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Music Lightens Winter Solstice

The Romans cut loose with Saturnalia, the Saxons made merry at Modranect and the Persians rejoiced at Yalda. Across history and cultures, the winter solstice (the darkest day of the year when, it seems  the "sun stands still,") was cause for festivals and high spirits. It signalled the culminaton of the lengthening dark nights -- and their gloom --  and the gradual increase of more daily daylight.

But even though we modern folk have strategies our forebears didn't for offsetting winter's early darkness, e.g.,  flickering computer screens, light boxes for Seasonal Affective Disorder and, of course, Snickers bars, this seasonal shift still pulls us back to our roots and we want to celebrate.

Audubon Greenwich meets our atavistic need with its "Journey Into Winter - A Solstice Celebration"  on Dec. 12, from 3-5 p.m. Artists-in residence Musica Plenti perform a concert of wintery and wonderful music that includes new works by well-known composers Alma Hamilton, Robert Puleo and Constance Walton. Also on the program are a selection from Czech composer Bedrich Smetana's "The Bartered Bride," carols, songs by Brahms and music by Debussy and Rutter. True, we still have the holidays to get through but this lively and lush concert will start you thinking of spring. A donation of $20 is suggested and reservations are recommended. They can be made by calling (203) 637-3058. For more information, visit the Audubon website .

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