Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021

IT'S BEEN 21 MONTHS since our schools shut down for what we had hoped would be just a couple of weeks (yeah right), and folks are giddily grateful these days when we get the chance to enjoy experiences that were once taken for granted. So it was Tuesday night when MHS held its holiday concert -- the first big such reboot event in Bailey Auditorium. We were there and also at the first MHS sports event of the winter season. Check all that out and more and if you want to subscribe to OneManchester just click here.

Holiday Concert

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Tuesday night's concert in Bailey Auditorium was the first such event in almost two years and each ensemble was impressive. That's vocal soloist Nickolas Gastello, tenor sax player Evan Austin and Susan Kohanski leading the grade 11-12 orchestra.

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Community Choir

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The Community Choir went caroling on Main Street on Monday night and you can give a listen by clicking here. Interested in joining? Contact Cheryl Hilton at

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Introducing The Modern Band Club

The Modern Band Club at MHS is having its first ever concert on Monday in Bailey Auditorium. Modern Band is a newer movement that uses popular music from Blues, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and more in a contemporary rock band setting that uses drum set, guitar, bass, keys, vocals, and whatever other instruments people want to play. The Modern Band movement has gained traction of late and because of that more students are being engaged in music who otherwise do not want to take part in the traditional ensembles.

IMS Jazz Band and MHS Jazz band will be the opening set. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are free. Junior Erin Watt made the accompanying poster.

Humans Of Manchester

Human Resource Departments everywhere have been busy of late, what with the labor shortage and all the hiring that's been happening, and things have been extra challenging in for the school district, which was short-handed until they lured Waishana Freeman, who is the latest addition to our gallery. Learn more about her by visiting Facebook or Instagram or click here for a translatable version.

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Classroom Snapshots

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On the left, a couple of fourth graders collaborating on a project outside the classroom, and on the right, kindergarteners at Bowers hammer out some old standards on the xylophone with music teacher Alyssa Brown.
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In The News

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  • Superintendent Matt Geary sent a letter to the MPS community this week with info about masks, COVID stats, bus transportation and more. You can see it here.
  • The next BoE meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 10 and will feature on update on climate and culture and also a presentation of the superintendent's proposed 2022-23 school budget.
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Winter Sports Season Begins

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The MHS girls basketball team opened the winter season Tuesday night. That's Elise Ryan on the left and Tiara Tyson, who had 25 points in the 52-50 loss to Wethersfield, on the right.

40th Annual Santa’s Workshop Opens Friday

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  • It's in the Cabin atop Wickham Park through Dec. 23.
  • Monday through Fridays 3pm-6pm.
  • Saturdays & Sundays 1pm-5pm.
  • It's free but you are encouraged to bring a non-perishable item for local food pantries and donations in the name of The Friends of Wickham Park are welcome.

Some changes for the 2021 Workshop:

  • Everyone attending will be required to wear a mask while in line outside and inside the Cabin. (Because they will be limiting the number of people in the Cabin at any one time, you should plan on waiting longer outside this year.)
  • There will be no sitting on Santa’s lap but children will be able to sit on a bench in front of Santa for pictures.
  • Don’t forget to visit Mrs. Claus to have some hot cocoa and a cookie!
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The Week Ahead

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Thursday, Dec. 16

7 p.m. -- “In the Light of the Day” art show at Lutz Children's Museum, 247 S. Main St.

Friday, Dec. 17
3 - 6 p.m. -- 40th Annual Santa’s Workshop opens at Wickham Park. (through Dec.23)

6 p.m. -- Drop and Shop for children 3 -10 at Lutz Children’s Museum.

Saturday, Dec. 18
9 - 11 a.m. -- Holiday in the Park at Northwest Park.

Noon - 5 p.m. -- Fisher Ballet Productions presents The Nutcracker at Cheney Hall.

Sunday, Dec. 19

9 - 10 a.m. -- Winter Solstice Starlight Stroll at Lutz Children's Museum, 247 Main St.

Noon - 5 p.m. -- Fisher Ballet Productions presents The Nutcracker at Cheney Hall.

Monday, Dec. 20

9 a.m. - noon -- Five Senses Friendly Mondays at the Lutz, 247 Main St.
6 -8 p.m.-- Manchester Songwriters Group at 153 Spruce St

6:30 p.m. -- Chef Sharyce of ‘My Local Chefs’ at Mary Cheney Library.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. -- Free COVID Vaccine Clinic at Whiton Library.

Wednesday, Dec. 22
6 - 8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.

6:30 - 7 p.m. -- Bowers PTA Holiday Sing-a-Long (online)


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Also of Note


  • The Youth Services Bureau has a variety of fun (and free) Winter Break activities. Click here to find out more.

OneMan Planner: We use this document to keep track of things coming down the road and you can include yours by contacting Paul Ofria at
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The Manchester Police Department brightened moods with its annual 'Shop With a Cop' event (credit also to the YSB, Dave and Busters, and Target) and through another Blue Angels Foundation holiday toy drive (assisted here by friends from Manchester Community College). The PD also supported the Elks Club toy drive day while below are photos from the district's PJ day (taken at Bennet, Waddell and Highland, respectively), which annually benefits the Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.