Learning Ahead: Outdoor Concerts
Season of Outdoor Concerts: Place & Spaces Inspired by Music
Summertime in Western Massachusetts brims with opportunities to spend time outdoors and gather in community spaces to listen to live music, discover new musical genres, and share musical interests while supporting local musicians. Given all of the beautiful parks and outdoor spaces in Western Massachusetts, there are many summertime concerts and music festivals for all ages to attend. Pack a picnic and share the experience with family, neighbors, and friends.
10 Places to be Inspired by Music
Tanglewood in Lenox, MA
The home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood offers a variety of musical performances each summer season that feature both the orchestra and other guest artists. There are different musical genres offered: classical as well as rock and jazz for concert-goers to experience. At Tanglewood, audience members have the option to purchase lawn tickets and bring their own picnic to share on a blanket while listening to the music under the stars. Attending a concert at Tanglewood is also an opportunity to explore the Southern Berkshires and the town of Lenox, MA. A vibrant community during the summer time, visitors can walk through the historic downtown, explore different dining options, or hike the public trails at Kennedy Park in Lenox, MA. www.tanglewood.org
Concerts at 7 in Plainfield, MA
Concerts at 7 is a volunteer run non-profit organization that presents classical music concerts in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Concerts take place at the Plainfield Congregational Church in Plainfield, MA, and each season features a series of three to five classical music performances. A great opportunity to spend the day in this charming region of Western Massachusetts. consider making a day of it outdoors by visiting the sculpture gardens at Three Sisters Sanctuary in nearby Goshen, rafting the Greenfield River with Zoars in Charlement, or the blossoms at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. Discover how community spaces like our churches, gardens, and rivers can support your interests while connecting you to Hilltown culture. www.plainfieldconcertsat7.com
The Sevenars Music Festival in Worthington, MA
Established in 1968, the Sevenars Music Festival has been described as one of the best small music festivals in the U.S. by Time Magazine. It started in the South Methodist Church of South Worthington in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts, a village of Worthington listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every year, the music festival presents guest artists and music programs featuring performers from around the world and includes enrichment programs for children. Sevenars is a local way to explore music and art in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts during the summer, connecting interest in music, place, and local history. www.sevenars.org
Other place and opportunities:
- Amherst: Amherst Downtown Summer Music Series: www.amherstdowntown.com
- Florence: Music on the Porch Series: www.florencecivic.org
- Greenfield: Green River Festival: www.greenriverfestival.com
- Greenfield: Coop Concerts Summer Concert Series at Greenfield Energy Park: www.coopconcerts.org
- Hadley: Wednesday Folk Traditions at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum: www.pphmuseum.org
- Westfield: Beveridge Pavilion at Stanley Park: www.stanleypark.org
- Williamsburg: Angel Park Summer Music Series: www.facebook.com/AngelParkQuietReflectionsGarden
For more information and a complete list of live music happening all over Western MA to entertain families, be sure to check out our list of Weekly Suggested Events.
Music Inspired by Place
Hometowns, distant cities, and small communities have inspired many musicians to compose songs that reflect the places they value. Hilltown resident and local musician Aaron Lewis wrote country song, Massachusetts, in honor of his home state and the places that make Massachusetts unique and special, including the Berkshires and the town of Worthington in the following lyrics:
“The north shore is where my father lives
I wear my Red Sox hat around the world with pride
But the Berkshires are where my heart is
And when I see them in the distance I could cry
Because I’m home…”
“So I just pass the sign that welcomes me to Worthington
Established long before this country came to be
A place that hasn’t really changed with time
The way this country that I love, it used to be
Because I’m home…”
Think about this:
- When you hear a song about a place you love, how does it make you feel?
- How does music capture a place’s personality, past, or people?
- Why do you think music has the power to bring people together, strengthen community, and allow people to connect to local places and spaces?
Download our July/August edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.