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About The Mainstay


The Mainstay

The Mainstay opened its doors in a 100 year old Rock Hall building on Nov 13, 1997. Outfitted with 120 mismatched chairs, Tom McHugh’s sound system, a few cast off theatre lights, the building came to life. Now, some 750 concerts later, and celebrating fifteen years of success, The Mainstay is a fixture on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is a 501(c)3, nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall and the surrounding region. We are dedicated to presenting local, regional, national and international talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. You really can’t have a bad seat in this room.

Music from all genres is offered: American roots, classical, classic blues, and jazz… Check out Memorable Performances for a sample. The Mainstay is especially proud of its reputation for jazz excellence dating back to our early association with jazz great Charlie Byrd. We host 50 to 60 performances a year on our stage.


Listen to the comments of one of our regular audience members: “It is hard to explain this place… mismatched chairs, old rugs, a few sofas, and a small stage… but, a professional grade grand piano, always in tune, a great sound system, and, most of all, one of the great audiences you will find anywhere! They are informed, appreciative and you can feel their energy. No food service, clanging cash registers, or conversation… just the music.”

As The Mainstay enters its 18th year, we are free of debt (for now!) and are booked many months ahead. We are staffed by the greatest team of volunteers anywhere, and feeling the energy. Come visit us. We promise a night to remember!

Tom McHugh talks about The Mainstay in a video interview that appeared in the Chestertown Spy.

In May 2014, the Voice of America came to the Mainstay to record a feature on trumpet prodigy Geoff Gallante who was the featured artist with Max's Mainstay All-Stars. Video of the original story and a feature about the making of the story are now available on the VOA website. Here are the links for the original story "Trumpet Prodigy Blows Audiences Away" and the "On Assignment" piece.


“More than any other similar organization I’ve come across, The Mainstay has made the musical performing arts a vibrant part of life for the entire Rock Hall community.”

Steve Stanne
Betty & The Baby Boomers

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