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Irenka Kudlicki and Dalia Alekna at Samadian Gallery through December at 23 Orinda Way, Suite 301, Orinda. The exhibit includes engaging abstract paintings by Irenka Kudlicki and alluring pastels by Dalia Alekna. There will be a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.

On view at Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art (SMCMoA) through Dec. 8 “Kal Spelletich: Significance Machines and Purposeful Robots” explores boundaries between humans and machines, integrating spirituality and mysticism through an unlikely form – robots. “New Formalism in Painting and Photography” presents the collaborative work of artists R&D (Diane Rosenblum and Joe Doyle) expanding the boundaries of painting and photography through digital manipulations. R&D will speak to their cross-generational artistic process at 6 p.m. on Nov. 21. SMCMoA admission and programs are free for everyone. For information on programming and hours, visit www.stmarys-ca.edu/museum.
“Teachers Have Class,” Art Gallery at the Orinda Library, 26 Orinda Way. The Lamorinda Arts Council is honored to feature the work of current and retired teachers who are also artists during the month of November. Go to www.lamorindaarts.org for more information.

Bedford Gallery 12th Annual Craft Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 16 at Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek. While they shop, visitors can view our current exhibition, “Off Menu: Contemporary Art about Food.” Bedford Gallery Craft Fest features the East Bay’s top maker talent, with a prominence of vendors from Contra Costa and Alameda Counties! This mouthwatering show features over a hundred astounding pieces by renowned artists such as Salvador Dal¡, Wayne Thiebaud and Kenny Scharf. Free.

Grand Reopening of the Moraga Art Gallery - to celebrate its reopening in a spacious, light-filled oasis in the Rheem Shopping Center, the gallery invites the public to a free reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 23 at 432 Center Street (between Nation’s and the Dover Saddlery.) Come to meet more than a dozen artists, both old and new, to sip wine, enjoy snacks, hear live music and admire an assemblage of artwork, some never before displayed in Moraga. For more information, visit the gallery’s website: www.moragaartgallery.com, call (925) 376-5407 or email moragaartgallery@gmail.com.

Valley Art Gallery Holiday Collection for Artful Giving at 1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 110 Walnut Creek. This holiday collection includes a wide variety of jewelry, ceramics, glass, textiles, holiday decorations, small paintings, and many other one-of-a-kind gifts crafted by greater Bay Area artists. A special open house reception is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 16. ValleyArtGallery.org


The UC Alumni Chorus will present “A Mass-Up,” a mash-up of movements from the great Masses at 3 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Come hear the finest examples of choral writing ever amassed from a thousand years of Eucharist and Requiem Mass settings. Tickets are $20 general, $15 seniors, and $10 students. Further information at ucac.net

Musicians at Saint Mary’s College of California will perform in the second of five Wednesday Student Recital Series concerts at 1:15 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Saint Mary’s College Chapel. Featured works include Sonatas for Violin and Cello by Grieg, Schubert and Dvorák, chamber music for flute, and various vocal selections. The finale of the program will feature the SMC Chamber Singers and Glee Club. Donations are welcome.

This fall Voci Women’s Vocal Ensemble presents “Passion, Joy and Beauty: Britten, Poulenc and Faur‚“ an ambitious program of exquisite 20th century music for women’s voices and organ, under the direction of Guest Conductor Robert Wells. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 at St. Perpetua Catholic Church 3454 Hamlin Road, Lafayette and at 4 p.m. on Nov. 23 at St Paul’s Episcopal Church 114 Montecito Avenue, Oakland. Tickets: $25 suggested donation at the door, $20 advance, $15 students, free for children between 6-12. Available at the door; or online from brownpapertickets.com or www.vocisings.org

Pacific Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Lawrence Kohl, presents a concert production of The Glorious - Handel Messiah with soprano Marnie Breckenridge, and mezzo-soprano Silvie Jensen, tenor Ricky Garcia, and baritone Ben Brady and the Pacific Chamber Orchestra Chorus, Ofer dal Lal Chorus Master. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church 24 Knox, Lafayette and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Bankhead Theatre, 2400 First Street in Livermore. Tickets may be purchased online at www.pacificchamber

Diablo Women’s Chorale Fall concert, “Winter’s Light,” at 4 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Road, in Lafayette. Backed by live musicians, the chorale will present a program of jazzy, uplifting music to kick off the beginning of the holiday season. Grab your friends and family members and join us as we lighten a winter afternoon with songs from Lisa Loeb, George Michael, Irving Berlin, Phil Spector, and many others. Purchase advance tickets online at www.DiabloWomensChorale.org or call 1-800-838-3006.

The Contra Costa Chorale, will present a concert featuring two masters of American music, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, at 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. $20 General, $15 Students/Seniors/Disabled. Children under 12 – free admission. For further information visit our website at www.ccchorale.org, email cocochorale@gmail.com, or call (510) 255-5850.

Solo Opera presents a collaboration with Macy’s Concord, a fundraiser for their season, entitled The Twelve Days of Christmas at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 14. The event will include breakfast treats, a concert of opera and holiday music featuring soprano Diane Squires, a fashion show, a sing-along, and 12 enter to win prizes! All proceeds benefit Solo Opera, a local non-profit opera company and their 2020 season. Tickets - $22 at Eventbrite.


Orinda Intermediate School Bulldog Theater stages Disney’s “Frozen JR.,” Dec. 5 - 7 at Orinda Intermediate School, 80 Ivy Drive. This spectacular musical is a heartwarming stage adaptation of the top-grossing animated film of all time. Tickets are $3-$10. Visit www.showtix4u.com for show times and tickets. Tickets are also available at the door.

Town Hall Theatre Company presents “Cinderella: A Fairytale” Dec. 7 through 21 at 3535 School Street, Lafayette. There will be previews at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 6. For times, tickets, and prices: BOX OFFICE: (925) 283-1557; www.townhalltheatre.com


Orinda Junior Women’s Club announces Youth Ink 2020, an annual Orinda middle-school writing contest to support literary arts in the community. Prizes include a $250 first prize award! Entry details will be on the Youth Ink 2020 submission forms available online by Dec. 2 at www.orindajuniors.org.


“It’s a Wonderful Life in Lafayette” scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 in Lafayette’s Plaza Park, located in downtown Lafayette. Tree lighting, live music, community sing-a-long, crafts – and, of course, Santa. Complimentary admission. For more details and the entertainment schedule, please visit www.lafayette

The Orinda-Moraga-Lafayette Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW-OML) will host a Game Day fundraiser from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Miramonte Gardens Clubhouse, 1 Miramonte Drive, Moraga to fund AAUW-OML scholarships awarded to local young women. Attendees can play mahjong, bunco, dominoes (Mexican Train), or bridge and enjoy a catered lunch. Reservations are open to the public, $40/each and due by Nov. 1. See AAUW-OML’s website https://oml-ca.aauw.net for the reservation flyer.

Watercolor animation direct from the U.S. premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October, “The Swallows of Kabul” explores the “mentality of the Islamic extremists and complexity of the Muslim world.” Mountain Shadow Film Society presents the film at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Walnut Creek Library, 1644 N. Broadway St., Downtown Walnut Creek. General admission tickets are available on a first come, first served basis for $12. http://mountainshadow.org

Rose & Heather Tours invites you to an Info meeting plus winetasting at Deer Hill Vineyards, Lafayette. Two dates: 5 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 or 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Enjoy a convivial evening, finding out about going off the beaten path … deep in the English Countryside. A short presentation plus sampling Deer Hill’s delicious wines and socializing with garden-lovers and history buffs. Complimentary. RSVP www.rose-

Alicia Hetman, a recognized expert on Title IX and the topics of sexual harassment and discrimination, will speak at the AAUW-OML (American Association of University Women-Orinda Moraga Lafayette Branch) general meeting from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 19 at the Orinda Community Church, 10 Irwin Way, Orinda. She will speak on the importance of and threats to Title IX, the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in education. Admission is free and open to the public. Community leaders and educators are encouraged to attend.

Blanket and Sleeping Bag Drive for the Homeless. A Moraga family is collecting lightly used blankets and sleeping bags to distribute to the homeless throughout the Bay Area. Please drop your donation off by Nov. 20 at the latest on the front porch of 1204 Larch Ave., Moraga.

Golden Gate Audubon Society presents Golden Eagles in a Changing World from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Northbrae Community Church, 941 the Alameda, Berkeley. How disease and ectoparasites represent new threats to Golden Eagle populations. Ben Dudek shares information on Golden Eagle population threats. Cost: $5 donation for non-members. For more info see http://www.goldengateaudubon.org or call (510) 843-2222 or email ggas@goldengateaudubon.org.
41st Annual Community Thanksgiving Breakfast from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 22 at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Center. Now is the time to come together in thanks and kindness! Tickets are $25 per person. Our speaker is Sean Perlmutter of Pivotal Twist with “The Strangers of Kindness.”

Orinda’s 43rd Annual Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23 at the Orinda Community Center. Get your holiday shopping started off with a bang at the 43rd Annual Holiday Bazaar. With some beloved favorites and brand new vendors this year, you will have an opportunity to shop over 50 unique vendors and crafters!

Moraga Country Club will hold its 3rd Annual Turkey Trot at 8:15 a.m. (7 a.m. registration) on Nov. 28. This event is a fundraiser opportunity where all proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County. The event is open to runners and walkers of all abilities and age levels. 1.5K is $20 and the 5K is $30 (plus a $3.45 sign-up fee). For more information and donation opportunities please visit the race website at www.runsignup.com
For the 22nd year, Bobbie and Tom Preston will be holding the Cycle Recycle, collecting repairable bikes to be refurbished and given to charitable groups to distribute at Christmas; new and/or used bikes and trikes-in working order or repairable, or useable bike parts may be delivered to the side driveway of the Preston’s home at 1307 Larch Avenue in Moraga, throughout the month of November only. No skateboards or plastic bikes please; no need to call beforehand, but for more information contact Bobbie or Tom Preston at (925) 376-8474.

North Shattuck Association presents Snow? In Berkeley? from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Gourmet Ghetto, Shattuck Ave., 1451-1495 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Bring boots and mittens to 1451 Shattuck, Berkeley, Sun. Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Snow Queen, Pony Rides, DIY Crafts, Holiday Craft Vendors. Free. For more info see http://www.anotherbullwinkel
show.com/holiday-berkeley/holiday-gourmet-ghetto.html or call (510) 334-6523 or email Lisa@AnotherBullwinkelShow.com.

Hospice East Bay’s Tree of Lights ceremonies have offered community members a way to honor the lives of friends and loved ones. This year’s ceremonies in Lamorinda are at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 at 21 Lafayette Circle, 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Orinda Village by Bank of America, and at 5:30 p.m. on Dec 15 at Moraga Country Club, 1600 St. Andrews Drive. For further information about these special events, visit Hospice East Bay Tree of Lights.


The Lafayette Garden Club will meet at 10 a.m. on Nov. 14 in Lafayette Veteran’s Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. The speaker this month is Tora Rocha, the founder of Pollinator Posse, who will speak about native pollinators in our area, the plants and other resources needed to attract/support them, and ways to create beautiful gardens with these plants in mind. Free. Interested members of the public are welcome. For more information please contact twalklet@comcast.net

The Montelindo Garden Club meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center’s Community Hall. Presentation: Floral Creations, Speaker: Nyna Dolby. A floral designer at Filoli for more than 10 years, Nyna transforms supermarket bouquets into stunning floral arrangements. www.montelindogarden.com

Moraga Garden Club monthly general meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 21 at the Holy Trinity Cultural Center, 1700 School Street. Bill Welsh, the Bulb Baron’s topic will be “How, Where and When to Plant Bulbs.” Our general meetings are free and open to the public. We always welcome new members including men. Refreshments provided. For more information see: www.moragagardenclub.com.

Warm your heart with ‘Frozen Jr.’ at OIS
Orinda Intermediate School’s Bulldog Theater proudly presents the musical, “Disney Frozen JR.,” Dec. 5-7 at OIS. This spectacular musical is a heartwarming stage adaptation of the top-grossing animated film of all time.
    Do you want to build a snowman? Kids of all ages will love this fanciful musical based on the 2013 Disney film and 2018 Broadway adaptation. Join princesses Anna and Elsa, Olaf the snowman, Sven the reindeer, and your other favorite characters as they embark on an epic, ice-filled journey of self-discovery, camaraderie, and the real meaning of true love. Included are your favorite Frozen songs such as “Love is an Open Door,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” and “Let It Go,” as well as wonderful new songs from the Broadway production.
    There are three casts comprised of almost 80 OIS students, along with an additional 18 OIS students serving on tech crew. Performances will run Dec. 5-7 at the OIS Bulldog Theater. Performances last approximately 90 minutes, including one intermission. For show times and tickets, please visit www.showtix4u.com. Tickets are also available at OIS Theater one half hour prior to show times. “Frozen JR.” is directed and produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre.

SMC Student Recital Series at Saint Mary’s Chapel continues
Submitted by Renee Witon
Musicians at Saint Mary’s College of California will perform in the second of five Wednesday Student Recital Series concerts at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the Saint Mary’s College Chapel. Featured works include Sonatas for Violin and Cello by Grieg, Schubert and Dvo?ák, chamber music for flute, and various vocal selections.  The finale of the program will feature the SMC Chamber Singers and Glee Club. Donations are welcome.

Pacific Chamber Orchestra to perform Handel’s Messiah in Lafayette Nov. 30
By Cheryl B. North  
For the first time, due to audience demand, a performance of Pacific Chamber Orchestra’s acclaimed concert presentation of Handel’s Messiah will jump start the holiday season.     After the stunningly uplifting experiences presented during Pacific Chamber Orchestra’s September concerts in Lafayette and Livermore, the audiences emerged with feelings of unabashed joy. And indeed, “joy” remained front and center throughout the performances.  
     The poem, “Ode to Joy,” written by German poet Friedrich Schiller, was set to music by a then deaf Ludwig van Beethoven.  The composer said that a great poem is more difficult to set to music than a merely good one, because the composer must rise higher than the poet – “who can do that in the case of Schiller? In this respect Goethe is much easier.”  
    These performances, marking the 30th anniversary of the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, were conducted by its founding music director, Lawrence Kohl.  This orchestra has made its home in Livermore since 2005 and has introduced classical music to over 300,000 schoolchildren.  For the choral finale of the last movement, the orchestra was joined by members and a few friends of the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Choir, directed by Brett Strader.  The four soloists were Ben Brady, bass-baritone; Christopher Bengochea, tenor; Silvie Jensen, alto; and Rhoslyn Jones, soprano.   
     Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a truly monumental work, demanding precision, power, and  beauty from the orchestra and singers. It is usually done by a full symphony orchestra, a large professional chorus, and well-known operatic soloists.  This time, the precision, power, and beauty were achieved by a much smaller chamber orchestra, a church choir, many of whom had not sung this demanding work before, and a quartet of soloists whose voices have the size, range, and agility for lead roles in major opera houses.  Under the masterful leadership of Maestro Kohl, all these musicians showed that they were up to the monumental challenges of Beethoven’s score.     
     Schiller’s words amplified by Beethoven’s music have thrilled audiences for nearly two centuries, and it happened again in Lafayette and Livermore in September.  The audiences for both performances were uplifted and thrilled by this affirmation of brotherhood among the human family and the love of a benevolent God in the starry heavens.  
    For ticket information for PCO’s performance of “The Glorious - Handel, Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, visit https://www.pacificchamberorchestra.org/




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