, Gloucester, MA

July 11, 2013

Gothic chapel hosting concerts

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — MANCHESTER — The restored Crowell Memorial Chapel in Manchester will host two concerts, on Sunday and Monday, presenting two styles of music in the historic Gothic building.

The Sunday, July 14, concert features Arcadian Winds in a program titled “Night at the Opera” at 7 p.m. The Monday, July 15, concert at 7:30 p.m. features the return of an acclaimed songwriter, Brendan James.

The Crowell Chapel concert series is run under the auspices of the Historic Manchester Trust. The concert venue was built in 1903, and is lauded for its vibrant acoustics and classic interior, including stained glass windows.

The Arcadian Winds woodwind quintet will present a celebration of famous arias by Verdi, Puccini and Bizet, and also features Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll.”

The modern wind quintet sprang from the ensemble favored in the court of Joseph II in late 18th century Vienna and it was Anton Reicha’s 24 quintets, begun in 1811, and the nine quintets of Franz Danzi that established the genre, according to a press release. Though the form fell out of favor in the latter half of the 19th century, there was renewed interest by leading composers in the 20th century, and today the wind quintet is a standard chamber ensemble, valued for its versatility and variety of tone color.

The Arcadian Winds has premiered more than 50 new works since it was founded in 1987. The July 14 program will primarily feature arrangements unique to Arcadian Winds, created by longtime member and clarinetist Mark Miller.

The group is comprised of Vanessa Holroyd on flute, Jane Harrison on oboe, Mark Miller on clarinet, Laura Carter on horn, and Janet Underhill on bassoon.

On Monday, James, a piano-based songwriter, will perform at 7:30 p.m. to support his upcoming release, “Simplify.” James, who has been called a “songwriter on the rise” by Entertainment Weekly, also has been described by Carly Simon as having “a voice that can change the world.” He is in the midst of a coast-to-coast tour of more than 20 cities.

James, who played at Crowell Chapel last March, said he became enamored by the venue’s acoustic brilliance and the reception from the audiences.

“Manchester-by-the-Sea is clearly one of the most music-loving communities in all of New England. In March, they welcomed me with great applause, and I can’t wait to return in July with my new album in hand,” he said.

“Simplify” is his fifth album, one which he says represents his finding a clarity for which he has been searching for years.”

Tickets for the shows are available through, the Crowell Chapel Facebook page, locally at Nor’East Frameworks, North Coast Too!, Crosby’s and Richdale, and through Woody Kelly at 617-755-9299 or email him at

The 2013 program season goes through December. To become a patron, contact Kelly.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or