Choral concert

to honor

Armistice Day

On Nov. 11, the 100th anniverary of the armistice that ended World War I, the choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 661 Old Post Road in Fairfield, will remember the war through the story of two friends. One, Herbert Howells, was an English composer and church musician; illness prevented him from enlisting and he spent the war in England. The other, Ivor Gurney, was a poet and composer, and a friend of Howells’ from their years studying in Gloucester and then London. Gurney did enlist, and was wounded and gassed while in combat in France, returning home for good in 1918.

During the concert, attendees will hear an organ work Howells composed in March 1918, during a sleepless night while Zeppelins were bombing a nearby town. From Gurney, there will be two songs performed, which he composed while he was serving in the trenches in France in 1917; one is dedicated to the woman who would later marry Howells.

Other music will include Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei,” an arrangement of his “Adagio for Strings;” and “The Lord is my Shepherd,” from John Rutter’s “Requiem.”

Interspersed with the music will be letters, by Gurney and many others, by soldiers and loved ones, that will help tell the story of the war.

The concert will be followed by a reception. Admission is at the door (suggested donation $15, students $5).

Martini joins Fairfield law firm

The law firm of Spears Manning LLC, a white-collar defense and litigation boutique has hired veteran lawyer Joseph W. Martini as a partner at the firm.

Prior to Spears Manning, Martini spent 11 years as a partner at one of Connecticut’s largest law firms, where he chaired the white collar practice group and served on the firm’s executive committee. Before that, Martini spent almost a decade serving as an assistant United States attorney in Connecticut.

Martini has more than 30 years of experience representing corporate executives, government officials, major national and international public companies, prominent privately held entities, and individuals in sophisticated criminal and civil matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the United States, the Connecticut State’s Attorney and Attorney General and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Entities facing crisis situations often retain Martini to conduct internal investigations, and he has years of experience conducting investigations in the financial, health care, manufacturing, construction and defense industries. He has experience in matters involving the United Nations, and before hospital boards of directors and hearing panels in connection with disciplinary and other administrative proceedings. He has also conducted sexual assault and abuse investigations, including Title IX investigations, and defending matters brought by the U.S. Department of Education.

Martini said, “I am delighted to join Spears Manning and practice with lawyers at such a highly regarded firm. Spears Manning has built a well-deserved reputation as a ‘go-to’ firm for white collar defense, and the lawyers here have extensive investigative and trial experience. I look forward to collaborating with my new partners to continue to grow this exciting and dynamic practice.”


to lead sleep discussion

NAMI Fairfield, a community organization providing support and education for people affected by mental illness, will have Marni Amsellem, with Smart Health Psychology, discuss how to get a better night’s sleep. The presentation will take place Nov. 7 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at First Church Congregational, 148 Beach Road in Fairfield.

In the discussion, participants will identify behaviors and stressors happening in life that impact quantity and quality of sleep; discuss the role of sleep in promoting mental health and the influence mental health on sleep; and understand how to make changes to improve sleep.

Amsellem is a clinical psychologist based in Fairfield County whose private practice centers around helping clients and caregivers develop skills to navigate challenges, change behaviors, and build resilience.

Allstate agency owner collecting Toys for Tots donations

Allstate agency owner Robin Scinto is teaming up with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to spread holiday cheer. From now until Dec. 7, community members are encouraged to stop by her agency to donate new, unwrapped toys for local children in need.

Scinto joins hundreds of Allstate agency owners throughout the Northeast in serving as donation drop-off sites this year, including 16 in Connecticut. Thanks to the volunteerism of participating agencies, Toys for Tots will receive a $30,000 Allstate Foundation Helping Hands Grant to help even more children this holiday season.

Over the last two months, Allstate and Toys for Tots have worked closely to organize this multistate donation drive. Together, they have rallied communities across the Northeast to give back to families in need.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is one of thousands of organizations this year that will receive Allstate Foundation Helping Hands in the Community grants secured by agency owners and financial specialists on behalf of the nonprofit where they volunteer. The grants support organizations addressing youth empowerment, domestic violence, disaster preparedness, hunger and other causes.