Williston+ Provides Cultural Experiences

The Chiara String Quartet

The resources of the Pioneer Valley and the Five Colleges made available to our students through Williston+ are rich. They include not only opportunities for academic collaboration but a variety of cultural events as well. Two series of experiences to which our students were exposed this year were classical chamber music and Chinese New Year festivals.

Williston archivist and assistant librarian Richard Teller ’77 took a group of students to a chamber music series at Smith College. The renowned Chiara String Quartet played Beethoven’s String Quartets as part of a six-concert series, and the Paris Piano Trio played music for violin, cello, and piano by Haydn, Beethoven, and Schumann.

Huihong Bao performs in the Spring Festival

The Williston community experienced a different type of music—along with dance and talent performances—during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, or Spring Festival, organized by Chinese teacher Dr. Huihong Bao and the students in her Chinese IV class. The show featured 25 different performances by Williston students, parents, and faculty, along with teachers and students from surrounding communities.

Dr. Bao also brought a group of students to UMass Amherst in order to watch the Spring Festival put on by the Chinese Scholar and Student Association there. Having received her MEd and EdD from UMass, she was a past organizer of the festival at UMass and used her experiences to inform the ambitious and successful evening she put on at Williston.

Writing in the Spring 2009 Bulletin about the long history of interaction between The Williston Northampton School and colleges in the area, Mr. Teller said, “The relationships … are so deeply interwoven that we sometimes take them for granted. It is worth reminding ourselves of the history of these connections, of their importance in the history of education in the Pioneer Valley, and for the bright future that these connections will undoubtedly make possible.”