The Hidden Gem of Live Music in Hampden County, MA: College and University Concerts

As an expert in the music industry, I am often asked about the best places to catch live performances in Hampden County, MA. While there are plenty of venues and events to choose from, one often overlooked option is concerts at local colleges and universities.

The College Music Scene in Hampden County

Hampden County is home to several prestigious colleges and universities, including Amherst College, Smith College, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. These institutions not only offer top-notch education, but also have thriving music programs that attract talented musicians from all over the country. Many of these schools have dedicated performance spaces, such as Amherst College's Buckley Recital Hall and Smith College's Sweeney Concert Hall, where students and faculty showcase their musical talents. These concerts are often free or low-cost, making them a great option for music lovers on a budget.

Concert Series at Local Colleges and Universities

In addition to student performances, many colleges and universities in Hampden County also host concert series featuring professional musicians.

These events not only provide entertainment for the community, but also serve as a valuable learning experience for students.

The Five College Consortium

, which includes Amherst College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College, offers a variety of concert series throughout the year. These include the Fine Arts Center Concert Series, which brings in world-renowned artists from various genres, and the Music in the Valley series, which showcases local musicians. Another popular concert series in Hampden County is The Music Series at Springfield College. This series features a diverse lineup of performers, from classical musicians to jazz ensembles. The college also hosts an annual Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival, which draws in thousands of music lovers from all over New England.

Student-Run Music Organizations

Aside from official concert series, many colleges and universities in Hampden County also have student-run music organizations that put on their own shows and events.

These groups not only provide a platform for students to showcase their talents, but also bring in outside artists to perform on campus.

The Amherst College Jazz Ensemble

is one such organization that hosts regular concerts featuring jazz musicians from the local community and beyond. The group also collaborates with other student organizations to put on larger events, such as the annual Amherst College Jazz Festival.

The Smithereens

, a student-run a cappella group at Smith College, is another example of a student organization that puts on its own concerts. The group has gained a following in the local community and often performs at events and venues outside of the college as well.

How to Find Concerts at Local Colleges and Universities

If you're interested in attending a concert at a local college or university in Hampden County, there are several ways to stay updated on upcoming events. Many schools have event calendars on their websites, which list all upcoming performances and concerts. You can also follow the social media pages of these institutions and their music departments to get the latest updates on concerts and events.

Additionally, local newspapers and online event listings often feature concerts at colleges and universities in the area.


In conclusion, if you're looking for a unique and affordable way to experience live music in Hampden County, don't overlook the concerts happening at local colleges and universities. From student performances to professional concert series, these institutions offer a diverse range of musical experiences that are not to be missed.

Olivia Brown
Olivia Brown

Subtly charming pop culture expert. Amateur coffee specialist. Hipster-friendly travel trailblazer. Certified social media ninja. General pop culture scholar. Extreme creator.

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