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Calendar of Events

The Worcester Arts Council is proud to support a variety of cultural happenings through its grant allocations each year. This calendar provides a snapshot of the activity supported with funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

May 2017

Communities of Song
Sunday, 5/7/2017 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Wesley United Methodist Church, 114 Main Street, Worcester, MA - Free-will donation
"Communities of Song," a multicultural concert will be presented by the Shir Joy Chorus, Band of Voices, Wesley Choir, and Wesley Ghanaian Choir at the Wesley United Methodist Church. Conceived of and produced by Nan AK Gibbons, director of both the Shir Joy Chorus and Band of Voices, the concert will bring together several Worcester County choral groups in a multicultural concert, under the direction of Ms Gibbons and Brett Maguire, Minister of Music at the Wesley Church. A donation may be made as a free-will offering to benefit the Pastoral Counseling Centers of MA.

Each of the four groups will perform repertoire from their own unique repertoire, and then come together for a grand finale with all choirs singing together. The concert is intended to highlight the rich cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity among choral groups in Worcester county. Shir Joy Chorus from Westborough will present selections of Jewish music, the Band of Voices from Barre will sing both world folk music and pieces related to central Massachusetts traditions and seasons, Worcester's Wesley Choir will present more traditional church choral music, while the Wesley Ghanaian Choir will bring selections from the African Ghanaian Methodist repertoire. A final set including all choirs will include both an American and a South African spiritual, and two original pieces from the local composer and artistic director of Shir Joy and Band of Voices. These emphasize both a valuing of the richness of our diversity, and the music and humanity we share.

The concert is supported, in part, by the Worcester Arts Council, a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information, contact Nan AK Gibbons at

Shir Joy Chorus
Shir Joy Chorus is an adult, transdenominational community chorus, dedicated to learning, sharing, and performing Jewish music from the rich and varied Judaic cultures of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora. The Chorus performs music in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino. Founded in 2011, it is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, funded by the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, the Westborough Cultural Council and the Worcester Arts Council (members of the Massachusetts Cultural Council), and private supporters. The chorus is non-auditioned and is open to all people regardless of ethnicity or religious background.

Shir Joy is a musical organization dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the breadth and beauty of Jewish culture through performances and related activities. In addition to its two annual concerts at Congregation B'nai Shalom in Westborough, the Chorus performs at other venues such as Arts in Common in Westborough (for the Westborough Cultural Council), Yom Hashoah Commemoration in Worcester, Northborough Community Meals, and Central MA Pastoral Counseling Center fundraisers.

Band of Voices
The Band of Voices is celebrating their 20th year as an intergenerational chorus of the people, land, seasons, history, and traditions of central Massachusetts. Though their repertoire sources are worldwide, concerts always include some New England music, local composers, connections to nature, seasons and spirituality. The group's two main concerts each year occur as close to the Solstices as possible. For Band of Voices, rehearsals are a way to feed the soul; a rich experience of music and community. Concerts are a way of celebrating community with their faithful, enthusiastic audience, which deepens with every performance and each passing year. Traditions include singalong pieces, sumptuous post-concert refreshments, free concerts, and passing a hat to cover expenses or to donate to a worthy cause. The 26 current members of the BoV hail from Barre, Petersham, Phillipston, Hardwick, Oakham, Wendell, Ware, Hubbardston, Spencer, and Lancaster.

Wesley United Methodist Choirs
Both the Wesley Choir and Ghanaian Choir have active leadership roles in worship services, leading the singing of hymns, both old and new, and presenting choral anthems at Wesley United Methodist Church. The cathedral-like sanctuary of the church was designed with music and worship as priorities. Since the church's inception in 1927, the Wesley Choir has sung at Sunday worship services from September to June, and at all other major worship events. They present choral anthems that give deep biblical texts a rich spiritual presentation. Their anthems are chosen from a rich and diverse heritage: from ancient motets of the Middle Ages (when sacred choral music began) to music being written today. They also present many major choral works, alone and in combination with other choral singers.

The Ghanaian Choir is a dynamic component of the music program at Wesley United Methodist Church. They present lively weekly anthems full of the rhythms, scales and movements of their traditions. They are active participants in the National Choir Conference of Ghanaian Methodist Choirs in North America. Perhaps the most moving part of both choirs' service to Wesley's multicultural congregation is their weekly collaboration singing a broad repertoire together from Bach to hymns to exciting musical praise in the Ghanaian/African tradition.
Sponsored by: Worcester Arts Council
For more information, e-mail

Odd Fellows Home of MA. 2nd Worcester Black Tie Gala
Saturday, 5/13/2017 6:00 PM-11:00 PM
Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA - Tickets $75.00
On Saturday, May 13, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Odd Fellows Home will be hosting The 2nd Worcester Black Tie Gala at the Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation St., Worcester, MA 01605 from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. There will be a silent auction, wine tasting, dinner, dancing.

There will be a special presentation of the Odd Fellows Home Salute to Achievement Award to Dr. Gail E. Carberry, President of Quinsigamond Community College for her service, support and generosity throughout this community.

The Odd Fellows Home is a not-for-profit, skilled nursing and rehabilitative facility located in Worcester that has been a staple of the community for over 119 years! It offers a broad range of skilled care and therapeutic services designed to promote independence, optimize mobility and enhance the quality of life for our residents. Dedicated to the basic tenets of Friendship, Love and Truth, the staff extends compassionate care in a comfortable environment! Our residents range from those who receive long and short term care, long and short term rehabilitation including those who may need hospice.

Tickets to the event are $75.00 each and tables of 8 &10 are available upon request. There is an option to purchase advertisement space for our Program Book. All checks are to be made payable to the Odd Fellows Home. Please respond with ticket (s) request, sponsorship opportunities by May 1, 2017.

Please review the enclosed form and let us know how you will help! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Nancy Cyr at 508-853-6687 x 124 or

Sponsored by: Board of Directors of the Odd fellows Home of MA.
For more information, e-mail or call 508-853-6687x124.

UNITEY Culinary & Musical Arts Series
Saturday, 5/27/2017 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
North High School Theater, 140 Harrington Way, Worcester, MA - FREE
For more information, e-mail or call 774-232-1025.

June 2017

"Interludes" Art in the Park Worcester 2017
Sunday, 6/11/2017 3:00 PM-6:00 PM
Elm Park, Highland Street and Park Avenue, Worcester, MA - Free to the Public
8th biennial Art in the Park, Worcester exhibit opens! Featuring the works of 18 professional sculptors and students from the Worcester Public School; artist talks; Mobile Farmers Market; Drumming; One Love Cafe'; Pure Juz and more...
Sponsored by: Art in the Park Worcester; Greater Worcester Community Foundation; Worcester Arts Council
For more information, e-mail or call 508-341-3838.

Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival
Saturday, 6/17/2017 12:00 PM-8:00 PM
Institute Park, Worcester, 100 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA - Fee
The Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival 2017 will celebrate with music, fireworks, and personal expression the new dawn the new day in the lives of those enslaved who became freedman in Massachusetts and the nation June 1783 and June 1865, respectively. None of us are free until we are all free. MLK
Sponsored by: Worcester Arts Council; Stonesoup; Black Heritage Committee
For more information, e-mail or call 508-341-3838.

Make Music Day Worcester
Wednesday, 6/21/2017 10:00 AM-8:00 PM
Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main Street, Worcester, MA - Free
Make Music Day is an annual free, outdoor day of music held on the summer solstice, June 21.

Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician  young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion will perform in city parks and other venues all over Worcester to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. Interactive programs, music lessons, and jam sessions will also be held to allow even the novice to participate in making music. All of it is free and open to the public.

Make Music Worcester invites all members of the Worcester community to join in the celebration of live music by performing, hosting musical acts, and attending the free concerts and programs. Please check out our website and sign up to perform on June 21.
Sponsored by: Worcester Arts Council, Mass Cultural Council, WICN
For more information, e-mail

August 2017

3rd Annual Summer Gospel Fest
Saturday, 8/5/2017 1:00 PM-8:00 PM
Institute Park, Worcester, 100 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA - "Free" Admission. Food & Merchandise on Sale.
This event is orchestrated to bring diverse groups of artists, individuals, groups, cultures, race, and communities together to enjoy the melodious sound of gospel music, good food, free activities & giveaways, provide free services & resources, and more.
Sponsored by: Circle Of Nations Inc., Born To Win Ministries, Worcester Arts Council, & Massachusetts Cultural Council
For more information, e-mail or call 508-981-6823.

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