Home Musician Kendall Square musicians bring their orchestra to Symphony Hall

Kendall Square musicians bring their orchestra to Symphony Hall

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the Kendall Square Orchestrawhich Spencer directs as a volunteer CEO, played two gigs at the CambridgeSide mall last year, near the Bath and body care shop. On May 23, the orchestra returns to symphony hall in Boston for the second time – and the first since the pandemic hit. Over 600 tickets have been sold to date; profits will go to Girls Science Club.

The night should be a triumphant return to form for K2O, as the group calls itself, after COVID-19 put their initial schedule on hold. The pandemic put a damper on live performances, but the number of orchestra members still grew steadily. K2O held two pop-up outdoor performances: once in September 2020, when strict gathering limits were in place (musicians moved to another location if crowds grew too large), then again in May 2021 The band then held two performances. to first church in Cambridgealso.

“We play in all kinds of unexpected places,” said Spencer, whose day job is chief of staff at Pfizerof the Inflammation and Immunology Unit. “We don’t really limit ourselves to ‘what should an orchestra do?’ concept.”

This group of somewhat unorthodox classical musicians — the vast majority working in technology or life sciences — was launched more than four years ago with funding from Pfizer. By early 2019, it had become a separate non-profit organization. This year, it has the financial support of more than a dozen companies present in Kendall Square.

Spencer, violinist, launched K2O with her friend Kelly Clarkpianist and former Pfizer employee who now leads project and portfolio management at Dew point therapy. Their goal: to create a different type of networking organization for people who work in Kendall Square. (Clark acts as the band’s chief financial officer.) K2O first rehearsed at Pfizer’s offices on Main Street, but the musicians now practice in a dance space outside a store in a BioMed Real Estate-building belonging to 650 East Kendall St. (with shoes left at the door, so as not to scrape the floor). K2O’s budget is around $100,000 per year.

“The magic that happens when people come together and form something greater than the sum of the parts is truly exhilarating,” Spencer said. “[And] when you bring people together for something like music, and they walk away from the experience they were having all day, they come back refreshed.

Mayors make their case in Beacon Hill

The hottest gathering place for Massachusetts mayors last week was a State House courtroom, where members of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee accepted testimony on the government’s bill. economic development that the governor charlie baker filed in April. Much of the testimony was delivered in person, but some mayors teleported by videoconference. The senator too Eric Lesserthe co-chair of the committee, who was away because he was recovering from an episode of COVID-19.

Baker’s bill would spend nearly $3.6 billion, a mix of federal stimulus funds and government bond proceeds. Baker, who testified in person on behalf of his bill, included appropriations totaling hundreds of millions of dollars for local projects. And the mayors – a long procession, in fact, going from Ruthanne Fuller from Newton to Dominica Sarno of Springfield – are eager to see the funding flow to them.

The testimony began to become repetitive during the meeting that lasted over four hours. Mayor of Melrose Paul Brodeura former state representative, joked that “‘It’s been said, but not everyone has said it,’ that might apply here.”

from Agawam Bill Sapelli offered a unique touch: an amusement park. After Sapelli asked for help with local stormwater projects, the representative jerry parisellethe other co-chair of the committee, asked if people were going back to Six flags of New England after a pandemic-induced slowdown.

“They’re back, wide open again, so come join us,” Sapelli said. ” Come visit. Spend money in Agawam. We need to have fun today.

Amen to that, Bill.

Biggest job for B of A boss in Boston

As CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan is obviously the most prominent person in the Greater Boston bank. Given Moynihan’s travel schedule and the fact that the bank’s headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is another executive who is usually more visible locally: Miceal Chamberlain.

Chamberlain was long the chairman of Bank of America in Massachusetts, a role that made him a near-ubiquitous presence on Boston’s business group events circuit. But now he has another job at the bank: head of the Northeast region for the global commercial bank. He recently balanced the role of state chairman with management work in global markets, serving the city’s investment community on behalf of B of A. In his new role, Chamberlain will lead a team that provides a range of banking services for medium and large businesses. large companies – up to $2 billion in annual revenue – in the Northeast. He’ll still be doing the rounds in his Massachusetts market president’s hat.

“We cover such a wide range of industries and customers,” Chamberlain said, noting that businesses are facing everything from labor shortages to inflation to rising interest rates. . “What’s exciting is really getting to know these customers and seeing how we can help them.”

In your face at Fort Point

Here’s the thing about rubbing artists the wrong way: don’t be surprised if their frustration ends up in a work of art.

That’s exactly what happened at 249 A St. in Fort Point, a brick building that houses an artists’ cooperative. The building faces a large parking lot along Fort Point Channel which Beal associates is planned to redevelop – a 6.5 acre project known as Channel side — with two new commercial buildings and a residential structure. The artists who live at 249 A recently hung two banners on the side of their building, emphasizing their desire to retain the originality of the brick-and-beam neighborhood, with the sayings “We are Fort Point” and the other, ” Not Another Seaport.” Also featured is a drawing of a woman flexing her arm, a mashup of wonder woman and Rosie the Riveter.

Domingo Martin Barrerespresident of the 249 A cooperative of street artists, designed the 20 foot by 10 foot banners. He said his organization was particularly concerned about the height of two of the three related buildings, which would be significantly taller than existing zoning allows. He fears they will irrevocably alter the fabric of the Fort Point community.

Related Executive Vice President Stephane Faber said the company had benefited from a “very engaging process” with the neighborhood. He notes that the project will bring several benefits to the community, including a new park. Two of the three buildings will feature brick exteriors, although the third will feature a predominantly glass facade (similar to all other new buildings in the adjacent Seaport area).

“We recognize there’s a desire for this to be cohesive and to react well design-wise with the neighborhood,” Faber said. “We expect our development to run on that.”

It remains to be seen whether Barreres can be convinced of this. For now, the banners remain in place, although Barreres will briefly remove them on Thursday to give them a facelift before they are rehung. This work of art, it seems, is still in progress – like much of the South Boston waterfront.


Jon Chesto can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.