ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 20, 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.

      There is a free AAC Networking Meeting/Coffee House at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month at Simple Pleasures in St Albans.


      Concert goers can choose as Got Milk Summer Sounds moves both ends of the County with events in Highgate and Richford this Sunday. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and maybe an umbrella as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.

HIGHGATE--On Sunday evening, Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing presents a double header with Jenni Johnson and Friends plus the Nobby Reed Project, in the Got Milk Summer Sounds series in Highgate Municipal Park at 7 p.m.
      The mesmerizing Jenni Johnson opens with the jazz standards of Billie Holiday, W. C. Handy, Frank Sinatra, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington. With Rob Guerrina, keyboard, Glendon Ingalls, bass, and Doug Pomeroy, drums, Jenni is jazzy, bluesy, funky, and nearly perfect. This active Vermont Council on the Arts Touring Artist is a regular performer in Got Milk Summer Sounds, Discover Jazz, Yarasavi, First Night and at ChowBella! Her new CD is Black Pearls 2000.
      The recently retired but not retiring Rob Guerrina of Swanton has been a jazz musician for more than 40 years. Founder and continuing member of the long standing group Just Jazz, Rob has performed and given workshops and lectures in Grenada for the Grenadian Jazz Society. Recording artist and teacher Glendon Ingalls of Barre is also a member of the Vermont Jazz Ensemble. Doug Pomeroy started playing drums in a concert band at 8 and began professionally at 18. He toured from Buffalo to Boston in the 70s, playing country, blues, rock, and jazz. He has performed around Vermont since 1980 and is featured on a number of CDs.
      The best blues guitarist in Vermont fronts our second headliner, The Nobby Reed Project. Anthony Geraci, keyboards, Mike Bernal, bass, and Eric Belrose, drums, will back up Nobby in the free Highgate concert.
      Expect Nobby Reed to play I'm Crying, the song that brought the rain last year (he says it hasn't caused any precipitation since then). Look for "a conglomeration from my albums" including Satisfied Blues, Thick and Thin (a Texas rockabilly thing), Axe to Grind, and Blues Bug, plus some Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton. Guitar on My Back and It's All about the Blues are available at Jukebox CDs and Tapes in St Albans and on the Internet
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the Highgate Library social starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, return an overdue book, and eat some delicious desserts.

RICHFORD--The Davis Park Gazebo will really rock as the Blouin's IGA, the Pinnacle Peddler, The Crossing and the River Street House of Pizza present The Enosburg Town Band the Got Milk Summer Sounds series at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
      The Town Band play list has tunes everyone enjoys. Richford will hear marches, show tunes, and some special symphonic works from volunteer musicians who range in age from 11 to 70-plus. Director Alisa Martin includes serious concert band work as well as old pops tunes like A Bicycle Built for Two. They also do current arrangements such as Madonna's Evita and Disney-style songs.
      "It's a diverse group of people," said director Alisa Martin. The Enosburg Town Band features well known regular members from the Richford area including Jason Fleury, trumpet, Steve Fleury, tuba, Aaron Smith, trombone, and Master of Ceremonies Albert Perry on percussion.
      The Richford social starts at 6 p.m., while the band tunes up, and continues through the concert. This is the first of two Got Milk Summer Sounds concerts in Richford this season.

      The Got Milk Summer Sounds concerts are underwritten by the Dairy Farmers of Vermont. The Highgate series is presented by the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council, and sponsored by Champlain Valley International, Chevalier Drilling, Dexter Products, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and The Tyler Place. The bonus series presented by the Town of Richford and the AAC, and sponsored by Franklin General Store, Franklin Telephone, Dick Wright Ford, Wright Excavating; Blouin's IGA, Pinnacle Peddler, The Crossing, and the River Street House of Pizza.
      The rain sites are the Highgate Arena and the Town Hall in Richford. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      The Summer Music at Grace 2000 series presents Village Harmony on Tuesday evening at Grace Church in Sheldon. Village Harmony has a repertoire of contemporary and traditional shape-note music, Italian laudae, ancient songs from the Caucasus Republic of Georgia, freedom songs from southern Africa, and dynamic contemporary gospel.
      The internationally acclaimed group returns to Grace Church for their third annual concert. Village Harmony draws together 25 teenage singers and instrumentalists from five states, England, and Sweden, led by English choir director Kate Howard, Appalachian music expert Val Mindel, and gospel singing leader John Harrison.
      The program will feature traditional shape-note music from New England and the American South. This music features independent vocal lines with beautiful modal melodies, stark open harmonies, rhythmic fuging sections, and the fiery religious poetry of Isaac Watts and his followers. The concert will also include ancient sacred and secular songs from Georgia. These songs call forth a much darker, more sonorous sound, and feature untempered scales, steely dissonance, and striking harmonic convergences. The program will conclude with rousing freedom songs and hymns from the times of apartheid in southern Africa, and spirited, danceable traditional and contemporary gospel.
      Kate Howard of Yorkshire, England, is a singing teacher and director of three community choirs. She is currently editing a book of South African folk and freedom songs and has directed the Village Harmony recording of this music. Val Mindel of Chicago is also a veteran camp leader, fiddler, and harmony singing teacher. He has an extensive collection of women's harmony songs from the Appalachian mountain region. John Harrison of Plainfield, Vermont, is a renowned jazz saxophonist and leader of the popular Montpelier Community Gospel Choir. He will direct and performing in the instrumental and gospel portions of the program.
      There will be a potluck supper prior to the concert at 5:45 p.m. Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15. Admission is by donation (the suggested donation is $6 adult/$4 children and seniors).


      The AAC will host an outdoor Summer Show as part of the Swanton Historical Society exhibition and sale in the Park in Swanton, August 5-6. We encourage artists in all media to participate. The Historical Society also has booth space available for crafts.
      We will supply the tables and tabletop easels. e-mail Alice Astleford for more info


      The AAC is planning a Franco-American soiree featuring En Tour Loupe in September. The event will include a Friday evening concert, a called dance, and a school residency. We need volunteers for organizing, publicity, and fund-raising. E-mail the All Arts Council to take part.
      Check out En Tour Loupe for more info about the performers.


FRANKLIN--The Enosburg Town Band plays the Ice Cream Social at the Methodist Church, tonight at 7 p.m.
ARLINGTON--Jenni Johnson plays a benefit for lead awareness Friday from 6-7 (donations are appreciated)
ISLE LA MOTTE--Valerie Ugro is Featured Artist at the Fisk Farm Show on Sunday, 12-5pm. Fisk Farm, 44 West Shore Road.


      Many of the performers this week have web sites. Nobby Reed is hosted by N2K in St Albans. Click here for Jenni Johnson.
      Summer Music at Grace can be found on a UVM page. The concert features Northern Harmony


      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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Dick Harper, Chair

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