Taconic String Band at the Inn at Manchester in 2020. 

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MANCHESTER — Many can’t travel this holiday season, but don’t worry: Taconic Music will take the community on a world tour at two upcoming events.{/span}

Taconic Music will ring in 2022 with a pair of concerts at the Inn at Manchester’s Celebration Barn, 3967 Main St.

It’s something of a tradition at this point. “We have been doing this New Year’s concert since 2016, at the Inn at Manchester. We’ve really treated them like a year-end kind of party where we just vector into all kinds of different musical styles,” said Ariel Rudiakov, who is co-artistic director of the group with his wife Joana Genova.

”It’s going to get hot in there,” she laughed, explaining that they all love Latin rhythms. They’ll be featured at the concerts.

Musicians from Boston, Pittsburg, N.Y. and N.J. will join Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova, Taconic’s artistic directors and married couple, for a festive program with music from around the world.

The director duo felt there was a dearth of music in the winter months, and Taconic Music stepped into the gap.

“There’s quite a lot that focuses on the summer months,” said Rudiakov. “There are music festivals all throughout Vermont during the summer and most of them, after they’re done, those organizations tend to pack up and split. They’re very often run from out-of-state anyway.”

This gives the couple a different perspective.

“I think the biggest difference for us as we see it is that we live right here in town,” explained Rudiakov. “We see that there’s definitely a need and an appreciation for ongoing music.” the two events are community-focused.

The casual Family Concert at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30 will be 45 minutes long and geared towards children. Taconic String Band and Michael Rudiakov — the couple’s 17 year old son — on percussion will play a kid-friendly program. It will feature 13 year old Noa Sato Shawn, student at Taconic’s Strings for Kids.Strings is an afterschool program that runs from September to April. Scholarships are available for students who can’t afford lessons or organized recitals.

The program has paid off, turning out gifted musicians. Sato Shawn will play Bach’s “Concerto in A Minor.” Genova describes him as a “promising young musician.”

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Because of COVID-19, not all the members of Strings for Kids are able to play.

“He played this particular piece at the recital in November. I said, ‘You sound so good. Wouldn’t it be fun to play a song with a real orchestra with professionals?’ He was so excited,” said Genova. Sato Shawn is the son of Bennington College’sAllen Shawn and Yoshiko Sato. He’s taught by a former student of Genova’s, Deanna Baasch.

Suggested donation for the Family Concert is $10 for adults, kids free.

“The goal is for it to be accessible,” said Genova. “We have a lot of fun — it’s interactive.”

On Friday, Dec. 31, the musicians return to the Celebration Barn for a program with light classical works by Bach, Mozart, Debussy and Strauss, songs by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, music from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Romania and ending with the New Year’s traditional “Radetzky March.”

Genova is especially excited about “The Lark” something she describes as “a wild Romanian dance” by Anghelus Dinicu.

At Tuesday’s concert, there will also be a cash bar, which will open at 4:15 p.m. and continue until the start of the concert, 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $30 and advance purchase is requested, because seating is limited. This concert will also be livestreamed on Taconic Music’s YouTube channel. Tickets and more information can be found attaconicmusic.orgor 802-362-7162.

For everyone’s safety, masks are required of all attendees at both concerts, regardless of vaccination status.

“We’re really looking forward to ringing out this year and hopefully, bringing in good things for the next one,” said Rudiakov.

The Vermont Arts Council, through the National Endowment for the Arts, gave Taconic Music a recovery grant in September. Part of it made the events possible, along with the group’s many year-long local sponsors.


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