ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 3, 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.


      Fiddler Adam Boyce and guitarist Darren O'Meara will play Copeland's Annual Midnight Madness Event tonight at Copeland Furniture in Bradford. I doubt that many of us will drive all the way to Bradford with gas prices where they are but we might if we knew the star power this regular series offers. That's one of the reasons Summer Sounds is successful; it is consistent with an eclectic mix of good music every Sunday night through the summer.
      Franklin County does not have a Fall or Winter or Spring series.
      I propose we institute several ongoing festivals of art and theater and dance and music around Franklin County. How about a West African Dance and Drum Festival or a Jigs, Reels and Fancy Footwork Festival, or a ...? Essex has the Vermont Celtic Arts Center; perhaps we need a Vermont Gallic Arts Center here in Franklin County.
      Want to start something? Email the All Arts Council .


ArtBits News Photo      The St. Albans for the Future scarecrow display and Pumpkin lighting culminated this weekend with some unusual art.
      Dee Christie and all the art students of the BFA Fine Arts Department worked with St. Albans merchants and S.A.F.F. to bring a series of scarecrows downtown. And there were nine categories in the Jack-O-Lantern Contest. Erin Ferland, Franklin, took Best Overall. Sharon Garrett and Caleb Lazarski, Swanton, scared the judges the most. Kevin Laddison, St. Albans, had the Best St. Albans Theme with a dancing pumpkin.


     The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association Pictures at an Exhibition art and music collaboration will host New York composer Daron Hagen on November 8 and 9.
      The VYO issued a call for art to be used as the inspiration for a new symphony piece. Four student works in all different media were selected by a jury and emailed to the composer. "Over the next few months he will write a new piece for us based on these pieces," VYO Music Director Troy Peters said.
      Mr. Hagen will speak about the compositional process of translating the visual art forms to music on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michaelís College, in Colchester. His visit also includes stops with the musical arts classes of Lake Champlain Waldorf High School on Tuesday and at Champlain Valley Union High Schoolís art and band classes on Wednesday. The visits will feature experiments mixing improvisational music with visual art.
      VYO members include Anna Houston, horn, Enosburg; Shelby Colgan, flute, Georgia; Chester Peck, tuba, St. Albans; and Tyler Smith, oboe, St. Albans.
      "Daron and I are old friends," Maestro Peters said. Mr. Hagen and Mr. Peters attended Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia although Mr. Hagen "graduated before I did. In my college years he was a big brother to me. He was a friend and also showed me the ropes professionally. He as a good guy ans somebody whose music I admired."
      Mr. Hagen conceived the project. "We were brainstorming ideas for ways we could do a new piece that would get more people involved in the process, people who weren't composers or musicians who might have some interest in how a piece of music makes the journey to the stage."
      They VYO will start rehearsing the new piece in February and perform it in May.


SOUTH BURLINGTON--The Events for Tom Series presents Greg Brown tonight at 7 p.m. at Higher Ground. The Brown muse continues to dive deeper and darker with a treasure of American roots music.
      Admission is $23 advance or $25 day of show. The concert is supported in part by Smith, Bell and Thompson. Call 888-512-SHOW or

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.

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 herefor more info.


     The St. Albans Free Library hosts a Fall Film Festival many Monday evenings at the Welden Theater. They will screen Everything Is Illuminated, a new Russian/English film starring Elijah Wood as a young man trying, with the help of a break-dancing punk from the Ukraine, his grandfather who believes he is blind, and their crazy dog, all to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis.
      Don't forget your library card.


     The historic 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail follows the Missisquoi River through Franklin County and includes significant outdoor art exhibits in Swanton and Richford. The NFCT online auction began Tuesday and continues through December 9.
      The auction features Moose River Taxi, a framed original watercolor by artist and fisherman Dave Tibbets and painted exclusively for NFCT. The boat is based on the hand-crafted canoes built in the Moosehead, Maine region. The fundraiser also includes boats, trips, regional items, lodging and more with donations from regional artists, craftsmen, and guides as well as Cascade Designs, Outdoor Research, Chota, Kokatat, Bell Canoe Works, Golite, Liquid Logic.


      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 © 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).
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