Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation

From our friend Jerry Ackerman





The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is pleased to announce its Spring 2022 series of three classical concerts, beginning and ending with musical celebrations of Johann Sebastian Bach and featuring, in the middle, a Holocaust Memorial Concert that will premiere a specially commissioned work, “The Grip of Evil: The Endurance of Hope,” written and conducted by American composer Leslie Steinweiss.

The series marks the resumption of live, in-person concerts at the Gloucester Meetinghouse, at the corner of Middle and Church Streets in downtown Gloucester, as COVID-19 pandemic conditions have begun to ease. The season will begin Sunday, March 20, at 4:30 p.m., marking the J.S. Bach’s 337th birthday with harpsichord works performed by Mary Jodice and Charles Nazarian, violin works by Emily Hale, and voic solos by soprano Caroline Teague and counter-tenor Cameron Dobson.

The event is free, with a collection to be taken to support Ukranian war relief work by the International Rescue Committee. It also will be simulcast for home viewing via the Meetinghouse Foundation’s and available there afterwards.

The opening concert’s visual centerpiece is a Flemish double harpsichord made by celebrated keyboard-instrument builder David Jacques Way. Nazarian, its owner will discuss the instrument’s workings and demonstrate its varied sounds, followed by Ms. Jodice on the harpsichord and Ms. Hale on baroque violin playing the Bach Violin Sonata in C-minor; a Bach violin solo by Ms. Hale; Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” sung by soprano Caroline Teague; and selections from Bach’s Mass in B-Minor sung by counter-tenor Cameron Dobson accompanied by Ms. Jodice  The concert will end with Ms. Jodice’s performance of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C-minor, on the Meetinghouse’s 1893 Hutchings/Fisk pipe organ.

The series continues Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. with Steinweiss’s Holocaust Memorial Concert featuring the world premiere of his “The Grip of Evil: The Endurance of Hope.  Presented jointly with Gloucester’s Temple Ahavat Achim, this concert was organized by Stephen Bates, of Manchester, who will perform on clarinet and flute. Bates was a clarinetist and bass-clarinet chair for 36 years with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

This program will include individual Holocaust remembrances plus narration by storyteller Judith Black.  The ensemble includes Janine Solheim, soprano; Wes Hunter, tenor; Abigale Reisman, violin; Rebecca Hallowell, viola; Anna Seda, cello; and Kathleen Forgac, piano.

The final concert in the series, Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m., will return to Bach, featuring some of his most beloved orchestral works played by a Baroque ensemble, The Appleton Consort, on period instruments and directed by Mark Dupere.

This program includes the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major (BWV 1068) for two oboes, bassoon, strings, and continuo; the Sinfonia from Cantata Non sa che sia dolore (BWV 209) for flute, strings, continuo; the Violin Concerto in A minor (BWV 1041) for solo violin, strings, continuo; the Sinfonia from Cantata Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbatas (BWV 42) for two oboes, bassoon, strings, continuo; and the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major (BWV 1050) for solo flute, solo violin, solo harpsichord, and strings. This concert is sponsored by H. Woody Brock and Scobie Ward.

Tickets for the two May concerts are $45 for preferred seating, $30 for general seating and $10 for students. They will be available at the door or ordered online at

The Meetinghouse is the home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church and is handicapped-accessible via a side entrance at 10 Church Street. Limited parking is available on the Green in front. Publlic health rules, including social distancing and possible use of masks, may be in effect and may vary among performances.

The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2015 is to restore this architectural masterpiece that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a concert venue, civic hub and community gathering center.

More information is available online at


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