Wednesday August 1, 2012

Berkshire Children & Families will mark its 125th anniversary on Monday with an evening of jazz -- featuring the talented, young musicians of Kids 4 Harmony El Sistema, followed by a benefit jazz concert "Strike up the Band!" featuring the music of George Gershwin.

Proceeds support Berkshire Children & Families' Kids 4 Harmony, the intensive after-school music program based on classical music education for children with limited access to arts and cultural programs.

The benefit concert is Monday at 8 p.m. at Barrington Stage Company's Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center at 36 Linden St., Pittsfield. Tickets are $25 and $35, with reservations strongly suggested. For ticket information, call (413) 448-8281, ext. 14. Tickets will also be available at the door beginning at 7 p.m.

Prior to the benefit concert, the students of Kids 4 Harmony will perform with members of Gershwin Constellation at 5:30 p.m. at Spice Dragon, 297 North St., Pittsfield. The free concert is open to the public and includes a reception.

"For 125 years, Berkshire Children & Families has been providing crucial and enriching services to our community's children and their families," said President and CEO Carolyn Mower Burns. "Our newest program Kids 4 Harmony nurtures the growth of the infinite potential that children are born with through establishing a long-term pathway of opportunity from pre-school to high school. Our goal is to contribute to academic and life success, strengthen families' pride in their children and add value to local communities. This is a program that can transform lives."

Kids 4 Harmony is currently available to students in Grades K-5 at Morningside Community School, with plans for expansion. The program is funded through generous donations from individual donors and private foundations.

To learn more, visit www.berk
shirechildren.org.

Welcome, August: The realization that today -- Wednesday -- would be the first day of August sent a shudder through The Eagle newsroom on Tuesday, the last day of July. With some certainty, we suspect ours wasn't the only staff to realize summer is slipping away.

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski was the first to bring it up: "August, already?" His colleagues commiserated.

Take heart, however. While 41 days of summer have gone by, 53 remain -- even though the twilight blinks sooner with each passing day. Sadly, August will move all too quickly, and -- gasp! -- it'll be September already.

Somehow we have to be resolute in the notion that, come the first day of September, the fall equinox doesn't arrive until three weeks later. That's not much comfort, September. There's something about you that summer holds in a loose embrace. Perhaps it's because you bring the first day of school, a different scent to the air and the changing of the light. You bring the first real chill to an evening in months. Thereafter, you remind us that leaves will need to be raked. Wood will be split. And stacked. September, you mark an adieu to play and a return to work.

But enough about September. We still have August to celebrate -- with all its possibilities

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers. Visit the County Fare blog at www.berkshireeagleblogs.com/countyfare.