Culture Flash!

An award for Trio Contraste, a new contract for Peter Bay, a chorus of 'New York, New York' for Kirk Lynn and Rob Nash, and benefits for 'La Pastorela' and Hyde Park Theatre

Chamber ensemble Trio Contraste, which includes Austinite Martha MacDonald on clarinet, was recently honored by the National Federation of Music Clubs with its Centennial Chamber Music Award for outstanding promotion of American music. The 12-year-old trio, which also includes pianist Andrew Cooperstock of Colorado and violinist William Terwilliger of South Carolina, receives with the award a $1,000 prize that they'll use to produce a CD.

More New York Stories: Rude Mech Kirk Lynn has spent his summer in Soho getting a new play ready for production by the Foundry Theatre. Major Bang Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb runs Aug. 3-6, at the Ohio Theatre, 66 Wooster. For more information, visit www.thefoundrytheatre.org. And at long last solo-show specialist Rob Nash gets an off-Broadway run for his high school epic, Holy Cross Sucks!, a dream so often promised him and cruelly snatched away until now. Previews begin Aug. 31, with a run Sept. 9-Oct. 1, at Ars Nova, 511 W. 54th. For more information, visit www.robnash.com.

Good news for fans of Peter Bay (and who isn't?): The Austin Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor has extended his contract with ASO through the 2006-2007 season, with an option of two more years available after 2007. The deal was inked July 21, with ASO Board Chairwoman Jane Sibley, President Joe R. Long, and Executive Director Jim Reagan participating.

Austin Latino Theater Alliance provides a little Christmas in July through ALTA Pachanga!, a concert and silent auction benefiting its production of La Pastorela, the traditional Yuletide play in the Latino and Native-American communities. The concert features Austin's Cerronato and Mary Welch y Los Curanderos and Houston's Los Skarnales. You can deck the halls Saturday, July 30, 7pm-12mid, at ALLGO's Tillery Street Theater, 701 Tillery. For more information, call 467-0558.

What better way to mark the 41st anniversary of Ken Webster's 7th Birthday Party than to celebrate with the Hyde Park Theatre artistic director himself and support his theatre? The party includes drinks, food, acoustic music from Crystal Flavola, and a silent auction. The candles will be blown out Sunday, July 31, 6-10pm, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. For info, call 479-PLAY or visit www.hydeparktheatre.org.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Trio Contraste, Martha MacDonald, National Federation of Music Clubs, Centennial Chamber Music Award, Andrew Cooperstock, William Terwilliger, Rude Mechs, Kirk Lynn, Foundry Theatre, Major Bang:Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb, Ohio Theatre, Rob Nash, Holy Cross Sucks!, Peter Bay, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Jane Sibley, Joe R. Long, Jim Reagan, Austin Latino Theater Alliance, ALTA Pachanga!

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