Christmas Concert delights at Smithfield Church
A variety of holiday musical favorites and new compositions, performed by the 14-member Smithfield Chamber Orchestra, welcomed the season at The Smithfield Church on Saturday, Dec. 2. The occasion was the 18th annual Christmas Concert and Tea. 
Photo by Leila Hawken

Christmas Concert delights at Smithfield Church

Now celebrating its 18th consecutive year of holiday music, the Smithfield Church’s annual Christmas Concert and Tea packed every pew and left more standing.

The traditional event was begun by local realtor, the late Katharine Dunlop, and now continues as a part of the Bang Family Concert Series.

A variety of holiday pieces, some old favorites and some new compositions, were performed by an assemblage of 14 gifted regional musicians comprising the popular Smithfield Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Matt Finley.

The concert, held in the festively decorated historic sanctuary, opened with a poem, “It’s All in the Music,” composed and read by Kevin T. McEneaney, poet laureate of Smithfield Valley, followed by a new arrangement of “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

There were the sprightly notes of “The Nutcracker” played by the ensemble; “White Christmas,” was performed as a clarinet solo by Norman Baker.

Finley welcomed the audience, noting their importance to the occasion.

“Were it not for the audience,” Finley said, “these musicians would just be here as if for a practice session.” He noted that some of the performers have been at each of the 18 preceding years, and that trombonist Steve Hubbert was new this year.

Contemporary pieces and Brazilian jazz interpretations were also performed.

“If there is something that you don’t like, just wait a couple of minutes and we’ll be on to something else,” Finley quipped.

The concert concluded with Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. Finley had told everyone at the onset that it would not be necessary to stand, as King John was assuredly not present.

They stood anyway at the end, and were rewarded with an encore of “Sleigh Bells.”

Latest News

Pirates win in Torrington

Kieran Bryant, Sam Hahn and Jackson Goodwin helped the Pirates extend the undefeated season to 6-0.

Riley Klein

TORRINGTON — The Steve Blass Northwest Connecticut Pirates little league team defeated Torrington Blue 10-2 Saturday, May 25.

The Majors League matchup featured players aged 10 to 12 for the mid-season game at Colangelo Sports Complex in Torrington. The Pirates, whose roster is composed of players from the six Region One towns and Norfolk, remains undefeated at 6-0 this season.

Keep ReadingShow less
Quellas host Hotchkiss Library of Sharon gala
James and Linda Quella hosted the spring gala at their estate in Sharon.
Alexander Wilburn

The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon held its annual spring gala and auction on Saturday, May 18, at the Sharon home of James and Linda Quella, best known in the area for their family-run poultry farm, Q Farms, where they humanely raise chickens in their pastures.

The spring gala is a major event each year for the library to raise funds for its annual budgeting cost, explained Hotchkiss Library Director Gretchen Hachmeister. “We raise about 65% of our annual operating budget just through fundraising events. We get about 25% from the town and the rest, some grants, and then the rest is fundraising. The general budget supports just opening the doors and helping us do everything we do.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Trade Secrets still ‘a success’ in year 24

Bunny Williams opened her garden for Trade Secrets tour visitors.

Natalia Zukerman

Landscape enthusiasts traveled from far and wide for garden tours and rare finds at Project SAGE’s annual Trade Secrets event May 18 and 19.

The origin of the rare plant and antiques fundraiser traces back to a serendipitous moment in the winter of 2001, when interior designer and author Bunny Williams found her greenhouse overflowing with seedlings, thanks to her then-gardener Naomi Blumenthal’s successful propagation of rare primroses.

Keep ReadingShow less