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Music

4 Voices in Harmony

Music

Wanda Houston, Michael Brown, Angela Clemmons and Janice Dempsey will perform as the group Brother and Sisters at St. Mary Church in Lakeville on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m.
 “We’re four singers who have come together to sing our first love — gospel music,” Houston said. “We started the group a couple years ago. We would get together when Michael would have his Gospelfest at The Hotchkiss School. We realized the way our voices meld together is perfect.”

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Entertaining With Science

Opera: ‘Science Fair: An Opera With Experiments’

It’s a fair. A science fair. “Science Fair: An Opera With Experiments,” starring Hai-Ting Chinn, a mezzo soprano with perfect diction who has sung Mozart, Purcell, Glass and now Schickele. That’s her husband, Matthew Schickele, son of Peter Schickele — you know, the fellow who can actually play notes on a garden hose. 
The opera’s libretto was written by a variety of physicists, astronomers, physicians, a neurologist and a biologist. 

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A Fanboy at the Philharmonic

Music

My first encounter with the Czech soprano Magdalena Kožená came about when I stumbled on a video of her singing Bach’s Cantata No. 199, performed in 2000. Over the years her pristine voice has darkened, leading to such lustrous recordings as “Love and Longing” (2012), with songs by Dvořák, Ravel and Mahler, but the shimmering quality is thrilling.

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25 Years of Thematic Programs

Music

For a quarter of a century, Close Encounters with Music has presented chamber music with commentary to both entertain and inform audiences in the Berkshires and beyond. Under the guidance of founder and Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani, the organization has offered more than 200 thematic concerts that put the composers and their time periods in perspective with additional context.

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American Brass Quintet at Hotchkiss

The Hotchkiss Concert Series will present the American Brass Quintet on Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center, at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville. The program will feature works by Osvaldo Lacerda, Thomas Stoltzer, Kenneth Fuchs and Eric Ewazen. The concert is free and open to the public. The group features Kevin Cobb (trumpet); Louis Hanzlik (trumpet); Eric Reed (horn); Michael Powell (trombone); and John D. Rojak (bass trombone).

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Crescendo Launches New Season

Music

Since the indefatigable Christine Gevert founded Crescendo at Trinity Lime Rock Church 12 years ago, she has made the group the choral jewel of the Northwest Corner. Equally comfortable with staple European Baroque repertoire, she has led the group into South American Baroque sacred music and even Andean folk music. 

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Four-Day Festival Keeps Acoustic Music Alive

Music: Oldtone Roots Music Festival

Last year, Jim Wright and a team of individuals and sponsors — including those behind the Wassaic Project and The Lantern restaurant and bar in Wassaic, N.Y. — put together the first Oldtone Roots Music Festival.
The festival is devoted to the preservation and performance of traditional American string band music.
This year, Wright’s at it again — but this time around, the festival will be a much bigger deal.

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Plenty of Concerts Before Summer Ends

A very full weekend of music at Music Mountain in Falls Village began Saturday evening, Aug. 20, with a medley of show tunes from the inimitable Michael Berkeley and friends. Berkeley is one of the Northwest Corner’s treasures, bringing the razzle-dazzle of Broadway to our home place.

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Festival Brings Opera to the Berkshires

Music: ‘Madama Butterfly’

Two guys, a lifetime in opera, a love of the Berkshires and — presto! — we have our first regional opera in nearly 20 years. 
All right, so it takes doing the hard work of raising money, too, and finding enough talent to stock a staged production of “Madama Butterfly,” Puccini’s masterpiece. For Jonathon Loy and Brian Garman, co-founders of the Berkshire Opera Festival, that was not such a stretch. 

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Second Fuse Fest Brings Bands, Carnival to Torrington

Ten musical acts. Two stages featuring continuous music. Food. Crafts. Games. Rides. Fuse Fest will bring all this and more to Fuessenich Park in Torrington on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 2 to 10 p.m.

Fuse Fest, now in its second year, was brought to life when musician and producer Tracy Walton approached J. Brett Simmons, superintendent of the Torrington Parks and Recreation Department, with an idea to create a festival that features original music.

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