Machias Bay Chamber Concerts
Machias Bay Chamber Concerts was founded in 1969 by brothers Thomas and Andrew Wolf, who also founded Bay Chamber Concerts in Camden/Rockport. Robert Guptill, a local real estate agent, suggested the idea of a concert series in Machias to the Wolf brothers, and thus the first official season was launched in 1970. Centre Street Church in Machias has served as MBCC's primary performance venue throughout the years, given its excellent acoustics and central location.
MBCC continues to serve the community of Washington County through high-level performances, support of local and regional school music programs, and through promoting leaders in the arts throughout the Machias area.
Board of Trustees
- Mark Tipton, President
- Ray Foster, Vice-President
- Douglas Guy, Treasurer
- Bonnie Atkinson, Recording Secretary
- Diane Abrams, Corresponding Secretary
- Marjorie Ahlin
- Gail Berry
- Gloria Bodman
- Christine Guy
- Gene Nichols
Each year, the Machias Bay Chamber Concerts Board of Trustees makes several awards to support local music students and to recognize individuals who support the arts in Washington County, Maine.
Robert M. Guptill Award
In 1969, Robert Guptill, a local real estate salesman met Tom Wolf and his wife who were looking for property to purchase in the Downeast area. During that visit, Bob, who was aware that Tom, a flutist and his brother, Andy, a pianist had founded a summer concert series in Rockport, Maine, thought that a similar concert series might be a possibility in Machias. He, therefore, led them to the Centre Street Congregational Church known for its excellent acoustics. With the touch of only one note on the piano Tom was astounded and convinced that the concert idea was a real possibility. It was a year later in 1970 that the first Machias Bay Chamber Concerts (three in all) became a reality. In appreciation of Bob's great idea and for his many years of service on the MBCC Board, the Robert M. Guptill Award was conceived and is awarded annually, in the form of a plaque, to the person or organization for outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Washington County.
Music in the Schools
Music programs in the following area schools benefit from the vision and support of the Machias Bay Chamber Concerts: Narraguagus High School, Jonesport/Beals High School, Machias Memorial High School, Washington Academy, Lubec High School, and Shead High School, along with their sending elementary schools. Each year the Board of Directors votes to set aside a sum of money to allow students in these schools to attend quality arts programs. Any school within the program can request funds from MBCC simply by providing a brief description of the event to the Music in the Schools coordinator who in turn presents it to the board for approval. Some typical recent events include: students attending a Bangor Symphony Concert, members of the Bangor Symphony conducting assemblies and/or workshops at area schools, and students attending performances of The Nutcracker.
MBCC also supports the Washington County Children's Chorus. Founded in 1995 by Christine Guy, it is a group dedicated to developing the ability of talented youngsters to sing together in harmony. Membership is open at no cost to Washington County children from age 7 to the completion of High School who show dedication to attending weekly rehearsals and improving their performance skills. Its most recent significant achievement was an exciting trip to Burgundy, France in June of 2014. The WCC Chorus participated in the WW2 Commemorative at Duns les Places and performed before many appreciative audiences. They will return to France in 2018. Website: www.washingtoncountychildrenschorus.net. Gratitude goes out to Centre Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Machias, which provides rehearsal space and support for the choir.
Machias Bay Chamber Concerts offers a recognition program to graduating seniors and to graduating 8th graders in all of the local schools within the program. Each spring our Music in the Schools coordinator notifies all elementary and high schools of this opportunity. The guidance counselor, principal and music teacher are encouraged to nominate a student from their school to receive recognition for his or her contributions to the school music program. Eighth grade students receive a letter of recognition and complimentary tickets to the season's concerts.
The Hollis Ingalls Music Award
We annually recognize a graduating senior from six area high schools who have contributed the most to their school music programs, giving them the Hollis Ingalls Music Award of $100 and two season tickets. These awards are typically presented at each student's graduation ceremony.