September 14, 2018

Group Sing at Arts Night Out

Group Sing at Arts Night Out

Date(s) - Friday, September 14, 2018
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Memorial Hall

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Group Sing, September 14 at 5:00pm at Memorial Hall, 240 Main Street (Arts Night Out Friday), let by Mary Witt and Tom Mahnken.

Always free and open to the community.
Mark your calendars.

Forbes Library is beginning plans to commemorate its 125th anniversary. It is also the 100th anniversary of the end of “the war to end all wars,” so we invite the community to gather on the library lawn to raise spirits, support peaceful resolutions of conflicts, and confirm our sense of community by singing together.

The large group sing will combine voices of individual members of the public and local choral groups, choirs, and informal singing groups. Everyone will learn the same 3 songs and come together to sing in unison on the lawn, much in the way Forbes Library selects a book each year for the entire community to read and then to gather and discuss. This will not be a performance, but a participatory, community event.

Northampton partners who have already joined in support of the project include Historic Northampton, Northampton Senior Services, Northampton Community Arts Trust, A.P.E. Ltd., Northampton Community Music Center, and Smith College.

During the summer of 1918 the trustees of Forbes Library granted use of the library grounds for several large gatherings of Northampton citizens for “Community Sings,” primarily of patriotic songs. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that the community sing of June 24, 1918, attracted a crowd of five to six thousand people! Spirits were high, automobiles were parked along West Street, and the view from the embankment on Smith College grounds was a maze of white blouses and long skirts, straw boaters and 3-piece suits, along with high school cadets and two drum corps.
1894 and now

In the fall of 1894 Forbes Library opened its doors for the first time. Its 125th anniversary in 2019 will be the occasion of multiple events and celebrations. It will all begin next fall with this joint celebration to both commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918 and to sing together with your friends and the entire community. We hope you will join us!

This year’s sing is set for September 23, around sunset and moonrise. It is still in the planning stages. Please send suggestions and comments to Faith Kaufmann, Forbes Library Arts & Music Librarian, 413-587-1013 or This page will be updated with more information about Our Community Sing as it develops.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council,
a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.