February 28, 2015

Essex Winter Series Hosts Male Vocal Ensemble ‘Chanticleer’ at Old Saybrook HS, Sunday

Essex Winter Series hosts the 12-member male vocal group ‘Chanticleer' March 1 at Old Saybrook High School.

Essex Winter Series hosts the 12-member male vocal group ‘Chanticleer’ March 1 at Old Saybrook High School.

AREAWIDE – The Grammy award-winning male vocal ensemble Chanticleer will perform on the Essex Winter Series (EWS) on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School. Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, and under its newly-appointed music director, William Fred Scott, the 12-voice ensemble will perform a program of music from the sixteenth century to the present titled, “The Gypsy in My Soul.”

The appearance by Chanticleer will mark the first appearance by a professional chorus in the 37-year history of the Essex Winter Series, currently under the artistic direction of Mihae Lee.

Tickets, all general admission are $35, $5 for full-time students, and may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” San Francisco-based Chanticleer is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices ranging from soprano to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and popular genres, as well as contemporary compositions. Chanticleer celebrates its 37th season in 2014-15, performing in 25 of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

“The Gypsy in My Soul” follows the journey of the wandering spirit, inspired by the historical travels and trials of the Romani people, the borders they crossed, the music of the peoples they encountered, the beauty of the world they traveled, and the yearning for love, safety, and belonging shared by all people.

The March 1 Chanticleer Concert is sponsored by Essex Savings Bank.


Community Music School, Musical Masterworks Present Master Class Today Featuring Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School and Musical Masterworks present a master class with clarinetist Todd Palmer on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 12 p.m. at Community Music School, 90 Main St., Centerbrook. Palmer will offer advice on technique and performance for four student musicians, who will each play during the class. The clarinet master class is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

Having been involved in an array of creative and diverse artistic presentations throughout his career, clarinetist Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world.

He has appeared with many symphony and chamber orchestras including those of Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Montréal, BBC Scotland, and has collaborated with many of the worlds finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica and Daedelus quartets.

Palmer has also shared the stage with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw, and commissioned and appeared in the world premiere of composer Ricky Gordon’s theatre work, Orpheus and Euridice, with coloratura Elizabeth Futral on Great Performers at Lincoln Center.

Since winning the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Palmer has appeared as recitalist and lecturer at major performing arts centers and universities in 48 states. His appearances abroad have included concerto, recital and chamber music performances in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, the Caribbean, China and Japan.

In addition, Palmer has been closely associated with composer Osvaldo Golijov, and is regarded as the champion of his great klezmer clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. He recorded this work with the St. Lawrence Quartet for EMI Classics which received two Grammy Award nominations in addition to the Classical Prelude Award from the Netherlands. Palmer worked extensively with Golijov on the newly orchestrated version which he premiered with the Santa Rosa, Oakland and Marin Symphonies in 2006.

Palmer will be performing for Musical Masterworks on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. with Gilles Vonsattel (piano), Bella Hristova (violin), and Edward Arron (cello) at The First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme. They will be performing works by Debussy, Weber, Beethoven and Stravinsky.

Tickets to the concert are $35 and student tickets are $5; additional concert information can be found atwww.musicalmasterworks.org.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Additional information can be found at or www.community-music-school.org.


Musical Masterworks Hosts Two Concerts This Weekend

The featured artist in this weekend's concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

The featured artist in this weekend’s concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m.  Featured artists will include pianist Gilles Vonsattel, clarinetist Todd Palmer and violinist Bella Hristova.  Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will feature Beethoven’s Trio in c minor for Piano, Violin and Cello; two works by Claude Debussy, and the Suite from L’histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky.  The finale of the program will be an performance of the Grand Trio Concertant for Piano, Clarinet and Cello by C.M. von Weber, arranged by Todd Palmer.

Featured pianist Gilles Vonsattel has won numerous prestigious awards including the 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition and an Avery Fisher Career award.

He is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Clarinetist Todd Palmer has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician with ensembles including the Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Montreal Symphonies and has shared the stage with performers including sopranos Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw and Kathleen Battle; and with the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo and Lark String Quartets.  He has held principal clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and other renowned ensembles.

Bella Hristova Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Bella Hristova
Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Violinist Bella Hristova won a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and first place in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  They will be joined by Musical Masterworks Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron, who is known as one of the world’s finest cellists performing today.

Tickets to the concerts on Feb. 14 and 15 are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  For tickets and information, please call 860-434-2252 or visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at 2 Ferry Road in Old Lyme, CT 06371.


Old Lyme Church Launches 350th Celebrations Today with Organ Recital by Simon Holt

Music Director  Simon Holt sits at the church organ.

Gifted professional organist Simon Holt, pictured above, will give the recital on Sunday. He is not only the Church’s Director of Music but also the Artistic Director & GM of Salt Marsh Opera and Executive Director of United Theatre in Westerly, R.I.

Throughout 2015, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is celebrating 350 years of history. A series of concerts and a talk on the historic landscape of Lyme Street will commemorate the rich legacy of the past and ongoing connections that link the church and the larger community.

On Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m., the church’s Director of Music Simon Holt will give an organ recital titled, “Spanning 350 Years of Organ Music.”  The concert includes works by seven composers originating from five European countries and written in three different centuries.

In a remarkable program demonstrating the versatility and musical complexity of the majestic instrument, the concert opens with J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (BWV 548), features Léon Boëllman’s Suite Gothique for organ and Edward Elgar’s Imperial March, and concludes with Charles-Marie Widor’s Toccata in F Major.

Holt comments, “The program not only reflects differing styles of organ music written over the last 350 years, but also features great organ composers, who themselves were musical giants blazing compositional trails, much like the numerous inspirational leaders over the years at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.”


A special feature of the concert will be the installation of a camera to project the image of Holt’s hands and feet, while he is playing, onto large screens at the front of the church.

There will be a reception following the concert in the church’s Fellowship Hall.  All are welcome.

Holt began his musical training at St. Michael’s College, Tenbury Wells, a choir school in the heart of England.  In 1979, he moved to Malvern College (an independent high school) and by 17 years of age had obtained his performing diploma (ARCM).

He began a graduate degree course at the Royal College of Music in London in 1984, as well as becoming a scholar at the Royal College of Organists.  At the end of the three-year-course, he graduated with a teaching diploma (Dip. RCM) and his graduate degree (GRSM, Hons.)  The following year he studied at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, for his Postgraduate Teaching Certificate, which he obtained in 1988.


While living in the United Kingdom (UK), Simon gave organ recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, numerous Cathedrals and the Royal Albert Hall, London.  His discography includes a cassette of solo organ music and three CDs, two as an accompanist and the third conducting the Bristol Cathedral School orchestra.

He has also performed several times on national UK radio and television, including a live performance in the Albert Hall, London, while still at The Royal College of Music.  He has also toured Europe widely and his performances have included recitals in Notre-Dame and Sacré Coeur in Paris, France, as well as St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy.  He has also performed in Holland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland.

In May 1999, Holt and his family moved to Stonington, Conn., where he became Director of Music at Calvary Church.  In September 2000, he collaborated with Calvary Church in founding Calvary Music School and, in the same year, he founded Salt Marsh Opera Company and is now its Artistic Director and General Manager.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

Holt was appointed Director of Music in School at St. Thomas Choir School in New York City in September 2007,  He was subsequently named Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Head of Music at Saint James School in Hagerstown, Md., (the oldest Episcopal boarding school in North America), where he spent two years.  Holt returned to Connecticut in 2012 and is currently Executive Director of The United Theatre in Westerly, R.I. and Director of Music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Since moving to the United States, Holt has given many concerts including organ recitals at St. Ann’s in Old Lyme, Harkness Chapel at Connecticut College, Park Church in Norwich, Christ Church in Westerly, R.I., Peacedale Congregational Church in Peacedale, R.I., the Pequot Chapel and St. James Church in New London, and Christ Church in Charlotte, N.C.

A donation of $10 per person is suggested.  All proceeds will benefit church programs and missions.

For more information, visit www.fccol.org or call the church office at (860)-434-8686.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at the intersection of Ferry Road and Lyme Street in Old Lyme, CT.


Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 The Wedge
Johann Sebastian Bach  (German) 1685-1750

Largo, Allegro, Aria & Two Variations 
Michael Christian Festing (English) 1705-1752

Thema met variaties                                                    

Hendrik Andriessen (Dutch) 1892-1981

Suite Gothique for Organ                                            

  •             Introduction-Chorale
  •             Menuet Gothique
  •             Prière à Notre-Dame
  •             Toccata
    Léon Boëllman (French) 1862-1897

Adagio in E major                                           

Frederick Bridge (English) 1844-1924

Imperial March
Edward Elgar (English) 1857-1934

Humoresque” LOrgano Primitivo
Pietro Yon (Italian)  1886-1943

Toccata in F major
Charles-Marie Widor (French) 1844-1937

A Brief History of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

FCCOL_exterior_Photo_by_Nigel_Logan_122KBPublic worship began on the east side of the Connecticut River in 1664 when the Court acknowledged that there were “thymes and seasons” when inhabitants could not attend Sabbath meetings in Saybrook and ordered them to agree on a house where they would gather on the Lord’s Day.

A year later, Articles of Agreement defined a “loving parting” that created a separate “plantation” on the river’s east side, which would soon be named Lyme.

The first three meetinghouses stood on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. After a lightning strike destroyed the third of those structures in 1815, the church was relocated to its present site closer to the village.

Master builder Samuel Belcher from Ellington was hired to design a fourth meetinghouse beside the town green and the cornerstone was laid on June 10, 1816. That stately white church with its graceful steeple and columned façade, painted repeatedly by the country’s most prominent landscape artists, burned to the ground on July 5, 1907, in what was almost certainly an act of arson.

Rebuilt to replicate Belcher’s design after a community-wide, fund-raising campaign, the fifth meetinghouse, dedicated in 1910, remains today as both a vibrant center of faith and fellowship and the town’s most important historic landmark.






Chester Historical Society Offers Creative Challenge to Artists

Photo by Skip Hubbard. The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge. Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory. Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

Photo by Skip Hubbard.
The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge.  Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory.  Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

If you have a creative eye, this is a hook you can handle …

The Chester Historical Society has come up with its fifth creative challenge linking Chester history and art. This spring, those accepting the 2015 Hooked Again! Challenge issued by the Historical Society will be working with assorted sample eyehooks, handles and hardware, still enclosed in small sealed manila envelopes, from the M.S. Brooks & Sons factory.

As with the Bishop and Watrous Bone Art challenge and the Bates Square Roots challenge offered by the Chester Historical Society in past years, the Hooked Again! challenge is for area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelry designers, and all others with a creative mind.

Anyone who wants to take the challenge is invited to stop in at the Chester Gallery on Main Street in the center of Chester to pick out three sealed envelopes and pay their entrance fee of $30, which includes two tickets to the event.

The finished works will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Hooked Again! Challenge Reception on Saturday, April 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.

For more information, call Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery at 860-526-9822.


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Announces State Scholastic Art Award Recipients

Artwork by Sofia Restrepo

Sofia Restrepo’s painting, which was recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Visual Arts Department has announced that seven of their art students have distinguished themselves at the annual Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards.

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Jordan Bourne, Adi Dahlke, Rande Gearing and Sofia Restrepo were awarded Gold Keys in the competitive Senior Portfolio category. Their portfolios, each consisting of eight individual works of drawing, painting, ceramics and/or sculpture, will go on with other Gold Key works to jurying for possible inclusion in the National Scholastic Art Awards.

Their portfolios also earned Adi, Jordan and Sofia scholarship offers from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, a University of Hartford Scholarship offer for Jordan, and a Connecticut Women Artists Scholarship prize for Sofia.

Honorable Mentions for individual pieces went to Adi Dahlke (Painting), Rande Gearing (Ceramics & Glass), sophomore Rachel Hayward (Digital Art) and freshman Claudia Mergy (Painting); Silver  Keys to seniors Rande Gearing and Alix Turner (Ceramics & Glass); and Gold Keys to Jordan Bourne (Drawing) and Sofia Restrepo (Painting).

Sofia’s individual entry was also recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

The accepted works are all on display at the University of Hartford Art School’s Silpe Gallery through Friday, Feb. 6 (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Congratulations to all these talented artists!


21st Annual Poetry Contest Announced by Acton Library

The Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, announces its 21st Annual Poetry Competition. Submissions will be accepted through March 14 at the Library.

The rules for participants are as follows:

  • Poems must be original and unpublished, one poem per letter size page, no more than 40 lines per poem, and all poems to have a title.
  • Author’s name, address, and phone number should appear on the back (not submitted to judges), students please add grade level.
  • Author must be a resident of Connecticut.
  • No more than three entries per person.
  • Open to all ages First Grade through adult.
  • The divisions are: Grades 1-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-8, Grades 9-12, and Adult.

Winning poets will read their poems and receive their awards during the Library’s annual Poetry Night, Wednesday, April 22. The public is invited to attend.

Following Poetry Night, all entries will be on display in the Library through May.

Pick up an entry form at the Library or visit www.actonlibrary.org, or call for more information.

The Library is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.


Two New Exhibitions on View at LAA

Winter Harmony by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the 'Wonders of Winter' exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

‘Winter Harmony’ by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the ‘Wonders of Winter’ exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

The 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition and Wonders of Winter are on view at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) through Feb. 27.

The LAA’s 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition of landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members will be on view in the Association’s front galleries while Wonders of Winter, which showcases winter scenes by members of all levels, will be on display in the Goodman gallery.

“The Annual Associate Artist Exhibition is often characterized as one of our un-themed exhibitions when, in fact, there is a theme. The theme is the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members, whether it is a painting that captures the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or one that depicts the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” says Katherine Simmons, President of LAA’s Board of Directors.

'Talking Pears' by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artists exhibition.

‘Talking Pears’ by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artist exhibition.

She continues, “The Wonders of Winter exhibition in the Goodman Gallery is an established favorite on our exhibition calendar. Each painting celebrates an aspect of the winter landscape, its colors, textures, and dramatic lighting.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org


Late Registration Tonight in Old Saybrook for Cappella Cantorum’s Upcoming Concert

Late registration for Faure’s “Requiem” and Schubert’s “Mass in G” will be held Monday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., at St. Mark Episcopal Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook.

Register, pay and order music online at CappellaCantorum.org.  Registration is $40 and the scores for Faure’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the Cantique de Jean Racine are respectively $11, $8 and $2.

Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus, led by Barry Asch, is a non-auditioned chorus, which meets each Monday evenings to rehearse at 7:30 pm.  All singers are welcome to join.

The Concert is Sun. March 22, at 3 pm. The featured soloists are Soprano-Patricia Schuman and Baritone-Christopher Grundy


‘Sweet Honey in the Rock’ to Perform in Chester Today


SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK, photo by Dwight Carter

Luring the Grammy Award nominated and internationally adored African-American singers, Sweet Honey in the Rock, to perform during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend was a dream of Miriam Gardner-Frum, longtime director of the Chester concert series, Music & More. The concert will be held on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ).

There are many ways to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, but one of the most meaningful, Gardner-Frum thought, would be through the uplifting harmonies of Sweet Honey in the Rock, or as one music critic wrote, “The Gold Standard … their voices are all fabulous, and they unite to create a sound so pure and smooth and homogeneous that is does not seem humanly possible.”

Over the years, Gardner-Frum has brought many remarkable musicians to Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), and she saw her opportunity with Sweet Honey when she read that the group had received an award from Common Ground, an organization that recognizes exceptional efforts in humanitarian work.

As a supporter of Common Ground’s work, Gardner-Frum saw the stars aligned – potentially. “I thought how amazing it would be to have them here in our beautiful synagogue. They combine two exceptional features – great a capella music that lifts hearts even as it calls attention to great injustices of our world. This seemed a natural fit for us at CBSRZ. Through our Social Action efforts, we do much work along those lines as well.”

But theory and practice are not easy to reconcile. For Gardner-Frum, there were logistics to address in both scheduling and agreeing the performance contract.

“When I first contacted their agent, it didn’t seem possible that we could do this, but we worked with them, and they were very helpful, and here we are … I am grateful for their flexibility, and that they are eager to come to a synagogue and help spread the message of love that Dr. King expressed.”

Carol Maillard, one of the founding members of the group and still singing with it, says that Sweet Honey has celebrated Dr. King’s birthday in concert many times, but never in a synagogue. She says, “We’re very excited about coming and we hope that folks will come with an open mind and heart. We hope they’ll feel uplifted and won’t be afraid to show they’re having a good time.”

The name of the performance group was indeed derived from a song, based on Psalm 81:16, which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them.

Sweet Honey in the Rock is rooted in African-American history and culture. The ensemble educates, entertains and empowers its audience and community through the dynamic vehicles of a cappella singing and American Sign Language interpretation for the Deaf and hearing impaired. Sweet Honey’s audience and community comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures throughout the United States and around the world, and includes people of all ages.

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, spiritual leader of CBSRZ, says this concert is a perfect way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. “We honor him every year because of the Jewish People’s historical commitment to the struggle for human rights. But more importantly, we recommit ourselves to the ongoing work of demanding justice and equal treatment for all people living in this country.”

Tickets for the general public are $30 and advance ticket purchases are highly recommended. For more information, call CBSRZ at 860.526.8920.


‘Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty,’ Featuring Paintings of Banningwood Preserve, on View at Lyman Allyn Through Mar. 22

A plein air painter in Lyme Land Trust’s Banningwood Preserve in Hadlyme on Columbus Day Weekend during the 2014 Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty Paint-Out.

A plein air painter in Lyme Land Trust’s Banningwood Preserve in Hadlyme on Columbus Day Weekend during the 2014 Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty Paint-Out.

A new exhibit entitled “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty,” which showcases new original paintings of Lyme’s Banningwood Preserve, is on view at New London’s Lyman Allyn Art Museum in its Glassenberg Gallery and open to the public through March 22.

The exhibit will feature landscapes created by artists from all over New England who participated in the “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty Paint-Out,” an annual plein air painting event now in its fourth year that is co-organized by the Lyme Art Association, Lyme Land Conservation Trust and The Lyman Allyn Art Museum.

The Paint-Out event continues the plein air tradition established by the early American Impressionists who founded the Lyme Art Colony over a hundred years ago and used Lyme’s meadows, rivers and streams as subjects for their work.

Painting of Roaring Brook by Trenton Youngs

Painting of Roaring Brook by Trenton Youngs

This year’s Paint-Out was held on Columbus Day Weekend, 2014, at the Land Trust’s newly acquired Banningwood Preserve, a 102-acre upland and flood plain landscape in Hadlyme covered with forests and fields.

The clear waters of Roaring Brook flow through the middle of the Preserve. Dramatic rock ledges, once quarried to provide stone for nearby Gillette Castle, rise over the landscape. Features include dramatic vistas, lush meadows, cedar groves, quarry pools, beaver dams and lodges, tree canopies, and an early 19th Century family burying ground with grave stones that attest to the land’s history.

Scenes of fall foliage, woodlands and streams are among the subjects depicted in this collection of works.

“This event is the result of a successful cooperative enterprise between three local non-profit organizations that have important ties to Lyme’s memorable landscape,” said Sam Quigley, Director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. “The greater New London County community is richer because of this partnership among these three organizations, which have different and distinct missions but which share a commitment to the beauty, art and preservation of our natural landscape.”

“The Lyman Allyn Art Museum’s permanent collection of Lyme Impressionist paintings,” Quigley continued, “provides wonderful inspiration for the participating artists; the Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s commitment to preserving Lyme’s forests and farmlands makes the Paint-Out possible; and the ability of the artists of the Lyme Art Association to capture the landscape’s natural beauty through plein air paintings will make this a very engaging exhibition.”

For more information about the exhibition, contact Rebecca Marsie at 860.443.2545 x112 or at marsie@lymanallyn.org, or visit www.lymelandtrust.org and/or www.lymanallyn.org.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes about 25,000 visitors annually from New London, Southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 11 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 10,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at: www.lymanallyn.org.

Since 1966, Lyme Land Conservation Trust has been conserving the unique and historic landscapes of Lyme, Connecticut. During those years, our rural community has shown that a small population can have a giant impact. Residents and friends of Lyme have donated land, dollars, and lots of hard work to acquire and protect almost 3000 acres of woodlands, craggy hills, working farm fields, and bird-filled marshes. For more information call 860-434-4639; email: info@lymelandtrust.org ; or visit it on Facebook or on the web at www.lymelandtrust.org

Opened in 1921 as a permanent exhibition home for the Lyme Art Colony artists, the Lyme Art Association Gallery, which is free to the public, continues to be a vibrant art center. Professional as well as developing artists mount major exhibitions throughout the year and form the heart of the Lyme Art Association, which now boasts more than 1,000 members. It offers a schedule of exhibitions and sales, affordable art classes, workshops, and a popular lecture series.

The Lyme Art Association gallery is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT. It is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org .


All About Phoebe: Old Lyme Library Hosts Presentation Tonight on Its Namesake

Phoebe Griffin Noyes

Phoebe Griffin Noyes

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library will host a unique historical presentation by Carolyn Wakeman on the namesake of the Library on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.  Co-sponsored by the Florence Griswold Museum, the program titled, Phoebe’s Place: Life and Letters on Lyme Street, celebrates the life of one of the most influential women in the community.

Phoebe Griffin Noyes, after whom Old Lyme’s public library is named, lived for most of her 78 years on the main street through town.  But starting at age 14, she journeyed for a decade to New York where she stayed with an uncle who was a successful lawyer.  Her education in the city shaped both her skill at miniature painting and the home school she later established beside the village green.

This talk, based largely on family letters, describes how one woman’s love of learning and painting influenced the culture of a town and established “a taste for art” in Old Lyme.

Wakeman grew up in Old Lyme and traces her own love of learning to countless hours spent reading on a window seat in the children’s room of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  After retiring from the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008, she became intrigued by Old Lyme’s rich history.

Professor Wakeman is currently the writer and editor of the Florence Griswold Museum’s history blog and author of The Charm of the Place: Old Lyme in the 1920s.

The program is free and open to the public.  Registration is required by calling 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org to register online under the Events calendar.

The snow date for this event is Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 at 7 p.m.

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street in Old Lyme.  Winter hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 7pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday, 10am to 4pm


2015 Essex Winter Series Opens Today with Concert Featuring Two Quartets

The Attaca Quartet will perform in the first concert of the 2015 Essex Winter Series.

The Attaca Quartet will perform in the first concert of the 2015 Essex Winter Series.

Essex Winter Series will present four diverse and exciting concerts in 2015, including two programs of classical chamber music, a concert of jazz from the early part of the twentieth century, and — for the first time — a world-renowned chamber chorus. Programmed by EWS artistic director Mihae Lee and newly-appointed Jazz Impresario Jeff Barnhart, these concerts offer world-class performing artists and an impressive array of styles and genres.

The first concert, StringFest2, takes place on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. 2015 Fenton Brown Emerging Artists, the Attacca Quartet, will share the stage with three members of the Amphion Quartet — who performed in the first StringFest in 2011 as the EWS Emerging Artists— and the renowned violinist Erin Keefe.

The members of the Attacca Quartet are Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tanagawa, violin; Luke Fleming, viola; and Andrew Yee, cello. The members of the Amphion Quartet who will perform in this program are Katie Hyun, violin; Andy Wei-Yang Lin, viola; and Mihai Marica, cello.

Three members of the Amphion Quartet (pictured above) will also appear in the first concert.

The concert begins with three musicians of the Amphion Quartet performing Franz Schubert’s String Trio in B flat major, followed by the Amphion Quartet in a performance of Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor. After intermission, the two groups joined by Erin Keefe will perform the exciting Octet for Strings in E flat, written in 1825 by the remarkably precocious sixteen-year-old Felix Mendelssohn.

Three concerts, all Sundays at 3 p.m., follow the season opener on Jan. 11. The Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert onFeb. 8 at Valley Regional High School will feature Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.  On March 1,  Chanticleer, “ An Orchestra of Voices” will perform a program entitled “The Gypsy in My Soul” at Old Saybrook High School. The final concert, on March 29 at Valley Regional High School, will be an exciting program of piano trios, with Artistic Director and pianist Mihae Lee, violinist Chee-Yun and cellist Julie Albers.

StringFest2 is co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and Essex Meadows.

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35; four-concert subscriptions are $120, which represents a $20 saving over the single-ticket price for four concerts. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website,www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

The performers in Stringfest2 include:

Attacca Quartet

First Prize winners of the 7th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in 2011, top prizewinners and Listeners’ Choice Award recipients in the 2011 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and winners of the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 60th annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 2006, the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet has become one of America’s premier young performing ensembles.

The Attacca Quartet is now in its eleventh season, having been formed at the Juilliard School in 2003.  It is comprised of violinists Amy Schroeder and Keiko Tokunaga, violist Luke Fleming and cellist Andrew Yee.  They made their professional debut in 2007 as part of the Artists International Winners Series in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and have appeared there on numerous occasions since.

The quartet recently recorded the complete string quartet works of John Adams for Azica Records, which was released to great acclaim in March 2013.  2013-2014 marked the fourth season of  “The 68,” an ambitious project in which the Attacca Quartet will perform all 68 Haydn string quartets on a special series they created in New York.

The group has been honored with the 2013 National Federation of Music Clubs Centennial Chamber Music Award, the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association, and the Lotos Prize in the Arts.

Amphion Quartet

Hailed for its “gripping intensity” and “suspenseful and virtuoso playing” (San Francisco Classical Voice), the Amphion String Quartet is a winner of the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and joined the roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program in fall 2013. Through LCCMS, the ensemble made its Alice Tully Hall debut in March 2014, about which the New York Times praised “the focused, forceful young Amphion String Quartet (ASQ)” for its “sharply detailed performances.”

This season includes their Mostly Mozart debut with two recitals at Avery Fisher Hall and a return to Korea for the Busan Chamber Music Festival. The quartet has several return engagements in New York, including two LCCMS performances at Alice Tully Hall, Schneider Concerts at the New School, Brooklyn’s Bargemusic and the Tilles Center Chamber Music Series on Long Island.

Collaborative performances include a recital with clarinetist David Shifrin at Rockford’s Coronado Theatre and a special program with the renowned dance company BodyVox in Portland, Oregon. This fall, the ASQ’s first CD will be released by the UK-based label Nimbus, including quartets by Grieg, Janacek and Wolf.

Internationally, the ASQhas performed in South Korea at the Music Isle Festival in Jeju and at the Seoul Arts Center.  Previous U.S. festival appearances include The Chautauqua Institution, OK Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, New Jersey’s Mostly Music Series, NYU String Quartet Workshop, Princeton Summer Concerts, Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival.

The ASQ has collaborated with such eminent artists as the Tokyo String Quartet, Ani Kavafian, David Shifrin, Carter Brey, Edgar Meyer, Michala Petri, James Dunham, and Deborah Hoffmann.

Recent featured concerts include the Amphion Quartet’s Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall on the CAG series with guest David Shifrin, and also Zankel Hall; the Library of Congress and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; Caramoor Center for the Arts; Pepperdine University; TCAN Center for the Arts (Mass.); New York’s Met Museum and National Arts Club;, and a tour of Northern California.  The ASQ has been showcased on New York’s WQXR radio frequently, including the station’s November 2012 Beethoven String Quartet Marathon.

Erin Keefe, violin

Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, violinist Erin Keefe was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006.  She was also the Grand Prize winner in the Valsesia Musica, Torun, Schadt and Corpus Christi international violin competitions, and was the Silver Medalist in the Carl Nielsen, Sendai, and Gyeongnam competitions.

Keefe has appeared in recent seasons as soloist with orchestras such as the Minnesota Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic and the Gottingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Japan and Denmark.

She has collaborated with artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Roberto and Andrés Díaz, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman, Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler, and Leon Fleisher, and she has recorded for Naxos, Onyx, the CMS Studio Recordings label, and Deutsche Grammophon. She has made festival appearances with Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Ravinia, and the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! Vail Valley, Music in the Vineyards and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals.

Keefe performs regularly with the Brooklyn and Boston Chamber Music Societies and is an Artist at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.


Harpist Leitner Welcomes New Year Over Lunchtime at FloGris Museum

Faith Leitner will play her harp at the Florence Griswold Museum tomorrow.

Faith Leitner will play her harp at the Florence Griswold Museum today.

The sounds of yesteryear will welcome the new year today, Wednesday, Dec. 31, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Faith Leitner will play a variety of songs filling the Krieble Galleries  with the heavenly sounds of the harp, which was one of Miss Florence’s favored instruments.

This event is included with Museum admission.

For more information, visit www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org


Museum Hosts Miss Florence’s Birthday Bash Today


Today the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme Street is celebrating Miss Florence’s birthday from 1 to 5 p.m. with a daylong celebration of the Museum’s namesake, who was born on Christmas Day in 1850. Enjoy a piece of birthday cake while making an assortment of fun craft projects.

This event is included with Museum Admission.

For more information, visit florencegriswoldmuseum.org


Join – or Listen to – a Messiah Singalong at ‘The Kate’ This Afternoon

logoParticipate in the sounds of the season this afternoon at 4 p.m. when Cappella Cantorum presents what has become a holiday tradition at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate,” in Old Saybrook.

The event is open to all who want to sing-along and combines CappellaCantorum’s professional soloists with a chorus of talented volunteers.  Sit in the back and listen or sit down front and participate!

Bring your Messiah Scores if you have them or they will be provided.  Singers call time is 3:30 p.m. for rehearsal.  There is a $10 fee.

Click here for more information.


Foster Caddell’s Widow Gifts $250,000 to Lyme Art Association

Foster Caddell’s particular fondness for the Lyme Art Association has led his widow in Voluntown to give a $250,000 gift from his estate to the Old Lyme-based organization.

The association’s South Gallery will be renamed the Foster Caddell Gallery at a dedication ceremony in May set to coincide with the 94th annual Elected Artist Exhibition …

Read the full article by Elizabeth Regan and published in the Norwich Bulletin on Dec. 18, 2014, at this link : http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20141218/News/141219562#ixzz3MSAWey9J


‘Magic of Christmas’ Now on Show at Florence Griswold Museum, Events Galore Through Holiday Season

Palettes_on_treeThe perennially popular “Magic of Christmas” exhibition is now open at the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  For more than a century visitors to Miss Florence’s house and the quaint village of Old Lyme, Conn. have found the perfect destination to rekindle their holiday and creative spirit.

This year, the Museum will unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer — a generous gift of the Tamsky family — and host several new activities and budget-friendly discount packages along with the ”Magic of Christmas” exhibition, which runs through Jan. 4, 2015.

A holiday activity list for Museum visitors should include a ‘selfie’ in front of one of the three unique and iconic trees (use #FloGrisTree) dressed in more than 150 painted palettes in a variety of styles and scenes in the Krieble Gallery.

Enjoy a stroll through the historic late-Georgian style Griswold House decorated as it was in 1910 and stop in for a Sunday ‘Joy in the Making’ with hands-on arts and crafts.

It’s also possible to spend a day with the Snow Queen on Saturday, Dec. 13, and celebrate Miss Florence’s birthday at a party with cake and crafting on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O'Brien painted this creative new palette for this year's tree.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O’Brien painted this creative new palette for this year’s tree.

For over a decade, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Krieble Gallery. This year 12 palettes will be added to the collection of pieces created by more than 140 noted artists from across the country who have donated works; an effort that alludes to the door and wall panels artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.

'The Skaters' by Miriam Barer

‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer

The Museum is proud to unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer, a generous gift of the Tamsky Family that will be displayed in the historic Griswold House.  Also on display in the Griswold House will be Three Fantasy Trees – one a nod to Tonalist art, one celebrates Impressionism, and the other captures the spirit of the painting “The Skaters.”

Painted in 1943 and inspired by the novel outdoor rink at New York’s newly-completed Rockefeller Center, Barer captures the energy of the city during the holiday season in ‘The Skaters.’  The New Haven-born Barer trained at the Yale School of Fine Arts, where she learned the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, using pigments she ground by hand. ‘The Skaters’ relies on this method, borrowed from early Italian painting, but the artist updates the composition with swooping angles and rippling silhouettes that announce the vitality of the contemporary American Scene. This painting captures the delight of winter.

Other events at the Museum through out the holiday season are as follows:

Christmas Time Teas

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3 p.m. from Dec. 5-20

Museum visitors can relax and celebrate the holiday season at one of the afternoon Christmastime Teas featuring delicious scones with clotted cream, tea sandwiches and cookies prepared by Gourmet Galley, a local caterer known for delicious flavors and impeccable presentations. Savor a cup of “Miss Florence’s Tea” which is a special blended tea from Sundial Gardens. Reservations are required. Call 860-434-5541 x. 111. Cost is $35 (members $30). The fee includes admission to the Museum and a 10% discount to the Museum Shop, which is filled with a carefully curated array of gifts and treasures.

Art Bar Happy Hour: Decorate Glass Ornaments

On Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This popular evening event takes a holiday twist. Gather your friends, enjoy a glass of wine and create a gift-worthy masterpiece. This event is for guests 21 and over and is a great excuse to have a girl’s night while creating gift-worthy piece of art with the assistance of the museum’s talented instructors. For reservations call 860-434-5542 or visit florencegriswoldmuseum.org.

Girls Night Out Special

December 5 – January 4, 2015

To extend a Museum visit or night out at the Florence Griswold Art Bar Happy Hour, walk across the road to the Old Lyme Inn for a holiday meal featuring traditional comfort food with a modern twist.  Built circa 1856 and once part of a 300-acre-estate, The Old Lyme Inn’s bar and restaurant feature a full menu and holiday inspired cocktails including the Miss. Florence’s Chocolate Martini for $8 and a specialty FloGris Bailey’s Coffee for $6. The Inn’s SideDoor Jazz club features live music and was voted “Best Live Jazz” by Connecticut  Magazine. For details and the discount code visit florencegriswoldmuseum.org.

Joy in the Making: A Creative Approach to the Holidays

Sundays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Sunday visitors of all ages are invited to make mirth and more during these fun-filled holiday craft workshops.  Come delight in several creative projects relating to the spirit of the season and the decorations on view.  Workshop included with museum admission.

“O Artist Tree,” An Old Lyme Escape for Ye

December 5 – January 4, 2015

The historic Bee & Thistle Inn has designed a relaxing escape for two in time for the holidays. Spend the day exploring The Florence Griswold Museum and shopping in Old Lyme and enjoy a perfect retreat and dinner for two. The winter package includes two night’s accommodations and gourmet breakfast each morning, Champagne and chocolates upon arrival, a one hour Swedish couples massage, dinner for two at the Chestnut Grille and lounge and two passes to the Florence Griswold Museum. Midweek package starts at $600 and weekend packages are $750.  For details and reservations visit http://beeandthistleinn.com/specials-packages.

Meet the Snow Queen: Crafting and Tea Party

Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children of all ages will love this daylong crafting and tea party, enjoying sweet treats and celebrating with the Snow Queen who will share stories and song before posing for pictures every hour on the half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included with museum admission. And children 12 and under are always free.

Baking Chez Moi Book Talk & Signing

On Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Called a “culinary guru” by The New York Times, Dorie Greenspan is a celebrated author of nine cookbooks including Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie will discuss and sign her latest book, Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, a collection of simple desserts from French home cooks and chefs. Talk included with museum admission and cookbooks will be available for purchase.

Miss Florence’s Birthday Bash

On Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum will host a hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday in its Hartman Education Center.  Guests will enjoy birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all. Miss. Florence would be 164 this year, but age is just a number. Included with museum admission.

Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner

On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Come and hear harpist Faith Leitner play Miss. Florence’s favorite instrument, a relaxing way to begin New Year’s Eve celebrations. Included with museum admission.

Life Stories in Art

Oct. 3-Jan. 25

Together, these three exhibitions highlight the contributions of three important women artists in Connecticut in three different media over the course of three centuries. The Museum’s Krieble Gallery will feature more than 70 works by 19th century painter Mary Rogers Williams; 20th century sculptor Mary Knollenberg; and contemporary glass artist Kari Russell-Pool. Although separate exhibitions, they each carry the theme “Life Stories in Art” and serve as an exploration of these women’s individual journeys of sacrifice, self-discovery, and balancing multiple roles in the pursuit of their art.

The Florence Griswold Museum’s Krieble Gallery and Griswold House are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-5 and Sunday, 1-5 and will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students and free to visitors 12 and under. Admission includes access to exhibitions, the historic Florence Griswold House, and the rest of the Museum’s grounds.

Founded in 1936, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a center for American art and history accredited by the American Association of Museums.  Located in a stately Late Georgian mansion designed by Samuel Belcher and built in 1817, the Museum and its grounds served in the early years of the twentieth century as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, one of America’s most famous art colonies.

Today, the Florence Griswold Museum is complimented by the contemporary architecture of the award-winning Krieble Gallery and together stand as one of the only places in America where visitors can walk through a landscape setting, view paintings of those landscapes and experience first-hand where a colony of prominent American artists lived and worked. The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and ranked as the number one attraction in Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe.

With an eye toward the integration of art, history and landscape in all of its program plans, the Museum has spent the last 10 years redefining itself as a central part of community life –building an education center for hands-on experiential programs, constructing an award-winning exhibition gallery for its collections, and completing a thorough restoration of the Griswold House as a boardinghouse for artists, c. 1910.

Visit www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org for more information, including history, events and hours of operation.


Con Brio Presents ‘Star-Spangled’ Christmas Concert in Old Lyme This Afternoon

Ransom Bruce

Ransom Bruce

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its annual Christmas concert on Dec. 12 and 14, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.  Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with keyboardist, Assistant Director Susan Saltus, the choir is joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists, Adele Paxton, Karli Gilbertson, Ransom Bruce and Greg Flower.  Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts have become an eagerly awaited, joyous holiday event.

This year is the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  Con Brio will sing a very special arrangement written by Connecticut native Dudley Buck (1839-1909), one of the most successful American composers of the post-Civil War era.  The audience will have a chance to join in singing our national anthem.

The concert continues with two very different approaches to Christmas themes.  Schubert’s rarely performed Magnificat in C Major, drawing from the classical mass tradition, uses Mary’s text expressing joy and thanksgiving.  Astonishingly, Schubert composed this piece over a period of 10 days when he was only 18-years-old.  Stroope’s Cantus Natalis offers a powerful contemporary celebration of Jesus’ birth, with a fourth movement reminiscent of Orff’s Carmina Burana in its rhythmic dynamism.  Stroope’s shorter piece, “Winter,” thrilled an earlier Con Brio audience and this piece is certain to do the same.

The second half of the concert includes two of the most popular motets of the twentieth century, Franz Beibl’s Ave Maria and Distler’s Wachet Auf.  Beibl’s piece, an amalgam of early chant and contemporary choral writing, soared to popularity when it was recently recorded by Chanticleer.  Distler’s piece uses the well-known chorale tune (Sleepers, Wake) to construct a piece wholly different from the original.  Con Brio will then, as is now a tradition, spread out around the wonderful space of Christ the King to perform a 10-part motet by Giovanni Gabrieli.


The audience will be invited to sing along with a Hanukah favorite, Hanerot Halalu and some favorite Christmas carols.  The concert concludes with a rousing Christmas spiritual, Oh Jerusalem and a powerful arrangement of We Saw Three Ships.Con Brio Presents A Star-Spangled Christmas with Con Brio – Dec. 12 and 14

Buy your tickets early from any Con Brio member, online at www.conbrio.org, or by calling 860 526 5399.  Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students.  The Dec. 12 concert begins at 8 p.m., the 14th at 3 p.m., at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, CT.


See ‘The Carol of the Bells’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Dec. 21

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Dublin to visit Paddy and the gang at Bell’s Pub.  But what is going on here?  Guinness and Irish Stew are gone and tapas and red wine are on the menu??  Oh Paddy, did the crock of gold that the leprechauns gave you go to your head?

An original holiday production for the whole family, written and directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Executive Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, The Carol of the Bells – the sequel to The Bells of Dublin – opens tonight at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Hubbard comments, “An Irish pub, great music and Christmas – the winning trifecta for a fun filled, family holiday show.  We had such a terrific time with Paddy Bell and his family last Christmas I couldn’t resist bringing him back again this year.  So, if you enjoyed The Bells of Dublin, come back and see what trouble Paddy gets into this year.  And if you missed it last year, no worries; when the curtain goes up and we’re in Paddy’s pub, everyone is family!”

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a band of local musicians directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. The cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone,  Olivia Harry,  Larry Lewis, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Michael Hotkowski, Holly Price and Celeste Cumming.  The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Breeana Korcak and lights by Marcus Abbott.

Experience the true magic of the season Dublin style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only.

The Bells of Dublin Part Two: The Carol of the Bells runs through Dec. 21.  Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Evening performances are ThursdayFriday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.  There is also a Wednesday matinee on Dec. 17.  Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*member of Actors Equity