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History


Music on the Hill was born at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, East Greenwich. In 1974, Music Director Priscilla Rigg launched a series of traditional chamber music concerts at the church, with well-known artists and ensembles. In 1981, Music on the Hill became incorporated, with elected officers and a board of directors.

In 2007, a group of Rhode Island-bred professional musicians -- led by John M. Pellegrino, Principal Bass of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, a graduate of Warwick’s Toll Gate High School -- proposed a new festival concept for Music on the Hill. At concerts and festivals around the country, John often sees fellow Rhode Islanders who lament the fact that they haven’t played in the Ocean State since high school. Friends and family recruited volunteer administrators with a range of expertise and connections. Priscilla Rigg and the board enthusiastically endorsed the new idea, and rededicated the nonprofit organization to the new festival.

The new festival launched in 2008, and since then Music on the Hill has welcomed thousands of music lovers to concerts in Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Jamestown, East Greenwich, North Providence, East Providence and Wickford. Our ensemble includes professional musicians native to Rhode Island with successful national careers, as well as their friends and colleagues who have come to see Rhode Island as their home away from home, thanks to Music on the Hill, each June.