Changing Gears

Much is made of Memorial Day weekend being the “unofficial” beginning of the summer season. But anyone who has been around for awhile knows that after seasonal residents have strained to get their house and grounds opened up and running in time, and all the locals have gathered with family and friends for that first big barbecue, things tend to settle down to a more manageable pace and stable social pressure.

Then, as we roll into mid-June, not only the summer solstice but also the Independence Day weekend (or week) loom large, and everyone and everything seems to rev the  engines, preparing for the shift into a higher summer gear.

swan family Paula Prentis
Waiting for the tide, and the first swimming lesson. —Paula Prentis Photo

On the cultural front, the last show of the HTC season gives way to the first concert of the Quogue Chamber Music 10th anniversary season, which in turn gives way to the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe residency at the Quogue Community Hall. Caught up in—and adding to the momentum of—the creative spirit and energy, the Quogue Library is offering Shakespearian midsummer magic for families by the Pond on Jessup Avenue on Saturday, and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is hosting a watercolor workshop in its pollinator garden on Monday, June 17. Let’s get to it.

Quogue Chamber Music Marks 10th Anniversary with Two Groups
The first concert of Quogue Chamber Music’s 10th anniversary season on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Quogue Community Hall will feature both the Daedalus (String) Quartet and Dorian Wind Quintet, along with guest bassist Max Zeugner in a concert of works by Haydn, Brahms and Harberg.

Daedalus Lisa MM
The Daedalus Quartet. —Lisa-Marie Mazzucco Photo

The Daedalus Quartet has been praised by The New Yorker as “a fresh and vital young participant in what is a golden age of American string quartets.” Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Daedalus has impressed critics and audiences alike with the technical finish, interpretive unity and sheer gusto of the gifted musicians’ performances.

Founded in 1961, the Dorian Wind Quintet is one of chamber music’s preeminent and longest continuously active ensembles. They have traveled around the world, concertizing in 48 of the 50 United States and Canada, touring Europe 18 times, and playing throughout the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia. Their commission of George Perle’s Wind Quintet #4 won a Pulitzer Prize for Music. In addition, the members of the group have partnered with the Pro Musicis Foundation to expand outreach efforts in New York City.

Bassist Max Zeugner is Associate Principal Bass in the New York Philharmonic. As a youth in Worcester, Massachusetts, he first took up classical guitar before transitioning to electric bass with a focus on jazz. He then fell in love with classical chamber music and shifted his focus and prodigious talent from jazz to classical and from electric bass to double bass.

The program being performed in Quogue will include the Haydn String Quartet, Op. 50, #5; the Amanda Harberg Suite for Wind Quintet; and the Brahms Serenade #1 in D Major, Op. 11 arranged for wind and string dectet. As Jane Deckoff described for At Quaquanantuck in an email: “Each group will play an individual piece. Then they will play a dectet (5 winds and 5 strings) version of the Brahms Serenade #1. It’s an incredible piece and this version is quite stunning. I hope our audience will be as excited as I am to hear it.”

Dorian Quintet_BWcasual_credit Aleksandr Karjaka
The Dorian Quintet. —Aleksandr Karjaka Photo

Tickets are $110 for the concert and celebration immediately following the performance; $50 for the concert only; or $5 for students (concert only).

Checks may be made payable to “Quogue Chamber Music, Inc” and mailed to POB 1984, Quogue, NY  11959. Tickets may also be purchased on the website, or at the box office on the night of the performance. Box office opens at 6:30.

Quogue Junior Theater Troupe Waiting in the Wings
After Saturday’s QCM concert, the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe will once again take up residence at the Quogue Community Hall. Looks to be another smash hit season, with the older group presenting four performances of “Mamma Mia!” on July 30 and 31, and August 1 and 2. The younger group, meanwhile, will tackle “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” bringing that  show to vibrant life from August 20 to 23.

Be sure to save the date for the QJTT 2019 summer benefit, scheduled this year on Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m. More information as the season gets underway at

Understanding Your Dreams and Treading New Paths to Wellness
With better sleep as one objective, tonight, Thursday, June 13, at 6 p.m. the Quogue Library will host a visit to the Quogue Firehouse from dream expert and author Tzvia Gover, who will teach simple techniques and exercises for restful and relaxing sleep and take part in a question-and-answer period to help participants understand their dreams.

Aromatherapy samples will also be introduced in this evening of self-care. All are invited to bring questions about what different dreams mean. As with all library programs, call 631-653-4224 to register.

The Magic of Shakespeare for Families June 15 at the Pond
Courtesy of the Quogue Library, on Saturday, June15, at 1 p.m. “Shakespeare’s Faeries & Sprites” will come to beautiful life beside the Midland Avenue Quogue Pond.Shakespeare Faeries

For this family program, there  will be a reading of an abridged version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories and then participants will craft beautiful faerie and sprite masks and wings. There will also be a special interactive theatrical performance that all can take part in.  

There is a limit of 20 children for this program; adults are asked to register each child individually by calling 631-653-4224, or by stopping in at the library’s Midland Avenue outpost.

Painting in the Pollinator Garden at Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Adults and teens age 12 and up who would like to learn some watercolor techniques so they can create their own paintings to take home are invited to a “Painting in the Pollinator Garden” workshop  at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Monday, June 17, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Painting-2-400x267

Beginners are welcome, and all are asked to dress to be outside. The fee is $35 per person, which includes all supplies. Payment is due at time of registration as space is limited; call 631-653-4771 or register online at


Full Moon Night Hike at Refuge June 17
Nature lovers are invited to celebrate the June full moon by enjoying a Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Monday, June 17, starting at 8 p.m.

During the 90-minute walk through the forest up to North Pond and back, adults and families with children age 11 and up will look and listen for crepuscular nocturnal creatures and undertake some night vision activities under the light of June’s Strawberry moon.

This program is $5 for Wildlife Refuge members; $10 for non-members. Reservations, by telephone  (631-653-4771) or in-person only are required at least 24 hours in advance, along with payment of the appropriate fee. No online reservations are accepted for this program.

Quogue Clergy Helping Out  in Remsenburg
Although “officially” retired, the Reverend Nancy Jennings of our village has taken on a one-year assignment as the pastor of the struggling Remsenburg Community Church, which shifted to a seasonal schedule some four years ago due to dwindling attendance and financial support.

The beautiful red-brick church was first built before the Civil War and formerly served a faithful year-round congregation before church attendance nationwide began to fall off in greater and greater numbers around the turn of the last century.

Rev. Jennings will conduct services at the Presbyterian church at 5 p.m. on Saturdays this summer, and all are welcome.

East End Hospice Gala  Brings Positano to Quogue June 29
The summer benefit season gets off to a flying start on Saturday, June 29, with the East End Hospice “An Evening in Positano” Summer Gala from 7 to 11 p.m., set amid the beautiful grounds of 40 Second Neck Lane.Positano

This fabulous social event benefiting one of the most worthwhile causes will feature cocktails and dinner by Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs; dancing to the fabulous sounds of the A&K band; casino games, and a spectacular silent auction. The honorary chairperson is Sally Richardson; master of ceremonies will be Lucas Hunt. The 20th annual Dorothy Pell Savage Good Samaritan Award this year goes to Cristina and David Kepner.

To purchase tickets or make a donation, click here or go to There are other ways to offer support as well. Anyone interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, donating a silent auction or gift bag item; placing an ad in the gala journal; or underwriting the benefit should contact Theresa Murphy at 631-288-7080.

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In the interest of covering expenses plus a small compensation for my time, At Quaquanantuck has initiated a voluntary subscription option. If you enjoy the column and would like to see it, like Wikipedia, remain free for everyone, please consider visiting the At Quaquanantuck PayPal page by clicking here (or pasting into your browser) and taking out a voluntary subscription for a suggested $60 a year. That translates to roughly $5 a month, or a little over $1 per column. If PayPal is not for you, consider sending a check made out to this columnist, Andrew Botsford, and sending it to PO Box 1524, Quogue, NY 11959.

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The “almost weekly basis” allows for a few weeks off during the year (beyond the traditional week between Christmas and New Year’s day). Having to write and post the column from far flung locales and foreign nations can take a fair amount of the joy out of travel.

To all who read the column—those who take voluntary subscriptions and those who simply appreciate it—At Quaquanantuck offers heartfelt thanks … and a reminder: This is your column, too, and it only gets better when readers send in photos and news and social items of interest to A column for the community is at its best when it is at least in some measure created by the community.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share ideas and opinions by writing to

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