If you like music, you’ll find it in the Monadnock Region! An abundance of all types of music from rock to jazz to classical to opera can be found at numerous venues throughout the year. This blog is intended to give you a sampling of musical offerings rather than an exhaustive list.

One of the gems of the region is Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, which “exists to perform, teach, and broaden the appreciation of chamber music.” Located on 100 acres in Nelson, the Apple Hill campus consists of numerous buildings including living and practice spaces as well as the Rehearsal Barn and the Hoffman Community Auditorium. While Apple Hill Chamber Players perform at numerous venues throughout the year, they are perhaps best known for their summer concert series at their Nelson campus on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer.

Four musicians holding their string instruments

Apple Hill Chamber players

Nova Arts on Emerald Street in downtown Keene offers a variety of popular performers, including The Thing in the Spring, May 16-May 19. Nova Arts features two stages, a cafe, a coffee roastery, and open art studio. Check out their schedule of diverse performers.

Electric Earth Concerts offers public concerts throughout the Monadnock Region intended “to inspire, educate, and entertain, often looking beyond music to its connections to the other arts.” Their mission is twofold: to present affordable concerts of the highest quality in the Monadnock; and to bring music’s enriching and therapeutic power free of charge to schools, homes for people with disabilities, and other groups whose members cannot easily attend public concerts. Check out their schedule of events and their talented musicians.

The Colonial Theatre in downtown Keene opened its doors in 1924 as a “grand, state-of-the-art performing arts facility… [hosting] live performances, film, opera, theatre and vaudeville.” The beautiful, historic landmark on Main Street has been renovated and refurbished over the years.

Beautiful theatre with rows of empty seats and the balcony, taken from the stage

The Colonial Theatre as viewed from the stage

In 2021, a second smaller venue, The SHOWROOM, opened its doors behind the Colonial Theatre on Commercial Street. The variety of shows offered at these venues means that there’s something for everyone.

Monadnock Music “connects people to music and each other through adventurous musical performances and teaching [by making] exceptional music accessible to all in intimate and informal settings in the towns and villages of the Monadnock Region and beyond.” Monadnock Music began in 1966, when James Bolle brought musicians from the big cities to the region; now in its 58th year, their commitment to performing contemporary music has resulted in excellent performances enjoyed by people of all ages. Check out their schedule.

Situated in southeastern Vermont, about 45 minutes from the Bridges Inn, is the Marlboro Music Festival, known for its chamber music and playing a vital role in developing generations of new musical leaders. Check out their Summer 2024 concert schedule.

Musicians practicing - pianist, violinists

Open Rehearsal at Marlboro Music

Northlands Music and Arts Festival is scheduled for June 14th and 15th at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey, with some Early Entry performances scheduled for Thursday evening, June 13th.  This 2-day music festival draws people from all over and promises to be a hit. See this year’s lineup.

Schedule of the lineup for the Northlands weekend

Many concerts are held at public places such as Stonewall Farm (Keene), Heberton Hall (Keene), Park Theatre (Jaffrey), Peterborough Town House, Bass Hall-Monadnock Center for History and Culture (Peterborough), Cathedral of the Pines (Rindge), Machina Arts (Keene), the DubHub (Dublin), Del Rossi’s Trattoria (Dublin), breweries such as Frogg Brewing (West Swanzey) and West L.A. Brewing (West Swanzey), as well as local churches.

In the summer, many local towns, such as Keene, Walpole, Jaffrey, and Peterborough have outdoor concerts.

If you look around, you’ll find music to your ears in the Monadnock Region.

Note: For another perspective on music in the Monadnock Region, see the Live Music blog co-published by the Greater Monadnock Collaborative and Arts Alive.Guitar lying on its side