ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 19, 2007


      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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!

      This is a busy, busy weekend in the arts. Get out your running shoes.


      Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free!
      The Highgate summer continues as Chevalier Drilling presents the classic rock of Shellhouse in the Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening. There will be no Summer Sounds concerts in St. Albans City in 2007.
      Shellhouse is an original Vermont rock band playing family music with Bob Teer, song writer/guitarist/teacher/vocalist; Jim Fox, electric guitar; Andrea Teer, vocals and percussion; Bob DeFeo, drums; and Paul Snyder, bass.
      "Shellhouse plays mostly original rock with an 'Americana' rock & roll sound," Mr. Teer said. They also play covers by artists such as John Hiatt, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, and The Band. Their current CD is Boomerang.
      The Highgate Historical Society hosts this concert with a groaning board full of hot dogs, hamburgers, cakes and cookies. Bring your appetite.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Pete Paquette Real Estate & Development, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Scotty's Taxi, Sticks & Stuff, and The Tyler Place.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.


     The first major Art Center project is the luxury coach trip to the Vermont Mozart Festival for The Virtuoso Violin Bach Concerti tomorrow evening at Knight Point State Park.
      "We chose this concert because it features the full Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra with soloists Hamao Fujiwara, violin, and Elizabeth Metcalfe, harpsichord," Mike Curtis said. The program includes Concerto No. 2 in E Major for Violin and Orchestra," "Concerto No. 4 in A Major for Harpsichord and Orchestra, and the Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra.
      The evening includes a concert introduction and discussion with VPR President Mark Vogelzang and BFA Coral Director Armand Messier.
      A native of Japan, Hamao Fujiwara completed his studies at the Juilliard where he now teaches. In the Bach concertos listen for his full, smooth, honeyed, evenly vibrated tone.
      The ticket price of $50/person or $99/couple also includes luxury coach transportation between St. Albans and Knight Point on North Hero, admission to the park and to the concert, air conditioned private restrooms, a gourmet picnic supper created by Jeff's Maine Seafood, and more. Please bring your own blankets and beverages. The Bach Bus will leave Taylor Park promptly at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow evening, rain or shine. This Mozart Festival event does have a rain site and the picnic suppers will taste just as good under a roof.
      Knight Point State Park is home to the Island Center for Arts and Recreation. The small day use park has expansive lawns and a substantial natural shoreline. It is home to diverse group of rare plants.
      There are only a few seats left. "Make reservations today," Mr. Curtis said. To buy tickets by phone, call Carol at Union Bank (802.524.9000). Email the All Arts Council for more general info.


FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents the musical Cotton Patch Gospel by Tom Key and Russell Treys; lyrics and music by the legendary Harry Chapin. This is a modern day retelling of the Gospel of Matthew set in the state of Georgia. The music is classic Chapin, but in the styles of bluegrass, country and gospel.
      Matthew, Jesus, Rock, Simon, the Zebadee boys and all the rest of the huge Cotton Patch Gospel cast offer up a toe-tapping good time with Bob Martin as Jesus, Thom Smith as Matthew, Jerry Starks as Jim and Mr. Tedum, and Jake Boudreau as Jack, Timmy and Young Jesus. Most FCTC members play multiple roles plus Johnís Choir, neighbors, wedding guests, Herodís group, and more. The musical is directed by Cheri Swan Gagnon, with music direction by Margie Cain, and choreography by Kim Ward. It is produced by Margie Cain and Peter Harrington.
      Performances begin this evening and continue through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a special matinee on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at BFA-Fairfax Old Gym at 75 Hunt Street, Fairfax.
      Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children under 12. Call 802.879.2867 or email for tickets or more info.

SUMMER MUSIC AT GRACE--Village Harmony returns to the popular series at Grace Church Sheldon on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature a mix of Caucasus Georgian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanian, Serbian, South African, and renaissance pieces sung by a chorus of young musicians.
      This Village Harmony teen ensemble is led by Larry Gordon, Val Mindel and Tijana Vignjevic. The 22 young singers come from throughout New England and as far away as California and North Carolina. They live together and rehearse intensively for eight days at a retreat in the Northeast Kingdom to prepare this concert program.
      Village Harmonyís many CDs and songbooks will be on sale at the concert.
      Village Harmony stays overnight and this year joins the morning service at Grace on Sunday A community potluck supper precedes the concert at 6 p.m. Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. Suggested admission at the door is $10. Click here for more info about Village Harmony. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about Summer Music at Grace.

CONCERTS BY THE COMMON--The popular and eclectic Montgomery Village series presents a Festival of Jazz this summer. Jazzmosis plays on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      This six-piece Jazzmosis ensemble plays the dissonant jazz standards and originals. The evening will feature tight ensemble work and the creative arrangements and improv that are characteristic of modern jazz. The group includes Marty McRae, trombone, Steven Bredice, sax, Andy Smith, bass, Aron Garceau, guitar, Caleb Bronz, percussion, and Jack Phipps, trumpet. The Jazzmosis repertoire includes America's jazz icons, influenced by the funk, rock and blues idioms.
      All concerts begin at 8 p.m. in Pratt Hall, opposite the Black Lantern Inn. Admission is $12 or $10 for Montgomery Historical Society members. Tickets are on sale now. Call 802.326.4528 for information.

HIGHGATE CENTER--The famed and delicious Highgate ice cream social is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Highgate United Methodist Church. Look for hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and delectable music by the Fairdax-Fletcher-Westford Band. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair.


     Now in its 62nd year, the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East is dedicated to the development of the amateur instrumentalist as a chamber music player and listener. This summer the Conference is in residence at Bennington College from July 22 through August 19. The site includes info about the Conference, the Chamber Music Program, faculty briefs. a Composers' Forum, the concert schedule, contact info, and the application and fee structure.


      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 © 2007 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.