ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 18, 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 Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Vermont Brass Quintet on Friday evening. The five members of the VSO ensemble will offer a program of Mozart, Ewald, Calvert, Rimski-Korsakov, Dahl, Holst; and Lavallee. The concert is one in the ongoing Mentors Series.
      "This is a listener-friendly program," Ensemble Director Alan Parshley of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra said.
      The Opera House program includes one of the first examples of a composition written for modern valved instruments, the Symphony for Brass Choir by Victor Ewald.
      "The Ewald is probably the most musically satisfying in this context," Mr. Parshley said. "It's fairly fleshed out in a technical sense. Everybody has interesting things to do.
      "The Brass Quintet is more or less an early 20th Century phenomenon. It didn't really become established as a chamber music ensemble until recently," he said. "There was a long tradition of brass band writing in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Every town had a brass ensemble and there was a lot of emphasis put on the brass music. [Ewald] wrote several pieces for quintet that have become the cornerstones of the repertoire."
      The Suite from the Monteregian Hills is music by Canadian composer Morley Calvert about a Canadian location. The Second Suite in F is an arrangement of one of Gustav Holst's famous suites for military band. Intermezzo, from Music for Brass by Ingolf Dahl, The Tsar's Bride by Nicolai Rimski-Korsakov, and a transcription of the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart round out the program and La Rose Nuptiale by Calixa Lavallee is an overture-style piece with a rousing finish.
      The modern pieces--Morley Calvert and Dahl--on the program are "pretty accessible and have a popular feel in rhythms and sound and feel. The Lavallee has a lot of variety and excitement." They don't have to stand up to play it.
      The Vermont Brass Quintet has delighted audiences throughout the region for more than twenty-five years. The quintet performs varied programs in concert series across Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York and travels to churches, schools, and concert halls in every part of this state.
      Members of the quintet are David Brubaker and James Duncan, trumpets; Alan Parshley, horn; Mark Stebbins, tuba; and Peter Bouchard, trombone. Mr. Bouchard grew up in St. Albans, and was graduated by BFA and UVM. These Vermont Symphony Orchestra members also perform in many other musical organizations in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York.
      The Symphony has several other ensembles including two string trios, a woodwind trio, a brass trio, percussion trio, a relatively new vocal quartet featuring singers from the VSO Chorus and a group formed this fall of the principal flute, violin, and cello. Most of the trios are best known for their school concerts.
      "We have an extensively developed program of school concerts," Mr. Parshley said of a program through which "thousands of kids each year hear groups from the Symphony play." The Quintet will incorporate some of the school components in the concert. There will be some of surprises and entertainment and even a garden hose on stage.
      Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and student, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets are now available at the All Arts ticket centers: Enosburg Pharmacy and Merchants Bank in Enosburg Falls, at Swanton Rexall, and at Better Planet and at the Kept Writer in St Albans.


      The Franklin-Grand Isle United Way Radiothon began this morning at 6 a.m. and runs live until 6 p.m. on WRSA Radio, 1420 AM. Two Franklin County photographers, David Juaire and I, are included in Slate 16 this afternoon from 1:30-2 p.m. Overbids are welcome.


SOUTH Burlington--Vermont Hand Crafters presents its 52nd Anniversary Holiday Craft and Fine Art Show starting today and continuing through November 21 at the Sheraton Conference Center. Over 180 members, many from Franklin County, will exhibit and sell at this juried show.
      VHC incorporated in 1955 to promote and sell hand made Vermont crafts and fine art. It supports its members with professional development scholarships and promotional and marketing opportunities. Tickets are available at the door. Call Cynthia Humiston Weed (800.373.5429) or e-mail for info.

BURLINGTON--The Champlain Theater Company presentation of All My Sons at Champlain College Alumni Auditorium, continues tonight through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      Set in 1947, the biting drama is one of Arthur Miller's best-known plays. Artist and teacher Al Salzman of Fairfield has the lead role of Joe Keller. The production is directed by Joanne Farrell.
      General admission is $12, $5 for students and free for Champlain students with ID. Tickets are available at the door. Call 802.651.5962 for info.


CALL FOR PAINTING & DRAWING (November 30)--The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation seeks work for permanent installation at the foundation's Miami headquarters. A total of 26 works will be selected, corresponding to each of the communities where the Knight brothers operated newspapers. No entry fee. Click here or here for guidelines.

FACES OF WOMAN (December 10)--The Las Vegas Arts Council 15th annual national juried show seeks original works exploring some aspect of the feminine symbolic or representational form, completed within the last two years. Open to all amateur and professional artists in all media. Cash prizes. Entries (slides) due by February 4. Click here for a registration form and info.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION FOR A SIGNATURE WORK (December 31)--The McCormick Museum Foundation of Chicago will design, build and operate a museum dedicated to America's freedoms and will commission a defining work. This is a significant competition for a piece that will become the central exhibit and centerpiece of the museum; it will be permanently located in the museum's two-story rotunda. No entry fee. E-mail or click here for info.


      Fine Arts painter Valerie Ugro of Fairfax specializes in Vermont landscapes and architecture in the landscape. She sells original watercolor and acrylic paintings and fine art prints matted on acid-free paper. Her new site features Vermont covered bridges, sugar houses, ski resorts, and 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 © 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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