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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: Mt. Everett Students Join Dance Exchange Program in India

International experience

As part of the World Education Alliance program, five Mt. Everett students traveled to India in the fall, joining a group of 29 students from around the world. At the start of this academic year, the Keswick Public School in Madurai hosted Dance Mela, a workshop and dance performance that brought together international youth to learn Indian dance and experience Indian culture.  

Produced by Chris Graham, station manager of CTSB, a short video detailing the performance and workshop is now available online on the Southern Berkshire Regional School District (SBRSD) website or on Vimeo. A documentary sharing the full story of the Mt. Everett student experience in India is in progress and will be released later in 2019.

In late September, participants were immersed in local Indian culture, spending a week with students from Confucius Hal Secondary School in Hong Kong, Keswick Public School, two other local Madurai district schools and German students who had been volunteering at the Madurai YMCA. In addition to the participants learning classical and Bollywood-style dance, Keswick students taught traditional crafts, language, games and other cultural traditions unique to India. Students bonded immediately, as they spent most of each day in workshops.

"As a teacher, it was satisfying to watch the students' interactions as they helped each other learn the complicated steps. They all bonded over their love of food of course, and in the architectural and natural wonders of India," said Stephanie Graham, director of the Global Education Program and instructor of Fine Arts at Mt. Everett. "We visited four Indian states, seeing a spectrum of landscape and local culture. Our host partner school Principals Maureen and Suresh Jayaraj created a multi-day program that promoted collaboration and bonding experiences with full days of fun and learning."

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