‘Bling for the Sing’ Online Auction announced by Assabet Valley Mastersingers

WESTBOROUGH: The Assabet Valley Mastersingers announce the 2024 Bling for the Sing, an online auction benefit which runs through May 3. Register online at www.avmsingers.org/support-us/bling-for-the-sing.  Fabulous auction items are available for bidding – artwork, events, musical instruments, hand crafted item, the opportunity to conduct an opera chorus with AVM, homemade cookies delivered to your door, restaurant gift cards, and more.  
Money raised at this event enables AVM to continue to provide high quality choral music performances utilizing our talented vocalists, orchestra, and professional soloists, which enriches the cultural experience in our communities.  All proceeds from this benefit event will support the operating expenses of the Assabet Valley Mastersingers, a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts organization.  For more information, www.avmsingers.org/support-us/bling-for-the-sing or contact Debra Wallace or Kirsten Joyner, ‘Bling for the Sing’ Co-Chairs at auction@avmsingers.org.

Marlborough Car Show June 2

MARLBOROUGH: Mark Your Calendars! The Marlborough Main Street Car Show will be held June 2 from 9am-2pm on Main Street, between Grainger Boulevard and Bolston Street (Route 85). Rain date is June 16. For more information, contact eo@marlborocarshow.com, or visit www.marlborocarshow.com.

Hundredth Town Chorus Celebrates 75th Anniversary

WESTBOROUGH: The Hundredth Town Chorus is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the chorus will present a free public concert, “Sentimental Journey,” on April 28 at 2pm at the Westborough Senior Center, 4 Rogers Road. For more information, visit hundredthtownchorus.com or find them on Facebook.  You can also email htc.chorus@gmail.com, or call (508) 847-2961.
HTC is an organization of women who enjoy singing four-part harmony in a relaxing and fun environment. The chorus was founded in 1949 by the Westborough Women’s Club, with a mission to share the joy of music by singing and entertaining at area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and senior centers. Today’s chorus is made up of members from all over Worcester County. Music includes holiday classics, Broadway favorites, popular music, and folk songs, as well as an occasional classical number.
HTC is supported, in part, by grants from the Westborough and Northborough Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Congregation B’nai Shalom graciously donates rehearsal spac

Town of Sudbury Board & Committee Openings

SUDBURY:  A number of Town of Sudbury Board & Committee appointments expire each year. Below is a list of committees with appointments expiring in May 2024 as well as those with vacancies. Please click on a board/committee to learn more. Residents interested in serving on these committees are encouraged to apply via the Appointment Application form at https://sudbury.granicus.com/boards/forms/564/apply. 2024 Committee Openings:
• Agricultural Commission
• Board of Registrars
• Capital Improvement Advisory Committee
• Commission on Disability
• Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
• Community Preservation Commission
• Conservation Commission
• Council on Aging
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission
• Earth Removal Board (Earth Removal Board members serve as Associate Members of the Zoning Board of Appeals)
• Energy & Sustainability Committee
• Historical Commission
• Memorial Day Committee
• Permanent Building Committee
• Ponds & Waterway Committee
• Rail Trails Advisory Committee
• Sudbury Housing Trust
• Town Historian
• Zoning Board of Appeals (Associate Members of the ZBA serve as full Members of the Earth Removal Board)
Applications are due by May 6, 2024. Any remaining vacancies may be applied for on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

NGC Presents “How to Photograph Flowers”

NORTHBOROUGH: Learn how to compose and shoot amazing photographs of flowers and nature with your digital or cell phone camera. On May 4, Jeanine Vitale of Prism Point Photography will feature a slide show presentation at the Northborough Garden Club. Through examples of her work, Jeanine will instruct us on the fundamentals of composition, light, angle, background and more. How to use your cell phone camera professional features will also be covered. The presentation begins at 1pm at the Northborough Historical Society. A $5 donation is suggested at the door for non-members. For more information or to register, visit northboroughgardenclub.com.
Established in 1925, the Northborough Garden Club continues to promote, encourage, and foster an active interest in gardening, horticulture, beautification of the home and community, local civic projects, and conservation.

Gaia, Mother Earth, & the Oneness of Everything— Music Sunday with musician Jim Scott and the First Parish Choir

SUDBURY: Join First Parish of Sudbury for Gaia, Mother Earth, & the Oneness of Everything: Music Sunday with musician Jim Scott and the First Parish Choir on April 28 at 10am. Celebrate the earth with Jim’s original songs, readings, and personal reflections on Mother Earth or “Gaia” being one living organism. The “spiritual response” is so timely now, as “the spirit of life on earth is in crisis. Jim’s uplifting songs provide the balance to the wake-up call, leaving us with vision and inspiration to take the healing into our own hands. The choir will join Jim on several songs, and there will also be an opportunity for all to sing throughout the service.
From his work with the Paul Winter Consort, where he was co-composer of their celebrated “Missa Gaia/Earth Mass,” Jim has long been an activist for peace and the Earth through his music. He has visited over 700 UU churches in four decades, and his songs are in the hymn books. Former Co-Chair of the UU Ministry for the Earth, Jim helped create the “Green Sanctuary” program.
First Parish of Sudbury, located at 327 Concord Road, is a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers who strive to learn together and support one another as they celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community.
Hank wonder

Hank Wonder Band to Perform in Sudbury

SUDBURY: Sudbury Meetinghouse Concerts is excited to present the Hank Wonder Band on May 19 at 4pm. Enjoy an afternoon with Hank Wonder—”where the twang of Classic Country meets the grit of Southern Soul.” The Boston-based trio of Annie Bartlett (fiddle and viola), Darren Buck (vocals), and Michael Loria (guitar) craft a soulful blend of Americana that’s equal parts down-home and gussied up. In 2017, they released their debut album Little Mysteries, produced by Charlie Rose (Mike & Ruthie, Elephant Revival, Railroad Earth, Barnstar!). Two years later, the band returned to the studio with Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Rodney Crowell, Ray LaMontagne, Mark Erelli, Barnstar!) to record a follow-up. Initially stalled by the pandemic, Waylaid was released in 2021. Hank Wonder proudly celebrated ten years together in November 2023, and is currently cooking up a new batch of tunes! Tickets cost is $25. Free parking is available at First Parish, 327 Concord Road and behind Sudbury Town Hall.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit fpsudbury.org.

St. Stephen Church Offers FREE Clothing

MARLBOROUGH: Along with warm weather, spring and summer bring holidays - a cause for celebration - unless you are on a tight budget. Rising temperatures also mean a switch to a different wardrobe which can be stressful if the same dollars also compete for food, gifts, and household expenses. If only clothing were FREE!

Well, it will be at the April 27 Clothing Giveaway at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street (Route 85) from 10am-noon! Donated clothing is in good to excellent condition. Most is arranged by size, with some on hangers, to create the feeling of shopping in a store, with“departments” for men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes. In addition, accessories – shoes, belts, costume jewelry, scarves, and pocketbooks – will also be available, all at no cost, to add an element of fun, or provide the opportunity to reward yourself for smart shopping.
The event is open to the public, regardless of need; recycling advocates are especially welcome to shop. Bring your own bag, or take a bag provided and fill it with whatever you can use.

Saint Stephen Lutheran Church parishioners and friends donate clean, popular, wearable items that customers will take and use, believing they are helping not only individuals but also the earth, keeping good clothing out of landfills. The April 27 event marks the Church’s 15th Clothing Giveaway.
For more information about the church, visit www.sslcma.org or the church’s Facebook page.

Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners hail from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Bolton and Worcester. Worship services are held Sunday mornings at 10am followed by coffee hour and preceded by Sunday School for adults at 9am.
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Maypole Dancing on the Sudbury Town Common

SUDBURY: Join First Parish of Sudbury in dancing around the Maypole on May 5 at 11:30am on the Sudbury Town Common, across from First Parish, 327 Concord Road. All are invited to join in learning Maypole dances and Tom Kruskal and the Hopbrook Morris dancers will join in the fun! There is no fee to attend this program. Free parking is available behind Sudbury Town Hall (322 Concord Road).

First Parish of Sudbury has been dancing around the Maypole for over 30 years—and they'd like to invite the community to join us in this joyful tradition— the coming of summer! Maypole dancing is a centuries-old tradition celebrated on May Day. It is believed to have started in Roman Britain around 2,000 years ago, when soldiers celebrated the arrival of spring by dancing around decorated trees, thanking their goddess Flora. These days, dancers weave ribbons around a pole rather than a tree, celebrating the arrival of spring.

First Parish of Sudbury, located at the center of historic Sudbury, is a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers who strive to learn together and support one another as they celebrate life’s important moments and serve the larger community. Unitarian Universalists create meaningful communities by drawing from many wisdom traditions, including world religions and Earth-centered identities. Please contact (978) 443-2043 or office@fpsudbury.org for further information or visit fpsudbury.org.

Assabet Valley Advanced Manufacturing Students Visited by NASA HUNCH Program Mentors, Sign Locker

MARLBOROUGH: Superintendent-Director Ernest F. Houle is pleased to share that mentors from the NASA HUNCH (High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware) program recently visited Assabet Valley Advanced Manufacturing students. Recently, NASA HUNCH mentors, Dr. Florence Gold and Bill Gibson, visited Assabet Valley to meet with the Advanced Manufacturing students who participate in the program. Students in the program built four parts of a cube satellite that will hold testing and data collection components on satellites launched from the International Space Station. Cube satellites or CubeSats are small box-shaped satellites that are launched into orbit to observe the Earth, for scientific investigations, new technology demonstrations, and advanced mission concepts.

Students and faculty were extremely proud of their work and accomplishments, as Assabet is the first school in the program to make parts for NASA that will leave the International Space Station and go into orbit.

“I couldn't be more proud of myself. This has been such a positive and challenging experience,” said Assabet senior Marcos Zengotita, who worked directly on the cube satellite. “This process has been so fun and knowing that the parts we made are going into space is really awesome. I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity.”

During the visit, to commemorate their participation in the HUNCH program, students and teachers had the opportunity to sign a NASA locker that will be used in the International Space Station. All students across Massachusetts who participate in the HUNCH program will sign the locker.

“It is nice that the students get recognition for the hard work they put in. This is a hard trade, a lot of people don’t know what manufacturing is and we have the opportunity to use new technology and be able to create precision parts for NASA,” said Advanced Manufacturing Instructor David Sommerville. “The fact that students are able to make parts that are going up to the International Space Station is awesome to see. It prepares them for the industry and gives them the confidence for jobs after they leave Assabet. If they can do it for NASA they can do it for a local company as well.”

Dr. Gold and Gibson also spoke to students about the importance of the work they are doing in their Advanced Manufacturing classes and how this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to say something with their name on it has traveled to space. 

"This was truly a wonderful experience for our students. The pride they had when they were able to sign their name on the locker and speak with Flo and Bill was surreal to see," said Superintendent Houle. "The HUNCH program is a great opportunity for students to work on their skills and build confidence in the trade. At Assabet, we strive to create these memorable and interactive opportunities for our students so they can grow and develop their craft in their chosen trade. I am excited to continue to watch these students' accomplishments during their time here and beyond. It is not every day that high schoolers get to make something for NASA and this program helps us instill that our students are capable of anything they set their minds to."

HUNCH is an instructional partnership between NASA and local school districts. Students are tasked with creating cost-effective hardware and soft goods in collaboration with HUNCH team members. 

The HUNCH program works with more than 500 school districts in 46 states. HUNCH projects cover six areas: culinary, design and prototyping, design for flight, hardware, soft goods, video and media. For more information about the NASA HUNCH program, visit nasahunch.com.

Sing Into Spring with Assabet Valley Chambersingers

WESTBOROUGH: The Assabet Valley Chambersingers will present a choral concert “Sing Into Spring” which will feature music intended to awaken and refresh all our emotional senses.  Five centuries of choral music will be represented on April 14 at 3pm, beginning with the delightful and frivolous madrigals of the 17th century through to the lush contemporary settings of romantic poetry by some of the 21st century’s youngest composers.  The program will include madrigals, motets, Broadway show tunes, vocal jazz as well as classic and contemporary choral works.  It should provide a refreshing delightful musical experience as well as move one’s emotion with the strong sentiments of contemporary poetry. The event, to be held at the Congregational Church of Westborough, is free, though donations are welcome.  "Pay What You Wish."

This concert is sponsored in part by Westborough Cultural Council. 

The Assabet Valley Chambersingers is a 20-voice ensemble selected from the Assabet Valley Mastersingers. The Chambersingers perform unaccompanied madrigals and motets from all periods as well as Broadway show tunes and vocal Jazz standards.  Organized in 1988 by Director Dr. Robert Eaton as a civic outreach program in the greater Worcester/Marlborough area, the Chambersingers provide entertainment for a variety of audiences including Sr. Centers, Libraries, Assisted Living Facilities, and various community events as well as their own concert series. For more information, visit avmsingers.org.

Business of the Month


Spring Concert April 7 at St. Stephen Church

MARLBOROUGH: Professional musicians, talented teens, a variety of musical styles and a half-dozen different instruments will be showcased during an afternoon performance on April 7 at 3pm at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street (Route 85). “Spring Concert – Piano, Viola, Harp, Oboe – Oh My!” will highlight light-hearted musical selections ranging from bluegrass to waltz, and folk songs to Broadway favorites, as well as offer ice cream during intermission. 

In addition to four adult musicians with decades of teaching and symphony experience, and three musical teenagers – all members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church – the concert will present an opportunity for audience participation.  The St. Stephen Church choir will lead those attending in a rendition of Edelweiss from “The Sound of Music.” Program selections also include Three English Folk Songs - R. Vaughan Williams - Ron Kaye, English horn and Tammy Kaye, viola; Three French Dances - Ron Kaye, oboe and Tammy Kaye, violin; Prelude and Waltz - Shostakovich - Linda Hanson and Tammy Kaye, violin, and  Stanley Hanson, piano; Ashokan Farewell - Ungar - Erin Kaye, harp, Steven Kaye, cello and Tammy Kaye, violin; The Easy Winners - Scott Joplin - Tammy Kaye, violin, Linda Hanson, violin, and Stanley Hanson, piano; Prelude (Novelette in Fourths) - George Gershwin - Stanley Hanson, piano; and  In My Own Little Corner (from Cinderella), Lily Ruggierie, vocalist.

Instead of a monetary admission, those attending the concert are asked to donate a new, unopened package (any size) of either socks or underwear for men, women, or children. These will be given out to shoppers at the church’s April 27 Spring Clothing Giveaway, along with gently used seasonal clothing and accessories.

PHOTO: Linda Hanson & Stanley Hanson

Native Plant Trust announces 2024 Opening Date for Garden in the Woods & More

FRAMINGHAM: Native Plant Trust, the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants, will open its renowned botanic garden, Garden in the Woods, to the public for the 2024 season on April 14. In a garden often described as magical, visitors will find naturalistic plant collections showcasing iconic New England native plants. “Garden in the Woods encompasses 45 acres sculpted by retreating glaciers into eskers, steep-sided valleys, and a kettle pond. Here you’ll find inspiration for your own garden and a new appreciation for the plant life of our region,” noted Uli Lorimer, Director of Horticulture at Native Plant Trust. The Garden Shop at Nasami Farm, a retail space well-known for growing New England native plants from seed harvested sustainably from wild populations throughout the region, will open for the season on April 27 with hundreds of choice plants for sale.

Along with the garden opening and retail nursery opening, registration is now open for more than 80 programs, including many never offered before, for the spring/summer 2024 season. “This spring and summer we offer a wide range of programs exploring native plants through self-paced online courses, virtual programming, and in-person experiences at Garden in the Woods and beyond,” said Bess Paupeck, director of Public Programs at Native Plant Trust. “We’ve expanded our Youth & Family offerings and added new Art & Nature programming. You will encounter courses that approach botany, horticulture, and conservation from new angles, inspired by art history, writing, and literature, connecting with an ever-expanding network of thinkers, makers, scientists, and educators. We are especially thrilled to introduce our 2024 visiting artist, Julie C. Baer.”

The Visiting Artist Program at Native Plant Trust invites local artists and creatives to explore their practice while working among the plants of our botanic garden at Garden in the Woods and sanctuaries across New England. “At the conclusion of their time with us, the Visiting Artist will present the culmination of their work to the public via an exhibition, performance, conversation, or installation. For her project, Regarding Nature, Julie will create new work inspired by the changing forms of plants, algae, fungi, and lichens across their life cycles,” Paupeck said.  Many programs are eligible for continuing education credits for professionals in conservation, horticulture, landscape, and arboriculture. For more information and to register for programs, visit www.NativePlantTrust.org.
Erikareitshamer web

The Friends of the Goodnow Library Present La Dolce Vita and La Dolce Musica

SUDBURY: The Friends of the Goodnow Library cordially invite you to their next program in the Ricciardi Family Program Series entitled La Dolce Vita and La Dolce Musica, an audio-visual presentation by Erika Reitshamer, life-long opera lover and knowledgeable and engaging presenter. Travel with Erika from the north to south of Italy to enjoy a magical trip that includes Italy’s culture, music, way of life, opera, and popular Neapolitan songs. This program will be presented at First Parish of Sudbury, 327 Concord Road on April 7 from 3-4:30pm. Seating will be first come first served. Parking is available at the venue and across the street behind Sudbury Town Hall. In case of inclement weather, please check the Friends website at www.friendsofgoodnow.org.

This program is made possible by a generous bequest from Frank and Stella Ricciardi.
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The Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable Provides Valentine Gift Bags to Survivors of Domestic Violence

Community volunteers fill valentine bags
SUDBURY: Once again the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable held its annual Valentine Collection at Sudbury Wine and Spirits and Spirits of Maynard. This year community members were invited to join Roundtable board members to help fill the Valentine bags for families affected by abuse. Volunteers from First Parish in Sudbury and the towns of Framingham, Wayland, and Marlborough, representatives from REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Services Network, Gifts of Hope, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Middlesex County District Attorney Marion Ryan joined Roundtable Board members to fill the bags.
Volunteers filled 55 bags that were delivered to clients of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, The Second Step, and Voices Against Violence. Included in the bags for the adults were gift cards for Target, Market Basket, Visa, Sephora and Dunkin Donuts.

 The Roundtable would like to thank everyone who generously donated Valentine gifts and helped fill the bags. Their participation made this year’s collection a great success.

The Roundtable would like to offer special thanks to the Saia family of Sudbury Wine and Spirits and Spirits of Maynard for again hosting the collection baskets, to the students at Sudbury Extended Day for decorating the gift bags, to the students at Wayland Creative Play School for creating tags for the bags, and to the staff and the families of Sudbury Extended Day for their wonderful donations. The Roundtable also appreciates the ongoing support of members of the League of Women Voters of Sudbury.

These Valentine’s Day bags brighten the lives of families living in domestic violence shelters and transitional housing and let them know that they are supported in their efforts to rebuild their lives free from abuse. 
Emass senior softball league   one of 2023 teams

EMASS Senior Softball League Opens Player Registration for 2024 Season

WAYLAND: Eastern Massachusetts Senior Softball (EMASS) is opening its annual registration campaign for slow-pitch softball players age 50 and older. With almost 500 members, the league attracts players from towns across Eastern Massachusetts with games played primarily in Wayland, Medfield, and Framingham. The EMASS season runs from late April through late September, including Playoffs. Interested players can register for the EMASS 2024 season at e-mass.org/current-programs.

EMASS has six divisions that accommodate a range of skill levels, two that play on Saturday mornings and four on weekday mornings. EMASS has many seniors in their fifties and sixties who can still hit a ball over a 300-foot fence, run down a deep drive in the outfield or turn a double-play in the infield. There are other divisions in which players whose talents may have diminished over time can enjoy playing with similarly skilled friends.
Community, Sportsmanship, Competition…in That Order. “We are a community of folks who recognize how lucky we are to be able to play a game we love at the age we have attained and at a level that matches our abilities – in a community of like-minded players who become friends,” said Steve Bober, new Commissioner of EMASS. “I joined EMASS when I retired and really didn’t know a single person,” offers Joe Groden, an EMASS Division coordinator. “Six years later, it’s become one of the best things I’ve ever done. I love playing softball, but far and away the best thing about being part of this community has been the number of friends I’ve made. This is truly the essence of the experience.”

EMASS adds about 60 new players each year. “We shuffle up team rosters every year in all divisions to enhance connections across our large softball-loving community,” said Rich Goldberg, a Division Coordinator. “Our members enjoy competing with and against their friends.”
“You get to know players on a personal level,” said Division Coordinator James Hulbert. “These friendships can expand, providing opportunities like playing in tournaments or going to Cuba to play in a friendship series. Whether you just want an outlet for fun and exercise or you want to build some new friendships, there's something for everyone.”

Retired Or Not, Players Love A Weekly Physical Outlet. EMASS players cherish their weekly double-headers. The three-hour escape to the ballfield is a high point of camaraderie, teamwork and healthy outdoor competition.

“Hitting and fielding a softball and being on a team is fun and can help promote good health. When your health routines are fun, you make them a priority,” said Walker Royce. “Some seniors are hesitant to play because their knee hurts or they are carrying too much weight. Every Senior Softball player has similar complaints. Aches and pains are easily tolerated when they are offset by the joy of playing and competing with friends. And at a cost of roughly $5 per game, there’s no better value for healthy recreation.”

EMASS was founded in 1995 and offers active seniors of all skill levels a safe, well-organized opportunity to play competitive softball. Players can sign up for a division featuring players with similar abilities. With two Saturday divisions and four weekday divisions, players can play at a level that is most comfortable for them. All divisions play a double-header each week and many members play on different teams in multiple divisions. For more information about EMASS Senior Softball League, visit www.e-mass.org.
Raffle quilt 2024

Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild Biennial Quilt Show

UPTON: The Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild is pleased to present their biennial quilt show on March 16 and 17 at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School. The show will be open from 10am-4pm each day. This year’s show is chaired by Annie Bosma and Kathy Sperino. Admission is $10; children 18 and under are admitted free.

On view will be over 200 quilts designed and made by guild members including Guild Challenges, Round Robins, Scavenger Hunt, and Youth Quilts. Also on site will be a Silent Auction, Raffle Baskets, a Quilters’ Boutique, vendors, and a spectacular raffle quilt made by guild members Grace Aloise and Marcia Nichols. Quilt raffle tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and will be available for purchase at the show.

The Guild’s Special Project Charity this year is the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. This foundation provides funds to help people affected by autism live life to the fullest. There will be a variety of gift items available for purchase with all proceeds donated to the foundation.
Vendors at this year’s show include The Fudge Lady, Anthony’s Sewing Machine Service and Repair, Appletree Fabrics, SOKE LLC, Bits and Pieces Quilt Shop, Angel Hair Alpacas, H and H Creations, Adele Scott, Quilters’ Loft, Fabritique, Molly’s Apothecary, Camp Wool, The Indigo Squirrel, and the Handy Husband. There is a variety of vendors that will appeal to all attendees.

Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild was founded in 1992 by eight women interested in exploring the art of quilting. Today the guild has a membership of 85 members. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Mendon. The guild holds its biennial quilt show to display the works of its members and to further educate the community about the art of quilt making. Proceeds from the show are used to provide comfort the area communities through the donation of quilts to those in need of comfort due serious illness, loss of their homes, or personal trauma, those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and quilts to those suffering from natural disasters or international conflicts. Proceeds are also used to provide scholarships to local art students, provide donations to charitable organizations, and to sponsor families at Christmas.
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Assabet Valley Camera Club Program: A Murmur in the Trees

HUDSON: On March 6, the Assabet Valley Camera Club (AVCC) is pleased to host Suzanne Révy, photographer, writer and educator who earned a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and previously worked as photography editor at U.S. News & World Report and Yankee Magazine. She has exhibited her work in museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is an adjunct professor of photography at Clark University in Worcester.

A Murmur in the Trees is a fine-arts photographic presentation featuring multi-panel images which strive to create dialogues between space and form, implying the passages of time and creating arresting visual stutters. Suzanne finds herself looking for figurative gestures in the trees or streams and in the man-made imprints left upon the land. She wishes to impart a tenor of solitude that conveys a reverence for the fragile and enduring ecosystems that surround us, and to draw parallels between the cycles of nature and the arc of human history.

A Murmur in the Trees is supported in part by a grant from the Hudson Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The program is free and open to the public. Révy’s work can be viewed on her website at www.suzannerevy.com .
Currently AVCC meetings are using a hybrid approach where members can meet either in person or via Zoom. If you are interested in attending the program, contact AVCC at info@assabetvalleycc.com a few days prior to the meeting to request a link to the event or to let us know you will be attending in person. The club’s Zoom room opens at 7pm with a brief business meeting at 7:15pm. Suzanne’s presentation will begin at 7:30pm. AVCC in-person meetings are held at the Hudson Senior Center, 29 Church Street, and are open to the public. The first meeting of the month generally features a program designed to instruct and/or to entertain camera enthusiasts. During the second monthly meeting, a competition of members’ digital images are judged and critiqued by qualified individuals. Assabet Valley Camera Club, affiliated with both the New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA), participates in inter-club competitions on regional, national and international levels.

AVCC welcomes anyone interested in learning more about photography as a visual art and its practical application as a science. Members benefit from the hands-on experiences, from the knowledge presented in programs, and from having their work critiqued. For more information, check out assabetvalleycc.com.
Eyes on owls publicity photo

Eyes on Owls: Who’s Watching You?

WESTBOROUGH: Bring the family and join the Westborough Community Land Trust for "Eyes on Owls: Who's Watching You?" presented by Eyes on Owls at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 17 Willow Street!  There will be two free one-hour shows featuring live owls on March 9, starting at 9am and 11am. Meet some fascinating owls you may see or hear while out walking in Westborough, as well as some impressive specimens from around the world. Learn to identify, respect, and protect these beautiful creatures. Plan to arrive early as seating is limited. No reservation required. Free; donations to WCLT gratefully accepted at the door. For questions contact events@westboroughlandtrust.org.

Parking is available in the rear. There is no parking along Willow Street. Overflow parking is in Arturo’s parking lot, 54 East Main Street. Walk behind the Arturo’s building to cross directly into the rear of the KofC parking lot.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Sydney pérez as princess ida 2 photo by chris pollari

The Sudbury Savoyards present Gilbert & Sullivan's "Princess Ida or Castle Adamant"

SUDBURY: The Sudbury Savoyards present a classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta full of merriment, madrigals, and mayhem: Princess Ida. This stand-out cast features some of the Boston area’s best talent, both up-and-coming and experienced.  Performed with detailed costumes, sets, and live orchestra, this re-vamped production includes an updated setting and interpretation, and is sure to entertain.

Princess Ida tells the tale of a visionary young woman who backs out of her childhood betrothal in order to start a women's university.  Since men are banned from campus, Ida's jilted groom Prince Hilarion, along with his friends Cyril and Florian, sneak into the school disguised as women to try to win back her affections.  Hijinx and diplomatic incidents ensue.  Will Ida and her idealistic faculty find true love while staying true to their values?  Will Ida and Hilarion's crotchety fathers, King Gama and King Hildebrand, find enough common ground to avoid all-out war?   Will Cyril ever get to eat his lunch?

Director Rebecca Graber has envisioned a thoughtful new take on Gilbert and Sullivan's beloved medieval spoof.  What does the “battle of the sexes” look like when all it takes is a skirt or a pair of trousers to switch sides? Have a chuckle and a think at this fresh interpretation, set in a world where gender is determined entirely by clothing.  This stylish, mid 20th century staging is populated with scheming academics, impractical scientists, muscle-headed gym rats, would-be demagogues, and people who don’t quite fit the boxes made for them.

Performances run February 23-March 2 at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in the Kirshner Auditorium Theater, 390 Lincoln Road. A tour of the set will be offered following all matinee performances. Tickets are $27 for adults; $20 for seniors/students; $15 for children. Group tickets are available in advance for $18 per person. For more information, visit sudburysavoyards.org.

SVT Offers Shabbat Afternoon Hike

SUDBURY: Enjoy a Shabbat afternoon hike through the springtime woods to the lookout at Tippling Rock on the Nobscot Scout Reservation, punctuated with stops to share themes of Shabbat. The hike, taking place March 30 at 2pm, will be led by Rabbi Josh Breindel and Cantor Vera Broekhuysen and will be over easy to moderate trails at a moderate pace. All ages are welcome.

This program is supported by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. The program is Free for Sudbury Valley Trustees Members; $10 for non-members. Advance registration is required.  For more information, visit svtprograms.funraise.org.
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Shir Joy Chorus Presents "Songs of Light & Hope"

WESTBOROUGH: Shir Joy Chorus will present its winter concert in a live performance. The theme - “Songs of Light & Hope” - reflects the group’s love of music and hopes for a brighter future for all. The concert will feature selections in both Hebrew and English. Shir Joy will sing pieces by Batya Levine, Naomi Shemer, Beth Schafer, Nefesh Mountain, Michael Boino, Ernest Bloch, Shir Joy’s own director and composer, Nan AK Gibbons, and more. The concert is at 7pm on February 24 (rescheduled from 2/4) at Congregation B’nai Shalom. Tickets are $15 and will be on sale at the door; they are also available on the Shir Joy website at www.shirjoychorus.com. For more information, please contact Shir Joy President Karen Rothman at ShirJoyMA@gmail.com or Shir Joy PR Director Laura Logan at ShirazAtidah@gmail.com.

Shaken: Art That Rocked Audiences from the Renaissance to Today

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SUDBURY: The Friends of the Goodnow Library are pleased to present the next program in The Ricciardi Family Program Series. This free program series is made possible by a generous bequest from Stella and Frank Ricciardi.

Back by popular demand, Jane O’Neail of Culturally Curious will present Shaken: Art That Rocked Audiences from the Renaissance to Today. The free program will be held in person on January 28 at 3pm at First Parish in Sudbury, 327 Concord Road. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

The history of art is filled with stories of paintings and sculptures that ruffled feathers and riled audiences. Sometimes artists intended to make a splash and sometimes they unintentionally fell into controversy. This program considers some of the biggest scandals in the art world in terms of audience reception and includes works such as Donatello’s David, Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, and Sargent’s famous Madame X.

Jane holds a master’s in Art History from Boston University and a master’s in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She was born and raised in NH and has worked at some of the state’s most esteemed cultural institutions, including the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, where she served as Executive Director, and the Currier Museum of Art, where she held the role of Senior Educator. She has taught Art History at the college level for more than a decade, most recently at Southern New Hampshire University.

Parking is available at the church or across the street behind Sudbury Town Hall. In case of inclement weather, please check the Friends of Goodnow website at www.friendsofgoodnow.org.
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Friends of the Goodnow Library Bring Tanglewood Marionettes to MetroWest

SUDBURY: The Friends of the Goodnow Library are pleased to announce the second program in a series of free programs made possible by a generous bequest from Stella and Frank Ricciardi.  These free programs are part of the Ricciardi Family Program Series. On January 21 at 3 pm, Tanglewood Marionettes will perform "The Dragon King" in the Ephraim Curtis Middle School Auditorium, 22 Pratts Mill Road. Seating will be first come, first served.

An underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore, "The Dragon King" tells the tale of an intrepid Grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea in search of the elusive Dragon King and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above. Colorful sea creatures, an exciting adventure, and a Dragon King that will knock your socks off!  All this and more can be found in this award-winning production. This program is appropriate for children in grades Pre-K-grade 6. Teens and adults will also enjoy not only the story, but also the artistry and technical elements of the program.

Founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaefer, Tanglewood Marionettes is a marionette theater based in New England. Their repertoire consists primarily of classic tales performed by skilled puppeteers who have spent many years perfecting their art. They have toured throughout the United States.
In the event of inclement weather, please check for updates at the Friends of the Goodnow Library at friendsofgoodnow.org.

Community Foundation for MetroWest Welcomes Jennifer Flanagan

NATICK/LINCOLN: The Community Foundation for MetroWest is thrilled to welcome Jennifer Flanagan to PALC. Jennifer is an attorney at Mirick O’Connell, where she is a Partner with the Trusts and Estates Group. She works closely with her clients to provide highly personalized plans that minimize taxes and effectively fulfill their wishes for passing on their legacy. Jennifer enjoys helping clients carry out their philanthropic goals, whether they wish to make gifts during their lifetime or provide for charitable gifts on their death. She lives in Lincoln and is involved with giving back to her community in a variety of ways.
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Native Plant Trust Appoints Tim Johnson as CEO

FRAMINGHAM: The Board of Trustees of Native Plant Trust has announced the appointment of Tim Johnson as its new Chief Executive Officer. Native Plant Trust is the nation’s first plant conservation organization and the only one solely focused on New England’s native plants. Johnson joins Native Plant Trust from Smith College, where he was Director of the Botanic Garden and Professor of Practice. 

Johnson will lead the conservation and horticulture organization, including 45-acre Garden in the Woods; Nasami Farm, a native plant nursery in Whately; and expanded seed-processing and storage facilities to support the new Northeast Seed Network, a regional initiative led by Native Plant Trust to create a sustainable source of seed to meet the increased demand for native plants.

Johnson brings a background in environmental horticulture and biological science to a long-standing career in conservation and botanic garden administration and leadership, pillars of Native Plant Trust’s mission and organization. “I am excited to join Native Plant Trust at this important moment, and for the opportunity to meld my experience as a plant conservation researcher and a botanic garden leader in this new role,” said Johnson. “My affection for native plants is born from a childhood spent exploring the great outdoors of Wisconsin, and my appreciation for the importance of protecting the rarest of the rare comes from my graduate studies working with threatened orchids on the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. I know the importance and relevance of Native Plant Trust because it is an organization that has inspired me professionally and personally for twenty years. I have always been attracted to the organization’s scientifically sound approach to plant conservation and citizen science, desire to push the envelope on environmentally friendly native plant garden design, and ability to meet the learning needs of a diverse range of plant lovers.”

A native of Wisconsin, Johnson focused his studies on biology and environmental horticulture, earning a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and a PhD in environmental horticulture from the University of Florida. The appointment is the culmination of a national search, and follows the retirement of Executive Director Debbi Edelstein in January 2024 after 15 years of distinguished service to the organization. Johnson will begin his role as CEO at Native Plant Trust on January 29, 2024.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tim as our CEO,” said Bill Huyett, Chair of Board of Trustees at Native Plant Trust. “Tim’s academic background and leadership experience in conservation, horticulture and education are an exemplary fit with our organization and our plans for growth. Native Plant Trust has an ambitious vision to expand our impact in the areas of ecological horticulture, native plant conservation, biodiversity and climate change. Our board looks forward to working with Tim to harness Native Plant Trust’s strong foundation and reputation to expand and deliver on that vision with the highest sense of urgency. I am truly excited by the opportunity to work with Tim in translating his track record of impact and innovation in relating science to diverse audiences to our work in the Northeast and beyond. This is an important moment for expansion and innovation in our organization as we approach our 125th anniversary in 2025.” 

Starting the Christmas Spirit Early at St. Stephen Church

MARLBOROUGH: Parishioners at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street, began their Christmas outreach early this year, with both social and charitable activities in November. Members and friends collected warm clothing and prepared meals for the Northampton-based Cathedral in the Night, wrapped sweatshirts a month in advance for the local Sweats for Vets program, and knitted and shopped for Christmas gifts for merchant marines through Seafarers International House’s Christmas at Sea program. The Senior Friends met in November and decorated more than a dozen gingerbread houses for their own homes.

Now that Advent has begun, activities have not stopped. Dozens of Secret Santas at St. Stephen Lutheran Church shopped for area children through the Hope for the Holidays initiative and on December 6, members delivered Christmas gifts for 41 children.

Advent worship services continue on Wednesday evenings at 7pm through December 20. Recognizing that Christmas is sometimes a sad or stressful time, the December 20 service will be a “Darkest Night” offering. Traditionally held on or near the longest night of the year, it provides an opportunity for lament and healing during a time that is difficult for some.

On December 24, there will be no morning service, but Festive Christmas Eve worship, with choir, bells, and carols, will take place at 5pm. Christmas morning worship will be at 10am, and communion will be offered at both Christmas services.
For more information about the church, visit www.sslcma.org or the church’s Facebook page. Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). The church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury,
Stow, Bolton and Worcester.

PHOTO: Marlea Dutt and Joni Schalkhauser with gingerbread houses created by the St. Stephen Lutheran Church Senior Friends.

Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra Opens 51st Season with “Symphonic Sunday”

SUDBURY: On January 7, 2024 at 3pm, the Lincoln-Sudbury Civic Orchestra (LSCO) presents its first concert of its 51st season with its winter concert, “Symphonic Sunday” at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. The concert includes the iconic Overture to the Magic Flute opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Morceau de Concert concerto for French horn by Camille Saint-Saëns, and closes with the Symphony #2 in D major by Johannes Brahms.

Now in his second season, Alfonso Piacentini, a charismatic, young conductor and percussionist leads the all-volunteer community orchestra. Maestro Piacentini also serves under Benjamin Zander as an Assistant Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth orchestra. Managing Director William Nicholson said in a recent interview: “We so enjoy Maestro Piacentini on the podium. He brings great vitality to these Romantic classics, especially the Brahms. And it’s such a delight to have horn soloist Mauricio Martinez join us for this concert. His tone and technique are a real joy to hear.”

Boston-based French horn wunderkind Mauricio Martinez joins the orchestra as featured soloist for Saint-Saëns Morceau de Concert. Mr. Martinez began playing French horn in elementary school in his home town of Camaguey, Cuba. Having relocated with his family to Atlanta, GA, he joined the Talent Development Program under the mentorship of Brice Andrus, Principal Horn of the Atlanta Symphony. Mr. Martinez is currently a sophomore at New England Conservatory, studying with Eli Epstein. Mr. Martinez has already performed in many countries beyond the US and Cuba, including South Africa and Greece. He was a prize winner at the 2022 International Horn Competition of America, and regularly performs under Maestros Zander and Piacentini in the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Admission is a suggested donation of $20 per adult. Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School is located at 390 Lincoln Road. The concert will also be livestreamed on SudburyTV. Go to sudburytv.org, Scroll down on the Main page to the Live Stream section and click on Watch Now for the Educational Channel.

About Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra
Founded in 1973, the LSCO is a volunteer community orchestra comprising high school students and adult community members who share a love for preparing and performing substantial orchestral repertoire. The members have classical music training at the intermediate to advanced level and rehearse weekly Tuesday evenings at LSRHS. Although the scores studied and performed are the original professional scores (not arrangements for school ensembles), professional performing experience is not required for membership. All players are welcome to join regardless of town of residence. For more information visit lscivicorchestra.org.

Founded in 1972 as a community orchestra for high school musicians to work with adult musicians of Lincoln and Sudbury, the group is always looking for new players. Interested amateur musicians are welcome and encouraged to contact the orchestra leadership by email at lscivicorchestra@gmail.com. Visit LSCO on the web at https://lscivicorchestra.org.
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Mike Perrin Joins SVT Staff

SUDBURY: Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) recently welcomed Mike Perrin as its new Conservation Associate. A member of the SVT Land Protection department, Mr. Perrin will help to identify and prioritize properties for protection, engage the public at community events, and build relationships with municipal and local land trust partners. He will also host workshops highlighting SVT's new land protection prioritization mapping tool.

SVT is a nonprofit land trust that protects natural areas and farmland in the region around the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. The organization has helped to protect more than 8,000 acres of land in the region since its founding in 1953.

Perrin comes to SVT from the municipal conservation field, working as Assistant Conservation Administer for the Towns of Weymouth and Kingston. An alumnus of the TerraCorps-AmeriCorps program, Perrin has served and worked with land trusts across New England, including the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Wareham Land Trust, and Berkshire Natural Resources Council. He earned his B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, and he is an avid birder.

“I've always admired SVT for their commitment, efforts, and continued progress in land conservation,” said Mr. Perrin. “As a passionate advocate for land conservation and stewardship, I am excited to join the staff and be part of the effort to protect the beautiful landscapes of this region.”

Laura Mattei, SVT Director of Conservation, added, “I am delighted to welcome Mike to our staff. He is an enthusiastic advocate for land protection, and his experience in municipal conservation and with land trusts will make him the ideal ambassador to SVT’s partners in our 36 communities.”

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”- Handbell Style!!

MARLBOROUGH: On December 2 at 7pm, First Church Congregational in Marlborough (37 High Street) will host the 15th annual Holiday concert by the Merrimack Valley Ringers, an auditioned community handbell choir based in Chelmsford. MVR has a full complement of 17 ringers from Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, and their instrumentation for this performance includes 6 octaves of handbells, 6 octaves of handchimes, and percussion. You’ll be treated to an array of holiday favorites by the group, including “Greensleeves,” “Sleigh Ride!,” “Rockin’Around the Christmas Tree,” and of course “It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year.” Admission is FREE, so gather your family and friends, and come and enjoy an evening that is sure to put you in the mood for this very special time of year. For more information, visit mvringers.com.
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AMSA Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Academic Building

MARLBOROUGH: The Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) held a groundbreaking ceremony recently for a new academic building being built on its campus at 201 Forest Street. The 17,000-square-foot academic building will alleviate current classroom space restrictions and will contain state-of-the-art classroom technology and laboratory equipment to improve learning opportunities for students.

“This event marks a significant leap forward for AMSA students in the world of science and technology,” said Dr. Lisa C. Mobley, AMSA Executive Director. “We are celebrating the fusion of innovation, collaboration, and the ambition of all the stakeholders who continue to support us in imagining AMSA’s future today. We build with mortar and concrete, but tomorrow we build scientists, engineers, architects who will impact our world far and wide.”

“We're not only breaking ground, we're also breaking boundaries and things that we can do,” said Raul Porras, Chair of the AMSA Board of Trustees. “We're prioritizing the kids and we're prioritizing the learning. I look forward to seeing how our students thrive here.”

 AMSA’s campus currently consists of three former office buildings that have been converted into classrooms, cafeterias, and administrative offices. AMSA is funding the project through a combination of school equity ($4 million), a tax-exempt bond issued by Boston Private and guaranteed through MassDevelopment ($24 million) and philanthropy ($2 million). The school has launched a capital campaign to raise the philanthropy portion. AMSA does not charge tuition, and admittance is based solely on a space-availability lottery.  www.amsacs.org
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AVM Welcomes You to Messiah Sing-Along Event

MARLBOROUGH: Assabet Valley Mastersingers, the renowned choir ensemble, is thrilled to announce its upcoming Messiah Sing, December 17 at 3:30pm, at First Church Marlborough, 37 High Street. This festive occasion promises to be a memorable celebration of music, community, and holiday spirit. Music enthusiasts and community members are invited to join in this interactive and joyous experience. The Messiah Sing is a unique event that encourages audience participation, allowing attendees to become part of the performance and share in the magic of Handel's masterpiece. Highlights include:

Community Engagement: AVM is excited to bring together people from all walks of life to create a harmonious blend of voices. Whether you're a seasoned vocalist or just enjoy singing in the shower, this event welcomes everyone to participate. Expert Guidance: Accompanied by a professional orchestra and under the expert direction of Dr. Robert Eaton, participants will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of performing Handel's Messiah alongside professional soloists. Dr. Eaton brings a wealth of experience and passion, ensuring a high-quality musical experience for all involved. Holiday Spirit: The Messiah Sing is not just a musical event; it's a celebration of the holiday season. Embrace the festive atmosphere as AVM hosts this magical evening filled with  joy, unity, and the timeless beauty of Handel's compositions.
For more information and to reserve your spot, visit www.avmsingers.org/events/messiah-sing. Don't miss this opportunity to be part of a community celebration which brings people together in the true spirit of the season!

Assabet Valley Mastersingers is a regional chorus with performances in Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, Southborough, and Marlborough. AVM is dedicated to performance excellence and innovative programming. Local talented vocalists and instrumentalists perform celebrated choral masterworks, lesser-known masterworks, and commissioned works.

NGC Hosts Holiday Enchantment

NORTHBOROUGH: Discover the simple joy of holiday floral design at the Northborough Garden Club’s annual Holiday Enchantment event on December 9 at 12:30pm at Northborough Free Library, 34 Main Street. Designer and Master Flower Show Judge Kathy Leva presents “Fun With Flowers.” Floral design is an easy and enjoyable way to be creative. Leva will create fresh flower designs and demonstrate how to make beautiful holiday arrangements for your home or to give as gifts. In addition to the floral design program, this event also features a home and garden inspired basket raffle, a chance to win dinner for two at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, local greens for purchase, and light refreshments. You’ll even get a chance to win one of Leva’s arrangements when you enter the raffle at the event! Doors open at 12:30pm at the Northborough Free Library, and the presentation starts at 1:15pm. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at www.northboroughgardenclub.com.

Kathy Leva has taught several floral design classes and workshops sharing her fresh ideas with fresh flowers to Garden Clubs throughout Massachusetts, and represents her garden club at the Museum of Fine Arts fundraiser program “Art in Bloom” for the past 12 years.

Sudbury Meetinghouse Concerts Presents Making Magic with Ken Burns by Jacqueline Schwab

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SUDBURY: A solo concert by renowned pianist Jacqueline Schwab will take place as part of Sudbury Meetinghouse Concerts, November 18, 7:30pm in The Meetinghouse. Schwab will play music from her extensive work with Ken Burns and discuss and illustrate the magic of working with this talented documentary maker. Tickets are $25 in advance or at the door. Free parking is available at First Parish’s Meetinghouse, 327 Concord Road, or across the street behind Sudbury Town Hall. To purchase in advance, visit www.viewcy.com/e/making_magic_with_ken.

“Jacqueline Schwab brings more feeling and intensity to music than anyone I know. Her playing is insistent, physical, heartfelt and … unusually moving,”  comments Ken Burns.
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Fall Nature Gardening Tip: Leave Leaves Alone

As a rule in nature and gardening, keep leaves in place whenever possible. Leaving the leaves alone is a good way to support native pollinators and other insects and wildlife.  These valuable insects rely on the habitat fallen leaves provide, especially over the winter months.  Dead leaves also decompose creating compost that can improve soil structure and fertility. 
This being said, leaves need to be managed in yards to see the most benefit. Leaves shouldn't simply go unmanaged. If nothing is done, layers of fallen leaves can cause damage by blocking out light and smothering plants which can kill them. Often a little redistribution of the leaf layer to prevent a thick mat of leaves from forming is all that is needed to prevent this type of damage. Excessively thick layers of leaves (greater than 6 to 8 inches) may need to be reduced or removed. Whenever possible move them to mulched garden areas with fewer leaves or create a compost pile onsite to keep all that beneficial organic matter in your yard.
Mow-mulching the leaves on the lawn has many advantages, including reducing noise and greenhouse gases, and enhancing the health of your yard. The shredded/mulched leaf material  creates valuable compost, which enriches the topsoil. Leaf mulching also limits spreading dust and contaminants into the air and saves you time and money. The benefits of mulching the leaves into the lawn are numerous and scientifically proven.  Mulching:
  • is quieter and cleaner than leaf blowing;
  • reduces the need for fertilizer and avoids water pollution by reducing phosphorus and fertilizer leaching;
  • reduces the safety hazard of piled up or bagged leaves on the roadsides and saves taxpayer money for municipal leaf collection;
  • improves soil structure, water retention and percolation;
  • encourages the grass roots to penetrate more deeply, improving grass health; and
  • makes the lawn more resilient to weather events like drought and flooding.

Don't blow... mow! 

St. Stephen Church to Offer FREE Clothing November 4

MARLBOROUGH: Fall is here and winter holidays are just a few weeks away. For people on tight budgets, this season can be stressful when gift-giving occasions compete for the same dollars needed to buy food or clothing. If only clothing were FREE! It will be at the November 4 Clothing Giveaway at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street (Route 85) from 10am-noon.

Clothing is in good to excellent condition. Most is arranged by size, with some on hangers, to create the feeling of shopping in a store, with “departments” for men’s, women’s, and children’s clothes. There will be sweaters, slacks, jeans, long sleeve shirts and tops, and a limited selection of new socks and underwear, a whole rack of coats and jackets. In addition, accessories – hats, gloves, shoes, boots, belts, costume jewelry, scarves, and pocketbooks – will also be available, all at no cost, to add an element of fun, or provide the opportunity to reward yourself for smart shopping.

The event is open to the public, regardless of need; recycling advocates are especially welcome to shop. Bring your own bag, or take a bag provided and fill it with whatever you can use.

Donated items come from Saint Stephen parishioners and friends who give clean, popular, wearable items that customers will take and use, believing they are helping not only individuals but also the earth, keeping good clothing out of landfills. The November 4 event marks the church’s 14th Clothing Giveaway and the first since 2019. The twice-a-year events were not held from 2020-2022 because of the pandemic.

John the Baptist said, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none.” (Luke 3:10) For more information about the church, visit www.sslcma.org or the Church’s Facebook page.

Saint Stephen is a member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (www.elca.org). The Church is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, inviting people of every gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, marital status, or class. Parishioners come from Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Stow, Bolton and Worcester. Worship services are held Sunday mornings at 10 am followed by coffee hour and preceded by Sunday School for adults at 9am.

Assabet Valley Mastersingers Present "A Choral Tapestry

SOUTHBOROUGH: The Assabet Valley Mastersingers are delighted to announce their upcoming concert, "A Choral Tapestry," set to enchant audiences on November 12 at Pilgrim Church, 15 Common Street, at 3:30pm.  AVM invites music enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a rich array of choral treasures and short masterpieces from both the European and American traditions. For tickets and more information, visit www.avmsingers.org.

"A Choral Tapestry" embraces the timeless elegance of classical compositions alongside captivating contemporary works, featuring standards and favorite works by Bach, Mozart, Biebl, Brahms, Bruckner, as well as Spirituals and contemporary choral treasures by Lauridsen, Whitacre, Forrest, Hagenberg and Runestad. The Assabet Valley Mastersingers, under the expert guidance of seasoned conductor Dr. Robert Eaton, will weave together a musical narrative that resonates with the soul and ignites the spirit of all in attendance.

"We are thrilled to invite the community to enjoy our 'Choral Tapestry' concert. Dr. Eaton and our wonderfully dedicated choristers have crafted a stunning program which celebrates the rich tapestry of choral music from various eras and traditions," says AVM General Manager Kirsten Joyner. "With each note, we hope you will experience the unique sense of wonder, beauty, and joy that only choral music can bring.”

Haunted New England Presentation at Rice Homestead

MARLBOROUGH: Stop by the Rice Homestead on October 24 at 7pm for Chris Daly's presentation on "Haunted New England," presented by The Marlborough Historical Society! It melds historical fact together with legend and myth to produce an interesting and fascinating new look at events that really happened and the stories of hauntings that followed them. The topics include Mercy Brown "The Vampire" of Exeter Rhode Island, the cursed Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts, The horrors of the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, a haunted forest in the wilds of Connecticut, the ghostly happenings at Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, and evidence of ghosts at the John Alden House in Duxbury.  For more information, visit HistoricMarlborough.org.
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SMILE Mass Announces Floating Beach Wheelchair Award

Communities or Residents May Apply to Win Awards for Local Ponds and Beaches

SUDBURY: SMILE Mass has created an opportunity for communities and residents to apply for a floating beach wheelchair for their local ponds and beaches to expand the organization's successful floating beach wheelchair donation program.

"There is something special about the beach, and no matter one's age, a day at the beach always makes life a little easier," explained SMILE Mass founder and president Lotte Diomede. "Because it is such a magical place, SMILE Mass wants everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy the beach, regardless of their disability. We believe the little things in life can make memories that last a lifetime for everyone."

SMILE Mass donates floating beach wheelchairs each year to public beaches to make beaches more accessible to the disabled population in New England. They currently have over 180 donated beach wheelchairs throughout New England. A list of participating beaches can be found at https://smilemass.org/initiative/beach-wheelchairs. Due to the overwhelming demand for the program, the organization has launched the SMILE Mass Floating Beach Wheelchair Awards Program. This allows towns and cities throughout New England to apply for a beach wheelchair. The application can be found online at https://smilemass.org/smile-mass-floating-beach-wheelchair-award. The award cycle for the 2024 program is open until December 31, 2023. Award Recipients will be notified by March 31, 2024. 

SMILE Mass (Small Miracles in Life Exist) is a 501 C3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through education, vacation, and recreation experiences.   For more information, visit www.smilemass.org.
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Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra Holds Open Rehearsal

SUDBURY: The Lincoln Sudbury Civic Orchestra (LSCO), in residence at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, will hold an open rehearsal on October 17 at 7:30pm at the high school. The session is open to all orchestral players interested in participating in the orchestra’s 51th season and beyond. Conductor Alfonso Piacentini begins his second season directing the orchestra in two concerts in January and June. The orchestra will rehearse music for its January concert including Brahms Symphony #2, Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute and Saint-Saens Horn Concerto, with young Cuban artist Mauricio Martinez. There are openings in all string sections, particularly low strings, trombone, and horn, but all are welcome. Visit the LSCO Youtube channel to see an invitation video from Maestro Piacentini. All musicians who are interested in joining the LSCO for this open rehearsal and for the concerts of their 51st season should send an email to lscivicorchestra@gmail.com, or use the Contact Us link at lscivicorchestra.org. You will receive instructions on obtaining parts and other details.

For over 50 years, the LSCO has been dedicated to providing opportunities for talented students and supportive adults to perform orchestral literature of the great classical composers. The LSCO has provided playing opportunities for over 500 student musicians and given over thirty student and adult concerto artists an opportunity to show their skills and love of classical music. Membership is open to the community regardless of town of residence. The orchestra rehearses every Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:30pm in the large ensemble room at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School (LSRHS), 390 Lincoln Road.

Help Light the Town Purple to Commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month

SUDBURY/WAYLAND: Please join the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable to show your support for survivors of domestic violence, to honor those who have lost their lives at the hands of their abusers, and to help raise public awareness of this ongoing problem. This year the Roundtable cordially invites community members to shine purple lights in their neighborhoods by adding purple lights to indoor lamps, porches, or outside house lights. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you and shine a light in the darkness. Each October, the Sudbury-Wayland- Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable partners with First Parish in Wayland and the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They do this by illuminating public religious, and other significant buildings in Sudbury and Wayland with purple lights. Purple symbolizes peace, courage, survival, honor, and dedication to ending violence for survivors of domestic abuse. Will you join in their efforts?

The traumas of domestic violence are harmful and long lasting, and the Roundtable continues to seek community support in building awareness of the signs and causes of relationship violence and sources of possible support and safety. We continue to work toward the creation of a more caring and equitable society that does not tolerate violence or any person’s domination of another, be it in relation to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, geographic region, or economic status.

Thank you to Ace Hardware in Wayland and at Aubuchon Hardware in Sudbury for stocking the purple light bulbs. These bulbs fit regular sockets.

If you are concerned you or someone in your life might be experiencing relationship abuse, local support can be found on the Roundtable website at www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org/counseling.
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14th Annual ARC Golf Tournament a Big Success

NORTHBOROUGH: The Addiction Referral Center (ARC)'s 14th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser which was held recently at Juniper Hill Golf Course. The ARC received sponsorships and donations from 99 individuals, small businesses, and foundations. They hosted 144 golfers for 18 holes of golf followed by an awards banquet.

The ARC has been a vital part of the Metrowest area since 1972 and is recognized for 50 years of service to the community. Supporting their endeavors helps us disrupt the cycle of addiction and provides services, support, and hope to individuals and families in the Metrowest region. For information on how you can help, please call (508) 485-4357 or find more information online at www.theaddictionreferralcenter.org.

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Free ID for You and Me: A Family-Friendly Fall Adventure

WESTBOROUGH: Do you know an oak from a maple? How about a sugar maple from a red maple? And what’s so special about a sassafras tree? On October 15, from 1-3pm, join the Westborough Community Land Trust on a walk to learn to identify and appreciate the trees that make up our Westborough forests. When you take a walk in the woods, it is much more enjoyable when you know something about what you are seeing! Family-friendly, open to all!

SVT Walkup & Robinson Property: Take Connector Road to Friberg Parkway. Take the first right into the dirt road to access the property. GPS address: Across from 600 Friberg Parkway.
Free, no reservation needed. Less than 1 mile of walking on easy woodland trails with one small hill. Before leaving check https://westboroughlandtrust.org for cancellations. For questions contact events@westboroughlandtrust.org.  For the trail map, visit www.svtweb.org/sites/default/files/2022-05/walkup_interpretiveguide.pdf
Stan seated serious

St. Stephen Church to Offer ‘Apples and Music’

MARLBOROUGH: Celebrate the tastes and sounds of fall on October 8 at 3pm with “Apples and Music” at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton Street. The afternoon will feature a concert by Stanley Hanson (pictured) on the Woodberry & Harris organ, with apple snacks, apple desserts and apple cider available both before and after the musical performance. Both the church’s Woodberry & Harris organ and autumn apples are known for their versatility and variety. There is no admission fee, but a free will offering will be taken to support future musical performances. The organ concert is part of the Music at St. Stephen series.For more information about the church, visit www.saintstephenlutheran.com.
The music of Bach, Rohlig, Lasky, Arne, Walcha, Luebeck, Hegarty and
Claussmann will be offered, showcasing styles ranging from classical to theatre organ to parlor music. Hanson will open with an organ transcription by Harold DeCou of Frances Allitsen’s stirring Victorian era vocal solo, The Lord is My Light. What will concert-goers hear next? They will decide! The interactive program will allowmembers of the audience to draw names of compositions to determine the order of the musical pieces. Among the selections are Edvard Grieg’s Romanza, arranged by Robert Hubble from Grieg’s Violin Sonata #3; Home, Sweet Home with variations, 19 th Century parlor music, composed by John Zundel; the bold Trumpet Tune in F composed by Harold Rohlig; Toccata, by David H. Hegarty, a spirited work that incorporates both classical and theatre organ styles; and Impromptu, a piece by a local artist, David Lasky, a Massachusetts native, church musician and composer. This piece is meant to entertain with some elements of the theatre organ style.
Stanley Hanson, a long-time Hudson resident who recently moved to Maynard, has been the music director at St. Stephen for 16 years, but got his first job as a church organist at age 16, more than 50 years ago, when he played only the piano. Attracted by the “color and sound of the organ, I knew it was something I wanted to do.” He went on to study organ in college and has served churches in Maine, Ohio, and Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Akron and has taken additional graduate study in organ, music education and musicology, and church music, and studied improvisation at Westminster Choir College. He is a Colleague of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to playing the organ and piano at worship services at St. Stephen, Hanson directs the choral and handbell choirs. He has been active in community music, as piano accompanist for both the Worcester and Rivers Edge Youth Chorus and music director for several shows at Hudson High School. While music has been a loved and active avocation for Stan, his career was in administration and transportation logistics. 
One of about 30 organs the Boston-based Woodberry & Harris made, the pipe organ now at St. Stephen Lutheran Church was constructed in about 1892. It served its first congregation in Abington for 60 years. It was then considered worn out and stored for decades. It was rebuilt for Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Shrewsbury in 1982. The organ was gifted to St. Stephen in 2019 after Mt. Olivet closed. It was disassembled, fine-tuned and reassembled and has been in service since the fall of 2019.
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Run a Food Drive to Spread More Love, Less Hunger

Did you know that 24% of the food Open Table distributes comes from community food donations?  Your assistance is vital to Open Table.  Please consider running a food drive this autumn if you are hungry to help neighbors experiencing food insecurity.  It's an easy, feel-good community service that is a great activity for neighborhoods, businesses, schools, scouts, clubs, teams, and faith-based organizations.  All size food drives are welcome.  Sandwich boards and other signs are available to help you spread the word.  Go to www.opentable.org/donation-activities/ for information.   Stay up-to-date on our changing needs and news on Instagram and Twitter @opentablema and Facebook.com/opentablema.  
Open Table is the local food pantry supporting those in-need in Concord, Bedford, Carlisle, and 18 other surrounding areas.  If you or someone you know is in need of food assistance, email info@opentable.org or call (978) 369-2275. 
Pat wictor

Pat Wictor Performs at Sudbury's Meetinghouse

SUDBURY: Sudbury Meetinghouse Concerts presents Pat Wictor: Bluesy Voice for Our Times on October 7, 7:30pm, at Sudbury's Meetinghouse, First Parish, 327 Concord Road. Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Pat Wictor makes his home in many musical worlds. Grounded in rural blues and gospel traditions, Wictor’s lean, poetic songs and expressive guitar playing are seasoned with jazz, pop, improvisational surprise, philosophy, and social commentary.Tickets are $25 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Free parking is available on site and behind Sudbury Town Hall, 322 Concord Road. For more information, call (978) 443-2043, email office@fpsudbury.org for further information or see https://fpsudbury.org/pat-wictor.  To order tickets online, visit https://www.viewcy.com/e/pat_wictor.

Marlborough Brigham Family Trust Open for Applications

MARLBOROUGH: The Marlborough Brigham Family Trust is a local non-profit organization that helps other non-profit organizations in the greater Marlborough area fund projects and programs important to these organizations and the community.  In his will dated August 1997, Marlborough resident Ronald H. Brigham, owner and operator of the 1891 bookstore at the right side of the Temple Block (across from City Hall on Main Street) during the last third of the 20th Century.  Brigham never married and had no children, so he envisioned his estate being used to “promote the general good and the community welfare of the Marlborough Middlesex County area” upon his passing.

“… it being my intention that my entire estate is to be used for charitable purposes within the community that has been good to me and to my parents, Herbert J. and Mable E. Brigham, and as a way of honoring all the members of the Brigham family, living and deceased, whose history is closely intertwined with the city of Marlborough.” Brigham identified as “deserving and worthy recipients” organizations with religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes.

Since his passing in 2004, Brigham’s estate has been working its way through various legal channels, with the last hurdle cleared in 2013 with the sale of the Brigham property on Stevens Street. With all estate assets now liquidated, the charitable trust envisioned by Brigham in his will has become a reality.
The 2023 Brigham Trust grant cycle is now open and will be accepting applications through the dealing of 11:59pm on October 27, 2023.  Marlborough nonprofits seeking financial support for programs and activities that directly benefit the Marlborough community can apply for up to $6,000 for these programs and activities. To apply online visit www.brighamtrust.org/apply_online.html.

Power & Lambert Receive Blue Badge Award

MARLBOROUGH: Two newest members of the Marlborough Lions Club were presented a Blue Badge award at the Club's recent District 33K 1st Advisory meeting. The Blue Badge recognizes the dedication, commitment and service in Lionism at the club, zone and district level for new Lions. Congratulations Maureen Power and Cathy Lambert!