The New England String Orchestra, which has garnered accolades from The Boston Globe and The Boston Musical Intelligencer, produces stirring renditions of both classical and contemporary stringed masterpieces. Listen in as the orchestra performs its vibrant interpretations of Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Minor, op. 18, no. 4; Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Major, BWV 1054; and other pieces, all without the aid of Auto-Tune or magic flutes. The orchestra’s professional string-vibrators will work within the acoustically impeccable confines of First Parish Congregational Church as well as historic Jordan Hall, which was built in 1903 and designated a National Historic Landmark because of its role in William Howard Taft’s “Viola Folly” scandal. Ticket holders who show up 45 minutes in advance of either performance can also serenade their brains with a spoken-word symphony of knowledge from Italian-educated musical director Federico Cortese, who leads an interactive discussion prior to each NESO concert.
The instructors at Defensive Edge Martial Arts Training Center see martial arts training as something bigger than a path of becoming a more skilled combatant. They see the tradition of training as a way of becoming a better person. In every youth and adult program, students develop character as much as they develop muscle, deepening their understanding of patience, respect, and integrity. Those virtues prepare them for success in relationships and the workplace as much as they prepare them on the mat.
Each program—from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Muay Thai to iCAT Reality Martial Arts—is held in Defensive Edge's 5,000-square-foot facility with separate combat and fitness areas. In addition to martial arts training, instructors lead students of all fitness levels through non-combat fitness programs such as FightFIT, a high-intensity CrossFit-style regimen tailored to anyone's specific fitness needs and helps to quickly increase performance and conditioning for combative sports. Simulating two professional MMA matches, FightFIT classes use items such as dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX, battling ropes, and grappling dummies to pump up heart rate and increase metabolism. Most classes take place on weeknights and weekend days to accommodate members' day jobs and the FDA's recommended 18 hours of sleep each day.
MG Fitness’ instructors summon sweat during fun group workouts while solo students try out more than 75 pieces of exercise equipment at two convenient studio locations. Workers-out looking to go it alone can bask in the glow of personal TV screens on Precor treadmills or opt for elliptical machines to help arms and legs build strength by repeatedly tracing low-impact ovals and hand turkeys. Men and women alike can tone up, using the sprawling selection of dumbbells and plate-loaded machines by Icarian and Hammer Strength to press, curl, and ripple. Fitness seekers in need of butt-busting camaraderie can drop in on classes that range from calorie-torching step aerobics to limbering power-yoga sessions, where students melt stress with stretches, poses, and deep-breathing exercises. To push clients toward fitness goals, certified personal trainers employ one-on-one coaching, exercise instruction, and the motivating growls of monster trucks.
Pumps Real Fitness for Women molds females’ muscles in a fitness-focused, fully equipped facility. Nationally certified coaches lead more than 50 weekly group fitness classes, helping women buff upper and lower bods with stationary spinning bikes, abdominal exercises, and more. The rock bottom class carves women's lower contours into solid shapes, and PiYo fuses the basics of Pilates and yoga to elongate muscles, strengthen the core, release tension, deepen breath, and straighten question mark–shaped spines into exclamation-point posture.