ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 8, 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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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!


      Area veterans and military groups present Raise Your Flag at BFA this evening at 8 p.m. There will be plenty of music including the Champlain Echoes, the Citizens Concert Band, and a number of soloists.
      Vermont's premiere female barbershop touring company and three times International Harmony Women's Barbershop champions, the Champlain Echoes have compounded chords for more than 40 years. 35 voices strong, the Champlain Echoes are actually 10 superb barbershop quartets with members from Berlin to Bristol to St. Albans. The Chorus will sing an eclectic mix of favorites such as Beautiful Baby and San Francisco Bay Blues.
      Barbershop singing and Jazz are the two recognized American musical art forms. The unique sound comes from the singers' close, four-part a capella harmony. Their diverse repertoire always includes toe-tapping, finger-snapping choreography. Barbershop companies like the Echoes donate their time for concerts and contribute their fees to medical research. 2x2 Christian Pre-school alumni will sign God Bless America with the Echoes.
      The Citizens Concert Band is a community band that plays a popular series of summer concerts in St. Albans City, St. Albans Town, and Swanton.
      The Citizens Concert Band is St. Albans' and Swanton's town band but "We don't call ourselves by any town name," Kevin Loomis said, because they do not have an exclusive arrangement with any single town. Town Bands are military-style bands perfectly-suited for this program of patriotic and popular pieces. This band has the full complement of brass, percussion, and woodwinds. The finale will be Stars and Stripes Forever.
      Edric Loomis founded the band in 1949 to continue a Town Band tradition of "concerts under the stars" in St. Albans that began in the 1880s. His son, Kevin Loomis, is the current director. Their Annual Holiday Pops Concert will be held Sunday, November 25 at the 1st Congregational Church in St. Albans.
      Soloists Arlene Jarvis and John Schreindorfer will be accompanied by Vern Colburn. Ms. Jarvis will sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic; Mr. Schreindorfer will sing White Cliffs of Dover.
      The event will also include a color guard, patriotic readings, and a collection for shipment to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The troops need CDs, DVDs, journals, men's and women's briefs in medium and large, Gold Bond foot powder (yellow), Rosie's beef jerky, and white sox. It is also an opportunity to bring that tattered and unserviceable flag for proper disposal.
      Admission is free. Call Joyce Jenkins (802.524.5290) for more info.


NORTHFIELD--The Paine Mountain Arts Council presents Social Band with ‘Idle and Blessed: Exploring Rest in a Restless World’ at the United Church on Sunday at 4 p.m. The concert includes include premieres of new works by Vermont composers Tom Cleary, Sara Doncaster, Michael Hopkins, Don Jamison, Michael Kellogg, Will Patton, and Liz Thompson, plus early European and American songs, and selections from Social Band's 2005 Vermont Composers Project.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $12. Call 802.658.8488 or click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--It's a busy week at the Lincoln Inn as they present the Nobby Reed Project in the WCLX Blues night tonight at 7 p.m., RumbleDoll on Saturday at 9 p.m., and Bluegrass Night with Blue Norther on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Vermont's most popular power-blues man, Nobby Reed has been about playing the guitar on stage for 42 years. The Project puts its Vermont touch on the best original music in the soul-shakin'-electric Texas and Chicago blues styles.
      The country-pop band Rumble Doll is centered on Ryan Malroux and McKenna Lee. The singer-songwriter duo came from two different worlds to play Summer Sounds at Bay Day this year. Ms. Lee has small town Louisiana roots and Los Angeles drive. Mr. Malroux brings Burlington attitude to his wanderlust. That combination lets them bring a mix of first-hand experience and outside influence to all the music they write.
      The four seasoned musicians of Blue Norther bring a contemporary flair to bluegrass classics, new music, and original tunes.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Village Tavern hosts Open Mic at 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

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 a new series of four community dances at the Waterville Town Hall with one this Saturday at 7 p.m. (The series continues January 12, and April 12).
      Mark Sustic will call and give dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie provide the music with a variety of youth fiddlers, including members of Fiddleheads. Musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome to join in with the band. They will play and teach contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games. Bring a partner, a family, or come alone. No prior experience is needed; absolute beginners are welcome.
      Admission is by donation; $5 per person and $10 for families is suggested at the door. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.696) or email for more info.


     The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association auction is online now. The site catalog has unique goodies for yourself, gifts for that special someone, and even a little adventure. Every bid helps support the VYOA orchestra and choral music programs. Items include CDs, paintings, tickets for La Boheme at OCM, and much more.
      The auction closes November 26. Let The Bidding Begin!


      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.