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Berkshire Children and Families' Kids 4 Harmony Summer Gala Concert will be held July 15 at 6 p.m. at Berkshire Community College's Robert Boland Theatre in Pittsfield.

Berkshires Beat: Kids 4 Harmony Celebrates Success With Summer Gala Concert

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Kids 4 Harmony

Berkshire Children and Families' Kids 4 Harmony Summer Gala Concert will be held July 15 at 6 p.m. at Berkshire Community College's Robert Boland Theatre in Pittsfield. Special guest artist Emanuel Ax will join Kids 4 Harmony musicians for a concert starting at 7 p.m. Ax is a celebrated Grammy-Award winning pianist who has appeared with the world's greatest orchestras. John and Samantha Williams serve as honorary co-chairs of the event.

Kids 4 Harmony, a free after school program at Morningside Community School in Pittsfield and Brayton Elementary School in North Adams, is inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema, an ensemble-based musical approach with a social justice mission. It has been transforming lives through music with its intensive classical music instruction to children and youth from under-resourced communities. Kids 4 Harmony opens opportunities for children to grow their academic skills, self-confidence, discipline, citizenship and widens their aspirations.

This year alone eight students will be attending the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (formerly National Take a Stand concert) in CA and three students attended Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Additionally, one student has been accepted into Youth Orchestra Los Angeles National Institute. As one of only 17 students selected from a national field of applicants, she will receive mentoring, private instruction, chamber music coaching, travel opportunities (including performing and traveling with the LA Phil), and financial support for college applications. Also, the program's first student graduated from high school and will be attending college in the fall – the first of his family.

The Kids 4 Harmony Summer Gala Concert is the single fundraising event for the program, which relies primarily on private support for its operations. For more information, tickets, or to make a donation please contact Bethany Pelletier at 413-448-8281 ext. 233, or visit the website.

 

Renovated cardiac department

Donors and staff gathered on the evening of Tuesday, June 25, to tour the newly renovated Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care. The renovation included new lighting and ceiling tiles, new exercise and heart-monitoring equipment, and new floors and fixtures. A nearby storage room was converted to expand exercise space. Fresh paint and appealing local artwork make the space welcoming to the more than 80 patients who participate in cardiac rehabilitation weekly.

At the end of last year, the program earned certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. It is the only peer-reviewed accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems — including heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, congestive heart failure, valve replacement, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary stent placement — recover faster and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

 

Meat CSA

Hancock Shaker Village announces the expansion of its Community Supported Agriculture program with the addition of a meat CSA, beginning in November 2019. The CSA will offer members four monthly pickups of ten pounds of meat per month, averaging approximately 50 percent beef, 35 percent pork and 15 percent lamb. Membership is $440.

"The animals at Hancock Shaker Village are raised humanely with the best possible care," said Lauren Piotrowski, head gardener and CSA manager. "We provide a grass-fed diet with no pesticides, and our heritage breeds are raised on the same beautiful pastures occupied by the Shakers in the late 18th century."


The farm at Hancock Shaker Village is the oldest continuously operating farm in the Berkshires. Sustainable farming is a priority at the Village, which also offers a vegetable and herb CSA. Pickup dates for the meat CSA are on Fridays, Nov. 15, Dec. 13, Jan. 17, and Feb. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m.. Delivery is available for members who live within 20 miles of the Village at $1 per mile, based on round-trip travel. To become a member of the CSA, visit the website or call 413-443-0188.

 

Playground Program

The City of Pittsfield Department of Community Development Recreation Program's Summer Parks Playground Program will be held at three city parks for six weeks through Aug. 16. The free program offers a variety of recreation activities to Pittsfield children ages 6 to 13. Locations include The Common, Durant Park, and Springside Park at Springside Avenue. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The program is staffed by playground leaders who will create safe, supervised and fun-filled environments for sports, games, arts and crafts, and nature activities. Moreover, the program strives to foster self-esteem, nurture friendships, and provide youth with positive and caring role models. Please note, the program is designed to provide “drop-in” activities for children and is not a substitute for day camp or childcare. For more information, contact Becky Manship, recreation activities coordinator, at 413-499-9371.

 

Pre-concert talks

The Tanglewood Pre-Concert Talks are back this summer at the Lenox Library, and once again, they are free. Dr. Jeremy Yudkin, professor of busic at Boston University, will give 15 talks throughout the season. The talks will be held on Fridays at 2:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. in the Sedgwick Reading Room.

With Mozart and Mahler to start the Tanglewood season and Beethoven to end it, with Verdi and Wagner in between, those attending the concerts are invited to take advantage of these talks. No previous musical experience is necessary. The schedule for the series can be found online.

 

Cheshire Garden Club

The Cheshire Garden Club is welcoming those who enjoy gardening and would like to learn more about plants and growing techniques, as well as share plants and spend more time with other gardening enthusiast, to join the club.

The club participates in monthly meetings with guest speakers, cares for the flowers at the Community Center and Town Hall, takes garden tours and day trips, and initiates plant swaps. For more information, call Lois at 413-776-7194 or Autumn at 413-743-9263.

 

Tag Sale goods sought

Do you have too much stuff? The Stephentown Historical Society is seeking good, clean, usable items for the Community Tag Sale on Saturday, July 27, at Gardner’s Field at 15879 Route 22 in Stephentown, N.Y. Small appliances should be in working order. Please do not donate large appliances, clothing, computers, computer equipment, televisions, plastic Christmas decorations, records or VHS tapes. If you have items to donate, please take them to the Stephentown Heritage Center on Garfield Road on Fridays July 12, 19 and 26, between 1 and 4 p.m., or to Gardner's after 8 a.m. on the day of the sale. Call 518-733-5170 for information or to arrange for drop off.  Please do not leave donations if no one is at the center.

Selling spaces will also be available for individuals or organizations for $20. Tables, chairs, shade, or equipment are not provided. Vendors should arrive no earlier than 8 a.m. on the day of the sale. The tag sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Eclipse trip

Williams College Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy Jay Pasachoff and a team that included Williams College seniors Christian Lockwood, John Inoue and Erin Meadors ’20 joined fellow astronomers and spectators in South America to observe the solar corona during the total solar eclipse of July 2. Pasachoff and his team travelled to Chile, where he and the students, joined by Rob Wittenmyer, Class of 98, observed the eclipse from a mountainside above La Higuera. Other colleagues on Pasachoff’s team, including Kevin Reardon ’92, observed from Cerro Tololo, with support from the Associated University for Research in Astronomy (AURA) at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

"The day was particularly clear, with not a cloud in the sky," Pasachoff said. "We were at about 2,500 feet at La Higuera, and our colleagues on Cerro Tololo were higher, about 7,500 feet altitude." The teams' scientific goals included studying motions and dynamics of the solar corona, the million-degree extended outer atmosphere of the Sun, which is held in interesting shapes by the sun’s magnetic field. The teams also measured spectra showing the temperature of different parts of the corona. The first results confirmed the relatively low (for million-degree gas) temperature of the corona at this minimum phase of the sunspot cycle.
 
Pasachoff said that many thousands of people from around the world traveled to South America for the eclipse and were rewarded with striking views of the dramatic eclipse phenomena.

 

BArT Deadline

Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School is currently accepting applications for students in grades six through 10 for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. The next enrollment deadline for the 2019-20 school year will be Thursday, Aug. 1, at noon. More information on the school’s enrollment and lottery process can be found online. Interested families should contact the school at 413-743-7311 or send an email.

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Hinsdale Man To Compete In Professional BBQ Competition

Community Submission

Rinaldi with Myron Mixon, celebrity chef and four-time barbecue World Champion.
HINSDALE, Mass. — Professional barbecue teams from all over New England will compete at the Harpoon BBQ Festival in Windsor, Vt., on July 27-28, with hopes of being crowned the grand champion and earning a ticket to the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. 
 
And Berkshire County's own George Rinaldi will be among them.
 
Rinaldi, 54, of Hinsdale, has been competing on the professional Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned circuit for eight years. He and his family travel to six or seven competitions annually. They've been all over New England, as well as in New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. At a typical event, competitors must deliver their entries in four categories (chicken, ribs, pork and brisket) to the master judges by pre-specified times — and not a second later.
 
Rinaldi's skills have earned many trophies, including a first-place prize for his Ribs Division win at a recent competition in New Jersey. 
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