What we're about

A small group to attend chamber music concerts, and often to go out for a meal or snack at a restaurant before or after concerts. (Typically, a modest $15-$25 meal in the town where the concert is.)

Mainly, the group is intended for people who normally subscribe to or occasionally attend the Valley Classical Concerts (@Smith), Music at Amherst --Chamber, and/or other local faculty recital (e.g. UMASS) concerts alone or in a small group. However, the group will also welcome people who have developed an appreciation for chamber music through listening to recorded music or personally performing, and want to expand out to the pleasure of the live listening experience.

This group is NOT a singles group. Individuals, couples, and little groups of people, attached or single, straight or gay, are welcome. I expect most interest to be from people about 30 through and including late retirement. (I am late-50s myself.)

Note that the fairly large set of members shown for the group on the Meetup.com site is a little misleading. There are a pleasantly small handful of people who actually come to the events. (Most people who sign up are more interested in other types of music than chamber music, and do not wind up coming to any concerts.)

Also note that, since I have found interest among group members in going out for a bite before or after the concert to be unpredictable, I usually do not now list this as part of the event: I usually only list the concert. If there is interest in grabbing a bite to socialize, we either decide at the end of the concert, or, for pre-concert meals, we arrange via the event comments section or phone. (In any case, if I (Norm) go, there is always an interest by me in the meal, so you should suggest it if you have interest in such and see I am going.)

If you have an idea for an event (in the broad category: classical music or dance or better theater in the Amherst / Northampton area) or beyond, feel free to suggest it via emailing me from the group page, or via my phone (413)-529-1956.

Also, people wishing to send a private message and not sure what is private under meetup.com can use my email, normanaspier@gmail.com. (As we all know, standard email is not really fully private, as it's visible to the people who run the servers, interconnecting data links, etc., so if you want to send me a Swiss bank account number in which you've deposited $12 million money-laundered dollars to support construction of a grand acoustically-superb group clubhouse in ritzy Amherst, it's probably not the way to go, but for most purposes, it is confidential enough.)


There is NO membership fee or event surcharge of any kind. People just pay for their meals and concert tickets. (I will NOT accept donations towards the costs of maintaining the site at Meetup.com, since doing it this way makes me feel like a patron of the arts.)

You can phone me at 413-529-1956 (my home land line -- not a cell) any time. (I get enough sales and annoying headhunter calls that I usually don't pick up the phone unless I recognize the caller--leave a message and I will call back quickly or else as soon as I get home.)




Peter Jones ("The Classical Music Evangelist") has an email-based mailing list of local classical music events.
You can get on it my sending him an email, at Peter.A.Jones@comcast.net


Music at Amherst (College) Chamber Series: https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/musicatamherst

I subscribe to this series, but do not usually put it on the group schedule, since tickets are not always available at the door. Tickets for individual concerts become available starting 2 weeks before the performance.


Valley Classical Concerts (these are all chamber music and recitals; at Smith; formerly Music in Deerfield)



The Northampton Gazette on Fridays has a calendar of local events that has events from some of the above facility calendars, and often some other facilities, churches, etc.


UMASS Fine Arts Center Events:



Northampton Academy of Music Calendar of Events



Smith Chamber Music Society Series & Other Smith Music and Dance



Arcadia Players (Period Instrument Group Based in Northampton)



Ensemble Musica Humana: a group of local musicians who perform classical music around the area



Brick Church Music Series, Deerfield

http://www.firstchurchofdeerfield.org/music... (http://www.firstchurchofdeerfield.org/music/the-brick-church-music-series/)


Springfield Symphony



Hartford Symphony http://www.hartfordsymphony.org/

When I used to live in CT, I went to a number of HSO concerts, which were in the original arge Bushnell hall, where the acoustics are pretty good. Since then, attendance has diminished and they now use a smaller, newer hall in the same building--acoustics unknown to me.


Pioneer Valley Symphony: small regional orchestra doing most of its concerts in the Greenfield High School auditorium. (Intermission at these concerts is the perfect time to mingle with the high society of Greenfield, whose members are surprisingly approachable.)



Brattleboro (Vt.) Chamber Series


Tuesday Morning Music Club of Springield (local chamber musicians performing mostly around Springfield; low priced, morning performances suitable for those with non-decadent early-rising habits)



Close Encounters With Music: Chamber Music and Talks on Chamber Music in Great Barrington



OTHER LOCAL CULTURAL EVENTS (Fall-Spring or Year-Round):

Theater option (members may wish to self-organize trips down there. It's about 45 miles away, right off of I 91. Parking in the past has always been unproblematic, in the garage right in the same building as the stage.)

Hartford Stage:

decent regional theater. In my past life in CT, I've gone to and enjoyed about half of each season's production, selecting classics, etc., in preference to the lighter fare.



A little farther away, about 80 miles,

Yale Rep: ( http://www.yalerep.org/ ) , which goes nicely with decent meals available there. (I am especially fond of a particular Thai Restaurant.)


Live telecasts of theater, dance, and opera (opera--eh, my opinion only) at Amherst Cinema ( http://amherstcinema.org/ )

and CineMark Hadley ( http://www.cinemark.com/theatre-detail.aspx?node_id=1574&showtime_date = )

and South Hadley's Tower Theaters: ( http://www.towertheaters.com/opera--ballet.html



1)Marlboro Music Festival (Vt--50 miles from here; festival runs during a limited part of the summer)
http://www.marlboromusic.o (http://www.marlboromusic.org/summer-concerts/overview/)rg

2)Yellow-Barn Music Festival (Putney, VT--I've heard them once performing locally, they're pretty good)

2.1)Electric Earth Concerts (Southern NH) http://electricearthconcerts.org/

3)Music Mountain (maybe 90 miles from here in Northwestern CT--I have a long history of going to these-- ist's good stuf; festival runs the full summer season)

4)Norfolk Music Festival--summer home of the Yale School of Music (maybe 10 miles from Music Mountain) I tend to prefer the acoustics of Music Mountain and the mid-day-Sunday concerts at MM are ideal for day trips, but the music at Norfolk is good stuff, and there is also an oportunity to stay the night and combine a Saturday night concert at Norfolk with a Sunday afternoon one at MM. http://music.yale.edu/norfolk/concerts/concerts.htm

5)South Mountain Concerts, Pittsfield http://www.southmountainconcerts.org/ This series is just post summer, that is, for 2012 it is early September to early October.

Quoting from The New Yorker, "Tickets to this brief end of summer series ... can be hard to come by. Not surprising, since its concerts are all first class."

6)Jacob's Pillow Dance (renowned mostly modern dance--about 30-60 miles from here, depending on whether you like to avoid going on the back roads, which I do like to do--that is, avoid them)

7)Williamstown Theater Festival


8)Shakespeare and Company


9)Barrington Stage Company


10)Mohawk Trail Concerts (Charelemont)


11)New Century Theatre


12}Chester Theatre Company


13)Berkshire Theatre Group:


14)Old Deerfield Summer Concerts


15)Sevenars Summer Concert Series in Worthington


16)Plainfield Church Concets at 7 Series




ArkivMusic.com ( http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/main.jsp ) is an online place to order classical CDs. The selection is large, perhaps even complete, and the site makes it easy to find all pieces available by a composer, and then all versions of that piece, etc. Note that you can, from the site, sign up for their newsletter, which gets you announcements of sometimes substantial sales, about one newsletter a week.

I should mention that when you hear a piece around here by one of the several local composers we have, you can usually find a few things by them on ArkivMusic.com, sometimes even the exact piece you heard.

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