Music For A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Olde Church Acoustic Series helped usher in a much-needed new year by recording an inspiring set of music by “Among the Acres”.  The band celebrated its lauded new CD, “Dreamcatcher” and there were several heartwarming Mike Wilcox stories as well.  (Hang in ’til the finish for a fun a cappella encore!)

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We hope you will listen and enjoy as much as our crew did, and ask that you support this great band, and all the featured artists from our series, as we patiently wait for the return to live audiences at the Olde Church.  Please also support our sponsors and we especially thank Meriden Parks and Recreation for allowing us into the historic Augusta Curtis Cultural Center. Our team has  other exciting ideas ahead, so stay tuned!

As always, the spirit of Mike Wilcox is ever in our hearts!

Music from Castle Craig

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The Olde Church Acoustic Series took to the heights of Meriden to deliver our November offering of CT singers and songwriters. The weather was chilly, but the music was hot!


The Bargain was back with fresh material and a great sound. Frank Critellii traded his usual role as emcee for performer, along with Shandy Lawson and Muddy Rivers.

The Bargain

Proving that CT’s musical youth are a force on the scene, Quinn Miller knocked it out of the (Hubbard) park with an energetic set of original tunes, and a voice that belies her age.

Quinn Miller

Watch the show and if you are able, please support our artists by contributing to their Venmo accounts noted during the second song of each performance.  We thank everyone for their ongoing support!

As always, the spirit of Mike Wilcox is ever in our hearts!

Music on a Chilly October Afternoon

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We were back outside for some new music from the Olde Church Acoustic Series. The weather was chilly, but the music was hot!

OCAS continued to adjust to the pandemic by mixing in a variety of venues, this time for a small but enthusiastic audience outdoors at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center in Meriden on October 8, 2020. 

David Taylor Coffey
The Moon Shells
The Podunk Throwbacks

David Taylor Coffey kicked things off in rollicking fashion, followed by a nice set from The Moon Shells.  The Podunk Throwbacks closed the day with some solid jams. 


If you are able, please support our artists by contributing to their online pay accounts noted during the video.  Please keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on future shows! We thank everyone for their ongoing support!

Six Songs for Sunday – Back Outside

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Returning to the church’s cozy outdoor venue with perfect August weather, two amazing artists shared three of their uniquely original songs.  Connecticut’s own Pat Dalton and Kierstin Sieser offered a nice respite from these strange days in this latest session from the Olde Church Acoustic Series.

Pat Dalton


Pat Dalton is a leader in the Connecticut music scene while also a member of the band The Proud Flesh.  As he sings three originals here, one can sense the influences of his inspirations Leonard Cohen,Tom Waits and Paul Simon.  

Kierstin Sieser

As the leader of the band Tiny Ocean, Sieser (that’s pronounced “Caesar”!) is celebrating the recent release of her solo LP called “Shark Tooth Moon” and is generously donating all proceeds to the New Haven Creative Sector Relief Fund benefitting artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Listeners will hear the unplanned whistle of the CTRail train roll through during her third song, so Kierstin played a “bonus track”, technically making this the first “Seven Songs for Sunday” event!


If you are able, please support our artists by contributing to their Venmo accounts noted during the second song of each performance.  We thank everyone for their ongoing support!

Six Songs for Sunday – The Gallery 53 Sessions

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Stephanie Clark Harris
Mark Mirando

We keep finding ways to bring you new music!

The Olde Church Acoustic series was honored to host Mark Mirando and Stefanie Clark Harris this week. 

Because of the oppressive heat and a stormy forecast, we recorded across the street at Gallery 53, the home of CT’s oldest arts and crafts association and a beautiful venue for the best local artists.  We are fortunate to have such great neighbors.  So, please take a listen, and if you can, please support our songwriters through Venmo contributions (accounts are noted in the video) and follow these artists on the various social media platforms!

Six More Songs for Sunday

We’re still trying to find the right balance of re-opening up the music series;  we want the performers and the attendees to all be comfortable and safe.  We recently stage an outdoor “soft” debut, with a few of our crew and spouses in attendance to get a feel for how we might do this again – even better. 


We were very honored to have Jason Ingriselli and Ashley Hamel each play a few of their original songs in the cool little outdoor nook behind First Church of Meriden.  You can enjoy their fine performances right here and, if you are able, please support their music platforms (details below). 

Special thanks to Meriden Police Chaplain Clarence Hayes for taking the initiative to prep our venue and thanks of course to First Church of Meriden for hosting. Thank you all for your continued support and see you soon.

Stay tuned for announcements soon on our plans to bring you more great music!

Ashley Hamel at OCAS-2089

To support our performers:


Jason IngriselliVenmo @iJasonJamesor PayPal.me/iJasonJamesVisit www.themilesnorth.com

Ashley HamelVenmo @aahamel   or PayPal.me/ashleyhamelVisit www.ashleyhamel.com

Six Songs for Sunday

These have certainly been trying times for everyone. Thankfully, there has been great music all around us to help manage the ups and downs.  Your Olde Church Acoustic team would like to give you these six songs recorded at First Church of Meriden for your listening pleasure.

Our good friend Denise Jones of Inner Groove leads off with three of her original tunes that are both fitting and therapeutic for these times.  New Haven’s S.G. Carlson closes with three of his songs that will get your toes tappin’.  

We would like to dedicate this event to Denise and all the medical workers who have been on the front lines during these stressful 60 days. 

Please, everyone, be safe and be smart so we can open the Series for live shows again soon!

Hitting “pause”…

As you can imagine, the Olde Church Acoustic Series music schedule is on hold because of the COVID-19 situation.  We look forward to the day when we’ll be back in action, but until then please do whatever you can to support your local CT singer/songwriters, artists, restaurants and local communities.

For Connecticut’s musicians and small businesses, here is a link to a recent Community Economic Development Foundation (CEDF) presentation that walks through potential SBA funding that might provide you support during this downturn:

https://www.cedf.com/workshops/recordedpresentations/.

Government programs are ever-evolving so be sure to stay up-to-date through CEDF or CT DECD (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Business-Resources)

Also, here is a site of potential resources more specifically geared to freelance artists:  www.covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com

Most importantly, please stay safe.  Our next show – whenever it will be – will be extra special.  Peace.

Dave, Denise, Frank, Mike and the entire OCAS team

A great night of music…

On Friday, March 6th, the Olde Church Acoustic Series show returned to its familiar “Old Church” format with three great performances and an overwhelming turnout.  The night was extra special as it included the debut of the church’s Steinway piano!  

Wallingford’s Brooke Dougan kicked off the evening and wowed the crowd with her creativity and acoustic stylings; we were also honored to have hosted her first-ever performance on the piano.


Hartford’s Bandshes serenaded with their sweet harmonies accompanied by the piano.  


Supergroup “The Bargain” (Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson and Mike Rivers) closed the evening with a set of fun new songs; Shandy shined on the mandolin while Mike did the same on guitar while Frank told stories in song.  


The food – especially the Irish white bean stew – received rave reviews too!  


We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday, Apr 3 when three more talented CT singer songwriters take the stage — Bill Ludwig with MARMO, Andrew Biagirelli, and Daphne Lee Martin.  Dinner at 6; music at 7!

Join us on Friday, March 6th at 7pm for our next show!

Nothing brings community together or cuts through the noise of the day like a song sung well!

We’re stoked for our first “official” Olde Church Acoustic concert on Friday, March 6th! We appreciate the warm welcome extended by Pastor Bruce Miller and the First Church family as they have offered this majestic, yet intimate, meeting place as a unique venue to promote the lively and diverse spirit of Connecticut’s best singer/songwriters. (And the food is great too!)

Our debut in February was a tremendous success, attributed first and foremost to the outpouring of support from over 25 talented artists who gave their time to pay homage to our founder, Mike Wilcox. In so doing, they helped keep the music series Mike created moving forward.

And for Friday night’s show, Frank Critelli is back as emcee to bring you an incredible line up of new musicians and some old friends.

Sixteen year old Brooke Dougan has been crafting fine songs for several years and sharing them with audiences at CJ Sparrow in Cheshire, Best Video in Hamden, the State House in Hartford and a variety of coffee shops in the region.  We are excited to have her open up our first “official” show!


Bandshes is a trio from Hartford, CT and describe their sound as “reminiscent of Doris Day, if she had been born in the 90s, listened to a lot of Regina Spektor, and then wrote music with her best friends.”  Come enjoy their harmonies and the Series debut of the Old Church’s Steinway piano!


Closing out the evening will be an exciting new songwriter collaboration, “The Bargain”.  In January 2019, Mike “Muddy” Rivers showed up at the home of Frank Critelli with a bottle of whiskey and a guitar. Shandy Lawson arrived soon after. The three made a bargain with the Devil – and each other – to write down, record, and perform the songs they lassoed while sitting around the kitchen table.  No better venue than the oldest church in Meriden to show off songs written by these talented storytellers!


Dinner is available for purchase starting at 6pm in Smith Hall at the back of the church.

  • Main Dish – $10
    • Corned Beef with carrots, potatoes, cabbage and Irish soda bread
  • Lighter Meals
    • $3 Bowl of Irish white bean chili (vegetarian & gluten free)
      • $5 with Irish soda bread (regular and gluten free)
    • $2 Hot Dogs
  • Bagged snacks (chips, etc) – $1
  • Assorted Desserts – $2