The sale opens Thursday, Dec. 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Chester Public Library, located at 21 West Main St. (Rte. 148), Chester. Free gift wrapping will be offered at that time by the Friends. The sale will continueon Friday and Saturday during library hours and ends at the Holiday Market in Chester Center on Sunday, Dec. 7, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Questions? Call the library at 860-526-0018.
CHESTER – Special demonstrations by Maple and Main Gallery artists will be featured on the Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time the Holiday Market is open in the downtown.
Food artisans offering local cheese, bread, meat, honey, fish and more will be in the gallery and around town from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the four Sundays. The gallery artists will be painting from noon to 2 p.m. or so.
Sunday, Nov. 30: Pam Carlson of Essex will do a painting of cows and talk about how she creates her popular farm animals in acrylic.
Sunday, Dec. 7: Dan Nichols, who lives in Manchester, will do a watercolor painting using some overlay in opaque paint, explaining his technique as he works.
Sunday, Dec. 14: Westbrook artist Kimberly Petersen will do a local landscape, also in acrylic and will talk about her method.
Sunday, Dec. 21: Jan Blencowe of Clinton will lead a sketching session centering on the display of chocolates the gallery will arrange that day for both subject matter and consumption.
Bring drawing supplies and join in or just be entranced by the process. Maple and Main Gallery, at 1 Maple Street, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the website: mapleandmaingallery.com or call 860-526-6065.
“The Starry Night”, Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece has been recreated by Maple and Main artist Donna Favreau and is being given away in a free drawing at the gallery.
Van Gogh’s inspiration was the very early morning view from his asylum window in France, but Favreau’s was the upcoming “Starry, Starry Night” theme of Chester’s annual Holiday evening Friday, Dec. 5. All the galleries, shops and restaurants will have special offerings and be open until 9 p.m. that night. There will be a town tree lighting and carol singing outside the gallery and inside we will have wine and refreshments.
The drawing begins Friday, Nov. 21, continues through the gallery gala Holiday Exhibit opening Saturday, Nov. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. and concludes at 9 p.m. on Dec. 5 when the fortunate winner’s name will be drawn.
Maple and Main is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please visit website, mapleandmaingallery.com. Click on “Events” to see a selection of the art in the Holiday Exhibit.
Festive holiday spirit and treats will abound on Friday, Dec. 5, under the Starry, Starry Night at the annual Chester Holiday Festival, which begins at 5 p.m. Main Street, in the historic and picturesque Chester Center, will be lined with luminaries and Saint Lucia Girls will stroll around with treats. The art and photography galleries of Chester will host new exhibits and the shops will be festively decorated and full of holiday gift ideas, while offering beverages and light refreshments while you browse. At 6 p.m., carolers will stroll through Chester Center and gather around the town tree for the town’s annual tree-lighting and community sing-along. Free parking is available at the Water Street and the Maple Street parking lots, both a short walk to the center. Up the hill at the Chester Meeting House will be the 5th Annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza, where you can meet artisans selling their handcrafted gifts.
More information can be found at Facebook.com/visitchesterct.
Al Malpa Photography Gallery (4 Spring St.) welcomes you to see Al’s photography while enjoying light refreshments and a glass of wine. Check out the table of Chester books, ornaments, and hats from various Chester nonprofits – they make great holiday gifts!
Bell’Oliva (14 Main St.) will be giving out handmade origami stars with little holiday wishes inside. Search for the items in the store with stars on them – they’re on sale! Starry music will be playing and stars will be hanging. A telescope will be outside on the porch for stargazing, weather permitting.
Brown-eyed Girl and Vintage Glory (4 Water St.) will be offering libations and luxury. All star-studded merchandise will be 20% off this evening only.
C&G Unparalleled Apparel (1 North Main St.) will give away star earrings with any purchase of $50 or more. Also, C&G will be featuring its new, just completed, perpetual calendar. Tucked inside its canister are twelve long, literate, time-themed months designed for recording birthdays, anniversaries, and for remembering a tribute, a trip, a triumph! Hanging on your wall, it will become an artful timepiece celebrating all the special times in your life.
Ceramica (36 Main St.) will take email addresses from visitors each week till Christmas, and will draw a name for a different item on Sundays at 5:00 (you don’t have to be present to win).
Chester Gallery (76 Main St.) presents its annual Postcard Show where all work is 4 by 6 inches or smaller. Come and sip champagne by the fire while viewing art you can take home in your pocket on a Starry, Starry Night in Chester.
Connecticut River Artisans (4 Water St.): Artists will be on hand to greet the strollers and offer homemade goodies and wine. Special decorations outside.
Cupcakery (1 Main St.) will feature a great selection of holiday favorite cupcake flavors – Starry Night, Christmas Morning and Gingerbread, to name a few.
At Dina Varano (27 Main St.), stars will be shining throughout the store. Dina will be featuring her signature sterling silver pendants along with lots of special gifts to celebrate Chester’s Starry Night.
At ELLE Design (1 Main St.), light up your starry night with one of ELLE’s custom light fixtures! This night only, all lighting will be on sale. The percentage off will be identified by star-shaped hang tags. Come early for the best selection!
At Gallery Americana (45 Main St.), owner Bill Vollers will be exhibiting his most recent works as well as new additions to his collection of Americana antiques and primitives. Please visit for a glass of wine and other treats.
Lark (4 Water St.) says, “Our customers are stars and they deserve to twinkle!” Therefore, they will have starry starry night giveaways and glow-in-the-dark stars for each customer. There will be photo opportunities for customers who will get their very own star on Lark’s window of fame. Experience thousands of twinkle lights and stars throughout the store and take advantage of the special promotional pricing on all Linnea’s Lights and Skeem candles, fragranced with only essential oil fragrances.
Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery (1 Spring St.) will be open to visitors and Leif will be featuring an oil painting from this summer’s crop of new work, “The Studio with Eyebrow Dormer.”
Lori Warner Gallery (21 Main St.) will be decked out for the holidays. New work will be unveiled that evening. Be the first to see small-scale artwork by Lori Warner, new jewelry by Ann Lightfoot and a few other surprises. The gallery will serve its traditional specialty drink to toast the season.
Maple and Main Gallery (1 Maple St.), located across from the town Christmas tree, will be serving wine, appetizers and chocolate delights. The holiday exhibit with all new art by 37 Connecticut artists will be on display as will a one-woman show in the Stone Gallery by Madison artist Janine Robertson. The gallery will have a free drawing at the end of the evening for a beautiful copy of the painting, “Starry, Starry Night.” The original by Vincent Van Gogh is being duplicated by Westbrook artist Donna Favreau.
Red Pepper Gallery (14 Main St.) has great gift items in addition to fabulous clothing from small designers. Enter the drawing for a $25 gift certificate and take home a small surprise in a starry pouch with every purchase for the evening’s festivities.
River Tavern (23 Main St.) will have warm cider and a soup/chowder outside the restaurant during the evening, so stop by to warm up with a hot drink or bite to eat.
Shandell’s, formerly The Joy of Lighting (5 West Main St.), offers handmade lampshades, custom lighting, vintage and one-of-a-kind fixtures and finials, rewiring, repair, and lighting design. The shop will also be featuring handmade ornaments from Jayne Whittle, proprietor of Chalk Mercantile in Old Saybrook.
Willow Tree (4 Water St.): Angels, fairies and mermaids! All that shimmers and sparkles! Beautiful vintage jewelry, colorful scarves, and homemade star-shaped birdseed ornaments. Stop by and take a look!
Together and apart, Philip Scheffler and James Jacoby have provided television coverage of some of the most significant events in contemporary history. Scheffler, who was a longtime executive editor and producer for 60 Minutes, and his protégé, Jacoby, now with PBS’s Frontline, will talk of their experiences at 3 p.m., Sunday, December 14, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester in a free program open to the public.
In all, Scheffler, who lives in Essex and Manhattan, spent 52 years at CBS, and his work spanned from producing insightful reporting on the Vietnam War to big stories in government, politics, medicine, international affairs and other categories that helped make 60 Minutes one of the most successful programs in broadcasting.
Jacoby worked with Scheffler at CBS before moving to PBS, where he is a producer for Frontline. While at 60 Minutes, he worked often with Steve Kroft to create segments on bank failures, arson investigations, nuclear arms deals and other major developments.
During the first part of the forum, Scheffler and Jacoby will discuss their accomplished careers and experiences in seeing the world through the eyes of a reporter. The audience will become participants through comments and questions for the speakers about their experiences and world events that are in today’s headlines.
Lara Herscovitch will be performing on Sunday, December 14, 2014 from 4 – 6 pm at the Concert in the Garden at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery, Spring Street, Chester.
“Pure musical poetry” (The Courier), Lara Herscovitch’s music is an original blend of modern folk with blues, jazz, and pop influences. With her voice “clear and smooth like expensive liquor,” she stands “above and beyond the pack” (Northeast Performer). Former Connecticut State Troubadour, Lara brings a charm, authenticity, and love of performing that immediately resonates with diverse audiences. She has appeared as a guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and tours from Maine to Miami. She also has extensive experience as a policy social worker, and has worked in the US, Latin America and Asia on behalf of disadvantaged individuals – focusing on education, community development, and juvenile justice. Echoes of these themes resonate throughout her music. www.LaraHerscovitch.com
$10 donation – BYOB and picnic – Inside the GalleryGATES OPEN Half Hour before the show. First come first seated.
More info (860) 526-2077 www.nilssonstudio.com
The United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT will hold its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Come enjoy shopping for hand-crafted items and delicacies, decorations, greens, knitted goods and mouth-watering morsels for holiday giving.
There will also be a silent auction, tea-cup auction and Grandma’s attic to prowl through for Christmas treasurers and charitable gift-giving possibilities. Lunch will be served between 11:00 and 1:00. Please contact Brenda Johnson if you have any questions (860) 526-2998.
Good Golly…..It’s Molly!
Many hands and happy hearts have gone into the planning and preparation of this year’s CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Essex including:
Pizza parties, with children discovering the simple joy of making ornaments while listening to Christmas carols.
Convivial craft-making gatherings and planning meetings with new and old friends. Visiting town merchants, and businesses to hand out posters and share local news.
A special feature of the fair is American Girl doll, Molly. She will be included in a silent auction, with an exclusive wardrobe hand made by Essex designers. A WWII history doll, Molly has recently been archived by the company.
Also featured is a small collection of international nativity scenes. Each crèche is made to reveal what’s important to a culture by the artist’s interpretation of the scene.
There will be raffle baskets, a bake sale, affordable gifts, crafts lovingly made by little and big hands, refreshments …. And lots of good cheer.
Come, enjoy this quintessential New England town, its church fairs, and remember why we celebrate this beautiful season.
Christmas Craft Fair
Satuday, December 6
9:00am to 3:00pm
Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 14 Prospect St., Essex, CT 06426
For more information call 860-388-8180
Her new book, “Baking Chez Moi,” is already causing a national sensation – how can it be possible to dazzle dinner party guests with French pastries that are so easy to make?
Dorie Greenspan, author of eight cookbooks, has the answers and will reveal them when she comes to Chester in a free Books & Bagels program, one of the last stops on a nationwide book tour, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.
Reviews of the book have been scrumptious. Library Journal, in a starred review, calls it “an instant classic.” And three weeks after release this fall it was ranked number 1 in cookbook sales nationally.
Among the enticing and simple desserts in Dorie’s repertoire: chocolate loaf cake speckled with cubes of dark chocolate that have been melted, salted, and frozen; boozy, slow-roasted pineapple (a five-ingredient cinch); silky caramel tarts, and crackle-topped cream puffs.
The recipes are culled from French home cooks and chefs and include her own original creations based on traditional and regional specialties. Her friendly reassuring instructions in all of her books have won her legions of ardent fans who appreciate how she’s made French dishes accessible to all of us stateside.
Dorie, a Westbrook resident who also has an apartment in Paris, says in her introduction, “These are the recipes the French bake at home for their families and their closest friends. They are generous, satisfying recipes tied to places, traditions, customs and culture. And they’re the opposite of the complex, fussy, time-consuming desserts most of us associate with French pastry. Some of the sweets are modern, some riffs on classics, some light, others substantial, some sophisticated, most are casual, easy-going and fun.”
This will be Dorie’s third appearance at Books & Bagels, the first two for “Baking” and “Around My French Table.” Her book will be available for purchase at the event.
Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. For more information, call the office 860-526-8920 or visit www.cbsrz.org.
IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for union and non-union actors for Mark Germain’s musical STAND BY YOUR MAN – THE TAMMY WYNNETTE STORY on Saturday, November 22, 2014 from 11 am-6 pm in the Rehearsal Studio, 24 Main Street, Centerbrook. Rehearsals begin on March 3, 2015and the show runs from March 18 – April 5, 2015.
Prepare a song from the show or in the style of. (Musicians by prepared to play).
Sides will be available on the website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org
Please bring a picture and resume, stapled together. Call 860-767-9520 ext 203 for appointment
Looking for: 3 women and 7 men. Strong musicians who act and sing. See web site for details and sides.
OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Senior Center is holding its annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, November 22, from 8 am to 1 pm. Plan to join us for a perfect start to the Holiday season. All ages are welcome! Profits from the fair go to funding the many programs at the Estuary.
Local vendors will display their hand crafted items ranging from handmade jewelry, scarves, bookmarks, handmade knits, homemade jelly, novelty soaps, holiday ornaments, baskets, greeting cards quilts, blankets and pottery. We will have a Baked Goods Table with homemade cakes, pies and breads just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Donations of baked goods to the Fair would be greatly appreciated.
The Estuary Council of Seniors Inc. (ECSI) is a non-profit regional senior center located in the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center on the Connecticut River Estuary at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older. ECSI is a community resource for the nine-town Estuary region’s residents over 50 years old providing nutrition, transportation, health support services, education opportunities, and socialization.
For more information call 860-388-1611 or visit our website at www.ecsenior.org.
The Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery at One Spring Street, Chester CT is hosting a series of holiday events for families during the Chester Winter Market. Please visit us in the gallery to hear some great music from 11am to 1pm on Sundays from November 30 through December 21, 2014.
November 30 – Hillyn Natter & Rose Natter from Face Arts Music in Deep River will present Munchkin Music, a music class designed for children ages 2-5 as a way for them to experience a variety of instruments, singing, dancing and learn to play music together.
December 7 – Music with Margie – Margie Warner is a songwriter, recording artist, storyteller and music consultant for young children. She will perform many songs from her children’s CDs during this interactive musical extravaganza.
December 14 - Jessica Nevins from Music Together presents “Simple Gifts – Sounds of the Season” for young children and the grown ups that love them.
December 21 - Erica Jewel and friends, Choral and original compositions performed by local teenage musicians.
http://www.nilssonstudio.com for photos and more information.
The Essex Library will be hosting a Community Sing-a-Long for the Holidays, on Thursday, December, at 7-8 p.m., lead by singer, entertainer, guitarist, Jack Bussmann.
When Bussmann, of Cheshire, first saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he asked his mom for a guitar and he has been singing , playing his guitar, and entertaining crowds throughout New England, ever since. Bussmann has also starred in such memorable stage productions as Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Jykll and Hyde, and more.
Bussmann is on a mission with high energy and enthusiasm, “ I present a program full of surprises. If my audience is not enjoying themselves, then I feel I am not doing my job of spreading happiness. …….you can let your hair down, take a deep breath and sing along with Jack!”
Bussmann will be playing selections for Hannukah, Christmas Around The World, Kwanza, and more. The program is free and open to all ages. Light refreshments will be provided.
Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its annual Christmas concert on December 12 and 14th, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme. Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with keyboardist, Assistant Director Susan Saltus, the choir is joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists, Adele Paxton, Karli Gilbertson, Ransom Bruce and Greg Flower. Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts have become an eagerly awaited, joyous holiday event.
This year is the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Con Brio will sing a very special arrangement written by Connecticut native Dudley Buck (1839-1909), one of the most successful American composers of the post-Civil War era. The audience will have a chance to join in singing our national anthem.
The concert continues with two very different approaches to Christmas themes. Schubert’s rarely performed Magnificat in C Major, drawing from the classical mass tradition, uses Mary’s text expressing joy and thanksgiving. Astonishingly, Schubert composed this piece over a period of ten days when he was only eighteen years old. Stroope’s Cantus Natalis offers a powerful contemporary celebration of Jesus’ birth, with a fourth movement reminiscent of Orff’s Carmina Burana in its rhythmic dynamism. Stroope’s shorter piece, “Winter,” thrilled an earlier Con Brio audience and this piece is certain to do the same.
The second half of the concert includes two of the most popular motets of the twentieth century, Franz Beibl’s Ave Maria and Distler’s Wachet Auf. Beibl’s piece, an amalgam of early chant and contemporary choral writing, soared to popularity when it was recently recorded by Chanticleer. Distler’s piece uses the well-known chorale tune (Sleepers, Wake) to construct a piece wholly different from the original. Con Brio will then, as is now a tradition, spread out around the wonderful space of Christ the King to perform a ten-part motet by Giovanni Gabrieli. The audience will be invited to sing along with a Hanukah favorite, Hanerot Halalu and some favorite Christmas carols. The concert concludes with a rousing Christmas spiritual, Oh Jerusalem and a powerful arrangement of We Saw Three Ships.
Buy your tickets early from any Con Brio member, online at www.conbrio.org, or by calling 860 526 5399. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students. The December 12 concert begins at 8pm, the 14th at 3pm, at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, Ct.
The First Congregational Church in Essex, UCC, 6 Methodist Hill in Essex Village, is holding its “Christmas On The Hill Fair” on Saturday, December 6 from 9:00 am to 2:00 p.m. The Fair offers live decorated wreaths and greenery, jewelry, vendors, hand crafted gifts by church members, a “Second Time Around” shop, homemade Christmas cookies and holiday foods. A Silent Auction will feature many unusual items up for bid, including a collection of Grateful Dead memorabilia and a Bushnell North Star telescope. Lunch will be available in Fellowship Hall.
Prior to the fair, a “Christmas Soiree” will be held on Friday, December 5 at 6:30 pm at the church. The evening will feature food, wine, carol singing and holiday music performed by the church’s Pastor, Rev. Kenneth Peterkin, accompanied by Essex resident Marian Messek on the piano. Admission to the Christmas Soiree is $12 per person.
Proceeds from both events benefit the missions of the Church. For more information, call (860) 767-8097 or visit www.essecucc.org.
The 41st season of the Collomore Concert Series at the historic Chester Meeting House welcomes the Fred Hersch Jazz Trio on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine, “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” six-time Grammy nominee Fred Hersch will perform with bassist Aidan Carroll and drummer Eric McPherson.
Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist. His influence has been widely felt on a new generation of jazz pianists -from his former students including Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus – to his contemporary Jason Moran, who has said, “Fred at the piano is like LeBron James on the basketball court. He’s perfection.”
Hersch has collaborated with an astonishing range of instrumentalists and vocalists throughout worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Stan Getz and Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O’Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald).
Hersch is, as Downbeat magazine aptly declared, “one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation.”
The Fred Hersch Trio’s newest CD, Floating (Palmetto), was released in July 2014 and features seven new compositions. It reached #1 on iTunes Jazz, #2 on Amazon Jazz and #5 on Billboard Jazz. The New York Times’ Nate Chinen said, “Mr. Hersch has been making acclaimed trio releases since his debut album as leader 30 years ago. He hasn’t made one better than this…an extravagantly beautiful new album.”
Tickets for the Chester concert cost $24; students from elementary through graduate school pay just $5. A reception is held after the concert to meet the performers. More information is at collomoreconcerts.org or call 860-526-5162. The Chester Meeting House is at 4 Liberty St.in Chester.
The Essex Library will be hosting an art exhibit November 3rd through November 28th, and artist’s “Meet and Greet” on Saturday November 8th, 2014, 1-4 PM, for painter, Daniel (Dan) Dahlstrom.
Mr. Dahlstrom, originally of Essex, CT, currently resides in Chester, CT. His work has been accepted into many local juried shows, including the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut, held in conjunction with the Lyme Art Association. Dan has studied at the prestigious Lyme Art Academy, and with several professional, local artists.
Current commissioned pieces are on display at the Water’s Edge Resort, Westbrook, Connecticut, The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, Haddam, Connecticut , and in private collections with select interior designers.
Mr. Dahlstrom’s inspiration comes from the light effects of nature, and his renderings impact a serene, peaceful quality. He often paints scenes of his beloved Chester, The Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, and the surrounding vistas of the beautiful countryside of New England. He enjoys working “en plein air” (in the open air) and in his studio.
Patrons may view his work at The Essex Library: 33 West Avenue, Essex, CT. For more information you may call the library at: (860) 767-1560 or go to: www.youressexlibrary.org.
The Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting “The Music of Movies” Series this fall featuring movies with notable scores and soundtracks. The series will run mostly 3rd Mondays September through December at 6:30. On September 15th , The Pink Panther Strikes Again with the music of Henry Mancini will be shown; on Monday, October 20th, Stand By Me with 1950s music, will be shown and on November 24th, The Book Thief with the music of John Williams will be shown. The movie for Dec 15th will be determined by library patron feedback.
For more information, call The Acton Library at 860-395-3184, or visit the library during regular hours: Monday through Thursday 10am – 8:30pm, Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm, and Oct – May on Sundays 1pm – 5pm or visit on-line at www.actonlibrary.org . Also, visit www.commonsensemedia.org for movie ratings and recommendations.