Fifteen-year-old Gabriel Rainey -- a serious classical cello student -- has been going to YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in Mount Washington for the past five summers. Of course, the camp puts Gabriel in proximity to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And it also puts Gabriel close to his cello teacher Mickey Katz, a cellist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Gabriel's love of classical music and with his growing concern over not enough younger audiences attending Tanglewood concerts inspired him to invite Katz to play for the campers recently.
Camp Hi-Rock director Jessica Speer-Holmes was thrilled with the concert, which took place in the chapel area of the camp, a mini-"Jacob's Pillow look-alike."
Katz told the campers about his life as a cellist with the Boston Symphony and performed solo Bach samples. Gabriel also joined Katz on cello for some duets. All in all, it was a highly educational and cultural afternoon at Camp Hi-Rock.
New Darrow director reconnects: Ingrid Gustavson is coming around full-circle.
Born in Holyoke, Darrow School's new director of studies received her master's degree in art history from Williams College in Williamstown, and her bachelor's in French and art history from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine.
She is returning to the area to reconnect with her roots and be closer to family members who live in the region. She will live on campus with her husband and two young sons.
Arriving this summer from Orange County, Calif., Gustavson, will oversee Darrow's academic program and faculty, including curricular design; teacher hiring, supervision, and training; and academic problem-solving for students and teachers. She previously served as dean of faculty at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, Calif.
Another major attraction for Gustavson and her family was the natural splendor of the area, which will be ideal for her boys to explore, and will also support her favorite hobby, birding. "With moving in and starting a new position, I haven't had a lot of time to spend on it yet," she said, "but I've already identified 47 different species on campus. I can't wait to find more."
Taste the region: Chefs from seven Berkshire County restaurants will be heading this year's "Taste of Hudson Valley Bounty" dinner on Monday. The event takes place at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham, N.Y., where area chefs will be paired with expert farmers to showcase a wide range of food grown and prepared in the Hudson Valley.
Berkshire restaurants include Allium, The Meat Market, Route 7 Grill and H.R. Zeppelin Chocolates of Great Barrington, The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Nudel in Lenox, John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant in South Egremont, and The Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough.
Last year, 30-plus chefs and farmers served more than 250 guests.
On average, Berkshire chefs are sourcing 50 percent of their ingredients from the Hudson Valley, according to a newsletter published by Mezze Restaurant Group. The newsletter said restaurants have been working on developing new ways to collaborate and create a larger foodshed and more experiences to cross the border into New York state.
To learn more about the event, visit hudsonvalleybounty.com or call (518) 432-5360.