Our Story


Founded in 1995, Great Waters is a non-profit organization dedicated to culturally enriching New Hampshire's Lakes Region.  Dr. Gerald Mack, Director of the Worcester Chorus and a former professor at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, founded the non-profit summer festival to encompass a diversified program designed to appeal to a variety of musical tastes. More importantly, Great Waters was created to promote live musical performances including choral, symphonic, folk, pop, jazz, Broadway, dance, and renowned vocal and instrumental artists, both amateur and professional alike, for the benefit of the Lakes Region.

In the early years, Home for Great Waters was a beautiful 800 person capacity tent on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. It stood proudly for 10 seasons welcoming performing artists and guests from July through August.  Artists and audience all agreed that there was no other “magical” experience like it anywhere in the Lakes Region of NH. But as time took its toll on the tent, and it was clear it needed to be replaced, the organization moved in a new direction and opted for other more affordable venue options like the Kingswood Performing Arts Center and other local venues including The Barn at the Inn and Anderson Hall.

In 2018, Great Waters embarked on a journey to build a vision for the future with a strategic plan. In the process of building the plan, it became clear that finding a “home” was a priority. Donors, artists, and audience all expressed nostalgic feelings for the past, and great enthusiasm for building a “new” magical experience for today and beyond. The Great Waters Board of Directors heard you clearly, and the work has begun on finding and funding the solution.

GWMF has grown from 325 attendees at one classical performance to the present audience of over 5,000, all enjoying a diverse program that includes: folk, classical, A Capella, jazz, Broadway, pop, bluegrass, and more. GWMF has consistently attracted regional and national artists to New Hampshire. Celebrity stars Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Ronan Tynan, Richie Havens, Canadian Brass, Sandy Duncan, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Nero, Natalie MacMaster, Chuck Mangione, Betty Buckley, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lucie Arnaz, Suzanne Ishee, Mark Hardy, Judy Collins, Lee Bryant, Nanci Griffith, and Judy Gibson have all delighted sold-out audiences. The most recent 2018 season hosted Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer,  Farewell Angelina, and the Capitol Steps to name a few!

Last year, we had acts such as Rhiannon Giddon and Our Native Daughters, Hot Sardines, and Chris Thomas King. We are working on our 2021 season as this time to try and line up some amazing artists such as the Australian Bee Gees which was mentioned in our Concerts in the Clouds series. This has been postponed for the 2020 season.

To keep up to date on the most recent events added and fun, sign up for our emails HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Never Miss a Beat with our Newsletter!