Thursday, July 24, 2008

City sending students to jazz camp

LITCHFIELD - As a city with a growing niche for the arts, Torrington is sending its own contingent of teens to join kids from the U.S. and abroad for the Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Eight kids from Torrington attended, or will attend, at least one of the weeklong sessions of camp held at the Forman School in Litchfield, PR and Marketing Director Lindsey Turner said. Of the more than 540 kids, less than half hailed from Connecticut while the rest came from around the U.S. and from five other countries, she said.Two Shea brothers, Pat, 14, and Chris, 13, spent a session at the camp playing their instruments, an alto sax for Pat and clarinet for Chris.
"My combos (group) teachers are some of the best I've ever had," Pat said. "We did some really good songs."At camp there was so much to do, and the faculty concerts were amazing, he said. He also liked the jam session."You make music up from your head," Pat said. "Just have fun with it, and just do it."The Torrington High School jazz band is tough to get into, Pat said. Camp will give him a head start, he said.Other than relaxing by a big tree on the Forman campus during free time, combos was Chris' favorite part of the camp because he got to have a lot of fun while playing songs, he said."I learned a lot," Chris said. "(Camp) was very good. I would recommend anyone who is 13 to 18 years old who has a passion for music to go to it."Camp honed his skills for the regular band and jazz band he already plays in, Chris said. He hopes to return to camp next year, he said.The unbelievable faculty of touring and recording artists makes camp so special, Turner said. The faculty runs the camp as a non-competitive program to foster an environment all about learning, she said."I think it is just as wonderful for the teachers," she said.The students have two classes in the morning and two in the afternoon: playing in a group, studying theory, and learning more about their instruments, Turner said. They also have jam sessions and free time, attend faculty concerts, and perform at the camp, around Litchfield and at the jazz festival, she said. Days can last from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Pat said."It is very intensive," Turner said. "Each day they have a lot of playing experience."With support from the state Department of Education, more than $90,000 in scholarships were awarded to students on a need basis, Turner said. Seven of the eight students from Torrington received scholarships, she said.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

THS Band to represent City of Torrington in Windsor, CT 375th Anniversary Parade

The Torrington High School Marching Band will represent the City of Torrington in the Windsor, CT 375th Anniversary Parade on Saturday September 27, 2008.

Read more about Windsor 375th Anniversary Parade

Town Preparing For Birthday
Written by Steve Goode, Courant Staff Writer
Reprinted by permission from the Hartford Courant, March 22, 2007

The 375th birthday of Connecticut's oldest town is more than a year away, but organizers already are planning what they hope will be a really big party. Plans for the celebration, scheduled for late September 2008, include a parade, dinner dance, events at the historical society and educational programs. But organizers are looking for ideas and suggestions, as well as volunteers and funding for the bash. "We're not leaving anybody's ideas out yet," said John Pier, chairman of Windsor 375, the event organizing committee. "There are no limitations except the difficulty of raising funds."Windsor was founded on Sept. 26, 1633, and next year's three-day event would be Sept. 26, 27 and 28. Pier, who attended festivities for the 350th anniversary, recalled that then-Gov. William O'Neill attended, as did the Governor's Foot Guard. He said he hopes Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the foot guard attend next year. The committee also plans to reach out to the nearly two dozen "daughter towns"' that spun off from Windsor. The town has offspring as far west as Litchfield, Torrington and Colebrook, and as far east as Tolland and Coventry. Others that trace their roots to Windsor include: Enfield, Suffield, Granby, East Granby, Barkhamsted, Harwinton, Morris, Simsbury, Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, East Windsor, South Windsor, Ellington, Vernon, Bolton and the north side of Manchester. "We want to be as inclusive as possible. This is a celebration of the community,"' Pier said. Enita Jubrey, assistant to the town manager and vice chairwoman of the organizing committee, said she envisioned an Olympic-like parade in which bands from each town carry banners with town names and the year of their founding. Jubrey said she also hoped to snag the University of Connecticut marching band and would love to have a fireworks show."I have big dreams,"' she said. Pier also had a vision of what the event would be about.

Philly Awards Ceremony Video - by Danelle Fantozzi 08