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Close Encounters With Music will present the American Brass Quintet Saturday, April 13, at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.

Bits & Bytes: American Brass Quintet at The Mahaiwe; ThinkFOOD conference; Jill Soloway at Williams; Bring It to the Light Music Festival

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By Monday, Apr 8, 2019 Life In the Berkshires

Close Encounters With Music to present the American Brass Quintet

Great Barrington — Close Encounters With Music will present the American Brass Quintet Saturday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

With more than 60 recordings and numerous world tours, the American Brass Quintet has made it their mission to treat both past and present with equal zeal. The evening will begin with a staple of Romantic brass music: Victor Ewald’s Brass Quintet No. 2 from late 1800s Russia. “Common Heroes, Uncommon Land,” a recent commission through the Juilliard School where the quintet has been in residence for three decades, is a work with an Americana sound by Philip Lasser requiring each player to recite poetry. Three Fantasies in Church Modes by Thomas Soltzer, a European priest and court musician, dates back to the 15th century. The night will end with Eric Ewazen’s “Frost Fire.”

Tickets are $15–$50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Simon’s Rock to host sixth annual ThinkFOOD conference

Thomas D. Seeley. Photo courtesy Cornell University

Great Barrington — The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will hold its sixth annual ThinkFOOD conference Saturday, April 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Fisher Science Center.

This year’s theme, “Berkshire Pollinators,” embraces the community’s interest in bees and pollination, and will also showcase local food entrepreneurs whose ideas can inspire innovation in other communities. Thomas D. Seeley, author of “Honeybee Democracy” and Horace White Professor in Biology in the neurobiology and behavior department of Cornell University, will give the keynote address. Local experts will offer 45-minute hands-on workshops designed to engage participants with the Great Barrington Pollinator Action Plan, which promotes a network of interconnected pollinator habitats throughout the region.

The cost of the conference is $25 for the conference only, $35 for the conference plus lunch, and free for students. Registration is required. For more information, a detailed schedule of the day’s event and registration, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Maryann Tebben at mtebben@simons-rock.edu.


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Jill Soloway to discuss Jews, gender and sexuality

Jill Soloway. Photo courtesy Williams College

Williamstown — Williams College will present “Portraying Jews, Gender, and Sexuality in American Popular Media: A Conversation with Jill Soloway” Thursday, April 11, at 8 p.m. on the mainstage of its ’62 Center for Theatre & Dance.

Soloway is an artist and activist who created the Emmy Award– and Golden Globe Award-winning Amazon streaming series “Transparent.” Soloway also co-created and directed “I Love Dick” and wrote and directed the feature film “Afternoon Delight,” which won the 2013 Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Soloway founded TOPPLE, an intersectional brand for the revolution to create TV and film content as well as TOPPLE Books, an imprint of Little A. Soloway has published two memoirs: “She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy” and “Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants.” Soloway co-founded 5050by2020, an artist empowerment network and strategic initiative of Time’s Up, as well as the community organization East Side Jews and the spoken word series Sit ‘n Spin. Soloway also co-created theatrical experiences “The Real Live Brady Bunch” and “Hollywood Hell House.”

Soloway will engage in conversation with Jeff Israel, assistant professor of religion, followed by an audience question-and-answer session. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 597-2425.


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Bring It to the Light Music Festival to raise awareness of opioid crisis

Norfolk, Conn. — Bring It to the Light Events will present the Bring It to the Light Music Festival Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro. The event is the first of a series of music and educational speakers with the goal of bringing public awareness to the opioid crisis. The festival will consist of music by the Rafters 339, B Reaney Blues, and Tim McDonald and Friends with presentations by health care providers on opioid use in today’s society.

In June 2018 Bill Reaney retired from his job of 37 years to help raise awareness of and make a positive impact on the opioid crisis, having experienced addiction and recovery firsthand with his son for many years—his son has been in recovery for two years and is in Arizona helping others battling addiction. In May 2018 Clockhead Productions of Glastonbury produced a song written by Reaney, which he dedicated to his son. The song, titled “Addiction,” is the platform for which Bring It to the Light Events was founded.

Tickets are $45–$65. Proceeds will benefit Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Infinity Music Hall & Bistro at (866) 666-6306.


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