Gwen and Bill Stevens
What is the name and nature of your business?
Howland Chamber Music Circle, Inc. is a non-profit organization that presents concerts at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon. We bring leading international classical ensembles and musicians to the mid-Hudson Valley, where our neighbors can hear them in a hall with outstanding acoustics at affordable prices without the expense and bother of going to New York City.
When did you launch your business?
Did you start in Beacon?
If yes, why did you decide to start your business here?
After organizing a series of house concerts for a number of years, we discovered the Howland Center with its wonderful acoustics. This allowed us to offer similar concerts to the general public.
Is there one thing about your business that you would really like folks to know?
At the Howland Center you can hear the same outstanding musicians as in New York right here in the mid-Hudson Valley, and in a friendly, intimate setting like that for which chamber music was originally intended; much better than most metropolitan concert halls.
When did you become a member of BeaconArts and why?
About five years ago. We felt that our organization should lend its support to the general Beacon cultural scene.
Where are you from originally?
Gwen was originally from Reading, PA, and Bill from Portland, ME. We met and married in Poughkeepsie nearly 50 years ago, so I guess you would say we are from Poughkeepsie.
Do you have a favorite place, event or thing to do in Beacon?
Attending events at the Howland Center, of course, but we also enjoy the many varied restaurants.
How do you think Beacon is different from other Hudson Valley cities?
Its burgeoning arts scene, while retaining many aspects of a small town, “down home” atmosphere.
Using your imagination, describe Beacon five years from now.
The central section of Main Street will have more interesting shops and restaurants, like the East and West ends do now. Parking will become a major problem, particularly when the Beacon Theater opens its main auditorium. Since it is so convenient to commute to NYC, housing prices will rise.