Live from the Sanctuary: Christien Beeuwkes and Dana Maiben

Sunday, September 20 at 4:00 PM: A song recital including works by Schubert, Mozart, Persichetti, and the online premiere of a new set of songs by Maiben.

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On July 26, the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence launched an online concert series, Live from the Sanctuary, to benefit the Society’s Sanctuary program and the performing musicians. Curated by the Society’s Interim Music Director, Dana Maiben, the Sanctuary Series features music from acclaimed local performers in a variety of styles, from folk to jazz to classical music, and from solo piano to small groups that are able to perform together safely. No audience will be in the space with the performers, instead the entire series will be recorded for live online broadcast. We are proud to offer an outlet for musicians in this challenging time, while supporting a very worthy cause. We hope you will join us.

Concert Calendar

All donations will be split between musicians and the Society’s Sanctuary Fund. Since April, 2018, the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence has provided sanctuary to Irida Kakhtiranova, a mother, wife, friend, community member, worker and U.S. taxpayer. Irida came to the Unitarian Society via the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, a local nonprofit working tirelessly towards immigration justice. Sanctuary allows someone who is in danger of deportation to have a protected place to live while making a case for asylum or citizenship-They have built lives and contributed to their communities here;for many, return to their native countries would destroy a family or pose a threat to their safety.

About Our Sanctuary

Our sanctuary is a beautiful space, with wonderful acoustics and a Steinway model B, built in 1907 and thoroughly refurbished in 2018. While nothing can equal a live performance, we will broadcast with Sennheiser MKH 40 RF microphones, which are designed to resist humidity, into a Sound Devices MixPre-6.

Sunday, September 20 at 4 PM

Soprano Christien Beeuwkes joins pianist Dana Maiben in a song recital including works by Franz Schubert, and W.A, Mozart, along with Vincent Persichetti’s settings of four Emily Dickinson poems, and the online premiere of a new set of songs by Maiben, “Love Is Not All—Six Poems of Edna Saint Vincent Millay.”
Here is a live recording of a recent rehearsal:

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, July 26 at 4 PM

On July 26, the Bob Sparkman Trio inaugurated the series, with veteran jazz clarinetist Bob Sparkman, pianist Clifton “Jerry” Noble, Jr, and electric bassist Kara Noble in a freewheeling improvisatory journey through traditional jazz and the American Songbook.

View Concert Program

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, August 9 at 4 PM

On August 9, Monica Jakuc Leverett, (, internationally distinguished pianist and Smith College Professor Emerita of Music, performed A Program of Pieces in the Pandemic, music for solo piano and toy piano, with works by J.S. Bach, John Cage, Kaeza Fearn, and Franz Schubert:

PAST PERFORMANCE: Sunday, August 23 at 4 PM

On August 23, the Society’s incoming Music Director, pianist Lemuel Gurtowsky, performed with the talented young mezzo-soprano Natalie Lewis, a rising senior at UMass Amherst, in a recital of art songs, opera arias, spirituals and jazz:

View Concert Program

About the Cause

Our Sanctuary Fund

Irida is a Russian immigrant fighting deportation so that she can stay with her husband and three children. Irida took sanctuary inside the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence in May 2018 as she waits for the courts to re-open her immigration case. She has been separated from her family for months, forced to live away from her children and husband who is unable to work due to physical disability. Irida is asking the community for financial assistance during this struggle. All of your donations go toward paying rent, purchasing food and keeping the lights on at home while Irida is separated from her family.