ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 2 NUMBER 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * SEPTEMBER, 1998


      This season, the Summer Sounds series has offered jazz to country to rock. We had Town Bands and even some semi-reggae. For the final concert, The Tyler Place presents Jon Gailmor, in the Highgate Municipal Park, direct from the shores of Lake Elmore, by way of the U.S. Virgin Islands, an Israeli kibbutz, Cretan tomato fields, Mediterranean coastal cafes, and, of course, other appearances in Highgate.
      The Labor Day weekend concert is always a full family affair. Jon Gailmor asked us for a "prenatal through prehistoric audience." Highgate can expect an eclectic, emotional, exhilarating, optimistic, and provocative concert from an entertainer equally at home fronting a flagpole in the village park or fronting the Vermont Symphony in the Flynn. Listen for original music, children's songs, ballads, witty ditties, and more.
      Jon Gailmor's music is low in cholesterol, high in total audience involvement, and full of hope. He has released five albums, including Gonna Die With a Smile If It Kills Me.       Every summer concert needs a social. This Sunday, the Summer Sounds and the Highgate Elementary School Technology Committee will cater the concert with delectable desserts plus hot and cold drinks for the thirsty. Serving starts at 6:30 p.m. Bring your appetites.
      Free concerts rely on local merchants and businesses for support. Business owners support the arts because they care about the community they live in. They can continue their support because the community buys locally. Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate are presented by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and sponsored by Champlain Farms, Champlain Valley International, Chevalier Drilling, Dexter Products, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and The Tyler Place.
      Music lovers of all ages can settle in on a blanket or their own lawn chairs and enjoy outdoor family music. Based on recent weather, jackets, sox, and a flashlight are also recommended. The concert begins at 7:00 p.m at the Highgate Municipal Park. The rain site is the Methodist Church in Highgate. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      The All Arts Council monthly meeting is September 3 in the Collins-Perley Sports Complex in St Albans at 7 p.m. These meetings are a good chance to network and to have fun with other Franklin County artists. In addition to the usual show and tell, we are again managing the reception for the Vermont Symphony's return to St Luke's. We need food and volunteers. We will also update the Artist Register, do some 1998 calendar planning, and report and plan for Summer Sounds '99.


      The first Bakersfield Bash will kick off Saturday morning with a grand parade of Bakersfield memories. The parade starts at 10 a.m. from Larry's Tree Farm and heads north on 108 to the Fire Department.
      The Bash will fill the entire weekend with games and booths, food and family fun on the Brigham Green, at the elementary school, the Historical Society, the Brigham Library, the Tri-Church, and the elementary school. Entertainers include John Cassel, David Carr, and story teller Peter Burns. There will be an arts exhibit, a quilt show and sale, a petting zoo, a volleyball tournament, a craft sale, an ice cream social and book sale, and an outdoor movie.
      The AAC Fine Arts Show against a backdrop of the mountainous landscape of Bakersfield will feature artists, artisans, and musicians from around Franklin County including Sharon Evans, Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, April Henderson, Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, John Lawyer, Beth Maginn, and Jesse Potts. There will be hors d'oeuvres and other delights. The AAC show begins after the parade and continues until 4 p.m. on Saturday only at Larry's Tree Farm on Route 108.
      e-mail the All Arts Council for information.


      The Fairfax Community Theatre Company presents the Performing Arts Showcase in Westford's Brick Meeting House on Saturday at 8 p.m. Director Penny LaRochelle promises singing and choral groups, instrumentals, poetry, and dance. The show is one of an ongoing series of benefit performances for the restoration of the Meeting House.
      The cast includes singer Rachel Clokey; pianist Rebecca Fick; Middle Ground, a Fairfax singing group; Westford violinist Amy Robinson, a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra; singer and past-FCTC-president Muffy Sterling; a large group of singers from Fairfax; a tap dancer; and others from around Franklin and Chittenden County. Louise Minor, Margie Kane, and Emily Rooney will perform clarinet arrangements; Kim Ward will combine poetry and dance. Singer Kimberly McDonough is new to the area and to the Company. The accompanist will be Linda Poppe. Current FCTC president Tom Townsend will MC.
      Fairfax Community Theatre Company usually does three shows each year. The season generally includes a musical every summer plus dramas each Spring and Fall. Their past musicals have included Oklahoma, The King and I, Oliver and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The drama list includes Harvey, Crossing the Bridge by Peter Murray, and A Feast of Shakespeare, a medley of excerpts from plays and sonnets.
      Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, call Penny LaRochelle (849-6105).


Save your shekels for the first weekend in October. Not only will Cardiac Capers kick off its tenth annual performance September 30-October 3, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's Made in Vermont music festival also returns to St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St Albans on October 1.


      The Made in Vermont music festival will return to St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St Albans on October 1.
      The VSO program includes Mozart's Concerto For Flute and Harp featuring VSO principles Ann Bobo and the Heidi Soons. The program will also include University of Vermont composer Thomas Read's new commission, and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. Cellist Bonnie Klimosky of Fairfax, violinist Caroline MacDoraki of Underhill, and violinist Mary Gibson from Stowe will also be in the orchestra. Soloist Heidi Soons of Colchester is well known around Franklin County for her recent appearances in 93 Strings.
      These VSO performances are sponsored by Northwest Medical Center, A. N. Deringer, Banknorth Mortgage Company, the Franklin Lamoille Bank, Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Arts Council, the St Albans Messenger, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County.
      VSO tickets are $17 for adults at the Franklin Lamoille Bank in St Albans, Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, and Swanton Rexall. Thanks to a generous grant from The Tyler Place, a limited number of tickets for children under 18 are available for only $3 from the VSO's ticket line at 1-800-VSO-9293, ext 12.


      The 10th anniversary Cardiac Capers is bringing the Swinging Forties to the stage at BFA-St Albans. Most of the music will be familiar, including Sentimental Journey, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and I'll Be Seeing You in this benefit for the Northwest Medical Center.
      Director Ron Treece brought this show, costumes, skits, and sketches to St. Albans Sunday night. Treece works for the Cargill Company, a company which presents benefit productions around the country. Directors travel over the United States with their own shows. Reece tours from city to city fitting local talent into each year's show. In 2-1/2 weeks the show goes on.
      This year, Cardiac Capers has a chorus and needs a huge cast. "We need 75 to 90 people for the cast and backstage," said Helen Biggie.
      Auditions for soloists will be held Tuesday September 15. The first general rehearsal will be Wednesday September 16. There will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rehearsals for dancers, couple dancers, and showgirls. The chorus, soloists, and skits will rehearse Tuesday and Thursday. All rehearsals start at 5:30 p.m. in the BFA Auditorium, but different parts of the cast will rehearse at different times throughout the evening.
      "If you want to be in just one sketch," said Helen Biggie, " the rehearsals are in half-hour increments."
      Diane White will sing Moonlight in Vermont. NMC administrator Jeanne Begnoche will sing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Dave Chambers of the Georgia Gate Players will sing Chattanooga Choo Choo with Helene Biggie, Annette Crawford, and Joanne Chambers. Kathleen Hoffman will sing Love Is a Lonely Clown, an original song written by the director. Margarita Falivene will sing All of Me. Some of the skits include the Clem Kadoodlehopper skit, the Bickersons, and the Nasty Little Kids. There will also be couple dances including the jitterbug, the polka, the tango, ballroom dancing, and clowns.
      "This is our 10th anniversary show," said Helene Biggie. "We're really putting a lot of effort into it." The playbill will include a section of memories with old-time cardiac paper pictures, directors, and cast members.
      First started by Jonette Ducham-Hartnett and Bev McGinn, Cardiac Capers is presented each year by the NMC auxiliary. The Company will sell roses at the door for audience members to give to their favorite cast members as a tribute to the 10th anniversary performance.
      Wednesday, September 30, is bargain night with $6 tickets. Tickets for the October 1, 2, and 3 are only $8 and are available at Blouins IGA, Champlain Collectibles, Harp Market in Fairfax, St Albans Free Library, Simple Pleasures, Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, from cast members, and at the door.


      The 21st annual Montgomery Variety Show has everything from great acts to lip synch to the world famous Sorel Ballet. It is a fund-raiser for the Montgomery Recreation Center. They need every talented and not-quite-ready-for-prime- time act in the area for this year's show..
      The acts have included the "guy who plays the saw," a fiddler who came from Newport, a belly dancer from Montreal (that was actually a man in a top hat with a belly painted on his face).
      "We try to do the classics," said Peg Doheny, a director of the recreation center and member of the Sorel Ballet. "We've done Swan Lake and we did River Dance last year. And we're really bad," she said laughing.
      The Montgomery Variety Show is Oct. 9-10 at the Grange Hall on Main Street in Montgomery. For information or to sign up, e-mail the All Arts Council

      I get fairly regular calls for jugglers, magicians, mimes and other artists with similar skills. If you have an act that's "ready for prime time," e-mail the All Arts Council

      We need information about you for the free AAC registry of Franklin County artists in all media (dance, fine arts, music, theater, and writing). Does your band have an album ready to release? Are you a sculptor wrking in bronze? A poet? Do you teach dance or violin?
      Our goal is to improve access to the performing and literary arts throughout Franklin County and to increase the opportunities for local artists. The register will publish your name and contact information for touring, shows, discussion groups, and Arts in Education residencies. Call me (868-3351) or e-mail the All Arts Council to register or to get more information.


      Enjoy comics? Love that comic art? So do a few others: I was the 113,054 visitor to the Comic Art & Graffix Gallery Virtual Museum & Encyclopedia, a site that bills itself as the soon-to-be "definitive encyclopedic reference to the comic world, from its beginings in sequential cave painting to today's dynamic media culture." There are histories, biographies of the artists, writers, creators, and publishers, as well as news and collector features. The site is updated weekly. You can even find the Yellow Kid, the X-Men and Spawn.

      WILMA is a three year old music search site with personal profiles that store information about favorite artists, locales, discussion groups, concert alerts and email postcards.
      WILMA highlights touring giants as well as up and coming artists on cool tours to make it easy to stay on top of the live music scene. The database includes 18,302 touring artists in 1,048 cities at 16,331 live music venues. The genre pages include Country/Folk, Jazz/Blues, Urban/Electronica, Rock/Pop, and World/New Age with a guide to metropolitan areas and a strong search engine to track favorites by artist city or venue.

      Richard Cray is a performer, singer and actor who made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning, solve-it-yourself, musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Working with the new technology of real-time performance animation, he has performed at SIGGRAPH, the world's largest conference and expo on computer graphics and animation, and offers a page of animation links. The links are a resource for virtual theater, virtual actors, and to the evolution of theater into the realm of virtual reality. These links require fast connections, good graphics and plug-ins such as DirectX for access.

      The headline of the National Jewish Children's Art Museum site is, "The Object of Art is Giving Life Shape." This site has art work and personal comments produced by children and adolescents living with chronic illness. Art therapy lets the patients explore how an illness has effected their lives. The kids learn problem solving, stress reduction, and increase their self confidence. The 16 children currently featured range in age from five to eighteen. Most are teenagers.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or nightstand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


Dick Harper, Co-Chair

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