Collomore Music Series
7 East Liberty Street, Chester, CT 06412
Chester native Robbie Collomore owned Chester’s local soda shop/general store. Located on Main Street in the center of Chester where the River Tavern is now, the soda fountain and the man behind its counter were often at the center of Chester life. You went there in the morning for your coffee and fresh gossip, and the Little League went there in the afternoon for celebratory ice cream cones. Robbie was determined to help refresh another center of Chester life, the Old Meeting House, which dated back to the 1790s but had lost a lot of its fizz by the 1960s. He dreamed of restoring the building to its former glory days when chamber music concerts, barbershop quartets and even a visit from P.T. Barnum’s Tom Thumb brought refreshing entertainment to the town. Always upbeat, Robbie started drumming up plans to bring back musical events to the small building with the big acoustics. Robbie convinced Burton Cornwall, a New York City singer and noted voice teacher retired in Chester, to put on a concert to help raise funds to repair the Old Meeting House. The proceeds of that 1961 concert featuring Burton Cornwall and friends was the cornerstone of a Chester Meeting House Cultural Series he and Robbie helped establish when they became founding members of the Chester Historical Society in 1970. The Cultural Series’ first musical concert in 1974 featured The Singing Editors. Robbie Collomore’s dream for a refurbished Meeting House came true, and when he died in 1975, the Music Series was named in his honor. Burton Cornwall carried on Robbie’s dream, heading the series for five years, and endowing it as part of his estate when he died in 1980.
Contact: Martin Nadel