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Climate Change expert Michael E. Mann will speak Friday, April 13, at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.

Bits & Bytes: Michael E. Mann on climate change; Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra; Roberta Silman at the Mount; International Women’s Day celebration; ‘The Old Maid and the Thief’

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By Tuesday, Apr 10, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Climate change expert Michael Mann to speak at BCC

Pittsfield — On Friday, April 13, at 12:15 p.m. in the Boland Theater, Berkshire Community College will host a forum with Michael E. Mann, professor of atmospheric science and director of Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center, called “The Madhouse Effect: A Post-Election Climate Change Update.”

Said Mann of his presentation: “I offer a somewhat lighthearted take on a very serious issue — the threat of human-caused climate change and what to do about it, based on my collaboration with Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles. Using Tom’s cartoons (existing ones and some new ones exclusive to the book) as a template, we review the scientific evidence of climate change, the reasons we should care, and the often absurd efforts by special interests and partisan political figures to confuse the public, attack the science and scientists, and deny that a problem even exists. Despite the monumental nature of the challenge this poses to human civilization, we find a way to end on an upbeat and cautiously optimistic note.”

Mann was a lead author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was the organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences’ Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the 50 leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In February, he won the Public Engagement with Science Award from the American Academy for the Advancement of Science.

The presentation is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception and a book-signing event in the lobby. For more information, contact BCC at (413) 499-4660.


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Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra to perform at MMRHS

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Photo courtesy Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra

Great Barrington — Berkshires Jazz will present the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra Sunday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at Monument Mountain Regional High School. The Monument Mountain Regional High School Jazz Band will open the show.

SKLO performs some of the well-known music from the Kenton library, featuring both the original arrangements as well as modern adaptations. Additionally, the band presents new material written in Kenton’s style. Leader Mike Vax has led a big band off and on since his college days. His credits include being first trumpet, soloist and road manager of the Stan Kenton Orchestra as well as being co-leader while Kenton was recovering from surgery. Vax also played lead trumpet in Clark Terry’s Big Bad Band, led the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans, and produced and/or served as music director for more 50 jazz festivals. He has performed and presented workshops for more than 3,000 high schools, colleges and universities all over the world. Following a model pioneered by Kenton, many of the SKLO’s performances are in schools, with free afternoon workshops.

Under the direction of Michael Gilllespie, the MMRHS Jazz Band has performed in Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Toronto; New York City; the Massachusetts State House in Boston, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington; and the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Previous concerts have featured vocalist Wanda Houston, soprano Maureen O’Flynn, singer-songwriterLivingston Taylor and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The band’s students are regularly accepted into the western Massachusetts and all-state jazz honor bands. Overall, the band is made up of 31 students in grades 8–12.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the event and $10 for students. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshires Jazz at (413) 442-7718 or web@berkshiresjazz.org.


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The Mount to welcome author Roberta Silman

Roberta Silman. Photo courtesy the Mount

Lenox — The Mount will host author Roberta Silman and the Bookstore proprietor Matt Tannenbaum Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m. for a discussion of Silman’s latest novel, “Secrets and Shadows.”

Hailed as a “harrowing story that readers will find compelling to the very end,” by Kirkus Reviews, “Secrets and Shadows” shows the long-term effects of World War II and the journey one must go on to reconcile with a harrowing past.

Silman is the author of five traditionally published works of fiction. Her short stories have appeared in publications including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, HadassahRedbook, the Virginia Quarterly Review and the American Scholar. She has received ofGuggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts as well as numerous writing awards.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for members of the Mount. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mount at (413) 551-5111 or info@edicthwharton.org.


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Elizabeth Freeman Center to hold International Women’s Day celebration

Pittsfield — On Thursday, April 12, at 6 p.m. at Flavours of Malaysia, 75 North St., Sabrina Tan and Chin Lee of Flavours of Malaysia and the Elizabeth Freeman Center will hold their eighth annual celebration of International Women’s Day with a buffet dinner of Malaysian Chinese cuisine and a variety of raffle prizes from Berkshire venues and businesses. Although International Women’s Day was March 8, the dinner had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather.

Said Ann Miller, EFC board president: “The global theme for International Women’s Day 2018 is #PressforProgress in gender parity. As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this is still an appropriate time to press for progress as we are celebrating the vocal resistance to gender-based inequity and violence that has taken form in organizing campaigns such as Me Too, Time’s Up, March For Our Lives, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, Shout Out Loud Productions, and One Billion Rising.”

The cost of dinner is $35 including tax and tip. The doors open at 5 p.m. for a social hour and cash bar. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call Flavours of Malaysia at (413) 443-3188. Tickets can also be purchased at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge and Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men, and will be available at the door as space allows.


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Whitney Center for the Arts to present ‘The Old Maid and the Thief’

Erin Nafziger. Photo: Sean Turi

Nellie Rustick. Photo courtesy Whitney Center for the Arts

Pittsfield — The Whitney Center for the Arts will present its first fully staged opera, the radio opera “The Old Maid and the Thief” by Gian Carlo Menotti, Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m.

Set in a 1940s radio station, the American one-act opera tells the story of a handsome vagrant takes up lodgings with a lonesome old woman and her young, chatty housemaid. The man’s presence must be kept secret to avoid a scandal and little white lies quickly escalate to desperation and questionable decision-making.  Sopranos Nellie Rustick and Erin Nafziger sing the roles of the old maid and her housemaid, baritone Steve Hassmer plays the vagrant, soprano Monica Bliss sings the role of Miss Pinkerton, and Monk Schane-Lydon is the narrator. Carlton Maaia II provides accompaniment on piano.

The opera runs about one hour and is sung in English. Tickets are $18 for the general public, and $15 for students and seniors. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Whit at (413) 443-0289 or info@thewhit.org.


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