Run, don’t walk, to the best bargain in town — free noon concerts at the First Baptist Church of Glendale.

The Bright Light Chamber Players made their debut Nov. 19 in the first of a series of six to eight concerts on the first and third Wednesdays at the church. “A Concert of Chamber Music for Oboe and Strings” was the order of the day as a couple dozen concert-goers gathered in the sanctuary.

Senior Pastor Charles Updike introduced the program, opening with Mozart’s Duo in G, KV 423.

“We are a church that loves the arts,” Updike said.

Glendale resident music lovers attending were Glendale Symphony Orchestra Assn. President Patrick Wade, Vice President Mary Ann Plumley, Lois Lovi, and Kewa and Shigeto Suzuki, parents of chamber violinist Jacqueline Suzuki.

Chamber musicians are members of regional orchestras in the Southland. Violinist Jacqueline Suzuki and oboist Catherine Del Russo play in the Glendale Symphony Orchestra. La Crescenta resident Catherine Biagini plays the cello and Adriana Zoppo on the viola.

Sack lunches from the nearby Angela’s Bistro fed music fans after the half-hour concert.

This first series of free concerts is part of a trial period to determine whether a concert series can be supported by donations and possibly a fundraising board. If financially viable, 16 free concerts between May and October will continue. Today’s donations will help support the musicians.

“For all music lovers in Glendale, the concert is a great pick-me-up,” Jacqueline Suzuki said.

The lunch hour concerts will continue Dec. 3 and 17.

Thanksgiving came a week early for seniors at three city parks Thursday. At the Adult Recreation Center’s “Senior Café” on East Colorado Street, a turkey lunch with all the trimmings was enjoyed by more than 150 seniors. Adding to the festivities were Thanksgiving decorations of balloons at each table and cascading paper leaves hanging from the rafters.

In the rec center tradition, a pumpkin pie dessert was served and happily consumed first. Then came the steaming plates of Thanksgiving entrees as helpers worked to make sure everyone was served at the same time.

Rosario Montano, who celebrates her 13th year at the Adult Recreation Center’s Thanksgiving feast, is already looking forward to its New Year’s Eve party.

“I get to dance the salsa and the twist,” Montano said.

Although dancing wasn’t on the program for Thanksgiving, massages were. Before-lunch massages were almost as popular as the turkey and pumpkin pie.

Irma Hopkins, Community Services coordinator for the Nutritional Meals Program, strolled among the tables and sang torch songs from the 1940s and ’50s. “Stormy Weather” and “As Time Goes By” were the hands-down favorites.

“We want our seniors to feel at home,” Hopkins said. “We’re a big family.”

Glendale seniors enjoying lunch for a $2.50 “suggested donation” included: Marta Pazos and mom Delia Pazos, Alex and Amporn Shannon, David Irvan, Lourdes and Manuel Puito, Julia and Honorato Martines, Julia Amezcua, Andrea Curiel, Carmen Salinos, and Juana Thompson.

This year’s Thanksgiving at the “Senior Café” will be hard to top next year.

The second “Girls’ Night Out” at the Americana at Brand on Thursday was a self-proclaimed “glam-packed event.” Indeed, dozens of glamorous gal pals took advantage of elegant free-bees. First on the list were free appetizers and T-shirts at Katsuya. Glendale residents and Realtors Roubina Mirzakhanian and Arsine Danelian along with image consultant Janette Panossian enjoyed exotic drinks and appetizers at the bar.

Bokaos Aveda Lifestyle Salon consultants taught free blow-drying classes and makeup demos. Taking advantage of the “You Glow Girl” makeup applications were fashion and jewelry designer Karine Khachigian and her sister Narine Azizian from Hollywood.

Starring in their own moving picture flip book were Glendale’s Nestle employees Kristin Norman and Meagan Washabaugh, and Glendale residents Anna Seferian and Lusine Babakhanyan.

Vera Bradley offered free travel pouches. Kate Spade cut 20% off every purchase. Jewel City Diner gave away milkshakes with every burger and fries purchased. Pacific Theatres offered free popcorn with tickets to the latest James Bond “chick flick.”

City officials hosted a kickoff reception Friday for Glendale’s first-ever book full of amateur and professional photos on city life.

“Snapshots of Glendale: Twenty-four Hours in the Life of Our City” features 92 photos shot by 76 photographers.

The book was spearheaded by Mayor John Drayman and former City Councilman Rafi Manoukian. Purchases of the book for $50 will benefit the Special Collections section of the Glendale Central Library. Drayman was on hand to sign books for fans.

 RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthsowby@msn.com.

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