Ray Massucco Concert Series to premier at Bellows Falls Opera House

Ray Mussucco. Photo provided by Hear and There Photography CC-BY 4.0.

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Bellows Falls Opera House will host the opening show of the newly launched Ray Massucco Concert Series, featuring Dar Williams and opening act, Crys Matthews. The concert will be the first in a series of four, with future shows to also feature The Steel Wheels on April 7 and Chris Smither on Sept. 23. The fourth concert is yet to be finalized.

The late Ray Massucco was a 1965 graduate of Bellows Falls High School and long-time resident of Bellows Falls, where he practiced law for 50-plus years. Ray also dedicated many years to promoting music and spent countless hours contributing to his valued community in many ways.

A big fan of all-things music, Ray tirelessly strove to bring live music to the Rockingham area for many years. First, with his nearly 20 years of “The Roots On The River” festivals, and then later launching “Vermont Festivals.” The wealth and variety of music Ray brought to this area was remarkable.

A few of the countless artists he helped bring to the area include the aforementioned Dar Williams, Chris Smither, Fred Eaglesmith, James McMurtry, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Dave Alvin, The Bottle Rockets, Mary Gauthier, the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, Slambovian Circus Dreams, Heather Maloney, Freebo, Alice Howe, and the list goes on and on.

In honor of Massucco’s many music accomplishments and activities, the concert series was recently created by a group of his friends in conjunction with the Bellows Falls Opera House. Guided by local artist Charlie Hunter’s own nonprofit, Rockingham Entertainment Development, Ltd, or RED, he is teaming up with Putney’s First Stage to present the concert series. Hunter and Massucco were long-time friends and collaborated on projects for many years.

“The overall response to the Ray Massucco Concert Series has been wonderful,” Charlie Hunter said in a recent interview. “We sold over 70 ‘series tickets’ before we had even announced the performers or the dates. The Dar Williams concert is now at about 300 tickets sold, so we are expecting a very good crowd.”

Other local friends and contemporaries involved in the concert series include stage manager Patrick LaBlanc, production manager Ezra Veitch, “front of house” manager Maridee Serebrov, sound engineer Dan Richardson, and First Stage manager Barry Stockwell. Veitch also designed the graphic to be used for the concert series promotion, a cartoon of Ray on his stilts.

“The enthusiasm and amount of people that have stepped up to help with this endeavor is really no surprise,” Hunter added. “Ray helped build an avid audience for live music in this region, and there also seems to be some strong, pent-up demand for shows. We are looking forward to a highly successful series in this and coming years.”

For tickets and more information about the Ray Massucco Concert Series, please visit the Bellows Falls Opera House at www.bellowsfallsoperahouse.com/special-events.

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