By Richard Knox
The New Hampshire Master Chorale, one of the state’s top-ranked choruses, will open its 21st season with “Light, Love and Longing,” a program that showcases music’s power to express the full range of human desires and emotions.
Performances will take place on Saturday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Concord’s South Church and Sunday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m. in the Plymouth Congregational Church.
The 30-voice chamber choir is directed by Dan Perkins, who recently was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts New England, the region’s leading proponent of choral music. Master Chorale members are trained, experienced singers auditioned from throughout New England.
Perkins has designed a fall program featuring the exquisite Romantic music of Johannes Brahms alongside offerings from some of the most acclaimed contemporary composers of choral music, including Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Jake Runestad and Ēriks Ešenvalds.
It opens with Lauridsen’s Lament for Pasiphaë, one of the composer’s five Mid-Winter Songs that set the poetry of Robert Graves, who draws on Greek mythology to express elemental human fears and longings. This song expresses a yearning to pause the passage of time and delay the fading of the sun’s light.
Next comes Brahms’ treatment of an age-old mystery from the Bible’s Book of Job: Why does God permit human suffering? The English translation of the German title is Why is the Light Given to Those Who Suffer? The piece poses an agonizing question relevant to today’s news.
Intercession in Late October is another Lauridsen setting of a Graves poem that alludes to the well-known myth of King Midas, who wishes that everything he touches will turn to gold. When his wish is granted, the embrace of his daughter turns her into a cold statue – a cautionary tale about greed.
In startling contrast are Lauridsen’s four contemporary madrigals on Renaissance love poems that are alternately lusty, mournful, passionate and demanding.
The concert’s second half continues this concert’s eclectic musical tour. A Brahms song, O That I Knew the Way Back Home, distills the nostalgia for the joys and freedom of childhood in an arrangement by James McCullough.
Present-day composer Eric Whitacre extends the nostalgic mood with a setting of the beloved Goodnight Moon bedtime story by Margaret Wise Brown, with its “great green room,” red balloon, picture of a cow jumping over the moon and an old lady whispering “hush.”
The chorus next sings the Kentucky poet Wendell Berry’s meditation, The Peace of Wild Things, as set by the contemporary composer Jake Runestad. Berry’s poem contrasts a parent’s worry about “what my life and my children’s lives may be” with “the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.”
Another Wendell Berry poem, What Stood Will Stand, is a hymn-like setting by Paul Halley promising that the good and wholesome things “will stand, though all be fallen” – reassuring, perhaps, for those who worry about the fate of our planet. Halley punctuates that hopeful prophesy with ecstatic Alleluias and a musical vision of “the life of the world to come.”
A New Zealand composer of hymns, Shirley Erena Murray, conveys longing of a different sort with her rewrite of the familiar old carol Away in a Manger. In Murray’s hands it becomes Away and in Danger, a commentary on refugee children that concludes with the wish that they find refuge and a warm, embracing home.
The concert concludes with two contrasting versions of the much-loved hymn Amazing Grace. New England composer Gwyneth Walker’s Through Many Dangers turns the hymn inside out, beginning with a middle verse “Through many dangers, toils and snares” and proceeding through several less-familiar stanzas before concluding that sweet Grace will bring us home.
Finally, the chorus offers a warm, stately version of Amazing Grace by the contemporary Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, who weaves the familiar lyrics into continually modulating keys before an uplifting finale on “I was blind but now I see!”
The New Hampshire Master Chorale’s performances and educational projects are supported in part by grants from the NH State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment on the Arts, the NH Charitable Foundation’s Corbit Family Fund and the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation.
Concert tickets are available at the door or through nhmc.ticketleap.com. General admission is $30, with discounts for elders and free admission to students and a pay-what-you-are-able option.
New Hampshire Master Chorale
"Creating our own culture in the woods of New Hampshire"
If you have been on Facebook, Roku, or other forms of social media you have probably seen ads for the Baerskin fleece hoodie – you know the one with all the pockets and a nice heavy, easy to fit to your form fit. Like a lot of internet skeptical people, you probably thought oh it’s a scam or probably just another fly-by night company. Well neither is the case. I contacted Baerskin and picked up a jacket and a vest and I can say at this time they are a good sturdy product that is super handy and very warm. For those of you living here in New Hampshire you know it hasn’t been that cold yet this year and since I am warm blooded, I haven’t had to wear more than a tee shirt to date. That changed this past weekend when I attended an outdoor fair and the weather was 59 degrees with a 15mph wind and overcast. Not wanting to be overly hot I threw my new Baerskin vest over a light long sleeve T and for the 5 hours we were out in the elements I was able to regulate my temp perfectly. Never too hot, never too cold, the fleece kept the wind from chilling my lower back which is my weak spot plus I had plenty of pockets for a water bottle, keys, and the usual other things I would usually carry a small backpack for.
BÆRSkin was established in 2019 to make the world's best outdoor gear. They describe the reason for opening as "Bad fitting, bulky, boring and weak" - this is how we felt about 1000's of regular fleece hoodies we tested. That's why we use 330gsm of Original BÆRSkin Fleece for the ultimate weight-for-comfort ratio. Every inch is double-napped and brushed for a robust finish that never "pills" or wears away. I can say this is the heaviest, best-looking, most comfortable fleece I have now, and I will continue to update this story for longevity and wearability. Reinforced, covered zippers are a nice touch as are the elastic tabs to help snug up the fit. The hood is big enough to fit over a ball cap or beanie and can be rolled up on the neck for extra warmth.
Pockets, did I mention pockets? I love pockets (just ask my wife who hates all my cargo pants) I always have stuff to put in pockets. I am a firm believer in the old axiom “it is better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it” so from a small first aid kit to my phone, knives, lighters, water bottle etc. I have it plus when I am out shooting photo’s I no longer need to carry a huge backpack for extra lenses etc. just put it in a pocket. Here is a breakdown of the pockets:
So much pocket space - your backpack is out of business.
2 front zipper pockets: Ideal for stashing essentials like keys, wallet, or energy bars.
1 left-sleeve pocket with flag patch panel: Personalize your BÆRSkin with badges or patches while also storing small utilities.
1 right-sleeve pocket: Strategically placed for swift access to vital gear.
1 left chest pocket: With a soft interior, it's perfect for safeguarding sunglasses or cellphones from scratches, while keeping them readily accessible.
2-zip back hunter's pocket: Perfect for essentials like gloves, an insulated beanie, or a lightweight rain jacket. The dual-zip design ensures secure storage during activities.
3 hidden interior zip pockets: Discreetly keep valuable items like a passport, spare cash, or credit cards secure.
3 soft interior drop pockets for quick, easy, and secure storage.
In other words, enough pockets for just about anything!
So, since it is mid-October and cold weather is finally setting in check back shortly as I have a feeling I will be using the coat very soon.
Several more times of wearing the vest over a long sleeve tee and light sweaters and I can still say this will be a long time favorite. Keeps the lower back warm as can be while allowing the rest of the body the ability to regulate the heat.
Well fall has finally settled in full force and I have now had a chance, since I work outside most of the day, to wear the jacket on those lovely 27-degree mornings. Granted I don't wear a jacket if it is over 35 (then I am in a light sweater or fleece) but we also had a morning of ice and snow, this is where I gave the jacket a good test. First off - this thing is WARM. I own at least 4 other fleece jackets from Bauer, Bean and a couple of other brands. In the case of snow, I usually go with a vest and a Bauer windproof jacket but that day I decided to give the Baerskin a go and I am not sorry I did. First off - did I mention the thing is warm, it was 19 degrees with a 25mph wind, and I was perfectly fine with a long sleeve Tee and this jacket, I even shed it later that day when the temp went up to 37. The double lined zippers kept the wind out and the Velcro adjustable sleeves kept the arms from having those obnoxious updrafts. By pulling the hood up and snugging it around my neck there were times I was adjusting the bottom zipper to allow some heat to escape as it helps regulate temperature. As an added bonus the snow brushed off easily and the small amount that melted on it didn't penetrate the thick fleece. The other cool mornings it kept me toasty till the temp went up enough for me to just wear my flannel shirt or sweater.
So, to wrap this up for now if this thing wears as well as it seems it will I will be much warmer this winter plus I will have the added advantage of not having to lug a backpack on my trips out. Great job Baerskin!
New friends. New adventures. The best is yet to come! Shine bright with Girl Scouts and discover a whole new world of possibilities. Girls in grades K-3 and a caregiver are invited to learn about opportunities to get involved in your community. Try out sample activities and see the many ways to get involved in Girl Scouts while having fun at a special unicorn party!
Come explore Girl Scouts Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6-7 p.m. at Boscawen Elementary School, 1 B.E.S.T. Ave., Boscawen.
Can't make it to an event? No worries! We host multiple in-person and virtual sign-up events throughout the year. You can also join anytime online at girlscoutsgwm.org. Walk-ins are welcome.
With programs in the outdoors; entrepreneurship; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and life skills, girls have the space and support they need to grow so they can see themselves how we’ve always seen them. Bright. Perceptive. Powerful.
Be yourself with us. Join Girl Scouts.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.
Join Us for the Annual Sandwich Fair on Columbus Day Weekend in Sandwich, NH!
Sandwich, NH – We are thrilled to invite you to the highly anticipated Sandwich Fair, an annual event that takes place on Columbus Day weekend. Mark your calendars for October 7th, 8th, and 9th, with a sneak preview of the midway on Friday night. This event spans 3 ½ days and promises something for everyone. Admission is just $12 per day, and children under 12 get in for free! Gates open at 8 am, and the exhibit halls welcome visitors at 9:00 am. You'll be treated to breathtaking fall foliage during your visit to our agriculturally based fair, which proudly features a wide variety of animals and animal competitions throughout the fair, including many exciting 4-H animal contests.
I must admit something - I am a carnivore. I love meat. I’ll eat vegetables, corn (although my wife will disagree that it is a vegetable) is probably my favorite followed by vegetables on the grill. But my favorite thing is a protein I can put over fire, brisket, ribs, steak, chicken. The thought of that smoky flavor just makes my mouth salivate sitting here. I have had many grills over the past 40 years. Weber kettles, offset grills, a few homemade smokers and for the last 7 years an offset/charcoal/propane grill all so I can perfect and enjoy the delicious smoke infused taste of meat. There is no better feeling than ending a day eating a bounty of meat coming off a 12-hour smoking session. The problem is time is precious these days and that means the day spent watching the fire, adding wood and charcoal, adjusting air flow, checking, and rearranging the meat so it all cooks evenly means other chores fall to the wayside. So, when I started investigating new grills one started standing out - the pellet smoker/grill. A bonus with this type of grill, not only does it smoke and grill, but you can braise, bake, and sear also. More research led me to give one company a try - Z Grills.
Z Grills was originally a manufacturer of pellet grills for several top brands in this industry – Traeger being one.
The Z Grills brand was founded in 2016 and has quickly become one of the most respected brands in pellet grills.
They are winning the market by delivering pellet grills that pack the same top brand quality, in a new trademarked identity, while selling directly to customers with factory-direct pricing.
I took the opportunity to review the Z Grills “Backyard Warrior” smoker, the stainless-steel model 7002C2E. This sturdy, well-constructed machine features 697 sq inches of cooking area, a stainless-steel lid and a huge 24-pound capacity hopper for the pellets. The PID controller (PID stands for Proportional, Integral, Derivative, which essentially means that they use algorithms and an internal computer to monitor the internal temperature of your grill and make automatic adjustments to keep it at that temperature.) allows the machine to hold the temperature you set within a few degrees, reminding me of the saying “set it and forget it”. No longer do I have to spend all day watching my grill. I can just insert my meat probes, set it for the temp I want and if I need to run a few errands away I go. Need to cook up to 29 burgers or do you want to sear a steak? Crank the temp up and that too is a reality. Bake a pizza or some bread, a skillet cookie or some cornbread as a side, no problems here. Assembly of the grill was not overly hard, we had it built in about 4 hours working for a couple of nights inside after supper. A few things to note - 1) read all the instructions first as it will make more sense, 2) the PID controller goes outside the space shown in the instructions before you screw it in, 3) the decorative spacers for the lid are not labeled nor shown in my instructions - not a big deal but had to unscrew the handle to put them in place. Then it was time for burn-in. Again, the instructions were clear, open the lid, set it to smoke, wait for the smoke to flow for a few minutes and then set it on high for an hour. Shut it down (the fan will blow for about 10 minutes - don’t unplug it) and you are ready to cook.
My first smoke was pork ribs and after starting the grill up I placed the setting for smoke and because I somehow missed the part that read leave it on smoke for an hour or so before turning it to temp (325) after 4 hours I had really tasty ribs that were perfectly cooked but did not that deep rich smoky flavor I was used to from my offset grill. But with all new things comes a learning curve so I grabbed some steaks and chicken breasts and on they went. This time I left them to smoke for 30 minutes and then cranked the heat up to the high setting, inserted the probes into the chicken breasts and shortly thereafter was dining on perfectly grilled meat. The chicken was moist and tender, the steak nicely seared on the outside with just a hint of pink inside and a nice smoky flavor. A few more cooks of some burgers, dogs proved the grill could handle the basics so now it was time to retry the smoking. This time was a whole chicken. Due to some miscommunication between the Mrs. and I when it came time to put the chicken on it was still fully frozen, but I decided to give it a shot anyway, On the grill it went and as we drove off to do some quick chores, I left it on smoke using some cherrywood pellets. Came back 2 hours later and raised the temp to 375 and within 2 hours we had a beautiful, nicely smoked deep brown, crispy skinned chicken better than the ones we usually grab at the market.
Some things I like about the grill…the large 24lb capacity. Put a whole bag of pellets in and it will go all day. The large pellet view window lets you see how much is left in the hopper. The clean-out door, open it up and you can drain all the pellets in the grill out making it easy to change flavors. The 2 free meat probes are a plus. Meat is done perfectly without drying out or worrying of not attaining the recommended temperatures. I do wish the smoke pot was easier to clean out, but it is easy to do with a shop vac. DO line the drip pan and pail with foil as it will make it much easier to keep clean (I am going to try a silicon mat for the drip pan just to see how it work). A neat thing the company offers is called the Blind Box Special. For $399 they will send you one of their grills ranging in value from $499 to $719 and all of them come with a PID controller so for those of you who like to gamble this is a deal that can’t be beaten! Since I have received the grill I have been gone 3 out of 4 weekends and during the week it has rained more than average (thank goodness for the FREE rainproof cover which is included in the package) which has kept me from using it more often than I would like so I am really excited for the Columbus Day weekend at which time we will be giving our first brisket, kielbasa and rib smoke. Stayed tuned!
Z Grills® Official Website | Top Rated Pellet Grills
Twiggs Gallery is celebrating Boscawen’s Old Home Week with a variety of free events highlighting agriculture, music, art and poetry. This rich variety of offerings reflects Twiggs Gallery’s focus on offering interesting cultural events to the local community. All events are free and open to the public at Twiggs Gallery located at 254 King Street in Boscawen.
Beginning on Saturday, August 19, take a summer drive around Boscawen to see the Flashy Flock celebrating Boscawen’s agricultural roots. For this community art project, Twiggs Gallery partnered with Boscawen’s Old Home Week committee to create 55 chicken shapes cut out of wood. Boscawen residents used the cut-outs as a blank canvas to exercise their creativity. On Saturday, all of the chickens will be revealed in front of Boscawen homes and businesses as part of the “Flashy Flock Mob” of crafty chickens popping up all over Boscawen! A link to a map is on Twiggs Gallery’s website at TwiggsGallery.org. During the driving tour, drop into the gallery between 1 and 3 for a free Make & Take. Twiggs will have wooden eggs to decorate and a creative button making activity. A fun day for the entire family!
On Sunday, August 20 from 10-3, Granite State Draft Horse & Pony Association will be doing plowing demos and competitions in the field next to Twiggs Gallery. Bring a chair and prepare to enjoy the day. The event will start with a meet and greet session with the horses. Then, skilled Teamsters will prepare their animals with harnessing demonstrations at 10:30 am. The competition, featuring three Farm Classes – Single Log Twitch, Stone Boat, and Woodsy Wagon – begins after the harnessing demos. Wagon rides will be given afterwards. If you’re intrigued by horses and curious about draft animals, seize this opportunity to meet Teamsters experienced in various activities like logging, weddings, hay making, and more. Hotdogs will be sold by The Old Home Day Committee as a fundraiser. Twiggs Gallery will again be offering a free Make & Take craft project in the gallery from 1-3 pm. Plein air artists and photographers are encouraged to come and be inspired by these amazing animals.
Enjoy a free concert with The New Consort on Wednesday, August 23 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Twiggs Gallery is delighted to once again host world class musical performances from Boscawen’s Avaloch Music Farm Institute’s summer residents. Winners of the American Prize in Chamber Music, The New Consort is a vocal chamber ensemble dedicated to exploring
the roles that musical ritual and community can play in 21st-century lives. The performance is free and refreshments will be served.
The week-long celebration ends on Sunday, August 27 from 1-3 pm, with Twiggs Gallery’s annual summer poetry reading, Poetry & Pie, featuring the Percheron Poets. This year’s theme is NEST which is inspired by the exhibit in the gallery of the same name. After the reading, there will be a break for yummy homemade pies, then attendees are welcome to read a poem that responds to the theme for the open mic session. Free and delicious, Poetry & Pie is a balm for the body and the soul.
Find more information about these events at Twiggs Gallery at TwiggsGallery.org or call 603-975-0015. Twiggs Gallery is handicapped accessible and located at 254 King Street, Jct. Rte 3 & 4, Boscawen, NH. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday 11-4 and Sunday 12-4.
Twiggs Gallery in Boscawen and Avaloch Farm Music Institute have organized a lovely evening of ambient music with Alora Crucible on Thursday, June 29 from 6:30-7:30 pm. The group consists of Toby Driver (guitar, voice, and hammered dulcimer), Ana Cristina Pérez Ochoa (synthesizer and voice), and Timba Harris (violin). Toby Driver describes Alora Cruible’s music as, “an exploration of healing, semi-ambient transcendent composition.” The concert is free and light refreshments will be served.
The trio is attending an arts residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute in Boscawen. Avaloch Farm Music Institute provides a unique opportunity for chamber music and jazz ensembles at any stage of development to have the time and space to work intensively on repertoire, prepare for recordings, concerts or competitions, work with composers on commissions, and forge or reconnect to a group musical identity. Twiggs Gallery is delighted to team with Avaloch to introduce these world class musicians to the local community with intimate concerts in the gallery.
Twiggs Gallery is a 501c3 non-profit offering regional art exhibitions, adult art classes and community events. The gallery is handicapped accessible and located at 254 King Street, Jct. Rte 3 & 4, Boscawen, NH. Visit TwiggsGallery.org for more information.
HATBOX THEATRE ANNOUNCES OPEN AUDITIONS FOR ITS 2023-2024 SEASON
Open Auditions for all productions slated for the 2023-2024 Hatbox Theatre Season is just around the corner. Auditions will take place Sunday, April 30th and Wednesday May 3rd from 6:30 to 9pm. Performers of all ages and experiences are encouraged to participate. Stage managers, technicians, designers and production staff are encouraged to fill out the application and attend as well.
Please come prepared to perform two contrasting monologues. Each monologue should be less than two minutes in length. (While there will be no formal music portion, attendees may present a brief thirty-second a capella piece to give producers a taste of your capability.) If you are unable to attend in person, there is an option to submit a video audition in the application.
Open Auditions are coordinated by the Hatbox Theatre. Actors are encouraged to upload a recent headshot, a resume, and be prepared to present two short contrasting monologues. Producers may also be having their own separate auditions, but use Open Auditions as a way to recruit folks to their auditions/productions.
Hatbox Theatre is a cooperative venue. Many different production companies use the space throughout the year, most of which are looking for actors, musicians, designers, and stage technicians for their productions. Producers this season will include: Absolutely Magic, Actors Coop Theatre (ACT), Custard Street Productions, Dive In Productions, Hatbox Theatre, Lend Me a Theater, Maundering Arts, New Hampton School, Outcast Productions, Parker Theatricals, Perseverance Productions, Phylloxera Productions, Queen City Improv, RGC Theatre, Shelley Productions, The Granite Playwrights, and Versicolor Souls.
With almost twenty mainstage productions, including plays, musicals, original works and a number of one-off opportunities such as improv, one acts, etc, producers are looking to work with talent of all shapes, sizes, and persuasions. Designers, Stage Managers, and Stage Technicians are encouraged to upload a resume/portfolio. This is a great opportunity to get your talent seen by dozens of production companies working not only at Hatbox Theatre, but also from around the state.
Go to hatboxnh.com and click on the “Call Board” link for more information and to sign up for one of the audition slots. CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE AUDITION APPLICATION.
The titles of the 2023/2024 Hatbox Theatre season will be announced to the public at our Launch Party on May 17th. There is a variety of offerings including musicals, original plays, classic works, musicals and more. This event is open to our members and the public who are interested in getting a taste of our ninth season.
ABOUT HATBOX THEATRE: Hatbox Theatre is a live performance arts space with a mission to create a cooperative community to develop unique, intimate experiences for both audiences and artists.
Conservation District taking applications for college scholarship to Merrimack County resident!
The Merrimack County Conservation District is taking applications for its “Stanley Grimes Conservation Scholarship” to be awarded June 2023. This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a resident in Merrimack County who has been accepted to a two or four year college/university (full time status) with the intent to pursue studies in the field of agriculture, forestry, environmental science, soil science, or a related natural resources program. Applicant must be attending college/university in the fall of 2023. High school seniors and current college students encouraged to apply.
Applications must be submitted by May 5, 2023. For a full description of the scholarship and the application, please visit the district website at merrimackccd.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 603.223.6020.
The Annual Making Community Home Gala hosted by CATCH Neighborhood Housing is making a comeback to The Barn at Bull Meadow in Concord, with Merrimack County Savings Bank (The Merrimack) as the leading sponsor. The event supports CATCH’s commitment to assist those who are in need of housing through education and support resources.
The Annual Making Community Home Gala event takes place on Thursday, March 23rd at 6:00pm. The Gala calls for business casual attire and will feature music, dinner, a cash bar, dancing, community building, and a marvelous time. For more information on the event, visit catchhousing.org/events.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to be included as a presenting sponsor for the Making Community Home Gala,” said James Gallagher, SVP Senior Commercial Lending Officer of The Merrimack and CATCH Board Chair. “This event unites the community for a fun night, in hopes of raising funds to encourage CATCH’s mission of creating communities where everyone can be confident about access to safe and affordable housing.”
“We’re delighted to have The Merrimack as the leading sponsor for our Annual Making Community Home Gala,” said Tom Furtado, President and Chief Executive Officer of CATCH. “The selflessness exhibited by our donors, and community partners is the driving force behind this organization.”
Founded more than 30 years ago, CATCH Neighborhood Housing is a community-based non-profit organization offering a full spectrum of housing and education services in Merrimack County. Since 1989, CATCH‘s rental portfolio has grown into a vast array of 379 affordable, workforce housing units in Concord, Penacook, Bow, and Franklin, New Hampshire. To provide homeownership and financial education services, CATCH has collaborated with HOMEteam, another organization The Merrimack proudly sponsors. For more information on CATCH, visit catchhousing.org.