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English: New England Conservatory of Music. In...

English: New England Conservatory of Music. Incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts. Winter term. Boston Music Hall. 1871. The winter term … opens Thursday, November 23d, 1871. … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


by Diana Souza

Sunday, July 29th saw the conclusion of the first Rocky Hill Concerts series. Located at Christ United Methodist Church in Northampton, the acoustics were complementary so that the music reverberated, beautifully filling the hall and delighting the audience. This past Sunday the artist was a harpist, Anna DeLoi, all of 16 years old. Anna studies harp at the New England Conservatory in Boston and has performed in master classes and with orchestras in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She was joined by flutist Christen Sparago for the second half of the program.

Anna gave a description of each piece and its composer set in historical context. There was a suite for lute composed by J.S. Bach, consisting of short dance movements adapted for harp. Then came pieces by Hindemith, followed by Mozart and finally a Reverie, Arabesque, and Prelude by Debussy.

Previous concerts included the group Red Valley Fog on July 9th and Gretchen Saathoff, accomplished pianist, organist and Director of Music at Christ United Methodist Church, in mid-July. Red Valley Fog is a band performing political folk music reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s.

On July 22nd Bob Sparkman and Jerry Noble played a spirited program of traditional jazz on clarinet and piano.

There is nothing that equates to listening to live music beautifully played. Be sure to look for this concert series and other concerts in the future.  Kudos to music director Gretchen Saathoff, who conceived of and promoted this series, for her impeccable choice of musicians and the variety of musical styles.