Meetinghouse Music and Art Series

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! … Psalm 150 1-6

Music is the art of the prophets and the gifts of God. –Martin Luther

Meetinghouse Music Series:   It’s not that God comes when you play music, God is already there.  Music and the Arts can bring a state of mind where we are more sensitive and aware to the presence of God. God is Still Speaking, and many times it’s through the Gifts of Music and Art that have been given to those who perform and the Gift of hearing, seeing and feeling the Music and Arts for those of us not performing. Our Meetinghouse Music Series is a periodic series featuring music and art for various themes of the season or holiday, and which surround and support our missions and community involvement. A guest musician joins Music Director Chris Bakriges and, many times a few of our talented church members,  who bring their music to our church for the service and then for a concert of about an hour. Each concert features writings, spoken word, poems  as well as the music which also follow along the theme and the mission being supported. The concerts are a celebration of the care and concern we have given to our building and sanctuary over the years.

For these concerts we have several hopes and goals and we put our faith in God to help us get to these goals. We hope opening our church for concerts and the Arts will bring people to hear this music and return again to Worship with us.  We hope to support the missions of our church.  We hope to support the ministry of the musicians that come to perform.

Meetinghouse Concert Sunday, 7/23 10:30 am

Brazilian music virtuoso, guitarist Joseph G. Carter, who directs the music program at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, performs on Sunday, July 23 at the West Dover Congregational Church.  The church offers the location to bring music into the community and to fund-raise for various local organizations. The concert is open to the public and will be in the Activity Room downstairs. 

Joe’s program is entitled “Playing with Balanco”.  Balanco is a unique music form involving Brazilian and Portuguese sense of swing and soul. Joe has conducted teaching workshops in the U.S., France and Brazil.  Joe performs in nightclub and concert settings in the U.S., Europe and South America in a variety of formats, from solo to quintet. “His show is a gift to those who, tired of noise, want to listen to music played in a sensitive and intelligent way”  Chico Nelson, Jornal Do Brasil. Joining Carter for this special concert is pianist Chris Bakriges.

Free will donations will be accepted to benefit the Women’s Freedom Center in Brattleboro VT.  West Dover Congregational Church is located at 104 VT-100 in West Dover directly across from the Dover Historical Society and Harris House Museum. Parking is available at the Town Office lot. For more information.: 802-464-1195.


joe carter



Meetinghouse Concert –Sunday, May 28 2017 at 10:30 am

Zoe Krohne and Willie Sordillo: Music for the Body, Songs for the Soul

The Deerfield Valley’s Meetinghouse Concert series, held at the West Dover Congregational Church, resumes on Sunday, May 28 at 10:30 am in a program called, “Music for the Body, Songs for the Soul,” with Admission charge is by a free-will offering, the proceeds of which will go to Kurn Hattin School.

Zoe Krohne

Often referred to as “soulful” and “moving,” vocalist Zoë Krohne’s singing communicates directly to audiences in various settings, both large and intimate.

Zoë took her first steps towards life as a professional musician at age 17.  Having studied piano and singing for most of those tender years, she became half of the folk duo, Zoë and Cory, based out of St. Louis.  They worked their way through college together, performing their original music in venues large and small throughout the Midweset.  During those years, Zoë also pursued a degree in music performance while contributing to various local bands ranging in styles from roots Americana and blues to good ol’ rock n’ roll, opening for such acts as The Byrds and Ani DiFranco.  Upon receiving her degree, Zoë moved to San Francisco where she performed at local venues including Freight and Salvage and The Chapel.

Now back in her birthplace of Boston, Zoë has expanded her musical expression to include jazz, R&B, and soul.  She worked for both Berklee College of Music and Boston University’s School of Music over the course of a decade, which steeped her in the presence and practice of masters of their craft.  Today, Zoë serves as song-leader for the Jazz Worship service at Old South Church in Copley Square. She has been the vocalist for many events including Boston’s Pride celebration with Sen. Elizabeth Warren as special guest, twice for the “Service of Resiliency” which was planned annually for the survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy, an inter-faith service of healing held at Trinity Church after the election in 2016, and for Mass General Hospital’s annual Black History Month celebration.  Zoë also sings in the funk, soul and R&B group The RPS Band.

Zoë will be joined by saxophonist Willie Sordillo, who directs the weekly jazz worship service at Old South Church in Boston and co-lead the award winning group Flor de Caña.

willie sordillo

The concert is hosted and sponsored by West Dover Congregational UCC, 104 VT Route 100.


Sunday, October 11, 2015 @ 10:30 am following the worship service at 9:00 am

Plan to join us for the October 11th  concert, when Chris Bakriges will be joined by percussionist Billy Arnold. The mission this concert will support is the Women’s Freedom Center in Brattleboro VT.

For a taste of what you’ll enjoy, watch this!


Meetinghouse Concert Brings Master Drummer Billy Arnold to West Dover  

A concert drawing attention to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be celebrated on Sunday, October 11 at 10:30 am at the West Dover Congregational Church, 104 Route 100 in West Dover. This concert’s theme is, “The Heart Beats Outside the Body” begins immediately following the normal 9am church service and draws attention to the importance of poverty eradication for building sustainable futures for all. Admission is by free-will donation.
Whether it was decades ago on the chitlin’ circuit to his current work for Young @ Heart
Chorus, Billy Arnold has maintained that the rudiments of drumming are the rudiments of life. With Young @ Heart, Arnold has played in Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and South Africa, where he was working with artists through a cultural exchange program at the Institute for Training and Development in Amherst, Massachusetts. Billy was recently honored at the 1st annual L.E.G.A.C.Y Awards (Living Entertainment Greats in the Arts, Culture and Youth Development) that acknowledged him as one of the greatest known and unknown contributors to the world of entertainment, the arts, culture and youth development from the Western Massachusetts area.
People living in poverty face increasingly difficult challenges as climate change, environmental degradation and rising food prices threaten their livelihoods and survival. People right in the Deerfield Valley are also affected by poverty and destitution. The path to sustainable development both locally and globally must ensure that people living in poverty are included in decision-making processes, and that concrete action is taken to respond to their needs and demands.
Sindy Hassig, Chris Bakriges, and Holly and Joe Fortner also perform at the concert.

Sunday, June 21, 2015 @ 10:30 am, following the worship service at 9:00. 

Next Meetinghouse Concert:

Willie Sordillo in Concert at W. Dover Congregational Church Sunday, June 21, 10:30am
From such exotic locales as Singapore and Hawaii to major music festivals throughout North America, alto saxophonist Willie Sordillo’s music has taken him around the world. His band, Flor de Caña is a three-time Boston Music Award winner. Flor de Caña was formed after his cultural exchange tour to Nicaragua. The band shared the stage with such notables as Tito Puente, Rubén Blades, Poncho Sanchez, Richie Havens and Pete Seeger. Willie has performed throughout North America and in Central America and the Caribbean. He has seen an album he produced and which features his playing and compositions become a top 10 hit on the Billboard Magazine World Music listing and heard one of his co-arrangements played on the popular “ER” television program. Willie also recorded for the historic Folkways label and toured nationally as a solo artist. In addition, he produced compilations for Folkways and Flying Fish, Walls to Roses: Songs of Changing Men and Feeding the Flame: Songs by Men to End AIDS, which contributed to the pro-feminist dialogue on gender issues and helped raise funds to support AIDS services for minorities.
willie sordillo
Willie Sordillo has been the Music Coordinator for the Thursday evening Jazz Worship service at Old South Church in Boston since its inception. Willie currently serves as administrator of the Pastoral Excellence Network following 11 years serving as Administrative Assistant to the Minister and President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.  He and his family are members of Edwards Church, UCC in Framingham, Massachusetts
A writer as well as a player, Willie’s original compositions have been reproduced in a number of magazines, songbooks and textbooks and he has had the pleasure of hearing his songs recorded by other musicians. He has composed theme music for four movies.
Prior Events

Sunday April 19 10:30 am following the service at 9:00. Mr Sharpe will be accompanying Chris during the Worship Service as well.

Acts of Green: A Concert in Celebration of Earth Day Join us for a wonderful morning of music assembled by our music director and pianist Chris Bakriges, which celebrates the Deerfield Valley’s entrance into spring, and our commitment to the earth and protection of the environment. Our special guest for this concert is renowned bassist-composer Avery Sharpe. Also joining are Valley residents Sindy Hassig, and Holly and Joe Fortner. The Concert is at the West Dover Congregation Church, 104 Route 100, in Dover, Vermont. Admission is by free-will donation and proceeds benefit the church’s Meetinghouse Concert programs and our local mission projects.

Avery Sharpe is a reminder of the lasting value of steadfast dedication and personal integrity. Born in Valdosta, Georgia, his first instrument was the piano, which he started to play at eight years of age. As he recalls, his “mother was a piano player in the Church of God in Christ, and she gave lessons to everybody in the family—I’m the sixth of eight children—but it didn’t stick until it got to me.”
Avery moved to accordion and then switched to bass in high school. He adapted quickly to the instrument, and within a few years he was performing with such notables as Archie Shepp, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie and Pat Metheny. Since then, he has written and conducted the soundtrack for the movie “An Unremarkable Life,” and among his many commissions was writing for the stage production “Raisin’ Cane,” a show which has been touring for nearly a decade and features the actress Jasmine Guy and Sharpe’s Trio.
Mr. Sharpe is presently Artist Associate in Jazz Bass, and Jazz Coach at Williams College. He is also Faculty Advisor for the Williams Gospel Choir and affiliated faculty for Africana Studies. More information about Avery and his music is at

Chris Bakriges grew up near the original Motown Studios. A Valley resident, in addition to serving as the Church’s musical director and offering his diverse musical talents on Sundays, he has performed both his own compositions and with many other artists. Among his most recent works are “Reflections on Henri Matisse’s Jazz.” He is currently performing both the FiddleFunk and the Matisse Jazz Project with violinist Stanley Chepaitis, String Chair at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. More information about Chris can be found at

Please join us at what promises to be a joyous, uplifting celebration.