Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Eagles Trombone Ensemble at Southfield Church; women’s suffrage commemoration; swing dancing at Dewey Hall; ‘Normandie’ at Ventfort Hall

The Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition will hold an event to place a plaque beside a freshly planted serviceberry tree to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Massachusetts’ ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Music at the Southfield Church to welcome Eagles Trombone Ensemble

Southfield — Music at the Southfield Church will present the Eagles Trombone Ensemble Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m. at the Southfield Church, 234 Norfolk Road.

Formed in 2012, the Eagles Trombone Ensemble is comprised of musicians who are members of the Pittsfield-based Eagles Community Band, which has been performing in the Berkshires for 83 years. The Ensemble’s repertoire covers music from the classical era to modern day swing, jazz and contemporary arrangements.

The performance is free and open to the public; a retiring collection will be taken in support of the artists. A reception on the church lawn with gelato from the Southfield Store will follow the program. For more information, call the Southfield Church at (413) 229-8109.


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Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition to commemorate 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

A plaque commemorating women’s suffrage will be placed June 25 at the Milne Public Library in Williamstown. Photo courtesy Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition

Williamstown — On Tuesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at Milne Public Library, the Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition will hold an event to place a plaque beside a freshly planted serviceberry tree to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Massachusetts’ ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

The event will include musicians Deb Burns and Audrey Thier singing suffrage songs with Lara Gonzalez from Marafanyi Drum, Dance & Song; historian Barbara Winslow talking about suffrage history; and Maddy Art from Mount Greylock Regional School’s REV (Register, Educate, Vote) talking about its future.  Refreshments will be served at the library after the program.

Massachusetts was the eighth state to ratify the 19th Amendment, which was signed into law Aug. 26, 1920. On Nov. 2, 1920, Phoebe Jordan, a farmer from New Ashford, was the first woman to vote for a United States president after the 19th Amendment was ratified.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bette Craig (413) 652-9098 or


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Chops LaConte, Sauerkraut Seth Travins and Jim Krewson. Images courtesy Oldtone Productions

Dewey Hall to host swing dancing with Chops, Sauerkraut & Krewtons

Sheffield — Oldtone Native will present a night of swing dancing Friday, June 21, at Dewey Hall, beginning with a lesson with Harry Pisila at 8 p.m. Dancing to live music from Chops, Sauerkraut & Krewtons with Pete Adams will begin at 9 p.m.

Chops, Sauerkraut and Krewtons bring a rockabilly style with all-ages appeal and have performed in venues from Copake Falls to Craryville for the better part of the current millennium. Chops LaConte has gigged as the bassist with Brian Setzer and tours regularly with the Lustre Kings and Wanda Jackson. Sauerkraut Seth Travins plays upright bass with the Wiyos. His past endeavors have included stints with the Blue Ribbon Boys, the Big Iron Skillet Band and the Russet Trio. Jim Krewson sings and plays drums, and is best known for his work in the bluegrass/country rock band Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops. Pete Adams will join the band on steel guitar.

The cost is a sliding fee of $10–$20. Beginners are welcome, partners are not necessary and refreshments will be available. For more information, contact (413) 429-1176 or


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Ventfort Hall to present ‘The Tragic Story of the Majestic Normandie Ocean Liner’

The SS Normandie. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will host author Richard René Silvin Tuesday, June 25, at 4 p.m. for a visual presentation based on the subject of his latest book, “Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner.” The talk will be followed by a Victorian tea.

With lasting memories of crossing the Atlantic as a child, accompanying his parents on ocean liners, Silvin will focus on the French Line’s most glorious and glamorous flagship that first set sail May 29, 1935, from Le Havre. Normandie died an inglorious death by fire Feb. 10, 1942, at a New York dock on the Hudson River, two months after Pearl Harbor and with war ravaging Europe.

Silvin resides in Palm Beach, Florida, and maintains an active interest in historic preservation as vice chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission. He is the author of “Noblesse Oblige: The Duchess of Windsor as I Knew Her,” “I Survived Swiss Boarding Schools: An Arc to Triumph” and “Villa Mizner: The House that Changed Palm Beach.”

Tickets for the Silvin talk are $28 for advance reservations and $32 day of the event.  Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For reservations and more information, ontactl Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or



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