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Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Noontime Concerts begin!

St. John's Episcopal church in Williamstown will kick off its annual Noontime Concert Series on Wednesday, July 2 with a program of contemporary music for trumpet, violin and piano. Featured performers are trumpeter Andrew Kozar, violinist Ruby Chen and pianist Scott Bailey. The concert will begin at noon and end by 12:45. Audience members are welcome to bring a bag lunch and St. John’s will provide drinks and cookies. Admission is free, but donations to help offset expenses are accepted

A native of Pittsburgh, Andrew Kozar is a trumpeter and composer based in New York City. An strong advocate of contemporary music, he performs and composes for several ensembles in New York including loadbang (trumpet, bass clarinet, trombone and baritone voice); Zero Gravity, a new contemporary ensemble at the Manhattan School of Music; the Andy Trio (trumpet, violin and steel pans). He has performed with such artists as Dave Douglas, Todd Reynolds, Ken Thompson, Band on a Can and Jason Price. In the last year, Kozar has had five pieces composed for him.

Violinist Ruby Chen, born in Taipei, Taiwan, began studying violin at the age of seven. She is pursuing her masters degree at the Yale School of Music, where she studies with Ani Kavafian. Ruby received her Bachelor of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Mikhail Kopelman, a former member of the Borodin and Tokyo String Quartets.

Pianist Scott Bailey is currently an adjunct professor of music at Westfield State College and private instructor of piano and accompanist at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He has served on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and works as a freelance accompanist and teacher throughout the Pioneer Valley as well as Berkshire County. He is the music director at the First Congregational Church of North Adams, United Church of Christ, and is coordinator of their North County Music Series, a concert series featuring local and emerging musicians from Berkshire County and beyond.

The concert series will continue on Wednesdays from July 9 - August 27. Featured performers include violinist Emily Kalish; trombonist Will Lang; violist James Bergin; flutist Lucy Bergin; pianist Igor Lovchinski; the Trio Café Budapest; baritone Avery Griffin; Molly and the Mackins.

St. John's is located at 35 Park Street and is wheelchair-accessible.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Forums begin

St. John’s Summer Forums open this Sunday, June 29, when local residents Molly Mackin and Sue O’Riley present their passion for the Rural Literacy Project at 9:00 a.m . in the church’s upper room.

The Rural Literacy Project www.ruralliteracyproject.org is a grass-roots organization that helps build and supply libraries in rural towns in Central America. The library in the photo is in San Andres, Guatamala, and was completed in 2008. The Project was started in 2000 by Sue O'Riley, a local elementary school teacher. At least twice a year, a group goes down to Peru, Honduras, or Guatemala to live, work, and commune with a new culture for a few weeks at a time. It is a rich opportunity for participants to gain new perspectives on globalization, service work, and our own American culture.

St. John’s Summer Forums welcome the public to hear about the experiences of people who have taken bold steps in faith and put their passions into action. Forums will be held on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am through August 17. The church is located at 35 Park Street, Williamstown, MA, and is accessible to the physically challenged. The upper room is reached by the ramp entrance on Park Street. Information: 413-458-8144.