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Current Edition - 12/02/22
Previous Edition - 11/25/22

HEADLINES

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Concord Chorus Returns with Winter Holiday Concerts

CONCORD: The Concord Chorus, conducted by Dr. Kevin Leong, is pleased to present its annual Winter Holiday Concerts on December 10 at 2pm and 5pm at the Middlesex School’s Memorial Chapel, 1400 Lowell Road. Celebrate the return of their holiday concerts with a heavenly selection of music and carols, including a piece by Ukrainian composer Dmytro Bortniansky and works by Palestrina, Brahms, Howells, Rutter, and Copland. The concert also features Assistant Conductor and pianist John Sullivan and organist Jonathan Wessler. Tickets are $30 (general admission), $25 (65+), and $10 (children and students). Mask required (singers will be masked) and up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination strongly encouraged for all. To purchase tickets or more information: concordchorus.org or leave a message at (978) 254-1759.
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Celebrate Chanukah with Kerem Shalom and the Town of Concord

WEST CONCORD: Join Kerem Shalom and the Town of Concord for Chanukah, A Celebration of Lights, on December 21 from 5-6 pm at Rideout Park, 61 Laws Brook Road. Featuring a menorah lighting & blessings, joyous holiday music and interactive songs with Kerem Shalom Family Enrichment Specialist Nancy Kaplan, Director of Congregational Learning Rabbi Sam Pollak, and Kerem Shalom Cantor Rosalie Gerut as well as delicious latkes from Debra’s Natural Gourmet and craft goody bags for kids from bags from the Concord Recreation and Concord Free Public Library, All are invited to come and join the fun celebrating the festival of lights on the fourth night of Chanukah. See visitconcord.org or keremshalom.org for further details.
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Supporting Someone with a Mental Health Condition?

The Family to Family course from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) could prove helpful to you. This is a free, evidence-based, weekly, eight-session virtual course for family members and friends of individuals living with mental health conditions. Topics include understanding the symptoms of mental health conditions, learning about treatments and therapies, practicing communication and problem-solving skills, creating a positive team approach, and self-care. Importantly, the course offers family members the invaluable opportunity of open conversation and mutual support in a stigma-free environment. The class is taught by NAMI trained family members from the local NAMI Central Middlesex affiliate. The course will meet Mondays via Zoom, starting January 16, 6-8:30pm.  Registration is required. Go to namicentralmiddlesex.org/educational-courses for additional information, the registration link, and more course offerings. To converse with one of the teachers, contact Patti at pjsardella56@gmail.com; (978) 621-1065 or Lindsay at linzbfar@gmail.com; (781) 864-7003.

Concord Conservatory’s Registration Open for Winter Group Classes

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CONCORD: Give the gift of music this holiday season! It’s the gift that keeps on giving—learning and playing an instrument in a group guarantees an engaging and fun experience, no matter the age of the student. From newborn through adult, there’s a class for every age and ability. Register by December 16 to secure your spot. Most winter group classes begin the first week in January.

Balancing rigor with the joy and fun of creating music, CCM group classes provide
excellence in music education. Small classes give each student individual attention while learning and connecting with others. New this winter, the comprehensive and fun Ukulele Crash Course for Kids will give students the fundamental skills to get them started on this easy-to-tote instrument. Students will learn some practical applications of music theory, the basic care and maintenance of their ukulele, as well as strum patterns, chords, progressions, and songs. They’ll be ready to lead a group of friends in song around the campfire by summer.

For kids, CCM's Early childhood program includes Music Makers and Family Notes for the youngest musicians. Stimulate physical, language, social, cognitive, and musical development through musical play for all ages and skill levels. Each class will incorporate simple percussion instruments, creative movement, improvisation, and playful props.
Adults don’t delay starting or continuing your music-making. Whether you're a beginner or have many years of experience, there's a group class for you to join in the New Year.

Try out one of our ukulele, banjo, or guitar classes including the new The Hootenanny
and the Folk Heritage and Shufflin’ the Blues classes. Love bluegrass, sign up for the Bluegrass Solo Workshop—it’s for beginner and intermediate musicians who are new to bluegrass soloing, or those who have been frustrated trying to learn to play solos.

For more information on the Concord Conservatory of Music, visit
www.ConcordConservatory.org,  email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Protect Financial Accounts From “Cyberthieves”

November 29, 2022
 
Cybercrime is booming. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercriminals scammed nearly $7 billion from Americans — a figure slightly higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland for that year, according to research organization World Economics. How can you protect yourself from cyberthieves? Here are some suggestions that can help:
 
  • Watch out for “phishing” attempts. You may receive emails that appear to be from a legitimate firm, requesting information your financial institution would never request online — confirmation of an account number, password, Social Security number, credit card number and so on. These notes can look official, often incorporating a firm’s logo, so pay close attention to what’s being asked of you.
  • Think twice before clicking or downloading. If you are suspicious about a communication, don’t click on a link or download an attachment — instead, go to your financial firm’s website or use their app to verify they sent the information or request.
  • Become adept with passwords. Use a different password for each of your accounts and change your passwords regularly. Of course, maintaining multiple passwords can be confusing, so you might want to consider using password management software, which generates passwords, stores them in an encrypted database and locks them behind a master password — which is the only one you’ll need to remember.
  • Use your own devices. Try to avoid using public computers or devices that aren’t yours to access your financial accounts. If you do use another computer, clear your browsing history after you log out of your account.
  • Be cautious about using Wi-Fi when traveling. When you’re on the road, you may want to use public hotspots, such as wireless networks in airports and hotels. But many people don’t realize that these hotspots reduce their security settings to make access easier, which, in turn, makes it easier for cyberthieves to intercept your information. In fact, some hackers even build their own public hotspots to draw in internet-seekers in an effort to commit theft. So, if at all possible, wait until you can access a trusted, encrypted network before engaging in any communications or activity involving your financial accounts.
  • Don’t give up control of your computer. Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer to a stranger who contacts you, possibly with an offer to help “disinfect” your computer. If you do think your device has an issue with malicious software, contact a legitimate technician for assistance.
  • Know whom you’re calling for help. If you need assistance from, say, a customer service area of a financial institution, make sure you know the phone number is accurate and legitimate — possibly one from a billing or confirmation statement. Some people have been scammed by Googling “support” numbers that belonged to fraudsters who asked for sensitive information.
  • Review all correspondence with your financial services provider. Keep a close eye on your account activity and statements. If you see mistakes or unauthorized activity in your account, contact your financial institution immediately.

Advanced technology has brought many benefits, but also many more opportunities for financial crimes. By taking the above steps, and others that may be needed, you can go a long way toward defending yourself against persistent and clever cyberthieves.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Carbone, Westford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Preston-Carbone, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Thanksgiving
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Concord Orchestra Presents "Pictures Within"

CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents “Pictures Within” at 8pm on December 2 and 3 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden. The orchestra, directed by Alyssa Wang, performs Gioachino Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri Overture, Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Robert Honstein’s Rise, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15pm.

Alyssa Wang is a finalist auditioning for the position of Music Director. She is active as a conductor, violinist, and composer. She is Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Conductor of the Boston Festival Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor of Boston Ballet. She is a violinist performing regularly with multiple Boston-based organizations and has given lectures and master classes throughout the United States. She looks forward to the premiere of her Violin Concerto by the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2022.

Nicholas Brown (pictured) is the soloist for Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2. Brown is a Boston-based clarinetist, educator, and arts leader. He is a member of the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony, and Phoenix, and is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Boston Festival Orchestra. Elgar’s popular Enigma Variations are a series of short musical portraits of his friends, wife and himself. Elgar wrote a caption on the score of the piece “pictured within,” which inspired Alyssa Wang to choose the program title “Pictures Within.”

Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri Overture is humorous and fun with musical surprises. Weber’s dazzling second Clarinet Concerto shows off the full range of the clarinet. In an interview with the Yale School of Music, composer Robert Honstein made these remarks about his work Rise, “What does it mean to romanticize nature in the post-industrial, climate-changing 21st century? Perhaps this explains the somewhat haunting mood of my piece, Rise. There is a celebration of the natural world, but also an unsettled feeling that never resolves.”

Tickets for adults and seniors are $25. Admission for youth under 18 is free. Masks are required in the concert hall. Full immunization against COVID is strongly recommended, but proof of vaccination will not be required for attendance. For tickets and information, call (978) 369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.

This program is supported in part by grants from the Acton-Boxborough, Bedford, Carlisle and Concord Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Time for New Year’s Financial Resolutions

November 22, 2022
 
It’s that time of year when many of us promise ourselves we’ll go to the gym more, or learn a new language, or take up a musical instrument, or any number of other worthy goals. But this year, when making New Year’s resolutions, why not also consider some financial ones? Here are a few to consider:

Don’t let inflation derail your investment strategy. As you know, inflation was the big financial story of 2022, hitting a 40-year high. And while it may moderate somewhat this year, it will likely still be higher than what we experienced the past decade or so. Even so, it’s a good idea to try not to let today’s inflation harm your investment strategy for the future. That happened last year: More than half of American workers either reduced their contributions to their 401(k)s and other retirement plans or stopped contributing completely during the third quarter of 2022, according to a survey by Allianz Life Insurance of North America. Of course, focusing on your cash flow needs today is certainly understandable, but are there other ways you can free up some money, such as possibly lowering your spending, so you can continue contributing to your retirement accounts? It’s worth the effort because you could spend two or three decades as a retiree.

Control your debts. Inflation can also be a factor in debt management. For example, your credit card debt could rise due to rising prices and variable credit card interest rate increases. By paying your bill each month, you can avoid the effects of rising interest rates. If you do carry a balance, you might be able to transfer it to a lower-rate card, depending on your credit score. And if you’re carrying multiple credit cards, you might benefit by getting a fixed-rate debt consolidation loan. In any case, the lower your debt payments, the more you can invest for your long-term goals.

Review your investment portfolio. At least once a year, you should review your investment portfolio to determine if it’s still appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. But be careful not to make changes just because you feel your recent performance is not what it should have been. When the financial markets are down, as was the case for most of 2022, even quality investments, such as stocks of companies with solid business fundamentals and strong prospects, can see declines in value. But if these investments are still suitable for your portfolio, you may want to keep them. 

 • Prepare for the unexpected. If you encountered a large unexpected expense, such as the need for a major home repair, how would you pay for it? If you didn’t have the money readily available, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments or retirement accounts. To prevent this, you should build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses — or a year’s worth, if you’re retired — with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account. 

These  resolutions can be useful — so try to put them to work in 2023.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor James Normington, AAMS, Westford, MA - EdwardJones.com/James-Normington. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Gingerbread House Kits at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library Children's Department is offering children gingerbread house kits for the holiday season beginning December 12! Stop by the Main Library Children’s Department or the Fowler Branch Library to pick up your free kit. The kits will be provided on a first come, first served basis. One kit per family. Please note: these kits contain small pieces. We recommend adult supervision for our youngest participants.

Concord Conservatory of Music Hosts  Community Sing
One-Hour Singing Session & Performance Opportunity for All Ages

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CONCORD: The Concord Conservatory of Music presents the Community Sing Series, an opportunity for singing enthusiasts of all ages and levels to gather and enjoy making music together. Each one-hour singing session provides an opportunity to learn new repertoire and sing in a family-friendly gathering. There’s no cost to participate, just a love of singing!

Led by CCM voice faculty Gray Leiper, this unique multi-generational chorus will sing
musical selections that celebrate the seasons. Join the second of a 3-part Series, In the Pale Morning Light – A Festival of Hope on December 4 from 1:30-2:30pm. Then, cherish the rare gift of light in the winter months and sing at Concord’s annual Tree Lighting on December 4 immediately following the session.

Sign-up for sessions in advance at www.ConcordConservatory.org and bring the entire family! Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.
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Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive Returns to Open Table
An opportunity to give back to our community and brighten the holiday season

MAYNARD/CONCORD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that the Open Table Family-to-Family Gift Bag Drive is back for the third year in a row. The program offers community members the opportunity to create special holiday gift bags for clients of Open Table.

Open Table will provide a list of suggested items to fill a gift bag and follow up with reminders on each of the first 12 days of December. Gift bags will be collected in Maynard on December 16 and in Concord on December 17.  Each client will receive a gift bag with their final food distribution of 2022.

Families can use the following suggestions to create a gift bag for a family or a senior:

Day 1:  Movie Night Snack
Day 2:  Special Breakfast
Day 3:  Fun activity
Day 4:  Gift card
Day 5:  Favorite baking mix
Day 6:  Moisturizer
Day 7:  Hot beverage makings
Day 8:  Festive holiday napkins
Day 9:  Favorite store-bought treats
Day 10: Cozy accessories
Day 11:  Favorite spread for toast
Day 12:  Dried fruits and/or nuts

Please note, Open Table is unable to accept home-baked goodies for the gift bags.

“We are delighted to invite you to join OpenTable again this year in creating a gift bag for either a family or a senior,” said Alex DePalo, Executive Director of Open Table. “Thank you for considering this opportunity to make the holidays more meaningful not only for the families who rely on Open Table, but for your family, too.”

Sign up to make a gift bag at:  opentable.org/family-to-family
 
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Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers presents the 12th Annual Holiday House Tour

CONCORD: Enjoy the beauty of the holiday season at six festively-decorated Concord homes! The Guild of Volunteers at the Concord Museum is excited to bring you the 12th Annual Holiday House Tour on December 3. The 2022 tour, themed “Concord Through the Ages”, will showcase six remarkable Concord homes from the 17th century to the 21st century.  Visit quintessential colonial era New England homes of the early and pre-Revolutionary period.  Delight in a lovely Victorian home with a large covered front porch.  Walk through homes with ultra modern design that invite nature and light into the interior spaces.  And relish the private setting of a stunning contemporary waterfront estate.

Professionally decorated for the holidays, these beautiful homes will fill you with the spirit of the holidays! The Concord Museum welcomes you to spend the day in Concord, a small town with a big history, and enjoy the elegant streets, charming cafés and shops, as well as the many historic homes.

The Museum’s Guild of Volunteers organizes this popular annual event as a benefit for the education initiatives at the Museum. Each year the Concord Museum welcomes 12,000 schoolchildren for educational programs designed to make learning memorable. Trained educators engage students of all learning styles while satisfying important curriculum standards. Historical detective work and role playing are combined with problem solving, tactile learning, and critical thinking so that students of all ages have fun and come away with a real sense of history.  Holiday House Tour ticket sales directly benefit ongoing educational programming at the Concord Museum.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.concordmuseum.org, at the Museum, or by phone through December 3.  Early Bird discounted tickets are available through November 24: $40 Members, $50 Non-Members.  Regular tickets (from November 25-December 3) are $45 Members, $55 Non-Members. Pick up your ticket, map and information booklet at the Concord Museum on the morning of the tour.  Note that no photography is allowed within the decorated homes.
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Concord Cuisine Raffle Tickets to Benefit Concord Scout House

CONCORD: Concord Cuisine Raffle tickets are still on sale to benefit the Concord Scout House. Win one of four BIG Bundles of gift certificates—each bundle worth hundreds of dollars.  4 Prize Bundles will be raffled off on December 12 at the Scout House.  There are just 600 raffle tickets available, and they are going fast. Gift Certificates include Concord-area restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delis, liquor stores, creameries, and pizzerias. All proceeds directly benefit the historic Scout House, a non-profit organization at 74 Walden Street that serves the community. Raffle Tickets are $10 each or 5 for $40. Tickets are available online until December 10 at  http://concordscouthouse.org/raffle, or at the Concord Scout House.  Call (978) 369-3455 for information.

Businesses in Your Community

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A Celebration of Children's Literature: Concord Museum's 27th Annual Family Trees

CONCORD: Join the Concord Museum to celebrate the 27th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature opening to the public on November 23 through January 2, 2023. Admire 34 fancifully decorated holiday trees and wreaths inspired by acclaimed works of children’s literature.
 
Family Trees has been a tradition for visitors and families to the Concord Museum for over 27 years. Each year a group of dedicated volunteer decorators take inspiration from a carefully selected list of children’s books to create whimsical trees and wreaths. Over the years, more than 850 books have been used to bring children’s book characters and stories to life all while encouraging a love of books and reading in young visitors.
 
“This exhibition is such a special time of year at the museum. Family Trees brings so many people together – we see grandparents connecting with grandchildren to read favorite books, friends enjoying a holiday outing, and students and teachers sharing in the joy of learning to read,” says Director of Education, Susan Foster Jones. “We are so grateful to our volunteers and community partners who make this incredible event happen. Decorators, librarians, authors, schools, local bookstores, and more all help to make this month a memorable holiday tradition.”
 
Many local and nationally known authors participate in family trees each year. The books are carefully selected by a team of volunteers, museum staff, librarians, and local authors to create a rich variety of classic stories and brand-new books. Honorary Chairs of Family Trees have included Tomie dePaola, Gregory Maguire, Peter Reynolds, Grace Lin, Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Stemple, Cokie Roberts, Jerry Pinkney, D.B. Johnson, Melissa Sweet, Pamela Zagarenski, Nicole Tadgell, and Grace Lin.
 
This year, they are honored to announce that award-winning author and naturalist, Sy Montgomery, is serving as the Honorary Chair of the 27th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature. Sy has been described by the New York Times as “equal parts poet and scientist” and by the Boston Globe as “Part Indiana Jones and part Emily Dickinson”. Her recently published children’s book Becoming a Good Creature is featured in this year’s celebration. One of the most celebrated writers of our time, Sy has been awarded the Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her contributions to children’s literature and has been a finalist for the National Book Award and an international bestseller for her work in adult nonfiction.
 
Admission: During this benefit event, Concord Museum admission is $18 adults, $15 seniors & students; $10 Youth (6-17); Children $8 (3 to 5); Children (2 and under) free. Members Free. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm. (Closed November 24, December 24 and December 25). Walk-ins welcome. Go to www.concordmuseum.org for more information and this year’s Family Tree’s Booklist. For questions, call (978) 369-9763 x222.
 
Family Trees is organized by the Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers as a benefit for the Museum’s education initiatives.
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Choral Music Performance Celebrates the Wintry Season of Light

CONCORD: Concord Women’s Chorus (CWC), fostering the power of women’s voices in song, presents the holiday season concert “Songs of Peace and Promise,” on December 17, 4pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street.  The performance is conducted by CWC Artistic Director Jane Ring Frank, with accompaniment by Alexander Lane, piano, and Beth Welty, violin.
 
“Songs of Peace and Promise,” offers a celebration of the wintry season of light in song through familiar holiday tunes, poignant Chanukah pieces and a mash-up of mass movements.  The program features creative arrangements of “Coventry Carol”, “I Saw Three Ships,” and other beloved works from composers including Gabriel Fauré, Nicola Porpora, Cécile Chaminade, Z. Randall Stroope, and Bob Chilcott. A carol sing welcomes the audience to raise their voices, joining in on seasonal favorites including “Silver Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “The First Noel.”
 
Tickets are $25 adults, $20 seniors and students, $5 children ages 12 and under,  available at concordwomenschorus.org and at the door.  Masks are required for all attendees.  Trinity Episcopal Church is fully accessible.  For more information, performance details or to join Concord Women’s Chorus, email Chorus Manager Patsy Eickelberg at  manager@concordwomenschorus.org, visit concordwomenschorus.org, or follow Concord Women’s Chorus on Facebook and Instagram.

17 Massachusetts High Schools to Compete on Season 14 of GBH’s High School Quiz Show

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Highest-scoring teams from High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday qualifying event advance to the televised and streamed academic competition, premiering February 4 on GBH 2 and YouTube

High School Quiz Show®, GBH’s televised academic tournament for Massachusetts high schools, has revealed the 17 teams that will compete for the Season 14 State Championship title. The qualifying schools received the highest scores at High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday event on November 6, where 65 schools from across the Commonwealth took a written quiz at GBH’s studios in Brighton. On the bracket are four first–time competitors as well as defending Season 13 champion, North Quincy High School.

Following two seasons of remote production, High School Quiz Show’s fourteenth season brings its battle of the brains back to in-person competition. Emmy award-winning television and radio personality Billy Costa will host the tapings at GBH studios in Brighton in January 2023. Teams of four students will go head-to-head in the fast-paced bracketed tournament, with winners advancing round by round until the final championship showdown. Season 14 of High School Quiz Show will premiere on GBH 2 and High School Quiz Show’s YouTube channel on February 4 at 6pm. 

“After a successful Super Sunday, we are eager to welcome these 17 schools from across Massachusetts back to GBH for an annual academic showdown,” said GBH Executive Producer Hillary Wells. “High School Quiz Show remains a cherished showcase for the academic rigor, integrity and perseverance embodied by high school students from all corners of the state. We look forward to welcoming fans, families, friends and community members back to our audience as we challenge the Season 14 cohort to show off their smarts.” 

The 15 teams with the highest scores from Super Sunday automatically qualified for a dedicated spot on the competition bracket. The 16th and final spot on the High School Quiz Show bracket will be determined during the season premiere Wild Cardmatch. Two teams representing high-scoring schools that have not previously been on the show or haven’t competed in five or more years will compete for the final spot. This year, those teams are Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, both of whom are first-time competitors.

North Quincy High School will return to defend its title of Season 13 State Champion. Joining them are Season 5 champion Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; Seasons 7 and 8 champions, Lexington High School; Season 9 champion, Andover High School; and Seasons 10 and 11 champions, Boston Latin School. Four schools will make their High School Quiz Show debuts, including the two Wild Card teams, Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, in addition to the Commonwealth School and Saint Joseph Prep Boston. 

The full list of teams competing for the title of Season 14 High School Quiz Show State Champion is as follows:
 
  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • Andover High School
  • Boston Latin School
  • Brookline High School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge)
  • Commonwealth School (Boston)
  • Concord-Carlisle High School
  • Hingham High School
  • Lexington High School
  • Mansfield High School
  • Melrose High School
  • Needham High School
  • North Quincy High School
  • Phillips Academy (Andover)
  • Saint Joseph Prep Boston
  • Shrewsbury High School
  • South High Community School (Worcester) 

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Xfinity, UMass Amherst, Eastern Bank and Subaru of New England.

For more information, visit  highschoolquizshow.org and follow the show on  YouTubeFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.

Concord Conservatory’s Music Education Program for Kids with Developmental Needs

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CONCORD: Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) uses the language of music to help children with developmental needs flourish. Parents often seek extracurricular activities for their children to help expand their horizons. It is not an easy task, and it becomes even more complicated when a child has developmental needs. Deeply committed to providing educational opportunities for all learners, CCM is working with the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts to bring Tones of Fun Developmental Music Class to the community. The winter session begins January 4, 2023 with the 45-minute class meeting on Wednesdays at 4:30pm for ages 3-6; 5:15pm for ages 7-9.

Maura Lyons’s son, Daegan, is a member of the Tones of Fun class. Maura shared, “This class is so important to my family and me, it’s the highlight of our week. It is the only activity in town that Daegan can share with his siblings, myself, and his friends. It brings him so much happiness
and excitement. It truly melts my heart to see him so focused on something he loves.”  In the class, Daegan is focusing, socializing with peers, learning how to take turns and be in a group, and discovering new songs and instruments. Daegan’s two sisters are at the class, and Maura says they also benefit from the weekly sessions. “My daughters use skills from class and songs to interact, engage, and play with Daegan at home. Tones of Fun is an amazing program and teaches us how to use music to bring a smile to Daegan’s face!”

Designed especially for children diagnosed with learning differences, Tones of Fun meets an important and widespread need in our communities. Designed to help each child discover and explore their individual interests — Tones of Fun is a wonderful program that reinforces finding the absolute best version of their unique self. Music and its creative interactions make Tones of Fun the perfect teaching tool for children with developmental needs.  Physical, language, social, cognitive, and musical development are stimulated through musical play in a celebratory social group of all ages and skill levels. Each class will incorporate simple percussion instruments, creative movement, improvisation, and playful props. A highly trained instructor from the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts leads the class and ensures that each student receives the attention they need in a safe and welcoming environment.

No previous musical experience is necessary to participate. However, students must be accompanied by an adult to every class, participate effectively in classes, and maintain an environment that is safe for themselves and others. Parents/Caregivers can apply through CCM at: https://concordconservatory.org/programs/tones-of-fun-developmental-music-class/. Visit www.ConcordConservatory.org for more information. Concord Conservatory of Music is located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church. Financial assistance is available.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: When Should You Adjust Your Investment Mix?

November 15, 2022
 
There are no shortcuts to investment success – you need to establish a long-term strategy and stick with it. This means that you’ll want to create an investment mix based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon – and then regularly review this mix to ensure it’s still meeting your needs. In fact, investing for the long term doesn’t necessarily mean you should lock your investments in forever. Throughout your life, you'll likely need to make some changes.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and there’s no prescribed formula of when and how you should adjust your investments. But some possibilities may be worth considering. For example, a few years before you retire, you may want to re-evaluate your risk exposure and consider moving part of your portfolio into a more risk-averse position. When you were decades away from retiring, you may have felt more comfortable with a more aggressive positioning because you had time to “bounce back” from any market downturns. But as you near retirement, it may make sense to lower your risk level. And as part of a move toward a reduced-risk approach, you also may want to evaluate the “cash” positions in your portfolio. When the market has gone through a decline, as has been the case in 2022, you may not want to tap into your portfolio to meet short-term and emergency needs, so having sufficient cash on hand is important. Keep in mind, though, that having too much cash on the “sidelines” may affect your ability to reach your long-term goals.

Even if you decide to adopt a more risk-averse investment position before you retire, though, you may still benefit from some growth-oriented investments in your portfolio to help you keep ahead of – or at least keep pace with – inflation. As you know, inflation has surged in 2022, but even when it’s been relatively mild, it can still erode your purchasing power significantly over time.

Changes in your own goals or circumstances may also lead you to modify your investment mix. You might decide to retire earlier or  later than you originally planned. You might even change your plans for the type of retirement you want, choosing to work part-time for a few years. Your family situation may change – perhaps you have another child for whom you’d like to save and invest for college. Any of these events could lead you to review your portfolio to find new opportunities or to adjust your risk level – or both.

You might wonder if you should also consider changing your investment mix in response to external forces, such as higher interest rates or the rise in inflation this year. It’s certainly true that these types of events can affect parts of your portfolio, but it may not be advisable to react by shuffling your investment mix. In the first place, nobody can really predict how long these forces will keep their momentum – it’s quite possible, for instance, that inflation will have subsided noticeably within a year. But more importantly, you should make investment moves based on the factors we’ve already discussed: your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and individual circumstances.

By reviewing your portfolio regularly, possibly with the assistance of a financial professional, you can help ensure that your investment mix will always be appropriate for your needs and goals.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Littleton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Alan-Bell. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

Minuteman Senior Services Recognizes Greater Boston Legal Services at 47th Annual Meeting

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BEDFORD: Local non-profit organization Minuteman Senior Services recently recognized Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) with the Friend of Minuteman Senior Services Award, for their tireless service and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable individuals and families. GBLS was founded in 1900 as the Boston Legal Aid Society, with a mission to provide free civil legal aid to help low-income people secure the basic necessities of life and is the largest provider of legal aid for people with low incomes in Massachusetts.

Minuteman’s Executive Director Kelly Magee Wright noted at the meeting, “Through Federal Title IIIB Older American’s Act funding, Minuteman has been pleased to award grants to GBLS in support of the Senior Citizen’s Law Project (SCLP). Legal services provided by the SCLP are crucial in improving the daily lives of older residents in our service area. We are acutely aware that our ability to deliver on our mission is, in significant part, a result of the tremendous support of the broader community at large that champions the needs of older adults and persons with disabilities.”

The meeting’s theme was around policies and strategies to address housing and homelessness. Following the public portion of the meeting, new Board Officers were installed.

Minuteman Senior Services is a multi-service, non-profit organization serving 16 communities north and west of Boston. Their mission is to empower and advocate for those impacted by aging and disability, by offering information and supportive services that enhance health, well-being and independence. To learn more, please call 888-222-6171 or visit www.minutemansenior.org.

PHOTO: (L-R) Allan Morgan, Vice President; Thomas Flannery, President; Kelly Magee Wright, Executive Director; Lori Cooney, Clerk; Amy Cashore Mariani, Treasurer; (Missing from photo: Margaret Hoag, Assistant Treasurer)
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Concord Conservatory Presents Belle Époque Music Ensemble

CONCORD:  Join the Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) on November 18 at 7:30pm for an evening of exceptional cabaret, burlesque, and belle époque music performed by the talented ensemble Belle Époque Music Ensemble/ BÉME.

In the optimistic Belle Époque era of the late 1800s to the Roaring Twenties (aka Années Folles–known as the crazy years in France), an abundance of uplifting and lively music was composed in Europe and America that has continued to capture our hearts and attention throughout the decades. BÉME brings back this music and transports you to the Roaring Twenties—a time when jazzy, energetic, and spirited pieces ruled.

CCM faculty members Fabrizio Mazzetta on cello, and Masako Yotsugi on piano, with guest soprano Sonia Jacobson, will present a program that includes works of Gershwin, Erik Satie, Offenbach, and Scott Joplin, among others. Their original arrangements of iconic numbers such as the Can-Can, ragtime, and the Charleston will deliver pocket-sized dramas and
romances through witty, sometimes provocative, and positive prose and poetry.

Purchase tickets in advance from ConcordConservatory.org or at the door ($25 General Admission tickets/FREE for kids18 and under).  Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM, located at 1317 Main Street in the West
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Holiday Artisans Fair Adds New Dimension to Bedford's Annual Tree Lighting Celebration & Winter Walkabout

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BEDFORD: A Holiday Artisans Fair sponsored by the Bedford Cultural District and the Gallery Committee @ First Parish in Bedford will take place from 3-6pm on December 3, inside the historic meeting house on Bedford Common. First Parish is fully accessible using its Elm Street Entrance. More than two dozen local artists, craftspeople (and an author!) will exhibit and sell original work by local artists along with jewelry, crochet animals, stained glass, scarves, and mittens.

The Gallery Committee's 10th annual retrospective remains on view during the fair. Providing opportunities to support Bedford arts and artists is an important component of the Cultural District's mission.

For families planning to celebrate the start of the holiday season, the Town's annual Tree Lighting ceremony will take place on Bedford Common at 5pm, followed by the arrival of a special visitor from the far north.  To round out the afternoon, the Bedford Chamber of Commerce plans a Winter Walkabout where local businesses will offer special treats and sales to visitors.

Parking is available at the Town Center/Town Hall complex. For additional information, visit www.bedfordma.gov/culturaldistrict or contact Bedford's Housing and Economic Development Director Jeffrey M. King, jmking@bedfordma.gov or (781) 918-4006.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: COLA is Sweet for Social Security Recipients

October 24, 2022
 
If you receive Social Security, you’ve probably already heard that your checks in 2023 will be bigger – considerably bigger, in fact. How can you make the best use of this extra money? Here’s what’s happening:

For 2023, there’s an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits – the largest increase in 40 years. Also, the monthly Medicare Part B premiums are declining next year, to $164.90/month from $170.10/month, which will also modestly boost Social Security checks for those enrolled in Part B, as these premiums are automatically deducted.


Of course, the sizable COLA is due to the high inflation of 2022, as the Social Security Administration uses a formula based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). So, it’s certainly possible that you will need some, or perhaps all, of your larger checks to pay for the increased cost of goods and services. But if your cash flow is already relatively strong, you might want to consider these suggestions for using your bigger checks:

Reduce withdrawals from your investment portfolio. When you’re retired, you will likely need to withdraw a certain amount from your portfolio each year to meet your expenses. A boost in your Social Security may enable you to withdraw less, at least for a year. This can be particularly advantageous when the markets are down, as you’d like to avoid, as much as possible, selling investments and withdrawing the money when investment prices are low. And the fewer investments you need to sell, the longer your portfolio may last during your retirement years.

Help build your cash reserves. When you’re retired, it’s a good idea to maintain about a year’s worth of the amount you’ll spend from your portfolio in cash, while also keeping three months’ of your spending needs in an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. Your higher Social Security checks could help you build these cash reserves. (Also, it’s helpful to keep another three to five years’ worth of spending from your portfolio in short-term, fixed-income investments, which now, due to higher interest rates, offer better income opportunities.)

Contribute to a 529 plan. You could use some of your extra Social Security money to contribute to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan for your grandchildren or other family members. 

Contribute to charitable organizations. You might want to use some of your Social Security money to expand your charitable giving. Your generosity will help worthy groups and possibly bring you some tax benefits, too.

While it’s nice to have these possible options in 2023, you can’t count on future COLA increases being as large. The jump in inflation in 2022 was due to several unusual factors, including pandemic-related government spending, supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s quite possible, perhaps even likely, that inflation will subside in 2023, which, in turn, would mean a smaller COLA bump in 2024.

Nonetheless, while you might not want to include large annual COLA increases as part of your long-term financial strategy, you may well choose to take advantage, in some of the ways described above, of the bigger Social Security checks you’ll receive in 2023. When opportunity knocks, you may want to open the door. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Gerald Breen, Acton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Gerald-Breen
Edward Jones. Member SIPC.
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Bedford Unwanted Gun Buy-back Program

BEDFORD: The Town of Bedford has an ongoing gun buyback program organized by the Bedford Police Department under Chief Robert Bongiorno. If you have a gun, ammunition, a knife or other lethal weapon that you would like to get rid of, call (781) 275-1212 - the Police general inquiry line - and tell them. They will come to your house to pick it up. Do not transport it to the Police station yourself. A payment will be made to you, if you wish.

Yehudi Wyner: Renowned Pianist & Pulitzer prize Winning Composer Shares His Music & Jewish Influence

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CONCORD: On November 20, Kerem Shalom is honored to host Yehudi Wyner, who will be discussing and performing his music. Wyner has composed over 100 works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, solo performers, theater, and settings of Jewish liturgy. He has performed as a solo pianist and chamber musician; directed two opera companies; taught at Yale, Harvard, Cornell, SUNY Purchase, Brandeis, and the Tanglewood Music Center; and has been President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His many honors and awards include a Pulitzer Prize in music, two Guggenheim fellowships, the Brandeis Creative Arts Award, and a Grammy.

In awarding Wyner a Gold Medal for Music in 2021, the American Academy of Arts and Letters described him as “a true ambassador in the belief that the history of civilization is written in art whose creation and appreciation is universal across continents, cultures, and languages.”

Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic of the New York Times for over 20 years wrote, “Mr. Wyner is an elegant pianist, a fine conductor, a prolific composer, and a revered teacher.”

Wyner will speak about growing up in a musical household with a father who was a renowned composer of Yiddish art songs and Jewish liturgical music, the influence Judaism has had on his compositions, and how he composes. He will be playing selections of his music as well.

The presentation will run 10:30-11:30am, followed by light refreshments. There is no fee for this program. In-person only. R.S.V.P. by November 17 to ksadmin@keremshalom.org or (978) 369-1223.  Masks are required.
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Spectacle Live Presents a Holiday Season at Cary Library

LEXINGTON: Join Cary Memorial Hall this Holiday Season with holiday shows and the perfect pairings for holiday gifts. Tickets and gift cards are on sale now at CaryHallLexington.com or by calling 1-800-657-8774.

Don't miss Chris Isaak (pictured) performing holiday favorites from his new album "Everyone Knows It's Christmas" on November 25 at 8pm! Over the course of his three-decade plus career, Platinum-selling and GRAMMY-nominated singer & actor Chris Isaak has performed to sold-out crowds across the globe with his longtime band Silvertone. His music and film credits include nine critically acclaimed studio albums, twelve chart-topping singles along with several motion pictures, such as The Silence of the Lambs and That Thing You Do!.

The Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna Tour makes it return to Lexington, MA on December 15 at 7:30pm. The illustrious group of child musicians has been delighting music lovers across the globe for six centuries with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and popular repertoire. Christmas in Vienna showcases these gifted musicians with voices of unforgettable beauty in an extraordinary program featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, popular songs and, of course, holiday favorites.

Join Kenny G for a night filled with festive spirit and contemporary classics when The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour comes to Lexington on December 16 at 8pm. The sound of Kenny G’s saxophone is as iconic as his curly coif; indeed, both are instantly recognizable. His latest release, New Standards, the title of his 19th studio album, fifth for Concord Records and first since 2015’s Brazilian Nights, could well be used to describe his four-decade body of work, a vision of jazz that helped launch both a musical genre and radio format.  After director Penny Lane’s critically acclaimed HBO documentary, Listening to Kenny G – which humorously reconsiders the purist critical backlash to his music – and a demand performance on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning Jesus Is King album, it’s now cool to not only be Kenny G, but admit you’re a fan of his as well.

The Cary Memorial Building is a historic structure located in Lexington Center at 1605 Massachusetts Avenue. It was named for Isaac Harris Cary, built in 1928 with a donation from his two daughters. The Colonial styled building, with its grand auditorium, has provided the community with a year-round site for musical programming and popular events for eighty years and is home to the Lexington Symphony.  The building is handicapped accessible and is fully air-conditioned. Information and tickets: www.caryhalllexington.com.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Avoid Becoming a ‘Burden’ on Grown Children

October 24, 2022
 
Here’s an interesting statistic: Some 72% of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a 2021 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. Both before and during retirement, what steps can you take to avoid burdening your loved ones in the future? Here are a few suggestions:
 
  • Build your retirement savings. The greater your financial resources, the less likely it becomes that you’d ever have to count on your grown children for financial support. You may have access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work, so take advantage of it. Even with an employer-sponsored plan, you also may be eligible to contribute to an IRA. In addition to offering a variety of investment options, a 401(k) and IRA provide potential tax advantages. And once you do retire, be careful about how much you withdraw each year from your retirement plans and other investments.
  • Plan for health care costs. Once you are retired, health care costs will be a significant expense. You may have Medicare, but you'll also want to consider your need for supplemental health insurance to cover traditional medical costs. And you’ll want to consider another potential health-related expense: long-term care. You may never need the services of a home health aide or a stay in a nursing home, but no one can predict the future.
Medicare does not cover most costs for long-term care, which can be quite high. In 2021, the annual national median cost for a private room in a nursing home was over $108,000, while the median cost for a full-time home health aide was nearly $62,000, according to a survey by Genworth, an insurance company. You may want to consult with a financial professional on strategies for protecting yourself from these costs.
 
  • Create necessary legal documents. If something were to happen to you, and you didn’t have the appropriate legal documents in place, your loved ones could be placed in a bind, both financially and emotionally. That’s why it’s a good idea to create documents such as a durable financial power of attorney, which lets you name someone to manage your finances if you became incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. You’ll want to work with a legal professional to develop the documents appropriate for your needs.
  • Evaluate your housing needs. As you enter retirement, you may want to evaluate your living situation. Could you downsize to a smaller home, or perhaps a condominium or apartment? Not only might you save money with such a move, but you could also end up relieving your grown children of the responsibilities and hassles involved in clearing out and selling your home should you become unable to do so yourself during the later years of your retirement.

By taking these measures, along with others, you can go a long way toward maintaining your independence and putting yourself in a place where you won’t burden your grown children.  And that’s a good  place to be.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, AAMS ® - (978) 486-1059. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Six Accomplished Alumni, Trailblazing Team, and Late Teacher All Honored by Minuteman Hall of Fame

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LEXINGTON: Minuteman High School in Lexington honored six accomplished alumni, a trailblazing female athletic team, and the memory of an inspirational teacher at the 2022 Hall of Fame Celebration recently. The Minuteman Hall of Fame honors alumni and former teachers, staff, coaches or teams who have gone above and beyond to exemplify the spirit of Minuteman High School – whether it be in the classroom, on the athletic field, in their community, or in the world of business and industry.

“It’s truly remarkable to bring generations of the Minuteman community together to celebrate what makes us special, our people,” said Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Superintendent-Director of the Minuteman Regional Technical School District. “The legacy of the 2022 Hall of Fame inductees is embodied in the revolutionary spirit we cherish in our Minuteman students today.”

The Hall of Fame Ceremony has been held annually since 2012 but had been paused due to the pandemic. Nearly 100 people attended the event, which was held in the Paul Revere Conference Room of the new Minuteman building that was viewed by many attendees for the first time.

The Minuteman High School 2022 Hall of Fame inductees are:
  
Kristin Lopez Cooper of Billerica, a 1997 graduate and a Belmont native, received an Distinguished Alumna Award. Cooper has owned the Alish and Aston Salon and Spa of Waltham since 2007 and opened a second location in Billerica this year. Cooper also travels the country as an instructor for other cosmetologists for L’Oreal Professional. She employs six Minuteman graduates at her salons. Cooper brought two recent Minuteman graduate-employees with her to work New York Fashion Week.
  
James Phelan of Woburn, a 2003 graduate and a Hudson native, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Phelan is the vice president of finance and operations at Verdox, a company in Woburn that develops technology to reduce carbon emissions. Phelan is an attorney and professional engineering with experience in finance, law, and engineering at start-up corporations. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School.
  
Erin (Meister) Dalzell of Newbury, a 2005 graduate and an Arlington native, received a Distinguished Alumna Award. Dalzell is an award-winning scientific researcher and is currently a senior associate scientist for cellular process development at Bluebird Bio in Cambridge, which focuses on genetic diseases. Dalzell was the class of 2005 valedictorian, studied medical laboratory science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and holds numerous medical research licenses and certifications.
  
Hannah Leahy of Germany, a 2003 graduate and a Needham native, received a Distinguished Alumna Award. Leahy is an attending physician of musculoskeletal and sports medicine for WellSpan Medical Group. She has held numerous sports medicine positions and was once an attending physician for the Philadelphia Phillies. Leahy received a master’s degree in public health from the University of New England Graduate School of Public Health. She has held numerous internships, residencies and fellowships; she has authored more than 20 scholarly articles and abstracts.

Andy Rodenhiser of Medway, a 1983 graduate and Framingham native, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Rodenhiser is the president and CEO of Rodenhiser Home Services, a multi-million dollar residential plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company. Rodenhiser has won numerous industry, charitable, and civic awards. He served on several municipal committees in the town of Medway. He often volunteers to help military veterans transition from military into civilian life, including with finding employment.
  
Tyler Faulkner of Alton Bay, NH, a 2010 graduate and Boxborough native, received the Outstanding Athlete Award for his performance on the Cross Country Team from 2006-2010. Faulkner, who earned a degree in diesel technology from Montana State University and now works as a diesel technician, was one of the most accomplished runners in Minuteman’s history. He was a two-time champion in both the state vocational and Commonwealth Athletic Conference tournaments. He also won the prestigious Catholic Memorial Invitational, beating nearly 200 competitors from across the northeastern U.S.
  
Bruce Flood of Woburn, posthumously received the Service to Minuteman Award. Flood, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 54, was an automotive teacher for 19 years. He was named Teacher of the Year in 2004, regularly chaperoned and judged SkillsUSA competitions, and received several awards for being a master automotive technician. Bruce was well known for staying extra hours to help students with automotive projects or anything they needed, including providing a listening ear or life advice. He would regularly cook for colleagues and was a friend to many. Mr. Flood’s award was accepted by his widow, Susan Flood.
  
The 1984 Field Hockey Team received the Outstanding Athletic Team Award. The student athletes are best remembered for their advocacy, commitment, and dedication to become Minuteman’s first female sports team to earn a spot in the state tournament. After their previous coaches left their positions and the team’s future was in jeopardy, the players advocated for new coaches. Dale Bevins and the late Sandy Lambrinos coached the team despite having no experience and sought guidance from a former U.S. Olympian.

“[The female players] wanted to show us that Minuteman was deserving of a girls’ team,” Bevins said. “Sandy and I were just the conduits. We supported their efforts and gave them the tools, but they did all the work. They truly did.”

The 1984 Girls’ Field Hockey Team Players were: Sheri “Perry” Apprille, Karen Bloomer, Kathy “Barnesy” Barnes, Kristin Brier, Kathy (Harrington) Carey, Jen (Carroll) Coffin, Michelle (Cronin) DeSalvo, Beth (Herman) Duffey*, Jennifer Gladski, Janet (Bruno) Jennings, Nancy (Ryan) Kelemen, Kathy Maloney, Laina (Lambrinos) Matthews, Sue McLure, Annette (Proulx) Ochab*, Lisa (Miller) Oliver, Tricia (Swan) Pini, Edie (Foster) Waldsmith*, and Lu (Bent) Waldsmith. (*captains.)

Minuteman is an award-winning regional career and technical high school and continuing education institution that integrates robust academic and technical learning. As an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), Minuteman challenges all students to aspire to their full potential, accelerate their learning, and achieve success in the 21st-century global community. Located in Lexington in a new state-of-the-art facility, Minuteman’s member towns are Acton, Arlington Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham and Stow.
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CFPL Offers Comics Workshop to Ages 7+

CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library will host a comics workshop at the Main Library presented by Comics4Culture for children ages 7 and up. Learn how to bring your own story to life! This workshop will empower children to share their own stories, art, identities, and cultures  through comics as well as provide a space for them to discuss issues they face within their own communities through the medium of comics. More generally, participants will learn about graphic novels and comics and how to draw their own comics. No registration required. For more information, call (978) 318-3301 (Main Branch) or (978) 318-3350 (Fowler Branch), or visit www.concordlibrary.org.
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Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild Host Quilt Show

ACTON: The Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild is pleased to announce their Quilt Show will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5 at St. Matthew’s Church, 435 Central Street. Hours on Friday are from 9am-6pm, and Saturday from 9am-4pm.  Over 150 quilts will be displayed, and there will be shopping at their Boutique and Vendors, a mini Guild yard sale, and their famous cookie tins, in addition to chances for a Raffle Quilt. Watch some member demonstrations of quilting techniques, and the kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt of motifs found in the quilts’ fabrics.

Please be prepared with masks if the church requests them, otherwise they are optional and encouraged in more crowded spaces. Admission is $10 for those 12 and older.

 
The Concord Piecemakers Guild are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving Concord and the surrounding communities with members from all over the area and even as far as Maryland. As a non-profit organization, they are dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the art of quilt making through educational programs, workshops and outreach activities such as providing quilts for local hospitals, cancer treatment centers, shelters, and other community groups. Visit www.concordpiecemakers.org for more details.
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Annual Antiques Show Returns to Trinitarian Congregational

CONCORD: After a two year Covid hiatus, the Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden Street, will be hosting its annual Antique Show on November 4 & 5 (10-4pm). The Show has enjoyed a 50 year run and, over the years, raised approximately $500,000 to support the church's local mission efforts. Offering fine antiques, glassware, prints, jewelry, art work and more for sale, the approximately 30 professional dealers are on hand to greet the hundreds of customers who come back year after year. Peruse the antiques, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch made by church volunteers and get an early start on your holiday shopping!
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Author Sheetal Sheth Visits Fowler Library 

CONCORD: On October 29 from 10:15-11am, visit the Fowler Branch Library, 1322 Main Street, for a Concord Festival of Authors event, offered by Barefoot Books. Author Sheetal Sheth will read her new book, Making Happy, followed by a chance to ask her your questions! Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signings. Ages 4-12, but all are welcome!
 
Sheetal Sheth is an acclaimed actress/ producer, author, and activist. She has starred in over 20 feature films and many TV shows and has earned a loyal, international following. She began her career at a time when few South Asians were making their living as actors but has become a favorite in the independent film world, having won five best actress awards on the festival circuit. Despite being told she'd have to change her name to work, her successful career has trail-blazed paths for other women of color across media. She has delivered talks and keynotes at festivals and charity galas and has had op-eds published on CNN, The Daily Beast, and Thrive Global. She is one of the founders of the non profit, 1001 Diverse Books and is an ambassador for the global literacy non profit, Room to Read. She served in AmeriCorps and is currently on the board of SAYA and the advisory board of Equality Now. She is the author of the popular and award winning Anjali children's book series, the first and only in this age group featuring an Indian American girl hero.

For more information and to register see www.concordfestivalofauthors.org/barefoot-books-sheetal-sheth.

Concord Conservatory Presents Turkish Music Lecture

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CONCORD: Join Concord Conservatory on November 4 at 7pm for a lecture on Turkish Music where together you will explore traditional Turkish classical world music from Berklee Professor of World Music Bengisu GokceGuaranteed to captivate the audience, she will guide us through Turkish culture, music and an assortment of Turkish instruments that create the unique and beautiful sounds of its country. Plus, she’ll demonstrate the beautiful sounds of Turkish music.
Turkey’s music was shaped over the centuries with the influence of many civilizations, cultures, and traditions.

Given the country’s proximity to both Eastern and Western cultures, making Turkish music a rich combination of both cultures. The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music to influences from Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian music, and Balkan music, as well as references to more modern European and American popular music.

Turkish-born and raised, Bengisu is a multi-genre violinist and singer, known for combining the music of her Turkish roots with Eastern-European and Middle Eastern traditions. As a professionally renowned performer, Bengisu’s versatile playing has led her to share the stage with music icons including Mark O’Connor, Tigran Hamasyan, Aynur Dogan, Shreya Ghoshal, Toninho Horta, Shankar Mahadevan, Simon Shaheen, Amal Murkus, and Pablo Ziegler. 

Purchase tickets in advance from www.ConcordConservatory.org or at the door ($10 General Admission/FREE for kids18 and under). Email  info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM.
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Holiday Kindness for Our Prison Neighbors

CONCORD: It’s not too early to think about helping out for the holidays. Concord Prison Outreach (CPO), a local non-profit, offers high-quality, transformative programs that focus on education, personal growth, and increased opportunity for incarcerated people and their families. CPO’s work began over 50 years ago, when a group of Concord women made curtains for the prison infirmary and initiated holiday programming at MCI-Concord. Today, CPO offers educational, vocational, socio-emotional, and parenting programs in jail and prison locations throughout Massachusetts.

Ensuring that incarcerated people feel remembered during the holidays has been a mainstay objective for CPO. For close to 40 years, CPO has assembled Holiday Gift Bags for men in the two Concord prisons with enormous support from CPO volunteers. 

For the 2022 holiday season, the Massachusetts Department of Correction is working with CPO and Bethany House Ministries, based in Millis, to create over 5,000 gift bags for every man and woman incarcerated in Massachusetts. This year CPO will expand its Holiday Gift Bag program to cover MCI-Concord, Northeastern Correctional Center, MCI-Shirley, Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Gardner NCCI, and MCI-Framingham. It’s a daunting task, but one that is possible due to the approximately 150 volunteers who will assemble the 3,200 CPO bags and the supporters who donate their financial gifts to CPO. 

For many of the men, this is the only holiday gift they receive. Each gift contains toiletries, writing materials, a calendar, and a greeting card. One man wrote, “I’ve been incarcerated since I was 18.  I’m 26 now so I haven’t gotten an actual gift from someone since I was 17. What you all are doing is very thoughtful and it goes a long way so Thank You!”

Being separated from loved ones is made even more difficult by the arrival of the holidays. Join in this opportunity to show kindness to  incarcerated men and women during this holiday season. To donate support for the Holiday Gift Bags and CPO, visit www.concordprisonoutreach.org
or contact outreach@concordprisonoutreach.org.
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Boy Scouts of Bedford's Troop 114 Continue Long-standing Wreath Tradition

BEDFORD: The Boy Scouts of Bedford's Troop 114 are continuing their long-standing fundraising tradition by selling Holiday Wreaths again this year.  The community has shown great support for this event.  Last year the boys sold over 900 wreaths.

The scouts range in age from 12 to 17 and will be canvassing Bedford's neighborhoods during late October and early November. The beautiful fresh wreaths cost $14 if plain and $18 with a red velvet bow.  Funds are used for the purchase of camping equipment and supplies, merit badges and rank awards, and to cover the various costs of the Troops wide range of activities.   

Neighborhood sales begin on October 19 and conclude on November 17.  A Troop 114 Boy Scout will be coming to your door soon to take your order!  Online sales can be ordered after November 7.  People wanting to order wreaths can order on-line at www.troop114.org/wreaths.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Here’s Your ‘Recession Survival’ Checklist

October 17, 2022

It’s unfortunate, but recessions are a fairly normal part of the economic landscape. When a recession occurs, how might you be affected? The answer depends on your individual situation, but regardless of your circumstances, you might want to consider the items in this recession survival checklist:
 
  • Assess your income stability. If your employment remains steady, you may not have to do anything different during a recession. But if you think your income could be threatened or disrupted, you might want to consider joining the “gig economy” or looking for freelance or consulting opportunities.
  • Review your spending. Look for ways to trim your spending, such as canceling subscription services you don’t use, eating out less often, and so on.
  • Pay down your debts. Try to reduce your debts, especially those with high interest rates. 
  • Plan your emergency fund. If you haven’t already built one, try to create an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid account. 
  • Review your protection plan. If your health or life insurance is tied to your work, a change in your employment status could jeopardize this coverage. Review all your options for replacing these types of protection. Also, look for ways to lower premiums on home or auto insurance, without significantly sacrificing coverage, to free up money that could be used for health/life insurance. 
  • Keep your long-term goals in mind. Even if you adjust your portfolio during times of volatility, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. Trying to “outsmart” the market with short-term strategies can often lead to missteps and missed opportunities.  
  • Don’t stop investing. If you can afford it, try to continue investing. Coming out of a recession, stock prices tend to bottom out and then rebound, so if you had headed to the investment “sidelines,” you would have missed the opportunity to benefit from a market rally.  
  • Revisit your performance expectations. During a bear market, you will constantly be reminded of the decline of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But instead of focusing on these short-term numbers, look instead at the long-term performance of your portfolio to determine if you’re still on track toward meeting your goals. 
  • Assess your risk tolerance. If you find yourself worrying excessively about declines in your investment statements, you may want to reevaluate your tolerance for risk. One’s risk tolerance can change over time — and it’s important you feel comfortable with the amount of risk you take when investing. 
  • Keep diversifying. Diversification is always important for investors — by having a mix of stocks, mutual funds and bonds, you can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. To cite one example: Higher-quality bonds, such as Treasuries, often move in the opposite direction of stocks, so the presence of these bonds in your portfolio, if appropriate for your goals, can be valuable when market conditions are worsening. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification cannot guarantee profits or protect against all losses in a declining market.) 

A recession accompanied by a bear market is not pleasant. But by taking the appropriate steps, you can boost your chances of getting through a difficult period and staying on track toward your important financial goals. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Calouro, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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First Church Hosts 70th Annual Turkey Dinner

BEDFORD  Enjoy the home cooked meal that has become a First Church and Bedford tradition!  The First Church of Christ, Congregational's annual Turkey Dinner features a menu of roast turkey, savory stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, green peas, and, of course, homemade apple or pumpkin pie for dessert. The feast will take place on November 5 from 6-7:30pm at First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 Great Road. Tickets are $15 per adult; $10 per child under 12, and may be purchased by calling or stopping by the church office between 9am-3pm during the week through Novembe 4. Take-out meals are available. Call (781) 275-7951 for more information.
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Concord Art Presents "The Conceptual Stitch"

CONCORD: Beginning November 3, Concord Art presents The Conceptual Stitch, curated by Jane Deering. The exhibition brings together the work of 16 artists from around the globe. It will be on view through December 18. The exhibition expands “the notion of stitching to consider contemporary approaches to fiber in its many forms, from traditional fibers such as wool and thread and cloth to nontraditional fibers such as synthetics, paper, and plant materials,” says curator Jane Deering. Hailing from the United States, England, Italy, and South Korea, the artists featured in the exhibition each lend “insight into the varied methods of employing fiber to  communicate the breadth of this medium in visual art.”

Founded in 1922, Concord Art is currently celebrating its centennial. As Deering notes, The Conceptual Stitch is an “exhibition honoring Concord Art’s founder, Elizabeth Wentworth Roberts, whose legacy as an activist in support of the arts will endure well beyond this hundred-year milestone. The Conceptual Stitch is inspired by several of Roberts’ paintings depicting women stitching clothing for Belgian refugees during World War I and sewing bandages for wounded soldiers.”

Artists in the exhibition: Aparna Agrawal, Gail Barker, Kim Renee Blodgett, Sonya Clark, Linda Ekstrom, Samantha Fields, Alice Fox, Bridget Harvey, Seulgi Kwon, Nava Lubelski, Leslie Lyman, Andrew Mowbray, Kellin Nelson, Sarah Hollis Perry, Sommer Roman, and Debra Weisberg. A catalog of the exhibition is available at Concord Art. For more information, contact Executive Director Kate James at katejames@concordart.org or Assistant Director Natalie Reiser at nataliereiser@concord.org. You may also call Concord Art at (978) 369-2578.

Concord Center for the Visual Arts was founded a century ago  to promote and advance the visual arts and artists, and to sustain our cultural community—still stands today. Concord Art provides a place for contemporary art exhibitions and art education.
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Concord Players Presents a New Take on Classic 1935 Film

CONCORD: The Concord Players presents The 39 Steps November 4-19 at The Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!

This version of The 39 Steps is based on John Buchan’s ground-breaking novel, Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1935 movie, and the exquisite idea of two Northern English writers, Nobby Dimon and Simon Corbel, of doing the whole thing with just four enthusiastic actors. One plays the hero, one plays the girl, and two play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object resulting in this serious spy story becoming a chaotic and hysterical farce.

There is much opportunity for comedy and satire here - but it’s also a love story.
Performances are November 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8pm; 2pm on November 13.  Tickets are $22 with reserved seating. For tickets and more information please visit www.concordplayers.org.
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Concord Park Chef Wins Company Title “Top Chef”

CONCORD: Misty Heldermon, Executive Chef at Concord Park Senior Living, has been named Senior Living Residences’ (SLR) 2022 Top Chef. SLR, the management company for Concord Park and its 17 sister communities across New England, hosts an Annual Chef Cook Off, pitting Executive Chefs of each community against one another in a culinary battle for the coveted title of Top Chef.

At this annual competition, each chef prepared dishes influenced by the various countries that are also being featured as part of the senior living company’s Grab Your Passport! armchair travel program. A group of guest judges graded each chef on a variety of criteria including adherence to the company’s Mediterranean-inspired Brain Healthy Cooking program, taste and
appeal to residents, overall presentation and authenticity to the assigned country. Heldermon triumphed over the competition with a Turkey inspired bazlama (flatbread) with an assortment of vegetarian spreads incorporating white bean, eggplant and lentils. She also prepared fistikli baklava with traditional Turkish coffee for dessert.

“Misty has proven herself time and again as an extremely skilled Chef and talented leader in our company” says Kim Smith, SLR’s Director of Culinary & Dining Services who also oversees the annual competitive event. “We were blown away by her creative incorporation of brain healthy ingredients, and her commitment to providing the best dining experience for seniors at Concord Park is unparalleled.”

Located in the heart of historic West Concord Village, Concord Park offers local seniors a secure, supportive and independent lifestyle. The community features assisted living options as
well as a state-of-the-art Compass Memory Support Neighborhood® featuring innovative, research-based programming for those with memory loss. The community recently unveiled new and renovated spaces for residents to enjoy including a new theater, fitness center and
cafe, and an expanded and updated dining room, salon, and living room. Those interested in learning more can visit www.ConcordPark.org or can contact Maryellen King at mking@slr-usa.com or (978) 369-4728.
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The Concord Festival of Authors Celebrates 30 Years

CONCORD: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Concord Festival of Authors (CFA) presents 39 engaging literary events for all ages both online and in-person on October 13-31. Stewarded by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) and planned  collaboratively with multiple local organizations, CFA programs showcase diverse experiences and voices that honor the evolving literary history of Concord, MA.
 
The 30th annual CFA kicks off on October 13 at 7pm with Gregory MacGuire, author  of the bestselling novel and Broadway sensation, Wicked, at the Concord Museum. The CFA  keynote address on October 21 features acclaimed author, physicist and MIT professor Alan  Lightman discussing literary life in Concord and his thought-provoking book, Probable Impossibilities. 

In a unique collaboration on October 28 with The Robbins House, Concord’s African American  History Museum, board members will share a conversation entitled, A School. Sugar. A Slave  Bell, which explores the intentions and emotions elicited by a 500-pound sugar plantation 'slave  bell' given to the historic site.  

On October 22, register for the popular Breakfast with the Authors panel – this year held at the newly renovated Concord Free Public Library’s Richard and Doris Kearns Goodwin Forum. The  CFA Breakfast will be moderated by physician, author and Concordian, Dr. Suzanne Koven in  conversation with Steve Almond, Rachel Barenbaum and Lan Samantha Chang. 

CFA 2022 award ceremonies include: winner of the Friends of the CFPL’s Miller Award for  Excellence in American History, Professor Sean Wilentz of Princeton; Rajani LaRocca, award winner and presenter of the CFPL’s Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture for Young People; and the  presentation of the Concord Young Writers Award, presented by celebrated author and Instagram  phenom Yung Pueblo. 

The Umbrella Arts Center offers a reading by poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil from her  best-selling book, World of Wonders. Be Well Be Here presents Mindful Storytelling with renowned activist and author, Shelly Tygielski, in conversation with global mindfulness educator,  Dr. Christopher Willard. Concord Academy offers an alumnae/i panel moderated by Susan Knopf and featuring acclaimed authors Julia Glass, Susan Minot and Ruth Ozeki. The CFA also presents  writing workshops on family narratives, healing stories, nature writing, and time travel for teens. 

“This enduring festival exemplifies Concord’s literary heritage and its evolving, vibrant writing community,” says CFA Curator Lara Wilson. “The CFA Team is committed to sharing diverse  narrative voices with a broad audience, and our collaborators endeavor to present creative programs imbued with the warmth of the Concord community.” 

Most events are free thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the CFPL, the CFPL Corporation,  participating CFA organizations and CFA sponsors. Online registration is required for many events and can be accessed along with the full calendar through the CFA website, www.ConcordFestivalofAuthors.org 

Announcing the Writer-In-Residence Program at the Concord Free Public Library

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CONCORD: The Concord Free Public Library (CFPL) is thrilled to announce the Writer-in-Residence Program (W-I-R) for authors, poets, and storytellers alike. Concord’s literary heritage is an important part of the Town’s history, including the work of Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts as well as many distinguished contemporary writers. The CFPL’s newly-established W-I-R Program is intended to continue this tradition, offering new ways to celebrate diverse voices and share stories through literary arts programming. The W-I-R Program will provide private office space to write in the Library’s newly-renovated historic wing as well as opportunities to connect with our devoted CFPL community. During the 6-month program, the W-I-R will be expected to create an original piece of work as well as conduct writing programs and workshops for the Library community.

The first residency will take place between March and September of 2023. A stipend of $10,000 will be offered with the expectation that the W-I-R will spend an average of 8 hours a week at the Library for the duration of the 6-month program and will work with the W-I-R Committee to develop in-person programs for patrons. Specific times are flexible including evenings and weekends when the Library is open.

The CFPL welcomes applicants outside of the Concord area, but the Library cannot provide a place to live or transportation. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2022. If you have questions, please contact: Ricky Sirois, Assistant Library Director at rsirois@concordma.gov.
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The Concord Orchestra presents “An American Journey”

CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents “An American Journey” at 8pm on October 15, and October 16 at 3pm at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden. The orchestra, directed by Larry Isaacson, performs Mabel Wheeler Daniels’ Deep Forest,  William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 and Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.  A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15pm. Larry Isaacson is a finalist auditioning for the position of Music Director. For tickets and information, call 978-369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com

Isaacson is a Professor of Trombone and conductor of numerous ensembles at Boston Conservatory. He was Founder, Conductor and Music Director of Boston-based Symphony Nova for ten years. As the only post-graduate professional training orchestra in New England, their mission was to "transform aspiring orchestral musicians into successful arts professionals".  In 2018, Symphony Nova merged with New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Department and became EM Nova Fellows, allowing their mission to continue for many years to come. Other conducting opportunities include a regular guest conductor spot at the Aspen (CO) Music Festival for 20 years.

Cellist Owen Young performs Antonin Dvořák’s lovely Cello Concerto.  Young joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1991. A frequent collaborator in chamber music concerts and festivals, he has also appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras. He has performed frequently with singer/songwriter James Taylor, including the nationally televised concert "James Taylor Live at the Beacon Theatre" in New York City.  He a faculty member at Berklee College of Music and is active in Project STEP (String Training and Education for students of color).

Composer Mabel Wheeler Daniels was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts and studied at Radcliffe College.  Larry Isaacson, in his notes for the program, says that her composition Deep Forest “is about the profound experience of what we now call Forest Bathing – spending time in nature and tuning in to the sights, sounds and smells of the world around us.”

Larry Isaacson comments that William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, “ also known as his African American Symphony, was a milestone in Still’s career being the first symphony by a black composer to be performed by a major orchestra. The symphony blends jazz, blues and spirituals into a traditional classical form, elevating these styles into something to be celebrated.”

This program is supported in part by grants from the Acton-Boxborough, Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural   Council, a state agency.
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Face the Art: For Teens at the Concord Free Public Library

CONCORD: October’s Concord Free Public Library Gallery artist Shelby Meyerhoff is here to make you costume ready! Face the Art is October 22 at 2pm in the Main Library Courtyard Workshop. Using professional face paints and tools, teens will learn pro-tips and tricks to transform their visage into artistic masterpieces. Turn yourself into an animal, or perhaps something more expressionistic or abstract!

Please wear suitable (stainable) clothing. Masks optional. Participants will be able to
paint on hands/arms as well. If you have a history of skin allergies, please do not
register for the program. If you have any concerns, speak with a physician beforehand.  All paints used in this workshop are professional-quality face paints from Mehron, made in the USA with FDA-approved ingredients.

Shelby Meyerhoff is a multidisciplinary artist based in the Boston area. She lives near the Middlesex Fells, a 2,575-acre nature reservation, and draws much of her inspiration from the plants, animals, and other species found in her local area. Before becoming a fine artist, she worked in nonprofit communications, promoting environmental initiatives. She is also an educator, with a focus on arts and nature programming.

This program is open to teens only, age 11-18. All genders and identities are welcome. Please arrive on time! Registration is required, please visit www.concordlibrary.org to register and for more information. Contact Teen Librarian Cary Stough with questions: cmstough@minlib.net.
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The Garden Club of Concord Seeks Proposals

CONCORD: The Garden Club of Concord is soliciting proposals from local organizations and residents seeking funding for gardening-related community projects. Each year, the Garden Club sponsors a range of projects in the Concord community.  Past grants have funded planting projects at the Old Manse, the Concord Housing Authority and The Umbrella Community Arts Center.  Grants have also supported organizations engaged in the preservation of open space and the environment in Concord.  In addition, the Club supports outreach to citizens through nature and horticulture; Gaining Ground, Minute Man ARC for Human Services, and Cooperative Elder Services have received grants for garden-related educational and therapeutic programs.
 
Funding for all grants is provided by the Club's annual Spring Plant Sale, open to the public each year. To request an application or for more information, please contact Joan Campbell at joancampbell74@gmail.com or 978-369-3889.  Applications are due by October 21, 2022.