Peter Basquin – Our New Resident Concert Pianist

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

Peter Basquin, a new Collington resident, recently gave his first in-house recital. His career has included recital and concert appearances in the US, Europe and the Far East.  He has performed at the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and at Carnegie Hall.  He and his wife Katie moved to Collington this year, and now he’s playing in our auditorium!

At the end of October, Peter packed the hall with a record capacity, and entertained the rapt audience with a range of pieces ranging from a Scarlatti sonata to a Bolcom rag.  He included an impromptu by Shubert, a piece of fun called Kitten on the Keys, with two lovely longer pieces:  Haydn’s sonata in E-flat Major, and Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ sonata.  Peter introduced his pieces with interesting information about their structure and the lives of their composers.  It was a magical hour.

One member of the audience later wrote: “Watching you play just a few feet away from where I was sitting, I saw your economy of movement and felt the connection from head to heart to hands to keys to the strings . For us, the listeners, you gave a profound sense of involvement with the complexity of the sounds and forms emerging in front of us.  It was just wonderful to be a part , for a short while, of your life’s passion.” 

He concluded by saying, surely on behalf of all who were there, “I hope you would be willing to do repeat performances on a regular, if not frequent basis!”

Music at Collington is going from strength to strength.  We now have the Collington Singers, under the professional supervision of maestro Marilyn Haskel as well as the Kollington Kats, whose players grow in skill and quantity with every performance.   We are in the third year of having two young musicians-in-residence from the University of Maryland playing, along with many of their colleagues, a series of performances throughout the year.  We have frequent and varied exciting weekend concerts arranged by resident Carol Kempske, and music every weekday evening by talented residents in the Ivy Lounge. I doubt a single CCRC our size could even come close!

Drum Circle Returns

Contributed by Nancy Lively

Thanks to a grant from the Collington Foundation, Katy Gaughan returned to the auditorium on October 28 to facilitate a drum circle for all Collington residents. The video show that there was hands on participation!  Three more drum circles will be scheduled over the next year so there will be more opportunities to participate.

Library Committee Shows Off New Bookcases

Contributed by Julia Freeman

Thanks to a grant from the Collington Foundation, the old Biography Room in the library has been transformed to the the Biography Room and More with the purchase of all new bookshelves for the room. The room will be one of the featured projects in the Celebration of Giving hosted by the Collington Foundation on Wednesday, October 16, from 2-4 PM.

The old bookshelves were largely in disrepair. With a team effort by library committee members, a grant application for new bookcases was written. After the grant was awarded, new bookcases were ordered, the books in the room were packed and stored, the room painted, and the carpet cleaned.  The new bookcases arrived on September 12 and were installed by the store, Room and Board. Barbara Fairchild, chair of the Library Committee, organized committee member volunteers to unpack the books and place them in the new bookshelves. The room was ready on September 26th.

The new bookcases have offered a big bonus. Because they are sturdy and actually accommodate the books, there is now much more space for books. Some of the small collections from the main library room have been added to the room, hence the new name Biography Room and More. The new bookcase project is now complete. However, the space made available in the main room is leading to changes in where various collections are housed – a work in progress.

Barbara Fairchild acknowledges the special help of many members: John and Helen Hindinger and Dorothy and John Barker for measuring the room initially, determining the optimal size and arrangement for new bookcases, and obtaining the cost quotation from Room and Board; Bill and Nancy Lively for packing the books for storage; Dick Garrison for adding all the shelves to the bookcases; Jessica Milstead for labels for the re-located collection; Pat Johns for the signage outside the room entrance; for all the many people who helped re-locate the small collections to the room and other areas of the Library and to Julia Freeman for writing the grant and report. Rob Reigle, Assistant Director of Facilities, arranged to have the boxes stored. He also had the old bookcases removed, the carpet cleaned, and the walls painted.

Fun and Laughter at the “Café Noir”

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

Photo by Joyce Koch

The Drama Committee has done it again!  With a star-studded cast of glamorous and dangerous people, some great music, great costumes and wigs, and an audience who couldn’t stop laughing, our fellow residents gave us a gloriously enjoyable evening to remember.

Above you see Marilu Sherer, transformed by her golden hair into the beautiful ingenue;  Tom McCain as the cynical private eye, and an almost unrecognizable Marilyn Haskel as a vamp and a bar owner, and more…

They were joined by Don Zelman as a shady guy from the Middle East, Pat Howard as a tough lady with the most incredible eyelashes, and Peter Fielding, with the right accent for a British Solicitor.

Grant Bagley had three roles, and got badly knifed in the back in one, but was the funniest as a pretty useless colonial Caribbean police inspector.

This was a whodunit, and the audience, sitting around having dinner between scenes, and imbibing from the bar, thanks to Yolanda, was supposed to guess the murderer.  Most of us found the plot too complex to even try – but that couldn’t have mattered less.   What we enjoyed the most was seeing our talented actors ham it up, to hear them sing the lovely songs Marilyn had created, and the chansons sung in the intervals by the one-and-only Marion Henry, whose voice remains as pure as ever.

Below see Grant in his three different roles, and Marion singing while Margaret Bagley plays piano.

It was, altogether a glorious evening to remember and cherish.

 

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Choir Party – A raffle with a twist!

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

After the success of the “Love and Passion:  Collington Singers Spring Concert”, there was a delightful post-performance party on May 6.

Choir-master Marilyn Haskel had devised a raffle with a twist.  Every attendee was given two raffle tickets.   Helen Lauck picked the lucky winners, but the prizes were funny and clever wordplay on a fancy certificate rather than tangible things to enjoy.  Here are some of what the winners won:

  • You have been selected to join a private cruise aboard the African Queen through the Florida Everglades! Complimentary leeches.  Remember to pack insect repellent.
  • The holder of this certificate may claim a magnum of Verve Cliquot Champagne at the Ivy Lounge (when Yolanda isn’t looking) next to Collington’s premiere dining venue.
  • ou have just won a Russian Sable Jacket worth $20,000! You may pick up your prize in the Collington first floor OO Shop.
  • An all-expenses-paid two-week trip to the fabulous WEGMAN’S RESORT in Maine anytime between May 15–June 15, 2019 during the classic black fly season. Enjoy!
  • Gift Certificate For the man with time on his hands a Rolex Men’s Diamond Watch. Redeemable from any portable street vendor in New York City.   Tell ‘em Vinnie sent you.
  • You have won matching his-and-hers tattoos. Once in a lifetime prize! You must supply your own ink.

And here are Marilyn, Helen and some of the surprised and delighted winners.