LTE: Historical Society to hold Christmas concert

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The following letter to the editor was submitted verbatim to Portsmouth Press by Doug Smith, vice president of the Portsmouth Historical Society. The letter announces the historical society’s Christmas concert. 

The Newport Navy Choristers, under the direction of Lori McDowell, will be presenting their annual Christmas concert, “Christmas in Song,” on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Barnabas Church, 1697 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Portsmouth Historical Society. Please join us for this evening of Christmas music. Tickets are available online, at the door, and from all Society Board members.

A keepsake concert program is currently being created, with advertisements and Holiday messages from local businesses and families. There is still time to put an ad in the program, but all entries are due by 8 November. See the Portsmouth Historical Society website at for details.

This will be the 18th event sponsored by the Society over the course of this year and more are already being planned for 2018. The Society’s mission is to preserve, protect and promote Portsmouth’s history. These events are a part of the Society’s efforts to showcase and promote our community’s unique history.

We have also been working on preserving and protecting the Union Church building, which is our headquarters and houses the Society’s museum and collections of historic artifacts. Using Society funds, augmented by grants from the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission and the 1772 Foundation, the exterior of the building has been repaired and repainted over the summer and work is ongoing to repaint the interior of the ground floor.

Steps are also underway to eventually make the building fully ADA-complaint so that the museum and upstairs meeting room can accommodate all. We plan to start hosting concerts, plays and other events in the upstairs meeting room this year, although it will not yet be ADA accessible.

In addition to public events, the Society has been actively engaged in several projects in support of the town, including a historical cemetery inventory update and a program to update the town’s inventory of historic homes and offer historic plaques to historic homeowners.

The Society has continued to grow over the past two years, and we would like to ask everyone to continue to support us by becoming a member or renewing your Society membership – all easily done online. Membership numbers are important because they show prospective granting organizations that we have the support of our community.

In the meantime, please join us for the Newport Navy Chorister’s Christmas Concert on Friday, 8 December at the St. Barnabas Church, to enjoy the music of the season and the company of your friends and neighbors. The proceeds of this community event will go to your Historical Society so that we can continue to pursue our mission of preserving, protecting and promoting our local history.

Doug Smith
Vice President, Portsmouth Historical Society

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