Saturday, August 20, 2011

Autumn News #4: JASNA Syracuse Fall Meetings

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the Official Spokescat of the JASNA Syracuse Region, wishes to announce that the topic of JASNA Syracuse's fall meetings will be Sense and Sensibility--the novel that's also the topic of this autumn's JASNA Annual General Meeting in Fort Worth.

First up will be "S&S: Divided Loyalties," at our Michaelmas meeting. This will take place in the Sargent Room of the Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St., Liverpool, on Saturday, September 24, at 2 pm. Lady Mary, of course, has no trouble choosing a favorite character. She says (her remarks are freely translated from the Feline by her human, your RC): "No question about it, my favorite is Lucy Steele. We cats live by the rule 'Everything here is mine,' and so does Lucy. If I knew her, I'd ask her to come catch a few mice with me!" But whose side are we human readers supposed to be on? In Pride and Prejudice, our sympathies are of course with Elizabeth Bennet almost from the start. But deciding where our loyalties lie in S&S is not such an easy task, with two wildly different heroines, two not very heroic heroes, one dangerously attractive villain, one snarky narrator, and a supporting cast of nitwits and schemers. Come and share your opinion! It should be a lively discussion--and one that ties in very well with the "S&S (and Settlements)" topic of the September 10 meeting of the rechristened JABC (CNY) at the Colgate Bookstore.

The second S&S meeting will be our All Hallows meeting at RiverRead Books, 5 Court St., Binghamton, on Saturday, November 5, also at 2 pm. Your RC will begin this meeting with a brief description (or at least as brief as she can make it!) of the Fort Worth AGM. JASNA member and Binghamton University professor Marilyn Gaddis-Rose will then tell us something of her work on Isabelle de Montolieu's 1815 Raison et Sensibilite, the very first French translation of S&S--although, according to Marilyn, R&S may be not so much a translation as a re-imagining. Come prepared for some surprises!

Autumn News #3: JASSYL to Perform for JASNA Rochester

On Saturday, September 17, at 1 pm, the Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies (JASSYL)--fresh from the triumph of the August 7 concert in Skaneateles--will perform for JASNA Rochester's first meeting of the 2011-12 season. The exact lineup for the Rochester concert has not yet been determined, but most if not all of the Young Ladies who sang at the August concert will be there. (Above, another photo of the concert from JASSYL's Facebook page: From left to right, Miss Julia Hearn, Miss Christina Marshall, director Dr. Joanna Manring, Miss Imogen Olson, and Miss Emily Short.)

For the dancing, the Young Ladies and Gentlemen will be joined by a few volunteers from the Country Dancers of Rochester. And your JASNA Syracuse RC and co-RC will be there--as, indeed, they are for almost all Rochester meetings! So, especially if you had to miss the August 7 concert for some reason, do plan to attend this one. It will be held in JASNA Rochester's usual meeting place: the Community Room of the Pittsford Barnes and Noble, Route 31, Pittsford.

A postscript for those at the far eastern end of our region, who might have more difficulty making it to Pittsford: On this same date at 8 pm, soprano Julianne Baird will be performing what she calls "The Jane Austen Songbook" at Hamilton College, Clinton (further details are available at this site). Although at JASNA Syracuse we must confess our partiality for our own Young Ladies, the "Songbook" sounds like an excellent show as well.

Autumn News #2: Lisa Brown to Present "Dressing the Miss Bennets" to JASNA-New York Metro

On Saturday, September 10, our own Co-RC Lisa Brown will be giving the presentation at JASNA-New York Metro's first fall meeting: "Dressing the Miss Bennets," the feminine counterpart to her hugely successful "Dressing Mr. Darcy" presentation at the 2009 JASNA AGM in Philadelphia. (In the photo above, taken at the 2010 Jane Austen Ball in Rochester, Miss Brown demonstrates the use of the fan--an essential skill at the recent JASSYL concert in Skaneateles!) "Dressing the Miss Bennets" will be a "lecture with modeling," as "Dressing Mr. Darcy" was; this time, volunteer members of JASNA-NYM will serve as models. The event will be held at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 West 55th St., between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan. Reservations and tickets can be obtained at the JASNA-NYM website.

Autumn News #1: Changes and Fall Schedule for the (Former) Colgate JA Book Club

Colgate JA Book Club moderator Heather Elia writes:

Dear Janeites,

I wanted to let you know about a small change to the Colgate Bookstore's Jane Austen Book Club that has taken place over the summer. Hopefully, you will barely notice the difference.

Instead of being sponsored by the Colgate Bookstore, the group will become a private book club.

What will stay the same?

We may continue to meet at the Bookstore.
The chosen books will still be available at the Bookstore at a 10% discount.
Membership will be free and open to the public, with new members always welcome.
We will still be the same friendly group of Janeites meeting to discuss books by and about Jane Austen, her times, and her legacy.
We'll continue to hold several joint meetings each year with the The Jane Austen Society of North America--Syracuse Region.

What will change?

Mostly, I (Heather) will be facilitating the book club on my free time, rather than as part of my job.
Emails about upcoming meetings (after this one) will no longer come from the Bookstore's email address, but from me personally.
IMPORTANT: if you would like to receive messages and reminders about future meetings, please email me at with your preferred contact information.
The name of the group will change to Jane Austen Book Club (CNY) rather than Colgate Bookstore Jane Austen Book Club.
And we'll have our own Facebook page.
We won't be limited to meeting during the Bookstore's normal hours of operation... although monthly Saturdays at 2pm still works best for me.

Heather adds that the proposed schedule of meetings for the autumn is as follows: Saturday, September 10, Saturday, October 1, and Saturday, November 12, all at the Colgate Bookstore at 2 pm; and Saturday, December 10, place and time TBD. We'll provide details about these in the "Events" list at the right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"He Is Rear Admiral of the White"

It's full bloom time for your Regional Coordinator's buddleias, and these "butterfly bushes" are living up to their nickname by attracting many handsome lepidopteran ladies and gentlemen. Today, a White Admiral butterfly stopped by--and Anne Elliot's first description of Admiral Croft immediately came to mind: "He is rear admiral of the white." As JASNA Syracuse Co-RC and Royal Navy expert Lisa Brown would remind us, the Royal Navy of JA's day divided the admirals of various ranks into Red, White, and Blue squadrons (in that order), and so Admiral Croft would have been a rear admiral in the middle echelon. Like good Admiral Croft himself, this White Admiral wears his insignia proudly, but is otherwise a modest fellow.

Expect a major series of posts over the weekend, with autumn JA-related news from all over the region and Rochester as well. Anyone who thinks upstate NY is not a hotbed of Janeite activity should think again!

P.S. Lisa reminds us that England's greatest naval hero, Lord Nelson, was a Vice Admiral of the White. If any further proof were needed that White Admirals rock, this would be it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

JASSYL/JASNA Summer Concert Review

Despite a complete lack of cooperation from the weather--temperature in the high 80s outside and not much less inside, plus humidity you could cut with a knife!--the Jane Austen Singing School for Young Ladies (JASSYL) and JASNA Syracuse presented a very successful summer entertainment on Sunday, August 7, at the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles. In the photo of the packed Fellowship Hall below, your Regional Coordinator can just be discerned at the podium, vigorously wielding her fan with one hand and clutching her drastically heat-shortened welcoming speech in the other! (All photos are courtesy of JASSYL's Facebook site. Click on any photo to enlarge.)

The vocal program, as always, featured the Young Ladies in various combinations of ensemble and solo work. In the words of JASSYL Director Dr. Joanna Manring, "Everybody's a star, and nobody's a star." Your RC can only add that all nine Young Ladies of the summer session--the Misses Phoebe Glowacki, Julia Hearn, Christina Marshall, Maria McLean, Abbie McMahon, Imogen Olson, Ellie Meyer, Emily Short, and Maddie VanRiper--performed excellently. Below, the Misses McLean and McMahon prepare for their roles in "Mary's Dream."

And Miss VanRiper awaits her solo in "The Little Gipsey."

The four Young Gentlemen who joined the Young Ladies for the dancing--Lt. Kyle Cherchio of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Lts. Shawn Cherchio and Jonathan Marshall of the 95th Rifles, and Mr. Christopher Hartnett--may deserve special commendation for their manful perseverance in the heat in heavy wool dress coats. And, as at last December's Christmas concert, the dancing (under the direction of JASNA Syracuse Co-RC Miss Lisa Brown, assisted by Mr. Thomas Grande of the Country Dancers of Rochester) drew special huzzahs. Below, Lt. K. Cherchio and Miss Short reenact the roles of Lt. George Wickham and Miss Elizabeth Bennet most convincingly!

Finally, as always, the musicians (here, Ms. Katherine Klein on flute and Mrs. Caroline Manring Dean on violin, plus Ms. Anna Egert on piano) gave their all.

More photos are available on JASSYL's Facebook site, and still more will undoubtedly be posted there in the near future.

"An Evening with the Writers" of P&P: A Musical

For those who have followed the fortunes over the past several years of Pride and Prejudice: A Musical, by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs, the following will be very welcome news! If not, a bit of background is in order. Rochester residents "Bake and Jake," as they call themselves, have been working on this project for the past dozen years. It received a staged reading in Rochester in October 2008, and two songs from the show were performed after Sunday brunch at that year's JASNA AGM in Chicago. Your Regional Coordinator was present at the latter performance, and all she can say is that it was a good thing most of us had already checked out of the hotel, or room cards would have been thrown en masse at Colin Donnell after his rendition of Mr. Darcy's big ballad, "Fine Eyes"! And the presence of JA as a character in the musical, debating her choices as she turns First Impressions into P&P, sets this production apart from (and, in your RC's partial opinion, well above) other theatrical adaptations.

The big news now is that P&P: A Musical has been chosen as a selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), to be presented on Broadway for six performances in late September and early October. (Go here for the details.) A fundraiser called "An Evening with the Writers" will be held on Monday, August 22, at WXXI (280 State St., Rochester), from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The authors will discuss their journey to the NYMF, and local musicians will perform selections from the work. A dessert reception will follow the performance, and raffle prizes (including an autographed script and tickets to the NYMF production) will be awarded! Full details about the evening are available here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

English Country Dance Events in Binghamton, Fall 2011

The Binghamton Country Dance group has sent us the following information about English country dance events in Binghamton this fall, which we are passing along:

2-5 p.m.
Christ Church, corner of Water and Henry Streets, downtown Binghamton.
No partner necessary; bring clean shoes
Callers - Terry Glasspool and Susanna Spiese
Music – Greenwood (Charlene Thomson, Susanna Spiese and Julian Shepherd) and also recordings
Snacks and/or donations welcome
Please come!

7 p.m. Beginners; 7:30 Regular class
All levels of experience, no partner necessary, bring clean shoes
Christ Church, corner of Water and Henry streets, downtown Binghamton.
Callers: Terry Glasspool and Susanna Spiese
Band – Greenwood (Charlene Thomson, Susanna Spiese and Julian Shepherd)
Registration Details - Fee $25
Pay at the first session.

8 consecutive Wednesdays through November 16.

2-5 p.m.
Christ Church, corner of Water and Henry Streets, downtown Binghamton.
$7 Admission Fee.
Band - Amarillis from Pittsburgh
Callers – Terry Glasspool and Susanna Spiese

For information on any of the above, call Charlene Thomson at 785-1903 or Lee/Julian Shepherd at 722-9327.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Concert Article in the Syracuse Post-Standard

Those of you who subscribe to the hard-copy version of the Syracuse Post-Standard will have noted that the JASSYL/JASNA summer concert (see the July 24 post) was the topic of today's main feature article in the CNY section. For those of you who don't, here's a link to the online version.