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Friday, October 20 News

Community Channel: Lucky at the lottery, art on display...

A Westport resident was one of the winners of in CT Lottery games last month. James Andrews won $10,000 on a 10X Cash ticket sold at Bridge Garage in Westport.

Also, another winning ticket was sold in town. Monica Blackwell, of Bridgeport, won $100,000 on a Money ticket sold at Stop & Shop in Westport.

Art on display

Three Westport residents were among the winners of the Rowayton Arts Center’s “Abstraction” exhibit.

The winners, selected by juror Riad Miah, an educator and award-winning abstract painter from New York City, were announced at the opening reception of “Abstraction” on April 2.

In the acrylics category, Wendy Demaivrebus Pieper won honorable mention for “Overview.”

For her watercolor “The Flow,” Susan Spivak took home first place, while Judith Orseck Katz won third place in that category for “V.”

The show runs through April 23. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

For an in-depth look at abstract art, the Norwalk Arts Commission, in partnership with the Rowayton Arts Center, is hosting this year’s SLOW Art Day program on Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Rowayton Arts Center. Miah will lead the conversation about the artwork. Space is limited and the fee is $5.

A guitar hero

A sixth-grader from Coleytown Middle School took home a win at a regional guitar competition.

Jesse Balkcom placed second in the junior division (6th-8th graders) of the Mid-Maryland Guitar Festival competition in Rockville, Md. March 25.

The 11-year-old was one of five guitarists from Dave Veslocki’s Connecticut Suzuki Guitar Academy who traveled to compete. Noah Richer, 8, took third place in the youth division (1st-5th grade).

The festival drew adults and students from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to participate in workshops, master classes and performances. In addition to competing, the Connecticut guitarists were also chosen to perform as an ensemble and as part of a 30-person guitar orchestra conducted by renowned conductor, Miroslav Loncar.

Balkcom and his ensemble will be performing in Carnegie Hall in New York City at a sold-out concert on April 10.

Study abroad

Two Westport natives are traveling abroad during the spring term. Charles Leonard and Emily Smith are both members of the class of 2018 at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y.

Leonard and Smith, both economics majors, will be heading to Florence, Italy, to study the Italian language and Renaissance architecture.

Music education program honored

Westport has been honored with the “Best Communities for Music Education” designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education for the fifth year in a row. Westport joins 527 districts — or 4 percent — across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2017.

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The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to elevate their own music education programs.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Westport answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award also recognizes that Westport is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements in a well-rounded education for all children.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

Eight to the Bar

Connecticut-based swing band Eight to the Bar will light up the Westport Center for Senior Activities on Sunday. Doors for the event will open at 1 p.m., followed by complimentary pizza lunch at 1:30 p.m. and the show beginning at 2 p.m.

Drawing its musical influences from American roots music — swing, boogie-woogie and Motown — Eight to the Bar is known for its instrumentalists and sophisticated musical and vocal arrangements, highlighted by female vocals.

With the support of independently produced CDs and videos, Eight to the Bar has cultivated an enthusiastic following that has landed them in clubs from Maine to Miami, as well as Europe and the Caribbean. The band has held opening spots for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Manhattan Transfer, the late Roy Oberson and Ray Charles, and many others. Eight to the Bar is known for engaging their audiences with their energy and talent.

This is the final concert in a free Sunday Series sponsored by the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities and made possible by a grant from the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation. The center is located at 21 Imperial Ave. For more information, call 203-341-5099.

A new town website

Westport’s Office of Information Technology will be upgrading the town’s website this year. The site will be designed and coded to be usable on smartphones, tablets, as well as desktop computers.

First Selectman Jim Marpe assembled a Town Website Redevelopment Steering Committee that will participate in the process and offer guidance and oversight from vendor selection through website implementation and rollout.

The committee consists of a group of highly experienced internal and external information technology professionals, along with representatives of major town user departments and the Representative Town Meeting’s IT committee.

Westporters and other users have an opportunity for feedback on the current website and suggestions for the future by completing a brief online survey of seven questions at westportct.gov/websurvey.

Chambers of commerce plan Danube cruise

The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce, together with the Greater Norwalk, Fairfield and Danbury chambers, will be taking a group trip to the scenic Danube River, stopping at Imperial cities along the way. Departure is

Sept. 28; return is Oct. 7.

Chamber members, guests, family and the public are invited to visit one of the most spectacular rivers in the world, the Danube. Included in the trip are stops in Munich, Passau, Melk, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Linz, with an optional, three-night extension stay in Prague.

Chamber trips are affordable, while providing the same high-quality travel of other tour groups.

Each city boasts its own unique and beautiful architecture, fine culture and specialty stores for shopping. On board the ship, with only 71 cabins, providing comfort without crushing crowds, guests experience superb dining with all meals included during the cruise, including complimentary, quality red and white wines from Europe’s great wine regions with every dinner onboard the ship.

The starting price is $4,199 for double occupancy.

Those interested in learning more about the trip, can call the Norwalk Chamber at 203-866-2521.

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