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Boston indie folk duo Jack and Katie will perform at BOOM, the Berkshire Organization for Original Music's Raffle-Rama fundraiser in Crawford Square in Pittsfield on Friday, Dec. 16.

Bits & Bytes: Raffle-Rama at the BOOM Room; Gionfriddo book signing; WordXWord story slam; ‘Songs of the Season;’ ‘Caring for Children’

By Monday, Dec 12, 2016 Arts & Entertainment

BOOM Room to host Raffle-Rama

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Organization for Original Music (BOOM) will host Raffle-Rama, a fundraiser and celebration of local and original music, at the BOOM Room in Crawford Square, 137 North St., on Friday, Dec. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Boston area indie folk duo Jack and Katie and local singer/songwriter Jordan Franklin will perform at Raffle-Rama. Also included in the evening’s festivities will be CD giveaways, the art exhibit “Winter Music,” and a surprise guest or two. The highlight of the evening will be a drawing for the winners of BOOM’s raffle to raise funds to advance the visibility and viability of the area’s original music scene.

Prizes in the raffle include a CD duplication package from In Touch Printing, two hours of studio time with a producer at Muddy Angel Music, a Mitchell MD200 electric guitar and half-hour lesson from Guitar Center in West Springfield; and six weeks’ tuition to attend BOOM’s songwriting workshop. Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Boom Room or online up until the drawing. All proceeds will benefit BOOM.

–E.E.

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Gionfriddos to read and sign new book

bookcoverPittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will present a reading and book signing of “Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night,” a new historical nonfiction book by Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo, on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at the Garage.

When Jeannie Gionfriddo and her late husband, Roy, purchased their family home in Holyoke in 1964, there was one seller’s condition: the tenant, Hart Lester Allen in the adjoining apartment, had to have the right to live there as long as she wanted. Allen was the widow of Massachusetts bank commissioner Joseph C. Allen, who investigated and brought to justice Charles Ponzi, whose “Ponzi scheme” robbed many people of their life savings. Holyoke Sun columnist Jeannie began to chronicle Allen’s story, assisted in research by her son, Mark. After a draft or two, they put the book aside. When Bernie Madoff’s financial crimes made headlines, the Gionfriddos revised “Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night,” which is part backstory of a bank commissioner taking on a powerful criminal and part love story of the woman who supported him along the way.

Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo.

Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo.

The Gionfriddos still live in the Holyoke house where the book is set. Jeannie has authored cookbooks and wrote the Holyoke Sun’s food columns. Mark is a member of the music faculty at Mount Holyoke College and a musical director at Berkshire Theatre Group, where he conducted last summer’s “Beauty and the Beast” and is currently the vocal coach of the 11th annual production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Admission to the reading and book signing is free, and books will be available for purchase. The event will begin immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee performance of “A Christmas Carol.” For more information, call (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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WordXWord to offer story slam

Pittsfield — WordXWord will wrap up 2016 with a story slam on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. at the Whitney Center for the Arts. The theme for the event is “Making a List.”

A story slam is a friendly competition in which storytellers share five-minute stories relevant to the event’s theme. Stories are scored by volunteer judges from the audience. Typical story slams are fast-paced and high-spirited with widely ranging responses to the theme. A limited number of storytelling slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration for storytellers is required.

Admission is free and open to all. Parents of younger children are advised that stories may include content more appropriate for mature audiences. For more information, contact web@wxw365.org.

–E.E.

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Samantha Talora and Ron Ramsay to present ‘Songs of the Season’

Ron Ramsay and Samantha Talora. Photo: Michael Armata

Ron Ramsay and Samantha Talora. Photo: Michael Armata

Pittsfield — Berkshires musical duo Ron Ramsay and Samantha Talora will celebrate the season with “Songs of the Season,” an evening of favorite holiday songs blended with some not-so-familiar gems, on Friday, Dec. 16, at the American Legion Post 68, 41 Wendell Ave. The duo will be joined by violinist Eileen Markland.

“Songs of the Season,” Ramsay and Talora’s final performance of the year, will include musical selections ranging from celebratory to sentimental and artists, ranging from Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby to composers including Frank Loesser, Tom Lehrer and Billy Joel.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for veterans and active military members and include post-show sweets. Reservations can be made by contacting (413) 212-4459 or info@samandron.com.

–E.E.

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HospiceCare Pediatric Palliative Care teams with Caring For Children

Pittsfield — The Frank and Rosemary Iovieno Caring for Children Foundation has partnered with HospiceCare in the Berkshires’ pediatric palliative care program, ensuring that 37 children with life-limiting medical conditions will receive gifts and financial support from sponsors near and far.

Children in the program range in age from 9 months to 17 years afflicted with diagnoses like cancer, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injury with cerebral palsy and congenital myotonic dystrophy. Each child is sponsored by an individual or employees of companies elect to sponsor a number of children as a group. As part of the sponsorship, clothing and special requests are granted for all of the children in the household.

Caring for Children initially worked with hospital programs that focused on children afflicted with life-threatening illnesses and the children were followed by some of the largest hospitals in the commonwealth. Since the holiday effort has grown each year, it became important for the foundation to expand its reach geographically and to also expand support to children with other medical conditions. The holiday effort culminated Sunday, Dec. 11, with a wrapping party in Lexington. While all of the children in the pediatric palliative care have been sponsored, those wishing to take part in next year’s holiday effort are encouraged to contact the Foundation directly.

–E.E.


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