Concert helps First Parish of Newbury Food Pantry

Andrew Price, principal oboe for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, will be one of the performers at a benefit concert for the Newbury Food Pantry, where Price volunteers.Courtesy photo

NEWBURYPORT — The Essex Ensemble, featuring top musicians from Boston orchestras, will perform Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at Maudslay Arts Center to benefit First Parish of Newbury Food Pantry.

The eight musicians, playing oboe, violin, cello and viola, will present a repertoire that includes the music of J.C. Bach, Karl Stamitz and Antonio Vivaldi. All proceeds benefit the food pantry, which serves 250 to 300 guests each Friday.

Several of the musicians regularly volunteer at local food pantries, including First Parish.

Andrew Price, principal oboe for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Bach, Beethoven and Brahms Society, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, conceived the idea for a concert when he heard about the pantry’s need to build a new home on church grounds.

“I’ve been volunteering for this pantry every Friday for more than a year,” Price said. “Everyone here is a volunteer and we all find it satisfying work. It feels good to help neighbors. Our work has provided a lifeline for so many in the community. We deliver about 100 orders every week, with three-quarters of our guests from Newburyport and Newbury.”

Jane Merrow, the volunteer founder of the pantry, expressed her excitement in bringing accomplished musicians to the area.

“People drive to Boston and Tanglewood to see this quality of performance,” Merrow said. “Music has always been part of our pantry’s story. Before COVID, when guests came to shop for themselves, local musicians would play piano or a harp while people shopped.”

The Essex Ensemble concert will offer table and lawn seating and a cash bar. A local food truck will be on hand. Reserved table seats are $50 per person in tables of three or four. Lawn tickets (bring your blanket or chair) are $30. Children under 12 are free. More information at: newburyfoodpantry.org.

Maudslay Arts Center has donated use of its facility. The Institution for Savings is the event’s Platinum Sponsor while Arthur Page Insurance is the Gold Sponsor.

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