Methuen Memorial Music Hall celebrates 75 years of music

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Bill Kirk, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
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Mar. 31—METHUEN — This year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1946 acquisition and incorporation of the Memorial Music Hall as a nonprofit educational and cultural center.

It also marks the 75th consecutive year of the hall's summer recital series.

Located at 192 Broadway, the music hall will celebrate throughout the year by sharing stories, updates and more via emails, as the organization looks back on the journey traveled so far.

To mark the diamond anniversary, the 75th summer recital series will feature a lineup of musicians who will play the hall's Great Organ.

These concerts can be found by joining the hall's YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/methuenmemorialmusichall.

The 75th Recital Series will be on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. from May 19 to Aug. 25 for music on the Great Organ, America's first concert organ. The performances will also be archived for later viewing.

At its January 2021 annual meeting, the hall's board of trustees elected Matthew Bellocchio as president and Chad Dow as vice president. Both have served as trustees since 2017. The board also re-elected Michael Dow as treasurer and Richard Ouellette as secretary.

Bellocchio is an organbuilder, with more than 50 years of professional experience. He has authored many articles on pipe organ history and technology published in both national and international organ journals. He is a charter member and former president (2012-2015) of the American Institute of Organbuilders. He previously chaired the music hall Programs Committee and in 2020 served as emcee for the live-streamed organ recital series.

Chad Dow, who works in biological science and is a long-time techie, began his association with the music hall as a youngster, participating in the Music Hall's Methuen Young People's Theatre (MYPT), which produces a full-scale Gilbert & Sullivan operetta each year at the end of the summer.

Dow is a member of the Hatherly Players, a vocal ensemble comprised mainly of MYPT alumni, which presents annual concerts at the hall. He has chaired the Memorial Music Hall's Buildings and Grounds Committee since 2018 and served as interim president following the January 2020 passing of Edward Sampson, the longtime MMMH president. He acquired, set up and operated the live streaming equipment that enabled the 2020 organ recital series to be seen worldwide on the MMMH YouTube channel, which he also oversees.

Visit the Methuen Memorial Music Hall's website at mmmh.org for complete concert schedules, activities and information.

To contact the hall by telephone, via voicemail, call 978-685-0693.