Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                      April 26, 2022





 As warfare in Eastern Europe awakens memories of millions of people slaughtered for only who they were, not for what they did, observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place this coming week, including in Gloucester on Sunday, May 1, starting at 3 p.m., in the historic Gloucester Meetinghouse.

There, the nonprofit Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation and Temple Ahavat Achim, Cape Ann’s Jewish congregation, will jointly present a concert of original works for the occasion. The musical centerpiece is the premiere of “The Grip of Evil: the Endurance of Hope,” an orchestral and vocal work by New York City composer and lyricist Leslie Steinweiss, who will conduct his work,

The program also includes a solo written and played by renowned clarinetist Stephen Bates of Manchester, a violin solo by Abigale Reisman, the synagogue’s music director, and narration by professional storyteller Judith Black.

Holocaust Remembrance Day (in Hebrew, Yom HaShoah), originated in Israel in 1951 as a memorial to the estimated six million Jews and other civilian peoples executed during World War II. Over the years its mission has widened to include tribute to an estimated five million others worldwide whose lives were taken with genocidal intent over the 20th Century. The date of Holocaust Remembrance Day varies; in Israel, it is observed this year on April 27.  Business and even road traffic there briefly comes to a stop when sirens sound at 11 a.m., with motorists often leaving their cars to mark the moment together.

Along with the named principals the performers are vocalists Janine Solheim, soprano, and Wes Hunter, tenor, and instrumentalists are Rebecca Hallowell, viola; Anna Seda, cello, and Kathleen Forgac, piano.

The Gloucester concert will be in the 1806 Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, on Middle Street at Church Street in downtown Gloucester. Tickets are $45 for premium seating, $30 for general seating, and $10 for students. Full access for those who are physically disabled is at the side entrance at 10 Church Street. Tickets are available at the door or online at

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