ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 1, 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 or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday 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.


      Bay Day 2004 is more than family fun and fireworks. The summer festival is a multi-faceted family day with the Great Race, lakefront games, sports, fair food, fireworks, plus a history exhibit and continuous live music. This is the 25th anniversary of this familiar Franklin County family festival.
      Bay Day 2004 takes place in St. Albans Town Bay Park all day Sunday. The fireworks rain date is Monday, July 5. It's not going to rain, right?

SUMMER SOUNDS--St. Albans Bay Park will jump as the Handy Group -- Handy Chevy-Olds, Handy Dodge-Toyota, and Handy Cadillac-Pontiac-GMC -- presents the Combined Milton Community and Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band Independence Day tribute in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series at Bay Day on Sunday evening.
      The Independence Day play list has tunes everyone enjoys. The Summer Sounds audience will hear marches, show tunes, and some special symphonic works from volunteer musicians of all ages. Sunday's concert will include serious concert band works as well as pops tunes like A Bicycle Built for Two. The concert also have current arrangements and will feature patriotic songs for the Independence Day celebrations: the Star Spangled Banner, the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Armed Forces Salute.
      "We are working both bands very hard," Milton director John Gordon said. "FFW played three times this week and will play twice again over the weekend. The Milton Band will play three times over the weekend."
      The Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band will play a noon concert in Westford before performing in Summer Sounds; The Milton Community Band will have a small ensemble play in the Milton parade Saturday morning and a full concert Saturday night in the Milton Recreation Park, before performing in Summer Sounds.
      "For those who love to blow their horns it's everything to look forward to," he said.
      FFW Director Frank Mehaffey will conduct the Combined Band starting at 7 p.m.; they will play until the beginning of the fireworks at Dusk.
      The Vermont Maple Festival presents the Summer Sounds concerts in St. Albans to keep music and maple together all year. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of St. Albans and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Ben & Jerry's Homemade, the Handy Group new car dealers, Merchants Bank, Northwestern Medical Center, and the St. Albans Main Street Merchants.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.

LIVE MUSIC ALL DAY--the Town of St. Albans and the All Arts Council will offer live music for Bay Day starting at 2 p.m. on the stage at St. Albans Town Park at the Bay.
      "The family events include music, a volleyball tournament, kids' obstacle course, face painting and more from starting at 1 p.m." St. Albans Town Parks and Recreation Director Glenn Pion said. "The Birthday Cake will be served in the afternoon."
      Governor Jim Douglas will be on hand to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Bay Day.

      MadJones starts the day at 1 p.m. with a collection of the standards and substandards of rock. The band, all members of the Shelburne, VT, Jones family ranges from third grade to old enough, includes Mary Catherine on vocals, Eric on guitar, ten-year old drummer extraordinaire Tim, and Caroline, 8, offering thrills and chills with backup on harmonica, tambourine, shakers, and vocals. She will make her debut at the Bay Park on one guitar song.
      Imagine the Partridge Family meets the Who and Arlo Guthrie, said Mary Catherine Jones. Their repertoire of rock and roll favorites reaches from Arlo to Patsy Cline to Three Dog Night. 1 and 3 p.m. at the Bathhouse Pavilion. Their shows in Vermont this year have included Shelburne Farms, the Addison County Fair, and the National Night Out.

      Jon Gailmor headlines the afternoon, beginning at 2 p.m. on the stage. Vermont's favorite singer, songwriter, teacher, performer, and optimist, Mr. Gailmor asked us for a "prenatal through prehistoric audience" at the Bay. He has written and performed since 1971 in a tennis stadium in Lima, Peru, in theaters in Russia, coffeehouses in the New York, and in Summer Sounds with us. His concerts involve the family and his performances are renowned for audiences singing and clapping together, guffawing, and weeping. We can expect an eclectic, emotional, exhilarating, optimistic, and provocative concert from an entertainer equally at home fronting a flagpole in the village park or fronting the Vermont Symphony in the Flynn. Listen for original music, children's songs, ballads, witty ditties, a little dirt, and more from Lake Elmore's favorite family performer. 2 and 4 p.m. at the Bathhouse Pavilion.

      Presented by St. Albans Town and St. Albans City Recreation, the Bay Day-Summer Sounds social will be an all day event with the Bay Day food vendors starting to serve at about noon.
      Fireworks will begin at dusk thanks to generous contributions from the community.


      Adelphia Channel 15 and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Channel 15. One set of the Dixie Six Almost Live in Highgate Municipal Park airs tonight at 9:30 on Channel 15. The concert will repeat at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow and next Thursday morning at 2 a.m.


      Brass Bands (town bands are brass bands) are a fixture of Independence Day. The Army Band site offers a look at how military and town bands intertwine . American Community Bands: A Historical Look at Participation is an abstract of James W. McRoy's 1998 presentation .


      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).
      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.