By: Emily Hughes

Live Wire editor-in-chief

Art by MCC students
Photo by Emily Hughes

Manchester Community College hosted its annual Winter Arts Festival Friday, which gave MCC art and music students the opportunity to showcase their artwork done throughout the semester.

At 6 p.m., the festival started with the opening reception. In the Hans Weiss Newspace Gallery, MCC art students showcased paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs they had been working on during the semester.  MCC Visual Fine Arts major Nathan D’Aversa contributed tw0 abstract paintings and a sculpture to the festival, and he said the abstract art was not easy, as he had never painted in abstract form before.

“It’s hard to do a good abtract painting,” said D’ Aversa, “so the first one was definitely the hardest.”

Art by Cristen Skoly
Photo by Emily Hughes

The reception also coincided with performances by the MCC music students in the SBM Charitable Foundation Auditorium. Doctor Carolina Flores, MCC Associate Professor of Music, directed the MCC Chorale and Madrigal singers through choral music “Ukuthula” and “Lux Aeterna,” followed by holiday song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” MCC Vocal major Rhiannon Elliott said the performance went well, despite some last-minute coordination difficulties when two singers could not make it to the performance.

“Considering the circumstances, I think it went pretty well,” said Elliott.

Doctor Deborah Simmons, who coordinates the Music Studies degree program at MCC, directed the MCC Chamber Ensemble before Professor Larry Gareau, who teaches private trumpet at MCC, directed the Jazz Ensemble with songs such as “Summertime.”Professor Gareau said that the festival was an exciting time for him, because it was his first time teaching the course at MCC.

“I was delighted with their performance,” said Gareau, “they really stepped up to the plate.”

MCC Chorale and Madrigal Singers Photo by Emily Hughes

MCC Music major Chris Daugherty, who sang in Chorale and Madrigal, also said the event felt like a sigh of relief for those who worked hard through the semester.

“It’s a good time for [arts and music students] to…take a deep and exhale,” said Daugherty. “It’s a really fantastic way for all of us to come together and really show what we have here at MCC.”

The art displayed at the festival will be displayed in the Newspace gallery from Dec. 15 – Jan. 6, which operates Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 12-4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information on the gallery, contact Susan Classen-Sullivan at For more information on upcoming auditions and how to get involved with the music program, contact Dr. Simmons at