Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith

Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra

The Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, the world's only electro-acoustic guitar orchestra, will perform select pieces from their brand new CD "The Unknown Album." Under the direction of founder Peter Blanchette HVGO will feature Blanchette's new arrangements of French and English Consort music from 1500-1600, along with Beethoven's iconic 7th Symphony Allegretto movement and the music of Leo Kottke. These unlikely bedfellows make the twenty-piece HVGO impossible to pigeonhole and such a hit with First Night audiences.

4-4:45 and 5-5:45 at Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith

Peter Blanchette

Each year it is a Valley tradition to hear Peter's solo recital on his signature, self-designed archguitar at First Night Northampton. Last year audiences were delighted by the addition of Radiohead arrangements to Peter's usual feast of Bach and Elizabethan music. This year, he brings new repertoire, and will be joined with friends, in some new arrangements of music from 1500 to 2015. In the words of author Carl Viggeland, "Suddenly the space around him quiets, his deeply expressive face assumes a meditative pose, and he begins softly and slowly to play an old Scottish ballad; when I heard him do this at Smith College on New Year's Eve, I wept."

7-7:45 and 8-8:45 at Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith

Choose a venue for more details about performers and times.

All First Night performances are family-friendly, but these are especially suitable for younger children.