MuseFLASHES: Arts happenings this week in the Amherst area

  • Stephen A. Paparo directs the University of Massachusetts Chorale. COURTESY OF UMASS DEPT. OF MUSIC AND DANCE



  • Members of the UMass Marimba Band COURTESY OF UMASS DEPT. OF MUSIC AND DANCE

  • A Scene from “See the World, Feed Your Mind” COURTESY OF NORTHWEST FILM FORUM

  • Sheryl Stanton will perform at the month’s Song & Story Swap. COURTESY OF SONG & STORY SWAP

  • Members of UMass Strings Ben Barnhart

  • The UMass Symphony Band horn section COURTESY OF UMASS DEPT. OF MUSIC AND DANCE

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Swapping songs & stories

Folksinger Sheryl Stanton will be the guest performer Saturday at 7 p.m. at this month’s Song & Story Swap at The Nacul Center, 592 Main St., Amherst. This month’s theme is “joy and despair.”

Stanton is a singer-songwriter from western Massachusetts whose Americana and Folk styles blend with a touch of the blues.

At the Swap, people of all ages are invited to share stories and songs that are traditional, new and/or personal. You can tell, sing, lead everyone if singing or request a song or story. Listeners are welcome. Suggested donation: $5-$10.

For information about Song & Story Swap, call Paul Kaplan at 687-5002. For information about Stanton, visit www.sherylstanton.net.

Musical collaborators

The UMass Choral Program and Springfield’s High School of Commerce Madrigal Singers and Choir will collaborate on a concert that will be presented Sunday at 3 p.m. at First Congregational Church in Amherst. There will also be performances by the UMass Chorale, Recital Choir and Women’s Choir.

On the program: two gospel arrangements — “Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke and “I Need You to Survive” by Hezekiah Walker. Free.

Lower East Side

“Balka’s Lower East Side,” a multi-artist exhibit that depicts Jewish Immigrant Life at the Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St. in Amherst, is on view through March 13, 2017, at the center’s Brechner Gallery.

The exhibit captures the world of the hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants who settled in that New York City neighborhood in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — a world of pushcarts and open-air markets, tenement buildings and sweatshops, Yiddish theaters and street stickball games.

The art is culled from the Balka Collection of New York’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum, and includes some 200 works that include etchings, lithographs, wood engravings and other works on paper by Joseph Hirsch, Larry Rivers, Raphael Soyer, Saul Raskin and William Sharp.

For information, visit yiddishbookcenter.org.


Valley Light Opera and the Wesley United Methodist Church will present a “Messiah” sing Sunday at 3 p.m. at the church at 98 North Maple St. in Hadley.

Valley Light Opera’s orchestra and soloists — Libby Maxey, soprano; Kathy Blaisdell, alto; Ted Blaisdell, tenor; and Matt Roehrig, baritone — will perform the Christmas portions of G.F. Handel’s “Messiah,” and will be joined by the church’s music director and harpsichordist Catherine Bennett.

Audience members who wish to do so will make up the chorus. If you have your own vocal score, bring it along; there will be a limited number available at the church.

For information, call the church office at 549-1550.

Music at UMass

“Western Massachusetts Flute Day,” a daylong event featuring a range of events and presentations from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., will be presented Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The day is designed to provide instrumentalists with a chance to work with Five College faculty and to network with peers. Vendor information will also be available.

Jake Fridkis, principal flute for the Fort Worth Symphony, and UMass flute professor Cobus du Toit will lead a master class, as will members of the Five College flute faculty Ellen Redman (Smith College), Allison Hale (Amherst College) and Adrianne Greenbaum (Mount Holyoke College).

Following the day’s instructional sessions, Fridkis and pianist Jeewon Park will give a free guest artist recital, beginning at 7:30 p.m., featuring Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” Bruch’s “Romanze,” Foote’s “A Night Piece,” Schocker’s “For Gaspar,” Saint-Saëns’ Romance Op. 37 and Doppler’s “Rigoletto Fantasy.”

Advance registration for the daytime sessions cost $15, $10 for students.

The evening recital in the Bezanson Recital Hall is free.

To register for the master class, visit www.umass.edu/music and click on “concert calendar” or visit cobusdutoit.com.

At Amherst Cinema

“See the World, Feed Your Mind” will be shown Saturday at 1 p.m. as part of the theater’s “Family Films” series.

The award-winning audience-pleasing series of short films is full of characters who aren’t afraid to find their own way, search for happiness, save the planet and shoot for the stars.

The films are in various languages with English subtitles. Tickets cost $5. To reserve, visit www.amherstcinema.org.

Music at UMass

There will be a chamber music master class with violist James Dunham Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

Dunham, a former violist with the Grammy-winning Cleveland Quartet and the Naumberg-winning Sequoia Quartet, is a member of the Axelrod String Quartet. He will work with student chamber music groups from the UMass music department.

The public is welcome to attend this free event.

The UMass Marimba Bands and Ensembles, under the direction of Thomas Hannum, will perform Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Bowker Auditorium.

Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni, have created arrangements of music by a wide range of artists, including Stevie Wonder (“I Wish”); Beethoven (“Für Elise”); Cole Porter (“Just One of Those Things”); Edvard Grieg (“Sailor’s Song”); Rimsky-Korsakov (“Scheherazade”); Astor Piazzolla (Tango Suite #2); and Alicia Keys (“If I Ain’t Got You”); and others.

Tickets cost $10; 3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, children and seniors. To reserve, call 545-2511 or visit www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.

The UMass Choirs, conducted by Stephen A. Paparo and graduate student Eric Berthiaume, will perform Sunday at 3 p.m. in First Congregational Church, 165 Main St. in Amherst.

On the program for the Chorale: Schubert’s “An die Sonne”; Ola Gjeilo’s “Ubi Caritas”; Hila Plitmann and Eric Whitacre’s “Five Hebrew Love Songs”; Ledbetter’s “Bring Me Little Water”; a Michael Jackson medley; and more.

On the Women’s Choir program: Victor C. Johnson’s “Stars I Shall Find”; Ruth Morris Gray’s “Fame is a Fickle Food”; Laura Farnell’s “You Are My Music”; Craig Hella Johnson’s “Will There Really Be a Morning?”; and more.

The Recital Choir will perform Mendelssohn’s “There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob”; Thomas Morley’s “April is in My Mistress’ Face”; Jacques Arcadelt’s “Il bianco e dolce cigno”; Charles Wood’s “Full Fathom Five”; William Dawson’s “Soon Ah Will Be Done”; and Hubert Parry’s “Music When Soft Voices Die.” Free.

UMass Strings, under the direction of Elizabeth Chang, will presents a chamber music concert Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

On the program: music by Beethoven, Schubert, Dvorak, Brahms, Haydn, Smetana and Debussy. Free.

Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Jeffrey W. Holmes, will perform a concert Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Bowker Auditorium

On the program: new works by UMass graduate jazz composers Christopher Foe, Jackie Chasen, Zach Bartolomei and Dann Friedman, and former UMass jazz major Lucas Apostoleris; Michael Brecker’s “African Skies”; “Lullaby of the Leaves” from the Kenny Clark-Francy Boland Big Band Library; and holiday tunes “Toyland” and the annual performance of Stan Kenton’s “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, children and seniors. To reserve, call 545-2511 or visit www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.

The UMass Symphony Band & Percussion Ensemble will perform Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. The conductors will be Karen Atherton and Ayano Kataoka, with graduate conductors David Morris and Matt Sypek.

On the Symphony Band’s program of travel-themed music: Stamp’s “Gavorkna Fanfare”; Giroux’s “Shadow Falls”; Arnold’s “Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo” (arr. Paynter); Grainger’s “Colonial Song”; Welcher’s “Zion”; and Arnold’s “Padstow Lifeboat.”

On the Percussion Ensemble’s program: Rolf Wallin’s “Stonewave”; Carl Vine’s “Defying Gravity”; and David Crowell’s “Point Reyes.”

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, children and seniors. To reserve, call 545-2511 or visit www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.