Nichols House Museum Presents Musical Events During Annual Holiday House Tour

Special to Times

For the second year, the Nichols House Museum will present a performance by acclaimed musicians as part of the annual Beacon Hill Holiday House Tour festivities.

On Sunday, Dec. 10, pianist Joe Mulholland will perform at the King’s Chapel Parish House at 64 Beacon St. during the reception for Nichols House Museum’s Holiday House Tour. Well-known locally as a soloist and ensemble instrumentalist, Mulholland has released five critically acclaimed albums. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he is a professor at Berklee College of Music. From 3 to 4 p.m., he will play holiday music and American songbook standards on the Parish House’s Mason and Hamlin piano. At the turn of the 20th Century, Boston-based Mason and Hamlin’s instruments were favored by performing artists around the world for their purity of tone. Following these upbeat selections, Mulholland will perform Bach Preludes, excerpts from Meditations by composer John Kramer, jazz standards, and original compositions from his recent solo release.

Mulholland will be joined by renowned bassist Bruce Gertz, a veteran professor at Berklee, who has toured nationally and internationally. Their performance, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Parish House chapel, offers an opportunity for a moment of serenity amidst the bustle of the holiday season. This musical event is included with tickets to the Holiday House Tour.

             Music often filled the Nichols House. In 1902, Metropolitan Opera star Louise (Beatty) Homer performed in the parlor for an overflow crowd of select friends. The family’s piano was also enjoyed during less grand gatherings. Arthur Nichols, who studied piano in Vienna while a medical student, often played for his daughters, and later his grandchildren. Both Arthur and his youngest daughter, Margaret, were talented bell ringers, known for their church-bell change-ringing and handbell-playing. In their honor, the Back Bay Ringers will perform at the Eggnog Pre-Party on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Caroling was another Nichols family’s favorite, and one of the Beacon Hill holiday traditions they most enjoyed. Holiday House Tour guests can experience the fun on Sunday, Dec. 10, when the Olde Towne Carolers will grace the streets of Beacon Hill with strolling performances during the Tour. Holiday House Tour guests will also be treated to music played on an 1823 Tomkison English Square piano at the William Hickling Prescott House.

For more information about the Holiday House Tour, and to purchase tickets, visit the Nichols House Museum website at, or call 617-227-6993

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