The Shirley Meeting House

2023 Upcoming Events

Storytellers & Poets – Featured Author Paula Lambert

Sunday, April 16th, 4:00 pm

Paula J. Lambert
has authored several collections of poetry including The Ghost of Every Feathered Thing (FutureCycle 2022) and How to See the World (Bottom Dog 2020). Recipient of PEN America’s L’Engle-Rahman Prize for Mentorship, her poetry and prose has been supported by the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Widely published in journals and anthologies, Lambert’s poetry and prose has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. How to See the World was a finalist in the 2021 Ohioana Book Awards. A native of Shirley, she now lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, Dr. Michael Perkins, a philosopher and technologist.

There will be time allotted for volunteers to read their favorite stories, poems or original works. Sign up information to follow.

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures – Monuments, Memorials & Markers

Sunday, May 7th, 2:00 pm


American Originals – Nissitissit String Quartet

Friday, May 12th, 7:00 pm


The Nissitissit String Quartet launches their 2023 series with “American Originals.” The program covers musical genres from revolutionary times to the present, starting with an early American suite, a Joplin rag, jazz standards from Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter, folk masterpieces including Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown,” rock tunes from Elvis to the Beach Boys, Broadway favorites featuring the Beauty and the Beast theme and selections from West Side Story, and a nod to Hollywood with a medley from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Nissitissit String Quartet is four long-time colleagues and friends who have migrated from the Boston area and are committed to serving Northwest Middlesex County communities, offering multi-generational concerts that are fun and engaging for a wide audience.

Music on the porch – summertime jazz band

Sunday, June 25th, 1:00 pm


Bringing together elements from vocalist giants of the 30s and 40s, classic jazz, and reconstructed popular songs, the Summertime Jazz Band does it all.  Vocalist and composer Emilie Faucher offers polished lyrical stylings that pay homage to Judy Garland, Keely Smith, and Amy Winehouse.  Joe Compagna, composer and music teacher plays the 6 string bass; and Peter Elwyn, composer and drummer extraordinaire provides the back-beat that pins it all down. 

Bring a blanket, chair, a picnic basket, relax on the Shirley Center Common and enjoy an afternoon of music. The program is free but donations to the Shirley Meeting House are welcome.

The Old Peabody Pew, by Kate Douglas Wiggin

 Sunday, July 15th, 7:00 pm

A charming tale of a small New England congregation preparing for Christmas and the unexpected arrival of a woman’s long held hope. This program is presented by the Shirley Meeting House. A staged reading performed by ShirleyArts!

Tedesco Duo

 Saturday, July 22nd, 7:00 pm


Tedesco Duo is a lively flute and guitar duo from New England comprised of Arielle Burke on flute and Catherine O’Kelly on guitar. They perform repertoire from all eras, with an emphasis on contemporary music.

Tedesco Duo has been praised for their communicative playing and for performing repertoire that is colorful and spirited.


Music on the Porch – Nancy Beaudette

Sunday, July 23rd, 1:00 pm


Blending brave and honest songwriting, first-rate musicianship, and a huge helping of native Canadian wit, Nancy Beaudette is an artist of songs and heart. She was raised near Cornwall, Ontario, a place sustained by farming and millwork where French and English languages were friendly neighbours. Her songwriting delves into those roots, weaving a nostalgic past into lush songs of familial history, good-humored folly and poignant observations of life and loss.

On-stage and off, Nancy practices hometown hospitality, taking special pleasure in “greeting you at the door.” Come to one of Beaudette’s shows and you will experience first-hand all the warmth and welcome of a Canadian kitchen party!

Bring a blanket, chair and picnic basket, sit down on the Common, and enjoy an afternoon of music. The program is free but donations to the Shirley Meeting House are welcome.

Music on the Porch – Dave Gaudet

Sunday, August 20th, 1:00 pm


Dave Gaudet, a multi instrumentalist, is in his home studio cooking up something special to share with you on Sunday, August 20th. He will be singing and playing some old favorites as well as a few of his original songs. Dave enjoys using his creative talents making music tracks with bass, piano, drums, as well as background vocals. 

Dave grew up in Ayer, MA and has performed around the area as primarily a soloist. His biggest influence was James Taylor but he was also inspired by Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as much of the music performed by artists in the early 70’s.

Bring a blanket, chair and picnic basket, sit down on the Common, and enjoy an afternoon of music. The program is free but donations to the Shirley Meeting House are welcome.

Portrait of a Song – Music & Visual Arts

Saturday, October 14th, 7:00 pm


Local musicians, artists and photographers join together to present a multi-media program. Come see and hear the music! Musical selections from cinema, stage, folk, jazz and more. 


Candlelight Vespers – Christmas Reflections

Sunday, December 3rd, 6:30 pm


Join us in the warmth of The Shirley Meeting House for our 20th Annual Candlelight Vespers Program. Our music, stories and poems will give you a moment to pause and reflect on the meaning of season and the peace it offers to all of us.

The Shirley Meeting House programs are sponsored in part by a grant from the Shirley Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Shirley Meeting House continues to be committed to the health and safety of our audience and artists. Therefore, we will be following all guidelines put forth by the health department and the CDC. At this time we recommend the wearing of masks for events inside the Meeting House. This may change from program to program so please check back. Thank you for your cooperation!