ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 21, 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 Franklin County Symphony Sandwich continues as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Made in Vermont Music Festival returns to St Albans. This year, the annual fall tour features VSO Music Director and world-renowned violinist, Jaime Laredo, with principal oboist Nancy Dimock performing Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in the BFA-St Albans Theater next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The program also includes Britten's Simple Symphony, Haydn's Symphony No. 49, and a world premiere by Vermont composer Kenneth Langer.
      The VSO commissioned Langer and Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt to create Voices of 1918 for the 2000 Made in Vermont Music Festival. Voigt and Langer will be the readers for this composition for two readers and orchestra.
      The work incorporated excerpts from Voigt's narrative poem, Kyrie, a sequence of persona poems with different speakers connected by their location in the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. That epidemic killed more than 30 million people worldwide. Some of the narrators "seem related to one another and form a kind of community. It was an amazing devastation," she said, "encouraged by World War I. The movement of troops made it easy for the virus to spread." The name Kyrie (pronounced KEER-ee-aa) is from the Greek meaning "Lord." Voigt also joined local poets on WWSR last year during the Poetry Month celebration.
      Concert goers are invited to attend a pre-concert discussion with Kenneth Langer from 6:50 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. in BFA Room A117.
      In the fall of 1934, the inspiring young conductor Alan Carter began to gather the scattered musical and financial resources from across rural Vermont to create a statewide symphony orchestra. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra would travel to any gymnasium, armory, racetrack or hillside where an audience could be found. The barber-, lawyer-, mail carrier-, doctor-, and farmer-musicians came from every Vermont Town to rehearse and perform.
      While the Orchestra has grown over the years, its basic philosophy and much about its operation has remained the same. The VSO is the oldest state-supported orchestra in the country. Volunteers still form the crux of the symphony's existence as they sell tickets and raise funds, put up the musicians in their homes, and produce concerts in every community. And the musicians still travel many hours, often in bad weather, to get to rehearsals and concerts.
      During that first season, the VSO performed twice. This season the Orchestra will present 50 full or chamber orchestra performances, plus over 100 ensemble and artist-in-residence programs.
      Support for the 2000 Made in Vermont Music Festival comes from grants from the Vermont Humanities Council, the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. The St Albans concert is sponsored by Northwestern Medical Center, A. N. Deringer, The Stratevest Group, Central Vermont Public Service and the All Arts Council of Franklin County.
      VSO tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 or older, $10 for college students, and $8 for children under 18 from Better Planet Books Toys & Hobbies, online, and from the VSO's ticket line at 1-800-VSO-9293, ext 12.
      The third slice of the Franklin County Symphony Sandwich is the full Vermont Youth Orchestra concert on October 7 in Swanton.


      Gerald Dexter mentioned artist Margie (Peggy) Platt to me this summer. Peggy was a Highgate Springs artist who, along with many others painted local landscapes, scenery, and people. I am "taking names" for a feature about local artists who may have slipped into forgotten history.
      Do you have an older painting by a Franklin artist? How about a sculpture carved or cast by a Fairfax sculptor? Did your grandmother write the History of Fairfield? If you know about these or any other artists of a past generation, call me (868-3351).
      Sharon Kennison at Verdelle Village wants musicians for an ongoing series of short concerts for the Verdelle residents. The older residents will appreciate most genres and styles. Call Sharon (524-6534) or me for info.


      The Public Libraries of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties begin a Fall Foliage Literary Festival this weekend as novelist, children's author, and truth teller Reeve Lindbergh appears at the Swanton Free Public Library on Sunday to talk about her writing, libraries, and her exceptional family.
      The youngest daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh "does a lot of traveling and talking," she said of her appearances at schools and libraries with her children's books and the family memoirs. "I get to talk to and listen to the people who were really influenced by my father's flight to Paris and who have read Mother's books."
      Her first project was a book of essays about the Northeast Kingdom with photographs by Richard Brown. She has written more than 20 other books including the generally autobiographical novel Moving to the Country and the acclaimed memoir Under a Wing.
      With a new wing and a total restoration of the existing historic structure, the Swanton Free Public Library is now bright, airy, and accessible. The library focuses on best sellers, popular reading, and a variety of children's material.
      This program is part of an ongoing program to show what the libraries do and what they need from the state and the community to continue. Lindbergh will be in the Swanton Library Sunday at 2 p.m. The Fall Foliage Literary Festival continues in October with The League of Vermont Writers at the Fairfax Community Library and best selling novelist Chris Bohjalian at the Richford Town Hall. Each program is free.


RAPHAEL ESSEBAG GALLERY EXHIBITION SPACE (September 30)--3 week solo shows. The "rental fee includes promotion and administration" in a St Catherine Street, Montreal, gallery.
GLIMMER TRAIN SHORT STORY AWARD (September 30)--1200-8000 words. Open to all writers whose fiction has not yet appeared in a nationally distributed publication with a circulation over 5000. Glimmer Train Press is a "good clip" to have.
OPEN EXHIBITION (October 1)--Open to all artists working in oil, acrylic, pastel, graphics, photography, sculpture. Juried. Entry fee. York Art Association 717-755-0028
CULTUREFEST 2001 (October 2)--"Visual Expressions on Jazz" Juried Exhibition in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Cash award and other prizes for original art in abstract, representational, photography, and small scale sculpture. Work must express jazz in form or theme. Entry fee. e-mail Gwendolyn Black, Curator, for more info
NESE ALPAN GALLERY ANNUAL NATIONAL COMPETITION (October 20)--$1000 cash and Internet exposure to the best work in the show. Juried.
ANNUAL EMERGING ARTISTS EXHIBITION (October 30)--$1000 in cash awards. Slow Art Productions, 870 Sixth Avenue, New York NY 10001


      Imagine writing a complete short story in 55 words or less (this column is about XX words). a fully realized story must have a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end. Brass Monkey is website of 54 word short stories.
      Amy Barcomb maintains the Vermont Symphony website.
      My February interview with author Reeve Lindbergh can be found in the ArtBits Archive.


      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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