ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 NUMBER 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * MAY, 1999


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County.


      All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the monthly AAC Coffee House in the Northwest Transportation offices (home of the Purple Bus) Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. With no agenda, this meeting is a good chance to network and to have fun with other Franklin County artists. Artists may bring works for show-and-tell or instruments to jam. Coffee is free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck. The no business rule is still in force for our meetings.
      Our ongoing series of workshops continues Thursday as Theresa Somers from Artist's Medium at Taft's Corners joins us to discuss How to Choose Framing and Matting materials. Artists should bring in paintings or photos for real life examples of choosing mat colors to enhance the work. Theresa is an artist, working in watercolor oils and acrylics.
      Upcoming events include the Arts and Eats Festival at Hamlens in June, Summer Sounds concerts, the Summer Stage theater workshop in July, and a summer party in August. Committees will discuss concert schedules, exhibits, and shows in a short business meeting at 6 p.m. The Northwest Transportation Network office is at 44 South Main Street, St Albans.


      St Albans resident and AAC member Kate Barclay will release her debut CD Friday night, May 7, at Higher Ground, but we get to play it first today! Sunshine From Mars has a great mix of singer/songwriter Kate Barclay's solo acoustic songs and her new pop arrangements.
      The AAC/WWSR Feature Abum Showcase has moved to Friday mornings. WWSR-1420 will play How About You and Me and All I Want starting at 8:15 a.m. Friday, May 7. Kate recorded All I Want with cello, bass, and drums; co-producer Chuck Eller called How About You and Me, schizophrenic because it goes from soft to hard.
      Sunshine From Mars will come out at a debut party at Higher Ground in Winooski Friday at 8 p.m. The album is available at Jukebox CDs and Tapes in St Albans or from Kate Barclay online.


      "Why on earth didn't I know that one could write a cello concerto like this! If I had known, I would have written one long ago!" said Johannes Brahms on reading the score of Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto.
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Troy Peters, returns to the MVU stage on Saturday, May 15, with Dvorak in America, its season finale.
      The VYO Dvorak in America concert is hosted by the All Arts Council of Franklin County and presented by media sponsors the St Albans Messenger and radio stations WWSR/WLFE.
      The program will open with Hungarian Dance No. 21 written by Brahms and orchestrated by Dvorak. Guest soloist Evan Drachman will perform Dvorak's intricate Cello Concerto in B Minor. The concert closes with the popular Symphony No. 9--From the New World.
      Mr. Drachman has appeared with the Baltimore Symphony, Concordia Orchestra, Peabody Chamber Symphony, and the American Symphony. In 1997 he performed as soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Mstislav Rostropovich at the Second World Cello Congress.
      Mr. Drachman's appearance here is the culmination of a five-day residency with the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Presented by the Piatigorsky Foundation, the residency is an ongoing effort to make live classical music a part of community life. Named for Drachman's grandfather, Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, the Foundation presents over 150 concerts annually. The residency is also underwritten by generous support from the Lintilhac Foundation and the Vermont Arts Council.
      Seven of the 92 VYO musicians are from Franklin County: Amy Branagan, violin, Anne Clark, violin, Heather Davis, horn, Malikah Fulton, viola, Elisabeth Lauffer, violin, Brian Messier, percussion, and Nicole Rawding, flute.
      Heather Davis of Richford has played French Horn for three years. "I started with the trumpet and got bored," she said. "No one else played Horn, " Heather also plays piano, clarinet in the marching band, oboe, sax, flute, and "took a guitar class with [Richford Band Director] Peter Matthews."
      Dvorak's New World Symphony is her favorite "because it has awesome brass parts." She is looking forward to the Cello Concerto and to meeting Evan Drachman because "I'd like to meet someone who can actually play it."
      Second violin Amy Branagan of Georgia is a Junior at Rice High School in South Burlington. The VYO has about 30 violins. She has played violin for only 4-1/2 years, less than most players in the Orchestra. Like many VYO musicians, Amy also plays the piano which she studies with Theresa Miranda of Georgia.
      Dvorak had composed eight symphonies, six operas, three concertos, two overtures, chamber and choral music, and his Slavonic dances and rhapsodies by 1892 when he became director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. (Those dances were a response to Brahms' Hungarian dances.) During his three-year stay in the United States he wrote a work incorporating southern black folk songs and peppered with the images and colors of his visit in the New World
      "It created a furor," Dvorak said on opening night at the New York Philharmonic.
      This orchestra, in its 36th season and its fourth under music director Troy Peters, will do the same.
      "More people should know about the VYO," Heather Davis said, "Because we have three full symphonies and we need more because we have so many kids applying. It teaches people how to work together and I just think it's really great."
      The MVU band, with the generous assistance of the St Albans Pizza Hut, will host the musicians for a buffet dinner before the concert. The AAC invites all concert goers to stay for a post-concert reception to meet Mr. Peters and Mr. Drachman. Tickets for the performance cost $5 for adults; students and seniors are free. Tickets are available at Jukebox CDs and Tapes in St Albans, Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall in Swanton, from most AAC members, from the VYO (658-4708), and at the door.

      The VYO will also present Dvorak in America at the Flynn Theater on Sunday, May 16, at 3 p.m. Tickets at the Flynn are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens, available at the Flynn box office or from the VYO. The VYO's Flynn series is underwritten by Vermont National Bank


ENOSBURG ART--The Franklin Northeast Visual Art Teachers have organized an art show and contest for all students in the FNESU district. The show begins Wednesday, May 5, and will continue through Saturday, May 8, in the Opera House at Enosburg Falls.
      Martha Shepard, Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, and Bobby Anderson will judge the pieces on Friday.
      Nearly 500 pieces will be displayed in the Opera House. The works are divided into three categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional, multimedia. and photography/computer work with prizes for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Classroom and teacher art work will be displayed as well. Mary Sherrer and Mary Helen Hart will present the awards at 11 a.m. Saturday.
      "It's almost a full house," said Pam Voss. "We have a great deal of sculpture this year."
      This popular show has become an annual tradition. Pam Voss needs volunteers to keep it going. People who want to help should look up Pam for this year and for next.
      The Art Gala at the Opera House is sponsored by the All Arts Council of Franklin County, the Franklin Northeast Visual Art Teachers, Safe and Drug Free Schools, Title VI, and the Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, Wednesday and Thursday, 10-3, Friday at 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m.-12 noon. Admission is free.

CHORAL MUSIC FOR SPRING--The Champlain Chorus will present All Things Bright and Beautiful, a selection of choral music for Spring on Sunday, May 8, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St. Albans. The program includes madrigals, folk music, love songs and selections from the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. Champlain Voices! , a select group of high school students from neighboring communities, will also perform.
      The program begins at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Donations will be accepted at the door.


      The AAC needs members who want to assemble art exhibits, book bands, evoke events, and to paint or dance or sing or write. We began our annual membership drive last month.
      1999 members will receive a reproduction of a fine oil or watercolor painting donated by AAC artists. Member benefits also include networking with artists and other members, a member night celebration, regular news of local cultural happenings, priority seating or discount admission to AAC events, advance notice of events, educational and cultural opportunities, as well as other parties and discounts.
      Residents, businesses, and visitors can join at the saint, patron, donor, benefactor, sponsor, or general member Level. Student memberships are free; our student members complete community service projects to fulfill their membership. Check it out here.


VISUAL ARTISTS--The Fisk Farm Horse and Carriage Barn Gallery on Isle La Motte is planning the 1999 summer showings in conjunction with the Sunday Afternoon Teas during July and August. Email Valerie Ugro for information.


      The 23rd Vermont Square and Round Dance Convention is Saturday, May 8, at Spaulding High School in Barre and, naturally, they have a web site. The convention features Square Dancing, Round Dancing (including full-time Rounds Hall), workshops and demonstrations for Clogging and Line Dancing. There are five halls, up to 20 callers, 8 cuers, and more. The callers are members of the Green Mountain Callers' Association or are connected with Vermont in some way. The site also has quick links to the Association home page, area clubs, maps, and special dances.

      Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, British Columbia offers the Malaspina Great Books Home Page. This database indexes 1,072 entries from artist Berenice Abbott to composer Ellen Zwilich. In between, I found Herophilus of Chalcedon, Barbara Pentland, and Antonin Dvorak.
      The Dvorak page is typical, with links to aYahoo! Search, National Library of Canada Citations, the U.S. Library of Congress Catalog, Malaspina's own Library of Congress Citations, the COPAC Database, and Recordings from

      The cultural influence of the blues has grown far beyond its origins to become a profound influence on the music we listen to today. Blues communities thrive in Europe, Japan, and, of course, Vermont.
      Joel M. Snow's Blues Online bills itself as an information resource to increase awareness and appreciation of blues music and its history. The collection is regionally organized by musical styles. The site has brief biographies, photos, discographies, electronic blues resources, online bands, and excerpts of music.

      This isn't really an art site, but I'm really an engineer, so I simply couldn't resist: How Stuff Works explains the world around us.
      Do you wonder why a guitar makes music? The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments in use today. Marshall Brain sorts out both acoustic and electric guitars from the soundbox to the frets. He adds a new article weekly plus the Question of the Day submitted by readers. There is a question archive, a regular email newsletter and more. Mr. Brain is the author of ten books including The Teenager's Guide to the Real World and a former Computer Science Department instructor at North Carolina State University.

      Seamus O'Mahoney says he can almost hear the music of the green hills of Ireland from the window of his studio in central Vermont. "Vermont is a lot like Ireland, actually," he writes. "It's rural, green, and a good place to raise my daughter and son. That's the way I was raised."
      His work is divided between religious statuary for cathedrals, monumental work, and gallery commissions. The site also includes Carving Tips, a list of suppliers, and Stone Links (Mad and otherwise).


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand 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, Chair

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