Jeffrey Brody, music director and organist at Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington Heights, shares his expressive keyboard skills with the community when he performs in PACC’s concert series. Many may not be aware, however, that he is also active as conductor and vocal coach, and that he is the composer of more than 80 pieces including two operas.
As music director of Longwood Opera, Brody supports talented young singers in gaining performance experience, while keeping costs down for the audience. He conducts auditions, works with the singers at rehearsals, and then performs piano reductions of full orchestral scores at the company’s performances in Needham.
He explained that creating his two operas involved a multistep process:
"Many do not realize that composing an opera amounts to setting music to an existing text. Once I have the text, I work almost every day for many months. Changes and improvements, big and small, are all possible.
"These changes are made with feedback from the performers as well as further self-criticism. Assisting singers to learn and perform other composer’s music is what I normally do, so it’s a true delight to not only prepare, but also perform my own composition for a change."
Brody’s interest in opera, and especially Wagnerian opera, began early. He remembers listening to the radio at the age of 12, and his profound reaction upon his first exposure to Wagner when he heard Arthur Fiedler conducting "Siegfried’s Rhine Journey" in a Boston Pops performance. Because of his deep love for opera, Brody sought out opportunities to accompany voice students when he majored in organ at Boston University.
What's up tonight -- something to eat, a drink ... painting a picture?
Not expecting the last one? Soon this trio of events will be brought to you by three women who are part of a changing Arlington.
It's happening in the Heights, where the former Savory Plate, at 1346 Mass. Ave., is becoming artlounge Arlington (yes, the first word is lowercase).
"We'll put on a party," said Helen Galanopoulos, smiling, but "we're not cooking." The Lexington co-owner described the food as Middle Eastern, "low prep" and brought in from such places as Moody's Delicatessen (tentative menu below).
"Every night will be an event. ... It will be as if you come to my house and say, 'Let's have a great time.'"
The three owners, who hope to open by the end of September, laid out their vision this month to YourArlington.
Offering food, drink and paint, they hope to "bring arts and community closer together," Kim Bradshaw bubbled, her enthusiasm bursting. "Each night will be a surprise."
With her compatriots, Sheila Carme sat on dark, plush couch and smiled. They call her "the artistic one."
BostonGlobe.com oublished this following account by AHS graduate Trevor Hass:
The Arlington players crouched in a circle in the end zone, smiles across their faces and helmets in their hands. Coach John Dubzinski stood in the middle, delivering a postgame speech that elicited applause.
"I am so proud of you guys right now, it’s not even funny," The Globe quoted Dubzinski.
Besides Roche, quarterback Alec Coleman and running back Tommy Houston added two TDs apiece. The Spy Ponders stymied Reading quarterback Corey DiLoreto on defense and were sharp on offense.
The Globe Arlington ranks No. 2 in its division's power ratings, behind Concord-Carlisle, also 3-0.
The Arlington High School boys' cross-country team won by a hair, 27 to 29, on Tuesday Sept. 23, in its home opener against Winchester high school on the 3.1-mile Arlington Reservoir course. The tenacious win offset the disappointing loss to Melrose the week before.
The team (2-1) was led by junior Andrew Peterson, who finished first, with a time of 15:52, narrowly beating Jacob Zuch of Winchester, Andrew’s unofficial rival through last year’s track and cross-country seasons.
An Arlington artist and poet have joined to create an environmental installation, on view into December as part of the EnergyNecklace.com at the Fenway in Boston called "CrossRoads."
"Why I Miss the Lost Trees," by artist Adria Arch and poet Jessie Brown (at left), is about 60 feet long, with 15 placards, each 18 by 24 inches. Among 14 installations, the work is situated near Fenway and Forsyth.
"Plastic lawn signs are ubiquitous in the suburbs," Arch wrote, in describing the work. "We associate them with unsightly commercialism, advertising everything from political campaigns to pest-control services.
"Using this format, this installation subverts its use as an unwelcome intervention and rather provides an interactive and poetic experience highlighting an emotional response to climate change."
For Brown's part, she comments at some length about this work and an earlier one at Menotomy Rock Park. Read about it here >>
Two Ottoson teachers whose enthusiasms for engineering capture the imaginations of middle-school students will be recognized in October by their statewide professional organization.
The school's technology program, led by Brandy Whitney and Gary Blanchette (at left), has been voted the 2014 program of the year by MassTEC.
"I can honestly say that I am humbled to receive this award, as is Brandy!" Blanchette wrote Friday, Sept. 19. "I love kids, and it has been a dream to do what I love for the past 26 years, which is to teach children how to be thinkers and problem solvers, all while using a project based, hands-on approach to learn math, science, history, writing skills etc.
Whitney commented: "Teaching engineering, especially in a supportive district like Arlington, is an amazing opportunity to inspire and nurture the great thinkers and innovators of tomorrow. I feel fortunate to have been an educator for the past nine years and look forward to many more years of guiding my student’s inquiries into the world of engineering. This award showcases the dedication of not only the teachers in this program but the hard work and persistence of its students as well."
UPDATED, Sept. 29: Work continues after beginning in July on the first phase of the $6.84 million Mass. Ave. project, starting at Pond Lane and heading toward Cambridge. Ground was broken July 29, as shown in photo-animation at left by Adam Auster. Worked reached Capitol Square a month later.
A description of what residents and business can expect was presented, followed by comments from 27 residents at the project kickoff at the Thompson School on Monday, June 16.
As of the week of Sept. 22, work associated with the construction of Mass. Ave. was ongoing. Generally, almost all of the tree work associated with the project is complete. Remaining isolated tree work is possible during the weeks of Sept. 22 and 29.
Likewise throughout all three weeks, ongoing drainage work addressing the installation of catch basins, gutter inlets, manholes and associated piping will continue.
The week of Sept. 15 marked the beginning of sidewalk work on the north (left side when facing toward Cambridge) side of Mass. Ave. Work began in the vicinity of Pond Lane and progress toward Winter Street. During the weeks of Sept. 22 and 29, installation of new curb and sidewalk is taking place.
Nonprofit association must bid for quarters, begin paying; overall change said to improve programs
After 20 people, many of them seniors, crowded the Town Hall meeting room and heard 50 minutes of discussion, the Redevelopment Board voted unanimously Monday, Sept. 22, to transfer the majority of space used by the Arlington Senior Association to the Council on Aging.
In comments before the vote, the expected action angered some, one calling for an investigation. On the whole, many appeared to accept that the switch would lead to improved programs for senior citizens.
A report to the Redevelopment Board cites a key reason the action: "... by agreement, the non-profit ASA was expected to pay rent within two years of taking occupancy. This did not come to pass ...."
Further, the Council on Aging is expanding, and the space it now uses does not comply with a federal law requiring confidentiality.