About Garth Newel
Through live, professional performances, educational programs, exceptional hospitality and opportunity for personal interaction between musicians and audiences, Garth Newel Music Center enriches lives through inspired chamber music and performance arts experiences.
Founded in 1973, Garth Newel Music Center is a year-round chamber music venue situated in the heart of Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, presenting over 50 concerts throughout the year performed by the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and other renowned guest musicians. Concerts are paired with gourmet meals created by Resident Chef Josh Elliott, and lodging is available in the Historic Manor House on the exquisite 114-acre property.
Garth Newel also hosts the Emerging Artist Fellowship Program each summer (an intensive 4-week workshop for college-age students), an Amateur Chamber Music Retreat each spring, and is home to the Allegheny Mountain String Project, a vital source of music education for children in the Bath, Alleghany, and Highland communities. Known for its breathtaking scenery, world-class performances, and friendly and comfortable accommodations, Garth Newel is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
The History of Garth Newel
Garth Newel, a Welsh phrase meaning “new hearth” or “new home,” was the name given to this exquisite property in the 1920s by William Sergeant Kendall and his young bride, Christine Herter Kendall.
William Kendall was a well-known painter, whose works are in a number of important museum collections. He resigned his position as chairman of the School of Fine Arts at Yale University and built Garth Newel in 1924, where the couple trained and rode fine Arabian horses, painted, and enjoyed musical evenings in their home with friends. Unfortunately, Mr. Kendall suffered serious riding accidents in 1931 and 1937. He never recovered from the latter and died in February of 1938 at the age of 69.
Christine Herter Kendall was born in 1890 and grew up in New York City in a family devoted to the arts. Her first cousin was Christian Herter, Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration. Her early life in this prominent family shaped her career as an accomplished artist, musician, and patron of the arts. Christine studied the violin as a child and her family spent many evenings playing chamber music together. She went on to study painting in Paris and then at Yale. She continued to paint throughout her life and many of her paintings hang here at Garth Newel.
Following her husband’s death, Christine donated much of the property to the Girl Scouts of America to be used as a summer camp. The Girl Scouts found that it was too much to maintain, so she regained possession in 1969 and began to search for another use.
A mutual friend arranged for Christine to meet Luca and Arlene Di Cecco, who at the time were cellist and violinist of the Rowe String Quartet. At Christine’s urging the Di Ceccos began a chamber music study program for their students in the summer of 1973, and the Rowe Quartet began giving concerts on the property. Christine arranged for repairs to long-abandoned buildings, including the conversion of the indoor riding ring where the Arabian horses had once trained into a wonderful concert hall.
Christine died in June 1981, bequeathing the property and a modest fund to the Garth Newel Music Center Foundation. The Di Ceccos devoted themselves to the continued development of the Music Center and it grew from a season of a half-dozen concerts in the mid-70s to more than 50 today. In addition to playing the violin, Arlene used her talents as chef to add gourmet meals to the concerts. Overnight accommodations in the Manor House, as well as the beautiful scenery, complete an aesthetic experience that is second to none.
After 25 years of artistry and indefatigable effort the Di Ceccos retired. Their vision lives on through world-class music and gourmet food, offered in a beautiful setting and welcoming atmosphere. The Garth Newel Music Center looks to its patrons, artists, staff, and volunteers to continue their legacy into a new era.
An expanded version of this article is available upon request.
Frequently asked Questions
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What is the history of Garth Newel?
Garth Newel is a Welsh phrase which we translate loosely to mean “new hearth” or “new home” and it was the name given to the property in the 1920s when William Sergeant Kendall and his young bride Christine Herter Kendall moved to Bath County. For more details see our history page.
What are your office hours?
The office is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. It is closed on major holidays. For event information, please visit https://www.garthnewel.org/events/.
How do I make reservations to stay at the Manor House at the Garth Newel Music Center?
To make reservations to stay at the Manor House, call the office at 540-839-5018 Monday thru Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
What kind of music is played at Garth Newel?
Visit Garth Newel and enjoy world class chamber music performances. The Garth Newel Piano Quartet, our resident ensemble, plays many of our concerts. Though most of the concerts are classical chamber music, you may find a variety throughout the year.
Length of Concerts
Performance length varies, but most evening concerts last about two hours, including intermission.
Although most artists appreciate applause at anytime during a performance, audiences should wait until the end of a piece to clap. This is considered respectful to the performers’ concentration and mindful of musical continuity. If you’re unsure about when to applaud, a good rule of thumb is to follow the lead of other audience members.
How do I get to Garth Newel?
Garth Newel is located in Bath County, VA about 1/2 way between Warm Springs and Hot Springs, VA on U.S. Route 220. Our driveway is clearly marked as “Garth Newel Lane” and a sign on the east side of the road. Our address is not GPS friendly- for step by step instructions, see our directions page.
What will we eat?
Garth Newel’s resident Chef Josh Elliott serves gourmet meals after many of the concerts. The set-menu meals are 4 or 5 courses and full of the freshest ingredients. We also have picnics, brunches, and the occasional buffet. Reservations are required for meals.
Garth Newel is also ideal for picnicking, and we encourage you to bring your picnic to enjoy before or after concerts. There are many great restaurants in the area. Visit www.DiscoverBath.com for more information.
Wine, beer, and soft drinks are always available to purchase before all concerts and during intermissions. Cocktails are available to purchase during the Spring and Fall Seasons. Feel free to take your drink to your seat and enjoy it during the concert.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
Yes! We are able to meet your dietary restrictions within reason. Please notify us of any special requests when you make your reservation.
What should I wear to a concert at Garth Newel?
The atmosphere at Garth Newel is generally casual, and all dress is acceptable. Patrons wear anything from jeans and boots to cocktail dresses and sport coats. The Summer Festival tends to be more casual and there are occasional events that are black-tie optional. Some will come dressed elegantly for a night out on the town, others will dash in wearing sneakers and shorts having just returned from a hike. The only rule is to be comfortable.
When should I arrive at the concert hall?
The concert hall opens an hour before the concert. A cash bar may be available for 1/2 hour prior to event.
How are seats assigned?
All concerts are general admission so you may choose any available seat when you arrive.
What about parking?
Parking is free and ample. There is Accessible Parking reserved near the hall. Please allow enough time to park your car before a performance.
Are there events at Garth Newel year round?
Yes! Our main season runs from the end of April to the end of October and the Summer Festival may be our best known time of year. But exciting events are happening year round at Garth Newel including Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and other occasional events.
What if the weather is bad?
In addition to providing superb acoustics, our concert hall is fully enclosed, heated, and air conditioned. Except for in the most extreme circumstances, the show will go on.
What is your ticket exchange/refund policy?
Exchanges can be made in person or by phone at least twenty-four hours in advance and cannot occur for an event that has already taken place, or has already started. Complimentary tickets cannot be exchanged.
In rare cases, Garth Newel Music Center may offer a full refund for exceptional circumstances.
Do you sell gift certificates?
Gift Certificates are available for concerts, meals, and/or lodging in any amount. Call us at 540-839-5018 for more information. If you are using a gift certificate, please bring it with you to the event.
Should we bring the kids?
Children ages five and older may attend our ticketed concerts with a parent or guardian; however, concerts are best suited for children ages 10 and older. In respect to our other patrons we ask that they are able to sit through the concert quietly and do not make noise that would disturb others at the concert.
If you have children under 5, consider one of our Family concerts. Garth Newel Music Center offers Pay-As-You-Wish Family Concerts for children and adults of all ages on Sundays during the month of October. Also, concerts given by our youth program, The Allegheny Mountain String Project are perfect for the entire family.
Can I bring my dog? Garth Newel’s grounds sound beautiful!
Pets are not permitted; however service animals are permitted.
A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Do you sell recordings of the concerts?
No, but the Garth Newel Piano Quartet has two great recordings available and a third to be released soon!
Recording and Electronic Devices
The use of cameras and other recording and electronic devices is not permitted in the concert hall. Please, turn off cell phone, alarm watch, pager, and other electronic devices before your concert begins. As a courtesy to fellow patrons, please refrain from texting.
Is Garth Newel not-for-profit?
Yes! Ticket sales cover less than half of our operating costs. The generosity of our donors is essential to sustain and nurture Garth Newel. To make a donation to Garth Newel, see our support us page.
Is Garth Newel Accessible?
Yes. The concert hall is accessible, and there is accessible parking and restrooms as well. Please notify us at the time of ticket purchasing of your needs.
Are Garth Newel’s facilities available for rentals?
Garth Newel has a limited number of dates available for weddings and other events each year. Click here to learn more about catering and renting the facilities.
Do you have list of staff and board members available?
Yes. Garth Newel is a non-profit organization with a wonderful active board. See our Staff and Board List Page for a list of staff contact and board members.