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Culture to Do: April 3, 2024

Springfield Symphony Orchestra will present "An American Celebration" on Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. featuring music by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin and Peter Boyer.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra: An American Celebration
Springfield Symphony Hall
Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.
This concert includes two iconic pieces of American music: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite, and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Pianist Jeffrey Biegel, a longtime champion of Gershwin’s Rhapsody, commissioned acclaimed American composer Peter Boyer to compose a new work in celebration of that work’s centennial in February 2024. Boyer’s brand-new Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue is being performed by orchestras around the United States, and he will conduct it at the SSO concert. Completing the program are Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, and Fanfare Ritmico by Jennifer Higdon.

11th Annual Festival of Flowers
Springfield Museums
Wednesday, April 3 – Sunday, April 7
The Springfield Museums will burst with color during the 11th annual Festival of Flowers. Objects in the art, science and history museums will be creatively interpreted by talented florists and garden club members. Celebrate the spring season while enjoying this beautiful and joyful show.

Kassa Overall
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Thursday, April 4 at 8 p.m.
Head to Hawks & Reed for an exhilarating and thought-provoking evening of genre-bending music with Grammy-nominated artist Kassa Overall. With his latest album “ANIMALS,” Kassa Overall continues to redefine the boundaries of music, blending avant-garde jazz experimentation with hip-hop production techniques.

Lady Moon & The Eclipse
Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. at Marigold Theater, Easthampton
Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. at The Foundry, West Stockbridge
Lady Moon & The Eclipse is a multicultural ensemble based in Oakland, CA. Through soaring vocal textures and R&B/afrobeat-influenced rhythms, they create inspirational music that explores the Cosmic Soul. Singer and songwriter Ngonda Badila aka Lady Moon carries the essence of the Moon sending a message of love, peace, and light, while the musicians serve as the Sun shining light upon her. The audience represents the Earth, also known as the Star People of Earth, completing the metaphorical eclipse.

Pioneer Valley Ballet Presents Beauty and The Beast
The Academy of Music, Northampton
Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m.
Pioneer Valley Ballet brings their popular production of “Beauty and The Beast to the Academy of Music stage for the first time since 2019. This full-length ballet features trained dancers from PVB as well as more than 70 community dancers and guest artists from around the region. Don’t miss this powerful story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place.

Song & Story Swap with Folksinger Jennie McAvoy
First Church Amherst
Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m.
The Pioneer Valley Folklore Society Song & Story Swap happens on the 1st Saturday of each month (except July and August). Folksinger and songwriter Paul Kaplan is the regular host. Attendees can tell a story or sing a song related to the evening’s theme — or just listen. A guest performer sings a set, and then there’s more story and song sharing. This month’s theme is relationships, and Jennie McAvoy is the featured performer. Jennie is a polished traditional ballad singer whose rock-solid voice is complemented by superb acoustic guitar fingerpicking.

Happier Valley Comedy
HVC Theater, 1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley
Saturday, April 6th at 7 p.m.
The mission of the Happier Valley Comedy is to bring more laughter, joy, and ease to western Massachusetts (and the world). On the first Saturday of every month they present Understudies. The premise: It's the opening night of a brand new musical, but the show was never written or rehearsed. The determined Understudies create an entire musical from scratch, with a little help from the audience. If you’re like me, you’ve had nightmares about situations like this, but in the hands of these improv comedians, it’s a ton of fun.

QWANQWA + Habbina Habbina
CitySpace, Easthampton
Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m.
Beaming in from the sizzling Addis Ababa nightlife scene, QWANQWA shines an experimentalism based in the virtuosity of rooted traditions. With swirling masinko (one-stringed fiddle), wah-wah violin, bass krar grooves, the heavy riffs of goat skin kebero beats, and powerful mellismatic lead African diva vocals, the vibe is shamanic and heady. It brings to life centuries old Azmari traditions and pairs it with the Golden Age Ethiopiques sounds of the 1970s.

Edwards Church, Northampton
Saturday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Culomba is a Massachusetts-based vocal ensemble specializing in close harmony singing from around the world. Culomba (“dove” in the Corsican language) draws from a deep well of repertoire, including American folk traditions, music of Georgia, Corsica, the Balkans, Ukraine, early European polyphony, and original compositions. Culomba's singers have studied with masters of these traditions, and each brings their specialized knowledge to this unique ensemble.

Cloudbelly Album Release Shows
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Cloudbelly is an award-winning indie folk band from western Mass. with a sound that is at once intimate and cinematic. The group is fronted by singer-songwriter Corey Laitman, whose ethereal poeticisms are delivered in a spellbinding voice that tips its cap to Sufjan Stevens and Joni Mitchell in equal measure. Their new album, i know i know i know, merges their individual superpowers to create a collection of tracks that flirts with experimentalism without ever abandoning its tether to a recognizable emotional bedrock.

Mingus Dynasty
Tillis Performance Hall, UMass
Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m.
After spending the day working with young jazz students from across the region during the UMass Department of Music and Dance’s High School Jazz Festival, Mingus Dynasty will take the stage at the Tillis Performance Hall to present one of their signature master performances of Mingus compositions. Formed in 1979, just after Charles Mingus’s death, and originally made up of musicians who had recorded and played with Mingus, the ensemble has been carrying the legacy of its eponym for more than four decades.

Popa Chubby
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m.
Popa Chubby, born Ted Horowitz, has been hard rocking the blues in his fierce and soulful way for more than 30 years. Over the course of a career that dates back to 1994, he has been a force to be reckoned with on the guitar, and his tempestuous, soulful playing has never been more powerful. He’s an imposing figure with a shaven head, tattooed arms, a goatee and a performance style he describes as “the Stooges meets Buddy Guy, Motörhead meets Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix meets Robert Johnson.”

Organ Recital: Nathan Laube
South Congregational Church, Amherst
Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m.
As part of the South Congregational Church in Amherst’s 200th Anniversary Celebration Arts and Social Justice Series, internationally acclaimed organist Nathan Laube will play a concert on South Church’s 1896 Casavant organ. Mr. Laube is internationally recognized as a performer and pedagogue whose extensive recital career includes major venues spanning four continents. is currently Associate Professor of Organ at the Eastman School of Music.

Connections Concert
Bombyx, Florence
Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m.
Connections Concert Series is a partnership between Valley-based musicians, teachers and creative entrepreneurs Sophie Lippert and Charlotte Malin. The series is a re-imagining of the traditional concert experience that addresses our society’s growing need for meaningful human connection. The audience is invited to listen somatically, imaginatively, and intellectually; to engage in conversations with about their experience; and to explore music written by underrepresented composers from around the world.

Deadly Deception at Sobibor
Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival
Springfield Jewish Community Center
Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m.
It’s no accident Sobibor is a name few people recognize. That was the Nazi’s plan. It marked the beginnings of Germany’s Holocaust denial and distortion. That sparked Longmeadow-native filmmaker Gary Hochman to take action in creating an international documentary that traces a true crime tale of detection. This is one of many films offered at the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival which runs from Thursday, April 4 through Thursday, April 11.


The Great American Solar Eclipse Party
Springfield Museums
Monday, April 8 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Head to the Science Museum and the North Lawn for a day of astronomical fun. STEM educators and volunteers will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. The experience will be enhanced by interactive exhibits and engaging activities designed to expand your understanding of the solar system. “Hear the Eclipse” will be happening from 2 – 4:30 p.m. It’s a unique experience designed for the blind and low-vision community where a sonification box will translate the solar eclipse into sound using a sensor to detect changes in light and generate corresponding audio. Weather permitting.

Solar Eclipse with UMass Astronomy
UMass Amherst Sunwheel
Monday April 8 from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Join UMass Amherst Astronomy to observe the solar eclipse which will reach 94.6% totality at the UMass campus. The College of Natural Sciences and the Astronomy department will distribute solar shades at two locations on campus while supplies last: UMass Amherst Sunwheel and Metawampe Lawn.

Partial Eclipse Viewing Party
Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown
Monday, April 8 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Head to the front lawn at the Clapp Memorial Library in Belchertown for a Partial Eclipse Viewing Party. There’ll be free eclipse glasses (while supplies last) and light refreshments at this low-key event. Bring chairs or a blanket and hang out with other eclipse aficionados while viewing the partial eclipse.

Tumble Science Podcast: A Kid's Guide to the Total Eclipse
Tumble is a science podcast for kids, to be enjoyed by the entire family. Hosts Lindsay and Marshall tell stories about science discoveries, with the help of scientists On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse is coming to the United States! Tumble’s eclipse episode is filled with games, music, and a thrilling audio experience to learn what it’s like to be on the path of totality. Eclipse expert Vivian White guides listeners through the mysteries of this rare astronomical event. You’ll be singing our new song, “Total Eclipse of the Sun” with your eclipse glasses on!

Nova: Great American Eclipse
On April 8 the Moon’s shadow is sweeping from Texas to Maine, as the U.S. witnesses its last total eclipse until 2044. This extraordinary astronomical event is plunging locations in the path of totality into darkness for more than four minutes — nearly twice as long as the last American eclipse in 2017. Learn how to watch an eclipse safely and follow scientists as they work to unlock secrets of our Sun.

Plus! Nova’s 2024 Eclipse Resources and Events page is here.