ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 9, 2001


      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.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      The weather was perfect, the audience was excited, and the food was on its way. Unfortunately, the Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir responded to a family emergency and was unable to perform in Summer Sounds in Highgate last Sunday. We will reschedule that concert for September. Watch this space for details.
      I had also hoped that the mysterious and long-missing Jewel would magically appear. Thanks to the planned Holy Trinity feast and the Summer Sounds Quest Kit, we had six kegs of salt and spices to attract her. But, without the concert, we had no Jewel.
      Listen to WWSR and WLFE for clues and come to the two Summer Sounds concerts this Sunday. There's a pretty good chance you'll turn up a gem.


      This Sunday, the twin sides of Summer Sounds split for events in St Albans and Franklin. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.

ST ALBANS--Better Planet Books Toys & Hobbies, The Dressing Room, Drinkwaters Jewelry Store, the Gift Gallery, Lorraine's, and Maple City Cards & Candy present 8084, Franklin County's own rock band, in their "at home" uniforms at Summer Sounds in Taylor Park. "Eight-Oh-Eight-Four" played our Floodstock benefit, has toured with Blue Oyster Cult and April Wine and is wildly popular in Europe.
      Singer Randy Smith, Andre Maquera on lead guitar, drummer Gary Spaulding, and bassist Roy Brown who joined the band in April, singing lead on the Frank Barnes song Rosita, will play the best of their originals plus some power pop sounds from the seventies such as covers of Van Halen and Bon Jovi. Their playlist on Sunday includes cuts from So Far and Greatest Hits, as well as the three new mixes to be sent to European labels. So Far is the Number One selling Vermont CD on They are recording tracks for their upcoming release at West Street Digital now. 8084 has played together since 1982.
      Before and during the concert, the United Way will serve a tableful of goodies for your sweet tooth. Meet some old friends and make new ones as you picnic in Taylor Park starting at 6:30.

FRANKLIN--The Town Hall Green will swing as the Franklin General Store, Franklin Telephone, Dick Wright Ford, and Wright Excavating present Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers at 7 p.m. on Sunday. New underwriter Success by Six has joined the Franklin Recreation Department to sponsor this family event.
      Vermont's finest jazz vocalist and stylist Jenni Johnson opens with the jazz standards of Billie Holiday, W. C. Handy, Frank Sinatra, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington. Jenni is a gifted and expressive jazz vocalist, often compared to "Lady Day." She brings emotional intensity and impeccable phrasing to her popular songs.With Rob Guerrina, keyboard, Glendon Ingalls, bass, and Len Makowski, sax, Jenni is jazzy, bluesy, funky, and nearly perfect. This active Vermont Council on the Arts touring artist will fly to Russia in September to record and for the Jazz Festival. She is a regular performer in Summer Sounds, Discover Jazz, Yarasavi, First Night and at ChowBella! Her current CD is Black Pearls 2000.
      Rob Guerrina of Swanton has been a jazz musician for more than 40 years. He is a founder and continuing member of the long standing group Just Jazz.. Recording artist and teacher Glendon Ingalls of Barre is also a member of the Vermont Jazz Ensemble.
      The Modern Woodmen will host a social full of fun food starting at 6:30 p.m., while the band tunes up, and ongoing through the concert.

      The Summer Sounds concerts around Franklin County are presented by the Franklin Recreation Department, Success by Six, and the AAC, and sponsored by Fairfax businesses including Stuff-It Storage; the Franklin General Store, Franklin Telephone, Dick Wright Ford, Wright Excavating; Blouin's IGA, the Crossing, the Franklin Lamoille Bank, and Kaytek, Inc; and by the St Albans New Car Dealers and Vermont State Colleges. The St Albans City series is presented by the City of St Albans, and the All Arts Council, and sponsored by the Main Street Merchants, Northwestern Medical Center, select St Albans Area Attorneys, and the St Albans Area Realtors.
      The rain sites are the Congregational Church and the Franklin Town Hall. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      Grace Church in Sheldon has completed its Erben Organ restoration and is ready to celebrate tomorrow evening. The organ rededication will feature the Erben Organ Historical Society, the guild of organists, and the 10th Bishop of Vermont. Erik Kenyon and Jack V. Austin will perform. Austin has written a piece which he will debut Friday night.
      Music director at Grace Church, organist at Grace and at St Ann's Church in Richford, Erik Kenyon is 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 studies pipe organ with Austin.
      Grace's 1833 Erben pipe organ is the oldest organ in Vermont and the oldest unaltered pipe organ of its rank in New England. St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington sent the organ to Grace Church in 1869. It may be the instrument on which composer John Henry Hopkins, Jr. first played We Three Kings. The eight month restoration was performed by Andrew T. Smith of New Hampshire, with metal pipework by David Moore of Pomfret.
      The evening begins at 6 with a potluck supper on the lawn of the church followed by the service of rededication at 7 and the recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 10. Admission is free for this celebration.

      The Summer Music at Grace 2001 series concludes Wednesday evening with The Pope's Own jazz quartet at Grace Church in Sheldon. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on August 15. Admission is by donation
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. Call 326-4603 or 933-4083 for info.


ST ALBANS--Guitarist, banjo player, and singer Jim Daniels will play old time Appalachian country and blue grass at the Kept Writer tomorrow evening, 7-9 p.m. Poet and guitar impresario Jim McGinnis joins Daniels on fiddle.
      A regular on the Brattleboro-Burlington-Montreal circuit, Jim Daniels rarely gets to perform in Franklin County. His CDs will be on sale. Admission is free, but donations help keep the music coming.


      The Small-Cast One-Act Online Guide offers worldwide access to over 600 unpublished and published scripts of one-act plays for four or fewer actors. The free site is dedicated to the preservation, publication, perusal, and production of one-act scripts, and acts as a resource for playwrights, actors, dramaturgs, agents, producers, publishers, students, and librarians. They also have an extensive links page.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2001 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).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.