ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 1, 2006


      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 Summer Music at Grace series begins the season with the fourth annual Farewell Reunion Concert tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Grace Church in Sheldon. The concert is part of the ongoing Events for Tom Series and features Vermontís best musicians and dancers playing traditional and original music, singing, and dancing from Vermont, Appalachia, Scotland, Ireland, and Brazil. Look for Michele Choiniere, Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder, Jim McGinniss, Tom MacKenzie, Will Patton and Dono Schabner, Jon Gailmor, Pete Sutherland, Deb Flanders, Doug Perkins, and more.
      A potluck dinner starts at 6 p.m. and also features live music.
      The suggested donation of $10 per person benefits the Tom Sustic Scholarship Fund, awarded annually to a graduating senior intending to become a teacher of young children.
      The concert is presented with support from the Abbey Group, the All Arts Council of Franklin County, Messenger Print and Design, Peopleís Trust Company, the dairy industry in Franklin County, and others. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info about the concert and the Tom Fund. Click here for more info about Summer Music at Grace.


     The Enosburg Falls Lions club celebrates 50 years of Vermont Dairy Festivals this weekend. June is National Dairy Month.
      "We have lots of entertainment and family activities," Tim Stetson said. Most of the entertainment is on the Lincoln Park Bandstand. All the outdoor entertainment is free.
      The Mooooving Parade starts Saturday at 10:30. With marching bands and mobile mooving murals, it is one of Vermont's largest parades. The World's Largest Palette will appear in the parade.
      All that milk includes some art. The Masonic Hall hosts the Arts and Crafts show Saturday and Sunday and there are Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont in the Enosburg Pharmacy window.

THURSDAY--The Vermont Dairy Festival Scholarship Pageant is held at 7 p.m. in the Opera House at Enosburg Falls as college-bound seniors return for final judging. The talent portion of the competition tonight includes singing and dancing. The Enosburg Lions offer scholarship prizes for contestants ranging from $125 to $750.
      Admission is $8. Tickets will be available at the door.

FRIDAY--St. Albans torch singer/songwriter and keyboardist Meg Willey begins the evening entertainment with tracks from her 2004 album, Seemingly Collected as well as jazz and pop favorites. 5:30 p.m.
      The 35-piece Enosburgh Town Band is the oldest in Vermont. The volunteer musicians range in age from 11 to over 70. They have never missed a season. 7 p.m.
      The Town Band performs Tuesdays in the Lincoln Park Bandstand, starting next week. Call Director Alisa Martin (933-2062) for info.

SATURDAY--The Parade begins at 10:30 and the Dairy Festival hosts a marching band competition at the Main Street reviewing stand at 12:30.
      The Ring Brothers country-rock duo open the afternoon on the Bandstand Saturday. They play everything from old country to top-40 country and some classic rock dancing music with Howard Ring, guitar and vocals, and Stanley Ring, drums and vocals. 1 and 3 p.m.
      The entertainment on the Bandstand continues Saturday with country singer/song writer Keeghan Nolan of Williston. She has performed throughout Vermont, New York, and Florida and has a new, limited edition CD plus Boots, a CD single. 2 p.m.
      The Northeast Fiddlers Association Fiddler's Variety Show on Saturday afternoon is an assemblage of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedians, cloggers, and fancy fiddlers. 4 p.m.
      Smokin' Gun headlines Saturday night with a broad mix of classic to current rock, blues, alternative, and originals. "Being a club band, we like to mix it up to keep everybody happy," Billy Pike said. They have never failed. The band starts at 7 p.m. and plays sets through the fireworks.
      The band includes Mr. Pike, bass, Mike Socha, guitar, Cynthia Sullivan, vocals, and Joey Provost, drums. They have played parties and clubs in Northern Vermont and New York State for 13 years. Their current CD is Makes No Difference.
      "We're working on a new CD now," Mr. Pike said.

SUNDAY--Fiddler, drummer, and studio music teacher Jesse Potts opens the day with eclectic acoustic originals as well as blues, swing, and folk music. He may play some of his swingy-folk stuff and sing people songs from Outer Space. 11 a.m.
      All of Dan the Puppetman's friends come with strings attached. He has a lot of friends. Clown College graduate and master puppeteer Dan Grady of Eliot, Maine, has built and performed with professionally crafted marionettes for more than 25 years. He brings his unique cast in the Marvelous Marionette Medley to theme parks, arts festivals, schools, theaters, and fairs around the country. 12 noon and 3 p.m.
      Jazzmosis of Milton is a six-piece ensemble with a repertoire of jazz standards and originals. They perform around New England. 1 p.m.

     The men and women of the Enosburg Lions volunteer their time to conduct service projects and raise funds for the local community. They contribute to senior citizens' programs, area school projects, community health services, the Enosburg public library, family assistance and drug/alcohol programs, fire and ambulance services, other non-profit organizations, scholarships, as well as to the Lions International sight and hearing programs. The Vermont Dairy Festival is the Enosburg Lions' primary source of funding for these programs with about $400,000 and thousands of man-hours donated over the 50 years.
      The Vermont Dairy Festival midway opens at 6 p.m. Thursday. Entertainment on the bandstand starts Friday evening at 7 p.m. and the weekend activities begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in downtown Enosburg Falls. Admission to the grounds is free and most events are also free.
      "It's going to be a good time," Tim Stetson said, "and we're going to try to bring in good weather again this year."


     A Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont exhibit has taken over the Enosburg Pharmacy window. They will remain on display through the middle of the month.
      The palettes represent the schools in the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, community members, teachers, and artists. "It's a pretty good selection, organizer, art teacher, and artist Pamela Krout-Voss said." It's fun to see what the kids come up with as well as the artists and the community members.


ST. ALBANS--The BFA-St. Albans Music Department will present a choral concert to support Franklin Grand Isle Emergency Food Shelf tonight at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church. The performance will feature several vocal ensembles including the 130 member mixed chorus.
      Admission to BFA Choral Concerts is free but audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable items for the food shelf. Call BFA Music (802.527.6538) or click here for more info.


     Bamboo flute maker Zacciah Blackburn of Ascutney has over 20 years experience building and performing on transverse flutes, the Japanese shakuhachi, the bamboo saxophone (his own invention) and the bamboo clarinet, as well as native American style flutes and Australian didgeridoos. Mr. Blackburn also offers multicultural music education programs on the history and development of musical instruments.


      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 © 2006 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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