In March, we were Artists-In-Residence with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire. This residency was supported in part by the New England States Touring Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program, and the six New England state arts agencies, including the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Foundation. While there, we were involved in 34 engagements in less than six days, traveling through Berlin, Whitefield, Lancaster, Bath, Lisbon, Woodsville, North Haverhill, North Conway, Sandwich, Moultonborough, Franklin, Plymouth, Meredith, Littleton, Gorham, and Bristol.
It was a whirlwind of a week: we presented numerous school concerts (an addendum to our 2014 Gymnatorium Tour), several saxophone clinics, and music educator workshops. In the evenings, the festivities continued with performances at the St. Kieran’s Community Center for the Arts, the Plymouth Congregational Church, and the Littleton Opera House. We also had a memorable experience playing for an appreciative and gracious group of 40 men at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin.
Other special moments during the tour included our first onstage selfie with enthusiastic high-schoolers (eat your heart out, Ellen), setting a record for the most wraps consumed by a saxophone quartet within a six-day period, gorging on delicious sweets at Chutters, setting up camp at M-Zo Tea and Co., having some high-caliber guest artists fill in for Andrew, and engaging with over 1,800 students from grades Pre-K through high school.
After our nonstop week in New Hampshire (including a performance at the First Church of Nashua), we headed home for a quick breather, only to return and travel further north—this time for our Maine debut. The Arts Institute of Western Maine graciously hosted our performance at the historic Nordica Auditorium on the University of Maine at Farmington campus. We were met by an eager and electric crowd throughout the concert, and even got called back for an encore! Let us know when you want us back, Maine!
A special thanks goes to: the Cold Spring Resort in Ashland; Northland Restaurant & Dairy Bar of Berlin; Flatbread Company in North Conway; Topic of the Town, M-Zo Tea & Co., and Miller's Cafe in Littleton; Adair Inn, Bethlehem; North Conway Music Center, Bethlehem Public Library and the Town of Lancaster; Hannaford in Franklin; Marie Beringer in Randolph; and lastly Frumie Selchen and Jamie Feinberg of the AANNH for a masterfully orchestrated tour.
Another warm round of thanks goes to the Keiths and the Priors for making our brief stay in Maine a memorable one.