"A Perfect Spot of Tea" at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum

HADLEY, MA—Afternoon tea with good company, interesting conversation, and lively music has been a tradition at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House for over two hundred and fifty years. Elizabeth Porter Phelps, a resident of the house from its construction in 1752 until her death in 1817, noted the teas often attracted ten to fifteen couples weekly. Visitors would “tarry” a while over a beverage that “cheers but not inebriates.” Elizabeth’s daughter met her future husband, Dan Huntington, at one of these events.

The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum invites guests to partake in this colonial tradition once again at “A PERFECT SPOT OF TEA”. The summer series will run every Saturday from July 1st  through August 26th, 2017. Visitors are invited to drink Earl Grey tea, sample delicious pastries from locally-owned businesses, and enjoy live music on the Museum’s back veranda. The “Perfect Spot of Tea” series is made possible through generous donations from area restaurants, businesses, musicians, and volunteers who provide the tea, pastries, flowers, music, and service for this program. Come to “A Perfect Spot of Tea” and engage with communities past and present!

Admission is $12 per person. There are seatings at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. For an additional fee, guests may also tour the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. Tours are hourly beginning at 1:30 pm. The house, which remains unchanged since the family’s occupancy, tells the story of six generations of prominent Hadley residents. The family, prosperous traders turned farmers, fought in both the Seven Years’ War and Revolutionary War, rose to prominence in local government, and embodied a consistently progressive social consciousness. Tours highlight both local and regional narratives, ranging in focus from architecture, material culture, and labor, to early American theology, economics, and social movements.

The Museum is open for guided tours Saturday through Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and by appointment. Tours are $5 for adults, $1 for children under twelve. For further information about tours or other programs, please call the Museum at (413) 584-4699. 


2017 Schedule of Performers

July 1-- Honest Harmony: Honest Harmony has been performing together for over a decade. The group’s a cappella performances explore a repertoire of small-ensemble singing from the 12th-20th centuries, often highlighting historical pieces and masterfully juxtaposing works of a single style, era, or composer. Their music brings audiences on “a musical journey through the last millennium.” The ensemble is comprised of soprano Barbara Matthews, alto Cindy Naughton, baritone Ijod Schroeder, and tenor John Vance.

July 8-- High Definition: Women's a cappella ensemble of the Northampton  Community Music Center, singing everything from a Palestrina setting of the Magnificat to severalAfrican-American Spirituals, a Carole King favorite, the Gershwin standard, Our Love is Here to Stay, and  a set of pieces by Vermont composer, Gwyneth Walker

July 15-- Show of Cards: The group Show of Cards was originally formed as an alternative folk-rock trio of siblings Karen, Joe, and Mike Cardozo. Currently singer-songwriter Karen, lead guitarist Mike, bassist Garrett Sawyer (of the Gaslight Tinkers), and drummer Joe Fitzpatrick (of Trailer Park) perform throughout Western Massachusetts, promoting their newest release, Something Better (2013).  This year Karen, Mike, and Joe will perform an acoustic show on the veranda.

July 22-- Dennis Shapson, Alan Kurtz, and Phil Craft: Guitarist Dennis Shapson and Alan Kurtz on washboard and bones perform ragtime country blues. Their repertoire consists 1920’s and 30’s Piedmont and East Coast blues, and features reinterpretations of compositions by Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, and Mance Lipscomb

July 29-- West & Jackson: West & Jackson will take the audience on a melodious and stimulating turn through their songbook of instrumental jazz, pop, and original songs. Peter West has been performing at “A Perfect Spot of Tea” for over a decade, and has been playing guitar professionally since 1980. At his side is Bert Jackson, another highly skilled guitarist with over 25 years of playing experience in blues, jazz, and other styles

August 5-- “56 String Duo” with Bob Markey and Andrew Jenkins: Robert Markey studied classical and blues guitar and then sitar in Boston and in India. His music is based in the North Indian (Hindustani) music tradition. Robert plays a mix of ragas from North and South India and raga-like improvisations from Persia, Japan, Hungary and Indonesia. Andrew Jenkins is a twelve-string guitarist who studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and has been has been playing music for 38 years.

August 12-- The Butterfly Effect: John Cabán and Pan Morgan play bent blues, green jazz, and other Americanismos with roots to the sky!

August 19-- West County Jazz Trio: mainstream jazz, originals, and forays into standards and jazz Latin tunes. The group includes Franklyn County residents Judith Williams, keyboards and vocals, Tony Rice, drums, and Tom Ulrich, double bass. The trio has been together for several years as part of a quintet and other formats.

 August 26-- JMPT Quartet: The JMPT Quartet plays an eclectic blend of instrumental music from around the world, including South American tangos, Polish polkas, and New Orleans ragtime, as well Irish, Israeli, and other old-time popular music. The band is Jane Lund on the accordion, Mike Ingram on guitar, Pam Bartlett on the violin, and Tom Ulrich on the bass.