1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem reopening with six concerts

  • The 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem will reopen its doors Sunday, Aug. 8, for a show with The Green Sisters. Contributed Photo

  • Archguitar Duo’s Peter Blanchette (left) and Mané Larregla. Contributed photo

  • Christine Ohlman. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy.


Staff Writer
Published: 8/6/2021 2:59:35 PM
Modified: 8/6/2021 2:59:43 PM

NEW SALEM — The 1794 Meetinghouse is celebrating its reopening with six concerts over two months.

The storied music venue has announced its summer schedule as being from Aug. 8 to Sept. 26. The Green Sisters, Diana Jones, Christine Ohlman and her band Rebel Montez, Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy, Mad Agnes, and Archguitar Duo are slated to grace the meetinghouse in the first shows at 26 South Main St. since September 2019. Five shows had originally been planned, until organizers booked Diana Jones this week, making six shows in all.

Diane Lincoln, artistic director of the summer program, said she teamed up with 1794 Meetinghouse Executive Director Brad Foster to book the talents, which have all previously performed at the meetinghouse.

“We’re looking forward to it, and we’re trying very hard to make it safe for everyone in the process,” she said

Lincoln explained the 2020 summer program had just been finalized when it was realized the season would have to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So, basically, we gave them the opportunity to come this year instead,” she said of the performers.

The schedule and information about the acts can be found at bit.ly/3jmlG8e. Tickets and an option to donate to the meetinghouse are available at bit.ly/2VBdnNt.

Foster, who has been the executive director for seven years, said he and Lincoln wanted to book acts that were locally popular and connected to the 1794 Meetinghouse.

“We wanted to have a season that was short but also would have an impact, one that would be attractive to our audience. And we tried really hard to get the full range of what we would normally offer,” he said. “We like variety. We like offering variety.”

Foster said the most recent meetinghouse-sponsored show took place at the Central Congregational Church of Orange a year and a half ago. He said it is a strange feeling preparing to reopen the venue.

“It’s surreal, I would say. It’s so exciting but it’s like we’re having to relearn how we open again,” he said. “And I can tell our audience is raring to go. We’ve seen quite a number of online ticket sales for this Sunday and I can just tell there’s a pent-up demand.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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