Take a free coffee break with the Stardust Trio tomorrow

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Looking for a relaxing break from your normal humdrum Tuesday morning?

Join South Shore Conservatory for an hour of music by the Stardust Duo. This classically-trained husband/wife team, Jonathan and Amanda Roberts, presents virtuoso classical works, often influenced by popular styles, such as jazz, pop, and fiddling. At this interactive concert experience, audiences will hear anything from George Gershwin or Astor Piazzolla, to standards from the Great American Songbook.

This piano and violin concert is offered free-of-charge, thanks to series sponsor The Village at Duxbury.  After the performance audience members can stay, meet the performers and enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and breakfast treats.

The concert is Tuesday, March 28, 11 am at 64 St. George Street in Duxbury.  To guarantee yourself a spot, call Anne Smith at 781-934-2731, ext. 21.  Enjoy the concert!

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Learn about the future of music on JRP Day: April 8

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Join our Jazz/Rock/Pop Department (JRP) for its second JRP Day, which focuses on the future of music.  Free and open to all musicians, the event kicks off with a rhythm event jam, followed by a workshop/performance on World Music and Collective Improvisation with bassist/composer Mike Rivard.

Informative breakout sessions include: Singer/Songwriting with award-winning indie singer-songwriter Hannah Christianson; Recording, Session Work and Touring with producer/engineer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Chi; Pop Vocal Styles and techniques with SSC voice faculty member Meredith Borden; and a new music technology petting zoo with Berklee professor Loudon Stearns.

The event concludes with an all-participant jam.

For more information about this event, contact JRP co-chair Ed Broms at e.broms@sscmusic.org or 781-749-7565, ext. 45.

Books + Music + Fun = Performathon 2017

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By Beth MacLeod Largent
Here at South Shore Conservatory we are diligently working on our annual Performathon: 27 hours of incredible performances, spread out over four days, guaranteed to make you smile from start to finish!  As Director of Performance, I absolutely love seeing all levels of performers, from tiny Suzuki violin players, through adult chamber musicians. However, when I think about Performathon 2017, it’s not just the performing that makes me happy.  It’s the raising money for scholarships for deserving students, a noble venture and part of our daily work at SSC that makes me happy.  But additionally, there’s something even MORE that touches close to my heart.

Growing up, the Duxbury Free Library was one of my favorite places to visit. Every week my mother would take me and my brothers to borrow as many library books as we could hold.  We carted those books everywhere: to the beach, to our grandparents, in the car –and home. Reading and books continue to be an important component of my personal life. Being in the middle of a big, beautiful book store is a large part of why I adore Performathon, SSC’s annual performance marathon so very much! We bring our students to Barnes & Noble at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, and for four days, my love of music and my love of books are combined. Our students, beginners through adults, raise pledges to help with scholarship – something so important for access at SSC. It’s thrilling to see the excitement on our younger students faces as they hand in their pledge envelopes, knowing they are helping others. At Performathon, they are able to put all their hard work to use.

In between checking in students and listening to heartwarming performances, I allow myself the luxury of wandering the down aisles in the store. I hold the books, I smell them, I feel the lovely fabrics and paper – it’s sublime. Also, I BUY!! I feel good doing this because a portion of my purchase comes back to SSC for scholarship support, so its guilt free. I’ve purchased holiday gifts, birthday gifts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day gifts.  And, of course, gifts for me. In true non-profit spirit, my 13-year-old son also volunteers his time checking in performers…and he’s a VERY good shopper! Every day of Performathon we leave Barnes & Noble with something new, and every day I come home feeling energized and happy.

I invite you to join us for Performathon Thursday, March 30 from 5-9 pm, Friday, March 31 from 4-9 pm, Saturday, April 1 from 9 am – 6 pm, and Sunday, April 2 from 12- 5 pm at Barnes & Noble, 96 Derby Street in Hingham! Come visit, have a cup of coffee and listen to some inspiring music. I promise you that your heart will sing right along with the music.  And who knows? You might just find a treasure you just have to bring home. Mention South Shore Conservatory at checkout and a percentage of your sale comes to SSC. There’s nothing like the feel of a book combined with sweet music, and knowing you’re raising money for deserving students. I can’t think of anything better. I hope to see you there!

Beth MacLeod Largent is South Shore Conservatory’s Director of Performance and a member of SSC’s voice department.

SSC’s New Handy, Healthy Snack Machine

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By Sharon Bohan
You might think it an easy task, but choosing the right vending machine for South Shore Conservatory (SSC) was definitely not a walk in the park.  And, having it installed was even harder! Let me start from the beginning though, so you can get the full picture.

We’ve had a vending machine in the reception area of our Hingham campus for longer than I have been employed here. The popular machine was used by everyone: staff, faculty and students alike. It was particularly popular during the summer months, as summer programs and concerts drew larger numbers of people into the building.  Keeping it well stocked was a large part of my weekly workload, and involved going to BJ’s Wholesale Club to buy snacks and drinks, and then filling the machine. It was extremely time consuming.

I tried to buy snacks and drinks that were healthy and peanut-free, but finding healthy items in BJ’s that would fit nicely into the slots in our machine became more and more impossible. Over time, the drink section stopped keeping drinks cold, and the machine’s limited change-making function made extra work for those of us at the front desk.  I was constantly clearing out the bills and coins, then refilling the coins. It gradually got to the point where this was becoming the focus of my life!

In September 2015, we reached the end of an era. I simply had to stop refilling the machine so I could concentrate on other areas of my job.  The machine lay empty for the next few months. During this time, I heard comments such as “oh, it’s still empty,” and “looks like it’s all sold out again.” It was time to look for a replacement.

We had a few important criteria to consider: snacks and drinks had to be in the one machine (as we have only one available space); the machine had to be small enough to fit into the space; snacks and drinks had to be healthy (and peanut-free); refilling the machine had to be the responsibility of the vendor; and the service would need to be free, as SSC is a non-profit and could not afford to pay monthly fees.

Finding a supplier who could meet all of these requirements took longer than anticipated. I contacted four local healthy snack vendors. None of them were able to fulfill all our criteria.

I had just about given up hope when I received an email from KarmaBox, a Californian-based company with local franchisees. I checked their website and saw that they met all our criteria. I met with their local representative, Nancy McAloon, and discovered KarmaBox was a perfect match for SSC! They could provide us with the vending machine of our dreams. We had a few problems actually getting the machine installed (broken pallet jack, snowstorms), but on February 15 our machine was fully operational. And we love it!

The computerized machine lets Nancy know an item is running low, so she can immediately restock it, and the machine accepts credit cards as well as bills and coins. Nancy has already made a new friend – one of our young students, who was mesmerized with our KarmaBox.  Stocking the machine, she answered his many questions concerning healthy snacks, but didn’t quite know how to reply to his statement, “using your credit card is not good for your bank account!”   I’m not sure how I’d reply either, but I do know that having a grumbly belly is not good for a productive afternoon.  I’ll use my credit card!

Sharon Bohan is South Shore Conservatory’s Hingham Campus Manager.