A community concert in Beverly helps the homeless

BUILDING A BRIDGE: “A River of Hope,” a community concert to benefit the River House Shelter for the homeless in Beverly, is Friday at First Baptist Church in Beverly.

First Baptist and Endicott College, which both routinely reach out to those in need in the broader community, joined forces and have already received pledges and donations of $100,000 for the shelter through the concert.

The money came from sponsors, area residents making matching pledges, advertisers in the program book, partnerships with area churches, and ticket sales.


The aim of the concert is also to celebrate musically the work done at River House, which provides homeless people temporary shelter and helps them return to self-sufficiency.

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Neiland Douglas of Beverly was the driving force behind bringing First Baptist and Endicott together to support River House through the event.

Esther Redington, music director at First Baptist, and Becca Kenneally, chairwoman of the performing arts department at Endicott, collaborated to plan a program that includes choral pieces with instrumental accompaniment, soloists, a jazz ensemble, string quintet, a grand organ piece, and a hand-bell choir.

“We never would have reached our goal without the selfless contributions of our major donors,” said Douglas. “The outpouring of generosity has been astounding, as has been the energy and dedication of the musical directors and performers all coming together to help those in our community who need support and the opportunity to break out of homelessness.”

La Chantarelle, from Endicott’s school of hospitality management, hosts a reception at the church before the concert for sponsors and contributors.


The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds benefit River House.

Call 978-922-3292 or visit

SPECIAL SONNETS: In May, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival is including a presentation called “Behind Every One,” featuring original poetry written by family, friends, and supporters of the special needs community.

In advance, the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library holds a poetry workshop noon to 2 p.m. on March 8.

The library is seeking submissions of poetry about the special needs experience from people who know it intimately.


People who are interested in writing for the event are invited to the workshop. And those who have already created poems can send them to Lisa Golda Shields at Visit

ARMCHAIR ACTORS: If you are 55 or older and interested in performing on stage, here’s your chance: Senior Readers’ Theater at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.

During each eight-week session, held Tuesday mornings at the Firehouse, participants explore a script in detail, develop a character, focus on the use of voice and gestures, and then perform for the community.

Senior Readers’ Theater is performed seated and not memorized. The actors use vocal expression, minimal props, and sound cues to help the audience understand the story.

A Saturday performance by the most recent actors in the program includes scenes from three classic British pieces: radio adaptations of “Hamlet” and “Sherlock Holmes,” and the play “Plenty.”

The show begins at 1 p.m. Admission is free. Visit The next session begins March 25. Contact Beth Falconer at or 978-499-9931.

Cecelia Lynch

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Cecelia “Cece” Lynch has joined the Lowell General Hospital senior leadership team as vice president of patient care services and chief nurse executive. She is responsible for all the hospital’s nursing and patient care services. Lynch has more than two decades of health-care and nursing experience . . . Nina P. Cutts has become vice president of commercial lending at the Institution for Savings in Newburyport. Her role is to help expand the bank’s commercial real estate, construction, commercial, and industrial portfolio throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. She has 25 years of experience in banking and financial services.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen