Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind

Note: the selections below reflect a small sample of music-related events in the West Hartford area. Feel free to contact the author or any of the music faculty at Conard High School for more information about performances and recitals.

Led by Scott Porter, director of bands at Conard High School, The Conard Jazz Ensemble and Concert Jazz Band held their annual Autumn Leaves Jazz Show on Saturday, November 3. In addition to classic big band tunes like Duke Ellington’s “Chinoiserie” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts,” the two bands performed music by Kris Berg, Gordon Goodwin, and Anthony Newley. The Conard Jazz Band Combo interrupted a few times with such subdued charts as “Lady Bird” and “Blue Bossa.” For more information, visit

The West Hartford Camerata and I Giovani Solisti held their Fall Showcase on November 11 at the St. James Episcopal Church. Solisti performed masterworks by C.P.E. Bach and the ever-brooding Russian genius Dmitri Shostakovich, whose Eighth String Quartet made for a solemn ending to the concert. In past years, the Fall Showcase has been held at Bristow Middle School. Emmett Drake, director of orchestras at Hall and Conard High Schools and conductor of I Giovani Solisti, explained that the switch to the church was made because of the sonic limitations of Bristow’s auditorium. For more information, visit

The West Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 Holiday Concert will be held at the Town Hall on December 9, under the direction of Music Director Richard Chiarappa. For more information and to buy tickets, visit

The Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble, the most advanced wind ensemble at the Hartt School Community Division, will perform at Millard Auditorium on the University of Hartford campus on December 9. (Take your pick…) Music director Glen Adsit, a conductor known for his dynamic and creative performances, has programmed works by David Biedenbender and Alfred Reed, among others. For more information, visit

The Connecticut Youth Symphony, the most advanced instrumental ensemble at the Hartt School Community Division, will perform at Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford campus on December 16. Under the direction of Daniel D’Addio, a renowned trumpeter and clinician, the orchestra will perform Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony, Mozart’s Oboe Concerto, and Holland’s “Motor City Dance Mix.” For more information, visit

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