, available now, spotlights a lush garden in Rowley with a particular appreciation for composting. Two segments highlight backyard retreats, one available now and one premiering on Aug. 15. A final installment on Sept. 15 will take the viewer from garden to table.
The free presentations will be available through newburyhistory.org, as well as on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Popular car show motors on in a new format
The Misselwood Concours d’Elegance is back this year with a new look — or several new looks.
While the main event, typically presented each July on the grounds of Endicott College in Beverly, was canceled due to COVID-19 public health concerns, alternative live and virtual events were planned instead.
The Misselwood Concours Virtual Show, judging cars in 12 classes, wrapped up Sunday, July 26; check it out at facebook.com/MisselwoodConcours.
For those wanting to see the cars in person, the new Misselwood Rally Series will continue on Saturdays, Aug. 22 and Sept. 19. It is open to any pre-1990 classic car or motorcycle, with registration required and space limited to 60 vehicles. The 60-mile routes will be different for each part of the series.
“This is something we’ll plan on doing each summer from now on,” said Darren Stewart, chairman of the Misselwood Concours d’Elegance. “Not only are we able to involve more car owners, but the Endicott students will be on campus for the final tour in the series as we finish by driving through main campus.”
All money raised from events will support the Endicott College Concours Scholarship, which assists current students and has raised close to $200,000 in the last 10 years.
The familiar in-person gathering will return next summer, scheduled for July 16-18, 2021.
For more information, visit misselwoodconcours.com.
Explore the Peabody Essex Museum
The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem now features a range of digital content at its website that allows visitors to explore its collection remotely.
Podcasts discuss recent exhibits and museum history, while stories reflect on the value and impact of art. There are also suggestions for crafts and activities for the whole family.
Clicking on the “Explore Art” button at pem.org allows viewers to examine highlights from several periods and categories in the museum’s international collection, while postings of art and objects at facebook.com/peabodyessexmuseum respond to each day at hand.
The museum has reopened to the public and is open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at pem.org or 978-542-1511.
Check in on an osprey family
Essex County Greenbelt Association’s osprey pair, Annie and Squam, have once again returned to their nest on the salt marsh near Lobsta Land Restaurant in Gloucester and have produced three chicks this season.
Greenbelt’s live-streaming osprey cam is trained on the nest where the pair has been present since 2017. Annie and Squam, as they were named last year, laid eggs for the first time in 2019, fledging one chick named River. The pair has been attracting renewed attention since returning to the nest in early April.
Already in 2020, 25-30 dedicated volunteer citizen scientists have been busy, rain or shine, watching close to 50 nesting pairs and have submitted over 400 online nesting activity reports.
To watch the live osprey cam and view a virtual history of Greenbelt’s Osprey Program, visit https://ecga.org/Osprey-Program. To report osprey activity or learn more about the program, contact Rimmer at email@example.com or 978-768-7241, ext. 14.
Music Man keeps entertaining children
Wenham musician Brian Doser performs children’s music live on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m.
Doser, better known as The Music Man, normally performs a drop-in music program for children three days a week at The Community House in Hamilton.
He is joined by his daughter Hannah, who sings and plays various instruments, for the 45-minute segments.
Doser has also been offering shows geared toward adults on weekends, featuring popular cover songs and some original tunes.
To check out his shows, visit facebook.com/briandosermusic.
Keep up with Maritime Gloucester
Maritime Gloucester is now offering weekly virtual features, including Maritime Mondays, Throwback Thursdays and Front Line Fridays.
Mondays will feature a look at the collections and what’s happening on the waterfront and harbor. Thursdays will celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary with memories from the past two decades. And Fridays will honor Maritime Gloucester members who are working on the front lines during the pandemic, from nurses and doctors to police and firefighters to teachers and delivery people.
To view the features and for more information, visit maritimegloucester.org, where you can also check out live webcam views of the railway and harbor.
A wealth of American art to discover at the Addison
The Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover is said to have one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world, including more than 23,000 objects spanning the 18th century to the present.
All of those items can now be viewed at the museum’s website by searching for particular works, artists, themes or periods. There are suggestions at the website for art-related projects and activities that families can do together and a link to virtual tours of 10 great museums around the world.
In addition, the exhibits currently on display at the Addison can be viewed in a virtual tour on the website, where visitors can also watch interviews with museum staff.
Check it out at addison.andover.edu.
Virtual crafting at Haverhill library
The Haverhill Public Library is holding a virtual crafting hour through Zoom on Fridays at 2 p.m. The meetings let crafters working on projects at home connect with others and draw inspiration from their work.
To receive the Zoom invite to access the sessions, visit haverhillpl.org, or contact Brendan Kieran at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Bringing the Beverly library home
Beverly Public Library is continuing to connect with the community through social media.
Offerings include Facebook Live sessions of “Tea Time Children’s Classics,” featuring readings of chapters from classic children’s literature, on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. and “Musical Mondays,” with rhymes, songs and special guests, on Mondays at 10 a.m.
The library has also been using Zoom to host various book and film discussion groups. To check out the events, visit facebook.com/beverlypubliclibrary or beverlypubliclibrary.org.
If you have an event to add to this roundup, please email the details to Sonya Vartabedian, managing editor of features, at email@example.com.