​Pizzicato and Puppies featured in Memory Café Programs

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By Marilyn Sponzo
On Nov. 5, Tara’s Memory Café will host violinist Kate O’Brien, who will delight audiences with music from a variety of genres—elegant classical, swing and jazz, country fiddling, popular songs and ethnic music. She’ll also share the secrets of her custom violin and play personal favorites on request. The program will take place at the Granby Senior Center, 15C North Granby Road, from 2 to 4 p.m.
O’Brien has been playing violin in orchestras since age 15. She played the electric violin and guitar, studied jazz with the legendary Linc Chamberland, led a dance band and played with an all-female country western band. She currently plays and sings with the swing group Moxie, performs in schools with the group Themselves and is a contracted violinist with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. She plays a violin crafted in 1996 by Andrius Faruolo, a master violinmaker who studied with Itzhak Perlman and who now creates instruments for renowned violinists throughout the world.
On Nov. 16, Tara’s Memory Café will welcome human and canine representatives of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a remarkable organization that breeds, raises, trains and provides guide dogs to visually impaired persons as well as service dogs to children with autism. Participants will learn about the Guiding Eyes breeding and training program and the joys of being a “puppy raiser” (an individual or family who raises a pup for its first 18 months in a home environment) and will have the opportunity to interact with current pups in training. The program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Granby Senior Center.
Admission to both programs is free, but registration is required. Please call or text 860-729-9828 or visit tarasmemorycafe@gmail.com to reserve your place.
Designed for people experiencing memory loss, Tara’s Memory Café programs engage a variety of senses to create afternoons of learning, laughter and community. The non-sectarian initiative is sponsored by First Congregational Church of Granby, with generous support from the Granby Senior Center.


Bette, a Guiding Eyes pup currently living with her puppy raiser family in North Granby.