ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 27, 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.

      Starting tonight, music lovers can find a brass band, bluegrass, classical music, country, rock, and a Town Band in parks and churches around Franklin County.


      This Sunday, the Summer of Milk and Music returns to St Albans as Kenneth Appel, Brown Cahill Gawne & Miller, Bruce and Brooks, Robert E. Farrar, Nicholas Hadden, George Harwood, Kissane Associates, and Rainville & Associates present The Constitution Brass Quintet at 7 p.m. in Taylor Park. The Got Milk Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always in a town park, and always free.
      "We have a lighthearted 'Summer in the Park' brass band program," said Jo Anne Edwards of a concert that will highlight American popular music from the mid-19th to the mid-20th Century. With Dixieland jazz, Broadway show tunes, Civil War music, and Sousa marches, the concert will feature soloists Bill Keck and Jo Anne Edwards.
      The Constitution Brass was founded in 1983 in Connecticut and played its first Vermont concert in the Summer Sounds series in Highgate. The quintet includes Peter Bouchard, trombone, Jo Anne Edwards, trumpet, David Heintz, trumpet, Bill Keck, tuba, and Christina Toner, horn. Their repertoire spans 400 years of popular music (remember, what we consider a "classic" today was popular music when new) and includes Vermont composer Gwyneth Walker's Shaker Tunes for Brass Quintet. The ensemble is noted for its full family entertainment and historical commentary.
      Before and during the concert, Project Phoenix will serve a tableful of ice cream and goodies for your sweet tooth. Meet some young friends and make new ones as you picnic in Taylor Park.
      Got Milk Summer Sounds concerts in St Albans are presented by the Dairy Farmers of Vermont, the City of St Albans, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County, and sponsored by select Franklin County Attorneys, Main Street Merchants and Businesses, Northwestern Medical Center, St Albans Area New Car Dealers, and the St Albans Area Realtors. The rain site is the Congregational Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      In addition to rides, cotton candy, and a phenomenal parade, the 42nd Annual Swanton Festival features family entertainment every day.
      Tonight, the Citizens Band plays on the Bandstand at 7 p.m. and the rock band Hang Ten plays 7-10 p.m. at the north end of the park. There will be a Street Dance from 7-10 p.m. Friday.
      On Saturday, the Dark Horse Band plays country music from 7-11 p.m. This band brings together the fresh jokes of Bob Berger of Swanton, lead guitar; Tom Berrings, keyboards and a great sax and flute player; Jeff Hutchinson, drums; Mark Hutchinson, bass and class clown; and the Dark Horse Rick Leggett, acoustic and electric guitar, slide, lead, and rhythm.
      Sunday includes the Parade, an afternoon of family fun, and the Band Drill competition at 6:30 p.m.


      The Eighth Annual Jig in the Valley benefit concert and dance begins this Sunday at noon in East Fairfield. The Lost Nation Boys, Hogboy Shull, John Cassel, the Oleo Romeos, the Spyders, and Doctor Burma will play until dusk. Expect plenty of good weather, good music, good food, good dancing and good times.
      The concert, with a barbecue and flea market, is on the Green in East Fairfield and will happen rain or shine. Your donation of $5 (or more) will benefit the Fairfield Community Center programs. Borrow some extra kids for this family affair; children under 10 get in free.
      The Community Center includes a Health Center plus pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs. It serves Bakersfield and greater Fairfield. Call the Fairfield Community Center (802-827-3130) for information.


      The Summer Music at Grace 2000 series presents The Matthews Duo next Wednesday, August 2, at 7 p.m. The concert will include works by Piazzola, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and J.S. Bach.
      Peter Matthews studied with Stephen Aron and Thomas Patterson. He has performed in master classes for the Assad Duo, David Russell, David Tanenbaum, Abel Carlevaro, Norbert Kraft, and Nicholus Goluses. He has taught at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, the University of Akron, and the University of Arizona. He currently directs the music department at Richford High School. He is returning to Grace following a masterful solo performance earlier in the summer. Wendy Matthews has performed flute throughout the U.S. in orchestras, chamber music groups, and as a soloist. She has studied with George Pope, Julia Bogorad, and Bettine Clemen. She taught at University of Akron School of Music, Western Reserve Academy, Rymer School of Music, and now maintains a large private flute studio and offers clinics. Peter and Wendy Matthews live in Sheldon with their three children.
      Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2. Admission is by donation (the suggested donation is $6 adult/$4 children and seniors). Call Andy Crane (933-4083) or for more info.


      In an AAC Board meeting Thursday, the directors asked Ed Astleford to conduct a search for community members to fill open board positions. If you have an interest in directing and participating in an all-volunteer, community-based arts agency, e-mail Ed for info.
      In other business, less than a dozen Franklin County artists have submitted works and biographies for the AAC Artists Register, so we have abandoned the project. The underwriting grant from the Vermont Arts Council will be returned. We will seek other funding to develop the community Internet events calendar next year.
      AAC members will begin regular business meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be August 9. The "no business" AAC Coffee House will continue as well.


      Some of the performers this week have web sites. Click here for the Constitution Brass and here for Summer Music at Grace on a UVM site.


      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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