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“Pipedreams Live!” Concert To Open Methuen


After you’ve celebrated your 75th season, what do you do for your 76th? This is a question which the Methuen Memorial Music Hall trustees had a year to ponder. Last year, 2021, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Hall’s acquisition and incorporation as a nonprofit community educational and cultural center. A tough anniversary to follow! [our article from last year HERE]

But this year marks another major observance for the Hall, the 75th anniversary of the rededication of the Great Organ, following its 1946-47 renovation by G. Donald Harrison and the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company. This anniversary, plus the reopening of the Hall to the public for the full 2022 summer concert season, following COVID-necessitated closures in 2020 and 2021, is something worth celebrating.

In recent years, Methuen has opened its 15-week Wednesday evening summer organ series with a Young Artists Concert, featuring emerging organ talents.  This year’s opener, on May 25, will be the Hall’s most ambitious program in that vein – a “Pipedreams Live!” concert, emceed by Michael Barone, host of American Public Media’s syndicated program, “Pipedreams.”  Six young organists, ranging from 16 to 21 years of age, will perform a variety of pieces, both well and lesser known. (complete program HERE). The concert will also be recorded for broadcast on “Pipedreams” later this summer.

During the 2020 COVID lockdown, the Hall started a YouTube channel and live streamed its entire summer concert series, garnering viewers from around the globe. This was the first live streaming of a weekly organ music series in this country. The live streaming continued through the 2021 season, even after the Hall reopened to the public in mid-July. 

This year, the Hall is transitioning its live streams and other recorded content to a new subscription website. Subscription options range from online access only, to an in-person ticketing option with unlimited online access included. Subscriptions are available HERE. Individual in-person tickets will still be available at the door or online HERE.

In preparation for the 2022 season, several infrastructure upgrades were implemented while the Hall was closed for the winter.  New electrical outlets and fiber optic cables were installed to support and enhance the live streaming.  In early March, the Hall rented a 55’ articulated boom lift, to access the upper reaches of the Hall. All the light bulbs in the ceiling cornice were replaced with energy-efficient LED bulbs, and decades of dust was vacuumed from the tops of the organ case and the high ledges along the walls. As a result, the Hall and the Great Organ now look and sound cleaner and brighter. A great way to start a new concert season!




CLICK HERE for the 15 summer concert programs

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