If you ask what contribution France made to our Revolutionary War nearly all people know that answer: LaFayette. But perhaps even more important to this country’s victory was the Count de Rochambeau, Lieutenant General and commanding officer of the French troops sent to the American theater following the French-American alliance. On Monday, May 14, at 7:30 pm, Newtown Historical Society will host a program by Jini Jones Vail, based on her book, "Rochambeau: Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant (A French General’s Role in the American Revolution)."
The fourth Natyatarang Festival of Arts will take place Sunday, May 18, from 3 to 6 pm, in The Alexandria Room of Edmond Town Hall. This year Natyatarang brings together two disciplines within the Odissi Classical Dance under one roof. Two artists — Rahul Acharya and Anindita Nanda — who have gained popularity in their own genres, will be performing their individual styles side by side and will be collaborating on some pieces which brings those two styles together. The dance recital will have solo and duet performances set to traditional Odissi classical music.
The Society of Creative Arts of Newtown (SCAN) will welcome Peter Seltzer for an art critique session on Wednesday, May 14, at 7:30 pm. The program will in the lower level of Newtown Meeting House, and admission is free.
The Genealogy Club of Newtown will hold its May meeting at C.H. Booth Library on Wednesday, May 14, beginning at 7 pm. This month’s speaker will be Priscilla Wismar, a former longtime Newtown resident now living in Southbury. Mrs Wismar is very active in the Southbury genealogy club. Her subject will be “Finding Your Family In Graveyards.” Guests will learn about information available in family cemetery plots, on the records relating to those plots, as well as from just viewing a headstone. The meeting will be preceded at 6:45 by a club member offering help in the library’s Genealogy Room.
The Town & Country Garden Club of Newtown will host “Birds: Their Side of the Story” by John Himmelman on Wednesday, May 14, at Newtown Senior Center. Mr Himmelman will share entertaining stories about birds and and bird watching, “from cuisine to cartoons, ornaments to icons, murmurs to murder.” He is a well known illustrator and naturalist who lectures continuously, and has led field trips in search of various flora and fauna all of the country for many years.
Valerie Culbertson, director of HealingNewtown, has issued a call for entries for “A Celebration of Life,” a collage exhibit to be presented June 27 to August 8, at Newtown Municipal Center. The show will pay tribute to how each person can individually honor and celebrate their lives in a way that brings joy, meaning and fulfillment. Entry deadline is June 1.
On Thursday, May 15, Flagpole Photographers Camera Club will host its May competition with an assigned subject of “Main Street, Newtown.” Members will have to take a photo somewhere between Ram Pasture and Currituck Road to qualify. The public is invited to view these photographs, along with the Open Color and Open Black & White entries, during the meeting and program to be held at C.H. Booth Library. A few days later, the club will celebrate its 2014 Annual Exhibit with an opening reception on Sunday, May 18, from 2 to 4 pm, also in the library’s lower meeting room. The showcase will display over 100 photographs by members of the local photographers club, and it will remain on view until June 25.
Young anglers can try their luck Saturday, May 10, during the sixth annual Candlewood Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited’s (CVTU) Youth Education Day CVTU members will be teaching children about the sport of fly fishing, fly tying, and stream ecology. Participants will meet at St John’s Episcopal Church, 5 Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook, at 8:30 am, and then walk across the road to the Pootatuck River banks. Volunteers will teach children the basics of fishing for trout with a fly rod, will explore the streambed to understand the food chain of this special habitat, and will get to try their hand at tying a fly. The event is free and open to children ages 8-18, and their parents. The event will continue until 1:30 pm.
The 100-voice strong Waterbury Chorale will perform Mozart’s "The Great Mass in C minor" (K427) on Saturday, May 17, at 8 pm, at St Rose of Lima Church. Maestro Joseph Jacovino will be leading an accomplished choir with the added power of Soprano Marissa Famiglietti, Mezzo-Soprano Mariana Vagnini, Tenor Jeffrey Hartman and Bass Shae Apland. Accompanying the choir will be organist Susan Theodos and the 23 strong professional musicians which comprise the Waterbury Festival Orchestra.
The final Friday Bingo Night of the 2013-14 season at St Rose will be on May 16. It will take place in the school's Gathering Hall, on Church Hill Road. Doors open at 5:45 and Bingo games will run 6:30 to 9:30 pm. The evening will feature substantial cash prizes for all games, as well as door prizes. There is a concession offering dinner items and baked goods, as well as complimentary coffee. All ages are welcome.