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Culture to Do: May 1, 2024

The Hampshire Pride Festival returns to downtown Northampton Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Diane Steingart: Stories I Tell Myself
Gallery A3, Amherst
Opening Reception Thursday, May 2 from 5 – 7 p.m.
With her new exhibit, Diane Steingart continues to explore her artistic journey between the inner world of memories, feelings, and experiences and the outer manifestation of visual images. Diane’s work touches on feelings of love, loss, fear, sadness, and joy. Both psychological and spiritual, her artwork can be either abstract or semi-representational. In many ways, it is a form of art therapy (for herself), but she hopes that other people can find resonance in what she captures visually.

Easthampton Film Festival
Thursday, May 2 – Sunday, May 5
Now entering its third year, the Easthampton Film Festival is about showcasing the work of independent filmmakers from around the world, with a particular focus on fostering local talent. Screenings are held at Abandoned Building Brewery, E-Media, and CitySpace in Easthampton. Films are grouped by themes such as complicated comedies, dark and edgy, and all ages. On Saturday, at 4 p.m. there’s an EFF meet-and-greet reception and networking event

Music @Amherst Presents Samora Pinderhughes
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist/vocalist, interdisciplinary artist and surrealist whose work delves into all the things our society tries to hide—about its history, about its structures, and about the individual and daily things we all experience but don’t know how to talk about. Pinderhughes has been known in the music world for a while now as somebody who is fiercely committed to the fight for liberation, and as somebody who goes past just making songs about issues and is actively involved in the struggle — it’s an everyday, lifelong commitment for him, not just a moment.

HistoryFest Pioneer Valley
Parenzo Hall, Westfield State University
Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Pioneer Valley History Network is providing the chance for local history enthusiasts — high schoolers, local historians, public history professionals, genealogists, preservationists, academics, and others — to gather in one place for a day of sharing. This “homespun history conference” offers a grassroots, democratic way to gather and share ideas and information. The program will include 25 local history presentations, including a keynote address by author and historian, Joseph Carvalho, III. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Ne’er Do Wells.

Pioneer Valley Cappella
Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Edward’s Church, Northampton
Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Church, South Hadley
Pioneer Valley Cappella’s spring concert focuses on the serene and glowing Requiem of Niccolo Jommelli. Born and educated in Naples, Jommelli composed for opera houses across Italy and spent his later years as a court composer in Vienna and Stuttgart. He was an important transitional figure between the Baroque and Classical styles. Conducted by Geoffrey Hudson and performed with string ensemble, PVC’s performances gives us a rare opportunity to hear this neglected masterpiece.

Spring Open Studios
One Cottage Street, Easthampton
Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The mill building at One Cottage Street was built in 1859 and produced batten, twine, and elastic thread, powered by a dam at the mouth of Nashawannuck Pond. In 1976, One Cottage Street was the first converted mill building in western MA to foster a creative community. Since 1986, this community of nationally and internationally recognized and awarded artists and makers have opened their doors to the public with the annual “Open Studios & Holiday Sale” in December. In 1993, they made it a semi-annual event, adding Spring Open Studios.

Hampshire Pride
Parade and festival in Downtown Northampton
Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Hampshire Pride is committed to creating a space where people of all genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, and ages can come together in a day of joy. The iconic parade will get under way at 11 a.m. at Sheldon Field and continue down Bridge Street to downtown, where the parade will turn onto Crafts Avenue and end at Old South Street. The Festival will be held behind Thornes Marketplace where dozens of vendors — queer artists, local businesses and non-profits — will provide information and merchandise. Entertainment will include local legends Harry Scruff and Magnolia Masquerade hosting a drag revue of Hampshire County’s best.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony
Springfield Symphony Hall
Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony will pair brilliant, iconic Looney Tunes projected on the big screen while their original classically-infused Carl Stalling scores are played live by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Emmy Award-winning conductor George Daugherty. Favorites include What’s Opera, Doc?, The Rabbit of Seville, Coyote Falls, Long-Haired Hare, Baton Bunny, and Corny Concerto, plus 5 brand new animated shorts.

The West Stockbridge Jazz Series: Haneef Nelson
Old Town Hall, West Stockbridge
Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m.
Haneef Nelson is a New York born and raised trumpeter, educator, and composer. His original music and arrangements for Big Band have been featured around the world and on the records of the New London Big Band. For this performance, Haneef will be joined by Michael Carabello-keyboard, Matt Dwonszyk-bass and Akin Hobson-drums.

Amherst Symphony Orchestra Season Finale: Mahler's Third Symphony
Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College
Saturday, May 4 at 8 p.m.
For the finale of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra's 2024 spring season, the ASO tackles the behemoth Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler. With an enormous orchestra, six movements, two choirs and an operatic soloist, Mahler's maximalist masterpiece is an uplifting celebration of "What the World Teaches Us" and a triumphant culmination to the season. Ann McMahon Quintero, a leading mezzo-soprano with Boston Baroque, major symphony orchestras, and opera houses around the world, appears as guest soloist with the ASO.

Holyoke Civic Symphony: Bone Appetit!
Holyoke Community College
Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m.
The Holyoke Civic Symphony will present the fourth and final concert of their Brass Menagerie series. Featured guest trombone soloist Matthew Russo will perform with the orchestra Launy Grondahl’s Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. Grondahl is not well known in the U.S. but he was an important musical figure in his native Denmark. The program will also include Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Bacchanale and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

South Congregational Church, 45 Maple Street, Springfield
Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m.
Muse3.1 is a folk/classic rock/old-time country/gospel group comprised a multi instrumentalists Rob Adams, Anita Anderson Cooper, and Meg Pash. All three members are arrangers and composers, which is at the root of their sound — close harmony vocals supported by unusual instrument combinations like uke, viola da gamba, and guitar. This free concert will be a treat.

Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra
Turners Falls High School
Sunday, May 5 at 4 p.m.
The Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra, directed by Nell Wiener, and Turners Falls High School Band, directed by Alyssa Comeau, share their talents in a free public concert. Tickets are not required. Join the musicians for a potluck reception after the concert to celebrate their achievements!

Bombyx, Florence
Sunday May 5 at 7 p.m.
OneBeat is an incubator for borderless musical ideas that provides a unique opportunity for a cadre of artists to connect, experiment, and jam out with each other. Twice each year, the program selects a residency location in a different part of the country and brings approximately 25 musicians from 15 countries to spend a couple of weeks together in musical exploration and intercultural exchange. This Spring and Fall, Onebeat artists land at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, and their first performance is at Bombyx this Sunday.

Mass Kids Lit Fest: KidLit Beyond Borders
Northampton Center for the Arts
Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m.
The Mass Kids Lit Fest kickoff event, brings together acclaimed picture book authors Rajani LaRocca, Mary Wagley Copp, and Hannah Moushabeck to discuss the impact that migration stories have on young readers, why these books are critical for developing cultural understanding and belonging, and how to represent challenging realities. More info on the festival here.

Minor Moon
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Wednesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.
At the heart of Minor Moon’s open-ended and knotty country rock songs is an undeniably inviting lightness. While the Chicago-based songwriter and bandleader Sam Cantor writes impressionistic songs about the end of the world, they’re wrapped in such a warm blanket of lush guitars and pastoral twang that they always leave a hopeful spark. On their latest LP, The Light Up Waltz, Cantor sings of the fantastical in magical traveling bands, swaying bridges, and aquamarine metamorphoses.