ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 15, 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 Counterpoint Chorus returns to St Albans to sing holiday songs from around the world in the Holiday Concert on Friday at 8 p.m. at St. Lukes Episcopal Church.
      Counterpoint performs music not heard at the other concerts of the season. The 2005 program offers songs from Europe and Africa including Children Go Where I Send Thee, The Friendly Beasts, Mi Ze Hidlik, an Israeli Hanukkah song, the Russian Twelfth Song, and Ecoutons Donc Les Aubades arranged by Robert de Cormier and accompanied by guitarist John Muratore, of Boston, and flautist Karen Kevra, of Montpelier.
      "We are doing the Nigerian carol 'Keresimesi Qdun De O'--the 'q' is pronounced 'aw'--as well as the debut of Robert de Cormier's spiritual 'The Glory Manger'," soprano Claire Hungerford said. "Robert is a prolific composer and arranger."
      The twelve voice Counterpoint Chorus is Vermont's only professional chorus. They perform traditional music, new works, and Vermont compositions, offer rarely performed works, unique arrangements, and the work of contemporary composers, and do educational outreach and choral workshops in schools around New England. Soprano Claire Hungerford lives in St. Albans. The singers include Eric K. Brooks, Colleen Flynn Campbell, Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman, Carolyn Dickinson, Steve Falbel, Amy Frostman, Roger Grow, David Horn, Ms. Hungerford, Nathaniel Lew, Marybeth McCaffrey, Brett Murphy, Linda Radtke, and founder/director Robert De Cormier. Ms. Dickinson, and Mr. Falbel are the newest members.
      The Chorus adds significantly to its repertoire for each concert. They adopted O Magnum Mysterium written in 1994 by Morten Lauridsen on the recommendation of a lover of choral music in Manchester. "It is fairly new as choral music goes and we love it." Ms. Hungerford said.
      Claire Hungerford lives in St. Albans with her husband and three sons. She is also a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Ah! Capella, The Green Mountain Singers, and the De Cormier Singers. Ms. Hungerford has given numerous recitals locally as well as in Vienna and Munich, has performed and recorded with the Austrian Radio Choir in Vienna. She has been a soloist with VSO, performed in various opera scenes, and had the role of Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring. She attended the Crane School of Music and the Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
      Counterpoint Sings Noel, the new Counterpoint Christmas CD, is on sale at As The Crow Flies, Better Planet, the Dressing Room, at the concert and "always on our site," she said. Counterpoint recordings also include When the Rabbi Danced," "Misa Criolla," "Shir La Shalom (Sing for Peace), and A Counterpoint Christmas.
      Admission to the Holiday Concert is $15/adults $12/seniors and college students, $5/ages 6-18, and 6 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door. Call 802.259.2327 or click here for tickets and info. Tickets will also be available at the door.

      The Chorus will hold the final two Counterpoint Holiday Concerts this year on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the North Congregational Church in St. Johnsbury and on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Unitarian Church in Burlington.


RICHFORD--The Northern Forest Canoe Trail will meet in the Richford Town Hall to review Map 5 this evening at 6:30 p.m. They need historic or contemporary photos of the river and surroundings between Mansonville and Enosburg Falls. They also have a few questions about portages, land ownership, and some local history. Call Beth Ann Finlay (802.828.4595) or Jen Lamphere (802.496.2285) or click here for info.

BURLINGTON--The Season Holiday Concert at the FlynnSpace tomorrow evening features The Adirondack Harper who is no relation to yours truly.

LINCOLN--The Jim Branca Band will perform their last offical show of 2005 on Saturday at 9 p.m. at the Lincoln Inn. They will sell the "Live CD" at a Christmas only stocking-stuffer price of $8.

ST. ALBANS--St. Albans for The Future presents a Salsa Dance and Feliz Navidad! Celebration at St. Albans City Hall on Saturday from 9 p.m. until midnight. Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production has donated DJ and Lighting services.
      No experience nor even a partner is necessary. St. Albans dance instructor Meg Willy will hold a dance lesson beginning at 8 p.m.
      The party, one of a series of Downtown Events, is sponsored by St. Albans for The Future and the St. Albans Recreation Department. Admission is free. All ages are welcome.


VERMONT STATE PARKS SEEK TALENT--The award winning Summer Series wants performers for more than 50 venues across the state for the 2006 season. "We don't have much of a budget," Rochelle Skinner said, "but we can barter for park services like tent and lean-to camping, season passes or a stay in one of our cabins or cottages. Some performers trade a performance in a park for lodging while they're on tour in Vermont. Others bring their families for a working vacation, or just take some time off and come for their summer vacation." Call Ms. Skinner (802.241.3665) or e-mail for info.

MEET THE COMPOSERS COMMISSIONING MUSIC/USA PROGRAM (January 27)--A joint project of Meet The Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts, the 2006 program will support the commissioning of collaborative works in dance, installation, opera, performance art, and theater. The 2007 program will support the commissioning of concert works for small ensemble, orchestra, chorus, and soloist. Applications are submitted by a presenter, ensemble, or exhibition space wishing to commission a new work by collaborating artists. Grants will provide support for composer and librettist fees, copying costs, and a range of support services. A single organization can apply for up to $15,000 toward the commissioning fees. A group of organizations can apply for up to $30,000. Click here for an RFP.


     Illustrator, portraitist, caricaturist Amy Lyon Venman of Winooski loves to play with color and treats each piece as a moment in a story. She calls her first attempt at a website, pretty basic. It works.


      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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