December 6, 2009

RECORD-REVIEW "Talk of the Town" - December 6, 2009

By Bonni Brodick

Maybe it’s the economy, but “Yankee Swap” seems to be a popular variation on gift giving this year. Each participant brings a wrapped, unmarked gift. Guests are given numbers as they arrive, or their names are randomly drawn, and they select and unwrap gifts from the pile in that order. The person who receives number 1 picks a gift from the pile and opens it for all to see. You’re allowed to inspect the gifts, pick them up and gently shake them. Person number 2 chooses a gift and opens it, then decides whether to keep or swap it for the first player’s gift. Each person, in order, then gets to select a present, open it and decide whether to keep it or swap it for any other gift someone has already opened. Finally, the person who picked first gets to choose from all the gifts or keep what he/she has already received. In the end, the gift you are holding is the gift you take home. (Having fun yet? Whatever ever happened to getting a gift, not liking it and keeping it just to be polite?)

The preschool children at Pound Ridge Community Church Play School (a nonsectarian, not-for-profit program) learn by doing. Whether it’s building with blocks, creating artwork with noodles or learning to sway to “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round,” the children are nurtured to work together. This Thanksgiving, they also learned about giving, and did so with generosity. More than 362 pounds of nonperishable foods were collected and donated to Community Center of Northern Westchester families. Added to the mix were some of the children’s favorite food items: apple juice, Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, and peanut butter and jelly. “The children were so excited and eager to help others,” said Kirstin Zarras, director of the Play School. “Many thanks to our Play School families for their support during the Thanksgiving food drive.”

Light it up! The official Pound Ridge tree lighting event takes place in front of the Pound Ridge firehouse on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. The Pound Ridge Business Association and our trustworthy Girl and Boy Scouts sponsor the gleeful seasonal ceremony. Jean Mazzilli will lead the caroling. If you believe in Santa Claus, don’t read further. Jose Helu will be standing in for the big guy himself, along with Sparky (a member of the Pound Ridge Fire Department.) Cookies, cocoa and other hot drinks will be served. Scotts Corners merchants Pinocchio’s Pizza will bring over fresh, hot zeppolis, and Oh, My Goodness! is providing hot cider. Children are invited bring a holiday-ish piece of artwork (8 1/2 by 11 inches) to be displayed in one of the Scotts Corners business windows through New Year’s. Between Bedford and Pound Ridge, terrific holiday bazaars are bountiful this month.

Save the dates Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Pound Ridge Community Church Holiday Fair and Cookie Walk. This annual holiday activity is one-stop shopping for unique handmade gifts and a great way to try cookies that many of the Church families have been making for generations. You won’t want to miss Linda Clark’s Snowballs, made from an old family recipe. Ebie Wood and several of the other ladies have been making jams, jellies and chutneys. At the Holiday Fair you’ll also find beautifully painted Nativities created by, an organization seeking to eradicate poverty by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.

More on the busy December calendar. On Sunday, Dec. 20, at 5:30 p.m., the Pound Ridge Library Foundation invites you to attend “Holiday Harmonies,” a special performance by the renowned Anthony Newman, America’s foremost organist, harpsichordist and Bach specialist. Touted by Time magazine as “The High Priest of the Harpsichord,” Mr. Newman has an impressive recording output of more than 170 CDS on such labels as CBS, SONY, Deutsche Grammaphon and Vox Masterworks. He has performed more than 60 times at Lincoln Center, and has collaborated with many of the greats, such as Itzhak Perlman, Eugenia Zukerman, John Nelson, Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Levine, Lorin Mazel and Leonard Bernstein. As a conductor, he has worked with such major chamber music orchestras as the St. Paul Chamber and the Scottish Chamber Orchestras. No less prodigious a composer, his works have been heard in Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, New York and London. His output includes four symphonies, four concerti, three large choral works and two operas. He has also received 26 consecutive composer’s awards from ASCAP and is on the Visiting Committee for the Department of Musical Instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The upcoming "Holiday Harmonies" concert will feature four joyous sonatas by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and an original sonata in three movements by Mr. Newman. Take a moment out from holiday partying and shopping to enjoy a late afternoon of beautiful music. Tickets are $35 in advance/$40 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the capital campaign to enlarge and renovate one of our town’s greatest resources, Pound Ridge Library. For reservations and more information, call 764-5085.

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