benefit event

Past Events

Classical Music Comes to the Gilley June 24

June 24, 2022 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Classical music is for the birds … and that’s a good thing! On Friday, June 24, the Wendell Gilley Museum hosts a special evening of music in the main gallery with members of the Fermata Chamber Soloists led by violinist Thomas Cooper, and his sister, the noted soprano Sarah Joyce Cooper. Among the pieces they will perform are selections from Louis Beydts’ “Chansons pour les oiseaux” (Songs for the Birds). The concert begins at 7 p.m., and there is no fee to attend, but reservations are required. The concert also will be livecast. Reservations for the in-person event and the livecast are two different events.

Please sign up for either the in-person event or the livecast, and mention in the Notes which you are signing up for.

The music selection is inspired by the Gilley Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibits, which feature birds as the subject for carvings, paintings and block prints by Wendell Gilley, Steven Valleau, Hank Tyler, Sherrie York, David Sibley, and David Speiser, among others.

Fermata Chamber Soloists is a Boston-based nonprofit organization intent on changing the culture of classical music with experiential, community-oriented events that are fun, intense and informal while retaining the highest level of artistry. In addition to Thomas Cooper, who is co-founder of Fermata Chamber Soloists, the quartet will include cellist Alex Fowler; violist Daniel Orsen; and violinist Jessica Tsang.

Flute-making Workshop with Hawk Henries June 25

June 25, 2022 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Learn from a master of the Eastern Woodland Flute, Hawk Henries, and make your own flute from bamboo using only hand tools – carving knives, files, sandpaper and fire in this all-day workshop on June 25. All tools and materials will be  provided. The workshop will be tailored to each participant’s level of experience, and beginners are welcome. Hawk will teach in a relaxed setting, allowing everyone to ask questions and talk about their experience as they learn the art of flute-making.

Space is limited and registration is required.


Convergence Ensemble performs American Voice in Poetry and Song

June 9, 2023 7:00 - 8:00 pm

The Wendell Gilley Museum and YWCA of MDI are proud to host American Voice in Poetry and Song III, an exploration of the expressive range of African American composers including Margaret Bonds and John. W. Work III, and poets including Langston Hughes, in a free concert at St. John Episcopal Church in Southwest Harbor. There will be a reception with the performers at the Gilley Museum afterward. This event is free and open to all, but registration is required.

Boston-based Convergence Ensemble will perform this music and poetry through a historic lens along with a discussion of societal issues surrounding social justice and representation in the world of classical music  The performers are singer Davron S. Monroe, poet and literary performer Regie Gibson, and pianist Rachel Gibson.

Convergence Ensemble is a nonprofit organization that presents unusual chamber music programming by supporting a diverse group of musicians. It was founded on the belief that the arts are interdisciplinary—that art, poetry, dance, literature, and music inform one another. The organization prides itself on working not only with musicians but also poets, writers, and literary performers.

A Concert for the Gilley

August 26, 2023 2:00 - 3:30 pm

Celebrate "People, Nature and Art" – the guiding words of the Wendell Gilley Museum – with the noted sibling musicians Thomas and Sarah Cooper in an eclectic concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Southwest Harbor on Saturday, Aug. 26 beginning at 2 p.m. The concert is free and open to all, but registration is requested.  A public reception will follow the concert at the Wendell Gilley Museum. 

They will perform works in this one-hour concert including "On Mighty Wings the Eagle Proudly Soars Aloft" from Franz Joseph Haydn's "The Creation," George Gershwin's "Summertime," violin sonatas by Debussy and J.S. Bach, and more.

Thomas Cooper, a violinist, is a three-time winner of New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship award and has been hailed as a "stop in your tracks stunner" as a violinist whose playing is "delightfully spirited [with a] rich tone.” He is co-founder of Fermata Chamber Soloists, and as an orchestral player he is concertmaster of the Du Bois Orchestra of Harvard, a group dedicated to performing works by historically marginalized composers. Additionally, he performs with the Boston Philharmonic, Portland’s Palaver Strings, and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, he ha­­s appeared with American orchestras including the Colorado College Festival Orchestra, the Coeur D'Alene Symphony Orchestra, the Credo Baroque Orchestra, the Du Bois Orchestra of Harvard, and the Middlesex Chamber Orchestra among others. 

His sister, soprano Sarah Joyce Cooper, recently made her debut at Carnegie Hall and will perform with the Boston Lyric Opera the day before her performance for the Wendell Gilley Museum. Last month she performed the role of Adina in Donizetti’s comedy, L’elisir d’amore, appearing alongside Metropolitan Opera basso Valerian Ruminski, baritone Brian Keith Johnson, and tenor Michael Anderson.

She has been hailed for her “meltingly beautiful” soprano by Opera News. Based in Boston, she performs throughout the United States including with Syracuse Opera as Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and with Tri-Cities Opera as Sally in the new opera Stone Soup, by Joe Illick. She appeared with Opera Ithaca as Anna in a film version of Verdi’s Nabucco and as the Little Zegner daughter in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, and performed with the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

wooden bird carvings