ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 6, 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 second and fourth Wednesday 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.


      Counterpoint & Friends present Handel's Messiah on Saturday evening at Ira Allen Chapel and again Sunday afternoon at Harwood Union High School.
      Baroque composer Georg Friderich Handel was born in Halle, Germany, but is best known for his 17 oratorios in English. Most of his works were composed in England and emphasize the chorus. Written in 1741, Messiah is the most widely performed oratorio in the world and the most variable.
      "I was listening to a recording supposedly the way it was originally sung," soprano Claire Hungerford said. "One soprano sang a part almost as aria that was unrecognizable to us today."
      Messiah is the Gospel in song. The full text of the Oratorio is rarely performed in a single performance. Part the First includes the coming Messiah, the birth, and the invitation to the people. Part the Second includes the sacrificial mission, rejection, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to glory, a proclamation of the gospel, and the disciplining of the nations. Part the Third concludes with the hope and the confidence of the redeemed, and the final triumph of Messiah.
      Conductor Robert De Cormier wanted to do a little of everything. "This is a long, long piece," Ms. Hungerford said. "We did cut some from Part II, but he chose the music that will tell the whole story." Their arrangement will include the Hallelujah chorus and the birth and death and triumph of the Lord.
      The nine voice Counterpoint is Vermont's only professional chorus. They are now a non-profit listed on the Vermont Arts Council registry with a mission to perform traditional music, new works, and Vermont compositions. They are seeking grants to do educational outreach and choral workshops in schools around New England.
      "We are Counterpoint and Friends," Ms. Hungerford explained, "because we need more than our nine singers to do this piece." Members of the VSO Chorus have "fleshed out" the choir and the orchestra members are also from the Symphony. The Messiah will be performed by sopranos Lynn Anderson, Colleen Flynn Campbell*, Karen Chickering, Anne Fitch, Claire Hungerford*, and Colleen Mays; altos Clara Cavitt, Louise De Cormier*, Danielle Ehlers, Miriam French, Linda Radtke*, Angelica Syp, and Melissa Chestnut Tangerman*; tenors Piero Bonamico*, Eric Brooks*, Roger Grow*, Mark Kuprych, Matthew Zavod; and basses John Klimenok, Danny Lichtenfelde*, Mark Madison, Brett Murphy*, and Rob Rohr. (The asterisks indicate Counterpoint members.) Roger Grow, Ms. Hungerford, Brett Murphy, and Linda Radtke will solo.
      Roger Grow teaches K-12 Music at Chelsea. He studied music in South Dakota. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 as the as the tenor soloist in the Carmina Burana by Carl Orff and has there as tenor soloist for the Peter Paul and Mary holiday program.
      Claire Hungerford of St Albans studied at Crane School of Music and in Europe, sings in with the VSO Chorus, and is music director at St Mary's Church in St Albans. She studied at Crane School of Music at Potsdam and studied in Europe.
      Baritone Brett Murphy teaches reading and special needs students at Spaulding High. He is likely to be found sitting on the floor in the midst of the children.
      Alto Linda Radtke teaches English at Harwood Union High and held a one-year fellowship in Japan. She directs theater at Harwood and held a recent recital of Vermont songs as part of the Farmers Night program at Statehouse.
      Counterpoint concerts this year have included Holocaust Music at St Michaels and the Quad-State Music Educators Conference in Keene, NH, where they premiered arrangements of four Vermont folk songs by Vermont composer Ken Langer. They have made a Christmas Video and a 20th Century Music Video as part of the Choral Excellence Series. Those videos and their CD will be available at the concert.
      Counterpoint and Friends will perform Messiah at the Ira Allen Chapel on Saturday, December 8, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 9, at 4 p.m. at Harwood Union High School in Duxbury. Tickets are available at the Flynn Box Office for $14 adults, $7 students under 18, and children under 6 free. Call 877-481-0303 for info and 86-flynn to charge by phone.


      The All Arts Council is preparing a new links page exclusively for Franklin County actors, artists, composers, dancers, musicians, photographers, poets, sculptors, theater companies, writers, and anyone else showing or selling in the arts.
      Please send me your up-to-date web site listing and email address right away. e-mail the All Arts Council


ENOSBURG--This is Harry Potter week at the Enosburgh Public Library. They are holding a free raffle for a Harry Potter poster, offer free long-lived metal bookmarks to the first 50 young readers, and have all four volumes in the series available for patrons. The state library has also sent handouts with puzzles, games, and info to be given to Harry Potter readers.
      Library hours are 9-1 Thursday, 9-5 and 7-8 Friday, and 10-12 and 1-4 Saturday.
ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer presents The Most (Ben Patton and Matt Peck) with a special guest in a marathon day of Music and Merriment, live from 6-7:30 p.m. tonight. Ben's latest CD is Dessert. Admission is always free, but even young musicians need donations to stay in the groove.
ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer presents singer/songwriter Josh Brooks tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Josh's newest CD is I Have Tried To Run. Admission is always free, but Jedd and Launie encourage donations for this hard working and popular musician.
SOUTH BURLINGTON--The South Burlington Community Chorus presents their annual Christmas Concert on Sunday at 3 p.m. at South Burlington High School. They will perform Vivaldi's Gloria in D with orchestra and other seasonal pieces as well as a carol sing-a-long and a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attack. Tickets are $10/adults and $5/senior citizens and students at the door. The chorus includes Ken Kaye of St Albans.


      There are hundreds of resources for Messiah online.
      Antipas offers an appreciation and explanation of Messiah including the full English text of the with explanatory headings and scripture passages and a nearly complete MIDI version.
      The Classical Music Pages has the Libretto and WAV files of several movements.
      Patrick N. Findlay's undergraduate paper, "Handel's Messiah Through the Centuries," describes the musical and cultural changes related to the oratorio.
      For more possibilities, try this search.


      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.