a message from the Artistic Director

MEE's 2017 concerts are at hand. We all enjoy welcoming you to our concerts. I am very gratified to be able to thank so many for helping MEE continue its concerts as well as its educational outreach, although in a narrower range of activities than we have presented in the past.

Starting in 1982, MEE began offering chamber music concerts at culturally significant and historic venues all over the North Shore. For 27 years, beginning in 1990, MEE served thousands of school children and seniors in special free concerts while continuing to present its chamber music concerts not only in summer but also year-round.

Recently our organization refocused its work, as always in musical art and outreach, but concentrating on two formats. At the core of MEE's programming are the chamber music concerts presented at The Congregational Church of Topsfield, with an annual concert performance at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody Center. In addition, from January through May, MEE presents Close Encounters with Music at the Peabody Institute Library and a duplicate series, Music Speaks! at historic Peirce Farm in Topsfield. Each lecture/performance series, a very user-friendly form of adult education, offers four distinctive programs. Both programs have been embraced by a wonderful following of interested listeners. MEE is convinced that there is a hunger in adults to experience the music we offer in a historical, social and cultural context. In each series, we delight in reconnecting with old friends as well as making new ones in an expanding circle of music makers and listeners.

The change to a smaller scope of activities has been brilliantly encouraged by several organizations and individuals, whose visionary willingness to recommit their support to MEE's new way of fulfilling its mission has given us the means to realize a positive turn toward the future. We applaud the generous vision of specific institutions like The Institution for Savings, The Harpley Foundation and The Fuller Foundation, whose support we have enjoyed in the past, for moving smoothly and generously toward MEE's new positioning in the music of the North Shore. There is a list of all to whom we owe heartfelt thanks listed formally on our website. I hope you will take a minute to view the page of credits. I will just finish by saying that only with a purposeful board of trustees, committed and skilled musicians, and deep community support can this kind of endeavor thrive.

Thank you all. See you at the concerts!

Maria Benotti