Arts Previews

  • Guitarist and music educator June Millington of Goshen heads a fundraising event Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Pioneer Valley Perfoming Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley. Gazette file photo

  • Nancy Stagnitta will perform and lead workshops at the Western Massachusetts Flute Festival at UMass Amherst on Saturday, Nov. 9. Submitted photo

  • Funktionlust, an improv troupe from Northampton High School, performs at CLICK Workspace in Northampton on Friday, Nov. 8. Submitted photo

Published: 11/7/2019 9:15:05 AM
Modified: 11/7/2019 9:14:55 AM
June Millington playsbenefit for PVPA

Longtime rocker June Millington, the co-founder and artistic director of the Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) in Goshen, will play a benefit show on Saturday, Nov. 9, for a collaborative arts program developed by the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley.

Millington was a member in the early 1970s of Fanny, one of the first all-female rock bands in the country. She’ll be joined at the PVPA show, which begins at 2 p.m., by local bands Zoki and SCo, and the artists will be backed by some of PVPA’s best songwriters and singers.

The benefit is for the Music and Poetry Synchronized (MAPS) program, begun 14 years ago by PVPA with a number of New York City schools, in which students from those schools write poetry that PVPA students then set to music. Students from the various schools meet once a year, either at PVPA or in New York, for a concert and feedback session.

PVPA officials say the MAPS program has now expanded to the Alcides Figueroa School (AFS) in Añasco, Puerto Rico, where students are writing poetry reflecting their experiences dealing with Hurricane Maria in 2018. Saturday’s fundraiser is designed to finance a visit by 15 PVPA students, in January 2020, to AFS for a week-long collaboration.

Suggested donation for Saturday’s show is $20. For additional information, contact Tom Willits, executive director of the MAPS program, at (413) 282-8667 or

New music at UMass

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Music and Dance will host its fourth annual Western Massachusetts Flute Festival on Saturday, Nov. 9, in the music wing of the Fine Arts Center. The free event, open to all, takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is designed for flutists of all levels of experience. The event is led by UMass flute professor and international performer Cobus du Toit.

The festival offers clinics and classes with guest flutists such as Nancy Stagnitta from Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy, instrument demonstrations with various vendors, a flute repair class and more. In addition, there will be a 4 p.m. performance in Bezanson Recital Hall, led by Stagnitta and a number of UMass faculty and staff musicians, as well as guest pianist Eugene Uman.

The Music and Dance Department also presents free concerts on Friday, Nov. 8, and Thursday, Nov. 14, both at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Hall. Friday’s concert features du Toit on flute accompanied by pianist Nadine Shank, cellist Karl Knapp and soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine performing works by Poulenc, Soper, Ganne, Frühling and Uebayashi.

Thursday’s performance is by a chamber ensemble featuring faculty members on saxophone, cello, clarinet, voice and piano, with music by Poulenc, Zemlinsky and D’Rivera, as well as the premiere of new music by department chair Salvatore Macchia.

Funktionlust: family-friendly entertainment

Northampton High School’s longstanding improv troupe, Funktionlust, will perform at CLICK Workspace in Northampton on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6-7:30 p.m. as part of the city’s monthly Arts Night Out.

The student group, now in its 15th year, offers what press notes call an “unpredictable show combining family-friendly hilarity and spontaneous story-making.” Previous gigs have taken the troupe to Northampton’s First Night celebration, Smith College, the Lathrop Community, Historic Northampton and a number of other venues.

Friday’s event is free, and refreshments will be available.

Loomis Village portraits at Mount Holyoke College

Portraits of local women that are part of The Reunion Project, which features photos of elderly women paired with text written by those women in which they reflect on changes in their lives, are now on display at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.

The exhibit features some 35 portraits of women from the Loomis Community, the retirement community in South Hadley, the first organization in the Pioneer Valley to participate in The Reunion Project, according to press notes. Each portrait of an older woman is also paired with one of her as a teenager.

The Reunion Project is the work of photographer Lora Brody, an affiliated scholar at the Women’s Study Research Center of Brandeis University, who has been photographing women, predominantly from Massachusetts but from other states as well, for the last several years. Her subjects also respond to written prompts from Brody to form a written component to the exhibit, which overall is designed to “give senior women an opportunity to reflect back on their lives,” according to press notes.

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