There are many reasons why people flock to Marion each summer; sandy beaches, fine sailing and a quaint village atmosphere have made it a seasonal haven for over a century. For the last 17 years, though, Marion has attracted crowds each July for quite a different reason: its music. Since 1997, Marion has been home to the Buzzards Bay Musicfest, a four-day classical concert series featuring some of the country’s finest and most accomplished musicians.
Staged at Tabor Academy’s Fireman Center, the series opens and closes with orchestral concerts, with two chamber music concerts held in-between. Artistic Director Charles Stegeman and Guest Conductor Antony Walker, and these gifted musicians have presented over 150 works in a variety of styles and ensembles, ranging from chamber music duos and trios to full orchestra. Each year brings new works from a variety of composers; in the Musicfest’s 17 years.
A highlight of the festival is the Children’s Open Rehearsal, an unique opportunity for young and aspiring musicians. This is an event that provides, for many children, their first classical music experience, and includes an opportunity to meet and chat with the Musicfest’s many distinguished performers, the Artistic Director Charles Stegeman, and the Guest Conductor.
By design, all concerts are free. It was the mission of the Musicfest’s founding members to provide an extraordinary opportunity for cultural enrichment to the public, without cost. While the Buzzards Bay Musicfest Foundation provides a small percentage of the festival’s operating budget, a whopping 97% of funding comes from individual donations, both large and small. Whether one dollar or one thousand, every contribution counts, and each monetary gift helps to provide a rich musical experience for so many.