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From left: Ignacio Ugarte, Scott Hill and Carlos Boltes of Alturas Duo, and Gonzalo Cortes will join Crescendo for 'Thanksgivings of Life and Love' this weekend at Saint James Place in Great Barrington and Lakeville United Methodist Church in Connecticut. Photo courtesy Crescendo

Bits & Bytes: ‘Thanksgivings for Life and Love’; Green Tweens Summit; ‘Moving Stories’ at Mason Library; Great Barrington Kennel Club Dog Show

By Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 Life In the Berkshires

‘Thanksgivings for Life and Love’ to merge spiritual issues, folklore themes, Latin-American composers

Lakeville, Conn. — Crescendo has announced that it will present “Thanksgivings for Life and Love” Saturday, Feb. 1, at 4 p.m. at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. at Lakeville United Methodist Church.

“Thanksgivings for Life and Love” illustrates a parallel between spiritual issues set to music by Spanish Renaissance masters, and social justice and human rights matters expressed musically in a merging of folklore themes, popular songs and classical contemporary works by famous 20th century Latin-American composers.

Works by Spanish Renaissance composers Tomás Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero and Antonio Lobo will be featured, contrasted with performances of choral and instrumental arrangements based on Latin-American folk melodies by Carlos Guastavino, Violeta Parra and Victor Jara.

Said Christine Gevert, Crescendo’s artistic director: “Renaissance Polyphony appeals to us because of its complexity, its formal balance, and its melodic flow. It can transport us into a state of meditation and contemplation and provide a still place. The Latin American works, connected to those early works by a common theme or word, reach us on a different level. They appeal directly to our emotions with their lively rhythms, and transport us to a different cultural environment with their colorful instruments. The Latin American ‘Nueva Canción,’ a folk-inspired musical genre with socially committed lyrics, appeared in the 1960s and 1970s.”

The Crescendo Vocal Ensemble will be joined by Alturas Duo (Carlos Boltes on charango and viola, and Scott Hill on guitar) and Gonzalo Cortes (quena, zampoña and percussion), as well as tenor and quena player Ignacio Ugarte from Barcelona, Spain. Gevert will direct from the organ, with Hideki Yamaya on theorbo.

Tickets are $10-$60. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Crescendo at (860) 435-4866 or crescendo@worldclassmusic.org.


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Berkshire Country Day School to host Green Tweens Summit

Stockbridge — On Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Berkshire Country Day School will host its first annual Green Tweens Summit for fifth- through ninth-graders.

The idea for the summit grew out of a discussion held earlier in the school year on the question “Engaging Green Youth: How can children make a difference in saving Planet Earth?” With over 30 participants at that event, including BCD current and past parents, students, community members and representatives from local environmental organizations, it became clear that children want to be involved in helping to solve problems related to climate change, pollution and other environmental issues.

The day will kick off with a presentation by Keely O’Gorman, BCD alumna and current Miss Hall’s School sophomore, who will talk about her activism around banning plastic straws. Throughout the day, middle-schoolers from Berkshire and nearby Columbia County, New York, will act on their passion for the environment and be inspired, connect with other kids, and learn tangible skills to help green their schools and communities. Workshops will be led by Maria Rundle of Flying Cloud Institute, Uli Nagel of Living the Change Berkshires and Mary Stucklen of Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative.

The event is free and includes a pizza lunch for all participants, but advance registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshire Country Day School at (413) 637-0755.


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Mason Library to screen ‘Moving Stories’

Image courtesy Wilderness Films

Great Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will screen the documentary film “Moving Stories” Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mason Library.

In this 2018 film, six diverse dancers from the Battery Dance company travel the world to work with young people who have experienced war, poverty, prejudice, sexual exploitation and severe trauma as refugees, teaching them the tools of choreography so that they can tell their stories through dance.

The event is part of the Friends’ First Saturday Free Film Series and will begin with a wine and cheese social at 7 p.m. More socializing and community discussion will follow the film until 10 p.m. The film does not reflect endorsement or advocacy for any particular point of view by the library or the town of Great Barrington. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mason Library at (413) 528-2403.


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Old English Sheepdogs in the 2018 Great Barrington Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. Photo: Denise Brazie Chandler

Great Barrington Kennel Club to hold all-breed dog show

West Springfield — The Great Barrington Kennel Club will hold its 105th/106th All Breed Dog Show Saturday, Feb. 1, and Sunday, Feb. 2, in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition.

Dog lovers and aficionados will have the opportunity to see nearly 1,300 dogs entered each day in GBKC’s American Kennel Club-sanctioned shows. Represented will be 164 different breeds or varieties competing for Best of Breed, including some of rarer and newly recognized breeds. For the first time this year, GBKC will offer a Puppy 4-6 Months class, with approximately 50 puppies competing each day.

Attendees will also be able to observe GBKC’s AKC Scent Work trial. Launched by AKC in December 2017, Scent Work is one of the fastest-growing dog sports, appealing because it is accessible to people and dogs of varying abilities, and open to mixed breeds as well as purebred dogs. There are 400 runs per day in classes from Novice to Master including Interior, Exterior, Buried and Container searches, all of which involve a dog correctly identifying a prescribed scent within a set time. There is also a Handler Discrimination search in which a dog finds a scented article belonging to its handler. Spectators are welcome.

Activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day with group judging starting around 2:30 p.m. While the event itself is free, there is a parking fee of $5 per car. For more information, contact the Big E at (413) 737-2443.


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