Concert series explores musical genres

The …

BLANDFORD – “World-class musicians” are once again gracing the stage at The White Church of Blandford as part of the Blandford Summer Concerts series.

“This is the 24th year that Eve Queler, music director emerita of the Opera Orchestra of New York, has been bringing four rising opera stars to the Bel Canto Opera,” said Pliny “Chips” Norcross, president of the Blandford Historical Society. The concert series is sponsored by the Blandford Historical Society and the Blandford Cultural Council.

Queler is internationally renowned for her role as founder and music director of the Opera Orchestra, as well as serving as a guest conductor of symphonic and opera repertoire in venues that span the globe. Queler has a summer residence in town.

“Eve Queler has professionalized our concert series,” said Norcross.

The White Church, known as an “historic gem where arts, life and community meet,” will celebrate its 200th year anniversary in 2022. The building is open by appointment in the summer and is available for rental opportunities including special events and weddings.

Norcross said the centerpiece of the restored church is a “beautifully restored” 1893 Henry Miller piano. 

“We have had tremendous success with our series because of the outstanding musical experiences that the performers provide,” said Norcross. 

The concert series kicked off May 6 with a performance by singer Charlie Zahm, Zoe Darrow on fiddle, and John McIntyre on bagpipe, to usher in the 25th anniversary celebration of the annual Glasgowlands event. On May 27, Liam Kaplan, piano virtuoso, performed music by Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Ravel.

The interior of the White Church of Blandford.

Upcoming concerts include:

  • June 23, 7:30 p.m.: Moonshine Holler, a husband and wife duet of Paula Bradley and Bill Dillof, will capture the essence of American roots music by performing hillbilly blues, ballads, Carter family classics and jug band stompers. Tickets are $20; ages 16 and younger are admitted free.
  • July 14, 7:30 p.m.: Fanfare Brass Choir, will perform classical and light popular music from the 16th century to the present in a variety of musical styles. Tickets are $20; ages 16 and younger free.
  • July 28, 7:30 p.m.: the 24th annual Bel Canto Opera with Eve Queler, featuring sopranos April Martin and Jessica Sandidge, tenor Matthew White and baritone John Viscardi. Viscardi is returning to the Blandford series for the third time. Tickets are $35.
  • Aug. 19, 4 p.m.: musician and songwriter Jon Berman will cover a variety of genres, from the coastal music of Jimmy Buffett and the country influences of Willie Nelson and Dierks Bentley, to the songwriting skills of Aaron Lewis and Stephen Kellogg. Berman will be joined on stage by Pete Adams.  Tickets are $20; ages 16 and younger free.        
  • Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m.: the series closes with Rorianne Schrade of the Schrade family of world renown pianists, who will perform music of Rameau, Ries, Rachmaninoff, Respighi,  Rodrigo, Roussel and Ravel. The concert is in honor of the 50th anniversary of Sevenars Music Festival in Worthington and in homage to a similar program concept of her father Robert Schrade who passed away in 2016. Tickets are $20; ages 16 and younger are free.

The original pulpit has been transformed with portraits of former pastors.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.thewhitechurch.org or by calling (508) 380-8845. Tickets may also be available at the door, however, reservations are recommended.

“We encourage everyone to attend a concert to support the performers and at the same time to support a wonderful cause which is the continued restoration of the church,” said Norcross.

To Top