Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Succeeding in Small Business Profile: Kristen Van Ginhoven

My Succeeding in Small Business Profile of WAM Theatre's Kristen van Ginhoven, a visionary who has built a first-class theatre company for all audiences that works to better the lives of women and girls. http://www.succeedinginsmallbusiness.com/small-business-success-37-kristen-van-ginhoven-wam-theatre/#.WJDoYyMrJaV

Media Release: The Big Broadcast 12th Edition on March 5

Please note: Due to a schedule conflict, The Big Broadcast has been moved to Sunday, March 5. 
DATELINE: February 13, 2017
Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations

Brian Lapis Celebrates His 10th Season as Emcee Fred Kelley. 

The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College present the 12th edition of The Big Broadcast! on Sunday, March 5 at 2PM & 7PM at Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, MA. Created and directed by Mark Gionfriddo, who is also onstage as “Matt Morgan”, The Big Broadcast!  is a re-creation of a live 1940's radio show featuring the Mount Holyoke College Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and Chamber Jazz Ensembles performing well-known tunes from the swing era and the American songbook. WWLP-TV meteorologist Brian Lapis is emcee “Fred Kelley” for his 10th consecutive season.
Earlier announcements stated that performances were scheduled for Saturday, March 4, but due to a Mount Holyoke schedule conflict, the date has been changed to Sunday, March 5.

Mount Holyoke College music faculty member Mark Gionfriddo originally created The Big Broadcast! for a small cabaret group he directed, and incorporated it into the concert season at Mount Holyoke College.

“Preparation for the show began early in January when my students and I researched live radio broadcasts of the 1940's: big band swing music, those great radio serials, and the commercials of the day," said Gionfriddo. “We incorporate all of those elements into our production to give the audience the feel of an authentic radio variety program on a fictitious station named WJAZ."

"This year, much of what we're presenting is all new material to The Big Broadcast!,” says Gionfriddo. “We are performing two Johnny Mercer songs about trains: Harold Arlen’s "On The Atchison, Topeka & The Santa Fe" from the movie The Harvey Girls, as arranged for Rosemary Clooney and Harry James; and Les Brown’s “Sentimental Journey” as sung by Doris Day.

Gionfriddo and Lapis always include one swing era “buddy number” for The Big Broadcast!; this year, they’re rehearsing “Chicago Style” from the Hope and Crosby movie Road to Bali, which they’ll perform as Morgan and Kelley. Gionfriddo and Lapis also sing with a female trio a great arrangement of Irving Berlin's standard "There's No Business Like Show Business" as originally recorded by Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Dick Haymes. 

Gionfriddo added “We are performing a classic 'riff song' (written specifically to get people onto a dance floor) by Artie Shaw called "One Night Stand". I’ve also made a new arrangement of an old chestnut, "My Melancholy Baby," which will be premiered by Vocal Jazz.   

Mark Gionfriddo (“Matt Morgan”) is well known to area concertgoers as a pianist, accompanist, composer, arranger, and musical director. His versatility and knowledge of many musical styles has brought him together with a wide range of popular and classical artists through the years, among them Mitzi Gaynor, Liberace, Al Martino, Anna Moffo, and Garrison Keillor. Mark's adventures while assistant conductor on board Cunard's MS Royal Viking Sun brought him around the world to 30 countries. Mark received his Bachelor's Degree in Piano from Skidmore College and Master's Degree in Accompanying from UMASS/Amherst.

Mark has been based at Mount Holyoke College since 1986 where he is a Senior Instructor in Classical and Jazz Piano as well as Director and Founder of the Jazz Ensembles. In 2006, he conducted the MHC Big Band during two episodes of the popular public radio quiz show “Says You!”. Mark is also a music director for Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge and Pittsfield MA during the summer, and has recently served in that capacity for productions of  Peter Pan, A Class Act, Seussical the Musical, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, A Christmas Carol, and the Neil Ellenoff Musical Mondays series. 

Gionfriddo recently released his first novel: Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, the story of Hart-Lester H. Allen, whose husband brought down the infamous Ponzi of “Ponzi Scheme” fame. The book, on the Epigraph imprint, is co-authored by his mother, Jeannie Gionfriddo.

Brian Lapis ("Fred Kelley") joined the 22News Storm Team in 1996. He got his start in broadcasting at the age of 15 at radio station WILI, in his hometown of Willimantic, CT. He's worked as a radio on-air talent for stations in Hartford, CT; Philadelphia, PA; Syracuse, NY; and Providence, RI. Brian has a Bachelor's degree in Television Radio Film Management from Syracuse University. In addition, he holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. This is his 10th season as WJAZ announcer and emcee “Fred Kelley”. In 2013, the National Weather Association named Brian “Broadcaster of the Year".

Brian loves performing as “Fred Kelley”. “The combination of the opportunity for me to perform, the creative energy of the students and Mark Gionfriddo, and the great music makes this far and away my favorite event of the year," he said.  "As a 'student of broadcasting’, I am one who appreciates the “golden age” of radio and just how hugely popular these variety shows were in their day.  I’d like to believe that if I were around back in the 1940s, I would have a gig like Fred Kelley’s." 

Performance sponsors ofThe Big Broadcast! are: Mount Holyoke College, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, New England Public Radio and the NEPR News Network, The Republican powering MassLive and El Pueblo Latino and Loomis Communities.

Tickets (general admission): $20.00 premium front and center seating.$15.00 regular seating. $10.00 seniors and students. Tickets are on sale at The Odyssey Book Shop, Village Commons, South Hadley; the UMass Fine Arts Center Box Office; and at the door (subject to availability). For advance phone orders, call 413-545-2511 or 800-999-UMASS. For online tickets, visit www.fineartscenter.com. Doors open one hour prior to each performance.
Ticketholders who purchased tickets for Saturday, March 4, may use them for Sunday, March 5. Those ticketholders who want a refund may return their tickets to their point of purchase by the end of the business day on March 3. 

For information on The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College:


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Westfield News Group Arts Beat 1/25/17

My Westfield News Group Arts Beat for 1/25/17. Garrison Keillor in Northampton, "Pirates of Penzance" in Amherst and more. http://thewestfieldnews.com/arts-beat-157

Monday, January 23, 2017

Media Release: Gionfriddo Reading/Booksigning in Holyoke on February 8

DATELINE: January 24, 2017


The Holyoke Senior Center presents a reading and book signing of Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, a new historical non-fiction book by Jeannie and Mark Gionfriddo, on Wednesday, February 8 at 1PM at The Holyoke Senior Center, 291 Pine Street, in Holyoke, MA.

When Jeannie Gionfriddo and her late husband, Roy, purchased their family home in Holyoke, MA in 1964, there was one seller’s condition: the tenant, Hart Lester Allen, in the adjoining apartment, had to have the right to live there as long as she wanted. As the Gionfriddos got to know Mrs. Allen, she shared her personal history.

Allen was the widow of Massachusetts Bank Commissioner, Joseph C. Allen, who investigated and brought to justice the notorious criminal Charles Ponzi, whose “Ponzi Scheme” robbed many people of their life savings. Jeannie Gionfriddo, a columnist at the Holyoke Sun, began to chronicle Allen’s story. Her son, Mark, assisted with the research. But after a draft or two, they put the book aside. When Bernie Madoff’s financial crimes made headlines, the Gionfriddos revised Good Night, Dear Hart Good Night, which is part backstory of a bank commissioner taking on a powerful criminal, and part love story of the woman who supported him along the way, set in Massachusetts cities and towns, including Springfield.

Mother and son, Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo, still live in the Holyoke house where Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night takes place; she in the main house, and he in the apartment, where Hart Lester Allen once resided. Jeannie Gionfriddo has authored cookbooks and wrote the Holyoke Sun’s food columns. Mark Gionfriddo is a member of the music faculty at Mount Holyoke College, creator of The Big Broadcast, a recreation of a 1940s radio show with the Jazz Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College, and a musical director at Berkshire Theatre Group, where he conductedBeauty and The Beast last summer, and was vocal coach of the 11th annual production of A Christmas Carol.

For details on Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night, visit the book’s website at,http://goodnightdearhart.com/, or visit the Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/goodnightdearhart.

Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night
by Jeannie Gionfriddo and Mark Gionfriddo

Epigraph Books
Hardcover: 978-1-944037-34-5
Paperback: 978-1-944037-33-8.

The February 8 event at the Holyoke Senior Center is free and open to the public. For information: 413-322-5625.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Westfield News Group Arts Beat 1/18/17

My Westfield News Group Arts Beat for 1/18/17. Panopera brings "Carmen" to Northampton. The Springfield Symphony celebrates Leontyne Price, and more. http://thewestfieldnews.com/arts-beat-156

Friday, January 13, 2017

Harriet Scott Chessman Book Tour Spring 2017



author of  The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas

Meet Harriet Scott Chessman as she introduces her new novel The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas, available March 1 on the Outpost19 imprint. Harriet is the author of the earlier novels The Beauty of Ordinary Things, Someone Not Really Her Mother, Lydia Cassatt Reading The Morning Paper, and Ohio Angels. She wrote the libretto for Jonathan Berger's opera My Lai, commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet. My Lai opens in New York later this year.

Harriet Scott Chessman is a graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School, Wellesley College, and Yale University, where she received her PhD in English from Yale University. She has taught literature and creative writing at Yale University, Bread Loaf School of English, and Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program. She lived for twelve years in Palo Alto, CA. She now lives in Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 1
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT

Sunday, March 5
Why There Are Words Series
The Bowery Club, 38 Bowery, New York, NY 
Harriet Scott Chessman appears with other authors.

Thursday, March 9
Why There Are Words Series
Studio 333
333 Caledonia Street, Sausalito, CA
Harriet Scott Chessman appears with other authors.

Monday, March 13
Books Inc/Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real, Ste. 74, Palo Alto, CA 


Wednesday, March 15
Folio Books
3957 24th St.
San Francisco, CA

Thursday, March 16
7:30 PM
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 

Sunday, March 26
The Concord Bookshop
65 Main St, Concord, MA

Tuesday, March 28
Odyssey Bookshop
9 College St, South Hadley, MA
Made possible with the support of Northfield Mount Hermon School Alumni.
Harriet will be introduced by Northfield Mount Hermon Archivist Peter Weis.
A portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit the NMH Fund.

Saturday, April 1
1 PM
Blue Umbrella Books
2 Main St, Westfield, MA
Harriet will be introduced by Westfield News Group Arts reporter Mark G. Auerbach.

Sunday, April 2
Hickory Stick Bookshop,
2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, CT 


Tuesday, April 4
Water Street Books
26 Water St, Williamstown, MA

Saturday, April 8
The Vermont Book Shop
 38 Main Street, Middlebury, VT

Harriet Scott Chessman reads with author John Elder

Thursday, May 18
Guilford Free Library
67 Park St, Guilford, CT 


All readings and booksignings are free and open to the public.
Dates and times are subject to change.

For information on Harriet Scott Chessman: http://harrietchessman.com.
For information on The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas:http://harrietchessman.com/books-harriet-chessman/the-lost-sketchbook-of-edgar-degas/
For complete tour information: http://harrietchessman.com/events/
For information on Outpost19: http://www.outpost19.com/


For a review copy of The Lost Sketchbook of Edgar Degas, a media kit,photographs, and information on Outpost19 books, contact: Jon Roemer, Senior Editor and Publisher at jon@outpost19.com

To schedule email, phone, or in-person interviews with Harriet Scott Chesman, contact Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations at mgauerbach@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Westfield News Group Arts Beat 1/11/17

My Westfield News Group Arts Beat for 1/11/17. The Ghostlight Project reinforces theatre as sanctuary, Amadeus at The Majestic, [title of show] at Playhouse on Park and more. http://thewestfieldnews.com/arts-beat-155

My January Column for Succeeding in Small Business

Crafting A Successful Meeting. My January column for Succeeding in Small Business. http://www.succeedinginsmallbusiness.com/crafting-a-successful-meeting/#.WHZSUCMrJaV

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Westfield News Group Aets Beat 1/4/17

My Westfield News Group Arts Beat 1/4/17. Big concerts at Springfield and Hartford Symphony Orchestras. http://thewestfieldnews.com/arts-beat-154

My January Succeeding in Small Business Profile: Hilda Mitrani

My January profile for Succeeding in Small Business. Introducing Hilda Mitrani, who provides bilingual marketing and public relations services in South Florida. http://www.succeedinginsmallbusiness.com/small-business-success-36-hilda-s-mitrani-of-mitrani-marketing-inc/#.WG0IsCMrJaV