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By Chris Lisinski

clisinski@nashobavalleyvoice.com

GROTON — In a few years, the old J. Geils property will start to sing again — and play the violin and guitar and oboe and drums.

Littleton’s Indian Hill Music, a school and performance center with more than 1,200 students and 70 professional musicians on its faculty, purchased 110 acres on Old Ayer Road including the plot last year and is now working to create a new headquarters facility there, officials said.

Susan Randazzo, executive director of Indian Hill Music, could not discuss specific details of the move, but she confirmed that the organization is “actively” developing a proposal to submit to the town.

“We’re in the master-planning process,” she said. “We don’t expect to be moving in until 2019.”

Town Manager Mark Haddad, who first discussed the news at a Wednesday breakfast of town leaders, said “it appears that (Indian Hill Music is) looking to move their headquarters here.”

He praised the prospective move, and said it would inject new energy into Groton’s culture and economy.

“We’re very excited that an organization as well-run and well-organized as Indian Hill Music would make Groton their home base,” he said. “It’s a positive step for making Groton a destination location.”

Indian Hill Music purchased the property in August from Thomas More College. The Merrimack, New Hampshire Catholic college had bought the land on Old Ayer Road itself in 2011 with intent to relocate their campus to Groton, but then decided to scrap the plan.

The 501(c)(3) tax-exempt music organization has not submitted any application for a building permit yet, and Randazzo said a full announcement will come once the project moves forward.

The property has some musical history of its own: it was previously owned by John Geils, frontman of The J. Geils Band. (You may remember them for their 1981 hit “Centerfold,” if nothing else.) Currently, a four-bedroom house as well as barns and stables sit on the land.

Indian Hill Music has roots in Groton: in 1985, its founders combined programs from the Groton Center for the Arts with the Indian Hill Symphony. Today, it hosts a number of free and professional concerts in addition to teaching students.

Including students, concert-goers and outreach, Groton is also Indian Hill Music’s most-served area, according to a 2013 map on the organization’s website.

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