ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 10, 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!

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ST. ALBANS--Fiddleheads play for Chocolate by the Pound, the Humane Society Benefit, on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. at the St. Albans Historical Museum.
      "Buy a ticket to sample all the pastries, cakes, chocolate fountain, truffles and more," Rusty Posner said. "It's an eat, meet and greet."
      Mark Sustic created Fiddleheads so young people could learn to play--or to improve their--traditional fiddles in the company of other like-minded players. The group travels, practices together, prepares for performances, and performs at community events and dances around New England.
      Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets are available at the Humane Society. Call 802.524.9650 for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Common Ground Youth Center of St. Albans presents Rock for Docs in the Showcase Lounge at Higher Ground on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The eclectic 7-band lineup offers jazz, funk, pop, and roots music from local favorites Farm, Vermont bands The Breaking In, the Dirtminers, and Pete and the Meatwhistle, plus Avi and Celia, Jazzam, and Lights Out, all for a broad audience of all ages.
      Farm's Jedd Kettler, Josh Givens, and Ben Maddox switch instruments with almost every song so you will likely see all of them doing vocals and playing guitar, bass, keys, synthesizer, organ, Wurlitzer and a seriously strange drum kit. Mr. Kettler adds horsehead fiddle and Mr. Givens the trumpet and harmonica. The Franklin County band can do flat-out rock, Neil Young-ish Americana, and indie-pop.
      Soul-folk duet Avi and Celia travel here regularly from Cambridge, Massachusetts and have appeared in the Events for Tom Series. Celia's lead vocals and Avi's guitar and harmonies commingle modern rock Ďn roll with the tradition of folk, blues, and bluegrass.
      Chittenden County's power duo, The Breaking In, has Todd Haire on snare, tom, and cymbal plus John Ravell guitar. They bring the lo-fi sound and high energy to the concert.
      The (Vermont) Dirtminers--band leader and songwriter Raph Worrick, Michael Corn, Jeff LaBossiere, Matt Rogalsky, and Ron Rost--fuse country, blues, rock, and pop.
      The Pittsburghian high energy funk and jazz fusion band Jazzam winds its way through jazz, rock, R&B, soul, and world music. Their music is intense with driving bass, soloing guitar, horn, and keys, and intense vocals.
      Lights Out of Boston brings hip hop, jazz, and techno influences to the stage.
      The South Burlington power-duo of Pete Rahn, on guitar, slide guitar, cigarbox, and diddley bow, and Bryan "the Meatwhistle" Kapschull, Pennsylvania drum machine, are the other high energy demolition rock in the show.
      The Common Ground Youth Center serves nine Franklin County towns and about 300 young people each year. The 40 member PeaceJam decided to organize this concert and raise money for Doctors Without Borders to help fund health workers in third world countries. Other Common Ground programs include art workshops, coffee house nights, kickboxing lessons, and swing dance classes. They also have an active group of students looking for solutions to violence in Franklin County.
      Admission is $22 in advance and $25 at the door. The benefit concert proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders. Call 802.782.1811 for more info about Common Ground or click here for more info about the concert.


COLCHESTER--The various Vermont Youth Orchestra ensembles and orchestras are busy this weekend.
      Tomorrow's VYO Chorus and Concert Chorale Spring Concert is officially sold out! The concert features new works and choral standards with selections by Antonio Vivaldi, Franz Joseph Haydn, Rollo Dilworth and Jim Papoulis, tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. in the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michaelís College. Jeffrey Buettner conducts and soprano Shyla Nelson soloes with accompaniment by the VYO Chamber Ensemble. Ms. Nelson has soloed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and the Vermont Mozart Festival and has appeared throughout the United States and abroad. The program closes the inaugural season for these two new choruses.
      Admission is $10 for adults or seniors and $5 for students.

     The Presto Spring Concert features conductor Asiat "Ace" Ali at the Elley-Long Music Center Saturday morning at 11 a.m. The concert is free and open to the public

     The Vermont Youth Strings Spring Concert takes place Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Elley-Long Music Center with the Double Bass Concerto No. 2 by Giovanni Bottesini plus music by Handel, Vivaldi, Mouret and Chace. David Gusakov will conduct and Joseph Senecal, double bass, will solo.
      Admission is $5 for adults or seniors and $2 for students. Tickets will be available only at the door.

     The Vermont Youth Sinfonia takes the Elley-Long stage Saturday evening at 7 p.m. for their Spring Concert. Music Director Troy Peters will conduct. Bassoons Leah Kohn and Steve Tatum will solo in the Concerto in F major for Two Bassoons by J.B. Vanhal. The concert also features the music of Strauss, J.S. Bach, and Offenbach.
      Admission is $5 for adults or seniors and $2 for students. Tickets will be available only at the door.

     Vermont Youth Philharmonia holds its Spring Concert Sunday evening at 7 p.m. at the Elley-Long Music Center. Guest clarinetist Elisabeth LeBlanc, a 1995 VYO graduate, will perform Mozartís Concerto in A Major for Clarinet and Orchestra. The program includes the Overture from the Mozart Magic Flute," "Mars, the Bringer of War by Gustav Holst, and selections from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace by John Williams. Anne Decker will conduct.
      Admission is $5 for adults or seniors and $2 for students. Tickets will be available only at the door.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents the final event in a series of community dances at the Waterville Town Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      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.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn offers some favorites this week. Tonight is WCLX Blues night with the Nobby Reed Project at 7 p.m. Tuesday is Bluegrass Jam night and Wednesday is the Celtic Party, both at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

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

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers the Jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on Fridays at 5:30 and dynamite jazz duo of Ted Crosby and Fabian Rainville at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 524.1405 or click here 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.


     The Vermont Council on Rural Development has unveiled a new Creative Economy web resource. The site is designed for communities, policy leaders, educators, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. It includes case study videos, planning documents, a guide to potential financial and technical resources, reports from the twelve "Creative Communities" towns, and audio files of panels and speeches from the Vermont State House Conference on the Creative Economy.


      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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