Located in the western part of Massachusetts, South Hadley is part of the Pioneer Valley, which encompasses three counties stretching from Vermont to Connecticut. We appreciate the balance here between New England college towns, smaller cities, and rural spaces with a population that is generally quite liberal and inclined toward cultural activities. South Hadley is located in Hampshire County, which is home to the Five Colleges: Amherst College (where Tanya teaches), Mount Holyoke College (where I taught when we first moved here), Hampshire College, Smith College, and the main campus of the University of Massachusetts (UMass). There are also several academies in the Pioneer Valley such as the Williston Northampton School and the Charlemont Academy, where I also taught when we were new here.
Village Commons in South Hadley.
The Gaylord Memorial Library in South Hadley.
Mount Holyoke College campus (South Hadley).
A few pieces I've written trying to capture something about living here include The Sounds of Hampshire County, The South Hadley Mass, and The Four Seasons of New England. I've also written fanfares for each of South Hadley's libraries, where we have given many duo recitals. Tanya was the soloist in the Pioneer Valley's premiere performance of Vaughan Williams' Flos Campi, and I recently performed all of Bach's Sonatas, Partitas, Suites in one concert from memory (also likely a first) at the Tap Room in Hadley.
Town common, South Hadley.
View of the valley
Tanya and I maintain private violin and viola studios in South Hadley and up the road in Amherst. We have taught via Skype on five continents, and I also teach composition. Our students have ranged in age from eight to ninety and have come to South Hadley regularly from as far away as Cape Cod, the Boston Area, and eastern New Hampshire. We have also coached many ensembles ranging from duos to string orchestras, and we have had students play in all of the area's youth orchestras as well.
Atkins Farm (Amherst)
Mount Holyoke College
Before moving here in 2012, Tanya and I had seen forty-eight of the fifty-states either on tour or as residents. While we've gotten to see some really interesting places, this is the first place we moved to without any work lined up. We just came here because we really like it.
The Taproom (Hadley)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see a video we've put together about the area. You can hear the Wistaria String Quartet perform a piece I wrote called The Sounds of Hampshire County and see some of Tanya's photography to get a sense of where we live.
- Scott Slapin
Farms and farmer's markets in the valley.
Restaurants and cafes in the valley.