The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.
Saturday, Jan. 6 — “On the Streets Where They Lived: Exploring the Riches Hidden in Massachusetts Town Records,” 10 a.m.-noon, Banx Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square While some folks are surely still digging out from another whoppah of a snowstorm, maybe the time is right to dig into a little family history. Team up with the Worcester Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists for their monthly meeting and learn about the value of the dusty clues to be found at your local town hall.
Joy Hennig, Worcester Public Library’s local history and genealogy librarian, and Charlene Sokal, chapter president, lead the presentation after a brief business meeting. Some refreshments will be provided, but bonus points to the newbie who brings that leftover fruitcake to share. Free and open to the public.
Sunday, Jan. 7 — Colonial Classic Synchronized Skating Competition, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St. Yup, you read that right — synchronized skating. This may come as a surprise to those of us who don’t subscribe to “Obscure Sports Quarterly,” but synchronized skating has, in fact, been a real, live sport since 1954 when a team was developed in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (The winters sure do get cold and boring out there, don’t they?!)
Now there are some 600 teams nationwide and a litany of national and international events — this year’s world championships are set for April in Sweden. But you’re probably not ready for that. Get your skating legs underneath you with a local showcase first, with the Colonial Skating Club and friends. This is the final day of a three-day exhibition and competition. General admission tickets are $22, $20 for seniors and children 6-12, free for kids under 6 and active military.
Tuesday, Jan. 9 — WPI women’s basketball vs. Clark, 7 p.m., Harrington Auditorium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 151 Salisbury St. [parking garage] While the WPI men transition to a young lineup featuring 10 freshmen, at least four of whom are key contributors, the ladies of the hardwood lean on a core group of five seniors who started 10 of the Engineers’ first 11 games together. Amy Biney, the two-sport standout who starred at Holy Name, is the alpha, averaging about 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
The tall and short of it for the Cougars comes down to junior center Ogechi Ezemma (5-foot-11) and freshman guard Idalis Miranda (5-foot-2), the team’s top scorers and two best players following the departure of ex-Main South star Sam O’Gara. A win over the powerful Engineers would give Clark some much-needed momentum as the heart of the NEWMAC schedule sets in.
Saturday, Jan. 13 — Holy Cross men’s hockey vs. Sacred Heart, 7:05 p.m., Hart Center, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St. [gate 7] Senior forward Scott Pooley, a reliable point-scorer his first three seasons with the Crusaders, has emerged as a bonafide sniper: His 16 goals were tops in the Atlantic Hockey Conference and tied for the lead among all Division I skaters as of press time (his 24 points fourth in the conference and tied for 15th nationally).
Senior goaltender Paul Berrafato, a virtual iron man the last two seasons — he appeared in 70 games, starting 68 of them — has improbably tightened his grip on the Holy Cross net, playing every (non-empty net) minute of the season so far. His sterling .922 save percentage, tops in the conference, ranks eighth in NCAA Div. I hockey.
Sacred Heart is scuffling this season but managed a 5-5 tie against HC on New Year’s weekend. This is the second game of a home-and-home doubleheader. Tickets start at $8.
Save the date
Sunday, Feb. 11 — Simone Dinnerstein & A Far Cry, 4 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St. We’ve said it before, but now we have thousands more people paying attention so we’ll say it again: Simone Dinnerstein is a great name. Someday we’ll get over it — but not today. No, today we’ll just focus on this unique opportunity to hear a modern master of classical piano join forces with a Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra trying to bring the genre into the new millennium.
Dinnerstein, for her part, has garnered wide acclaim, mainly for her independent recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. And while she’s performed recitals around the world, she continues to find her way back to Worcester (this will be at least her third stop here in as many years).
A Far Cry is a self-conducted ensemble with a rotating leadership structure. Tickets are $49 for adults, $17.50 for students and $7.50 for youth.