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Warm Sounds In A New Space

Music: Close Encounters With Music

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in the Berkshires this year, Close Encounters With Music held its first concert of 2017 in the newly renovated Saint James Place in Great Barrington on Saturday, Feb. 18. A full house packed the spacious hall — which was Close Encounters’ original home and is now a dedicated performance space — for a concert of Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites.

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Church Donates Instrument to Yale

History

Every musician can tell a story through an instrument. But sometimes, the instrument itself is the real story.
Earlier this month, the Salisbury Congregational Church donated a historic bass viol to the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments. According to church records, as well as the label inside the bass viol, it was made by Abraham Prescott of Deerfield and Concord, N.H., between 1830 and 1850.

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Training with robust sounds

In my long life of listening to classical music, I never heard a live performance of Debussy’s “La Mer” (The Sea), one of my favorite pieces, until The Orchestra Now played it at Bard College’s Fisher Center on Sunday, Feb. 5. It was worth waiting for.

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Contest Entered, Next Album Planned

Music

The Nice Ones have entered NPR Music’s Tiny Desk contest in the hopes of winning the chance to perform at NPR in Washington, D.C., appear at a taping of “Ask Me Another” and tour the United States. And just to add some extra pressure, the local band recorded their entry live on Facebook.
They performed a song called “Good Kids,” which will appear on a new album that will be released in the spring.

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New leader for singers

Knox Sutterfield has been named the interim music director for the Kent Singers. He replaces Matt Travis, who has taken a position in Michigan. 
Sutterfield will lead the group in two concerts at St. John’s Church in New Milford: American Soundscapes on March 19 at 5 p.m. and the Mozart Requiem on June 11. 
For more information, including the group’s rehearsal schedule, go to www.kentsingers.com.

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Best of baroque concerts

Music

The Sherman Chamber Ensemble will host its annual Best of Baroque concerts on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 4 p.m. at Christ Church on Quaker Hill in Pawling, N.Y., and on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 4 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent. 
General admission tickets are $30, senior and student tickets are $25 and children ages 15 and under are admitted free with the purchase of a paid ticket. 
Tickets may be purchased at www.ShermanChamberEnsemble.org.

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A Year Full of Great Albums

Music

This year was, by many accounts, a rotten year. However, modern music fans share a silver lining. Though several legends left us — David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen — others returned from hiatus, and even some new hopes emerged. 

Hip-hop innovators A Tribe Called Quest released their first album in 18 years (albeit an untimely posthumous one for member Phife Dawg), Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature and contemporary talent like Beyoncé and Solange kept issue-driven discourse alive in the mainstream. 

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Spreading Peace Through Music

Music

The Salisbury Congregational Church, in collaboration with the Scoville Memorial Library, will host the second installment of the Peace Through Understanding series on Sunday, Nov. 6. 
The event, titled “Welcoming Our Friends From the Black Church,” will begin at 2 p.m. with a dialogue by Dr. Benjamin Watts, who is the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of New London and a professor of homiletics at Hartford Seminary. His talk will focus on the history of the black church through paintings, poetry and music.

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Back to Bach

Music

For someone who has been involved with the Berkshire Bach Society for more than 12 years, Executive Director Paula Hatch has no lack of enthusiasm for the outfit. In fact, she says, the upcoming season-opening concert on Nov. 5 in Great Barrington, Mass., “is going to be one of the Berkshires’ more stellar programs of the decade.” 

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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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