WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Milne Public Library in Williamstown will showcase 28 photographs of composer/writer Stephen Dankner during the month of December. The theme is "Hollywood Portraits." The Milne Library is located at 1095 Main St., the hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info: 413-458-5369.
Un Ballo in Maschera
WILLIAMSTOWN -- On Saturday, Dec. 8 at 12:55 p.m., the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute presents the Live in HD: The Met production of Giuseppe Verdi’s "Un Ballo in Maschera." Tickets are $25 ($22 members; $18 students).
Director David Alden, returning to the Met for the first time in more than 20 years, creates a dream-like setting for Verdi’s characters, who grapple with love, betrayal, conspiracy, and death.
"Un Ballo in Maschera is one of Verdi’s greatest and most brilliant scores, with a variety of different colors," says Alden, whose production is set in early twentieth-century Sweden. "It alternates between the light and the intensely melodramatic. Verdi pulls it all together with unbelievable theatrical energy. Ballo is theatrical dynamite."
Approximate running time is 204 minutes with two intermissions. The Clark is located at 225 South St. For tickets and info: clarkart.edu.
‘Insulate and Weatherize’
NORTH ADAMS -- The Berkshire Environmental Action Team and author Bruce Harley will ‘Insulate and Weatherize’ the Freight Yard Pub at the next installment of Green Drinks, Dec. 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
A veteran energy expert and Berkshire resident, Harley
Harley, a Berkshire resident, is technical director of the national non-profit Conservation Services Group, with more than 22 years of experience in the field of energy conservation. He will field questions and talk about home energy fixes, as well as sign his new book, "Insulate and Weatherize." For info: csgrp.com.
Come learn more about how to save energy, cut energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, and be more comfortable in your home at the Freight Yard Pub in Western Heritage Gateway State Park. For more info: thebeatnews.org.
Wind Ensemble in Chapin Hall
WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Williams College Department of Music presents a concert with the Williams College Wind Ensemble in Chapin Hall on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. This free event is open to the public.
The Williams College Wind Ensemble melds contemporary and traditional art music for winds and percussion. Conductor Heidi Johanna Miller leads the Williams College Wind Ensemble in a concert of wind music that spans one hundred years of repertoire. Familiar works by Gounod, Rodrigo, and Khachaturian are complemented by works of living composers. Miller presents her own transcription of Gladsome Light by Pavel Tchesnokov. The ensemble also offers a world premiere of Road Stories by Jennifer Higdon.
Shortcut Home by renowned composer Dana Wilson rounds out the program.
An advocate for new music, Miller has guided world premiere performances of works by Stephen Hartke, Keir Neuringer, Carl Schroeder, James Patrick Miller, and Dawn Lenore Sonntag; in addition, her ensembles’ performances have been noted by composers Karel Husa, Steven Stucky, and Dana Wilson. In 2008, her dissertation research on the music of Steven Stucky was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of Minnesota where she also served as conductor of the North Star Band during the 2008-09 season and a graduate teaching assistant in the wind band program from 2006-09.
Recognized as one of New England’s premier undergraduate wind ensembles, the group has twice been invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association Eastern Division Conference.
Chapin Hall is located at 54 Chapin Hall Drive on the Williams College campus. For info: music.williams.edu, 413-597-3146.
Mince Pies and Stockings
WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is holding a Holiday Traditions Workshop on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 12:30 to 5 p.m., at its Sheep Hill headquarters.
Come in from the cold and enjoy the season baking and making with a fire in the hearth, good things in the oven, and creative companions ‘round the table in the cozy Sheep Hill farmhouse.
Yorkshire, England native and Williamstown resident Gerry Leamon will demonstrate how to make miniature mince pies. Perfect pastry and an easy filling make these a delicious holiday treat. Samples provided. Following the pie demonstration, artist Julia Morgan-Leamon will teach you how to craft heirloom stockings from felt, fabric, trim, beads, buttons and charms. Materials are provided, but bring your own special findings to create one-of-a kind stockings that will be treasured for years to come.
The workshop is by registration only. $60 fee includes instruction, materials and mini-pie samples. To register: 413-458-2494, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gleekers return
WILLIAMSTOWN -- Minerva Arts Center presents an evening of Gleek with the Minerva Gleekers, 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the First Congregational Church, 906 Main St.
A student workshop, inspired by the hit TV show Glee, students explore dance, song and theatricality ranging from Broadway tunes to modern songs and choreography. General admission is $3. Children 6 and under are free. For info: 413-346-4502, email@example.com, minervaartscenter.org.
The Art Forger
WILLIAMSTOWN -- B. A. Shapiro, author of the New York Times best-selling novel The Art Forger, will appear at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m. as part of the ongoing Profession of Words Author Series. Shapiro will read from and discuss The Art Forger; a question-and-answer session and book signing will follow this free program. The Profession of Words series celebrates writers who are making a career in the difficult business of creating books.
The Clark is located at 225 South St. For more info: 413-458-2303, clarkart.edu.
NORTH ADAMS -- Mill City Productions invites you to a dramatic reading of classic Christmas stories for the whole family, "Fireside Yuletide."
Performances will take place on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m.
"Fireside Yuletide" includes dramatic readings of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Featured actors include: Josh Baker, Marissa Carlson, Tim Mangun, Annie Pecor, Courtney Shapiro, Liz Urban, Amy Van Dusen, Charlie Waltermire and Gabby Waltermire.
The production also includes singing of classic holiday songs. Festive holiday refreshments will be served. Performances will take place at Mill City’s Theatre at Building 4N (next to the Visitor’s Center) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Admission is $4 for all ages. Tickets are available at the door. For more info: millcityproductions.org.
ADAMS -- Youth Center Inc. has set Saturday, Dec. 8, as the annual Make-It-Take-It Children’s Craft Fair. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Youth Center located at 20 East St.
Featuring at least 12 crafts of varying degrees of difficulty, there is something for everyone. Hot projects this year are fleece hats and pom-pom pens. Many types of crafts have been stocked in order for youth and their families to have many options to choose from.
Prices for the crafts range from free to $3. This year’s fair will include cookie decorating, games, and raffles.
Two special guests this year are Santa and Rudolph, arriving at noon. To volunteer, make a donations or for more info: 413-743-3550.