Jane Carr Amphitheater, a community resource
Until 1996, students of the South Shore Conservatory’s Summer Music Festival spent much of their summer practicing in the old bunkers of Bare Cove Park and presenting the music they worked so hard. to perfect in off-campus venues such as South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Faneuil Hall in Boston, and Memorial Hall in Plymouth. Although they put on some fantastic concerts for the audience, something was wrong. The music didn’t sound the same as in the rehearsal space.
Recognizing that our SMF students deserved a space where they could rehearse and perform with confidence, SSC built the Jane Carr Amphitheater. It didn’t take long for us to discover its value as a venue and gathering space far beyond the wind ensemble performances of the Summer Music Festival. The summer following the opening of the amphitheater, we presented our first of more than 20 seasons of Evenings Under the Stars. A few years later, the Wacky Wednesdays family concert series was born. And of course, the Mad Love Music Festival started in 2016.
Until 2020, we used our outdoor space for everything from preschool presentations and jazz brunches to our annual all-schools reunion in September. From time to time other arts organizations, such as The Rusty Skippers, The Unicorn Singers or the Music Department at Hingham High School, contacted us to use the outdoor space, and we have always welcomed them. . But, the true value of our community resource was only revealed during COVID-19, when social distancing was a must.
In the fall of 2020, when we once again welcomed students eager to resume classes in person, we saw the Carr Amphitheater from a wider perspective. The open-air space was considered a safe place to teach students about wind and voice. Where the cold lasted until the end of last year, some SSC teachers were able to teach in the amphitheater until the end of November and until the beginning of December.
We were not the only ones who recognized the amphitheater as an amazing resource. Last Christmas, singers from Hingham High School took to the stage of the Jane Carr Amphitheater safely to present their socially distanced holiday concert. In the spring, the Hingham Rec Department used the stage to present their Funky Feet recital, and in early August 90 music teachers from Massachusetts took to the stage to reunite and jam. While a band this size playing with musical instruments requires a lot of space, they were actually considering playing in a parking lot before someone suggested the amphitheater!
Most recently, A Far Cry, a leading Boston-based Grammy-nominated orchestra, contacted us to use the space for a rehearsal of their “Circle of Life” concert, which they will be performing at Jordan Hall on September 17th. We are delighted to collaborate with the 18 “Screamers” that WBUR calls a “global phenomenon” and welcome them to the Carr Amphitheater at 7:00 pm on September 18, to present their innovative chamber music highlighting all stages of the process. life – from Bartok’s For Children to String Quartet op. 135, which offers a moment of quiet introspection. Tickets for the show are available at https://bit.ly/3k37r9T.
If your artistic organization is looking for a performance space or a meeting place, think of us. Learn more about our facilities at https://sscmusic.org/facilities. The South Shore Conservatory is located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham.
Elaine Sorrentino is director of communications at the Conservatoire de la Rive-Sud.