Mohawk Trail Concerts gala honoring late founder

Organizers of Mohawk Trail Concerts will host a gala on Saturday, Sept. 23, in honor of the concert series’ founder, Arnold “Arnie” Black.

Organizers of Mohawk Trail Concerts will host a gala on Saturday, Sept. 23, in honor of the concert series’ founder, Arnold “Arnie” Black. Contributed Photo

Staff Report

Published: 09-19-2023 3:32 PM

CHARLEMONT — Organizers of Mohawk Trail Concerts will host a gala on Saturday, Sept. 23, in honor of the concert series’ founder, Arnold “Arnie” Black.

The gala will start at 3 p.m. at the Charlemont Federated Church, 175 Main St.

“We look forward to celebrating Arnie’s legacy of music and community with you,” Executive Artistic Director Mark Fraser wrote in an event announcement.

Black, a beloved composer and performer, died in 2000. The gala is timed to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday this year.

It was 1969 when Black’s neighbor, Alice Parker, invited him to play the violin at a service one Sunday morning, and he fell in love with the Charlemont Federated Church’s acoustics. In the summer of 1970, with support from a group of musicians and community members, Mohawk Trail Concerts was born as a summer chamber music series. Black directed the concert series until his death.

“Black was more than a brilliant concert presenter and a charming entertainer in western Massachusetts,” Fraser wrote. Black was also a well-established composer in New York City.

The event on Sept. 23 will be complete with local musicians playing chamber music and poetry written by Black. Performers will include Fraser, Maria Ferrante, Jerry Noble, Estela Olevsky and Masako Yanagita.

The music will be followed by a party featuring hors d’oeuvres, wine and beverages. The suggested donation to attend is $75, but all are welcome by contributing whatever is affordable.

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To register, email info@mohawktrailconcerts.org.