DaPonte Quartet gets grant for ‘Historic Sites’ series
The Friends of DaPonte String Quartet (FDSQ) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $6,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission for its “Classical Music in Historic Sites” project. The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The first performance in this series will be September 8 at a special “Candlelight Concert” to benefit the Old Walpole Meetinghouse. The beautifully restored 1772 structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The project was conceived as a way to bring attention and new audiences to Maine's historic and carefully preserved opera houses and meeting houses through classical music performances that will stimulate public interest in the arts as a cultural resource.
In addition to the Old Walpole Meetinghouse, the DaPonte String Quartet will perform in three other historic sites: the Harpswell Meeting House, the Stonington Opera House (February 14) and Biddeford City Theater, a former opera house, (February 23).
“There has been a movement throughout Maine not just to restore these gorgeous old buildings, but to make them, once again, the center of the cultural and economic life of their communities,” FDSQ president Les Fossel said. “ And, in the case of the opera houses, performing live chamber music in these surroundings is using them in the way they were built and intended to be used.”
The Old Walpole Meetinghouse concert is a perfect example of the way in which the setting enhances the music, and vice versa. The Meetinghouse is an exquisite example of colonial architecture, including a soaring hand-carved pulpit. It has no electricity or running water. In the early September evening, illuminated only by candlelight, the Quartet will perform in the center of the original box pews built in 1772.
The effect is “theater-in-the-round” — a truly magical way to hear chamber music the way it was meant to be experienced. Proceeds from the performance will be used to help restore the Meetinghouse’s 18th century curved windows.
The September 8 “Candlelight Concert” at the Old Walpole Meetinghouse, located at Walpole Meetinghouse Road in Walpole, is at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Maine Coast Bookstore in Damariscotta, the Walpole Barn in Walpole, or the Boothbay Harbor Framers Gallery in Boothbay Harbor (207-633-3966), or by calling 207-563-5471.
Program information is on the Quartet's website, www.daponte.org.