ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 8, 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.


      Mandolinist and composer Will Patton of Bakersfield will be on the cover of the summer issue of the national Mandolin Magazine. The Patton issue will go on sale early next month.
      The cover story will focus on Mr. Patton's collaboration with gypsy guitarist Ninine Garcia as well as his new choro project, Estrela do Norte.
      Discover Jazz will present the Will Patton Ensemble on Church Street in front of Leunig's Restaurant tomorrow evening from 7-11. the Champlain Valley Folk Festival will feature Estrela do Norte in August.


     The Vermont Youth Orchestra, led by Music Director Troy Peters, presents "All About Strings" on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Elley-Long Music Center. The Summer Concert is the final concert of the VYO season.
      The VYO will perform the works of contemporary American composers in a repertoire written for strings. For years, the string players have asked to play the great pieces for string orchestra. "I always say that would be great but we've got tuba players and percussionists and everybody else and we don't want them sitting around all the time," Maestro Peters said.
      He decided that the way to play this great repertoire for strings alone is to add a concert at the end of the season. The orchestra completes the regular concert season then, at the very end of the year, the strings keep going for another month.
      "It's a different kind of playing," Maestro Peters said. "Instead of 90 people on stage there are 40 people on stage. It's a little bit quieter and more nuanced and more detail oriented and fun."
      Swiss-born composer Ernest Bloch became an American citizen in the mid 1920's. Best known for his masterful and emotional approach to string composition, his 1952 Concerto Grosso No. 2 best exemplifies his later fascination with writing music in a neo-classic style.
      "We started off from the list of the big string pieces that the kids always ask about. One was the Bloch Concerto Grosso which is a really really dynamic exciting piece. So I started from that and built the program around it."
      Three Excursions by composer and pianist Ellen Lindquist was commissioned by the American String Teachers Association. Ms. Lindquist began her career while studying at Middlebury College. She has composed pieces for string orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice, chorus, and solo instruments, including several collaborative projects for dance, theater, poetry, and performance art. Her work is performed regularly throughout the United States and in Canada, and has been performed in England and South Africa.
      Organist, educator, conductor and self-described "eclectic composer" Morton Gold calls his Elegy for Strings, "emotion reflected in tranquility." He has lived and worked in Rutland since 1987 and teaches advanced music theory for Castletonís Music department. His music has been performed at the World Exposition in Montreal, the American Embassy in Paris, in Guatamala, at Carnegie Hall, and on PBS with the Boston Pops Orchestra.
      "The pieces by Ellen Lindquist and Morton Gold just seemed to me to match the mood of the Bloch," Maestro Peters said. "The Bloch has a Twentieth Century sound, yet it is very connected to classical technique. These other two are modern pieces but written by people who have a lot of respect for the traditions of writing for strings."
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra included four Franklin County performers this year: Shelby Colgan of Georgia, flute, Anna Houston of Enosburg, horn, Chester Peck of St. Albans, tuba, and Tyler Smith of St. Albans, oboe.
      VYO principal violist Tatiana Trono is the featured soloist for Georg Philipp Telemann's Concerto in G major for Viola and String Orchestra. A member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association for eight years, this concert marks Ms. Trono's final performance as principal violist with the VYO.
      Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the Flynn Center Box Office (802-86-FLYNN) or The VYO 2005-06 concert season is sponsored by Champlain Orthodontic Associates, LTD. Media Support is provided by WCAX, TV-3. click here for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Email for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Discover Jazz Festival block party hosts the Will Patton Ensemble tomorrow evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in front of Leunigís. click here for more info.

BELVIDERE--22nd Annual Rattling Brook Bluegrass Festival will feature Big Spike Bluegrass Saturday at the Town Field. Presented by the Belvidere Community Club. Call Shirley Brown (802.644.2498) for info.

BRADFORD--Middle Earth presents the Nobby Reed Project Saturday evening. Call 802.222.4748 or click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents Big Spike Bluegrass nest Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. Email for more 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.

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, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. click here for more info.


     The second annual Northeast Heritage Music Camp begins Sunday with a week long celebration of the acoustic music and folk dance traditions of New England and eastern Canada. The program offers music instruction by world class players from these great traditions on the Johnson State College Campus in Johnson. Look for nightly contras, concerts, and jam sessions plus five daily classes with world class players.
      The staff includes Cape Breton fiddler Sandy MacIntyre, Cape Breton pianist Mary MacIntyre, Quebecois fiddler Daniel Lemieux, Quebecois accordion Normand Miron, Appalachian Fiddler Alan Jabbour, New England and Appalachian fiddler, Pete Sutherland, contra-dance caller and New England fiddler, David Kaynor, flute, tin whistle, and contradance pianist Grey Larsen, Seamus Connolly, flatpick specialist Peter Langston, and clawhammer-style 5-string banjo player Ken Perlman. Mr. Perlman is co-director of the American Banjo Camp. Mr. Langston has been a director of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop for over ten years and co-directs the American Banjo Camp. They have served on staff at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the California Coast Music Camp, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Alta Sierra Dance Camp, Common Ground on the Hill, the Tennessee Banjo Institute, Sierra Swing Dance Camp, the Santa Barbara Harvest Festival, and Lark in the Morning Music Camp.
      Attendees must preregister for the Northeast Heritage Music Camp; space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Vermont residents may forego lodging costs and commute to the event. Click here for more info.


     The Smith-Hunter Gallery exhibits the works of sculptor and clay hand builder Susan Smith-Hunter and lithographer, writer, and science illustrator Mel Hunter. Susan's sculpture can be seen in various collections, the Delgado Museum in New Orleans, and at Green Mountain College. Mel's work is in many collections around the world.


      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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