This year Maudslay Arts Center (MAC) will celebrate its Silver Jubilee 25th Anniversary season with a wonderful line-up of concerts and making his MAC debut Jonathan Edwards, the American singer-songwriter and musician best known for his 1971 hit single “Sunshine.”
The popular Bobby Keyes Trio will open the MAC Summer Concert Series on Saturday, July 8, ushering in a new season with something for every musical taste from classical to jazz, from opera to bluegrass, from country to the Great American Songbook.
The celebration will continue with MAC favorites Rebecca Parris, the Hillyer Festival Orchestra (opera), Amanda Carr, and Donna Byrne, to name just a few, and culminate in A Salute to Veterans with singer-songwriter Don Campbell on Sunday, Aug. 27.
MAC is a popular cultural and entertainment destination that has served tens of thousands of patrons since its founding 25 years ago in 1992.
Situated in a picturesque corner of the 442-acre Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MAC is best known for its outstanding summer concert series. However, from mid-May through mid-October, it is also a popular setting for special events such as weddings, corporate functions, educational activities, reunions, and more.
It all started back in 1985, when Nicholas J. Costello with the help of other environmentally conscious state legislators realized the purchase of the 500-plus acre Moseley estate by The Commonwealth Of Massachusetts. The purchase effectively saved the property from private developers waiting in the wings to buy this amazing tract of land on the Merrimack River, full of trails and gardens and home to thousands of species of plants.
People came to enjoy simple walks in the beauty and quiet of nature offering something for all our New England seasons. A children’s outdoor theater company emerged along with the perfect setting for marriage ceremonies, picnics, memorial services, and just plain enjoyment of nature’s magnificence.
In 1993, three men of vision were granted a special permit by the state Dept. of Environmental Management. Former Senator Nick Costello, former Mayor Edward Molin and E. James Gaines pooled their ideas, expertise and capital to create the Maudslay Arts Center, MAC.
From the rubble and decay of an area known as the “the farmyard” the trio designed and built a 1600 sq. ft. performance stage, the lynchpin of an area that forms a natural bowl consisting of the patio area for chairs and tables seating 200. An adjacent lawn area nestled under the trees accommodates an additional 200.
The old dairy barn was re-shingled, cupolas rebuilt, the interior gutted and a polished concrete floor laid. Modern bathrooms were housed in the former milk shed.
Since its beginning, MAC continues to operate through the effort of volunteers. All costs are offset by gate receipts, rentals for special occasions, and donations from patrons and businesses. No tax dollars are involved. As you enjoy this beautiful mini-Tanglewood, become part of our vision. MAC welcomes your financial support, your gift of time or expertise to maintain the buildings.
Whether you’re sitting under the stars on a moonlit evening, or lounging on a blanket on a Sunday afternoon, the Maudslay Arts Center Summer Concert Series provides the perfect setting for your entertainment pleasure.
Saturday concerts begin at 7 p.m. and include: The Bobby Keyes Trio on July 8, Hillyer Festival Orchestra on July 15, The Don Campbell Band on July 22, Amanda Carr on July 29, Rebecca Parris on Aug. 12, and Jonathan Edwards on Aug. 19.
Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2 p.m. and include: Donna Byrne on July 9, Hal McIntyre Big Band on July 16, Paul Broadnax & Friends on July 23, Liz Frame and the Kickers on Aug. 13, Shirim Klezmer Orchestra on Aug. 20, and A Salute to Veterans with Don Campbell on Aug. 27.
Maudslay Arts Center is located at 95 Curzon Mill Road, Maudslay State Park, Newburyport MA 01950. The concerts are held rain or shine, moving to the indoor performance hall adjacent to the patio when weather dictates.
Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, which can be casual or as elaborate as a gourmet meal with tablecloth and flowers and whatever suits the patron’s fancy. Delicious desserts such as seasonal cobblers, brownies, and Hodgie’s ice cream, cold beverages, and Peet’s House Blend Coffee may be purchased during intermission, all served by dedicated MAC volunteers, who continue to make this non-profit series happen.
Saturday performances start at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. Patio seating (tables and chairs) is $28 or four patio tickets for $100, while lawn seating (bring your own chairs or blankets) is $23. Children 12 and under are free.
The ticket prices for the special Jonathan Edwards concert on Saturday, Aug. 12, are $30 for patio and $25 for lawn. The “four patio tickets for $100” deal is not available for this concert.
Sunday performances start at 2 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m. General admission is $20 with open seating on the patio and lawn. Tables and chairs are provided on the patio. Special group rates may be arranged. Children 12 and under are free.
For the complete summer schedule, to purchase tickets online, or for further information about the performers, visit the MAC website at www.maudslayartscenter.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the gate or by calling (978) 499-0050. There is no reserved seating. Gift certificates also are available.
The series is supported by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, dedicated MAC volunteers and patrons, and the staff of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Saturday evening performances are entirely underwritten by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.