Beacon Hill-West End neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Scenes from New England

Calliope’s Call will perform “Scenes From New England” from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St.

This new and innovative art song performance group will perform music, texts and musical depictions of the New England area, with music by Amy Beach, Irving Fine, Scott Wheeler, Gregory Zavracky and winners of the Call for Scores, which promotes new music by living composers.

Admission is free.

Further information is available at

Chorale concert

The community is invited to “The Voices of Freedom” chorale concert from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 9 at the Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St.

This multicultural event will feature three choirs: the Zamir Chorale of Boston, America’s foremost Jewish choral ensemble; VOICES 21C, a diverse choir dedicated to positive interactions, social justice and global understanding; and the Boston Community Gospel Choir. The groups will each separately perform songs from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian cultures respectively, and then join together to perform music that transcends the collective cultures.

This program is a partnership between the Museum of African American History and Vilna Shul.

Admission is $36 or $18 for students. Further information can be found at or by calling 617-523-2324.

Sacred music

King’s Chapel, located at the corner of School and Tremont streets, will host a lunchtime concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11.

Sopranos Cassandra Extavour and Jessica Petrus will be joined by Carol Lewis on the viola da gamba and Olav Chris Henriksen on the theorbo in a performance of Couperin’s “Leçons de ténèbres,” three vocal pieces composed for liturgies of Holy Week.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians. Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Poetry reading

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will welcome poet Andrea Cohen at noon on Wednesday, April 12.

Cohen’s latest work is “Unfathoming.” Her poems search the shadow regions of yearning and loss, but they take surprising leaps, often landing in a place of brightness. Other works include “Furs Not Mine,” “Kentucky Derby” and “Long Division” and her poems have appeared in “The New Yorker,” “Atlantic Monthly” and elsewhere.

This free program is open to the public.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-227-0270.

Christian rock

The Congregational Library and Archives, 14 Beacon St., will present Randall Stephens in a free lecture “Swingin’ Blue Jeans Religion: Christian Rock and Evangelical Culture in the 1960s and 1970s ” at noon on Wednesday, April 12.

In the 1960s and ’70s, in response to worries about the widening generation gap, many evangelicals, as well as Catholics and some mainline Protestants, made peace with the form of rock music. It was felt that for evangelicalism to thrive, it had to adjust to the times and accommodate the youth culture. The new openness to the counterculture inspired millions.

Stephens is the author of “The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South,” “The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age” and his most recent “The Devil’s Music: Rock and Christianity Since the 1950s.”

Registration is requested for this free program by visiting or by calling 617-543- 0470.

Film series

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will celebrate National Poetry Month with a series of films honoring poets and poetry from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays during April.

The library will screen “Poetry” about a woman facing Alzheimer’s by enrolling in a poetry class, on April 12; “Amour Fou” from France, on April 19; and “Howl,” the story of Allen Ginsberg’s most famous poem and the obscenity trial that followed, on April 26.

Admission is free. Call 617-523-3957 for further details.

Music and the environment

The ECCE Ensemble will perform in concert at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St.

The evening of contemporary music will be dedicated to the topic of environmental conservation, intending to inspire thought and conversation. It will consist of a musical performance and community forum with leading environmental innovators.

Admission is $15 for members and $30 for non-members. Call 617-227-0270 or visit to purchase tickets and for more details.

Documentary film

The Museum of African American History will screen the award-winning documentary “Walk With Me: The Trials of Damon Keith” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St.

The film tells the story of ten extraordinary years, four groundbreaking cases and one unconventional federal judge whose rulings forever changed the face of civil rights in the United States. Jesse Nesser, the film’s director, will be present for the screening.

This event is sponsored by Marlboro College. Registration is recommended for this free program.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at

Civic association to meet

The West End Civic Association will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 at the Amy Lowell Apartments community room, 65 Martha Road.

Councilor Tito Jackson will speak about his candidacy for Mayor of Boston and his vision for the future of the city. Members and guests are welcome.

Call 617-905-6206 or visit for more information.

Puppet show

The Caravan Puppets will present “Race to Freedom” at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 14 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

This light-hearted, Passover-inspired celebration of freedom features original songs and lots of puppets. Groups are welcome and reservations are not required. The Vilna Shul is sponsoring the program.

Admission is free. For more information, call 617-523-3957.

Swan boats to return

The 141st season of the swan boats will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 15. Celebrating the end of winter and the start of spring in New England, Mayor Martin J. Walsh will host the first ride of the season as the swan boats open at the Public Garden lagoon.

The swan boats first launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, and the Paget family still operates these iconic treasures. They are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper. The swans are made from either copper or Fiberglas and house the paddle mechanisms to propel the boats.

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April 15 to June 20 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June 21 to Labor Day.

For more information visit or call 617-522-1966.

Contemporary art in Boston

A new exhibition that sheds light on contemporary art in Boston is on display at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., now to Sept. 3.

This exciting exhibition will showcase contemporary prints, drawings, and photographs by New England artists. The works on display, drawings, watercolors, linocuts, lithographs, hand-toned silver gelatin prints, digital photographs, and more, reflect artistic interpretations of New England’s built and natural environment.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-227-0270.

Photographs of the West End

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord” now to Aug. 31.

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Picturing Douglas

The Museum of African American History is presenting a new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., now through July 31.

Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, more frequently photographed than Abraham Lincoln, and was immediately recognizable to millions in his own lifetime. Douglass used photography as a tool of reform and to elevate the image of the African-American in contradiction to the demeaning depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.

Based on the book of the same name by Drs. John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, co-curators of the exhibit, it features more than 90 objects, including historic photos, books, newspapers articles and original letters by Douglass.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at