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Arts on the Green
Celebrating Arts and Music at the
First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury

"Arts on the Green" is offered by First Congregational Church to the town of Shrewsbury and the surrounding community, to make possible a richer and broader experience of the performing arts and other cultural opportunities at the local level. As a historic center of spiritual growth, First Congregational Church supports the important role that the arts have to play in the development of one’s cultural awareness, appreciation of aesthetics, character development, and the formation of social and spiritual values. This new and dynamic series not only provides uplifting entertainment and inspiration, but works to engage people of all ages on a variety of other levels, exposing audiences not only to traditional and well-established cultural traditions, but also more contemporary forms of expression, enabling all of us to gain more insight into the social and cultural concerns of our own time.

Intergenerational Drumming Circle

Arts on the Green sponsors an intergenerational Drumming Circle on the third Friday of every month, except for December and during the summer. This family friendly activity is open to all folks in the community. All ages and abilities are welcome. $5 per drummer or $12 per family. Pack a light supper or purchase pizza ($5). RSVP to to reserve a drum and pizza choice. Click the image at right for dates and more information.

Concerts: 2016-2017

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free admission with donations welcome. Suggested amount: $10 general admission, $5 for students and children.

Arts on the Green is supported in part by a grant from the Shrewsbury Cultural Council, a local agency which is suppported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

American Heroes and Visionaries
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a program celebrating great American heroes, artists and thinkers, with numerous local performers including Tenor Stanley Wilson, pianist and organist Malcolm Halliday, pianist Olga Rogach, the Master Singers of Worcester and the Vocal Interns of First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury. The program features music of the acclaimed New England composer Gwyneth Walker (in settings of Thomas Merton and “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”), as well as newly minted arrangements of Bob Dylan songs by Christina White, and original works from songwriter Simone Brown, both composers with long standing ties to Shrewsbury and Arts on the Green.

Cross Currents: Chamber Music
Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Three celebrated instrumentalists: flautist Kathleen Boyd, clarinetist Thomas Hill, and pianist Randall Hodgkinson, are joined by mezzo-soprano D’Anna Fortunato in music spanning the European and American cultures, including works by Bach, Bernstein, Copland, Corigliano, and Mozart, as well as entertaining settings of passages from “Canterbury Tales” by the father of English literature, the medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer.

Homage in Music
Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Arts on the Green presents a celebration of longtime Shrewsbury resident, concert pianist and beloved piano teacher Ingeborg (Inge) Lindblad, who passed away January 4, 2017 at the age of 91. The program includes solo and four-hand works for piano as well as other keyboards including the church harpsichord and both pipe organs, either played singly or in myriad combinations with each other. Appearing in his last Arts on the Green concert as series director, Malcolm Halliday performs on many of these instruments, joined by other musicians and former students or friends of Inge Lindblad, including Juliet Chapin, Joshua Erban, Janet Graeber, Olga Rogach and Isabelle Zhao.

Earlier This Season...

Romantic Splendor
Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Malcolm Halliday, pianist and organist, Clark Matthews, French horn, and Stanley Wilson, tenor, present wide ranging music by Romantic masters including Schumann’s passionate Adagio and Allegro and Gliere’s Four Pieces, op. 35 for horn and piano, as well as Schubert’s immortal Auf dem Strom with all three performers. Halliday also performs Chopin’s Ballade in F major, as well as Mendelssohn’s majestic Organ Sonata in A major featuring the three manual Casavant organ, and accompanies Wilson in two songs of Henry Purcell using the J. W. Walker box organ.

Mexican Pianist Fernando Ramsés Peña Díaz
Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Join us for this special event featuring a versatile and talented 26-year-old pianist from Colima, Mexico in his first US performances. Currently a student of Arts on the Green Director Malcolm Halliday, Ramsés Peña has won prizes in numerous piano competitions in Mexico, as well as in Spain and Italy. He is equally adept at playing classical works as well as Mexican music and Jazz standards. This concert will feature works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Ponce as well as favorite jazz standards and Mr. Pena’s own composition Vocalise, with soprano Christina White. This concert is a gift to the community made possible by donations to Arts on the Green in memory of long time Shrewsbury resident and pianist Patricia Borbone.

Pianist Andrew Clifford Larson and Friends
Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Celebrated German-American pianist Andrew Clifford Larson returns to New England with a wide-ranging program, including Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major, K. 570, Liadov Preludes, op. 36 and Kabalevsky’s Sonatina in C, op. 13 no. 1. Two friends join Larson in several works, including a Schubert piano duet, the Rondo in A, D. 951 and a Soler concerto for two organs with Artistic Director Malcolm Halliday, as well as two French works with Worcester clarinetist Chester Brezniak.

A Musical Journey in Song
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a whirlwind tour of vocal music spanning art songs, opera, parlor songs, and operetta. Sopranos Christina White and Linnea Lyerly, tenor Ray Bauwens, and pianist Malcolm Halliday weave together an itinerary of different genres, time periods, languages, and styles with works by notable composers including Schumann, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff as well as Bernstein, Copland, and Barber. Some stops offer lighter fare from the classic Italian song repertoire, selected Victorian parlor music, and some golden nuggets from Gilbert and Sullivan. Reserve your seats for a musical adventure—no passports or visas required!

Master Singers of Worcester Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Please note: This is a ticketed event (see below).

The Master Singers with pianist Olga Rogach celebrate the season with music for Hanukkah, Christmas and the holidays, including the Magnificat of Durante (attributed Pergolesi), Four Carols of Malcolm Hawkins, the classic “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and favorite Noels and carols from across the ages, closing with an opportunity for the audience to sing-along! FCC’s own handbell choir, the Shrewsbury Ringers, will also perform in this concert for all ages.

Admission: $25 general, $20 seniors, and $15 for students and children. Tickets at a $5 discount may be purchased in advance at previous Arts on the Green events through the FCC church office or the Master Singers website at

Caroling on the Common
Friday, December 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm

A favorite holiday tradition in Shrewsbury, this annual carol sing with the Worcester Brass Consort and hot chocolate takes place on the town common regardless of the weather. In the event of extreme winter conditions, caroling is moved into the First Congregational Church fellowship hall. The event is made possible by Heald and Chiampa Funeral Home, Scizzors Hair Salon, and Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union.

Follow the Cannon: Clara Barton’s Civil War Letters
Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Actress Lynne McKenney Lydick brings the remarkable Clara Barton - born in Oxford, MA and founder of the American Red Cross - to life through Clara’s letters from the Civil War. At the end of the bloodiest one day battle in American history, the Battle of Antietam, Dr. James Dunn, a battlefield surgeon, wrote of Clara Barton: "In my feeble estimation, Gen. McClellan, with all his laurels, sinks into insignificance beside the true heroine of the age, the angel of the battlefield.” Please note: This free event takes place at the Shrewsbury Public Library, 609 Main St, Shrewsbury, MA and is made possible in partnership with the Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library.

You Can Make a Difference

Arts on the Green is made possible through the support of the Music Fund of First Congregational Church, admission proceeds from ticketed events, individual and corporate sponsorships, and donations from members of the local community. Won’t you consider helping us? Gifts in any amount are welcome. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to Arts on the Green at the following levels of sponsorship:

Underwriter: $1000 Benefactor: $500
Patron: $300 Sustainer: $200
Supporter: $100 Donor: $50
Friend: $25

Checks for a donation may be made out to: First Congregational Church with "Arts on the Green" written in the lower left hand corner, and mailed to First Congregational Church, 19 Church Rd., Shrewsbury, MA 01545. Thank you for your support!

Forming an "Arts on the Green" Steering Committee

There are many things that go into building a community concert series, including visioning and coming up with program ideas, advertising and publicity, contacting and booking events, creating all the printed materials for programs and posters, ushering and helping with ticket sales, receptions and other concert production logistics, and building a sponsorship base for the series. To build on the promising start that has already been initiated, an invitation is extended to members of the Shrewsbury community both within and outside the church to lend their support and consider helping in other ways beyond simply making a financial contribution (though that is always appreciated!) Please contact First Congregational Church Minister of Music Malcolm Halliday if you’d like to serve on such a committee.

For further information please contact the church office at 508-845-7286 or email Malcolm Halliday, Minister of Music.

Arts on the Green