Friday, July 19, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: ‘A Rossini Extravaganza!’; ‘Picture This’ at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary; ‘Bears in the Berkshires’; senior balance classes

In his 45-minute talk at Dewey Hall, Max Galdos-Shapiro will dive into the natural history and current status of the American black bear.

CEWM to present ‘A Rossini Extravaganza!’

Roman Rabinovich. Photo: Balazs Borocz Pilvax

Great Barrington — Close Encounters With Music will open its 27th season with “ A Rossini Extravaganza!” Saturday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

CEWM will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini with an evening illustrating the wide range of his music—arias and duets from “Tancredi,” “Adina” and La Cenerentola” as well as selections from “Péchés des vieillesse (Sins of Old Age),” composed at the end of his life. Contralto Emily Marvosh will be joined by soprano Sonja Tengblad in a romp through the vocal works, which will also include Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach, whose music Rossini championed. Pianist Roman Rabinovich, winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, will perform some of the challenging “Péchés.” A finishing flourish to the concert will be a performance of a string quartet originally written by Rossini at the tender age of 12.

Sonja Tengblad. Photo courtesy Close Encounters With Music

Tickets are $15–$50. “A Taste of Rossini!”, a pre-concert Rossini-themed reception for patrons and season subscribers, will begin at 4:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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The grand prize-winning photo in Mass Audubon’s 2017 ‘Picture This: Your Great Outdoors’ photo contest was taken at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk. Photo: Bernard Creswick

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary hosts ‘Picture This’ photo exhibit

Lenox — The prize-winning photos from Mass Audubon’s 2017 statewide “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” photo contest are on display at the barn at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary through Sunday, Oct. 28. An opening reception will be held Friday Oct. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include light refreshments and an opportunity to meet some of the artists.

“Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” features photos of people in nature, wildlife, plant life or landscapes that were taken in Massachusetts, mostly at Audubon properties. The winners were selected from more than 4,000 photos entered in the contest. The show will have traveled to 10 Audubon properties before the end of the year. In addition to the contest winners, work by local artists Carolyn Newberger, Ghetta HirschJanet Pumphrey, Katherine Ryan Waiveris and Candice Cimini-Farrell will also be on display.

The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit is available to view on Saturdays and Sundays and is free to members and included in sanctuary admission for all others. For more information, contact Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at (413) 637-0320 or


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‘Bears in the Berkshires’ presentation to illuminate animal behavior

Max Galdos-Shapiro. Photo courtesy Sheffield Historical Society

Sheffield — The Sheffield Historical Society will present “Bears in the Berkshires” with Mass Audubon education coordinator Max Galdos-Shapiro Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Dewey Hall.

In his 45-minute talk, Galdos-Shapiro will dive into the natural history and current status of the American black bear. Attendees will learn about the bear’s life cycle, habitat, behavior, and discuss ways to live in harmony with bears. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

An avid naturalist, Galdos-Shapiro works with Mass Audubon’s Berkshire sanctuaries, sharing his curiosity for the natural world with people of all ages. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in ecology and outdoor education from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and a Master of Science in ecological design from the Conway School.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Sheffield Historical Society at (413) 229-2694 or


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Roe Jan Library to offer balance and stretch classes for seniors

Hillsdale, N.Y. — The Roeliff Jansen Community Library will offer balance and stretch classes for seniors from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursdays beginning Oct. 11 and running through Dec. 20, with the exception of Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day.

Balance is an essential part of all movement and, like all other capacities, the “use it or lose it” maxim holds true. Some lifestyle habits can cause balance to deteriorate with age. The classes will introduce exercises that improve postural stability, core strength, agility and coordination. After completing the weekly sessions, participants will have mastered a balance routine that can be continued independently at home.

This class will be taught by Paul Spector, M.D. For the past 15 years, Spector’s focus has been on preventive health, behavioral change, motivation and aging. He draws on his clinical experience and his American Academy of Sports Medicine-certified training. He works with private clients and corporations in New York City and Hudson, and has written extensively.

The classes are free and open to the public. Though the classes will focus on seniors, all ages are welcome and participants may attend as many or as few sessions as they wish. Participants are advised to wear clothes that allow for comfortable movement. For more information, contact the Roe Jan Library at (518) 325-4101.



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