Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Chamber music

The First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St., will host members of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston in a classical recital program at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

The program include will Haydn’s “Piano Trio No. 43 in C Major;” “Sextet in C Major for piano and winds” by Francis Poulenc; Oliver Knussen’s “ …upon one note – Fantasia after Purcell for clarinet, violin, cello and piano;” and Schubert’s “Cello Quintet in C Major.”

Call 617-427-8200 or visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

Poetry festival

The 19th annual Boston National Poetry Month Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and from 1to 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

Friday’s program will feature keynote poets, including winners of the Massachusetts Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

On Saturday and Sunday, 50 major and emerging poets will talk about the poetic process. There will also be a local Poets Laureate panel discussion, a tribute to Sam Cornish, music with Claire Mulvaney and Thea Hopkins and more.

Book signings, workshops, open mics, live music and more will be held during the weekend.

Admission is free.

For more details and a complete schedule, visit or or call the library at 617-536-5400.

Mansion tour

A public one-hour tour of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.

Built between 1899 and 1902 for businessman and art collector Frederick Ayer, the mansion is the only surviving residence created by American artist and designer Tiffany. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

Reservations are required and a $15 donation ($10 for seniors) is requested to help with the ongoing restoration costs.

For more information, send an email to or call 617-536-2586.

Choral recital

St. Andrew’s Singers will perform in concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 at Trinity Church Boston, 206 Clarendon St.

The afternoon will feature baritone Adam Jacob Simon and tenor Alexander Nishibun as they embark on a journey through life featuring excerpts from Schubert’s “Winterreise,” Ralph Vaughan William’s “Songs of Travel,” Benjamin Britten’s “Winter Words’ and works by Clara Schumann and more.

The performance will be followed by a reception to meet and chat with the artists.

Admission is $20 and free for students aged 17 and under.

Visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

Revolutionary War ancestors

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will host “Researching Ancestors Who Served in the Revolutionary War” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

This class will provide a basic overview in how to research Revolutionary ancestors using military records. Students will also cover how to use military records for general genealogical research.

Admission is free.

Call 617-536-5400 for further details.

Work of Tiffany

The Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., will welcome curator Nonie Gadsden talking about “Tiffany’s Parakeets: The Story of a Window” from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

A wine and cheese reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. with the talk at 7 p.m.

Gadsden will provide and in-depth exploration of a single work of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “Parakeets” window at the Museum of Fine Arts, and explain about the creation and life of this spectacular window, the people who made it and the culture it reflects.

All proceeds will benefit the Campaign for the Ayer Mansion, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Tickets are $35 general admission and $10 for students ages 25 and under.

To make a reservation, visit or call 617-536-2586.

Boston community development

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a free talk, “The Dream is the Process: Environmental Racism and Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980” from 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Michael Brennan of the University of Maine will discuss Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities.

To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense.

To RSVP, e-mail or call 617- 646-0579.

Brighton and Allston

Author Anthony Sammarco will be the guest speaker at a free talk “Brighton and Allston Through Time” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

Sammarco will explore Brighton and Allston, a neighborhood of the city of Boston which was once known as Little Cambridge before it became an independent town from Cambridge in 1807. Over the century that followed, the neighborhood saw new places of worship, public and parochial schools, and housing ranging from one-family and two-family houses to triple deckers and the large-scale building of apartment buildings.

Today with a population of 75,000 people, Brighton and Allston has a rich and ever evolving history, with demographics that are constantly in flux.

Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over 70 books on the history and development of Boston. His books “Lost Boston,” “The History of Howard Johnson's: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon,” “Christmas Traditions in Boston” and “The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History” have been bestsellers.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Cabaret at the library

Boston Conservatory at Berklee will presents the “Conservatory Cabaret” from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 11 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

A group of 11 musical theater students will present a 45-minute performance packed with show tunes and jazz and pop standards. Come see tomorrow’s Broadway stars today.

For more information, visit or call 617-536-5400.

Theater play

The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., will present the theater play “A Prince in Sky-Blue Uniform” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 12.

The play, written by Jean-Claude Redonnet, pays tribute to Massachusetts-born war hero Norman Prince, portrayed by David Bliss. Norman is one of the many Americans who fought and perished for the freedom of France and the world during World War I.

In 1915, Harvard Law School graduate Prince sailed to France and persuaded the French to allow the founding of the American Escadrille (squadron.) He was involved in 122 aerial combat engagements and was awarded the French Legion of Honor, Médaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre. He was severely injured and died on October 15, 1916. The 40-minute play will be introduced by Redonnet. A complimentary wine reception will follow the performance.

Tickets are $16 for members and $26 for non-members and must be purchased in advance.

For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit

Introduction to genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will host a new visitors’ day at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13.

This free orientation and tour will introduce resources available at the NEHGS research facility, home to more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs and records to help research family histories. Tour attendees are welcome to use the resources following the tour. Registration is not required.

Further information can be found at or by calling 888-296-3447.

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.