As part of the voice student training at the Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan , students participate in master classes taught by professional artists.

In March, Kelli O’Hara, considered one of Broadway’s great leading ladies, conducted a master class with the conservatory’s students. Critiquing and providing advice toward improvement, the Tony-winning actress shared anecdotes of her profession and personal vocal education experiences.

Besides Broadway, O’Hara starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” and will be performing in “Cosi fan tutte” at the Metropolitan Opera this spring.

Students from across Fairfield County attend the conservatory. Now in its 14th year, the conservatory provides classes in voice, acting, dance, piano, guitar and musical theater taught from preschool through adult.

For information, go to PerformingArtsConservatory.com.

Seniors’ art on display at The Inn

On March 3, The Inn, Waveny LifeCare Network’s independent living community, hosted a reception welcoming the artwork of Staying Put members to its walls.

More than 40 members and friends came to honor the artists and see the exhibit, which includes over 30 works in pastels, oils, watercolors, paper and sculpture. Staying Put is a member-based, volunteer-supported organization dedicated to helping local seniors live safely in their homes and remain actively engaged in the community as they age.

Located at 73 Oenoke Ridge, The Inn provides carefree, independent senior living and welcomes older adults from all areas. For information, call 203-594-5450 or visit waveny.org.

Paddle for

a purpose

Following the success of the past eight years’ events, Waveny LifeCare Network recently hosted its ninth annual Mixed-Paddle Tournament fundraiser. Money raised supports the enhancement of special programs for those served by Waveny’s nonprofit network of eldercare residences, programs and services.

The tennis tournament took place concurrently at four event sites: Country Club of New Canaan , New Canaan Field Club , the Lake Club and Waveny Park . Event finals followed at the Country Club of New Canaan and featured an after-party celebration at the club’s paddle hut.

Winners from the four individual sites were J.P McConnell and Masha Slupska, with runners-up Justin Campbell and Florentina Hanisch; Christian and Gitte Toft-Nielson, with runners-up Andrew Lebovitz and Sharon Wessan; Peter and Roopali Hall, with runners-up Gary and Candace Weiner; and Deirdre and Ross Smith, with runners-up Ron Balzano and Suzy Lavieri.

Event sponsors included Hutchinson Tree Care Services, Morrison Community Living, Karl Chevrolet, Lampert Toohey & Rucci LLC, Stewart’s Spirits and Rehabilitation Services at Waveny Care Center. Corporate sponsor, Corridor, generously matched the entire registration fee for each team that signed up at an enhanced match level.

Nature Center Preschool gets re-accredited

The New Canaan Nature Center Preschool has earned re-accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The association sets professional standards for early childhood education programs and helps families identify high-quality programs.

To earn re-accreditation, the Nature Center Preschool goes through an extensive self-study and evaluation process each year. The process involves measuring the program and its services against the 10 association early childhood program standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria, and includes an onsite visit by an association assessor to ensure the program meets each of the standards.

The preschool received a perfect score for nine program standards and got a score of 96 percent for the last one. It received an average of 99.5 percent for the observed criteria in each classroom.

The extensive re-accreditation process requires reports on staff credentials; effective teaching approaches; quality of curriculum; positive relationship with families; interaction with the community; ongoing assessment of child progress, nutrition, health and safety; administration and physical environment.

Student art on display

The community is invited to view and celebrate the work of New Canaan High School art students whose work was selected for inclusion in “Through Our Eyes V” at The Carriage Barn Arts Center in Waveny Park.

The exhibit will be on view through April 1. New Canaan High School performing arts students will also be showcased and celebrated during the exhibit, with a closing poetry event on April 1.

This is the fifth year the Carriage Barn Arts Center has partnered with the New Canaan High School art department to showcase student artwork in the gallery. The work of more than 100 students will be showcased and include photography, original paintings, drawings and jewelry as well as video and installations. The selected works represent students in introductory level courses up to Advanced Placement level art classes.

The students whose will be shown are Lukah Aguilera, Claire Batchelor, Lauren Berardino, Audrey Bloom, Sydney Britt, Claire Brunner, Alex Carlson, Matt Chalon, Quincy Connell, Skye Curren, Skyler Davidson, Kiefer Dresser, Rachel Driver, Jack Dunn, Charlie Hane, Morgan Hibbert, Tighe Hoey, Isabel DiGiacomo Meghan Kloud, Michelle Labadie, Nicholas LaMorte, RJ Lauture, Gabriela Limone, Daniel Lu, Isaac Marshall, Grant Mellinger, Katherine Mettler, Aurelie Moutran, Cortland Parrott, Megan Rigione, Skyler Risom, Nicole Schlesinger, James Sweet, Katie Tan, Gwynne Tenney, Aurelio Alvarez, Cameron Blair, Reid Dahill, Catherine Doytcheva, Taylor DeVito, Devin Findlay, Emma Garner, Olivia Germann, Anne Greer, Claudia Guerrero, Katherine Lisecky, Katherine Lindberg, Connor McDevitt, Molly Mazabras, Isabela Montano, Adrianna Morina, Sharanya Mukherjee, Caroline O’Dea, Ashlyn Pace, Ann Pakhayev, Jessica Penman, Isabella Rocha, Rosa Alfizures Cifuentes, Darleicy Ruiz, Mead Savage, Rachel Smith, Zoe Spencer, Madison Starr, Hannah Suthons, Ashley Sztam, Joshua Vindas, Gwenan Walker, Alexandra Yee, Brooke Barber, Ellery Baran, Emma Barker, Lauren Bisceglia, Elizabeth Bochicchio, Jackson Braden, Margaux Brennan, Shannon Bucci, Caroline Challe, Brielle Connelly, Morgan Connelly, Courtney Coutts, Elizabeth Cuoco, Camaren Dayton, Matthew DePalo, Jessica Eccleston, Emily Dowdle, Maria Fagerstal, Alexander Galvan, Hannah Gelnaw, Casey Gertsen, Jane Gesing, Luis Gonzalez-Miranda, Sophie Graham, Caroline Grogan, Timothy Hardy, Zoe Jones, Danielle Klapper, Reilly Krug, Anna Lysenko, Chloe McAuliffe, Grant Mellinger, Michelle Mercede, Samantha Pepe, Elizabeth Pohle, Chiara Rapuano, Bailey Reehl, Grace Riley, Thomas Roscoe, Nicolas Savini, John Slattery, Sammi Smith, Emma Smith, Becca Walshin, Emily Wasser, Wyatt Wilson, Stephen Wronski, and Amy Chu.

This year’s exhibit is underwritten by Bankwell, with additional sponsorship support from HTG Investment Advisors, New Canaan Alarm Co., Santella Electric and William Raveis.

Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

More details can be found at www.CarriageBarn.org.

Bankwell launches pet adoption project

As part of an ongoing effort to provide ongoing value to the community, Bankwell launched the Bankwell Pet Adoption Project on March 1 to create awareness about the many dogs and cats in need of homes at animal shelters throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties.

All Bankwell branches will feature photographs and information about available dogs and cats, which will also be previewed on the bank’s website during March and April. The branches will also serve as collection points for a “wish list” to benefit the Connecticut Humane Society, and a list of those items will also appear on the bank’s website.

Portraits of the featured animals were taken by local photographer Michael Bagley.

The project was the brainchild of Lynne Gomez, Bankwell’s executive assistant to the CEO, who worked with Wilton Branch Manager Ann Mitrione and Marketing Assistant Lucy French to get the program off the ground.

Bankwell has partnered with Animal Haven, ROAR, STARelief and Pet Assistance, Stamford Animal Shelter, Red Leash Rescue, Strays & Others, Little Black Dog Rescue, One More Dog Rescue, Lexi’s Angels/Shaggy Dog Rescue, Sunshine Golden Retriever and the Humane Society for this project.

Pet Pantry has generously offered to provide a complimentary gift basket for the home of any pet adopted during the program and also serve as a collection point for the Humane Society “wish list”. Additionally, Canine Training & Behavioral Services in Wilton will offer a free 30-minute consultation for anyone who adopts a dog during the Bankwell Pet Adoption Project.