Two venues in the Monadnock Region traditionally known for hosting weddings are branching out by offering community events this summer. Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge and Aldworth Manor in Harrisville each have a lineup this season that includes everything from lectures to Celtic music jams.
While Aldworth Manor has scheduled live music year-round, owner Shane Long continues to add more, particularly to the summer series.
“Our aim is to facilitate a new place for the arts to be showcased,” said Long, adding that events are held outdoors during the summer (weather-permitting). A new element this year is food will be served from the kitchen and the venue’s full bar opened during events.
Up first is Boston-based Celtic artists Ulster Landing of Boston, appearing at Aldworth Manor July 11. The band focuses on traditional music of the Celtic nations including Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Brittany.
The group’s name is a reference to the Irish province of Ulster, where Scottish and English settlers landed in the 17th century. Their shows feature folk tunes — reels, jigs, waltzes and dance music - performed on fiddle, uilleann pipes, harp, bouzouki and voice.
Monadnock Music will host a concert at Aldworth Manor for the first time on July 18. The American Stories Village Concert features music set to the poetry of Walt Whitman and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Donald Hall.
Returning to perform at Aldworth Manor will be Project Shakespeare with a performance of “The Tempest” on July 24 and a 25th anniversary performance of “King Lear” Aug. 15 featuring former Project Shakespeare students spanning its entire history. Last summer Aldworth Manor hosted Project Shakespeare’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” prior to travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon, England to perform at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre, The Dell.
Also returning to Aldworth Manor this summer and closing the season will be Paul Klemperer and his New Hampshire Ensemble on Aug. 25. The band is led by Austin, Texas-based and Boston native saxophonist Paul Klemperer and performs a repertoire that includes jazz, blues, rock and funk.
Klemperer studied with such jazz legends as Archie Shepp, Max Roach and Ray Copeland before moving to Austin in 1982. There he has worked with many artists in the blues, roots and jazz traditions. The band features Pati Cloutier, vocals; Spencer Peery, guitar; Max Nunnemaker, bass; Gordon Peery, keyboard; and Garrett Cameron, drums.
Patricia Vargas, director of Cathedral of the Pines, said this season’s goal was to bring interesting programming to the public in collaboration with local nonprofit organizations and musicians.
“We want the best use of our resources — the Cathedral of the Pines is a beautiful venue,” she said, adding that the summer event schedule was created based on feedback from the local community.
On July 10, the Cathedral will present a free lecture, “The “Vietnam: Video & Discussion,” part of The Vietnam War: Diverse Perspectives Humanities to Go Program which uses short videos to prompt discussion. The speaker is Ann-Maria Contarino, who has taught in the English department at Saint Anselm College for more than 20 years.
The summer line-up continues Sunday, July 21, with a “Sing-A-Long with Bob and Liz,” two Peterborough musicians. Vargas said the event will kick off an open mic series at the Cathedral.
Participants can learn to make pine body butter with Katherine Gekas July 24. Cathedral of the Pines is sponsoring the event, which costs $5 for materials. Gekas studied at the Commonwealth Center for Herbal Medicine and the Boston School of Herbal Studies. Before becoming an herbalist, she worked in the field of energy and environment, which informs her work.
The sun will set on the Cathedral’s summer event lineup on July 28 with “Sounds of Summer: Bees, Birds and Flowers – Debussy, Bach, Schubert and Liszt by Trio di Natura.” Musicians are Gretchen Schlier, flute; Diane Cushing, soprano; and Virginia Eskin, piano.
At the same time, the Cathedral of the Pines is accepting submissions to its annual poetry contest, hosted in conjunction with the Monadnock Writers’ Group. The submission period ends Aug. 3. Winners will be announced in September, followed by a reading by the authors — this year’s theme is Nature in New England. The prize for the top three poems is placement on Grassy Pond Trail at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge alongside the winning entries from 2018.
For a full schedule of summer events at Aldworth Manor and detailed ticket information, visit thealdworthmanor.com/upcoming-events. For Cathedral of the Pines events, visit cathedralofthepines.org/events.