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5,6,7,8… A Cabaret of Music and Dance!"

The Company Theatre will present its premiere production, "5,6,7,8 ... A Cabaret of Music and Dance!" on Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 12:30 p.m. The show will be performed at The Conservatory, 534 Trestle Place, Downingtown, a new nonprofit fine arts organization run by Nickerson-Rossi Dance.

The show will feature a variety of Broadway tunes performed by local youths working alongside professional singers and dancers. "We wanted to give a nod to the best of Broadway," said Erin Dixon, chief operating officer of The Company. She noted that Act I will highlight shows from 1935 to 1979, while Act 2 will cover productions from 1980 to the present day.

"We're doing as much as we can in an hour show," she added. "(We'll be doing) timeless numbers from 'Gypsy,' 'Chicago,' 'RENT,' 'Wicked,' 'Anything Goes,' 'Guys and Dolls' and 'Jekyll and Hyde,' (among others). We tried to pick out iconic numbers and bring them to life."

Dixon noted that one of the spaces in the dance studio has been made into a black box theater. "The owner is outfitting the space. He is bringing in lighting and instruments," she said.

The upcoming performance will feature dancers from Shannon Cooper's Academy of Dance as well as tap choreography by Shannon Cooper herself. "We are bringing in a dance floor (to accommodate the tap dancing troupe). They will tap dance with our big numbers.

"The tappers are wonderful," Dixon added. "They are inspiring."

For its first production, The Company has brought in Broadway guest choreographer KC Fredericks. "KC Fredericks is a New York City-based professional Broadway actor and choreographer," said Dixon, noting that he has choreographed the show's large group numbers, including "Willkommen" from "Cabaret," "New York, New York" from "On the Town" and "You Can't Stop the Beat" from "Hairspray."

"I hope people will be blown away by the voices, and (the performers) will be doing Broadway choreography," Dixon noted.

The play's director/producer is Beth McDonnell from Steel River Playhouse in Pottstown. McDonnell is also the founder and CEO of The Company.

Dixon said the show will be a good introduction to The Company and will offer audience members a chance to enjoy vocals and dance numbers in an intimate setting. "We are trying to get off the ground and show people who we are," she added. "We wanted to bring something that was perfect for all ages."

Tickets to the show must be purchased in advance at www.thecotheatre.com/5678-a-cabaret-of-music-and-dance.

For more information, readers may visit www.thecotheatre.com or email info@thecotheatre.com. More information is also available by searching for "The Company Theatre" on Facebook.

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West Chester Area Community Chorus Concert

Everything from "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson and show tunes such as "Phantom of the Opera" to spiritual numbers like "Deep River" and patriotic selections such as "God Bless America" will be featured during the upcoming winter concert to be presented by the West Chester Area Community Chorus (WCACC).

The concert will be held on Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3 p.m. in the West Chester East High School auditorium, 450 Ellis Lane, West Chester.

In addition to those numbers already mentioned, audience members can expect to hear Oscar Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone," Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" and "Crucifixus" from Bach's B Minor Mass.

"We do it all. That is part of the allure," said WCACC director George Waldie. "While church music is a huge part of the (choral) music world, we (feature) pop music, show tunes, folk music and patriotic music. We add it all in."

The concert will also include special performances by the men's chorus, the women's chorus and a smaller ensemble. The WCACC will be accompanied by Ellie Watts and Sue Martin, along with other instrumentalists.

Waldie explained that the WCACC was founded in 1997 by his wife, Ruthann, when she was the choral director at Garnet Valley High School. He became director while Ruthann accompanied the group. Samantha Brown, their daughter, is now the chorus's assistant director.

That first year, there were 28 singers. Today, the WCACC is composed of more than 160 members. "We have people in their early 20s up to 90 years old," said Waldie. "We are all-volunteer; we have no auditions. Anyone is welcome to sing."

Waldie said the growing number has allowed the chorus to incorporate more challenging pieces into its concerts. "When we first started we tried these pieces, but our numbers were lower," he said, citing the upcoming performance of "Crucifixus." "Now there are more people who read music (and) are good singers and good musicians, and they help everyone."

Waldie said this combination of young and old voices makes for a unique sound. "If you look at our group, there are a lot of people who are retired. As we get older, our voices change, and we don't have the same strength," he explained. "We are very fortunate to have two to three dozen people in their 20s and early 30s. The blend of all those voices creates the neat sound we produce."

WCACC performs two major concerts per year. "We do a concert in January and one in May, and they are completely different music," Waldie noted. "Last year was our 20th anniversary, so we did a big concert in April (that included) music from our initial season. To have hit 20 years last year is a huge milestone."

The WCACC also performs at churches and at senior centers and it has sang the national anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball teams. Last May, the group performed at the State Capitol in Harrisburg in the rotunda.

New chorus members will be accepted in February and March. Interested singers are invited to attend one of the group's rehearsal sessions, held on Mondays at 7 p.m. at West Chester East High School, or email wcacommchorus@comcast.net. A membership fee is collected from all singers per semester or per year.

"I will not tell people that they can't join. (The chorus is) for people who love to sing," Waldie explained. "We provide an outlet for people who love to sing but do not want the pressure of auditioning. We tell the members, 'As long as you're having fun, we're doing our job.'"

Tickets to the upcoming concert are available for a nominal fee from any chorus member and will also be sold at the door. For more information, readers may visit www.westchesterchorus.org or www.facebook.com/WestChesterChorus.

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Happy Birthday, Amadeus!"

The Reading Symphony Orchestra (RSO) will celebrate Mozart's 262nd birthday on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 310 S. Seventh Ave., Reading. "Happy Birthday, Amadeus!" will be a concert of Mozart's works.

Pianist Boris Slutsky will be featured in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21. The program will also include Mozart's Overture to the opera "Don Giovanni" and Mozart's Symphony No. 39, one of his final three symphonies. Slutsky has performed around world, has won numerous prizes at competitions, and currently serves as the piano department chair at The Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Tickets for the Jan. 27 concert may be purchased through Ticketmaster, by calling the RSO office at 610-373-7557 or by emailing tickets@readingsymphony.org.

Additional RSO performances in the 2017-18 season will include "Soaring Strings" on Saturday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral; "Glorious Gershwin" on Saturday, April 14, at the Santander Performing Arts Center; and "Picture This!" on Saturday, May 5, at the Santander Performing Arts Center.

For more information, readers may visit www.readingsymphony.org or call the RSO office.

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History Program

The Coatesville Area Public Library, 501 E. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, will present a history program on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Re-enactor Darlene Colon will portray "William Cathay," also known as Cathay Williams, who was the first female Buffalo Soldier. Born into slavery, she posed as a man to be a soldier.

The public is invited to attend. The program is free, but space is limited. For more information or to register, readers may call 610-384-4115 or email pwilliams@ccls.org.

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Winter Walk, Shop, and Swim

The York White Rose Wanderers group invites community members to the Volkssport Winter Walk, Shop and Swim event slated for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 3 and 4, at the Athletic Club of York, 1785 Loucks Road, York. Free parking is available

The walk time on both days will be 8:30 a.m. to noon, and walkers must finish by 3 p.m. Swimming will be available on Feb. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Swimmers must finish by 2:30 p.m.

Walking is free for those who wish to participate without receiving IVV credit. A nominal fee is charged for those who will walk for credit. Swimming is an additional nominal cost.

At their own pace, walkers will follow a trail around the West Manchester Town Center, where shopping is available, and then continue through a West York neighborhood on sidewalks and along a road.

All are welcome, but children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, readers may contact Nevin and Brenda Weirich at 717-891-1945, nbweirich@verizon.net, or ywrw@hotmail.com. Additional details are available at https://sites.google.com/site/yorkwhiterosewanderers/.

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All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast

Geigertown Fire Company, 3433 Hay Creek Road, will host an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 7 to 11 a.m.

The event will benefit the fire company. For more information, readers may call 610-286-6481, visit www.geigertownfireco.com, or search for "Geigertown Fire Company" on Facebook.

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Buffet Breakfast

The Baron Stiegel Lions Club of Clay and Elizabeth townships will hold a buffet breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 4, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brickerville Fire Hall, 10 Hopeland Road, Lititz, off Route 322.

A large selection of all-you-can-eat breakfast items will be available for a set price. Children's meals will be half-price. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Funds raised will benefit the community. For additional information, call Lion Cindy Roof at 717-940-6927.

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Gift Basket Bingo

Vickie's Angel Foundation will hold a gift-filled basket bingo event on Thursday, Feb. 8, at West Fairview Fire Hall, 1400 Third St., Leola. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and bingo will begin at 7 p.m.

Early bird bingo will begin at 6:30 p.m., and a prize drawing will also be held.

Food will be available for purchase. A price has been set for 20 games. All net proceeds will benefit Vickie's Angel Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps to ease the financial burdens of families fighting cancer.

For details, readers may call Jim at 717-732-3919 or Andrea at 717-512-2119.

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Introduction to Beekeeping

The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library, 215 Windgate Drive, Chester Springs, will offer "Hives to Honey: An Introduction to Beekeeping From the Ground Up," an introductory presentation about the art and science of beekeeping, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the community room.

Attendees will have their questions answered by experienced beekeepers from the Chester County Beekeepers Association.

Space will be limited. For more information or to register, readers may visit www.chescolibraries.org/events or call 610-321-1710.

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Art of Letter Writing Club

Correspondence can serve important purposes. Some letters convey history. Others mark a special event, such as a graduation or a wedding, and still others deliver significant messages. In this age of technology, the art of letter writing may seem lost in a blur of texts, emails, and electronic billboards, but Diane Guscott, community relations coordinator for the Lititz Public Library, believes there is a place for it.

"The lost art of letter writing is making a comeback," said Guscott recently. To Guscott, letter writing is reminiscent of an era when life moved at a less hectic pace. "Letter writing harkens back to a different time," said Guscott. "It's a slower (process) ... you can take your time, and when someone (receives) a (physical) letter, they are very appreciative of it."

Taking a cue from similar gatherings at other libraries around the U.S., Guscott is forming the Lost Art of Letter Writing Club, which will meet at the library, 651 Kissel Hill Road, Lititz, on Wednesdays, starting on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.

For Guscott, who also values journaling, letter writing has always held an appeal. "I go antiquing and find these packs of letters people kept for years bound up in a ribbon," she said. "There's something nostalgic (about them)." She noted that some forms of letter writing have persisted. "Some people still send letters once a year at Christmas when they sit down and write about their family," she said.

Guscott said she plans to kick off the first meeting by delving into the origins and significance of letters. "I'd like to start ... with a bit on the history of letter writing and how it was important especially in the Victorian age and previous to that," she explained, noting that the group will discuss love letters, letters from war, and letters written between family members who were far from each other. She noted that modern technology has made communication quick and convenient, but not necessarily more meaningful. "(There is a) personal connection that you get when you pick up a pen or pencil and a beautiful piece of writing paper and take the time to write to someone," she said, adding that she plans to include video of TED Talks in which individuals discuss the importance of letter writing in their own lives. "In one, a woman talks about letters she received from her father and how much she cherishes those now that he is (deceased)," said Guscott. "She can go back and look at them and see his handwriting. A text doesn't have that personal touch."

Guscott also plans to use the book "To the Letter" by Simon Garfield in the class. Guscott noted that club members may be invited to bring in letters they have collected to share, but added that the group will focus on creating letters. "The rest of the time will be spent writing," she said. "The library will provide some beautiful stationery and pens and postage."

Clubs that have started in other areas have attracted younger people, and Guscott is hoping that millennials will be interested in learning about the art of letter writing. "It's interesting that millennials would be interested when they are the tech-savvy age group," she stated, adding that she hopes those from their late-teenage years and up will attend the first session. "It seems (that millennials) are beginning to look at those kinds of things," Guscott remarked. "I think it's appealing to younger people in that ... it allows them to slow down and step away from the technology."

Readers who wish to sign up for the club may do so at the library or by calling 717-626-2255 to register prior to the first meeting. More information may be found at https://lititzlibrary.org.

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Valentine's Dance

Vickie's Angel Foundation (VAF) will host its 10th annual Valentine's Dance from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the I.W. Abel Hall, 200 Gibson St., Steelton.

The evening will feature musical entertainment by the show band Pentagon, giveaways, and other prize drawings. Admission is by set donation per person, which will include hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Dress is casual.

For tickets, readers may call VAF at 717-774-3800 or email christinevawalk@gmail.com. Additional information is available at www.vickiesangelfoundation.org.

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Fishing Show and Flea Market

Monaghan Township Volunteer Fire Company will hold its 25th annual Fishing Show and Flea Market on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27 and 28, at the firehouse, 245 West Siddonsburg Road, Dillsburg. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 27 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 28. A nominal donation has been set for admission.

The show will feature 100 tables of new, used, and antique fishing tackle, which will be available for sale or trade. Boats and related merchandise will also be on hand. Fly-tying demonstrations, free tackle appraisals, tournament information, and displays from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary will be part of the event, as well. Food will be available for purchase.

Free seminars will include "Ocean City Flounders" by Capt. Jeff Grimes, "Kayak Fishing" by John Oast and Juan Veruete, "Traveling With My Fly Rod" by The Addicted Angler Tony Dranzo, "Catching Fish on Lake Marburg" by Gordon Brady of B & B Lures, "Susquehanna River Fishing" by Rod Bates of Koinonia Guide Service, and "Youth Clubs High School Bass Fishing" by Ernie Watkins.

A new highlight this year will be "Kayak Sunday," which will feature seminars and events surrounding kayak fishing throughout the day on Jan. 28. A prize drawing for a kayak will be held.

Additional prize drawings will be held for a 12-foot Smokercraft boat, Ocean City Charter, GPS devices, fishing rods, and reels. Individuals do not need to be present to win. Door prizes will also be awarded hourly.

Youngsters may enjoy fishing in a pond that will be fully stocked with trout. No license is required, and rods and bait will be supplied. Prizes will be awarded for children age 12 and younger. Additionally, a children's casting contest will take place on Jan. 27 from 9 to 11 a.m., with prizes awarded in the age groups of 7 to 10, 11 to 13, and 14 to 17.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Monaghan Township Volunteer Fire Company. For additional details, readers may call Bob Stahl at 717-991-1015 or visit www.monaghanfishingshow.com.

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Spring Book Sale

The Downingtown Library, 122 Wallace Ave., Downingtown, will begin accepting donations of gently used books, CDs and DVDs on Monday, Feb. 5, for the spring book sale. The book sale, which will be presented by the Friends of the Downingtown Library, will take place on Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March 18.

Donations may be dropped off inside the library during regular business hours. For more information, readers may call 610-269-2741 or visit www.downingtownlibrary.org/friends.

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Cliffhanger Book Club

The Boone Area Library, 129 N. Mill St., Birdsboro, will host a meeting of the new Cliffhanger Book Club on Thursday Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. The group will discuss "The Shape Shifter" by Tony Hillerman.

For more information, readers may call 610-582-5666 or visit www.boonearealibrary.com or www.facebook.com/boonearealibrary.

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globalFEST On the Road: The New Golden Age of Latin Music, featuring Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza

Las Cafeteras of Los Angeles and Orkesta Mendoza of Tucson, Ariz., will perform at Millersville University on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. during globalFEST on the Road: The New Golden Age of Latin Music. The two bands will share the stage at the Winter Center, 60 W. Cottage Ave., Millersville.

Alternative Chicano band Las Cafeteras re-creates traditional Afro-Caribbean Son Jarocho music. The group tells stories that are set in East Los Angeles and convey socially conscious messages in English and Spanglish. Las Cafeteras is accompanied by instruments including jarana and requinto guitars, a donkey jawbone and a tarima. The group's performances feature a wooden platform for dancing.

The indie mambo band Orkesta Mendoza mixes a multitude of Latin styles, including cumbia, merengue and ranchera, through a psychedelic mambo and post-punk prism. Bandleader, keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Mendoza, who has long collaborated with Calexico and Devotchka, leads the band, which is fronted by Salvador Duran, baritone vocalist and dancer. The group also includes a guitar, a keyboard, drums and other percussion and brass instruments.

By moving international music to the center of the performing arts field, globalFEST aims to foster a robust and sustainable ecosystem for world music in the U.S. The programs seek to catalyze creative and artistic networks that break down cultural and social boundaries to support and share the world's music through performance, touring and media.

The upcoming engagement of globalFEST on the Road: The New Golden Age of Latin Music is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For tickets, readers may visit www.artsmu.com or call the box office at 717-871-7600. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office at the Ware Center, 42 N. Prince St., Lancaster, and the Student Memorial Center, Room 103, on the Millersville University campus.

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Jazz Concert Honoring the Rev. Edward Lavelle

Lancaster Catholic High School (LCHS), 650 Juliette Ave., Lancaster, will present a concert by The Lavelle's, the LCHS alumni jazz group, on the Rev. Edward Lavelle's 80th birthday, Tuesday, Jan. 30. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Main Auditorium. Birthday cake will be served during intermission.

Performing will be the Varsity Trio, featuring Al Schulz, Carole Bitts, and Mike Bitts, and the Junior Varsity Trio, featuring Tim Powell, Meg Maley, and Tom Marks. Special guest Gus Schulz will play with both trios.

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for LCHS' fine and performing arts activities. The concert is part of the George R. Schreck '47 and Barbara A. Schober '72 Memorial 2017-18 Concert and Lecture Series.

For more information, contact Tony Brill at 717-509-0310 or tbrill@lchsyes.org.

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Xun Pan Concert

Lancaster Church of the Brethren, 1601 Sunset Ave., Lancaster, will host a Starlight Tea Concert Series program on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 4 p.m. The day and time are exceptions to the concert series' normal schedule. Chinese-American piano virtuoso Xun Pan will perform.

The program will include works by Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt, as well as Chinese composer Chen Peixun's "Autumn Moon on a Placid Lake."

Pan received his early musical training from his grandmother and pianist parents, Pan Yiming and Ying Shizhen. He continued his studies at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Syracuse University in New York, and he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Pan has won many international piano competitions and awards, including the China National Piano Competition in Beijing, the Dr. Luis Sigall International Piano Competition in Chile, the International Festival Piano Competition in Korea, the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York, and the Artists International Competition in New York.

A noted chamber musician as well, Pan is the pianist of the Newstead Trio and Trio Clavino. Their work has been broadcast live on radio and television, and they have released several recordings. Trio Clavino toured seven cities in China with Fulbright Grants in 2014 and 2017.

Pan is a professor of piano and director of keyboard studies and the pre-college music division in Millersville University of Pennsylvania's music department, and he is a visiting professor at many universities and conservatories in China. He is one of the founding members and the artistic director of the Lancaster International Piano Festival.

All Starlight Tea Concert Series concerts are free, with a freewill offering received.

For more information, readers may call 717-397-4751 or visit www.lancob.org.

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Open House

Little Lambs Christian Preschool at High View Church of God, 2470 Leaman Road, Ronks, will host an open house for the 2018-19 school year on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The preschool will offer classes for children age 3 and older taught by Pennsylvania-certified teachers. A play group for 2-year-olds will also be offered.

For more information about the preschool, readers may contact the church office at 717-687-0523 or visit www.hvcog.org. Registration forms are also available at the church.

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Lifetree Cafe

Lifetree Cafe, located at Emmaus Road Cafe, 1886 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, will consider the secrets of friendship on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. Lifetree Cafe is a place where people gather for conversation about life and faith in a casual, comfortable setting.

The program, titled "Friends for Life: 10 buddies. 38 years. 1 week a year," will feature the filmed story of a group of guys who have remained friends 38 years after graduation from middle school. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the factors involved in making and keeping friends, as well as the benefits of longtime friendships.

Admission is free. For details, contact 717-473-9115 or ltclancaster@gmail.com.

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Swim For A Cure

Penn State Harrisburg's THON fundraising efforts will benefit from the sixth annual Swim for a Cure event from Thursday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. to Friday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Union Building, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown. The event is hosted by swim instructor Holly McKenna, who will swim for 24 hours to raise money for children with cancer. Community members are invited to swim for free from 8 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 25 and 7 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 26.

To make a donation to the fundraiser, visit https://thon.donordrive.com/event/swim4acure. There is a nominal fee for parking. For more information, email hjm13@psu.edu.

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