Embrace Spring with Boston Conservatory Orchestra at Groton Hill Music Center

On April 8, the orchestra celebrates the changing seasons at an exciting new concert venue.

March 28, 2023

When Boston Conservatory Orchestra takes the stage on April 8 to perform Songs of Reflection and Joy, its members will get the chance to play at one of New England’s premier venues: a new, state-of-the-art concert hall at Groton Hill Music Center. With its lofty, vaulted ceiling and striking views of the surrounding landscape, Groton Hill is the ideal location for a program of works by Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Ulysses Kay that pay tribute to the natural world and its changing seasons. 

Groton Hill’s main concert hall combines elegant and thoughtful architecture with leading-edge acoustic design—surrounded by 110 acres of rustic landscape on a former apple orchard in Groton, Massachusetts. Designed by Alan Joslin and Deborah Epstein, principal architect of the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts, the concert hall takes its cues from classic New England barns, with high, exposed beams; warm pine panels; and fieldstone-lined walls. Chicago-based firm Threshold Acoustics provided acoustic design that aligns beautifully with the building’s interior.

The main hall also features an enormous shed door that can be opened during warm-weather performances, allowing patrons to view the concert from lawn seating in the adjacent meadow—much like Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, which Joslin helped to create when he worked with William Rawn Associates architects in the 1990s.

“It is a beautiful building with world-class acoustics, and I am so excited to have the Boston Conservatory Orchestra perform there,” says conductor Bruce Hangen, professor of orchestral studies. Hangen also serves as artistic director and conductor of the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra, which calls Groton Hill Music Center its home.

For the April 8 program, Songs of Reflection and Joy, Hangen chose works that are well-suited to the concert venue and embrace the spring season. The orchestra will perform an instrumental excerpt from the opera Parsifal, which the composer Wagner was inspired to compose on an April morning in 1857: “The little garden was radiant with green, the birds sang, and at last I could … enjoy the long-yearned-for peace with its message of promise.” 

The program also includes Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture and a collection of songs from 20th-century African American composer Ulysses Kay’s The Southern Harmony: “Aylesbury,” “The Heavenly March,” “Wondrous Love,” and “Saint's Delight.”

The main concert hall is the centerpiece of a 126,000-square-foot, comprehensive music facility, which features an additional, 300-seat performance venue, Meadow Hall, as well as 35 studio classrooms. The building houses Groton Hill Music School (formerly known as Indian Hill), which has been providing lessons, group classes, ensembles, and performance opportunities to students of all ages for more than three decades.

And now, with two world-class performance venues, Groton Hill is poised to become a destination for music lovers from all over. Its picturesque New England location and quaint downtown offers visitors the opportunity to stay for a while, and explore the historic Nashoba Valley area.

Groton Hill’s stages are drawing artists worthy of the impressive venue. In addition to the performances by the Boston Conservatory and Vista Philharmonic orchestras, the upcoming concert calendar features LeAnn Rimes, Leslie Ododm Jr., and Bela Fleck.

Hangen sees a bright future for Groton Hill Music Center. “It will surely become a hub of musical activity on a national and international scale,” he says.

Learn more about Boston Conservatory Orchestra: Songs of Reflection and Joy and purchase tickets.