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Tanglewood will launch its first-ever collaboration with Mass Audubon in a program titled 'Tanglewood Takes Flight: A Celebration of Birds and Music with Mass Audubon' running from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30.

Berkshires Beat: Tanglewood, Mass Audubon Team Up for Celebration of Birds and Music

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For the birds: Tanglewood will launch its first-ever collaboration with Mass Audubon in a program titled "Tanglewood Takes Flight: A Celebration of Birds and Music with Mass Audubon" running from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30, creating a new multi-faceted and immersive program for concert-goers that explores the intimate relationship between birdsong and music. The series, which pairs guided bird walks with performances of birdsong, will be highlighted by performances by world-renowned pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, lectures and bird walks by Mass Audubon Ornithologist Wayne Peterson, and performances by Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's BSO's preeminent summer music academy for the advanced training of young professional musicians.

Tanglewood Takes Flight will feature five guided bird walks at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox, be partnered with music from Messiaen’s Catalogue of the Birds, a monumental series of 13 piano pieces portraying the birds of Europe, to be performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Piano Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center at both Pleasant Valley and Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall. As part of this special series, on July 27, at 8 p.m., Ozawa Hall presents Pierre-Laurent Aimard in a fascinating centuries-spanning program that will explore the many recreations of birdsong in music by a diverse range of composers from the Baroque to the present day, including music of Daquin, Schumann, Ravel, Bartók, and Julian Anderson.

All events at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary are free and open to the public. For a complete listing of all Tanglewood Takes Flight concerts visit the website.


To be fair: The Berkshire Youth Fair is a fair run by 4-H youth for all youth. Any youth ages 5-18 can enter the fair. All entry forms are in fair books that can be printed online or found in in Tractor Supply stores, libraries and craft stores.

What can a youth enter in the fair? Arts, crafts, photography, vegetables, sewing, baking, woodworking, poultry, rabbits, sheep, cows, pigs, goats, horses and more. All entries must be created, made, grown or raised by the entrant; it doesn't matter if they made it for another program, as long as they made it).

The Berkshire County Youth Fair will take place on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 4-H Fairgrounds on Utility Drive (off Holmes Road) in Pittsfield. There is no entry fee and no parking fee for this fair.  4-H Youth and volunteers work year round to keep this fair free to the public so that any youth may participate and every family can enjoy a day out together.

Destruction of records: Adams-Cheshire Regional School District is notifying parents and students of the destruction of records of students who received special education services and withdrew, graduated, transferred or were released from services during the 2009-2010 school year. All records will be destroyed by Aug. 18. To schedule an appointment to obtain these files, call 413-743-2939, ext. 1107.

Once upon a mattress: The Southern Berkshire Solid Waste Management District has announced a free mattress and box spring recycling program for residents of participating towns. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection awarded a grant to the town of Monterey to pay for the program and it is expected to continue for at least one year.
According to ACE Mattress Recycling in Rhode Island and the program vendor, upwards of 95 percent of a typical mattress and box spring can be recycled.  The goal of the program is to divert and recycle as many as possible so they do not go into the trash.  Participating towns include Alford, Becket, Monterey, Mount Washington, Otis and Washington.
Mattresses must be clean, dry and free of mold, mildew and bedbugs. Mattresses can be brought to the Monterey Transfer Station located on Gould Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the winter months. There is no charge for drop-off but proof of residency in the participating towns is required.


From left to right, Robin Fraiser, DPT; Patricia Ryan, RN; Scott Rogge, MD; Susan Lewsey; Tiffany Tobin, director of Hospitality Services; Andrea Wheeler; Executive Chef Laura LaCroix; and Rachel Newton, Americorps Vista volunteer.

Veggie tales: Southwestern Vermont Medical Center conducted the first two of 12 weekly vegetable pick-ups for participants in its Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs. The distributions are part of Health Care Share, a farm-to-patient collaboration working to increase access to healthy foods statewide.

"This is our third year connecting patients to farm-fresh produce during their visits," said nurse Patricia Ryan, the coordinator for SVMC's Cardiac Rehabilitation program. "Patients truly enjoy the experience and are so thankful for the difference the program has made in their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle."

In addition to the vegetables, patients at SVMC also received a Vermont Health Care Share cookbook. It includes meal-planning advise, food-preparation tips, and healthy recipes. Executive Chef Laura LaCroix conducts several recipe demonstrations and tastings throughout the season to further encourage patients to try healthier options at home.

Full STEAM ahead: Berkshire Community College's Community Engagement, Education and Workforce Development team has brought together leaders in art, dance, nature and science education in the region to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) summer program for Pittsfield youth at the college. The pilot program will be a one-week immersion for rising second-graders guided by a new vision for summer nature and art engagement. The curriculum will be created and led collaboratively by Flying Deer Nature Center, IS183 Art School, Jacob’s Pillow, and BCC around the theme of birds. It is free for Pittsfield Public School children.

The pilot will be repeated three times, with three groups of students. For each of the three weeks, 16 students in the target group, representing all eight Pittsfield Elementary Schools, will be chosen to attend. Students will meet as a full group with all instructors twice daily and will break into smaller groups as they explore art and nature in greater depth.

Breakfast, lunch, and transportation will be provided by the school district and the Pittsfield YMCA. The STEAM summer program will be rigorously assessed to ensure that a high standard of program quality is maintained. The team will create a model for positive, long-term collaboration to provide and sustain quality education and enrichment activity in the city, with the goal of expanding the program to more grade levels and more students in 2018 and beyond. For more information, contact Linda Morelli at 413-236-2122.

Powerless: Williams College will completely shut down its electrical grid on three days this summer in order to facilitate safe installation of two large generators that will provide power to campus in the event of a long-term power loss. The days this shutdown will occur are: Monday, July 31, Monday, Aug. 14, and Saturday, Aug. 19.

All campus buildings will be closed those days to accommodate this installation. This includes the Child Care Center, The Log, Lasell Gymnasium and Fitness Facility, all athletic facilities, the Faculty Club, Paresky Center and the '62 Center. Days that do not impact the Williamstown Theatre Festival have been chosen.

On each day, main power to the campus will be turned off at 5 a.m. Throughout campus there will be no Internet, phone service, air conditioning, ventilation, hot water, or lights (including bathrooms).

Survey says ...: The goal of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) is to help people in the Berkshires get to where they need to go by providing the best possible bus transit system. In order to achieve this goal, the BRTA needs to understand why you do or do not ride the BRTA bus and your thoughts about how the service could be improved.

The BRTA wants to ensure that all residents of Berkshire County have a voice in this survey. The survey takes three to five minutes to complete and is confidential. Click here for the survey.

Boots on the ground: The Dalton Community Recreation Association announces registration for Fitness Boot Camp, which runs from Aug. 7 through Nov. 3. The Fitness Boot Camp at the CRA is the longest running fitness boot camp in the Berkshires. Since its first session, hundreds of folks from around the area enlisted and participated.

In its 15th year, instructors Rob Giuliani and Mike Whitehouse hold classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. Monday and Friday classes emphasize strength and overall conditioning. Activities are designed to build core strength and muscular and cardio endurance. Wednesday classes emphasize cardio. Both men and women are welcome to join, as are participants of all ages (16 and up) and capabilities. The instructors will modify the exercises to fit the participants' needs.

The member cost is $175 and the cost for non-members is $220. Register at the Dalton CRA, 400 Main St., Dalton.

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