ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 7, 2005


      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.


      The Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds moves to Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday as Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing presents the New York band, Krisis.
      "The original name was Midlife Krisis," Ashley Mero said, "and it got shortened." Krisis includes Kevin Juneau, drums, Roland Juneau, keyboards, Stan LaBare, bass, Ashley Mero, rhythm guitar and backup vocals, and Hal Mero, lead guitar and lead vocals.
      "It's 60s, 70s, and 80s, rock with some modern stuff mixed in," Ms. Mero said. "We like to play, so we play anywhere we can." The Summer Sounds in Krisis concert will include lots of summery Beach Boys and Beatles music.
      "The band started out with a number of corrections officers 'taking care of business'," she said. Now, Roland Juneau is a grocery store manager, Mr. Mero is a security guard, and Ms. Mero is a music major at Plattsburg State. She "would love to be a rock star, but" she plans to be a teacher.
      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.
      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.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Social Band and the debut of their Vermont Composers Project in Franklin County tomorrow evening at the Opera House.
      Social Band is a group of twenty singers with strong voices who give joyful performances.
      Social Band performances show that folk and classical are parts of a musical continuum. "It will be like nothing you've ever heard before," said Social Band Director Amity Baker.
      The unique program on Friday has "a broad range of styles that I've never performed before in a concert," Ms. Baker said. "There is pretty much something for everyone. There are pieces based on medieval chants, things out of more classical compositions. There is straight bluegrass. There is straight gospel. So there is this very broad range and magically it's gone very well together. Audience members have commented on how well the tunes suit each other." The featured composers include the eclectic David Gunn of Barre, gospel from John Harrison of Plainfield, and Anna Patton, formerly of Bakersfield.
      This concert is strictly the Vermont Composers Project. "You won't hear all of them," she said. "We've been mixing it up a bit to give the composers equal time."
      Social Band commissioned 25 new choral works from diverse Vermont composers. The pieces range in styles from the shape-note tradition to gospel-influenced to the artsy. The project had six specific goals: to support choral composers in the creation of new works; to encourage composers who have never written for chorus to do so; to lead composing and community singing workshops throughout the state; to record the new works; to inspire composers, audience members, and workshop attendees to create new songs; and to perform the new choral works for audiences around the state;
      Social Band is now touring all around the state. They will appear in Middlebury, Lincoln, Brattleboro, Hardwick in the summer and Fall. Click here for more info
      The shape note tradition brings rich and engaging harmonies in music originally developed in 18th-Century America. It is a living folk-hymn tradition with tunes written in a notation invented to help untrained singers learn to read music. It is a capella music in four-part harmony with a sound both rich and stark.
      "We plan to record a new CD [of all the Vermont Composers Project music] this fall," Ms. Baker said. Their current CD, Florona, will be available at the concert.
      This concert is presented in conjunction with the Preservation Trust of Vermont's 25th Anniversary celebration. The Vermont Composers Project is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Community Foundation Arts Endowment Fund, by a generous gift from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, and by many gifts from their patrons.
      Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior and students, and $5 for children under 5 and are available at the All Arts Ticket Centers: the Opera House, Merchants Bank, and Enosburg Falls Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls and at Better Planet Books Toys and Hobbies in St. Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or e-mail for tickets or info.


      The Fairfax Community Theater Company begins a run of the musical Annie tonight through Saturday at BFA Fairfax.
      Annie is an orphan determined to find the parents who abandoned her years earlier at a Depression-era New York City orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie foils Miss Hannigan, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new family and home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks and the mutt named Sandy.
      Sierra Frisbie is Annie. Tim Stetson is Daddy Warbucks. The cast includes Ruby Bushey, Kristy Corse, Dorothy Dickson, Meghan Drouin, Margaret Fitzgerald, Emily Gauthier, Sarah Gottschalk, Amanda Graves, Simba Harrington, Peter Harrington, Victoria Howard, Walter Mehany, Jennifer Nicholson, Mark Ridderhoff, Anya Rose, Alisa Smith, Jasmine Tremblay, Krystal Vaughn, and Stacey Vos. The chorus includes Bryanna Allen, Dorothy Dickson, Ellen Fitzgerald, Lynne Goodrich, Sarah Gottschalk, Amanda Graves, Peter Harrington, Kathy King, Harrison King, Zaide Ladensack, Paul Lavallee, Brittany Sartin, Hal Smith, Mike Smith, Sheilagh Smith and Ellen Thomas. Annie is directed by Sam Harrington, and produced by Linda Horner, with music director Margie Cain, and stage manager Tom Townsend.
      Sponsored in part by Union Bank, WKOL, and the St. Albans Messenger, curtain time is 7:30 p,m, each evening, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, all at BFA-Fairfax on Hunt Street. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 849-2923, e-mail, or click here.


      Grace Church presents Aurora Ancient Music, a homegrown Vermont ensemble with international connections in the early music world in the third concert of the Summer Music at Grace season tonight at 7:30 p.m. Aurora will present 13th century Cantigas, Provencal Carols, and traditional dance tunes.
      Aurora specializes in medieval vocal music, from 8th century chant to 15th century English Carols, all from a time musical innovations were appearing in courts, monasteries and abbeys around the Western world. Aurora Ancient Music is Liz Thompson, Susan Comen, Social Band Director Amity Baker, and Judith McManis, joined by instrumentalists Mary Ann Samuels playing hammered dulcimer and recorders and Susan Reit playing harp and recorders.
      Click here for news about Aurora. E-mail Beth Crane or click here for complete info about the Summer Music at Grace series.


SUMMER JURY (July 15)--Vermont Hand Crafters seeks Vermont craftspeople and fine artists for their summer 2005 jury session. This year VHC will sponsor its 53rd Anniversary Holiday Craft and Fine Art Show, with over 180 members in attendance, in South Burlington in November. Photographer Eugene Garron of Richford and potter Marcia Hagwood of St. Albans were accepted at the VHC spring jury session.
      Send your name and mailing address to Cynthia Humiston Weed at 800.373.5429, e-mail or click here to receive a jury application.

INTERNATIONAL OPEN CALL (July 28)--The juried New York Hall of Science DIGITAL'05: "E X Q U I S I T E" is the 7th Exhibition organized by Art & Science Collaborations. Digital'05 invites an examination of the nature of "exquisite" in all of its ramifications. Entry fee. Click here for a prospectus and online entry form.

32ND FLANDERS FILM FESTIVAL (Aug 10)--The Ghent, Belgium, expo will explore the impact of music on film. Over 120,000 EU in cash prizes. VHS or DVD. Click here for more info.


      Rachael Rice specializes in murals, community-based art, and art education. She has completed more than 15 murals across the country for organizations such as the St. Louis Artists' Guild, Telluride Youth Service Bureau, and Vermont organizations including Barre Housing Authority, Washington County Youth Service Bureau and Onion River Arts Council. Several of the murals help schools and companies search for ways to involve local organizations, students, and youth in alternatives to drugs, alcohol, tobacco and crime.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2005 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.