ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 2, 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.


      Counterpoint will perform Christmas is Coming! in concert at St. Luke's church on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. The event is one in the continuing Concerts for Grumpy Grownups winter series.
      "The first half of the concert we will do some early music along with traditional carols," said soprano Claire Hungerford. The program includes Deck the Halls and "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen," as well as a Hanukkah piece, Twelve Days of Christmas, The Friendly Beasts, the Vicky Craig song, Children Go Where You Send Me, and "a really great African carol with percussion." Carols and Lullabies of the Southwest will feature Tom Toner of Swanton, marimba, John Muratore from Boston, guitar, and Cynthia Huard, keyboard to simulate the harp. The second half of the program will be Spanish carols.
      Counterpoint performs music not heard at the other concerts of the season. Vermont's professional vocal ensemble promotes choral chamber music and offers rarely performed works, unique arrangements, and the work of contemporary composers. The singers include Eric K. Brooks, Colleen Flynn Campbell, Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman, Robert De Cormier, Amy Frostman, Roger Grow, David Horn, Claire Hungerford of St. Albans, Nathaniel Lew, Marybeth McCaffrey, Brett Murphy, and Linda Radtke.
      They recently finished recording an album of Latin American music, all in Spanish. The program list includes masses such as the Navidad Nuestra, excerpts from the Mass for Peace and Justice, plus Latin American folksongs. It is due in March from Albany Records.
      Admission to Christmas is Coming! is $15/adults $12/seniors and college students, $5/ages 7-18, and 6 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door. The concert is sponsored by the People's Trust Company and Ben & Jerry's Homemade with assistance from the All Arts Council.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Firefly Productions and the Cambridge Arts Council present Mayhem on the Menu, a zany original dinner theater comedy whodunit by Jordan Gullikson and Keefe Healy, at the 158 Main Restaurant and Bakery Friday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
      Admission is $35 per person or $60 per couple which includes the show, appetizers, salad, a choice from three entrees, and dessert.

FLETCHER--The Nobby Reed Project will play at the Fletcher Meetinghouse on Saturday, December 4, at 8 p.m. The concert will benefit the Meetinghouse restoration projects.
      The power blues trio released Moonlight Drivin, Mr. Reed's sixth CD, in November. They play original music in the soul-shakin'-electric Texas and Chicago blues styles with a Vermont touch. The band includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Tim Comings, bass, and Mr. Reed on guitar and vocals.
      Admission is $7. Tickets are available at the Fletcher General Store and at the door. Call Annette (802.644.2132) for info.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

ESSEX CENTER--The Catalyst Theater Company presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. in Essex Memorial Hall.
      Adapted from the popular book by Barbara Robinson, this story follows the efforts of a good hearted Mom to put on the annual church Christmas pageant despite having to cast the Herdman Gang -- probably the meanest, nastiest, most inventively awful kids in the whole history of the world. The Catalyst production focuses on the 21 child actors who experience working in a professional atmosphere alongside 10 adult actors. Veronica Lopez, Catalyst Producing Artistic Director, directs. This holiday tradition is returning for the eighth year.
      The play features Guy Page as Bob Bradley and Joe Page as Elmer Hopkins, both from Cambridge; Will Fay as Ralph Herdman and Oliver Nolte as Leroy Herdman, both from Jericho; Stage Manager/Light Designer Casey Covey and Assistant Stage Manager Cathy Covey, both from St. Albans; as well as actors and crew from Burlington, Charlotte, Colchester, Essex, Shelburne, South Burlington, and Williston.
      General admission is $9 and $6.50 Tickets are available at the Flynn Box Office (863-5966). Shows sell out, so buy tickets soon. Essex Memorial Hall is on Tower Road at Route 15 in in Essex Center.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evening will feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon offers Open Mic with Abby Jenne and Friends every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend. If you need instrumental accompaniment, e-mail with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Click here for more info.


      Visual artist Sarah-Lee Terrat of Waterbury shows off her painted murals, illustration, and custom-painted environments at YeloDog Design. Her award winning work has been featured in the New York Times, Print, and Vermont Magazine. Her murals grace the Vermont Historical Society Museum. She designed the Ben & Jerry's factory tour and created the illustration used for the Vermont State Quarter.


      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.