Concord/Bedford/Carlisle

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Current Edition - 1/27/23
Previous Edition - 01/20/22

HEADLINES

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Click HERE to vote for February's featured!

Congratulations to January's winner, The Cannon Theatre in Devens!

GLCF Seeks Request for Proposals for 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2023 Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 1 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $200,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Nonprofit organizations serving the communities of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, and Wilmington are invited to apply.

Grant funding from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation’s 2023 Discretionary Grants Program includes the following strategic funding categories:
 
  • Racial Equity and Inclusion (details below) - The Foundation will award multiple grants of up to $15,000 that focus on racial equity and inclusion. The grant funding should focus on one or more of the following goals:
    • Increase understanding of our community’s challenges with racial equity and race relations
    • Provide access to stories and diverse perspectives on the lived experience of racial inequity in Greater Lowell
    • Strengthen relationships among Greater Lowell residents, particularly across racial and ethnic groups
    •  Increase awareness of resources and best practices related to advancing racial equity
  • Leclair Elder Services - The Foundation will award five grants at $7,000 each to organizations that support services to seniors (55 years+) in our service area.
  • Children’s Services - This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, GLCF will award seven grants at $7,500 each to projects that support services for children. The Foundation welcomes proposals that improve the quality of life for children and young adults (birth to age 22.)
Grant applications must be submitted by noon on March 3, 2023. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available online at  www.glcfoundation.org.

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at sharon@glcfoundation.org.

PHOTO: Clarendon Early Education Services received a 2022 Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Comfort Kits for Foster Kids.
 
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Find Out about Affordable, Reliable, Clean 21st Century Nuclear Energy

The climate crisis is no longer hypothetical. It has arrived. The fastest way to de-carbonize the planet and reduce use of fossil fuels is to incorporate more nuclear energy into the regional power grid. Energy educators are offering free public talks to groups of all kinds – schools, libraries, religious communities, as well as civic, service and environmental organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Maine and northeastern Connecticut. 

Learn about modern safety procedures, the science and enormous power of uranium and thorium as a 21st century solution to meet the escalating world demand for electricity. Examine the fears underlying discussions of nuclear operations, waste and safety. Find out how modern nuclear reactors feed regional power grids with clean energy 24/7, and how other countries are developing this dense low-carbon energy source. Explore Eco-Nuclear Solutions, a non-partisan, volunteer, grassroots group of scientists, educators and environmentalists at www.eco-nuclearsolutions.org. To reserve a date to explore the potential of nuclear power, contact econuclearsolutions@gmail.com

The one-hour presentation is an introduction to nuclear energy and how it benefits the planet and the world’s people. Access to reliable affordable electricity is a gateway out of poverty, which typically leads to lower birth rates. Nuclear power is experiencing a renaissance as one of the most reliable, affordable and zero-carbon sources of electricity that requires minimal land. It is the only electricity generating technology that sequesters  and/or safely disposes of all byproducts which, along with its demonstrated reliability, makes it a rockstar to provide energy, the lifeblood of the world. The Seabrook, NH and Millstone, CT, nuclear plants provide 20% of electricity to the New England grid. 
Scientists and activists will share data, stories, slides and videos about the world’s drive for reliable, affordable and clean energy.

The team includes: David Butz, a self-educated living encyclopedia of nuclear energy, past, present and future; Carolyn McCreary, Ph.D, who served two terms on the Ayer Select Board and led the town to become a Green Community; Dale Levandier, Ph.D., a chemist with knowledge of nuclear physics; and other scientists and environmental activists.
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"True Love" 13th Annual Valentine's Day Concert at First Parish

BEDFORD: Save the Date on February 12, 4 pm for "True Love" 13th Annual Valentine's Day Concert at First Parish Bedford UU, 75 The Great Road. Cynthia Mork, Ben Sears (vocals) and Bradford Conner (piano) will perform romantic favorites from the Great American Songbook including "Night and Day" and "I've Got You Under My Skin," as well as selections from "Kiss Me Kate" and "High Society". Special Guests Heinrich Christensen and Robert Winkley will play 4-hand piano works from Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith, Peter Warlock and Cole Porter. Scrumptious chocolate reception to follow! Suggested Donations Collected at the door: $20 adults $15 seniors and students, proceeds to benefit First Parish. Live streaming tickets available at tinyurl.com/uubedfordtruelove.
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Parent Ed Classes Offered thru Adult Ed at CCACE

CONCORD: Concord Carlisle Adult & Community Education (CCACE) is now offering parent education programs, previously offered through the Center for Parents and Teachers (CPT). Their goal is to continue to provide expert-led programs for ongoing and new challenges facing our children and families.
This winter they have four classes that address social media, bullying, pandemic effects and building resilience. All classes are online and full descriptions can be found at www.concordcarlisleace.org.

Want to understand how to use the recommended safety settings on your child’s smartphone? Check out Cell Phones & Parenting on Feb. 2nd. Improve your child’s social skills while reducing screen time with Bullying, Cyberbullying & the Effects of the Pandemic on Children Feb. 9th, led by Dr. Elizabeth Englander, a nationally recognized expert on cyberbullying, aggression and abuse online. In March, they will have Building Resilience & Managing Big Emotions with clinical psychologist Dr. Rachel Kramer (March 9) and Your Teens & Money with CCHS math teacher Laurie Fortunato (March 21).

For parents of preschool aged children, there’s a new monthly parenting group led by Allison Flynn, a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in child development and mental health.

To get information on these and other parenting programs offered through CCACE, visit their website or call (978) 318-1432.
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16 Adults Complete Carpentry, Welding, Robotics Evening Courses at Minuteman Technical Institute

Programs Are Tuition-Free for Many Students Thanks to Funding from Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet Grants
 
LEXINGTON: Sixteen adults of a variety of ages and backgrounds were recently celebrated for completing programs in carpentry, welding, and robotics at Minuteman Technical Institute. The 15-week programs were tuition-free for most students thanks to Career Technical Initiative grant funding from the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet and the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium.
 
The Minuteman Regional Technical School District has received more than $3 million since 2020 in grants from the Workforce Skills Cabinet, which support high school and adult career technical education programming. The funds are used to help students, including those from under-represented backgrounds, work in career trades where there is a high demand for skilled workers.
 
The adult students and their families attended a “Signing Day” ceremony to celebrate their completion of the fall 2022 evening programs in carpentry (pre-apprentice), welding, and robotic technician. Many students brought their families as they signed ceremonial letters of commitment to build careers in their fields of study.
 
“Our incredible adult students are seeking rewarding careers in high-demand trades to build their futures for decades to come,” said Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Superintendent of the Minuteman Regional Technical School District. “From single moms pursuing carpentry to military veterans learning high-tech robotic skills, we welcome students from all backgrounds to help them reach their dreams. In the process, we are educating highly skilled professionals for our regional economy in trades where there are critical shortages of skilled workers.”

“Our adult students are truly committed and dedicated.” said Dr. Nancy Houle, Executive Director of Minuteman Technical Institute. “They often work full time jobs and take their courses in the evenings. We congratulate and celebrate these students for their accomplishments and for contributing to the growth of our regional economy.”

Carpentry (Pre-Apprentice) Program

The following students completed the Carpentry Pre-Apprentice program, which was hosted in collaboration with the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: OSHA-10 Safety, Hot Work, Fall Protection, Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP), Scaffold Use Certification.
 
  • Alexa Cipkas of Norfolk
  • Nicole Crane of Saugus
  • Stephen Foley of Norwood
  • Kateri Gerald-Burns of Boston
  • Seikha Kim of Lowell
  • Lina Lopez of Revere
  • Nathan Oun of Dracut

The following students completed the Robotic Technician program. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: OSHA-10 Safety and Hot Work.
 
  • Raul Gonzalez of Lowell
  • Benjamin Judge of Malden
  • John Ko of Chelmsford
  • Michael Keating of Burlington
  • David Pardey of Millis

The following students completed the Welding program. They each earned the following industry-recognized credentials: American Welding Society (AWS) D1.1-Sheilded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)-S.S, AWS-D1.1-Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW)-5.18, AWS D1.1-SMAW-Structural, Hot Work, and OSHA-30 Construction Safety.
 
  • Paul Damon of Chelmsford
  • Jacob Malkasian of Northbridge
  • Jacob Stuczynski of Northbridge
  • Luke Nichols of Woburn


PHOTO: Front row L-R: Instructors Garrett Rice and Tom Akers of the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund;

Middle row: Students Lina Lopez of Revere, Nicole Crane of Saugus, Alexa Cipkas of Norfolk, Nathan Oun of Dracut, and Kateri Gerald-Burns of Boston;

Back row: Dennis Lassige, Regional Manager for North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters; Stephen Foley of Norwood; Seikha Kim of Lowell; Chris Clifford, career counselor for MassHire South/West; Kevin Kelly, regional manager for Local Union 339; and Eric Martinez, recruitment officer for North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund.
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Bike Camp for Children with Special Needs – Registration Open

CONCORD/GROTON: Emerson Health’s Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies is hosting its 6th annual camp for children and adults with special needs during April school vacation week - April 17-21, 2023. The camp is open to those who are at least eight years old, have a special need, and are able to walk without an assistive device. Trained counselors and spotters work individually with campers to teach them how to ride a conventional bike.

The iCan Bike camp will be held at the hockey rink at Lawrence Academy, 26 Powder House Road, Groton. Participants must be able to attend the same 75 minute daily session during each of the five days of camp. Parents and/or caregivers are required to stay during their camper's 75-minute session where they can observe in the spectator area. For more information and to register, please visit: https://icanshine.org/ican-bike-groton-ma/, or call (978) 589-6774, or email icanshinebike_rehab@emersonhosp.org.

The camp is run by iCan Shine, a national non-profit organization that teaches individuals with special needs to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle through its iCan Bike program. Trained professionals, including pediatric physical therapists from Emerson Health, work closely with each camper using adapted bike equipment, to help them meet their goals of biking independently. With 75 minutes of daily instruction over five consecutive days, more than 80% of campers learn to bike independently by the end of camp, and nearly all campers make great progress towards biking on their own. 

“Riding a bike is one of the most exciting developmental milestones - it gives people a wonderful outlet for exercise and freedom and is an activity that families can enjoy together,” said Mary Evans, PT, pediatric therapist, Emerson Health. “We are excited to offer the bike camp to give people individualized instruction and the skills necessary to ride a bike on their own. We know the campers will make tremendous progress this year, as we have seen with hundreds of campers in prior years.”

Sponsors of this year’s bike camp are: The Auxiliary of Emerson Health, Lawrence Academy, Spring Hill Suites, Hilton Garden Inn Devens, Bay State Apparel, Cataldo Gift and Garden Shop, Goodale’s Bike store of Nashua, and The Bike Connector of Lowell.
 
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Concord Conservatory’s Summer Piano Camp July 17-21 at Concord Academy

CONCORD: Concord Conservatory of Music, in partnership with Concord Academy, will offer a week-long Summer Piano Camp from July 17-21 for aspiring young pianists. Rising 3rd-12th graders with at least two years of private lesson instruction can focus on developing their piano and musicianship skills this summer while meeting and playing with kids who share the same musical interests. Conservatory faculty will teach small group classes that focus on the development of musicianship skills. Classes include, but are not limited to, composition, music history, improvisation, rhythm and time, sight singing, and score reading. Each day the camp will culminate in a performance and talk by a guest artist. Campers will also have the opportunity to play for one another in an informal performance class, a master class, and in the final camp recital. Piano campers will end the week with a greater appreciation of music in a fun and low-stress environment—the perfect combination of music, outdoor fun, swimming, and friends. For questions about the Summer Piano Camp, email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010.

Concord Orchestra presents “The Vernacular Express”

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CONCORD: The Concord Orchestra presents “The Vernacular Express” at 8pm on January 28 and 3pm on January 29 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden. The orchestra, directed by Eric Culver, performs Bernard Hoffer’s Fanfare for Dick, George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Bernard Hoffer’s Kurt Weill Songbook, and Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 2. A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15pm.

Guest conductor Eric Culver has been The Concord Orchestra’s consulting conductor during the process of finding a new music director. He has been active as a composer, pianist and conductor at New Stagecraft Theater Company in New York City, Huntington Theater in Boston, A.R.T. in Cambridge and Signature Theater in Arlington, Virginia. He is now in his fifth season conducting the Hanover Theater's full "Nutcracker" in Worcester.

The program “The Vernacular Express” celebrates American folk music, jazz, and musical theater. Charles Ives was influenced by composers such as Dvorak, Bartok and Tchaikovsky whose compositions are inspired by folk music of their native countries. His Symphony No. 2contains quotes from American hymns, spirituals, fiddle tunes, marching band tunes, and patriotic songs. George Gershwin’s jazz-influenced An American in Paris describes theexperience of an American strolling the streets of Paris, including the sounds of honking taxi horns.

Over the years, Bernard Hoffer has written several arrangements of standards from the Great American Songbook for The Concord Orchestra. This season, Jeffrey Korn performs Hoffer’s arrangement of songs of German-born American immigrant Kurt Weill. The audience will recognize Mack the Knife from The Threepenny Opera and will also enjoy rediscovering great tunes and fascinating lyrics from Broadway musicals first performed in the 1940s.

Vocalist Jeffrey Korn has appeared with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall with John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma. He starred in the Off- Broadway hit “Forever Plaid” and the Off-Broadway Jewish musical comedy “That’s Life!” He has toured the US and Europe with his vocal quartet, “Where’s the Band? Acapella”.

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.

Local Students Named to Dean's List at Fitchburg State

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FITCHBURG: Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the students who qualified for inclusion on the Dean’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. A student is placed on the Dean’s List for the semester if an average grade of 3.20 or better is attained, and the student is attending the university full time.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Catherine Abrams
Yilver A. Aguilera

Zainabu A. Bosungmeh 
Joseph D. Ditavi
Abderrahmane Garchali 

Ryan B. Kidder 
Carl W. Lindberg
Kyle J. Lindfors

Jonah T. Sallese 
Zachary J. St John 
 
Ayer / Shirley / Groton / Harvard / Devens
Chassity P. Boo 
Kaitlyn M. Bremer 
Jonathan W. Bremer 
Hailey G. Burke 
Savannah D. Caldbeck
Matthew J. Carey 
Andrew T. Esielionis
Emily J. Hanson 
Kayla A. Holland 
Curtis J. Holmes
Kabriana T. Kien 
Ryleigh A. Levensailor 
Brady W. Madigan 
Deven J. Muldoon 
Eli Norton 
Mishayla S. Silver
Megan R. Strout
Mark K. Terhune 
Danielle M. Varner 
Jing Wang
Stephen T. Wells

Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
David E. Kelley 
McKenna G. Moore 
Sara Najm 
Karen A. O'Rourke
Seth E. Rigby

Concord / Carlisle / Bedford
David P. Eisenberg 
Shujiao Liu

Hudson / Stow
Brian K. Boland 
Emily Cristobal 
Molly J. Flanagan
Isaiah French

Emily G. Hallsworth 
Nicholas D. Solimine 
Cameron J. Sousa
Dale A. Sousa 
Courtney M. Walsh

Marlborough / Sudbury
Julia M. Barnes 
Ava E. Hannon 
Kaleigh A. Morales 
Nickolai Voskanian

Westford / Littleton 
Vincent A. Colavita 
Erick K. Gakuo 
Benjamin R. Golash 
Kyanah Long 
Nathan S. Martin 
Edith Masembe 
Adam E. Quinlan 
Alyssa K. Ramirez 
Asha L. Speller 
Benjamin G. Stormwind
Meaghan J. Walsh

Additionally, Fitchburg State University President Richard S. Lapidus has announced the names of students included on the President’s List for the Fall 2022 semester. The President’s List honors students for consistently high academic achievement. A student is named to the list after achieving a 3.75 average in each of three successive semesters.  Congratulations to:

Acton / Boxborough / Maynard
Owen C. Thayer
 
Chelmsford / North Chelmsford
Alyssa J. Fields
Emily F. Klein 
Sophia A. Piper

Learn more at fitchburgstate.edu.
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ParentChild+ Program now Available Locally

ACTON: ParentChild+ is a FREE home visiting program for families with young children to help parents prepare their child for preschool or kindergarten. First Connections recently received a grant to provide this program to families living in Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury and Westford. An Early Learning Specialist will visit your home twice per week with fun and engaging early learning experiences, including a high-quality book or toy that you can keep. Specialists model reading, conversations and play activities designed to promote language development, pre-literacy skills, and school readiness. Children can enter the program when they are 18-36 months old and participate for 46 weeks, excluding summer and holiday breaks. Families who lack transportation or the financial ability to attend playgroups or preschool will be prioritized to receive this service. Families whose children are watched by family members while they work are eligible, but children enrolled in preschool or child care outside of the home would not be eligible. This program has a 40-year track record of supporting early childhood success. Anyone interested in participating in this program can contact First Connections by emailing firstconnections@jri.org or calling/texting Debbie at (978) 505-4429.  
 
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Free Katherine Ou Organ Recital

BEDFORD: On Sunday, January 29 at 4pm, organist Katherine Ou will perform a solo recital at Lutheran Church of the Savior, 426 Davis Road.  Katherine has been serving as organist at the Church for two years, and began her training at the age of 13 in Waco, TX. The 45-minute program will include Pièce d'Orgue by Johann Sebastian Bach, Adagio from Organ Sonata no. 1 by Felix Mendelssohn, Chorale Partita on "Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, O Herr" by Katherine Ou and Visions from Scripture by American composer Emma Lou Diemer. Admission is free, reservations are not required, and there will be a light reception following the concert.
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The Bedford Fix-it Shop Has New Hours

BEDFORD: The Bedford Fix It Shop is offering an additional day and time for item drop offs at the Council on Aging. The Fix-It Shop is accepting Fix It Shop drop offs from 10:30am-1:30pm on Saturdays and 9am-noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Bing in your item, fill out paperwork about yourself and the item, and the Fix It Shop will contact you with any questions. Please note, the shop does not accept pendulum or cuckoo clocks or anything containing gasoline.

The volunteers at the shop are capable, eager and waiting to fix, sharpen, repair, rewire, unstick, reglue and restore your household items and furniture. There is a minimum charge of $3 and parts are at an additional cost. Watch batteries are installed for only $5. If you have any questions for the shop please call the COA during the Shop’s Tuesday and Wednesday hours: Bedford Council on Aging, 12 Mudge Way - (781) 275-6825
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What Makes Me Tic: Comedy & Storytelling with a Message with Pamela Rae Schuller

CONCORD: Join Kerem Shalom of Concord as they kick off Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month (JDAIM) with "What Makes Me Tic: Comedy & Storytelling with a Message" with Pamela Rae Schuller on February 4. The evening will begin with a Dessert and Cocktail Reception at 7pm, followed by the performance, with an ASL interpreter, at 8pm.

Schuller is an internationally known disability and mental health advocate and professional stand-up comedian known for her use of storytelling and comedy to inspire communities to a new understanding of inclusion. You may know her from BuzzFeed, Doctor Mike Videos, and NBC, or as one of the under 36 who is changing the face of the Jewish community. Schuller’s stories of growing up in a body she had no control over are engaging, powerful, a little bit heart-wrenching, and unapologetically funny.

Schuller has spoken and performed in seven countries, in every state in the U.S., and for more than 95,000 kids, teens, and professionals. She holds a BA in Psychology and Youth Outreach Through the Arts and an MA in Child Advocacy and Policy, as well as post Masters certificates in Executive Coaching and Leadership in the Digital Age. She has grown that skillset into a repertoire that teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive, and corporate teams to be innovative and learn to make smart, bold moves.
Schuller doesn’t just “tolerate” what makes her different; she embraces it, loves it, and finds the funny in it… all while challenging her audiences to do the same.

The event takes place in-person, but for those whose circumstances do not allow for participating in-person, join this special evening of inclusion and understanding via Zoom. Registration is required for both in-person and online tickets. Register at https://keremshalom.org/current-events/schuller. Tickets are $18 if purchased by January 30; 
$25 if purchased after January 30 or at the door. The deadline for Zoom registration is February 2 at noon. The Zoom link will be sent to online participants on February 3. Contact the Kerem Shalom office at ksadmin@keremshalom.org or (978) 369-1223 with any questions.
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The Concord Players presents INDECENT 

CONCORD: Inspired by true events surrounding the 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture and by others as an act of traitorous libel, The Concord Players are pleased to present Indecent. Pulitzer prize-winning Paula Vogel’s play is very topical for today’s world as it delves into love relationships, antisemitism, homophobia, the power of politics, and more while still providing light-hearted and comedic moments. Indecent opened on Broadway in 2017 to sensational reviews.  The production runs February 10-25 at The Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street.

Indecent charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it.  This historic piece of Yiddish theater played to thousands across the capitals of Europe before making its Broadway debut in 1923, only to be shut down on opening night by the vice squad because it was “indecent”.

Making their directorial debut on the Concord stage, Shira Helena Gitlin is a Boston-based director, dramaturg, gender consultant, and musical theatre enthusiast. Despite the serious themes of Indecent, Gitlin also manages to bring out the light in the play, accentuating the joy of community in the story and how important it is for people to support each other.  Featuring in the cast are John Small; Dan Kelly; Kate Beattie; Michael Jay;
Aiden O’Neal; Judi Olson; Jon Linden; Wendy Linden; Joel Hersh; and Alison Butts.

Don’t miss this outstanding cast of actors, a script in Yiddish and English, and accomplished musicians performing live music of the era as The Concord Players present a multi-media event that is enlightening, soulful and moving.
Performances are February 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8pm with a matinee at 2pm on February 19. This play has mature themes so parental guidance is recommended. For tickets and more information, including an introductory video and in-depth interview with the director, visit www.concordplayers.org, or call (978) 369-2990 and leave a message.

PHOTO: John Small & Kate Beattie in rehearsal.
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More Love, Less Hunger: Concord Park Donates to Open Table

CONCORD: Concord Park, a Volunteers of America Senior Community, recently contributed 12 bags of gifts to Open Table’s “Family-to-Family Holiday Drive”. The bags were distributed to Concord and Maynard families in need prior to Christmas. “Partnering with OpenTable has been a wonderful experience,” shares Maryellen King, Concord Park’s Director of Community Relations. “Our residents and staff enjoyed creating donation bags to represent the 12 Days of Christmas, collecting a different themed item each day. We hope we can help Open Table in bringing “more love, less hunger” to our neighbors.” 

Learn more about Concord Park online at www.ConcordPark.org. Learn more about Open Table at www.OpenTable.org


Pictured from left to right: Natasha Heimrath, Executive Director at Concord Park; Alexandra DePalo, Executive Director at Open Table; and Maryellen King, Director of Community Relations at Concord Park
 

Concord Women’s Chorus Welcomes New Singers to Open Rehearsals & Auditions

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Choral ensemble invites women to join for spring season
 
CONCORD: Concord Women’s Chorus (CWC) invites new singers to join its ensemble at “Open Rehearsals” on January 17 and 24, 9:30am, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street.  Artistic Director and Conductor Jane Ring Frank welcomes newcomers to join rehearsal, learn more about the spring concert season, and audition on January 24 immediately following rehearsal.  Rehearsals continue Tuesday mornings, 9:30 am to noon, also held at Trinity Episcopal Church, throughout the spring season.
 
CWC welcomes singers with prior choral experience including good sight-reading skills, solid intonation and vocal quality, responsiveness to direction and the ability to blend within an ensemble. For auditions, prospective members may be asked to sight-read a short passage and/or sing a familiar tune, arriving with a prepared solo is not necessary.  An information form is available to be printed in advance and brought to the audition at concordwomenschorus.org/wp/sing-with-us
 
Chorus members are expected to attend rehearsals and to participate in performing scheduled concerts. Since CWC values opportunities to collaborate and perform with other musical and cultural groups, additional commitments may become available during the season. The ensemble continues weekly rehearsals in preparation for its upcoming concert “Come Day, Come Night,” performing on May 13, 4pm, featuring a program of ‘love songs to boat songs,’ exploring the joys of a life well-lived. Emma Lou Diemer’s “When You Wake,” Gwyneth Walker’s “Love Shall Live Forever,” Z. Randall Stroope’s “Lux Aeterna,” Dan Forrest’s “Ubi Caritas,” Kevin Siegfried’s “Boat Song,” and Stephen Chatman’s “Love Songs,” – stirring works that reflect the textures and rhythms, joys and challenges of each new day.

CWC is committed to the safety of all and requires that all singers present proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, leadership will request proof of vaccination and booster by showing card upon arrival.  All participants are required to wear masks during rehearsals.

Concord Women's Chorus (CWC), based in Concord, Massachusetts, is a 45-singer ensemble fostering the power of women’s voices through song. Singers hail from Concord and the greater Boston area. Artistic Director Jane Ring Frank conducts the chorus performing a wide variety of choral music, ranging from early music to contemporary repertoire, with an emphasis on works written for women’s voices.
 
CWC’s commitment to the mastery and performance of a dynamic repertoire for women transforms the act of choral singing into an instrument for collaboration, education, and connection. The ensemble features confident singers who care deeply about creating, through women’s voices, a source of strength and inspiration for themselves, the audience, and the world around us. 

The chorus began in 1960 as the Concord Madrigals, a small group of women who expressed, through song, the strength of female community. Over the years the group has increased in size and capacity and greatly expanded its repertoire. In 2005, the Concord Madrigals became Concord Women’s Chorus, a name that reflects not only the evolution of the chorus but the abiding power of women’s voices.

In addition to concerts, CWC often engages in other performances and projects. The ensemble has engaged in several concert tours in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. 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.
 
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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.
Enlightenment

Concord Conservatory Presents Music of the Enlightenment Lecture,

WEST CONCORD: Join Concord Conservatory of Music on January 12 at 7pm for Music of the Enlightenment Lecture presented by CCM faculty member and cellist Fabrizio Mazzetta. Discover major composers of the Enlightenment period as well as what breakthroughs and events impacted its music. You will have the opportunity to explore multiple examples of music compositions from the Enlightenment and how to interpret these beautiful pieces. Learn how the music of the Enlightenment evolved and aged through time and how it still affects today’s classical music world and beyond.

Purchase tickets in advance from ConcordConservatory.org or at the door ($10 General; FREE for kids 18 and under). Email info@concordconservatory.org or call (978) 369-0010 to learn more about CCM, located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.
Concord park ribbon cutting

Concord Park Showcases Newly Renovated Spaces at Grand Unveiling Celebration

CONCORD: Concord Park Senior Living, a Volunteers of America Massachusetts Senior Community, celebrated the Grand Unveiling of their major renovations project recently as residents, families, friends and staff gathered together to enjoy the new and updated rooms. The renovations include a new theater, fitness room, café, lounge, and an additional wing of apartments. To welcome these changes, an array of community partners, local officials, and executives spoke on the vital role that Concord Park has played in the greater community for the past 20 years, and what the senior community hopes to accomplish after ushering in these exciting changes. Noteworthy speakers included Charles Gagnon, President & CEO of Volunteers of America Massachusetts (VOAMASS), Tadd Clelland, President & CEO of Senior Living Residences, and MA State Representative Simon Cataldo. 

Senior Living Residences (SLR), based in New England, is the professional management company for Concord Park, along with 17 other communities throughout New England. Guided by their signature Right Values, SLR puts Resident Quality of Life at the forefront of all they do, and at the unveiling ceremony, SLR President & CEO Tadd Celland expressed the hope that these major renovations to residents’ favorite spaces, and the addition of some exciting new spaces, will aid in that effort.

The celebration continued with refreshments, conversation and live music. All of the guests were delighted by the incredible variety of food and drinks, which tied into a festive autumn theme. The culinary department, led by Executive Chef Misty Heldermon, provided the spread. To round out the event, Concord Park resident Julia Lea cut the official ribbon. The Concord Park community cannot wait to enjoy the new facets of the building for many years to come, and greatly appreciated the quality time spent with family, friends, local officials and community partners.
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Minuteman High School Auto Students Repair Vehicle for Woman in Need

LEXINGTON/CONCORD: Students in Minuteman High School’s Automotive Technology program unveiled a donated car they refurbished for a person in need thanks to a collaboration with Second Chance Cars, a non-profit organization based in Concord. It marked the eleventh vehicle that the Minuteman students repaired for Second Chance Cars over the past four years. The organization accepts donated vehicles and works with area career technical education high schools with automotive programs to repair them. The automobiles are then provided to veterans and people in need through zero-interest, low-cost loans. The students changed the brake pads, performed an oil change, and detailed the inside of the vehicle, among other work that was conducted.

“At Minuteman High School, we teach our students critical academic and career technical skills, but more importantly we teach them how to be good citizens,” said Dr. Kathleen A. Dawson, Superintendent of the Minuteman Regional Technical School District. “We are proud of the work of our students and overjoyed to see the positive impact their work is having on a person’s life.”

The recipient of the vehicle on Tuesday was Kiara Higgs, a single mother who lives in Springfield. Higgs works providing residential care to elderly people with medical issues. Higgs said she was having difficulty getting to and from work prior to receiving the vehicle and is excited about opportunities to do more activities with her 3-year-old child.

“Paying for rides [via Uber or taxi] back and forth to work is so expensive,” Higgs said. “Having this car, it’s really about the livelihood of me and my baby. We love to go hiking and spend time outside; now it’s easier to do that.”

“We’re trying to help people who want to get to work, get to work,” said Dan Holin, Executive Director of Second Chance Cars. “The students are critical in helping us do that.”

The Minuteman students are currently making repairs to three additional vehicles for Second Chance Cars.
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First Connections Playgroup at Bedford Public Library

BEDFORD: This winter First Connections will be facilitating a parent & child playgroup at Bedford Public Library on Mondays from 10-11am.  The Ages & Stages Playgroup for children 12-23 months in January will give them the opportunity to engage with toys and activities to support different areas of their development, including socializing with others. Each meeting will end with a circle time with songs and a story. The group is facilitated by an Early Childhood Educator. Infant siblings in a carrier are welcome. A grandparent or babysitter is welcome to bring the child to group. This is a free program that will be held from January 9-March 27 and registration is required by emailing lmatthews@jri.org.
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LSCO Begins 50th season with Masters of the Classics Concert 

LINCOLN/SUDBURY: The Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra opens its 50th season on January 8, under the leadership of  its gifted new conductor Alfonso Piacentini in a program of the classical masters Wolfgang Amadeus  Mozart, Ludwig von Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn. The concert begins at 3pm.  

Maestro Piacentini (pictured) joins the orchestra for its first concert under his baton. Piacentini was appointed conductor following the departure of another emerging conducting star Luca Antonucci who directed the orchestra for three years. Antonucci left to pursue Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting at the University of Michigan. 

Maynard resident and Lexington music educator Chris Brainard is the newly appointed concertmaster in her first appearance in this role.  

Pianist Marvin Wolfthal joins the orchestra as soloist for the last piano concerto penned by Mozart, his  27th concerto. This is Mr. Wolfthal’s second appearance with LSCO.  Wolfthal was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut,  where he studied piano with Murray and Loretta Dranoff. He studied composition  at Columbia University with Charles Wuorinen and Harvey Sollberger and piano  with Claudio Arrau and Rafael de Silva. He was a founder of the Columbia  Chamber Players, which performed classics of early Twentieth Century music and  gave several first New York performances of works by major composers, including  Pierre Boulez.

The program opens with the overture Fingals Cave, originally published as The Hebrides by  Mendelssohn. His inspiration came during a visit to the Scottish island of Staffa, where he saw the  Fingal’s sea cave.  The last concerto for piano and orchestra, #27 in B flat major was composed in the last months of  Mozart’s short and tragic life. Soloist Marvin Wolfthal will introduce the work with comments from the  stage about its context in Mozart’s waning months. A short intermission will be taken. The second half of the program is Beethoven’s Symphony #1 in C  major, a landmark symphony in the development of the classical symphony form.

Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra,
The community orchestra of Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School, will perform January 8 at 3:30pm at 390 Lincoln Road in Sudbury.  For more information, visit www.lscivicorchestra.org  or email lscivicorchestra@gmail.com.
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Concord Chorus Open Rehearsals January 9, 16, 2023

CONCORD: Do you love to sing? The Concord Chorus, an auditioned chorus, will hold two Open Rehearsals on January 9 and 16, 7:30-10pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street. If you enjoy singing the classical repertoire, join us! The Concord Chorus is a wonderful group of welcoming people who enjoy singing and learning excellent and diverse choral repertoire and performing at the highest level. This spring’s performance on May 20 will include Joseph Haydn’s “Maria Theresa Mass” with professional soloists and orchestra. A friendly, ten-minute audition will consist of scales, ear and pitch memory exercises, and sight-reading in order to evaluate voice, ear, and reading abilities. A prepared piece is not required, but prior musical experience is expected. Under the leadership of its Music Director, Kevin Leong (pictured), the Concord Chorus invites you to share in a musical experience that will be fun, educational, and fulfilling.

At this time, all singers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have had at least one booster dose. Masks are also required. Interested singers are asked to email kleong@concordchorus.org in advance to set up an audition. Founded in 1946, the Concord Chorus performs several concerts of choral-orchestral and smaller works each season. For more information, please visit www.concordchorus.org

 
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Students Recognized at Minuteman High School

LEXINGTON: Minuteman High School recently recognized four students from Concord, Dedham, Lancaster, and Arlington with the Student of the Term Award. The award is based on nominations from teachers and highlights academic achievement, good character, and creating a positive school climate. One student is awarded per grade level. Overseen by Assistant Principal Brian Tildsley, the Students of the Term receive certificates and are awarded lunch with teachers and staff in the school’s student-operated restaurant, The District.

The list of the Students of the Term includes: 

Nathan Reed of Concord is a grade 9 student who is in the Freshman Career Exploratory Program. He was nominated by teachers for his “intelligence, politeness, and kindness.” Nathan has excelled academically and is mostly interested in pursuing the science-related career technical education majors at Minuteman. Nathan plays on the football and basketball teams, participates in the barbeque club, and enjoys video and board games.  

Caitlyn Turell of Dedham is a grade 10 student in the Environmental Science career major. She was nominated by her teachers for “being dedicated to Minuteman, displaying maturity, and is a constant pleasure to have in class.” Caitlyn performs well academically, and her favorite subject is math. She plays basketball and soccer. Caitlyn would like to become a marine biologist or pursue a career in a related field. 

Tyler Berard of Lancaster is a grade 11 student in the Metal Fabrication and Welding career major. He was noted by his teachers for his “consistent hard work, quiet determination, and respect for others.” Tyler enjoys hunting, fishing, and welding. He would like to pursue a career in the welding trade. 

Alice Dalton of Arlington is a grade 12 student in the Electrical Wiring career major. She was nominated by teachers for being “an articulate, hardscrabble leader who contributes to classes with an energetic personality.” Alice works for Cummings Properties through the Cooperative Education Program. Her favorite subject is math and she is a star player for the girls’ soccer, basketball, and softball teams. Alice would like to begin working as an electrical apprentice with a local union after graduation. 
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Action Holiday BINGO! Wrapping Up Soon

Have you been playing The Action's Winter BINGO! this season?  The game will be wrapping up soon, so be sure to dab your numbers, cross your fingers, and when you find yourself with a row completed horizontally, vertically or diagonally, copy or scan your cards and send them to "contest@actionunlimited.com" or 100-1 Domino Drive, Concord, MA 01742.  One winner will be drawn from all verified submissions.
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English Language Learner Classes Offered at Adult Ed

CONCORD: Concord Carlisle Adult & Community Education (CCACE) is now
offering English Language Learner (ELL) classes at all levels for the winter/spring
session. Whether you or someone you know is a true beginner or looking to
practice conversational English, there's a class for you.

Language classes begin January 30, and run two evenings a week in person at Concord Carlisle High School (CCHS), 500 Walden Street. Conversation class begins January 25 and runs evenings for eight weeks online. Scholarships are available at all levels.

New students should plan to attend an orientation on January 25, 7pm at CCHS, where they will be tested to determine their level of language ability for appropriate placement. For more information and to register, please visit concordcarlisleace.org/adult-ell, or call (978) 318-1432. Registration closes February 9, 2023.
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Minuteman NHS Students Collect 183 Gifts for Children in Need

LEXINGTON: Students in the Minuteman High School Chapter of the National Honor Society has collected 183 gifts for children in need this holiday season. A big thank you to everyone who donated! These gifts will be delivered to deserving children through the Toys for Tots program!

Pictured from left are National Honors Society students Mariana Woolf, grade 12, of Arlington; Annabella Olsen, grade 11, of Stow; Alexander Qazilbash, grade 12, of Arlington; Dylan English, teacher and faculty advisor; Paris Capehart, grade 11, of Arlington; and Leah Woolf, grade 12, of Arlington.
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Parker School Opens 2023-24 Enrollment Season

DEVENS: Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School announced the enrollment season for the 2023-2024 academic year is now open. Parker is a free public charter school open by lottery to students entering grades 7, 8 and 9. Applications can be submitted online at www.parker.school/apply until February 1, 2023. The lottery will be held on February 7, 2023 at 4pm. All application, lottery, and enrollment regulations, as outlined in the enrollment policy will be followed.

In addition, Parker has limited openings in grades 7 and 9 for mid-year entry during the current (2022-23) school year. There are no openings in grade 8 for the 2022-23 school year at this time. Applications for the current school year can be submitted online and will be accepted until January 4, 2023. If more applications are received than there are available spaces, a lottery will be drawn on January 12, 2023 at 4pm. Enrollment offers will be made with an intended start date of the first day of second semester (January 24, 2023).

Parker Charter School educates 400 students in grades 7-12 from more than 40 towns in Massachusetts. Founded in 1995, Parker is committed to the principles of progressive education—inclusive community, low student-teacher ratio, project-based learning, and promotion based on mastery of core intellectual skills. Learn more at www.theparkerschool.org. Sign up for an information session at www.parker.school/infosession.

Golden Moments 4 Elders Visits with "Myles"

CONCORD: Golden Moments 4 Elders and its team of talented Golden Retrievers seek to create eventful “Golden Moments” that enhance the lives of elders. Through the power of human and animal interaction, they entertain and assist residents with tactile and cognitively-stimulating engagement, conversation, and socialization. Pictured herein are from a recently held holiday visit from Myles of Golden Moments, along with Concord Park Residents Barbara Hannigan, Bitzy Bitman, Herb Mallinson, Peter Orlando and Ruth Johnson.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: What to Know about Sustainable Investing

December 6, 2022
 
You may have heard about “sustainable investing.”  But if you're not familiar with it, you may have some questions: What does it involve? Is it right for me? Can I follow a sustainable investing strategy and still get the portfolio performance I need to reach my goals?

Sustainable investing can be defined in different ways, with different terminologies. However, one way to look at a sustainable approach is by thinking of it as investing in a socially conscious way which may involve two broad categories: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing and values-based investing.

As its name suggests, ESG investing incorporates a broad range of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities, along with traditional financial measures, when making investment decisions. This approach may have a neutral impact on performance because it maintains a focus on managing risk, traditional fundamental analysis and diversification. Here's a quick look at the ESG elements:

    • Environmental – Companies  may work to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, decrease pollution and conserve water resources.
    • Social – A business  may promote gender and pay equality within its workforce, and maintain positive labor relations and safe working conditions for employees.
    • Governance – Companies distinguished by good governance may institute strong ethics policies, provide transparent financial reporting and set policies to ensure it has an independent, objective board of directors.

You can pursue an ESG investing approach through individual stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a variety of investments similar to mutual funds, but are generally passively managed – that is, they do little or no trading. As an ESG investor, you don't necessarily have to sacrifice performance because ESG investments generally fare about as well as the wider investment universe. Some investments may even gain from the ESG approach. For example, a company that invests in renewable energy may benefit from the move away from fossil fuel sources.

Now, let's move on to values-based investing. When you follow a values-based approach, you can focus on specific themes where you may choose to include or exclude certain types of investments that align with your personal values.

So, you could refrain from investing in segments of the market, such as tobacco or firearms, or in companies that engage in certain business practices, such as animal testing. On the other hand, you could actively seek out investments that align with your values. For instance, if you’re interested in climate change, you could invest in a mutual fund or ETF that contains companies in the solar or clean energy industries.

One potential limitation of values-based investing is that it may decrease the diversification of your portfolio and lead to materially lower returns due to narrowly focused investments, prioritization of non-financial goals and too many exclusions.

Ultimately, if you choose to include a sustainable investing approach, you will want – as you do in any investing scenario – to choose those investments that are suitable for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

If sustainable investing interests you, give it some thought – you may find it rewarding to match your money with your beliefs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA.
EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Colouro - Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Beethoven Birthday Celebration at First Parish

BEDFORD: On December 16 at 7pm, celebrate Beethoven's 252nd birthday with a piano concert followed by a birthday party reception. Pianist Paul-André Bempechat  has toured in virtually every country in Europe, including major appearances at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Barbican Centre London, the Philharmonics in Meiningen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Rotterdam and Belgrade. Colleagues and critics alike have hailed him as a singularly lucid, introspective interpreter capable of drawing audiences into a near-palpable relationship with the select composers he performs. The program consists of Piano Sonatas 21, 23, and 27.

Suggested Donations Collected at the door: $20 adults $15 seniors and students. Live streaming tickets:https://app.onechurchsoftware.com/uubedford/forms/31. For more information, visit www.uubedford.org/beethoven-birthday-celebration or call (617) 943-0703.
 
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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
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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