All You Need Is … Music!

  • Visit North Central

Country or classic rock. Sonatas or Sousa marches. Blues or big-band sounds. When you’re in the mood for music, we’ve got you covered.

Communities throughout North Central Massachusetts are filled with the sound of music yearround— and whether you’d like to relax with a cold ale at a brew yard, enjoy picnic on a town common, or head indoors to enjoy great acoustics, musical adventures await you here.

World Class

groton-hill-music-centerPerformances From a brand-new concert hall to the nave of a historic church, the settings are as varied as the sounds you’ll enjoy throughout the region.

The new Groton Hill Music Center opened in the fall of 2022, ushering in an exciting era of music and education to the region. The 126,000 squarefoot music venue, complete with a 1,000-seat concert hall, 300-seat performance hall, teaching spaces and more, continues to welcome internationally-known performers to its 110-acre campus.

Groton Hill was founded in 1985 as a community resource, and the opening of the new Center opened the doors for even greater artistic diversity here.

Concerts at the Groton Hill Music Center this spring feature international superstar violinist Midori, The Borromeo String Quartet, Grammynominated pianist John Novacek, and, of course, the Center’s own Vista Philharmonic Orchestra! For a less formal experience, check out the Center’s Jam Nights, and join in the Irish, Jazz, and Bluegrass fun. Scheduled performances are listed in the Calendar section of this Guide. For more information about the Center and to purchase tickets, visit

For a more intimate experience, consider the Winchendon Winds concert series, hosted by the historic Unitarian Universalist Church on Winchendon’s Central Street. In its 10th season this summer, the 40-piece Winchendon Winds professional ensemble will present a five-concert series featuring a variety of classical and popular band selections. While the 1866 church is the traditional home to the concert series, one of this summer’s performances will take place in the amphitheater at the town’s new Community Park on Ingleside Road. You can stay up to date with the Winds’ events on Facebook. Admission to the concerts is free (donations are accepted). And if you need a snack, the intermission features a refreshment stand complete with home-baked goodies!

The world-class flavor of the local music scene continues in Winchendon with the Winchendon Music Festival bringing local, national and international artists to town for concerts featuring classical, folk, jazz and more. Launched in 2016, this Festival has presented solo, chamber and chamber-orchestra programs at a variety of venues, from the Beals Memorial Library to the Old Centre Church and the Winchendon History & Cultural Center. For up-to-date details, follow WMF on Facebook.

Think a piano is a piano is a piano? Think again! This popular instrument has changed over the centuries, and the sound of today’s baby grand is a far cry from that of some of its antique cousins. You can hear the difference, and enjoy performances by pianists from around the world, at the spring series of Historic Piano Concerts in Ashburnham. The series of concerts performed on instruments from the Frederick Collection of Historic Pianos runs on Sunday afternoons, from April 21 through May 26 at the New Dawn Arts Center on Main Street, Ashburnham. The concerts are listed in the calendar section of this Guide. Visit to learn more about this unique musical opportunity.

Sips and Sounds

Music may soothe your soul, but sometimes, you need to bolster the body, too. So why not do both, with a visit to a local brewery, winery or restaurant?

Music and refreshment go together, and we’ve got some hot spots to check out. The Brew Yard at Wachusett Brewing in Westminster, Brew Barn at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, Thirsty Robot Brewing in Fitchburg, and Moon Hill Brewing in downtown Gardner will satisfy your craving for food, drink and song. Whether you’re in the mood for a brisket sandwich, Mediterranean flatbread, or a dinner of Butternut Squash Ravioli— with a locally-brewed beer, of course—you’ll find it here, along with a healthy dash of live entertainment.

The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley has been serving hungry and thirsty travelers since 1740, and dishes up a jam-packed concert schedule, too.

Take a relaxing weekend ride in the countryside to the Hardwick Winery, where you can enjoy live music while sampling their collection of 21 award-winning wines!

Out in the Open

Band concerts have been a staple of local life for generations, and you can find a community concert just about any day of the week here in Johnny Appleseed Country!

The Leominster Colonial Band and Townsend Military Band are among the long-timers here, but there’s no shortage of community invitations to stretch out on a blanket, set up a lawn chair, even do a little al fresco dancing to the strains of country, rock, blues, and even Dixieland sounds. The music goes on and on almost every day of the week! Sunday afternoons in Templeton. Tuesdays in Leominster. Wednesday evenings in downtown Fitchburg. Fridays in Winchendon and Westminster. Saturdays in Gardner. The concert listing in our Calendar section will guide you to one of these great New England traditions.

Get ready to tap your toes—and maybe even sing along with your faves—as you enjoy the sounds of North Central Massachusetts!