ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 10, 2000


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Regular AAC CoffeeHouses with networking time and "show-and-tell" are held in borrowed space at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month. This spring, we will gather in a different AAC member's home around the St Albans area starting February 6 at Corliss Blakely's. Watch this space for details.


      VSO Chorus ensemble Ah! Capella performs three shows at St Albans City Elementary on Tuesday.
      "We're all in this not only for our love of singing," soprano Claire Hungerford said, "but also to reach out and make sure that many school age children can hear music and singing and see how that works together in a group." Ah! Capella tours Vermont schools and halls to "reach out to those kids who never hear anything like [this music]"; in March they will appear in Waterford, Barton, and St Johnsbury. So far this year, they have appeared in Ripton, Middlebury and Chester in their own private 251 project.
      "It's a very mixed program," Claire said, "with a wide variety of spiritual, classical, and jazz."
      "I'm not going to give one of the songs away," she added. "That will be a surprise for next week." Their program at St Albans Elementary will include Kyrie from the Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd, Ja Da a jazz piece arranged by VSO Choir Director Robert de Cormier, Back of the Bus, written as a Civil Rights protest song, and Turn the World Around, a song made famous by Harry Belafonte.
      Many of the kids will not know Belafonte, other than as a man doing a TV commercial with his daughter. The singers explain every piece they do. "We tell them where it comes from and why it was written," as well as demonstrating the different voices. "I tell them that a soprano is the highest voice part in a chorus as well as in the quartet," Claire said, "and I demonstrate what my particular voice sounds like and what the range of my voice is."
      Claire Hungerford is music director at St Mary's Church in St Albans. She studied at Crane School of Music at Potsdam and studied in Europe. She will be a soloist at Dartmouth on March 4, singing Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream.
      Alto Linda Radke teaches English at Harwood Union High and held a one-year fellowship in Japan. She has played Maria in the Stowe production of Sound of Music for several years and directs theater at Harwood. She recently did a recital of Vermont songs as part of the Farmers Night program at the Statehouse.
      Roger Grow teaches K-12 Music at Chelsea. He studied music in South Dakota and made his Carnegie Hall debut last December as the tenor soloist in the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. This December, he returned to Carnegie Hall as tenor soloist for the Peter Paul and Mary holiday program.
      Baritone Brett Murphy, the oldest member in the group, teaches reading and special needs students at Spaulding High. He's likely to be found sitting on the floor in the midst of the children. "We work so well together," Claire said. "He is very quiet, and very conscious of blend" and sings for the love and enjoyment of it.
      Schools can book Ah! Capella as well as other ensembles such as the brass quartets and 93 Strings that played our schools last year through the VSO office. There are usually grants available to help with the costs.


      The Gate Players will produce Godspell this Spring at St Paul's United Methodist Church in St Albans. Open auditions for all parts will be held at St Paul's tonight, 7:30-9 p.m. and Saturday, February 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. e-mailstage manager Tanya Saunders for more info.
      The Gate Players' Summer show will be The Foreigner; they will produce Love Letters in the Fall. Audition dates and venues will be announced later this spring. The theater company elected Kathleen Hoffman and Cindy Bailey to the Board of Directors last week.


EVENTS FOR TOM--Lui Collins will perform a special benefit house concert at the home of Ann Pearce in Burlington tonight at 7 p.m., to help raise funds for a bone marrow transplant for Tom Sustic. The son of Deborah Travis and Mark Sustic, Tom is a student at BFA-Fairfax. He has contracted a rare form of leukemia.
      Lui has appeared in concerts and at festivals throughout the Northeast since establishing her reputation as one of New England's most gifted songwriters in the mid-1970's. After taking several years off to raise a family in Connecticut, she is again actively touring and recording, proving once again to be an artist of tremendous talent with a unique ability to deeply engage listeners wherever she goes. Tickets are $10 at the door. e-mail Ann Pearce for directions.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge CoffeeHouse presents Open Mike Night (acoustic) at Smuggler's Notch Inn next Wednesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. The original art of Gay Linette Morris will be on display.
      Sponsored by the Cambridge Arts Council, CoffeeHouse offers live performers on the first Wednesday of each month and Open Mike on the third Wednesday. There is no admission but donations are appreciated. For more information, e-mail Pete Langdell.


      With over 1000 museums hosting 5.5 million visitors annually, Finland has more museums per capita than any other country: one for approx. 5,000 inhabitants. Over 200 exhibit art, over 700 are museums of cultural history and the remainder are devoted to natural history.
      The "Gateway to Finnish Culture," includes links to artists, associations, and more.
      In France, only the Louvre could have as many official sites. Divided into seven departments, the Louvre collections incorporate works dating from the birth of civilization through the first half of the nineteenth century, all housed in the Sully, Denon and Richelieu wings. These websites offer the rich history, views of the collection, and a virtual tour in French Portugese, and English. Louvre, Ministry of Culture and Louvre Basics.


      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.


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