Meeting House Presents: concerts, theater, music, entertainment

Unitarian Society of Hartford 2017-18 Performing Arts Concert  Series co-produced with  The Sounding Board Coffee House

Prices unless otherwise noted.  Tickets $20 at the door/$12 for students with ID.  Members children under age 12 are free with parent. Support live music.

Season Tickets available for $140 in Fellowship Hall after church or mail checks to Meeting House Presents c/o USH, 50 Bloomfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105.  Make checks out to USH with Meeting House Presents Season Tickets in the memo.

Our weekly email includes concert announcements,  updates, and info about folk music events in the area. Click to subscribe to Meeting House Presents Email


2017-18 Upcoming Meeting House Presents Shows

Oct. 27           Sam Moffett Quartet

Nov. 24          David Massengill

Jan. 19           Jacques Lamarre

Jan. 26           New World Trio

Feb. 23           Dennis McCorkle

March 23       JP Cormier

March 30       Susie Burke and David Surette

Apr. 27           An Evening with Mary Gauthier


Meeting House Presents uses Brown Paper Tickets for advance ticketing services.

To purchase tickets to a Meeting House Presents concert, click on “buy tickets” to the event you want to attend..  You will be taken to the Brown Paper Tickets website where you can complete your purchase.

When your ticket purchase is complete, you may print paper tickets on your own printer. You can also show the confirmation email received from Brown Paper Tickets on your mobile device at the door.

Your ticket purchase will appear on your credit card statement as Brown Paper Tickets.

Ticket purchases are non-refundable. A small service charge in addition to the ticket price applies to every purchase. A portion of the service charge is used to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the United States.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door with cash or check.

Friday, November 24, 2017,  8:00 p.m.          

for David Massengill   

Click to Listen to On the Road to Fairfax County      Video link:   Rider on an Orphan Train

By birth a Tennessean, David Massengill “emigrated” to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-70’s, walking the same streets and playing the same storied coffee houses as Dylan and Van Ronk.

Thirty years later, he’s still walking those streets—but now he’s being 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. Songs like “Rider On An Orphan Train“ a narrative ballad ringing with truth and anguish” (Washington Post), “Number One In America”, a riveting and ironic civil rights anthem” (Boston Globe) and the biting political statement, “The Gambler”, a thing of beauty about all things ugly” (Barry Crimmins).

His songs have been covered and recorded by Joan Baez, The Roches, Lucy Kaplansky, Tom Russell, Nanci Griffith and his mentor, Dave Van Ronk, who said David “took the dull out of dulcimer!”  Notes Music Boulevard, “That David made the lap dulcimer his instrument of choice tells us a lot about the soft-spoken native of eastern Tennessee. He accompanies his performance with an instrument indelibly Appalachian, yet conquers even the most urban of musical communities. He does it without losing that remarkable gift for true storytelling.

David has released six albums, eleven bootlegs and fourteen books to date, including “Partners in Crime”, the debut album of The FolkBrothers, David’s duo project with the late great Jack Hardy.

Friday, January 19, 2018, 8:00 p.m.

for Jacques Lamarre


A reading of a new play written and performed by Jacques Lamarre, reception with the playwright follows

Jacques Lamarre is a favorite at a wide variety of Connecticut arts organizations including Hartford Stage, the Hartford Symphony, TheaterWorks, the Mark Twain House, Real Art Ways, and The Wadsworth Atheneum.  An accomplished playwright, his twelfth full-length play, The Raging Skillet,  premiered at TheaterWorks in 2017. Come hear a reading of his latest work, RED STATE ROAD TRIP. A reception with the playwright follows.

Friday, January 26, 2018, 8:00 p.m.   

photo New World Trio concert
Cellist Peter Zay, violinist Anhared Stowe, and pianist Pi-Hsun Shih

for the New World Trio

Returning by popular demand are the familiar faces and exquisite sounds of the New World Trio, bringing the excitement and intimacy of chamber music to Hartford. Founded in 1985 by violinist Anhared Stowe, New World provides a unique experience for music lovers with its mix of both standard repertoire and contemporary works. With each performance, New World brings new vitality to established masterworks; these are paired with contemporary pieces, with each complementing the other in depth and beauty.

Peter Zay – Cello

Anhared Stowe – Violin

Pi-Hsun Shih – Piano

New World Trio web page

Friday, February 23, 2018, 8:00 p.m.      

for Dennis McCorkle         Dennis McCorkle’s webpage

Dennis McCorkle’s guitar repertoire encompasses classical, jazz, ragtime, blues, and Brazilian music. He is a prolific composer, performer, scholar, and teacher. Somehow he manages to do all that and still be humble and genuine. After a tour of duty playing guitar in the U.S. Navy Band, McCorkle studied with guitar masters Dennis Sandole, Frank Mullen and John Marlow. Audiences have enjoyed McCorkle’s music and performing in the New York city, Washington, D.C. and Atlantic City areas for over forty years.

Friday, March 23, 2018, 8:00   

  for JP Cormier               J.P. Cormier’s Web Page

JP on fiddle           JP plays Cannonball Rag on guitar           JP singing Sonny’s Dream

JP  on banjo           JP’s Uncle Joe’s fave Winston tunes        JP on mandolin

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, recording artist, teacher, collaborator, innovator and award winner; no matter what you call him, J.P. Cormier’s talent is comparable to none. Underlying it all is a young man with an ancient soul who has traveled the world for the past 30 years bringing joy to audiences wherever he goes. 

J.P. Cormier, is a Canadian bluegrass/folk/Celtic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. J.P.’s impressive body of work 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. His 2015 album, The Chance, was nominated for a Juno award in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category. A past Artist in Residence (2008), J.P. has performed at Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton every year since the Festival started in 1997.


Friday, March 30, 2018, 8:00   

for Susie Burke and David Surette

Listen to Burke and Surette             BurkeSurette web page

Susie Burke and David Surette, a wonderful husband and wife duo are sure to get you singing along and your feet tapping. Susie is a wonderful singer, songwriter and  interpreter of classic songs and David will amaze you with his versatile guitar playing. Together since 1988, Susie and David have built a steady following for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music. Burke’s vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is matched by Surette’s fluid fretwork.

Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway showtunes and classic ballads. “She posesses one of the finest, purest ballad sopranos heard in folk music today” writes Scott Alarik in the Boston Globe, noting that “her phrasing is unerringly devoted to the lyric” and that “Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords – all too rare in these clever and cynical times.”

David Surette has been performing in the Seacoast area since the mid-80s, both with Susie and with a number of other groups and musicians. He is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England’s contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician. As a multi-instrumentalist, David brings a variety of stringed sounds to the duo; Folk Roots magazine notes that his “bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary.” In addition to performing and recording, Surette maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. He was awarded an NEA travel grant in 1994 to study the traditional music of Brittany, France, and has written a book of Celtic guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Music.

Recipients of Individual Artist Fellowship awards from the NH State Council on the Arts in 1993, Susie and David are also on the Council’s Touring Arts roster. They have released five albums since 1990 on the Madrina Music label, to positive response from both critics and audiences. Their latest recording, a duo effort titled Waiting for the Sun, was released in 2015. Together, they bring skill, taste, feeling, and pure enjoyment to their music, and are bringing their music to an ever-widening circle of listeners.

Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:00           

for an Evening With Mary Gauthier

Tickets for this show are $22 at the door/$15 for students with ID.  Members children under age 12 are free with parent.

Listen to Mary Gauthier     Mary Gauthier videos      Rifles and Rosary Breads describes Mary’s new studio album she co-wrote with wounded combat veterans.

In a Nashville bookstore, to the tune of steam hissing from a latte machine and laptop taps of nearby browsers, she speaks in a low voice, yet communicates urgently. Her voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash.

And her songs? They’re about as idiosyncratic as anything in the wide world of “popular music.” They’re painfully personal, especially on Trouble and Love. Yet they somehow infiltrate the souls of her listeners, no matter how different the paths they’ve followed through their lives.

In her recent album, Trouble and Love, Gauthier’s songs rise from what she describes as an especially dark period. “I started the process in a lot of grief,” she explains. “I’d lost a lot. So the first batch of songs was just too sad. It was like walking too close to the fire. I had to back off from it. The truth is that when you’re in the amount of grief I was in, it’s an altered state. Life is not that. You go through that. We human beings have this built-in healing mechanism that’s always pushing us toward life. I didn’t want to write just darkness, because that’s not the truth. I had to write through the darkness to get to the truth. Writing helped me back onto my feet again. This record is about getting to a new normal. It’s a transformation record.”

The heart of that transformation, beating within Trouble and Love, is love. But its not the kind of love that’s celebrated on pop charts. In those tunes, love is its own end; the story stops as the giddiness sets in, with no hint of what may follow. Gauthier knows better; she has the scars to prove it.

“For me, love has been a real challenge,” she admits. “Attachment has been a challenge. This record is about losing an attachment I actually made. The loss of it was devastating because I hadn’t fully attached before to anyone. The good news is that I can. The even better news is that I can, and I can lose, and live. Not only do I live, but I’ve got a strength that I never had before.”


  • (2015) Nominated for GLADD Outstanding Music Artist of the Year at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

  • (2014) Trouble and Love, Named One of Best 40 Country Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone Magazine

  • (2014) “Mercy Now” Named One of Saddest 40 Country Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine

  • (2010) The Foundling named No. 3 Record of the Year by LA Times

  • (2005) First Major Label Release, Mercy Now, on Top 10 List for 2005 in New York Times, LA Times, The Daily News and Billboard Magazine

  • (2005) Awarded “New Artist of the Year” by The Americana Music Association

  • (2005) Mercy Now voted the No. 6 Record of the Decade by No Depression Magazine

  • (2002) Filth and Fire named “Best Indy CD of The Year” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times

  • (1998) Won Best Country Artist of the Year (GLAMA)

  • (1998) Nominated for 3 Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMA)

  • (1998) Nominated for Best New Artist of the Year, Boston Music Awards

  • (1998) Won 1st Annual Independent Music Awards for Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song for Drag Queens in Limousines

Our sister concert series

The Sounding Board Coffeehouse

Click to Reserve your seat at The Sounding Board Coffee House

The Sounding Board Folk & Acoustic Music Coffeehouse is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1973 to present and preserve folk music in all its forms in the Greater Hartford area, They are co-producing the Meeting House Presents concerts.

Sounding Board concerts are at The Universalist Church, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, CT, unless noted otherwise
860-770-3001•Credit/Debit Cards Accepted at the Door

 for ED TRICKETT at The Sounding Board Coffeehouse

Saturday, Nov 4, 7:30 p.m.

Ed Trickett is known as a “song interpeter.” He looks for hidden truths in songs, and sings them in a manner that brings out a new meaning to old songs.

Usually playing guitar, and singing in a very gentle manner, Ed doesn’t consider himself as a “professional” musician, but he is indeed a professional in every sense of the word. He has recorded several solo albums and has been an integal part of the folk trio Bok, Trickett & Muir.

 “ There’s warm comfort in Ed Trickett’s unaffected tenor and his living-room-folk approach..”

– Washington Post

 “Another Bay”   (Robin Chotzinoff)

 “Rolling Home (Live at The Sounding Board)”  (Traditional)

 for JOHN McCUTCHEON  at The Sounding Board Coffeehouse

 Saturday, Nov 18, 7:30 p.m.

“ One of our country’s best songwriters.” – Pete Seeger

John McCutcheon’s first award-winning song was titled The Ponderosa No-Cream-in-My-Coffee Blues. He was 15 and it won him a high school talent show award.

Since then McCutcheon has garnered more than his share of accolades. His range includes ballads, historical songs, children’s songs, love songs, topical satire, fiddle and hammer dulcimer instrumentals, and even symphonic works. His 36 albums have earned six Grammy nominations and accolades around the world.

Upcoming Concerts at the Sounding Board Coffeehouse:

  • Caravan of Thieves (1/6/18)
  • Susan Werner (1/20/18)
  • Grass Routes (2/3/18)
  • RPR (2/17/18)
  • Larry Kaplan with David Paton & Tom White (3/3/18)
  • John Gorka (3/10/18)
  • Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem (3/17/18)  is a comprehensive web site is maintained by Brent Hall  featuring folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England.


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