ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 22, 2009


      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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      The Friends of the Opera House presents an Evening of Song with Deborah Kraus accompanied by Michael McMahon on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Her program includes the music of Dvorak, Samuel Barber, and French songs composed around the poetry of Paul Verlaines. She will be accompanied by pianist Michael McMahon.
      "I chose this program because I think of Vermont when I sing it," she said. "These pieces have a wonderful imagery of the hills and countryside."
      Montreal mezzo soprano Deborah Kraus grew up in Chelsea, Vermont, and now has a cabin outside of Montgomery Center. "It's wonderful to come home," she said.
      Ms. Kraus starred in the CBC Television show Yesterdays with pianist Armas Maiste. She has performed acclaimed recital, chamber music, opera and oratorio concerts in eastern Canada and the United States. She has toured with conductors Uri Mayer, Boris Brott, Iwan Edwards and Syd Hodkinson and performs frequently on CBC Radio and Television. She studied at the Eastman School of Music with Vincent Lenti, Masako Toribara, Maria Luisa Faini and Robert Spillman. Her CD, Dream Dancing -- The Songs Of Cole Porter & Richard Rodgers, introduces some of the lesser known but captivating songs of the two composers. The album can be sampled at
      Montreal-born pianist Michael McMahon has worked with Nathan Berg, Manon Feubel, Maureen Forrester, Karina Gauvin, Wendy Nielsen, Brett Polegato and many more. He teaches song interpretation at McGill University and is vocal coach for the Opera de Montréal and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
      Admission is $15. Tickets are available in St. Albans at Better Planet, and in Enosburg at Community National Bank, Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank, Parkside Grill, Peoples Trust Bank, Precious Things Jewelry, Somerset Inn, and TD Bank, and at the door.
      The ticket includes a reception with cheese, fruit, and crackers. Wine will be available for purchase. Call 802.933.6171 or email for more info.
      "Everyone should come," Ms. Krauss said. "It's going to be a wonderful evening."


     The Richmond Free Library hosts a special concert, Songs of Love and Life, Music by Schumann and Schubert with soprano Claire Hungerford and pianist Annemieke Spoelstra on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Claire Hungerford of St. Albans is a member of the Counterpoint Chorus, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and Ah! Capella, the VSO Symphony Education program quartet. She has performed and recorded with the Austrian Radio Choir in Vienna and has been a soloist with VSO, with the Dartmouth College Symphony Orchestra, and with the East Hampton Community Choir.
      Annemieke Spoelstra of Burlington performs solo, teaches piano at St. Michael’s College, and coaches vocalists and instrumentalists. She is a founding member of the Heliand Trio and the new VOX 440 ensemble with its Art Songs programs. She plays in the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. As a soloist, her 2008-9 program Toccare features J.S. Bach and Schubert. She has performed concerts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and USA.
      Admission is free.


ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon presents Damage Control in their first "mini-gig" on Saturday at 8:30 P.M. The group includes Scott Guptill, known on the local music scene from the former Fractured, Furyous George and Bad Horsey; Scott Belisle on guitar and bass who comes from Fractured, High Society, Tantrum, and 8084; and Scott Mercure on drums who has gigged with Smokin' Gun, Care Factor Zero, Fractured, Alter Ego, and Hang 10; plus vocalist Nancy Lawrence who fronted the Los Angeles pop-punk band Sonic Riot, and Robert Caballero on guitar player who performed at Whiskey a GoGo.
      There is no cover charge. Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Starline Rhythm Boys perform at the Recycle Bike Vermont Benefit concert and dance in Contois Auditorium at City Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

CRAFTSBURY--The Music Box presents Franklin County native Anna Patton and Jeremiah McLane on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      Call 802.586.7533 or click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra plays the Capital City Grange on Monday at 7 p.m. with a jam session beginning at 6 p.m.
      Call 877.343.3531, email, or click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--The Bee's Knees presents Fred Brauer on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
      Call 802.888.7889 or click here for more info.


     John Brickels of Essex Junction creates stoneware sculpture of buildings, claymobiles, robots, and machines. His "falling barn sculptures, tottering urban row houses, and collapsed rust-belt factories celebrate the hidden beauty of entropy." His site includes a biography, gallery, recent news, and contact info.


     It feels like years since the Bookshelf has made an appearance. It's a feature I enjoy because I can talk to the people around me about books. Today, though, I decided to talk to myself. Here are my answers.

CURRENTLY READING: I've been on a "regional writers" kick for a while. I'm finishing the new Archer Mayor novel, Price of Malice. The book has a brutal murder, a boy who lives mostly under a trailer house, and a ferocious detective with one arm missing. Mr. Mayor brings wit and the real Vermont to his police procedurals.
      I like character driven mysteries so next up will probably be Hawk Channel Chase by Florida Keys writer Tom Corcoran; he prefers old Ford Mustangs but he is also an elegant photographer so I can't hold his car choice against him.

VERMONT AUTHOR: Vermont is rich in contemporary writers, so it's an enjoyable mission to pick a favorite. Chris Bohjalian of Lincoln has an ear for the ordinary people who face extraordinary difficulties. Past the Bleachers reminded me how much I like baseball and Tran-sister Radio transcended the stereotypes with a story about real people set against the state's public radio station background.

RE-READ: I keep saying I will reread the books I have liked but I almost never do. I can, though. I keep all of my hardcover books and keep building bookshelves to store them but I also haunt the library; they have more shelf space than I can build.


      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 © 2009 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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