New Harmony Sound

Under the Beams concert series brings diversity of musical performers and styles

As it nears a quarter century of shows, New Harmony, Indiana’s Under the Beams concert series still feels like a well-kept secret.

It started in 2001 as a New Harmony Artists Guild program in the Rapp-Owen Granary, which recently had been restored. Founder Liz Mumford, noting the distinct beams inside the Granary, came up with the name.

Held monthly from January through April, Under the Beams moved to Murphy Auditorium in 2014. Organizers take pride in diversity: The series has hosted performers of 34 nationalities and introduced audiences to numerous genres.

This season, Under the Beams has featured a classical pianist and a folk/bluegrass/fusion act. Still to come are Mostly Kosher, a klezmer and rock band, and Mokoomba, a Zimbabwean act with a capella harmonies and beats that get the audience to its feet.

Clayton Stephenson by Andy Batt

“We use the slogan ‘bringing the world to our stage’ because that is what we do,” Mumford says. “Being right in the center of the Midwest, our small town of 800 does not have a lot of diversity that larger cities have, so we simply bring these cultural performances in and try to get them in front of as many people as possible.”

The 24th season is dedicated to Terry Becker, the series’ board chairman and a longtime Evansville music educator who died in 2023.

Under the Beams started a fund in Becker’s name that supports taking visiting musicians into local schools. The concert series is wholly supported by volunteers and donors.

“We do it because we love mu- sic and love New Harmony,” Mumford says. “Some years are great with donations, and some we barely scrape by. But we always seem to raise enough to keep going.”

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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