This weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Chesapeake Music’s inaugural concert at Easton’s Ebenezer Theater.
Like everything the Prager’s do, the Ebenezer Theater, now part of The Prager Family Center for the Arts, is perfection. The intimate setting for the new home for Chesapeake Music concerts is housed in Easton’s former Ebenezer Methodist Church, originally built in 1856, on Washington Street—a sublime setting for the chamber concerts that Chesapeake Music offers.
Original stained-glass windows are flanked by luxurious gold drapes. Carpeting, Victorian-era wallpaper and gothic arches blend perfectly with the rich and vibrant colors of the stained glass. A state-of-the-art sound system, the 24-Karat gold-leaf ceiling, the chandeliers—all form a perfect union that creates an understated ambiance that warms the soul. And finally, a restored nine-foot Steinway piano, generously donated by several music supporters, produces a stirring sound that only such a marvelous instrument can provide.
All this set the stage for the 36th Chesapeake Chamber Music festival’s inaugural concert on Friday. It was, in short, magnificent. I have been to concerts at the Kennedy Center, Vienna, Prague, Venice, and more. They have nothing on the amazing group of musicians who have been assembled for this year’s Chesapeake Music Festival.
The program we heard included Mozart’s Piano Trio in G Major, Webern’s Langsamer Satz, and Dvorak’s Piano Quartet No 2 in E-Flat Major, Opus 87—an interesting combination of pieces which made for a compelling listening experience. Each musician was skilled, intense, and committed to doing the music justice. They did that—and much more. The backgrounds of each of these musicians is impressive to say the least. And they gave their all with passion, grace, and an intensity to get the music “right.”
This year’s Chamber Music Festival runs from June 4-12 and includes six concerts. The Festival also offers the option to live stream the concerts, a wonderful opportunity given this spectacular sound system. To learn more about options for hearing these concerts, visit Chesapeakemusic.org.
When not used by Chesapeake Music, the venue is scheduled to be used for other musical performances, book readings, art exhibits and other special events.
To the Prager family, once again, thank you. The Ebenezer Theater is a bonafide treasure that will enrich the lives of Eastern Shore residents for years to come.
Maria Grant was the principal-in-charge of the Federal Human Capital practice for an international consulting firm. Today she focuses on writing, piano, reading, nature, travel, kayaking and gardening.