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Keeping Tabs on the Arts

  • The Valley Rock and Jazz choirs will perform Dec. 15.

    The Valley Rock and Jazz choirs will perform Dec. 15.

  • Walking the dog Theater offers two free performances of "A Christmas Carol."

    Walking the dog Theater offers two free performances of "A Christmas Carol."

  • Poet Corrine DeWinter reads from her work today at Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton.

    Poet Corrine DeWinter reads from her work today at Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton.

  • The Lisa Leizman Dance Company performs Saturday at he Northampton Center for the Arts.

    The Lisa Leizman Dance Company performs Saturday at he Northampton Center for the Arts.

  • Maclyn Milsark's work, on view at UNITE in Northampton, focuses on patterns.

    Maclyn Milsark's work, on view at UNITE in Northampton, focuses on patterns.

  • Michael Van Winkle's work is on view at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

    Michael Van Winkle's work is on view at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

  • The Valley Rock and Jazz choirs will perform Dec. 15.
  • Walking the dog Theater offers two free performances of "A Christmas Carol."
  • Poet Corrine DeWinter reads from her work today at Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton.
  • The Lisa Leizman Dance Company performs Saturday at he Northampton Center for the Arts.
  • Maclyn Milsark's work, on view at UNITE in Northampton, focuses on patterns.
  • Michael Van Winkle's work is on view at the Northampton Center for the Arts.

Easthampton unbuttoned

Easthampton City Arts+ launches “Unbuttoned, An Evening of Spoken Word” today from 7 to 9 p.m. at Luthiers Co-Op, 108 Cottage St. in Easthampton.

The evening will feature author Corinne DeWinter and six open-mic opportunities.

DeWinter is a Bram Stoker Award-winning poet who has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her writing has been featured in numerous publications and she was awarded the Rhysling Science Fiction Award.

For the open mic portion of the night, participants will be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each reader will have a five-minute slot.

The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit www.easthamptoncityarts.com or call 527-8278.

Patterns at UNITE

“Chess,” an exhibit of work by Maclyn Milsark will open with a reception Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and will remain on view through Jan. 9 at UNITE, 202 Main St. in Northampton. “Chess,” work done in the past eight months, marks different patterns of life. Milsark, a former Northampton resident who lives in Brooklyn, says he regularly notices different patterns: in spaces, in ways of speech, in earning and spending, in interactions between objects, both living and inanimate.

Winter in black and white

“Winter Noir,” a group photo exhibit is on view through Jan. 9 at the Robert Floyd Photo Gallery, 2 East St. in Southampton. The show features black-and-white images from local and international artists. Winter is the theme; images range from ice in nature to 1960s rock stars in winter garb. For information, call 529-2635.

Still life abstraction

“It goes a lot of ways,” an exhibit of abstract paintings by Easthampton artist Michael Van Winkle, will open with a reception Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and will remain on view through Jan. 2, 2013, at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 17 New South St., Northampton.

The exhibit features still lifes that he has transformed into abstract paintings with bold patterns and color. Van Winkle received a master’s degree in 2008 from the State University of New York at Albany and is an adjunct instructor at The College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit www.nohoarts.org.

Grammy Award-winner performs

Two-time Grammy Award-winning artist and NPR commentator Bill Harley will perform Friday at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Valley Cohousing, 120 Pulpit Hill Road in Amherst. The concert is part of a monthly Friday Folk Concert series.

Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of American life. A prolific author and recording artist, he is a regular commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” He joined the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence in 2001 and tours nationwide as a author, performing artist and keynote speaker. The live concert is for adults and children 10 and up.

Tickets available at the door are on a sliding scale from $10 to $20. The site is tobacco, fragrance and pet free.

The Valley rocks

The Valley Rock and Jazz Choirs will present a Winter Concert Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel, 123 Elm St. in Northampton. The Rock Choir’s 80 singers will perform a mix of rock and pop songs accompanied by a backup band led by Mitch Chakour on keys and guitar, with David Tallarida on drums, Brett Jenkins on guitars, Joe Whalen on bass and Zoe Darrow on fiddle. There will also be a surprise vocal soloist.

With 37 singers, the Valley Jazz Choir will perform intricate a cappella jazz as well as songs with piano trio accompaniment. Highlights include Manhattan Transfer’s arrangement of “Route 66,” the Real Group’s “A Cappella in Acapulco” and Tony Lechner’s award-winning original composition, “Midnight Stars.” The rhythm section features Stephen Page on piano, Alec Derian on bass, and Jon Fisher on drums. For information, visit www.valleychoirs.com.

Christmas music

Four conductors will share the podium as the Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus and Greenfield High School Chorus join the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra in a holiday family concert Saturday 7 p.m. at Greenfield High School. They are PVS music director Paul Phillips, PVS Chorus conductor Jonathan Harvey, Greenfield High School Music Director Paul Calcari and PVS Assistant Conductor Jonathan Brennand.

Phillips has selected a varied program of holiday favorites to illustrate the PVS Orchestra and Chorus’ 74th season theme, “At the Movies.” On the program: “Christmas at the Movies” featuring themes from “Miracle on 34th Street” (the 1994 remake) and “The Polar Express; “Somewhere in My Memory” from “Home Alone”; “Where Are You, Christmas?” from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”; and “Making Christmas” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

There will also be a tribute to Henry Mancini, who wrote music for TV and movies, winning four Oscars. Selections include themes from the movies “Charade,” “Days of Wine and Roses” and “The Pink Panther.”

Additional works include Morten Lauridsen’s Mid-Winter Songs; Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”; selections from Gian-Carlo Menotti’s TV opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors”; and The Feast of Light, a setting of Hanukkah songs by Samuel Adler.

Tickets cost $20; $17 for seniors and students; $6 for children under 18. To purchase, visit www.pvso.org or call 773-3664. Tickets are also available at Amherst Books and Broadside Books in Northampton.

At the Senior Center

The South Hadley Children’s Chorus will perform Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. Free.

∎ The center will show the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” Monday at 1:30 p.m. Free for seniors; donations accepted. Free popcorn. For information, about either program, call 587-1228.

Free Dickens

Walking the dog Theater, a professional non-profit theater company based in Ghent, N.Y., in association with the Pioneer Valley Muse Group, will present two free performances of Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” — Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst, and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Florence Congregational Church, 130 Pine St., Florence.

The one-man show will be performed by David Anderson, exactly as Dickens wrote it — giving the audience not only the dialogue (in multiple London accents) but the descriptive passages as well.

The performance is a modern revival of Dickens’ own manner of storytelling. Dickens gave performances drawn from “A Christmas Carol” and “The Pickwick Papers” throughout the northeastern United States, beginning with his arrival in 1867 in Boston until his return the next year to England. For information, visit www.wtdtheater.org.

Farewell performance

The Lisa Leizman Dance Company a resident company of the Northampton Center for the Arts, will present “All This Time,” a farewell-to-the-space performance Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The center is due to vacate the space at 17 New South St. in the spring, when its lease is up.

This program celebrates the center’s ballroom, where the performance will take place, and includes works set to music by contemporary composers Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki and Aaron Copland. The concert also features “The Secret That Bamboo Guards” with music by company composer-in-residence, Andrea Kwapien, as well as “Somber Reptiles,” a new work with music by Brian Eno.

“All this time. All this space. ... For 30 years, from floor to skylight, art in all of its forms has filled the historic ballroom that houses the Northampton Center for the Arts,” Leizman said. “And now, after all of this time, it is time to say goodbye.”

Tickets cost $10; $5 for children under 10, at the door. Following the performance, the audience is invited to a reception. For information, visit www.nohoarts.org.

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