Monadnock Music’s third annual fundraising gala will feature a spectacular circus, while raising funds for free programming for the 2023 season.
Fundraising for the Peterborough-based nonprofit is scheduled for Saturday August 27 from 6.30pm to 9pm at Knollwood at 4 Windmill Hill Road in Dublin. It will feature an aerial hoop performance, trapeze artists, and silk and rope artists.
Monadnock Music‘s goal is to bring world-class musicians to the area to bring classical concerts to Monadnock area residents in their own backyards. The organization was started in 1966 with James Bolle, who brought musicians from big cities to play and record at the Nelson Meeting House, and although it grew in size, basically the mission remained the same.
Although Monadnock Music sponsors paid concerts or events for club members throughout the summer, the majority of its concerts are free and open to the public, often held at town halls or community meeting places.
This tradition, the “heart” of Monadnock Music’s mission, will continue next season, with at least 10 free village concerts, said executive producer Laina Barakat.
Although performers have yet to be lined up for next year, Barakat said some popular events will be back, including the Progressive Garden Party, which includes a botanical tour to classical music, performed live by performers. soloists in gardens in the region. This year’s garden party included tours of Rosaly’s farm in Sharon, as well as gardens tended by Marianne Rothnie and Louisa Thoron in Jaffrey.
Barakat said Monadnock Music will also revive the lawn-style picnic, a popular event that didn’t take place in 2022.
“People asked us to bring this back next year,” Barakat said.
This year’s gala will feature performers Caroline Wright and Rachel Barringer. Barringer is an aerial acrobat and contortionist who performs with hoops, silks, ropes and aerial straps. She also performs with Wright as “Duo Shadow”.
Barringer, who is also a cellist, has performed with the Boston Circus Guild, Extraordinary Arts and Cirque de Light, and Shanghai Circus.
Wright began his circus career locally, with the Flying Gravity Circus, a Wilton youth troupe founded by Jackie Davis of Temple. She is a graduate of the New England Center for Circus Arts and has performed with several companies, including Cirque du Soleil and Circosphere.
“They are very high caliber artists, and we were very lucky to have them,” Barakat said.
The circus performance will take place outdoors, against the backdrop of the historic Queen Anne-style house and vineyard, with views of Mount Monadnock. The 1899 house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built for President William Howard Taft’s Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, and later purchased by Ambassador Joseph Petrone.
Barakat said the performers will be accompanied by live music performed by the Monadnock Music String Quartet.
Before the show, there will be an indoor auction and live piano and harp performances. The acrobatic show will be followed by fireworks at dusk.
Barakat said the annual gala has become the biggest fundraiser for Monadnock Music, raising around $7,500. The funds are used to support the 2023 season, specifically Monadnock Music’s free village concerts and the Monadnock Music in the Schools program.
Monadnock Music in the Schools is a free program for local elementary school students, where classical orchestra musicians visit classrooms to introduce them to some of the families of classical musical instruments and give a short performance. These performances can range from classic Mozart pieces to popular Disney songs.
“We want them to start connecting to the fact that they hear classical music all the time,” Barakat said.
Gala tickets are $150, or $120 for Monadnock Music members, and are available for purchase at monadnockmusic.org. The cost of the ticket includes a meal prepared by Foray event coordinators and an open bar.
Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or [email protected] She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.