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BCI will bid farewell to its Sheffield home this summer after 35 years.

Berkshire Choral International Announces Its Final Summer in Sheffield

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SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Choral International, a nonprofit educational organization that provides amateur singers with professional-level choral immersion experiences, has announced that 2017 will be its final summer in its Berkshires location of Sheffield.

In efforts to increase both its national and international presence, BCI will bid farewell to its Sheffield home this summer after 35 years, closing out its Berkshires presence with two sessions scheduled to take place on July 15 and July 22. Founded in 1982, BCI is a mecca for amateur choral singers from across the world. BCI's choristers reside in 30 US states and five countries, and the faculty is comprised of career singers and musicians.

During their farewell weeks in Sheffield, choristers will study under two renowned conductors and be accompanied by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Referred to as "the brightest star in New York's choral music world," conductor Kent Tritle will lead choristers during the first farewell week in the Berkshires as they prepare to perform Mahler's Symphony #8 on July 15. Conductor Tom Hall will join BCI for his eighth season as he leads choristers in their performance of Verdi's Requiem, the final show in the Berkshires on July 22.

"We have incredible memories of Sheffield, but we are excited to begin a new chapter in the BCI legacy," President and CEO Debi Kennedy said. "Our decision to move beyond the Berkshires will allow us to truly become an international program and increase the number of cities our choristers visit each summer."

For tickets and information, visit BCI's website.


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Berkshires Beat: Berkshire County Youths Joined Amplify 2019 Program

Music in Common

Berkshire County youth Darby Taylor, Hailey Peters, Maddy Bronson and Olivia Davis participated in Music In Common's "Amplify" program in Sheffield, Mass., this summer. Amplify is a two-week residential program in which musicians perform songs written by Music In Common youth from around the world. The Amplify group performed three concerts throughout Berkshire County to culminate the program.

Eight musicians, ages 15 to 20, arrived in the Berkshires on July 7 from California, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts and immersed themselves in a rigorous two-week residential program in which they learned nine songs, culled from more than 50 songs written by youth in previous Music In Common programs. The participants also wrote an original piece, "Shine Through," about staying true to self. They performed the songs at three concerts across the county. All Music In Common’s Youth Produced songs and videos can be viewed on MIC’s YouTube Channel.

This year's participants were selected based on auditions in California, Massachusetts, Georgia and online. The Amplify program is Music In Common's only program that selects participants through auditions. This is the second year in a row that Music In Common produced the Amplify program. "It's heartwarming to empower a new generation of musical talent and leaders," said Todd Mack, executive director at Music In Common. "They believe, as we do, that music offers humanity a common language through which we can realize peace and understanding."

Music In Common is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth against hate through collaborative songwriting, multimedia, and performance. The organization’s mission is to strengthen, empower, and connect communities through the universal language of music. Mack founded Music In Common in 2005 originally as an informal backyard jam called FODfest, inspired by the life of his friend and bandmate Daniel Pearl, the late Wall Street Journal reporter murdered in 2002. Fueled by a resonating belief in music as a universal language, that backyard jam has grown into a global nonprofit organization with innovative community-building programming that serves as a call to action in communities around the world. To date, Music In Common has produced programming in more than 300 communities across the United States, Middle East and Far East and operates multiple programs locally, nationally and internationally.

 

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Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is expanding its Healthy Hearts Support Group to include anyone living with a chronic condition. Meetings are held from 10 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month on the third floor of the West Wing of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, 100 Hospital Drive in Bennington, Vt. Free valet parking is available, and signs are hung to direct attendees who enter through the Main Lobby.

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