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Christmas in Collinsville Festivities Set for this Weekend

Photo by Carrie Wiser

From the 2015 Christmas in Collinsville event. Photo by Carrie Wiser

By John Fitts

Temperatures in the 30s are predicted for the weekend but there’s nothing like a bit of champagne, a visit with Santa or local crafts to warm the spirit.

That’s right – the annual Christmas in Collinsville events are slated to take place on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.

Friday evening events include horse-drawn carriage rides, tree lighting and an an adults only champagne walk. Saturday involves such festivities as breakfast with Santa, time with Mrs. Clause, face painting, puppet shows and more horse drawn carriage rides.

Many features, such as the Gallery of Trees at the Canton Historical Museum, take place on both days.

Kathy Taylor, one of the event organizers, said she loves the friendly and festive atmosphere, set in a village where so many of the buildings are so historic.

“You feel like you’re back in the late 1800s,” she said. … Continue Reading

8th Annual Music For a Joyous Season Scheduled Dec. 11

Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

Submitted Release 

COLLINSVILLE, Conn. – The popular “Music For a Joyous Season” concert returns to the Collinsville Congregational Church for the eighth consecutive year on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. Presented by the Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund as part of the Shepherd Music Series, the concert has become a holiday tradition in Collinsville.

“Daniel Lee and Friends,” a chamber ensemble of acclaimed musicians, will present a program of music from the Baroque era, featuring the works of masters such as Biber, Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann. Lee, a violinist hailed by the New York Times for his “ravishing vehemence,” has enjoyed a varied career as a soloist, concertmaster and teacher.

Lee will be joined by “friends” who have appeared nationally both as soloists and members of chamber groups such as the Quodlibet Ensemble, the Sebastians, New Morse Code, the Amphion String Quartet and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The nine-member ensemble features a variety of stringed instruments – violin, violone, harpsichord, viola, viola da gamba, cello – as well as oboe.

The Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the fine and performing arts. As with all events sponsored by the Fund, admission is free and all are welcome.

For Collinsville Poet, New England Trail is About Confluence of Nature and Culture

David K. Leff

David K. Leff

Kickoff for David K. Leff’s Poet in Residency is Tuesday

By John Fitts 

Writers have always turned to nature for inspiration and Collinsville’s David K. Leff is no stranger to this phenomenon.

Now, however, Leff has an opportunity to meld the written – and spoken – word and nature together in unique ways as Poet in Residence of the 215-mile New England Scenic Trail.

In fact, it is believed he is the first poet to serve as an artist in residence for a national scenic trail, in this case, a foot journey that runs from Guilford to the New Hampshire border of Massachusetts.

“I’m really honored; I’m humbled,” said Leff, an author, poet, Canton Town Historian and former official with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “I’m really excited because I think there’s so much potential to enhance and enliven people’s experience of the outdoors with poetry that’s accessible.”

A formal kickoff for Leff’s residency will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 at the Connecticut Forest and Park Association Headquarters, 16 Meriden Road in Middlefield, CT

In addition to poetry from Leff, attendees will enjoy words from CT Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin of Simsbury, as well as a narrated slide show of the New England Trail.   … Continue Reading

Fundraiser to Benefit Canton Parents for Music

give-backCanton Parents for Music will be the beneficiary of LaSalle Market’s 5th anniversary Give Back Series concert on the evening of Nov. 19.

Set for 7 to 10 p.m. at LaSalle Market, 104 Main St., Collinsville, the night will feature the music of Bill Benson, the Canton High School jazz combo, high school flute choir, Canton student vocalists and more.

Donations will be accepted for Canton Parents for Music, which supports music initiatives in the school system that are not covered by budgets. Additionally, attendees are encouraged to bring an item for the Canton Food Bank.

The Roots of the Give Back Series go back to November of 2012 when Benson, who often played at the LaSalle Friday night open mic, had the idea for a benefit night. With the help of LaSalle and Scotty’s Spirit Shop, a successful fundraiser generated more than $600 for the Canton Food Bank. After that, Benson and LaSalle owners Bill Kaminski and Eileen O’Connor-Kaminski created the Give Back series.

Bill and Eileen O’Connor-Kaminski, the owner of LaSalle Market & Deli, felt so good about the whole experience they created “The Give Back Series.” Benson hosts the events, which also feature other local musicians.

The Give Back Series generally takes place the last Saturday of each month but is moved up for November due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

To be considered as a recipient, one can drop a letter in the painted wooden box atop the old farm table at the restaurant. If you can’t find it, ask a staff member.

Midnight Snack Band to Play Bridge Street Live Homegrown Thursday Series

midnightsnacksplashSubmitted Release

Art-pop band Midnight Snack takes the stage Thursday December 1st at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville CT. The band will be making this stop as part of their Fall 2016 mini tour of the eastern US, heading north from their present home in Asheville NC with 17 shows from Nashville TN, to Philadelphia, Buffalo and Boston, fea- turing new songs from their upcoming album “Child’s Eyes”.

Midnight Snack was started by Harwinton natives and brothers Jack Victor (vocals, drums) and Mike Johnson (guitar/synth). The band expanded when they met at Berklee College of Music in Boston through the addition of classmates Peter Brownlee (bass) and Zack Kardon (guitar), as well as old friend, Katie Richter (vocals, trumpet). For the past six years, Midnight Snack has developed a varied and eclectic sound, this latest offering the most personal and introspective of their discography.

… Continue Reading

Urban Legends Come to Life at FV Stage

 

The cast, from left, James Wood, Dianna Waller, Alexander Simmons, Phillip Godeck, Jen Archer and Chuck Simmons.

The cast, from left, James Wood, Dianna Waller, Alexander Simmons, Phillip Godeck, Jen Archer and Chuck Simmons.

Submitted Release 

Forget about the treats… come for the tricks. This October 21, 22 and 28, the Farmington Valley Stage Company in Collinsville, presents the premiere performance of Tales from the Fault Line: A Halloween Nightmare

Tales from the Fault Line is a one hour telling of eight delightfully macabre stories. If you like Edgar Allen Poe, Twilight Zone, or Night Gallery, you’ll love these spooky tales linked together by the tale of a young boy who gets horribly lost on his way to trick-or-treating.

The script and incidental music are written by local resident E. Karl Gallmeyer (Winsted). Karl is a writer, composer, and performer. Director of the Music Library for Music Theatre International, his compositions for the stage include several musicals and revues as well as a ballet and a children’s story, Santa’s Littlest Helper. In addition, he is a performer and arranger for Vinyl Vortex, a local band performing rock, funk and disco, The Rivertones, a close harmony quartet, as well as arranger and pianist for the Thomaston Jazz Orchestra and Organist for St. Joseph’s Church in Winsted. … Continue Reading

Kennedy Expert to Speak in Collinsville

goduti-picture

Philip A. Goduti, Jr.

Submitted Release 

Philip A. Goduti, Jr., Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, Quinnipiac University will speak on his most recent book, “Robert F. Kennedy and the Shaping of Civil Rights, 1960-1964.” as part of the Trinity Arts Series to be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 55 River Road (Rt. 179), Collinsville, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
The public is invited. $ 5 admission at the door, children under 12 free.
“Robert F. Kennedy doesn’t get all of the credit he deserves for advancing the civil rights movement in the United States.”

“Philip A. Goduti Jr., adjunct professor of history, sets out to prove that point in his latest book, “Robert F. Kennedy and the Shaping of Civil Rights, 1960-1964.”

David K. Leff Tabbed as First National Scenic Trail ‘Poet in Residence’

David K. Leff

David K. Leff

Submitted Release

MIDDLEFIELD – There are only 11 National Scenic Trails in the U.S. and two of them run through Connecticut – the Appalachian Trail and the nation’s newest national scenic trail, the New England Trail (NET).

Special places like the NET have long offered inspiration for painters and photographers who capture their physical beauty, but never before has a National Scenic Trail recognized a poet to serve as its “artist in residence.” Poet and author David K. Leff of Collinsville will serve as NET Poet in Residence for one year beginning October 15th. Leff was selected due to his extensive experience as a hiker, natural resource conservationist, and nature poet. The previous two artists in residence for the NET were photographers Barbara Bosworth and Xio Xiomaro who displayed their visual art in local galleries along the NET. … Continue Reading

‘Turtle Dance Music’ Performs in Canton on Saturday, Oct. 15


Submitted Release 

1468508642On Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. the Canton Public Library presents “Turtle Dance Music with Mr. Matt,” in a fun, free performance in the adjacent Community Center. Bring your family to the library and you’ll be treated to a joyful and educational music and movement session. … Continue Reading

Shepherd Fund Concert Oct. 16 to Feature Cello, Guitar

max

Submitted Release 

COLLINSVILLE, Conn. – The Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund will open its 2016-2017 concert season in collaboration with a new artistic partner – Five Points Gallery of Torrington, Conn. Cellist Jacques Lee Wood and guitarist Simon Powis will perform at the gallery on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m. Works will include Bartok’s Hungarian Dances and Piazzolla’s L’historie du Tango.

In addition to the performance by Wood and Powis, attendees will have the opportunity to view an exhibit at the gallery that showcases the works of artists A. Walter Kendra, Geoffrey Detrani and Peter Howe. Five Points is located at 33 Main St., Torrington,

After meeting as students at the Yale School of Music, Wood and Powis went their separate ways to build impressive careers as soloists. Noted for his expressive warmth, sensitivity and technical ease, Wood’s performance career covers a broad range of repertoire and interests – from historically informed performance on baroque cello to commissioning and performing new works on modern cello to playing bluegrass banjo and mandolin. … Continue Reading

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