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.

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2017-18 Upcoming Meeting House Presents Shows (Click on the performer’s name for additional information)

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

  Jacques Lamarre 

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

Hit the road with Hartford-area playwright Jacques Lamarre (Raging Skillet, Christmas on the Rocks, I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti) as he recounts his summer vacation to Missouri and Arkansas. Jacques relives his visits to a coal mine, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, a replica of Noah’s Ark, and a Carpenters tribute show. Join this liberal, gay Yankee on his trip into the American heartland and find out how he ended his trip in prison.



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

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

  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 trio plus Scottish and Brazilian guest vocalists.
His guitar repertoire encompasses Celtic, American folk, classical, jazz, ragtime, blues, and Brazilian music. He is a prolific composer, performer, scholar, and teacher. 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. 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

“The War After the War” from Mary Gauthier’s new album, Rifles & Rosary Beads, coming January 26th, 2018

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.

Saturday, Jan 20, 7:30 p.m.

A triple threat as a songwriter, singer and musician, Susan Werner is one of the most prolific singer/songwriters in the United States since her 1995 debut.  Her iconoclastic concept CDs, including 2007’s agnostic gospel album, The Gospel Truth, and 2013’s tribute to American agriculture, Hayseed, have won her passionate fans from coast to coast.  She is also the composer and lyricist for the forthcoming Broadway show, Bull Durham: The Musical, based on the popular MGM motion picture.

Werner’s latest project is another unique concept album titled An American In Havana. The recording is a collection of original songs inspired by Werner’s recent travels to Cuba. The EP features performances and arrangements by legendary Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales, who has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, and Regina Carter, paired with Werner’s trademark song craft and wry poetic lyrics.


 $25 general, $23 members,
$12 students with ID, $10 children 12 & under

“Susan Werner, a clever songwriter
and engaging performer, brings
literacy and wit back to popular song.”

The New Yorker


Upcoming Concerts at the Sounding Board Coffeehouse:

  • 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.

2017-18  Meeting House Presents Shows

Oct. 27           Sam Moffett Quartet

Nov. 24          David Massengill


Concert Entertainment Fun Guitar Singing Music Concerts Theater