ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 24, 2004


      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 mostly once each month, 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 Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds moves to Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday as O.C. McCuin & Sons present the Dixie Six for a nostalgic trip down the Mississippi to the Crescent City. "We recapture the sound and repertoire of Louis Armstrong's All Stars of the 1950's," bandleader Bill Wicker said.
      The Dixie Six is made up of experienced Vermont musicians who have come together to form a fairly new band on the Vermont jazz scene. The instrumental configuration is three rhythm players (piano, bass and drums) and three horns in the front line (trombone, clarinet and trumpet). Although they retain a traditional dixie style, the updated rhythm section gives a newer flavor to dixie classics and mid-century standards. The sextet of Dixie Six musicians are Andy Ellenberger of Essex Junction plays piano; Dave Hebert of Burlington on drums; Will Patton of Bakersfield on bass; Tommy Stanziola of Shelburne on clarinet; George Voland of Shelburne on trombone; and Bill Wicker of Burlington on trumpet.
      The Summer Sounds playlist will include Ain't Misbehavin', Beale Street Blues, Someday You'll Be Sorry, What A Wonderful World, Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Give Me A Kiss To Build A Dream On, Basin Street Blues, Hello Dolly, and more.
      Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate are presented by the Vermont Maple Festival, the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County, and sponsored by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Roy's Housing/Your Vermont Home, and the Tyler Place. This concert is hosted by Highgate Cares. Bring your sweet tooth.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday night, always in a Town Park, always at 7 p.m., and always free. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.


      Adelphia Channel 15 and the All Arts Council have teamed up to produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that will air every week on Channel 15. The series will include all of the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concerts, the entertaining family and kid-oriented Music of Bay Day in July, a visit from the Vermont Mozart Festival in August, and more. This week, videographer Mike Montanye and sound engineer Ezra Mulheron produced a "front row seat" show of Sunday's concert with studio quality sound.
      The first set of 8084 Almost Live in Taylor Park airs tonight at 9:30 on Channel 15 in the Neighbor to Neighbor time slot. Neighbor to Neighbor will return with new guests in the Fall.


      The St. Albans Recreation sponsored Painting Joyfully with Watercolor workshop has filled its Thursday time slot and has a waiting list. St. Albans Rec is taking registrations for a second class to run on Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m., June 29 - August 24.
      "People keep coming in," instructor Mark Montalban said.
      The workshop offers a combination of exercises and learning techniques and is geared for beginners and the regular artist looking for something new.
      "It's open to any adult," Mr. Montalban said.
      The workshop costs $110 for the entire 8 weeks including all materials necessary such as brushes, paints, drawing board, paper, masking gum, and even the pencils. Call St. Albans Rec (524-1519) For more information and to register.


      The Tennessee Williams Annual Review focuses on scholarship devoted to the works of Tennessee Williams. Author of fiction and motion picture screenplays, Tennessee Williams was one of America's greatest playwrights. His plays mostly set in the South, are acclaimed for their universal themes. In 1944 The Glass Menagerie began a successful run in Chicago and shattered Broadway a year later.
      The site also offers previously unpublished Williams work. Every issue of the Review is available online.


      Virginia Holiman of Highgate Center teaches kindergarten at Alburg Elementary and is a trustee of the Highgate Public Library. The library is putting out bookmarks with the trustee's 10 recommended books to read.
CURRENTLY READING: Losing Julia This World War I saga by Jonathan Hull is the tale of a veteran Patrick Delaney's battle with life and his return to France. In diary format, Delaney looks back at the war, when he lost his best friend and at the love affair he had later with the friend's lover in 1928.
      "It's well done," she said. "I'm learning lots about the War. I know it was horrible but didn't really know any of the details."
BOOKS TO RE-READ: Second Glance by Jodi Picoult. "As part of the course I went to the Abenaki Museum [which has an exhibit of] the instruments that were used. It was horrific to see it." Ms. Holiman has My Sister's Keeper on tap for her next book. VERMONT AUTHOR: Tracey Campbell Pearson of Jericho. "She came to the school. Just hearing how she puts the stories and illustrations together made the kids very excited."
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: "'Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?' [by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle] because the kids love it. It is the first book we work with. It's a good teaching tool as well as fun."
      None of the kids entered her class able to read this year. "This was the first year of full day kindergarten," she said. "We found we had a lot more time to work with the whole literacy part, so we ended up with quite a few pretty strong readers."


      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 © 2004 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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