2015-12-17 / Calendar

Meet Swanhurst Chorus

By Mark Gorman

Thursday

December 17

Christmas at the Newport Mansions Enjoy music and tours at three mansions decorated in Yuletide finery, through Jan. 3, closed on Christmas day, 401-847-1000, newportmansions.org.

LEGO Thursdays Materials provided, creations are usually dismantled at the end of the day, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 3:30- 4:30 p.m., 401-423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

After School Adventure Read-alouds, activities and a craft, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 3:45 p.m., for children ages 5-7, 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Sparkly Mosaic CD Ornaments Program Crafty Kids presents this ornament program, Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 East Main Road, 4-5 p.m., for children grades 1-5, preregistration required, 401-683- 9457, portsmouthlibrary.org.


Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. DIY Wrapping Paper Make wrapping paper by stamping and printing with various found objects and paints onto craft paper, Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., 4-5:30 p.m., for all ages, $13.50-$15, register, 401-560- 0979, jamestownartcenter.org.

Jewelry Making Workshop Supplies provided for bracelets, necklaces and earrings, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 5-6 p.m., 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Thursday Evening Book Group The group discusses fiction and nonfiction, this session focuses on “The Rosie Project,” by Graeme Simsion, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 6:30 p.m., 401-847- 8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Short Films Screen Enjoy Rhode Island International Film Festival Heatwarming Shorts, Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., 401-560-0979, 7 p.m., $10, rifilmfest.org.

Friday

December 18

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Beach Bounce Drop In Easton’s Beach, Memorial Blvd., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $7 general admission, 401-845-5810, cityofnewport.com.

Baby Story Time Middletown Public Library, 700 West Main Road, 10-11 a.m., children ages birth to 24 months with an adult, 401-846-1573, middletownpubliclibrary.org.

Friday Flicks and Fun Children ages 2-5 and a caregiver enjoy picture book films and a simple craft, today’s movie is “Merry Christmas, Splat...and More Winter Stories,” Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 10:30 a.m., 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Concert Enjoy holiday sounds by the King House Singers, Edward King House Senior Center, 35 King St., 11:15 a.m., free and open to the public, seating limited, 401-846- 7426, edwardkinghouse.org.

Movie Watch “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien and Mary Astor, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 2:30 p.m., 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Holiday Lantern Tour Hear the history of early American holiday traditions and learn how Newporters recognized the holidays, Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames St., 4:30 p.m., also Dec. 19 and 26, $15, reservations suggested, tour departs weather permitting, lasts approximately 75 minutes, 401-841-8770, newporthistorical.org.

Dance Party "Twas the Night Before Christmas" holiday dance party with The Formation Dance Team, dance the night away with favorites from yesterday and today, Edward King House, 35 King St., 6-10 p.m., $25, register, 401-846-7426, edwardkinghouse.org.

Improv Interactive comedy with the Bit Players, 4 Equality Park Place, 8 p.m., 401-849-3473, firehousetheater.org.

Saturday

December 19

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Beach Bounce Drop In 9 a.m.-1 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Makerspace Open House See a 3-D printer and vinyl cutter, learn what it takes to make designs to print or cut, Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 East Main Road, 10 a.m., materials fee, 401- 683-9457, portsmouthlibrary.org.

Discover Colonial Newport In Winter On this walking tour, hear stories of religious diversity and entrepreneurship and learn how Colonial residents made their way through the winter, tour departs from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames St., 11 a.m., weather permitting, also on Dec. 26, $5-$15, 401-841-8770, newporthistorical.org.

Library LEGO Club Build something amazing and try building the surprise LEGO challenge, LEGOs provided, Middletown Library, 700 West Main Road, 11 a.m.-noon, for children ages 4 and up with an adult, 401-846- 1573, middletownlibrary.org.

NBS Mini-Camp Nature exploration, games and crafts for children ages K-6, Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., $30-$35, registration and permission form required, bring lunch and dress for the outdoors, 401-846-2577, normanbirdsanctuary.org.

UnDecked Halls Enjoy an authentic view of Doris Duke's mansion in winter and hear stories about her holiday in Hawaii away from Rough Point, tour the first floor and enjoy refreshments in the staff dining room, not normally open to the public, Rough Point, 680 Bellevue Ave., tours offered every half hour from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., $10 adults, $8 for children

ages 5-12, free for children 5 and under, order tickets online or pay at the door, 401-847-8344, newportrestoration.org.

LEGO Club Drop in to make creations, materials provided, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 11 a.m.-noon, for children ages 5-12, 401-847- 8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Community Tree Decorating and Santa Visit Bring an ornament or make one and help decorate the community tree at 1 p.m., Santa visits with children and reads a classic Christmas tale at 2 p.m., Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square, 401-847-4260, seamensnewport.org.

Newport Seal Tours Take in 360-degree views of seals resting on Citing Rock off of Rose Island, one-hour seal tours are entirely boat-based, two-hour tours include a tour of Rose Island Lighthouse, boat leaves from Bowen's Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square, times and prices vary, Saturdays, Sundays, and public school vacation days through April 24, 401- 203-7325, savebay.org.

Holiday Card Making Class Learn to create holiday cards using printmaking techniques; design an image by carving into a woodblock or linoleum block, Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., 1:30-3 p.m., for teens and adults, $13.50-$15, register, 401-560-0979, jamestownartcenter.org.

Tween Gingerbread Houses Children ages 8-12 build mock gingerbread houses with graham crackers and other treats, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 2:30 p.m., registration required, 401- 847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Teen Movie Enjoy hot chocolate and cookie decorating while watching Will Ferrell in “Elf,” Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 3-5 p.m., 401- 847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Holiday Lantern Tour 4:30 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Christmas in Sign Presented by the James L. Maher Center, 5 p.m., Casino Theater, 9 Freebody St., Christmas and

holiday music performed in sign language under black lights, free, 401-846-4600, mahercenter.org.

Murder at the Museum Enjoy “Naughty or Nice,” an interactive murder mystery set during Christmas, 1892, Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Ave., 7-8:30 p.m., $10-$30, 401-848-8200, newportartmuseum.org.

Winter Solstice Celebration Enjoy the 21st annual Winter Solstice Celebration with Aine Minogue, Common Fence, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth, 8 p.m., $20 in advance, $23 at the door, 401-683-5085, commonfencemusic.org.

Improv 8 and 10 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Sunday

December 20

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Guided Bird Walk Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Road, 8-10 a.m., 401-846- 2577, normanbirdsanctuary.org.

Beach Bounce Drop In 9 a.m.-1 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Newport Seal Tours 1 p.m. See Dec. 19.

Needle Felted Ornaments Class With the use of special needles and strands of soft and colorful wool, create an image of a winter scene, a woodland creature or other things, Jamestown Arts Center, 18 Valley St., 1-3 p.m., $13.50- $15, register, 401-560-0979, jamestownartcenter.org.

Music in the Galleries Enjoy live music by St. Mary’s Choir and stroll through the galleries and current exhibitions, Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Ave., 401-848-8200, 2 p.m., regular admission price, newportartmuseum.org.

Board Game Sunday Some boards are provided, boards can be brought, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 2-5 p.m., for ages 18 and older, 401- 423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Rhode Island Ballet Theatre Performance Enjoy a holiday dance show focused on young audiences, Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St., 3 p.m., $25, 401-847-5301, riballet.org.

Monday

December 21

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Beach Bounce Drop In 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Story Time Children ages 2-5 with a caretaker enjoy books, songs, finger plays and a craft, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 10:15- 11 a.m., 401-423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Multi-Age Drop In Story Time Children ages 2-6 enjoy stories, songs, games, rhymes and a play time, Middletown Public Library, 700 West Main Road, 11-11:30 a.m., 401-846-1573, middletownpubliclibrary.org.

Holiday Crafting Drop In Children of all ages are invited to craft for the holidays, materials provided, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 1-4 p.m., 401-423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Make It, Take It Crafts Children ages 3 and up make a craft to take home, Middletown Public Library, 700 West Main Road, 4-5 p.m., 401-846-1573, middletownpubliclibrary.org.

Tuesday

December 22

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Tuesday Afternoon Book Discussion Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 1-3 p.m., 401-423- 7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Holiday Crafting Drop In 1-4 p.m. See Dec. 21.

Tuesday Matinee at the Library See “A Year in Provence-Fall (1993),” Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 1:30- 3:30 p.m., 401-423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Winter Solstice Story Time Hear stories, make a craft and enjoy cookies and cider, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 3 p.m., for ages 3-7 with a caregiver, 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Shakespeare Enjoy reading with other Shakespeare fans, Redwood Library, 50 Bellevue Ave., 4:30-5:30 p.m., 401- 847-0292, redwoodlibrary.org.

All Ages Makerspace In this 3-D printing only session, introduce yourself to the 3-D printer and the programs or keep working on an existing project, most programs are freeware used online so feel free to bring a laptop or use the library’s computers, Newport Public Library, 300 Spring St., 6-7:30 p.m., registration requested, training available, open to all levels, 401-847-8720, newportlibraryri.org.

Wednesday

December 23

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Mother Goose Time Nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs and books for children from birth to 2 years and a caregiver, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 10:15-10:45 a.m., 401-423-7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Story Time Children ages 2-5 with a caregiver enjoy books, songs, finger plays, and a craft activity, Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, 11:15 a.m.-noon, 401-423- 7280, jamestownphilomenianlibrary.org.

Holiday Crafting Drop In 1-4 p.m. See Dec. 21.

Thursday

December 24

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Friday

December 25

Merry Christmas!

Annual Christmas Day Brunch Seamen's Church Institute, 18 Market Square, 9-11 a.m., free and open to the public, 401-847-4260.

Saturday

December 26

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Redwood Book Club Discuss James Joyce’s “The Dead” and watch the film adaptation, Redwood Library, 50 Bellevue Ave., 10:30 a.m.-noon, all are welcome, 401-847-0292, redwoodlibrary.org.

Discover Colonial Newport In Winter 11 a.m. See Dec. 19.

Newport Seal Tours 1 p.m. See Dec. 19.

Candlelight House Tours Maps are available at the Newport Visitors’ Center for the candlelight tours of historic private homes, 4-7 p.m., $3 per house, payable at the door of each house, different houses open each day of tour, 401- 741-5920, christmasinnewport.org.

Holiday Lantern Tour 4:30 p.m. See Dec. 18.

Sunday

December 27

Christmas at the Newport Mansions See Dec. 17.

Newport Seal Tours 1 p.m. See Dec. 19.

Candlelight House Tours 4-7 p.m. See Dec. 26.

Longevity in musical acts is a rare and coveted asset. While The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Who are all getting kudos for their 50-year runs, we have one local singing group that’s been at it since 1928. Yes, that’s 87 years. Meet Swanhurst Chorus.

Becoming Rhode Island’s longest running community chorus didn’t just happen. It’s taken a lot of hard work and commitment on the part of their members and their director.

Chorus director since 1993, Jonathan Babbitt described what goes into being a member of Swanhurst Chorus. “We have two rehearsals every week and members are expected to attend at least one of those rehearsals. Many folks attend both."

The chorus’ leader, who is also music director, organist and choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, Mass., loves working with Swanhurst Chorus. “The biggest joy of my vocation is that I get to help others fulfill their avocation of making beautiful music. We have members from all walks of life who want to work hard and I get to do that with them,” the director said.

When asked if he had any funny or disastrous stories about performances to share, he joked, “Yesbut none that I want repeated in the newspaper!”

Besides the Christmas and spring concerts, Swanhurst Chorus has ventured into another challenging and rewarding area–dinner theater.

“We wanted to come up with something that could help make our long winters a little less dreary. Several years ago, we sang some show tunes and then served coffee and dessert to the audience. The next year, we did show tunes combined with some dancing, and again served coffee and dessert. Then we started acting out scenes, and it morphed into a full-blown dinner theater production," Babbitt explained.

This year’s production, scheduled for three consecutive March weekends, is "Mary Poppins." It will be presented at Fenner Hall, and includes the show and a four-course meal. Details will be out soon.

For the past 20 years, the chorus has presented a sing-along of Handel's "Messiah" and it has become a must-do item on many people’s holiday list. The 16-member Swanhurst Chamber Singers lead the sing-along, while the remaining chorus members are sprinkled among the large, appreciative audience. The results are rich and moving.

Be sure to attend the Swanhurst Chorus’ Messiah Sing-Along at Emmanuel Church, Dearborn Street, Newport on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. For more information, call 401-682-1630 or visit swanhurst.org.

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