Thursday, July 18, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: BSO on BBC; ‘The Constitution Demands It’; pianist Lin at Berkshire Music School; Copake history talk

Prior to co-founding Free Speech For People, John Bonifaz served as the executive director and general counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, and as the legal director of Voter Action, a national election integrity organization.

BBC to broadcast Boston Symphony Orchestra from Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Lenox — On Friday, Oct. 19, at noon, Mass Audubon will collaborate with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC, and 99.5 WCRB in programming a 150-minute performance to be broadcast live from the 18th-century barn at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary as part of the “Into the Forest” segment of the BBC Radio 3 program “In Tune.”

Sean Rafferty. Photo courtesy BBC Radio 3

Hosted by Sean Rafferty, the broadcast will feature performances by violinist Yevgeny KutikBoston Camerata; Borromeo String Quartet; fiddler and banjo player Bruce Molsky; and a trio of Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, including pianist Nathan Ben-Yehuda, who will also perform solo piano music by Messiaen. Also included will be segments on the natural history of forests and the intersection of forests, music and the arts, with interviews with BSO artistic administrator and director of Tanglewood Anthony Fogg, Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton, Mass Audubon Berkshire sanctuaries director Becky Cushing and Mass Audubon regional scientist Tom Lautzenheiser. Berkshire-based writers and artists will provide additional commentary about the relationship between the arts and nature, with the environmental sounds of Pleasant Valley providing an auditory backdrop to the program.

Limited outdoor seating for the broadcast may be available depending on the weather. Those interested in attending are advised to check the Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley Facebook page Friday morning for more information on availability. The live broadcast will be available to a worldwide audience online at BBC Radio 3.


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Author John Bonifaz to discuss ‘The Constitution Demands It’

John Bonifaz. Photo courtesy Free Speech For People

Housatonic — On Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire will welcome John Bonifaz, co-author of “The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump” as well as co-founder and president of Free Speech For People, who will give a book talk on the legal grounds for impeachment of the president and the national movement to hold Donald Trump accountable to the law.

Bonifaz is a constitutional law attorney who has been at the forefront of voting rights battles across the country for more than two decades. Prior to co-founding Free Speech For People, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to defending democracy and upholding the U.S. Constitution, Bonifaz served as the executive director and general counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, and as the legal director of Voter Action, a national election integrity organization. Bonifaz is a 1992 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and winner of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award.

The cost of the event is a $10 suggested donation. For more information, contact the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire at (413) 358-3877 or


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Pianist Hui-Mei Lin to perform at Berkshire Music School

Hui-Mei Lin

Pittsfield — Berkshire Music School will welcome pianist Hui-Mei Lin to its Taft Recital Hall for a recital with cellist Peter Seidenberg Saturday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. The program will include Sonata in G by Beethoven, “Dedication” by S. Tuur, “Adagio and Allegro” by Schumann, “Silent Woods” by Dvorak and “First Rhapsody” by Bartok.

Peter Seidenberg

Lin, a native of Taiwan, made her New York solo debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as the winner of the Artists International Competition. Concert tours have taken her to Italy; Canada; Taiwan, including two concerts at the National Concert Hall in Taipei sponsored by the Taiwanese government; and various cities throughout the U.S. Her media broadcasts include solo performances on PBS, WQXR, Taiwan Television and the China Broadcasting Company.

Seidenberg has played in major halls throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. He made his solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has since appeared as a soloist with orchestras including Century Orchestra of Osaka, New American Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Soloists and the Eastman-Rochester Philharmonic.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students of all ages. Reservations are recommended. For tickets and more information, contact Berkshire Music School at (413) 442-1411.


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Cecil (Teetle) Blass, star player of the semi-professional Copake All-Star baseball team receives an award in 1940 at a special event in his honor at Holsappel Field and attended by 1,000 people. Photo courtesy Copake History

History talk to cover ice harvesting, semi-pro baseball

Copake, N.Y. — On Saturday, Oct. 20, at 4 p.m. at the Copake Grange, author and current Grange historian Howard Blue and auctioneer Mike Fallon will present a PowerPoint program on two nearly forgotten aspects of Copake’s history: ice harvesting and semi-professional baseball.

Ice harvesting was once an annual endeavor on the Hudson River, small local ponds, Copake Lake, Robinson Pond and Rhoda Pond. At one time a commercial ice harvesting operation existed at Copake Lake. Semi-pro baseball was played on Copake Falls’ Holsappel Field. Attendees will also hear about 90-year-old Joe Michaluk’s recollections of harvesting ice and storing it in the icehouse on his family’s farm. The program will feature also recently discovered, rare home movie footage of Copake in the 1930s as well as additional images from Blue’s collection of over 3,000 digitized photos of Copake.

Blue publishes the Copake History Facebook page and has lectured extensively throughout Columbia County, New York City, and in England and Russia. He also periodically publishes freelance articles, mostly on local history.

The event is free and open to the public. For ore information, contact the Copake Grange at



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