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Claflin Hill Symphony Launches Two New Concert Series for Fall 2017

Oct 30, 2017 07:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Paul Surapine directs the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra

The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, a regional professional symphony orchestra, is preparing for the opening of its eighteenth consecutive symphony season in The Grand Ballroom of its home venue, Milford Town Hall, on Nov. 4.

There are two complementary and new performance series offerings. The first of these, “The Milford Federal Jazz at the Mill” series, opened on Friday, Oct. 27, in the Alternatives Whiten Mill Singh Performance Center, 50 Douglas Road, Whitinsville. The Claflin Hill-Apple Tree Arts Chamber Music Series will open on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 PM, in the newly refurbished “Great Hall” at One Grafton Common, the home of Apple Tree Arts, a regional community music school.

Alternatives Jazz Series

“Claflin Hill has been presenting concerts at the Alternatives Whiten Mill for over 5 years now,” said Paul Surapine, Founding Executive & Artistic Director of CHSO.  “We began in 2011 with a chamber music series, presenting small ensembles of CHSO musicians from the orchestra.  It had a two-fold benefit in that CHSO symphony series audience members came to Alternatives and discovered yet another ‘cultural gem’ in our region, and patrons who came to the Alternatives offerings also discovered the existence of Claflin Hill.  Last season we presented an evening of jazz as part of the chamber series, and the response was so positive that we decided to change the music format of our Alternatives programming to jazz this season.  American Jazz is a major genre of world music that deserves equal attention from Claflin Hill and audiences.  We’ve planned a terrific line-up of renowned, versatile and prolific jazz artists on this opening season, and look forward to adding yet another aspect of music performance to the CHSO ‘menu.’”

The concert series is receiving major support from The Milford Federal Savings & Loan Association, the “naming sponsor” of the new series.  ERA Key Realty, based in Whitinsville, is providing support as well, and additional support comes from the Whitinsville Water Company.

Claflin Hill Apple Tree Arts Chamber Series

Claflin Hill and Apple Tree Arts, a regional community music school based in Grafton, announce a brand-new partnership and concert series, set to open on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 PM, in the newly refurbished “Great Hall” in One Grafton Common, the home of Apple Tree Arts.  The program will includes the music of Brahms, Villa Lobos, Muczynski, Shostakovich and more, featuring musicians who are both CHSO members and Apple Tree Arts faculty.

“This new concert venture stems from a number of inspirations on the part of both CHSO and Apple Tree Arts,” said Surapine.  “Apple Tree Arts is a vibrant and growing community music school whose faculty includes a number of Claflin Hill Symphony musicians, including myself.  In the last several years, they were able to galvanize an entire community behind their efforts to renovate the aging Grafton Town House on the Grafton Common, raise millions of dollars to renovate it and move their growing music school into the facility and create a new and thriving cultural ‘beehive’ on the Grafton Common.   Part of the renovation included the restoration of the Great Hall on the second floor, which is now a premiere new venue for concert presentation.  Donna Blanchard, Executive Director of Apple Tree, asked me about bringing Claflin Hill chamber concerts to it last year, and at the same, the CHSO Board of Directors was looking for new venues in other communities to help continue the growth of CHSO throughout the Central Massachusetts region.  Grafton has already become an important part of the CHSO audience demographic; the Claflin Hill Symphony Summer Winds perform annually on the Grafton Town Common as part of the Grafton Summer Concerts on the Common, and this summer, the entire Claflin Hill Symphony, together with members of the Apple Tree Arts Community Chorus and the Greater Milford Community Chorus, performed an Independence Day concert on the Common on July 3rd.  Together with the idea of changing the Alternatives concert series to jazz, it seemed like a great opportunity to continue our classical chamber series in a brand-new venue, and together, strengthen audience and ties between two vibrant and growing cultural organizations.”

"We are so excited to partner with Claflin Hill to bring excellent concert events to the Grafton Town House. Our Steinert piano that was totally rebuilt by Apollo Piano's master craftsman Geoffrey Searles will provide excellent intimate concerts in our newly renovated performance arts center," said Donna Blanchard, Executive Director of Apple Tree Arts.

The new series is receiving major support from the Brigham Hill Foundation Trust, Homefield Credit Union, and CSR Financial Services.  Additional support for the series comes from Koopman Lumber.

The Apple Tree Arts Great Hall is located on the second floor of One Grafton Common and is fully handicapped accessible.

Tickets for both concert series can be purchased on line at and are $19, $15 for students, seniors and veterans. Season tickets are also available.

The Claflin Symphony Orchestra is a powerful regional musical force. Through passionate performances presented by masterful musicians, the CHSO plays a leading role in the cultural enrichment and vitality of Central Massachusetts and MetroWest communities. The CHSO sponsors a remarkable outreach program that helps youth perfect their musical talents and build long-lasting appreciation for music.






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