ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 17, 2008


      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!


      The Events for Tom and Dobra Tea present Alash, the winner of the 2007 Young Tradition concert, tonight at 8 p.m. The group takes its name from the Alash River, which runs through their native region of Tuva.
      The ensemble members are graduates of the Kyzyl Arts College and students of master Xoomeizhi (throat singer) and artistic director Kongar-ool Ondar.
      The musicians are schooled in traditional Tuvan music but they also know and love western music. They add non-traditional instruments, old and new, including guitars and accordions, and they draw upon their knowledge of complex rhythms and western harmonies to expand their music.
      Their Vermont tour has taken them to the Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington, Pownal, the Greenwood School in Putney, and Springfield. They finish the tour tonight in Burlington at Dobra Tea at 80 Church Street.
      Admission is by donation at the door.
      Click here for more info about Alash.
      Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. Additional contributions to the fund can be sent to: Tom Sustic Fund, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info about the Events for Tom Series or the Tom Sustic Fund.


     The Vermont Youth Orchestra presents the Winter Concert on the Flynn main stage on Sunday at 3 p.m. Music Director and Conductor Troy Peters will lead Orpheus Revisited, a juxtaposition of two different musical interpretations of Orpheus and Eurydice's mystical romance.
      The Amelia Piano Trio joins the VYO to premiere composer Daron Hagen's Orpheus and Eurydice. The Amelia players commissioned the work and are presenting it with a consortium of pre-professional and youth orchestras throughout the United States. The project culminates with the concert on Sunday.
      Amelia violinist Anthea Kreston, cellist Jason Duckels and pianist Rieko Aizawa have extensive experience as performers and teachers, beginning with their own experiences as members of youth orchestras. The ensemble performs traditional chamber music and participate in collaborations with musicians in other creative genres. They have been featured as Ensemble-In-Residence on NPR's Performance Today, toured with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, and received an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.
      New York composer Daron Hagen has collaborated frequently with the VYO. He wrote the Emmanuel Fugue, performed by the VYO in 2005 and was commissioned to write the 2006 Gesture Drawings.
      Maestro Peters will contrast the new works with Jacques Offenbach’s overture to Orpheus in the Underworld. The scandalous operetta poked fun at 1850s Parisian society and politics. The program will close with the First Symphony of Johannes Brahms.
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra serves over 500 students from VT, NY, and NH through master classes, sectionals with the best educators in the state, and exciting performances. Three musicians in this concert are from Franklin County: Tanner Abbott, tuba, Sheldon; Anna Houston, French horn, Enosburg; and Joshua Morris, cello, St. Albans. The orchestra always has a number of Franklin County members.
      The program will also be presented at Harwood Union High School on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      Admission at the Flynn is $15, $12, and $10 for adults and seniors or $12, $10, and $6 for students. Tickets are available by phone (802.86.FLYNN), at, and at the door.


JERICHO CENTER--The Community Center hosts a benefit community contra dance for the Jericho Public Library Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Caller Mark Sustic and Fiddleheads plus other youth musicians from Mt. Mansfield Union High School will lead. Email for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn hosts Bluegrass night with the Mandolinquents on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Longtime Vermont new-grassers, the Mandolinquents feature Doug Perkins and a group of other wicked fine players.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here 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 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.


     In 1873, two years after the construction of the library at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Governor Fairbanks added a small art gallery. It is now the oldest art gallery still in its original form in the United States. The site has a library search, a listing of the Hudson River artists and works, and a different work featured on the "This Week from the Gallery" page each week.


      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 © 2008 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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