White River Valley. Randolph village is the little line of white in the center
The marquee...plus a statue of the performer
Teaching on 10/31/18. That statue is a pretty good representation!
The hall’s stately 1907 façade
The Randolph concert was in the magnificently restored Chandler Music Hall, built in 1907 and rescued from a state of total decrepitude in the 1970s by a devoted and persistent group of Randolphians headed by Martha Ostlund.
This was just our second concert in a full-fledged dedicated concert hall (as opposed to a church, Grange, art gallery, or other multi-purpose building, or a performance space converted from another use). It is worth mentioning that thus far, every venue has generously made its space available to us free of charge. In the case of the Chandler, this represents a substantial in-kind donation to the project.
Chandler executive director Karen Dillon filled in Randolph
With Jennifer Grout and her daughter Kamar. The flowers are actually Jennifer’s
On this concert I had the privilege of accompanying Randolph’s Jennifer Grout جينيفر جراوت. Jennifer studied Western classical music at McGill University, but early on found her way to Arabic classical music and is now an internationally acclaimed vocalist in traditional Arabic and adjacent styles. This concert marked her return to Western classical performance after a long hiatus. I don’t know if I was more impressed by her artistry or by her ability to shift gears between European classical technique and
the Arabic vocal style of the Jad Salameh song, which entail quite different modes of vocal production. The title of Salameh’s touching song, “Grow Where Your Roots Are”, is an apt motto for this whole project.
Martha Ostlund, the driving force behind the massive rehabilitation and renovation of the Chandler in the 1970s, determined in 1983 that the once-again magnificent space required a commensurate piano. She began a capital campaign to purchase a new Steinway D concert grand. When some board members expressed concern about the $25,000 goal, Martha said “There are people out there who want to make a contribution, if you just give them the opportunity.”
The largest donation came from Clara Hendin, in honor of her mother, Marian Tully Dimick (sister of Alice Tully, namesake of the NYC concert hall).
Vermont pianist and technician Dale Howe accompanied concert pianist Robert Schrade to the Steinway showroom where they selected serial #483118 Model D, manufactured in 1983. Roman Markowicz gave the dedicatory concert on Oct. 13, 1984, playing a propgram of Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin (Martha’s favorite).
I did not play any Chopin, and I played a bit of modern music, which was not Martha’s bag. But as then-director Janet Watton reassured pianist Steven Masi in 2004 when he expressed concern about programming Stravinsky at Martha’s memorial concert: “Without Martha’s great work, Chandler would not have moved into the 21st century—but now it has!”