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Sunday, May 9 at 7 PM: Twos and Threes—
Music by Clara Schumann, Fauré and Piazzolla

In this special Mother's Day presentation, violinist Sarah Briggs, cellist Wayne Smith and pianist Gregory Hayes perform Clara Schumann's 1853 Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22; Fauré's 1923 Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120; and a trio transcription of "Primavera" by Astor Piazzolla (from The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires).

Sarah Briggs teaches at Amherst and Smith colleges, and performs regularly with the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School, and received a MM at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a fellow for two summers at Tanglewood, participated in the Heidelberg Opera Festival, the Bach Aria Festival, and Tafelmusik seminar, and has been coached by members of the Juilliard and Cleveland Quartets.

A highly sought-after chamber musician, cellist Wayne Smith is a member of the Portland Piano Trio, the Harlem Chamber Players, the Wiastaria String Quartet and 1200 Horsehairs, contemporary cello quartet. He is is a frequent performer at Bargemusic and has appeared with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Ritz Chamber Players, the Manhattan Chamber Players the National Chamber Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and the Princeton Chamber Symphony. He is also part of the electronic duo, Arctic Moth.

Gregory Hayes has performed on various keyboard instruments on a regular basis with Arcadia Players and the Vermont and Albany Symphony Orchestras, and has participated often in the New England Bach Festival and on the Mohawk Trail Concerts series. A graduate of Amherst College and the Manhattan School of Music, he is on the piano faculty of Dartmouth College. He is music director emeritus for the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence.

Note: Hannah Berube cancelled due to illness.

About Our Sanctuary

Our sanctuary is a beautiful space, with wonderful acoustics and a Steinway model B, built in 1907 and thoroughly refurbished in 2018. While nothing can equal a live performance, we will broadcast with Sennheiser MKH 40 RF microphones, which are designed to resist humidity, into a Sound Devices MixPre-6.

Sunday, May 30 at 7 PM

Noted jazz singer Ellen Cogen and guitarist John Mason perform favorites of Tuck and Patti, Joe and Ella, and... John and Ellen! Donations will be split 50/50 between the musician and the social justice work of the Unitarian Society, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.

Musical and real-life partners John Mason and Ellen Cogen have been performing together since 2009, when John invited Ellen to sit in with him on a gig. They collaborate in a variety of styles, from classical to jazz and rock, and also enjoy improvisational explorations. They recorded an album of originals and their arrangements of a diverse selection of covers, called “Chord of Longing”. Both are also professors of music, and met as colleagues at Holyoke Community College.

Ellen began her musical life as a classical pianist and cellist, but shifted her focus to vocal music after her senior year at UMass as a music theory major. She earned her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and performed as a classical singer before shifting her focus to jazz. She is also active as a choral and musical theater director.

John earned his degree in music from Middlebury College, and also studied for a while at Berklee, where he later served on the faculty of its summer program. He won first place in the national championship of the Guitarmageddon competition, which honored the country’s best undiscovered guitarist. He has performed throughout the Northeast with a number of groups, including a progressive improvisational rock duo with drummer Gary Rzab, the GB Band One Step ahead, and the internationally touring Back Bay Guitar Trio.

Performance Archive

Sunday, April 25 at 7 PM

The Ephemeral Stringband performs music from several branches of traditional American music including oldtime, early country and bluegrass, and shape note sacred hymns. Molly Merrett (guitar and banjo), Maggie Shar (banjo), Tim Dolan (mandolin, bass and uke) and Mia Friedman (fiddle) combine skillful playing with close harmony singing, creating a sound grounded in the past while contributing to the living tradition.

Praise for their latest album, "Land of Rest"
"[A] great album of New England old-time with delightfully interesting takes on the Appalachian traditions." - KITHFOLK
"[A] tight, restrained collection of true-blue old-time banjo, guitar, and mando-driven country music and shapenote gospel tunes so true, you can hear the front porch swing in the breeze." - OLD TIME HERALD
"The traditional instruments like fiddle and banjo are prominent and the musicianship of them is shown on the instrumentals that are fitted in at the perfect spots in your listening experience. Where so many artists fall short with over production and too much modern fused in to what they consider a “throwback sound”, The Ephemeral Stringband succeeds in keeping their sound 100 % old timey and because of it, this album refreshingly feels more like a lost album from the past than something released today." - ONE STOP COUNTRY

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, April 11 at 7 PM

Join the Amiable Consort, an extraordinary women's a cappella quartet for a program entitled “Plainsong to Polyphony: Vocal music from the 12th to 17th centuries.“ Using the music of Hildegard von Bingen, Josquin des Prez, Cristobal Morales, Victoria and the ever prolific Anonymous, they delve into the progression of vocal music from one voice, to two and three voices, and on to the wonderful interweaving and interconnected use of four voices. So many musical structures and compositional techniques familiar today were born and developed during these centuries. Join us for a journey through this amazing time of musical innovation.

Justina Golden, mezzo-soprano, has sung, taught, composed and conducted through her Profound Sound Voice Studio in Florence since 1986. Her singing career spans contemporary folk music, Early Music, Celtic, jazz and classical music performances here and abroad. Mary Hubbell, soprano, is a singer and voice faculty member of UMass-Amherst; Whitney Lyman, mezzo-soprano, is an early childhood educator who runs a Reggio Emilia-inspired home child care in Amherst; and Nina Wurgaft, mezzo-soprano, is a clinical psychologist and yoga instructor from Tel Aviv, Israel who practices in Amherst.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Mar. 14 at 7 PM

Massachusetts-based newgrass band Mamma's Marmalade transforms the typical bluegrass experience. Since their formation in 2014, the string band has been fusing diverse musical backgrounds into a sound that bursts at the seams with energy, exuding a pure joy for creating music. Offering a fresh narrative to traditional acoustic music, Mamma’s Marmalade's original songs provide a window to the future of bluegrass. Members Lily Sexton (fiddle), Mitch Bordage (mandolin) and Sean Davis (guitar) stray from the conventional formula with daring tenacity and adventurous craft. Their latest album, “Rabbit Analog” will be released in June.

Proceeds were split between the performers and the social justice programs of the Unitarian Society of Northampton, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Feb. 14 at 4 PM

Archguitar pioneer Peter Blanchette played selections of arrangements of music by JS Bach and other composers, from Baroque to modern, in this Valentine's Day benefit for the social justice fund of the Unitarian Societyof Northampton.

Pierre Attaingnant (1494-1552): Basse Danse, La Roque • Sylvius Leopold Weiss: (1687-1750): Entrée / Gavottes I&II / Saltarello
Johann Sebastian Bach: (1685-1750): Partita No. 1 for violin solo BWV 1002 • Peter O'Dornin (1704-1796) & Sean O'Riardon (1931-1971): Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)

NOTE: Blanchette's full performance will be available for a limited time.

The livestream also featured the premiere of a brief Valentine's Day set from the Smith College Smithereens, prerecorded outdoors and in masks.

“Being a classical violist, I am very familiar with the Bach cello suites, having played and heard them countless times. I don't think I have heard the Courante, Sarabande, and the two Gavottes from the Sixth Suite played any better. 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.” —“Recital Review: The Divine Peter Blanchette,” by Kirsten Swanson

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Jan. 31 at 5 PM

Alice Robbins and Jane Hershey of the Arcadia Viols joins organist Gregory Hayes in this benefit concert for Arcadia Players featuring music for treble and bass viols and organ by Baroque composers Henry Lawes (1596-1662), Christopher Simpson (?-1669), Andrea Falconieri (1586-1656), Johann Erasmus Kindermann (1616-1655), John Ward (1571-1638), and Matthew Locke (1622-1677); and organ pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706), and Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722).

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, January 17 at 4 PM

Moonlight Davis and Morning Star Chenven perform a concert celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. Proceeds will be split between the performers and the social justice programs of the Unitarian Society of Northampton, for now focused primarily on our immigration and sanctuary work.

Moonlight and Morning Star are a multicultural vocal duo known for their original songs and spoken word collaborations. They perform songs of many genres: gospel, r&b, jazz, folk and blues; a collection of music reflecting the times and their lives. They are happy to have shared the stage with wonderful musicians such as: son, Miro Sprague; Charles Neville; Samirah Evans; Derrik Jordan, Billy Preston. Their performances have taken them up and down the East Coast, into the Bay area and Canada; and they have released 2 CDs, “Thank You To Life” and “Fantasy.”

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Dec. 13 at 4 PM

The Bob Sparkman Trio , with clarinetist Bob Sparkman, pianist Jerry Noble and bassist Kara Noble, bring their light-hearted traditional jazz improvisations in support of the Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund of the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The Toy Fund provides certificates redeemable at participating local retailers to eligible families who can use them to buy holiday gifts at participating stores

“[Sparkman's sound is] wry and rough-toned... hover[ing] midway between Pee Wee Russell’s tortured notes and the straightpositive phrases of Rod Cless... [yet with a] style and manner... distinctly his own.”—The New York Times

View Concert Program

PAST PERFORMANCE: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 PM

Celebrate the power of singing with the creators of Rise Up Singing. An evening of rejuvenation, inspiration and healing through song. For this special event, donations will be split between the artists and the Movement Voter Project.

Annie Patterson has a rare voice that spreads hope, stirs your soul and makes you glad to be working together for a better world. She is a singer songwriter, old timey banjo player as well as jazz vocalist with the swing trio, Girls from Mars. Her long-time partner, Peter Blood, accompanies her on fiddle & guitar. Together, Annie & Peter have played a central role in helping create a quiet revolution of group singing in North America. A new documentary film, We Began to Sing, follows their musical journey as well as the work of friend and mentor Pete Seeger in creating peace and social justice through communal singing. https://www.riseupandsing.org
“Annie Patterson is one of the true lights in my universe. Her expressive voice and sparkling presence makes every song she touches come alive. Her musicality and her commitment to sharing the magic and the power of song makes her the real deal. I’m a big fan.” 

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4 PM

StompBoxTrio is a Western MA-based band that blends classic 20th-century American music with 21st-century mojo to create a sonic, soulful, and hip-shakin' sound all their own. They came together and found a collective feel, mutual love & admiration for American roots and blues music. Its history & tradition was something they wanted to share together. No matter the outcome of this historic election, StompBoxTrio will always send their positive sounds, vibes, and love into the universe.

Featuring Evelyn Harris, vocals & percussion; John Cabán, dobro, vocals & stompbox; and David Rodriguez, wood bass, vocals & foot tambourine.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4 PM

Heather Reichgott and Gregory Hayes: Together...but Apart, a concert of works for piano four hands dedicated to the memory of Nadine Shank, a superb musician and beloved colleague.

Featuring Waltzes, op. 39 (1865), Johannes Brahms; Sonata in D major, K. 448 (1781), W.A Mozart; and Petite Suite (1886-1889), Claude Debussy.

View Concert Program and Notes

PAST PERFORMANCE: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 PM

Internationally-acclaimed performer Reggie Harris performed a joyous concert of songs and stories celebrating unity and social justice.

A man who brings stories and music and justice to a world that needs to hear it in every form.
— ARNIE ARNESEN, HOST OF “THE ATTITUDE” RADIO SHOW

This was more than a concert! This event provided both an anchor and an inspiration . . . I don't know if Bass Hall has ever heard such gorgeous and invigorating harmonies. Thank you for bringing Reggie.
— GORDON PEERY, MONADNOCK CENTER FOR HISTORY AND CULTURE, PETERBOROUGH, NH

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, Sept. 20 at 4 PM

Soprano Christien Beeuwkes joined pianist Dana Maiben in a song recital including works by Franz Schubert, and W.A, Mozart, along with Vincent Persichetti’s settings of four Emily Dickinson poems, and the online premiere of a new set of songs by Maiben, “Love Is Not All—Six Poems of Edna Saint Vincent Millay.”
Here is the recording of the live stream:

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, August 23 at 4 PM

On August 23, the Society’s incoming Music Director, pianist Lemuel Gurtowsky, performed with the talented young mezzo-soprano Natalie Lewis, a rising senior at UMass Amherst, in a recital of art songs, opera arias, spirituals and jazz.

View Concert Program

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, August 9 at 4 PM

On August 9, Monica Jakuc Leverett, (www.monicajakucleverett.com), internationally distinguished pianist and Smith College Professor Emerita of Music, performed A Program of Pieces in the Pandemic, music for solo piano and toy piano, with works by J.S. Bach, John Cage, Kaeza Fearn, and Franz Schubert:

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, July 26 at 4 PM

On July 26, the Bob Sparkman Trio inaugurated the series, with veteran jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, pianist Clifton “Jerry” Noble, Jr, and electric bassist Kara Noble in a freewheeling improvisatory journey through traditional jazz and the American Songbook.

View Concert Program

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