ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 14, 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.


      The Vermont Youth Orchestra appears twice in Franklin County, surrounding a concert by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Mark your calendars for VYO this Saturday in Enosburg Falls, VSO September 28 in St Albans, and the full VYO October 7 in Swanton.


      The Vermont Youth Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Troy Peters, comes to the Opera House stage on Saturday evening The VYO concert is part of the Millennium Series at the Opera House.
      VYO violinists Adriane Post and Anja Jokela will appear as soloists to perform a timeless baroque favorite, the Bach Concerto for Two Violins.
      The program will also feature the Vermont premiere of the hauntingly beautiful Pan de Azucar by Mexican-American composer Jose Elizondo and a Concerto Grosso by Handel.
      "All of these pieces are different reactions by classical composers to popular dances of their time. Handel includes a French folk dance and the Bach is based on a minuet. The Twentieth-Century piece, the Elizondo, is from a collection of Latin American dance pieces that he wrote. This movement is a Brazilian samba," Troy Peters said. "It's very evocative and slinky."
      Music Director and acclaimed composer Troy Peters has lead the orchestra for over six years. A native of Scotland and graduate of the Curtis School of music, Troy is also a regular guest conductor with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Philharmonic, Vermont Opera Theater, and the Bach Wind Philharmonic as well as a popular judge for the True Value Country Showdown.
      Thirty of Vermont's best young musicians will perform this energetic dance music by the masters of the classical repertoire. Seven of the musicians are from Franklin County: Reuben Baris, horn, East Fairfield; Elisabeth Lauffer, violin, East Berkshire; Audrey Leduc, trumpet, St Albans; Nicole Mongeon, tuba, Fairfax; Sayer Palmer, viola, St Albans; Eva Shell flutist, St Albans; and Rebecca Snyder, violin, Georgia. The VYO is the largest symphony orchestra in Vermont.
      The concert on Saturday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, will benefit youth programs and facility operations at the Opera House. General admission is $7.50, seniors (60+) and students $5, children 12 and under $3.50. Advance tickets garner a dollar savings at the Merchants Bank and Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls and Swanton Rexall in Swanton. Call the Opera House (933-4171) for more info.


      Candace Myers started in roundup position at the True Value Country Showdown at the Vermont Dairy Festival. "I hope you like my music," she said. Sunday, the BFA sophomore from St Albans Bay won the Tri-State finals for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont at Riverfest in Manchester, NH. The prize there is $1,000 and a ticket to the Regional Final, October 7 in Wheeling, West Virginia. The six Regional competitions are the last step before the televised National Final from the Grand Ole Opry House. Earlier Vermont winners have included Jamie Lee and the Rattlers and SouthBound.
      "There were three competitors from Maine and two each from New Hampshire and Vermont," said Matt Henry of WLFE, the contest sponsor. "About half the winners have been soloists and half are bands. Candace did very well."


      Grace Church is hosting a special fundraising concert tomorrow evening to support its Erben Organ Restoration Project and to close out the performing season at Grace Church in Sheldon.
      Erik Kenyon will perform the Prelude in D by J.S. Bach, Voluntary in D, Stanley, and works by Schumann, Scarlatti, Linley, and Freyer on Grace Church's nineteenth century Estey reed organ. He will also demonstrate on Grace's recently acquired "portative," a medieval portable pipe organ used to accompany plainchant in procession. A dessert reception follows the recital.
      Music director at Grace Church, organist at Grace and St. Ann's Church in Richford, Erik is a graduate of BFA St. Albans and a junior at UVM. He has played trombone in the Vermont Youth Orchestra and the UVM Trombone Choir and sings in the choral group musica propria. Erik studied piano with Beverly Kenyon and Elizabeth Metcalfe and now studies pipe organ with Jack V. Austin.
      Proceeds from this event will support the restoration of Grace's 1833 Erben pipe organ. This instrument is the oldest organ in Vermont and the oldest unaltered pipe organ in New England. It may be the organ on which composer John Henry Hopkins, Jr. first played We Three Kings. St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington sent the organ to Grace in 1869. The Erben will be removed in October for its six to eight month restoration by Andrew T. Smith of Cornish, New Hampshire, with metal pipework by David Moore of Pomfret, Vermont. The Estey featured in the Kenyon recital will be retired from regular use after Grace Church closes its doors for the winter months.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. The concert begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 15. Admission is by Admission to the fundraiser/recital/dessert reception is by donation, but large donations will help support the Organ Restoration Project


      Erik Kenyon mantains a site with the history of all Erben organs, including the Grace Church 1833 model, in Vermont. He includes a stop list and specifications, pictures, a concert schedule and more.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2000 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
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