5 days until LIFE: The Nature Conservancy

April 22nd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

As we count down to this Saturday’s performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our final LIFE community sponsors, The Nature Conservancy. On Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Hartford Symphony will perform LIFE: A Journey Through Time, beginning with a panel discussion featuring Dr. Frogard Ryan, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. She, along with National Geographic Photographer Frans Lanting and Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, will discuss the impact that the public and the arts can have on Nature Conservation efforts around the state.


The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 50 years, the Connecticut Chapter has worked with its partners to protect and conserve Connecticut’s wondrous forests, rivers and shoreline. In 2012 alone, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut planted American Elm trees resistant to Dutch elm disease in three communities to help restore elm populations, as well as the species they support;maintained the 14,000-acre preserve network while adding 212 more acres; opened 63 miles of river through dam removal; secured $50,000 in grant funding to help protect Brazil’s Atlantic Forest; focused our work in Long Island Sound to protect habitats and restore water quality; secured $200,000 in federal grant funding for coastal resilience to advance nature-friendly solutions, such as tidal marsh migration; assisted nine Connecticut communities with a climate preparedness planning process; and taken a lead in climate disaster-risk preparedness. This work and more continue every day, through our supporters’ generosity, so that we and future generations can enjoy our one-of-a-kind Connecticut life.



How Can I Help?

Donations to The Nature Conservancy can be mailed to 55 Church Street, Fl 3, New Haven, CT 06510. Phone donations can be made to Laura Brownstein at 203-568-6278 and Laura Weinberg at 203-568-6281. Online donations can be made to nature.org/connecticut (choose Connecticut in the designation field). General volunteers inquiries can be made to Laura Brownstein  at 203-568-6278 or Martha Rice at 203-568-6294; At Devil’s Den Preserve: Cynthia Fowx at  203-226-4991, ext. 116; and At Sunny Valley Preserve: Laura Shail at 860-355-3716.

You can contact The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut at:
55 Church Street, Fl 3
New Haven, CT 06510
203.568.6270 phone
203.568.6271 fax
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18 days until LIFE: Rivers Alliance of Connecticut

April 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27th performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with Rivers Alliance of Connecticut:


Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is the only statewide 501(c) (3) non-profit dedicated to protecting and enhancing Connecticut’s rivers, streams, and aquifers.  Our members are individuals, organizations, and corporations concerned with the health and conservation of the state’s waters.  Rivers Alliance was founded in 1992 to promote and support environmentally sound state policies; to assist the state’s many watershed and river groups; and to educate the public about the value of water and aquatic habitats. Our talented twelve-member Board of Directors includes representatives from the state’s major river and watershed organizations.


Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, we will be working on the following issues:

  • Protecting state-conserved watershed lands that are at risk of takeover for private development.
  • Reversing the proliferation of harmful pesticides.
  • Preserving and enhancing streamflow.
  • Cleaning up and protecting groundwater.
  • Rolling back the state’s draconian water secrecy laws.
  • Promoting a rational, fair statewide water management plan.                                                                                               river-alliance_quinnipiac-river                                                                                                                                            How can you help?                                                                                                                                                        river-alliance_margaret-invertebrate-sampling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Funding for Rivers Alliance is received from our members, grants, and special events.  Membership categories are:  Individuals and Families: $35.00; Nonprofit Organizations: $50.00; Patrons: $50.00; Sponsors: $100.00; Businesses: $250.00; Sustainers: $250.00; Benefactors: $500; Guardians: $1,000.00.  Membership donations can be mailed to: Rivers Alliance, P.O. Box 1797, Litchfield CT  06759, or made securely online at http://www.riversalliance.org. If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail rivers@riversalliance.org or call us at (860) 361-9349.
  • river-alliance_kayak-on-water-jeff-feldmann

32 Days Until LIFE: Riverfront Recapture

March 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with Riverfront Recapture:


Riverfront Recapture is a unique private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving central Connecticut’s quality of life and urban vitality through cultural events, entertainment, group sports and recreation in a welcoming environment along the banks of the Connecticut River, as well as ongoing efforts to protect and maintain the riverfront and make more of it accessible to the public.  It is the first and only organization in the region to offer this combination of programming, all designed to connect people to the river, get them back in touch with nature within an urban environment and provide them with experiences they might not otherwise have. Riverfront Recapture began in 1981 with the goal of transforming the banks of the Connecticut River from an area walled off by flood dikes and cut off by Interstate 91 into a vibrant, active riverfront of four parks connected by riverwalks and bridges.  The Riverfront parks currently attract nearly one million visitors a year.  The organization is dedicated to preserving the hard work and investment it began 31 years ago while it looks to expand and enhance the park system.riverfront-r_g5

Thanks to the annual support of hundreds of individuals and many family foundations, our festivals, youth enrichment programs, concerts and athletic competitions are offered to the public free of charge. Riverfront Recapture could not accomplish its wide range of activities without public support.  Donations can be made online at www.riverfront.org, or by calling 860-713-3131 x 326.

How can you help?


Do you have free time?  Want to learn more about your community and its history and help make a difference to the people who love our parks?
Why not join the Riverfront family as a volunteer.  Riverfront volunteers are a vital part of the Riverfront Recapture family. They are depended on to help organize and assist at events, enhance visitors’ experience, lend a hand with landscaping and gardening and offer youth programming options to area kids.  When you volunteer, you’re applying your time and talents in ways that positively impact the individuals, organizations and corporations using the riverfront park system. You’ll meet and work with great people, and enhance the staff’s knowledge by sharing your own skills and experiences.  Individuals, families and groups are all welcome. Please help provide our Metro Hartford residents and visitors an inviting, well-kept park system and free, quality events.  Volunteer today, and fill your tomorrows with excitement, learning and fun!  Please call Samantha at 860-713-3131 x 305 or email scappelletti@riverfront.org.


39 Days Until LIFE: Knox Parks

March 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with Knox Parks:


Knox Parks (KNOX) was founded in 1966 when city councilwoman Betty Knox established a trust fund to help maintain and preserve Hartford’s green spaces. Since its founding, KNOX has been a key partner in improving the City of Hartford’s green infrastructure and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of community greening. KNOX’s principal services include creating and maintaining community gardens, neighborhood beautification and reforestation, park improvement efforts, development of greenways, and the management and maintenance of public green spaces. Each our programs support our mission: Using horticulture as a catalyst for community engagement, KNOX forges partnerships between residents, businesses, and government, providing leadership to build stronger, greener, healthier and more beautiful neighborhoods in Hartford.

knox-image-3 knox-image-2

How You Can Help:

Volunteers and supporters are integral to every KNOX project! Visit our website,www.knoxparks.org, and join our mailing list to receive invitations to upcoming volunteer opportunities. Invest in KNOX by visiting our website and giving a gift through PayPal or Network for Good. We also accept donations by phone (860-951-7694) or mail (KNOX, 75 Laurel St. Hartford, CT 06106). KNOX is a community-based, trusted organization that will use your dollars to make the largest impact in Hartford. Remember to stay connected to our efforts and share our mission with your friends by following KNOX on Facebook (facebook.com/KnoxInc) and Twitter (@KnoxParks).


46 days until LIFE: The Connecticut River Watershed Council

March 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with The Connecticut River Watershed Council:


The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is the primary citizen’s advocate for the entire Connecticut River and its four-state watershed. Since 1952, our members have helped to protect water—the river, its tributaries, lakes, fish – and the land, plants, and creatures connected to that water.  CRWC’s day-to-day work stretches from the Quebec border to the tides of Long Island Sound and helps preserve an amazing natural heritage for future generations. Our efforts include habitat restoration, river cleanups, outreach and education, and advocacy. Join us today to make a difference in the health of the river and your community.

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Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

How to show your support:

Join the Connecticut River WateCT Watershed_S2S 2010 boy with 2 bags - John Stack aka SpiritDog Photography - originalrshed Council for the 17th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. On October 4thand 5th, volunteers will help remove debris from the Connecticut River, local tributaries and their shores.  Sign up by yourself or organize a group – congregations, schools, scouting chapters and businesses enjoy working together on this annual event. Last year more than 2,000 volunteers helped to remove 99+ tons of trash from the river. For more information on this event contact Jacqueline Talbot at (860) 704-0057.

To become a member of CRWC, pledge your support or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dana Gillette at (413) 772-2020, ext. 202 or dgillette@ctriver.org. You can also join or donate online at www.ctriver.org.

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

53 days until LIFE: CT Forest and Park Association

March 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Spearheaded by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, organizations from across the state of Connecticut are coming together to promote environmental awareness and preservation through LIFE: A Journey Through Time.


At the center of the project will be a multimedia extravaganza for the senses featuring breathtaking photographs from National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting and original music by Philip Glass on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:30p.m. at Mortensen Hall at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan.

 LIFE aims to bridge the gap between nature and science, and is realized through the integration of photography with the performing arts and the world of life and earth sciences. The HSO will take the audience through seven stages of the Earth’s evolution: Elements, Beginnings, Out of the Sea, On Land, Into the Air, Out of the Dark, and Planet of Life through 60-minutes of continuous music and projected photographs.

In conjunction with the Hartford Symphony’s performance, Hartford Public Library will display 40 of Lanting’s LIFE photographs at their free Art Walk Exhibit space in the main HPL branch on Main Street in Downtown Hartford from April 8-May 3, as well as an opening event on Friday, April 12 at 6pm and a free lecture by Frans Lanting on Friday, April 26 at 6pm. Additionally, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts will display more than a dozen of Lanting’s works in their promenade gallery from April 8 – May 3.

As we count down to the April 27 performance, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors and Frans Lanting’s work, starting today with the Connecticut Forest and Park Association:


The Connecticut Forest & Park Association protects forests, parks, walking trails and open spaces for future generations by connecting people to the land.  CFPA directly involves individuals and families, educators, community leaders and volunteers to enhance and defend Connecticut’s rich natural heritage.  CFPA is a private, non-profit organization that relies on members and supporters to carry out its mission.

We envision Connecticut as a place of scenic beauty whose cities, suburbs, and villages are linked by a network of parks, forests, and trails easily accessible for all people to challenge the body and refresh the spirit.  We picture a state where clean water, timber, farm fresh foods and other products of the land make a significant contribution to our economic and cultural well-being.

CFPA delivers programs designed to “Conserve” (Trail Stewardship and Land Conservation), “Connect” (WalkCT), “Advocate” (Legislative Agenda), and “Educate” (Education Program).

Since the first members banded together in 1895 to save Connecticut’s forests from runaway fires and excessive timber harvesting, CFPA’s singular blend of vision, persistence, and partnership has protected the landscapes whose very names mean Connecticut. Peoples State Forest. Mohawk State Forest. Gillette Castle. Rocky Neck. Sherwood Island. Talcott Mountain. All of these special places were protected through partnership efforts that CFPA catalyzed.

Over the past century, CFPA has been instrumental in the acquisition of more than 100 state parks and forests for public use and enjoyment. Today, CFPA continues to champion the needs of Connecticut’s public recreational facilities for the funding, personnel and equipment necessary to maintain and improve these natural treasures.

CFPA’s leadership over the years set a national example for successful forest conservation and reversed the damage to Connecticut’s natural resources. When the organization began its work, Connecticut was 20% forested: today it is 60% forested. CFPA remains vigilant and involved in the sound management and protection of our land, water and wildlife resources.

In addition to protecting land for public enjoyment, CFPA’s visionary leaders established the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System in 1929 which traverses public and private lands throughout Connecticut and is enjoyed by thousands of citizens each year. Today, approximately 825 miles of trails are maintained by hundreds of CFPA volunteers working in cooperation with many public and private landowners.

For you to make a difference in protecting and conserving Connecticut join and give to the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, simply go to www.ctwoodlandsand click on “Join Us” or “Donate Now.” To volunteer on trail projects, events or in the office, go to www.ctwoodlands.org/volunteer. In 2012, CFPA volunteers contributed over 21,000 hours of their time – they make conservation happen in Connecticut.

The answer to too much “stuff”

February 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


Never mind more “stuff”–there are better ways!

A few years ago, a good friend of mine started a “stuff boycott” because of her slightly cramped living quarters. At first I tried to circumvent these rules by just buying her small things, or taking her to dinner for birthdays or holidays.  It soon dawned on me that a smarter way to honor her on these special occasions would be to make a donation in her honor to a non-profit whose mission she supported. She started to do the same for me.

We were both just as happy as if we had received some”thing” from the other. Actually, we were even happier because we felt like we were passing on our good fortune of having a great friendship to others. What I haven’t done (yet) is something that some of our most ardent supporters have done over the years: request donations to their favorite organization (in this case, the Hartford Symphony) in their honor, in lieu of gifts for the holidays or their birthday.

If you look at our concert program guide, you will see a page of people who have given in honor of or in memory of someone special in their lives. One of these special people is Elizabeth White, a long-time subscriber and supporter of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Rather than presents at the holidays, Elizabeth asks her sons to make a contribution to the HSO in her honor.  As Elizabeth says,

“[We] really don’t need any more “things”.  I wish all the HSO audience, of any age, would make such a donation request to their friends and families.  The amount is anonymous and as you know, every little bit helps.  No amount is too small. “

We are often asked how people can go about doing this. It’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. Let your friends and family know that you’d like them to make a contribution to the HSO for an occasion (your birthday, graduation, marriage, anniversary, bar or bat mitzvah, the holidays, confirmation, etc.). They can call us, mail us or make a donation online and indicate that it is in your honor to celebrate your special occasion. They of course receive their acknowledgment for their tax-deductible donation, and we will notify you that they have made a gift in your honor, but we do not disclose the amount. You can’t get any easier than that!

So, the next time you have something to celebrate and you’re looking around realizing you don’t need anything, consider asking others to make a gift to the HSO to honor you. It’s an “extra” way to support the music you love, the community you love and avoid accumulating more things to dust!

“My thoughts turn towards you, my Immortal Beloved…”-Ludwig Van Beethoven

February 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today marks the final day in our month-long ode to love in words and music. To celebrate, we bring you the mother of all love letters, Beethoven’s letter to his “Immortal Beloved:”

While still in bed my thoughts turn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether fate might answer us – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, Yes, I have resolved to stray about in the distance, until I can fly into your arms, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits – Yes, unfortunately it must be – you will compose yourself all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never – O God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in Vienna as it is now is a miserable life – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy – At my age I would now need some conformity, regularity of my life – Can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I have just heard that the mail coach goes every day – and thus I must finish so that you may receive the letter immediately. – Be patient – Only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – Be calm; for only by calmly considering our lives can we achieve our purpose of living together.- Be calm – Love me – Today – Yesterday – What yearning with tears for you – You – You my life – My everything – Farewell – Oh continue to love me – Never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ever Thine

Ever Mine

Ever Ours


Join us at the HSO tonight through Sunday at Love is in the Air for live love letter readings as well as music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla.

“I love you very much and want to hear from you and you are very pretty.” -Syd Barrett

February 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue with the final week of our month-long look at love in words in music today with a love letter, complete with illustrations, from an 18-year-old Roger “Syd” Barrett, a founding member of the band Pink Floyd, to his girlfriend, Jenny Spires:

Dear Jen, you are a little dish.

I’ll tell you everything that happened at the recording. We took all the gear into the studio which was lit by horrid white lights, and covered with wires and microphones. Rog had his amp behind a screen and Nicki was also screened off, and after a little bit of chat we tested everything for balance, and then recorded five numbers more or less straight off; but only the guitars and drums. We’re going to add all the singing and piano etc. next Wednesday. The tracks sound terrific so far, especially King Bee.

When I sing I have to stand in the middle of the studio with ear phones on, and everyone else watches from the other room, and I can’t see them at all but they can all see me. Also I can only just hear what I’m singing.

I hope you got home alright Jen, and that you had a good time. You wouldn’t have been able to come in to the recording and anyway it went on till after midnight, and would have been a whopping drag for you.

It was a nice thing to be which was tra tra la. (do not bother to interupt)

Do what you want Jen. I love you very much and want to hear from you and you are very pretty.

I am a bit fed up with everything today and I want to be in Cambridge or Greece but not in London where all I do is spend money and travel. The sun is shining though.

Love, Roger.

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We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate this weekend at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“I sure am thinking of you, and I’m doggone lonesome…” -Elzie Segar

February 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue with the final week of our month-long look at love in words in music today with a love letter (or love cartoon) from Elzie Segar, the cartoonist of Popeye, to his then-girlfriend (future wife) Myrtle Johnson:


We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate this weekend at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

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