The Sound of Music
- David Ginisi
Centuries-old pianos. Talented sopranos. Professional orchestras. If you love music, you’re going to love a visit to North Central Massachusetts this year. Of course, these are concerts featuring a variety of local and reginal musicians in nearly every community throughout the spring and summer. Bandstands and parks provide a setting for performances around the area nearly every day or evening.
Fitchburg’s Upper Common and Coggshall Park. Leominster’s Carter Park. Towns common in nearly every community are filled with the sound of music all season long. Bluegrass music, Beatles tunes, New Orleans jazz – whatever your taste, you’re likely to find a performance here.
But Wait! There’s more!
Those weekly open-air concerts, though are just the tip of the musical iceberg here. For more than three decades, Ashburnham has been home to a series of concerts featuring pianos from the Frederick Historic Piano Collection. Musicians from around the world travel to this quiet town to perform classical music on pianos that would have been used at the time the music was written – often presenting a very different sound from modern instruments. This spring – from April 28 to June 2 – there are six concerts in the series. All performances are on Sunday afternoons at the Ashburnham Community Church on Route 12. To sweeten the sound, tickets for adults are only $15; students and children are admitted free to these unique concerts.
Another of the region’s small towns, Winchendon, plays host this summer to a series of three performances by a 40-piece professional concert band. The concerts by Winchendon Winds are presented in the Unitarian Universalist Church at 126 Central Street – a beautiful stone structure set in the heart of the community’s downtown district. The series runs on three consecutive Sundays – June 30, July 7, and July 14 – and features classical, popular and patriotic selections. In keeping with the small-town flavor, refreshments will be available on the church’s shady front lawn.
June is Bustin’ Out with Music:Also on tap for the season is the annual Winchendon Music Festival, held on two weekends in June. The festival is at the historic Old Centre Church in Winchendon, a classic white steepled building in a beautiful bucolic setting. The festival brings international artists to town for these free public concerts. The season schedule has not been established at press time for this issue of The Guide, but can be found on the festival’s Facebook page. Also in June, Leominster celebrates Starburst, featuring the Leominster All City Band and All City Chorus, high school jazz band, Starburst Concert Band, and more. This annual community celebration is capped off with – what else? – A fabulous fireworks display! Love music? You’ve picked the perfect time to be in Johnny Appleseed Country!