Two of Connecticut’s most accommodating municipal concert venues drew massive crowds recently hosting acts with broad appeal based on the multigenerational makeup of audiences who turned out to enjoy the music and perfect weather that has kissed the state throughout late summer. On Thursday, August 14, the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows and Premier Concerts brought in the Tedeschi Trucks Band with opening support form The Wood brothers. Both acts complimented each other as The Wood Brothers warmed up the Simsbury venue with their unique brand of rootsy ballads and rockers. Four night’s later, Danbury’s Ives Concert Park was equally packed – nearly selling out the second of two major headline shows hosted by the rustic venue this summer.
Sunshine on Saturday, August 16 caught bright ribbons rippling. Hula hoops spun and children played while local musicians Susan Lang, Bill Wisnowski and Leif Smith — a/k/a My Dad’s Truck — performed folk music at the Sandy Hook Village Green. Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) members recently announced the first of what they hope will be an annual “Choose Love” Outdoor Summer Concert Series in downtown Sandy Hook Village. Free concerts, coupled with arts and crafts for children, will continue on Saturday afternoons until September 13. All performances are free of charge, and are suitable for all ages. Last weekend, during the afternoon event hosted by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP), Melissa Lopata, who serves as SHOP’s Marketing Director, was glad to see people enjoying the first of five concerts. “We’re excited about bringing arts and culture to the community,” she said.
Tory Gozzi is eager to get students into a new ballet and voice space. Ms Gozzi, the artistic director and owner of Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet & Voice (NCCB), said recently. Finding a new space was among Ms Gozzi’s goals when she took over NCCB in 2013. The new studio at South Main Commons “looks beautiful — I’m so excited." NCCB will host a grand opening celebration at the new studio on Saturday, August 30, from 11 am to 2 pm. The afternoon will include face painting, games, raffles, demonstrations, food, and more. South Main Commons is at 87 South Main Street; the studio is in Suite 1.
Wedding bells did double duty Sunday, August 10, at Newtown Meeting House, when Chris Roberts and Laura Garcia-Dore, and Carolyn Roberts and Rob Poit were joined in marriage in back-to-back weddings there. It is the first time in her 22 years as administrator, said Sherry Paisley, that a double or back-to-back wedding had been scheduled at the Meeting House. Chris Roberts, a native of Newtown now living in Los Angeles, where he works as a sound recording engineer, is the youngest of Jeane and Skip Roberts’ five children. Carolyn Roberts, a planetary geologist at the University of Buffalo, where she is working on her PhD, is the daughter of Sherie and Keith Roberts, Chris Roberts’ older brother. Although she grew up in Southbury, Carolyn has strong connections to her father’s hometown and Newtown Congregational Church. Thanks to behind-the-scenes work by Sherie Roberts, Chris and Carolyn were able to pull off the shared wedding date with their family and friends.
For students who attended Newtown Parks & Recreation day camps at Dickinson Memorial Park or at Treadwell Park, the summer concluded on Friday, August 8, with a talent show that combined both day camps. “It was great just seeing what they can come with,” said Newtown Parks & Recreation Assistant Director RoseAnn Reggiano, about the talent show. Groups of campers, or sometimes individuals, took turns displaying talents they may have found while at camp this summer or talents they have been harvesting longer.
Jennifer Zulli walked through the old 1847 wedding chapel where she now runs the Sound Center, a creative arts and wellness center in Hawleyville. She noted the space’s past history — a Newtown resident had relocated the chapel from Brookfield to Hawleyville in 1900. She then turned her thoughts to its current use, which was previewed Saturday, August 9, during a Wellness For Your Spirit Summer Festival and Fair. Sound Center’s founder and director, Ms Zulli said, “We do holistic education, and combine arts and spirituality.” The center is a place where “arts and spirituality connect,” she said. That day offered a sampling of many classes and services found there, said Rachel Archelaus, the center’s assistant director. The Wellness for Your Spirit Summer Festival and Fair also saw a host of vendors and guests enjoying the late summer day.