To say that the new venue at Groton Hill takes your breath away is a gross understatement. Just walking in the open, airy, wood filled entry way is striking, with its angular columns generating a sense of motion and creativity. But upon entering the intimate setting of Meadow Hall, with seating for three hundred, I gasped upon gazing at the warmth and beauty. The back of the stage is window filled from floor to ceiling and overlooks the meadow and trees beyond. It is immediately reminiscent of Shalin Liu, the stunning concert hall in Rockport, also the work of architects Joslin and Epstein. The patron sitting next to us said she spotted at least one of them at the concert this opening weekend.
Lights hang in irregular columns, emphasizing the height of the ceiling and the curved blond pine throughout contributes to a sense of being in a sea faring vessel. The opening numbers by Ravel and Wagner, lush pieces that soothe the soul and fill the hall, even with the small number of musicians, swayed the audience and took us out of our every day cares.
The second half- Copland’s Rites of Spring and Brahms Hungarian Dances provided an uptempo contrast and brought us out of our seats at the finish. Undulating curves on the exterior of the building as well as the roof remind us of the waft of melodies that emanate from the interior. Practice and student lesson rooms line the upstairs and the thousand seat hall beyond those will be revealed in January.
I could feel tears threatening at the statement that places makes. The unequivocal declaration of the importance that music holds in our lives is honored in the simple majesty and thought behind the aesthetics and acoustics. It is a palace for musicians and audiences to gather and interact, to speak together the wordless language that unites us all across centuries, geography, race and age.
I am thrilled to live just ten minutes from this spectacular place and can’t wait to sample the jazz and bluegrass artists already on the schedule, along with the full orchestra on the larger stage. Being at a live concert is balm for the soul—never to be replaced by anything online and I’m deeply grateful for the vision and generosity of the donor who made this world class place available to us all.