Meeting House Presents Blog

Last summer Laura Stewart Cipriano and I agreed to chair the Performing Arts Series which Patrice Fitzgerald had headed for years. Our vision is to present eclectic but wonderful live performances. The series is now called Meeting House Presents.

It has been fun but challenging as there were so many details to attend to. The biggest challenge was getting performers to agree to specific dates on short notices. Most concert series book a year in advance and we started in late August of this year for a season that begins in October.

We could not have done it without the tremendous support of Janice and David Newton, Ed Savage, Reverends Cathy and Heather, Chris Wilt, Linda Clark, Brian Harvey, Hank Murray, Kathryn Ann Anderson, Phil Gardner, and the entire Volunteer Board of Directors at USH.

The Sounding Board Coffee House, a West Hartford folk music institution for 40 plus years, not only gave us advice and promotional support but also the use of their quality sound system at no charge to help us during our first season. We will always be extremely grateful for their generous offer.

The exciting Meeting House Presents season opens in October with the terrific new USH Director of Music Ministries Sam Moffett. Sam is a lifelong resident of West Hartford, a recent graduate of Berklee School of Music and currently enrolled at The University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music in the Master of Music in Composition Degree Program. Sam will be playing saxophone with his new jazz quartet on Friday October 27th at 8 pm.

In November Meeting House Presents is thrilled to have David Massengill in concert, ( David is recognized universally for his pivotal role in keeping the American folk music tradition alive. Called “a master of vivid lyrical imagery” (Boston Globe), David continues to create beautiful and poignant “story songs” that are intimate and relevant and tug at your emotions.

Returning in January 2018 by popular demand are the familiar faces and exquisite sounds of the New World Trio.  ( New World Trio plays classical chamber music and we look forward to their return performance.

In March 2018 Meeting House Presents has two shows. All the way from Nova Scotia JP Cormier             ( ). J.P. Cormier is a Canadian bluegrass/folk/Celtic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has released more than a dozen records, an impressive body of work that has earned him a vast and loyal fan base and multiple award nominations and wins, including 13 East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Award, five Music Nova Scotia Awards, Juno nominations, commendations from the Governor General of Canada and Premier of Nova Scotia. JP’s 2015 album, The Chance, was nominated for a Juno award in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category.

Also in March 2018, Meeting House Presents brings Susie Burke and David Surette to USH  (, a wonderful husband and wife duo sure to get you singing along and your feet tapping. Susie is a terrific singer, songwriter and wonderful interpreter of classic songs and David will amaze you with his versatile guitar playing.

In April 2018 Meeting House Presents invites you to An Evening with Mary Gauthier (  Mary has toured worldwide and had been lauded by critics as diverse as National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal.  Music Critics have said Mary’s songwriting puts her in a class with greats such as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, and Bob Dylan.

Laura and I are excited to bring a diverse and wonderfully eclectic, talented group of performers to the inaugural season of Meeting House Presents and we hope it is the first of many successful seasons here at USH.

Season Tickets are available for $140 in Fellowship Hall after Sunday service or mail checks to Meeting House Presents, c/o USH 50 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105. Please make your check out to USH with Meeting House Presents Season Tickets in the memo.

We still have two more dates to fill and will be announcing the performers soon and we think they will be a great addition to the diverse and exciting schedule we have presented. You can watch videos of some of the performers and get more information at

Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you on Friday nights right here at USH!

Laura & Paul