19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 

Please note face masks are required to visit the Monadnock Center. We thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe and healthy!

Archives Research is now by appointment only. Please contact us at (603) 924-3235 to schedule an appointment.

By July 21, 2013 Read More →

Our Region’s Performance Venues

Nelson Town HallHere at the Monadnock Center we are very proud of Bass Hall, which is, among other things, one of the most acoustically sublime small concert spaces in the Monadnock Region.  Much as we love to promote this venue, I want to offer a testimony to the various town halls and churches throughout the Monadnock Region where musical (and sometimes theatrical) events are held throughout the year.

Recently I was in a conversation with someone who noted the challenges marketing concerts where the audience was required to sit in stiff church pews on a steamy summer evening with no air conditioning. In reflecting on this, I thought about the many enjoyable events I have been to in that context. It’s true you might have to fidget a bit more to remain comfortable, and program flyers end up serving double duty as fans.  But if the program is good, those elements are not only quickly overlooked – I think it actually becomes part of the charm. Much as I enjoy, for example, the modern comforts of the Peterborough Players, I still fondly remember, and miss, the days when you could see through the cracks in the barn board.

An example of the value of these simpler venues occurred on a recentTuesday night in the Nelson Town Hall, which is the ultimate in crude yet charming space. The cellist Dave Eggers was doing a concert, joined by Amber Rubarth and Chuck Palmer.  The first piece in the program was the Catalan folk song “Song of the Birds”, which had been made popular by the cellist Pablo Casals. Moments prior to beginning the piece, performers and audience suddenly became aware of a chorus of birds singing outside – something we could only hear because the heat of the evening required that the town hall windows be open.  The birds continued to provide a complementary musical backdrop for the entire first half of the program.  Then it started raining outside, and for the second half of the concert the audible precipitation created the most enchanting supplement – there were moments when you might have thought it was a deliberate added sound effect, it so suited the music.  Such serendipity could only have occurred in a place like this.

As we perpetually celebrate the cultural richness of the Monadnock Region, let us give thanks for these spaces which, designed for religious or civic function, also provide us with a unique context for experiencing creative performances.