Saturday, January 31, 2015

The DaPonte String Quartet Plays for WMSC

The DaPonte String Quartet plays a movement from a quartet by Mendelssohn.  The ensemble helped draw us into the music by playing a musical motif, or "seed," and then showed us how the composer developed that seed throughout the piece. Many of us felt that the explanations given by the members of the quartet led us into the music in a way we'd not experienced before.  photo Aranka Matolcsy

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snowshoe Walk: Take Your Sweetheart into the Woods

"More Reasons to Play Outside" - that's how the organizers of the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend describe the events planned throughout the state of Maine the weekend of February 13-15. On Saturday, February 14, WMSC and the Mahoosuc Land Trust invite you to Take Your Sweetheart into the Woods on a snowshoe walk in Andover. Meet at the Land Trust office at 9:30 am to car-pool or at Akers Ski barn in Andover at 10:00 am. The barn is located on Akers Way, off Church Street in Andover.
Rick Churchill     photo Jane Chandler

During the walk, Rick Churchill will share his unique insights on the wonders of nature. Once you're filled with fresh air and new knowledge you're invited to return to Akers' barn for a fire, hot chocolate and a chili lunch. For more information visit or call 207-824-3806. Delighted to collaborate in sponsoring this event, both WMSC and MLT are eager to see lots of folks at the February 14th walk. Invite your friends!

To discover other activities around the state, check out Great Maine Outdoor Weekend:

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Richard Blanco Reads for WMSC

On the evening of January 12 forty WMSC members had the wonderful opportunity to hear Richard Blanco read his poetry in the intimate setting of the Mill Hill Inn. It was not unlike hearing a music recital in your own living room – chamber poetry, if you will. Richard presented us with a rich mix of poems, some of our old favorites and some new ones we'd never heard him read before. We laughed, pondered, and blinked away a tear or two. Toward the end Richard took requests for poems and answered some of our questions. Afterward he signed books and spoke with those of us who had more specific questions to ask. How fortunate we are to have such a talented and generous person as one of our neighbors!

Richard Blanco, in conversation with those at his table while waiting for dinner.     photo by Elise Caswell
For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

Friday, January 2, 2015

Opera Talk – The Tales of Hoffman

On Saturday, January 31, the Metropolitan Opera will broadcast The Tales of Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) by Jacques Offenbach live in HD. This is one of the most famous and most popular of operas, full of delightful arias, and is a wonderful introduction to this form of musical theater. Jackie Cressy is offering a one-and-a-half hour program about this opera on Monday, January 26, at her house at 16 Park St. in Bethel from 2:00-3:30 pm. You will listen to excerpts from the opera, become acquainted with the story, and learn some interesting details about the composer and the history of the opera itself. Note: Jackie is not a musical expert, but happens to love this opera and would love to share her enthusiasm for it with you.

Tickets for the live HD broadcast (Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg Academy, January 31 at 1:00 pm) can be purchased in advance ( For those concerned about the possibility of winter weather tickets are also available at the box office the day of the performance.

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at

I Can't Remember

(Ruth Barrett read this poem written by her sister, Marion Wisner, at the WMSC Holiday Party in December. We liked it so much we thought we'd share it with those of you who were unable to be there.


Just a line to say I'm living,
that I'm not among the dead.

Though I'm getting more forgetful
and mixed up in the head.

I got used to my arthritis,
to my dentures I'm resigned.

I can manage my bifocals
but, God, I miss my mind!

For sometimes I can't remember
when I stand at the foot of the stairs

If I must go up for something
or have I just come down from there?

And before the fridge so often
my poor mind is filled with doubt --

Have I just put food away, or
have I come to take some out?

And there's times when it is dark
with my nightcap on my head.

I don't know if I'm retiring, or
just getting out of bed.

So, if it's my turn to write you,
there's no need for getting sore.

I may think that I have written
and don't want to be a bore.

So remember that I love you
and wish that you were near.

But now it's nearly mail time,
so I must say "Good-bye dear.”

There I stand before the mailbox
with a face so very red --

Instead of mailing you my letter,
I had opened it instead!!!!

Marion Wisner

For more information about Western Mountains Senior College visit our website at