Celebrating 20 years of performance

Nicholas Palmer -87

By Beth MacLeod Largent
I love anniversaries.  Who doesn’t?  I’m sentimental, and my heart tells me to mark all of life’s large (and even, not so large) occasions with a celebration. We work so hard that we should savor the fruits of our hard work, revel in our success and have FUN.  Here at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) we are celebrating a large anniversary this summer – our beloved concert series Evenings Under the Stars (EUS) turns 20.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked “What makes EUS so special? Why is this anniversary such a big deal?” The answer is endurance.  Much has changed over the last 20 years.  Our iPhones, iPads, technology in general, create space for us to enjoy more, right?  Or have they simply added more to our plate?  The experts say we are more connected than ever, but are we really?  Are we spending quality, focused time with the people we love, enjoying the same shared experience?  Or are we in the same room with our attentions in very different places?  While technology is a wonderful thing, it often pulls us out of the moment and keeps us from noticing what’s around us.

Live music, though, is dynamic.  It’s meant to be shared, side by side, while you’re on your feet, dancing and swaying along.  Live music puts you back in the moment.  Evenings Under the Stars performances have been doing this for 20 wonderful years.  It has endured.

Now, about this anniversary – 20 years is a loooooong time to do anything. To still be viable after so many years, you have to have been adaptable. You have to listen to your audience and hear what they want. You have to be a destination, a safe place, an oasis away from the everyday. You have to be something people think about during the short, cold days of winter, when the thought of warm sun on your face and music floating through the open air motivates you to move forward and shovel the driveway one more time. You have to be a place where friends meet, families gather, traditions are born and sustained.

Sound familiar? This could be your back yard – or ours, here in the Jane Carr Amphitheater. Evenings Under the Stars has become a summer tradition for hundreds of people because it answers the longing we all have to slow down and enjoy the moment. It’s an opportunity to share incredible music with friends over a glass of wine. A chance to watch the sunset, to close your eyes while unforgettable music showers over you, soothing and inspiring you.

So take out your party hat and join us this summer. Give your family and friends the gift of time together and time to be inspired. You will laugh. You will wonder. You will eat cake.  You will be reminded that there is something greater than you, smarter than your iPhone, and completely within reach in your neighborhood. You will see people you only see in the school drop off line – say hello. Share a bottle of harpoon, let the kids play on the grounds, eat hot dogs from concessions, and enjoy the pull of outdoor music.  You you’ll feel refreshed, renewed and reminded of the sweetest things in life.  It’s all here… in your backyard!

South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars Saturday night concert series starts on July 9 with Hingham’s Nicholas Palmer conducting the EUS Festival Orchestra in Let the Celebration Begin!  Other performances include A Celtic Sojourn with WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan on July 16, The Big Swing: Music of the Swing Era on July 23, and A Grand Night for Singing: The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein on July 30.  SSC is located at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham.

For more information, visit www.sscmusic.org, find us on Facebook, or call 781-749-7565, ext. 22.

Beth MacLeod Largent is South Shore Conservatory’s Director of Performance.

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