ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 22, 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.


      Highgate Municipal Park will go wildly Celtic as Roy's Housing-Your Vermont Home presents Atlantic Crossing playing the ballads and instrumental music of Scotland, Ireland, England, New England, the Maritimes, and Quebec in the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds series on Sunday evening.
      Atlantic Crossing is a very large trio with Rick Klein, guitar and vocals; Brian Perkins, mandolin, tenor banjo, bouzouki, feet, and vocals; Viveka Fox, fiddle and bodhran; and "newcomer" Peter Macfarlane, fiddle and vocals. Their stirring songs, haunting airs, and driving sets of dance tunes show the many moods of these musical traditions.
      The band worked in collaboration with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to prepare for the launch of the schooner Lois McLure earlier this month. The "Lois" is due in St. Albans Bay in September.
      Mr. Perkins is a music teacher and sound technician, as well as director of Burlington's popular Celtic College workshop series. Mr. Klein is a licensed captain who has lived and worked on the sea. He developed his powerful rhythm playing over years of dance band work. Ms. Fox has played American, Scottish and Irish music since childhood, and loves the Gaelic soul and American exuberance of the music of Cape Breton. Her solo recording Shores of Champlain was released in 1993. Mr. Macfarlane has relocated to Vermont from Oxfordshire, U.K. where he organized and led the Aylesbury Fiddle Rally, an annual fiddler's gathering and last year released a recording of original Scottish-style dance music with pianist Lilian Linden.
      The Atlantic Crossing arrangements of Scottish and Cape Breton music and their own original material feature driving rhythms, rich harmonies, and a love for the tradition. Atlantic Crossing has been featured on Vermont Public Radio, and has toured the U.S. in England with appearances at festivals, concert series, and workshops. As a high energy contradance band, they have played some of the major dance series in the U.S., including Boston, Washington DC, and Seattle. Atlantic Crossing has been accepted to the Vermont Arts Council's juried register for the careful research they do, as well as for their solid rhythms and classical concert-quality craftsmanship.
      The band has released three CDs, all produced by Pete Sutherland: Groundswell, Full and Away, named one of the top 10 Vermont albums of 2000, and Wind Against The Tide.
      The Vermont Maple Festival presents the Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate to keep music and maple together all year round. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Roy's Housing/Your Vermont Home, and the Tyler Place.. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. The Highgate Historical Society hosts this week with a spread of modern and delicious foods. Summer Sounds 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 and maybe an umbrella as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      Mark your calendars. The All Arts Council presents the Vermont Mozart Festival in its first Franklin County appearance, in the Ed Loomis Memorial Bandstand, Taylor Park, St. Albans, on Thursday, August 5. The Mozart Festival hosts a series of concerts performed by orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, and exceptional soloists.
      The St. Albans concert will feature the Ysa˙e Quartet in a program of Beethoven, Franck, and Haydn. The Ysa˙e was the first French quartet ever to win the Grand Prize at the Evian International String Quartet Competition in 1988. After an extraordinary debut at the Salzburg Festival, the quartet established itself as one of Europe's pre-eminent ensembles. It has appeared in Japan, across the United States (including Carnegie Hall), Hong Kong, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Israel and throughout Europe.
      The Vermont Mozart Festival began Sunday in Shelburne and continues through Sunday, August 8.
      Presented by the All Arts Council, this Vermont Mozart Festival concert is sponsored by the Peoples Trust Company with the generous assistance of Channel 15, the County Courier, St. Albans for the Future (the St. Albans Downtown Committee), and the St. Albans Messenger.
      Admission is free, but free advance tickets (strongly recommended) are available from the Vermont Mozart Festival, the St. Albans Messenger, the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the All Arts ticket centers: Opera House at Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, and Better Planet in St. Albans.


WATERBURY--Yankee Chank with Mark Sustic of Fairfax plays the free summer concert series at 6:30pm in Rusty Parker Park. Email e-mail for info

ST. ALBANS BAY--The Bayside Music Sessions offer music and more at the Bayside Restaurant most Tuesdays from 7 pm to 9 pm in the summer. "The music is is acoustic, traditional and celtic (sort of), and singing," Gerry Faulkenberg said. Anything goes but each session tends to feature traditional and British Isles music. Email Mr. Faulkenberg at e-mail for info.


      John Patterson needs volunteer help now for the Champlain Valley Festival. There are lots of opportunities from pre-festival setup to post-festival breakdown and everything else in between.
      There is a new look to the Champlain Valley Festival, from the program books to a great schedule performers: Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer and the Bluegrass Gospel Project, the Bills and April Verch, Jez Lowe, Pat Humphries, Sandy Oas well as several groups of younger performers (such as Corner House or Moira Smiley and Voco) and an appealing bunch of Champlain Valley and upstate NY musicians.
      Call John Patterson (877.850.0206) or click here for info.


ANNUAL ELVIS ART EXHIBIT (July 30)--During Elvis Week in Memphis, this contest and exhibit seeks original paintings, engravings, photography, sculpture and more come from artists around the world, all relating to Elvis and or Graceland. Craft, photography/digital, professional, and non-professional divisions. Click here for info.

FROM CLOTH TO CANVAS (August 27)--The Saint Albans Historic Museum is accepting submissions for From Cloth to Canvas: Vintage Textiles & Fine Art Combined, their second annual juried exhibition of fine art to be held in September in the museum's third-floor Grand Hall. The exhibit will combines vintage garments from their textile collection with contemporary works, mixed media and sculpture created by Vermont artists. All fine art media from artists living and working in Vermont accepted. Entry fee. Call Dale Powers (802.527.7933) or e-mail for info.

CLASSICAL MUSIC AND OPERA INSTITUTE (August 14)--the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University will host an institute for journalists in October as part of the NEA Arts Journalism Institutes initiative. Most costs of the eleven-night residency will be covered by the institute. Click here for info and an RFP.


      The Vermont Mozart Festival began Sunday in Shelburne and continues through Sunday, August 8.


      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.