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Culture to Do: Jan. 11, 2023

Springfield Symphony Orchestra will explore the legacy of Black American composers on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Audacity of Hope: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.
Symphony Hall
Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The Springfield Symphony explores the legacy of Black American composers — from the joyful sounds of Quinn Mason’s “Rise to the Occasion” and the late Romanticism of Florence Price’s ragtime-infused piano concerto to the celebratory symphonic essays of Ozie Cargile. Guest Conductor Kevin Scott’s “Fannie’s Homecoming” and William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 4 are also on the program. Plus, Springfield Poet Laureate Magdalena Gómez will present a poetry reading. Always fun, the post-concert meet and greet in the Mahogany Room.

Victory Players Open Rehearsal
Livestream from Puerto Rico
Thursday, Jan. 12 at 9:30 a.m.
The Victory Players are in residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they will perform “El Puerto Rico, The Rich Port” at Pro Arte Musical’s annual gala concert Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals Concert Hall. Pro Arte Musical was founded in 1932 with renowned Puerto Rican pianist Elisa Tavárez to promote musical culture on the island and establish lasting artistic ties between music lovers in Puerto Rico and other countries. Hop on facebook on Thursday morning to catch a livestream of their open rehearsal.

Boar’s Head Festival
Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Friday, Jan. 13 – Sunday, Jan. 15
For many, the holiday season is not over until they get their annual Boar’s Head Festival fix. This marks the 40th year of the pageant that follows the ancient origins of the journey of epiphany with music, dancing, live animals, and storytelling. Even before the pageant begins, you will be entertained by magicians and townsfolk strolling and tussling through the Gothic-style sanctuary. And after the show is over there’s a massive cookie buffet!

Tamikrest: Tuareg Desert Blues
Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity, Florence
Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m.
Members of Tamikrest come from different horizons (Mali, Niger, Algeria and France) and their band and its music unifies them. Though their music takes root in desert blues, you may notice influences of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd and Mark Knopfler.

Winter Cajun/Zydeco Festival
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Saturday, Jan. 15 from 1 – 5 p.m.
Head to Greenfield, come in from the cold, toss off your parka and,enjoy a midwinter afternoon of Louisiana music. Two New England-based bands — Back O’ Town Cajun Band and Planet Zydeco — will play. After waltz and zydeco dance lessons that are included with your tickets, you’ll be ready to dance up a storm.

Young Shakespeare Players East Present: Twelfth Night
The Shea Theater, Turners Falls
Friday, Jan. 13 – Sunday, Jan. 15
The Young Shakespeare Players (YSP) East is a non-profit theater program where youth between the ages of 8-18 perform full-length, original works of Shakespeare. Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces — filled with lyricism and music, beautiful language, disguise and surprise, and some of the funniest scenes and characters Shakespeare ever created. The play deals with themes very relevant today such as loss, love, gender, empathy, and bullying. All shows are free and you don’t need reservations. Just go!

María Sparrow: the invisible stickiness of things
Art exhibit opening reception
Bloomery Art Gallery, Northampton
Friday, Jan. 13 from 5 – 8 p.m.
About the exhibit, Maria writes, “I am a painter and teacher living in Greenfield, Mass. In my work I am interested in representations of womxn and in themes of belonging and alienation. The show at the Bloomery includes new portraits which play with the degree of collaboration with the people who are represented in them. The importance of art for me is a commitment to looking. It is paying attention to the ordinary and recognizing the worlds it contains. . .”

Norwottuck Chamber Concerts
Spirituals & Lieder: Natalie Lewis and Gracie Francis
All Saints' Episcopal Church, South Hadley
Sunday, Jan. 15 at 4 p.m.
On the weekend honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Norwottuck Chamber Concerts presents the mezzo-soprano Natalie Lewis, accompanied by pianist Gracie Francis, performing a program of vocal works by Florence Price, John Carter, Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahms, and George Gershwin. Natalie Lewis was a 2022 Schwab Vocal Rising Star at Caramoor.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration
Chasing the Dream, Arriving Together, and Standing in the Light
Mass Mutual Center, Springfield
Monday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m.
This year’s celebration will engage hundreds of youth, community leaders, and artists with spoken word, dance, and music to reflect on the enduring legacy of Dr. King. Performances include the Springfield CommUnity Chorale led by Vanessa Ford; an orchestral performance by the MLK Day Festival Orchestra, led by Marty Knieriem; CMSS Sonido Musica students performing original compositions; and a Community Unity Art Expo led by the Springfield Cultural Partnership. Local artist Sheldon Smith will unveil a 2023 artistic expression of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Free Community Day: Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
New Britain Museum of American Art
Monday, Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In commemoration of Dr. King’s birthday, the New Britain Museum of American Art is partnering with the CT Center for Nonviolence (CTCN) to present an afternoon of art-making, music, and learning led by CTCN teaching artists and certified nonviolence trainers, including Shanna T. Melton, Adjovi Simpini, Gamaliel Moses, Melinda Alcosser, and Cherell Banks. Immerse yourself in activities designed to express love, practice empathy, and celebrate community.

Winter Birding Class: registration open
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
3-session course starts Sunday, Jan. 22
What is an irruptive bird species and is this an irruptive year? What birds are at the feeders and how can we learn to identify them? Join naturalist John Green for this three-session indoor/outdoor class. Each class will include an indoor learning session, followed by outdoor time looking for birds. John Green is a very well-known and respected naturalist with a specialty of birding by ear.