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Boston Doesn't Hibernate in Winter

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Despite the snows and chills of winter, Bostonians manage to get out and do things not done in any other city in the country. To wit:

The home of the original First Night will, as usual, offer hundreds of activities and performances and public parties this New Year's Eve including making use of the city's brand new Greenway Carousel, which will open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve and offer two rides for the price of one -- $3 -- for all those wearing a First Night button, or available for purchase on site. In addition, Eric Benton's Fantastical Magic Show will be presented at the carousel at 2 and again at 4 p.m.

The carousel, opened last fall, offers rides on 14 fanciful creatures that are all native to the land, sea and sky of Massachusetts. Inspired by Boston school children and fabricated by Newburyport artist Jeffrey Briggs, they include a whale, butterfly, falcon, grasshopper, lobster and more.

The Greenway Carousel is considered New England's most accessible ride for adults and youth with physical or auditory disabilities. It is located in the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove on the Rose Kennedy Greenway across from Christopher Columbus Park in Boston's North End.

Once January begins, those of us who are Bach-aholics will have plenty of opportunity to hear discussions and performances of the great Johann Sebastian Bach throughout the month, as the Emmanuel Music Bach Institute opens on January 4 and continues through January 21.

Emmanuel Church, on Newbury Street, home of the Sunday morning Bach cantata series, opens its doors for an intensive exploration of the historical framework and performance of the cantatas. Faculty members, college students and music students from Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory and Boston University School of Music participate in recitals, master classes and discussions, all free and open to the public.

In addition to the three cantatas performed in January at the church: BWV 123: Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen on January 5; BWV 148: Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens on January 12 and BWV 3: Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid I on January 19, there will be a talk of Bach Cantata BWV 78 at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, January 19, at the church by John Harbison, composer and Principal Guest Conductor.

Pamela Dellall, a member of the institute faculty, will talk on BWV 123: Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen on January 4; BWV 148: Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Names on January 11 and BWV 3: Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid I on January 18. All talks are at 9:20 a.m.

A cultimating student performance of Bach arias and Cantata BWV 78 will take place in the church's Lindsey Chapel on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m., conducted by Emmanuel Music Artistic Director Ryan Turner.

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