The Historic Manchester Trust has announced that the Crowell Chapel Concert Series will be temporarily relocated to Manchester’s First Parish Church beginning with the Epic Brass Christmas Concert this December. A State Building Code issue has displaced the Series from the Chapel until alterations are made at the Chapel. The Historic Manchester Trust Board of Directors see the move as a necessary action to proceed with the ongoing efforts at building support for preservation of the Town’s historic structures, the mission of the Trust. The Trust’s efforts for the last three years are innovative approaches to bringing our buildings back to life.
In 2012, after some eight years of careful historic preservation of Crowell Chapel by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), a group of concerned citizens joined together to seek a solution and method to protect , care for and advocate for all the Town’s historic assets and buildings; and in particular and uniquely to the Crowell Chapel, organize a concert series. It was thought that a concert series would spur its wider use, make it part of the Town’s mainstream and encourage the regular care and maintenance of this and other historic structures.
The Trust Board met with the Board of Selectmen, and they asked the Board to discuss this endeavor with the Manchester Historical Society/Museum, and look to the example of Seaside One as a possible solution. The Manchester Historical Society/Museum said it would not be interested in duplicating the Seaside One model again, so the Trust researched best options to accomplish the main task of caring and advocating for Town historic assets. The Trust proceeded with setting up a Massachusetts 180 Corporation, a not-for-profit entity in the State of Massachusetts. This was accomplished on the 3rd of January 2012, and it was submitted to the Secretary of State, and at same time the Trust applied to the Internal Revenue Service for a 501c3 not-for-profit designation as a tax exempt entity. On September 4th, 2013 the Trust’s application was approved by the IRS.
The Historic Manchester Trust’s Crowell Chapel Concert Series began in December 2011, and continued with one or two events every month for almost three years until April 2014, bringing in hundreds of Manchester residents to the beautifully restored Chapel for the first time. At that time a Massachusetts building code issue capped audience size to a maximum of 49, a figure below the financial break-even point for concerts. This caused a full cessation of the Concert Series at Crowell Chapel.
Not wanting to lose momentum, the HMT will relocate the Concert Series beginning this December to the historic First Parish Church (FPC), perhaps the most iconic of Manchester’s historic structures. The First Parish Church has stepped in and worked to help maintain the larger preservation effort by sustaining the Series’ momentum during this unexpected transition.
The 3rd annual Christmas Songs & Carols with the Epic Brass Quintet will proceed as planned and as for the last 2 years, with great participation by the Town. (see below for the near term concert schedule at FPC).
HMT continues to monitor and advocate for Crowell Chapel, as last Thursday the members of the Trust Board joined Mark Hammond at the Chapel when all the rain gutters were cleaned of all leaves, branches and muck, just before the rain and snow. This will have to be repeated again before winter sets in December, after the final leaves fall.
HMT urges our supporters and the Town as a whole to continue to support our Concert Series, as we advocate for all our shared historic assets. We look forward to continuing with the HMT’s Concert Series and expanding our advocacy.
Schedule — Historic Manchester Trust Concert Series, with Single Tree Music ** at First Parish Church
See our new web site address at www.thehistoricmanchestertrust.com
• December 12, 2014– HOLIDAYS & WINTERTIDE,** Chelsea Berry and Friends, 7:30–10:30 pm
• December 21, 2014– EPIC BRASS QUINTET– CHRISTMAS SONGS & CAROLS, 4 pm. ( 3 rd annual)
• January 3, 2015– A VIENNA NEW YEARS– with Diva and the Fiddler and piano, Austrian Waltzes 4 pm.
Historic Manchester Trust,
Board of Directors;
Bonnie Anderson Rising