Not many people can say they’ve attended a concert in a castle, but that opportunity awaits local music fans during the next several months.
Through a music series started last year by Beverly resident John Devens, concerts are set for the Givins Castle, 10244 S. Longwood Dr., and The Heritage Gallery, 1907 W. 103rd St.
Devens owned World Folk Music Company in Beverly until it closed in 2009. He has also taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
He has worked with several other local residents on the series, including Vicki Simmerling, whose family owns The Heritage Gallery.
All proceeds after expenses from the concerts held at the Castle will go to the Castle Building Fund.
The building, which was built in 1886-87 by real estate developer Robert C. Givins and is one of the most iconic in Beverly, needs repairs to its turrets, limestone and windows. Steel bands were installed on one turret in 2017.
At least $700,000 is needed, and Beverly Unitarian Church has already raised over $400,000 for its home.
All concerts will start at 7 p.m., and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. A donation of $20 is suggested per ticket. A concert was held on Jan. 19, and the series will continue into the spring.
Chicago native Kathleen Keane, an Irish-American singer-songwriter, will perform on Feb. 16, and David Boyle, an actor/storyteller from Morgan Park, will perform his solo show, “To Be Determined,” on Feb. 23. The audience will select the stories he tells by choosing from drawings that represent the stories.
Larry Gray, who plays double bass and cello, will perform on March 2, and Come Sunday, a septet with four singers that is influenced by jazz, blues, folk and gospel, will play on April 27.
The Heritage Gallery will host Eddie Holstein, a Chicago native who blends folk, blues, guitar, history and humor, on Feb. 2, and Michael Peter Smith, who was called “the greatest songwriter in the English language” by Rolling Stone Magazine, will perform on March 30. Folk singer-songwriter Anne Hills will conclude the series at the gallery on May 18.
The dates scheduled for the series give people ample time to support a neighborhood landmark. The residents who have worked together to keep the Castle standing tall deserve a round of applause.