Naumkeag experience enhanced by music

To the editor:

It was upsetting to read the July 14 Eagle article about Naumkeag's neighbors objecting to its music series. I attended a concert with three generations of my family because one of my favorite trios was playing and because it was affordable for all of us. I was enchanted by the beauty of the place, the kindness of the staff, and the lovely peaceful atmosphere that prevailed for the entire concert.

No one was intoxicated and there was no rowdiness, except for a friendly tussle between two-year-olds on the lawn. The only amplification was for the vocalist, which was necessary in an open-air concert with a great valley below.

I invite Naumkeag's neighbors who complained — maybe in reality they are only a few — to attend the next concert and witness for themselves how benign and wonderful these events are. Yes, there were young people present, and they were delightful.

All of us in the Berkshires experience inconvenience during the tourist season, whether we live near a venue, deal with increased traffic and scarce parking, or endure long lines at the grocery store on Friday afternoons. Hearing music three hours once a week for a few months in the summer — early hours too — seems a small concession to promote a local cultural treasure such as Naumkeag. We are all privileged to live here, and without our cultural opportunities and historic sites we would be a cluster of pleasant but ordinary hill towns.


Last week my husband and I joined the Trustees of Reservations on the spot, and next Thursday I choose to spend my birthday listening to jazz at Naumkeag with my children and my grandchildren. I hope the mic is on so I can hear the vocals, and I hope my grandchildren, like their parents, can grow up experiencing live music outdoors in our beautiful Berkshires. It would be lovely if Naumkeag's critics would join us.

Dianna Downing, Monterey