ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 7 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 30, 2003


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at ChowBella in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Kept Writer in St Albans most Friday and Saturday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Celtic instrumental music of The Angel Band in the Mentors Series on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Opera House will swell with the cherished music of Turlough O'Carolan, with traditional jigs, reels, airs, and hornpipes, and with the poetry of W. B. Yeats and Donal McDonough. Angel Band performances bring a hall alive with power and spirit.
      Ireland's national composer Turlough O'Carolan (phonetic spelling, Tiordealoac O Cearoallain) composed in the dark times, the early 18th Century, and his music helped reconcile the native Irish landowners and farmers and the incoming English planters. Blinded by smallpox at 18, O Carolan was apprenticed to a musician and, when he had gained musical expertise, set off with a horse and a guide as an itinerant harper.
      Influenced by the traditional Irish music, O Carolan blended in the work of the new Italian baroque composers Francisco Geminiani, Corelli, and Vivaldi into a new and instantly recognizable melodic line. He is called the "last of the great Irish bards."
      About 60% of the concert will be O Carolan's music with the other 40% "jigs and reels," Emery Hutchins said. "We don't do any singing, but we do some story telling and some poetry recitation and we describe the music quite a lot."
      The award winning Angel Band of Portsmouth has become New Hampshire's cultural ambassadors as they travel in Canada, New England, and Europe. This seven-piece instrumental group includes David Behm, guitar; Bob Frost, banjo; Emery Hutchins, concertina and bodhran; Cathryn Norris, violin; Bob Paul, hammered dulcimer; Mary Paul, harp; and Rocky Rockwood, mandolin. The band is a juried member of the New England Foundation for the Arts Touring Artists Roster.
      "We got together as a group [in 1994] and within the groups of people who were playing we had some harp players who were familiar with O Carolan's work," Mr. Hutchins said. "They played it, the rest of us liked it, so we just kept going."
      The band returned from Ireland a month ago. "We were invited for the third time to play there. We think it's a great honor for an American band to be invited to play Irish music for the Irish."
      The Mentor's Series presentations "bring well-established and expensive professional artists from the pinnacle of their performance arts disciplines to Enosburg," OHEF Executive Director Jon Scott said earlier this year. "The performances bring a wide range of entertainment of the highest quality to our stage while inspiring the people of our community who may be considering a career in the arts."
      Tickets are available at the All Arts ticket centers, the Enosburg Pharmacy and Merchants Bank in Enosburg Falls, Better Planet in St. Albans, and Swanton Rexall. General admission is $12/adult, $10/seniors and students, and $5/children. Buying in advance can still save adults and seniors two bucks. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The All Arts Gallery at the Opera House features fine art photography this Fall. On the walls downstairs are the landcapes of Timothy Stetson, black-and-white portraits of Wayne Tarr, and my own landscape and architectural images.


BURLINGTON--Le Bon Vent (the Good Wind) will appear in a concert of traditional and original music from New England and French music on Friday, October 31, at 7:30pm in the FlynnSpace.
      Le Bon Vent is a seven piece ensemble, with guitarist Patrick Desaunay, from France; Taki Masuko, percussion, and Cristi Catt, vocals, from Boston; Ruthie Dornfeld, violin, from Seattle; James Falzone, clarinet, Chicago; and Jeremiah McLane, accordion, from Vermont. The program will include traditional dance tunes from the Auvergne and Brittany, musette repertoire from Paris, songs in English, French and Occitan, and newly composed music that shows the connection between New England and France.
      Tickets ($14 advance, $16 day of show) are available in advance from 863-5966 or click here. The concert is presented with support from Messenger Print and Design, Parent to Parent of Vermont, and others.
      Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Tom Sustic Fund.


      Tom Sustic died July 4, 2001 after a 2-year battle with leukemia. A fund was established to support a bone marrow transplant for Tom, but a donor was never found. There is now about $40,000 in a fund to support families with children with cancer. "Our intent is to sustain the fund at its present level," Mark Sustic said. The long range plan is to growing an endowment with events like this concert, so that it will continue to generate revenue to support other families with terminally ill children, particularly those in need of transplantation.
      Moneys from the fund have provided income support for a parent who left a job to care for a child; expenses for a family with a child diagnosed during the holiday season; airline tickets for a family to accompany their child traveling to treatment in another state; support for two families with children receiving bone marrow transplants in other states; support for a family to purchase computer equipment; and a car repair for a family who transports their child to Burlington for treatments
      Contributions to the fund, including donated ticket purchases, can be sent to: Tom Sustic Fund, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454. Email E-mail or Click here.


      Quote of the day: "Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings," attributed to the late American comedian Ed Gardner.
      Opera Stuff has comprehensive links to books, broadcasts, composers, magazines, operas opera houses, and opera companies, record stores, record labels, sheet music, stuff for singers, and much 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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2003 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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