BETHEL — The Mahoosuc Arts Council, in conjunction with local and out-of-state visual artists and musicians, is inviting students from Gould Academy and Telstar Regional Middle/High School to participate in a multi-disciplinary visual arts performance set to a classic song by composer George Gershwin.

Aranka Matolcsy, executive director of the Mahoosuc Arts Council, said the production is set to “Rhapsody in Blue,” a 1924 composition by Gershwin.

Students from Gould and Telstar will be working in mini-residencies with artists from the region, as well as a music professor from the Wheaton College Music Academy, she said.

 “This is a really important program for us, especially because of the virtuosic musicianship required by this Gershwin song,” Matolcsy said.

Among the artists involved are Debi Irons, a choreographer and artistic director; James McLaughlin, the music director of Gould Academy; Nikki Millonzi, a visual artist who was an elementary art teacher in Buckfield for many years; and Todd Brunel, a clarinet professor with Wheaton College Music Academy in Norton, Mass.

“Todd has been traveling back and forth from Boston to rehearse with us,” Matolcsy said. “Not everyone knows this either, but Todd is also offering clarinet lessons to students, free of charge.”


Matolcsy said students from Gould and Telstar “showed a huge interest in participating, whether it was helping with the fabrics and working on set design or dancing.

“This all started because of a conversation between Debi and I,” Matolcsy said. “She used to be a performer with the Mahoosuc Arts Council, but not when I was involved with the group. We’ve known each other for years and have always thought that we should try to organize something together. One day, we told each other, ‘Let’s just do it.’”

The program is directed by Irons and will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Gould Academy. Tickets are $15; free for students under the age of 18.

There will be additional performances at Telstar Regional Middle/High School during the school day, Matolcsy said.

For more information, call the Mahoosuc Arts Council at 824-3575.

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