Friends is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to enriching the lives of students by funding opportunities that go beyond the Board of Education’s budget. We believe the arts play an important role in Simsbury schools, and most importantly in the growth, development and character of children.
WHAT WE FUND:
Our talented teachers seek enrichment opportunities for students and request funding from Friends. This past year, our $30,000 budget enabled us to support:
The Town-wide Choral Festival featuring Guest Artist and clinician Elizabeth Nunez (funded entirely by Friends)
Transportation costs for students and ensembles to attend adjudications and CMEA Festivals
Music Excellence Awards in all 5 elementary schools, HJMS and SHS
The Town-wide Elementary Chorus (funded entirely by Friends)
Guest artists for Master Classes in elementary schools, HJMS and SHS
Lighting costs for the SHS Theatre Department
Recording fees for choral performances
These things would not exist without your generosity. Thank you, donors!
Dvorak — Carnival Overture
Tchaikovsky — Violin Concerto
Elgar — ‘Enigma Variations’
Waterbury Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Leif Bjaland and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra musicians in rehearsals for Opening Night, Romantic Virtuosity.
Musicians Kenny Nigro, Mark Ryan, Ryan Ford and John DiPinto at TRAV’LIN East Coast premiere at Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, CT. – May 14, 2017
TRAV’LIN is a high-octane, jazzy-soul fest that takes you back to Harlem in the 1930’s when the music was swinging, big bands ruled and the Harlem Renaissance was in high gear. This jazz infused musical follows the romantic escapades of three couples of different ages: the young lovers new to love and oh so innocent, the seen-it-all lovers who bicker and fight but darn it they love each other, and the mature folk who wonder if it’s too late to fall in love one more time. Playing the game of love, they learn enduring lessons when George, a retired Pullman porter and church deacon, meets his match in the guise of a down-and-out stranger who is not the person she pretends to be. TRAV’LIN rediscovers the music of Harlem Renaissance composer J.C. Johnson. Johnson wrote Bessie Smiths’ signature song “Empty Bed Blues” and collaborated with such artists as Fats Waller, Chick Webb, and George Whiting. His songs were recorded by such icons as Billie Holliday, Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
Music and Lyrics by J.C.Johnson Book by Gary Holmes and Allan Shapiro
Ode to Joy at NVCC Fine Arts Center. Maestro Leif Bjaland conducting Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, D minor (Choral), Featuring the following special guests: Vocal Quartet from the Yale Opera Program; Connecticut Choral Society, NJCS Camerata and Naugatuck Valley Community College Chorale.
Photos from Waterbury Symphony Orchestra
Imagine Main Street
Imagine Main Street’s mission is to revitalize the downtown historic district of Manchester, Connecticut through the economic and cultural impetus of the arts.
We envision creating a well known arts “Mecca” including performance, galleries, pop-up stores, public art and sculpture and beautification projects. Imagine Main Street strives to incorporate the rich cultural and historic heritage of Manchester with a new and creative arts culture. Imagine Main Street will work in collaboration with representatives for the Town of Manchester, Manchester Community College, the Downtown Special Services District, local business owners, non-profit organizations, artists and concerned citizens to create a culturally diverse and creative arts community catalyzing tremendous economic development and business growth for downtown historic Manchester.