ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 9, 2010


      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 Counterpoint Chorus returns to St Albans to sing holiday songs from around the world in the Holiday Concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
      Counterpoint performs music not heard at the other concerts of the season. The 2010 program offers classical and holiday music from around the world including the premier of an Ave Maria by Counterpoint alumnus David Horn which he says has a "dark opening with a redeeming finish." There are pieces by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis, a song based on Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming by Hugo Distler and Steven Sametz' Gaudete, and How Far is it to Bethlehem arranged by associate director Nathaniel Lew.
      "This is my last season with them," soprano Claire Hungerford of Franklin said.
      The twelve voice Counterpoint Chorus is Vermont's only professional chorus. They perform traditional music, new works, and Vermont compositions, offer rarely performed works, unique arrangements, and the work of contemporary composers, and do educational outreach and choral workshops in schools around New England.
      "I love Counterpoint," Ms. Hungerford said. "It's been a great ten years but it's time to make room for someone else."
      The singers also include Eric K. Brooks, Melissa Chesnut-Tangerman, Stephen Falbel, Ms. Hungerford, Nathaniel Lew, Marybeth McCaffrey, Brett Murphy, Linda Radtke, and founder/director Robert De Cormier. Counterpoint has four new voices: altos Alexis Murphy-Egri and Lindsey Warren, soprano Mary Bonhag, and tenor Piero Bonamico.
      "It's been 10 years," Ms. Hungerford said of their very heavy schedule. "I'm working full time and I'm finding the 5 hour travel and rehearsal and getting home at 11:30 at night and the travel and the travel and the travel exhausting."
      Claire Hungerford lives in Franklin with her husband and three sons. She is also a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Ah! Capella, The Green Mountain Singers, and the De Cormier Singers. Ms. Hungerford has given numerous recitals locally as well as in Vienna and Munich, has performed and recorded with the Austrian Radio Choir in Vienna. She has been a soloist with VSO, performed in various opera scenes, and had the role of Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring. She attended the Crane School of Music and the Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
      Director Robert deCormier is also retiring at the end of this season. "Nathaniel Lew is taking his place and will conduct this weekend."
      A Counterpoint Christmas and Counterpoint Sings Noel, their Christmas CDs, are on sale online. Counterpoint recordings also include When the Rabbi Danced, Misa Criolla, and Shir La Shalom (Sing for Peace).
      Admission to the Holiday Concert is $20 for adults $15 for seniors, and $5 for students and the financially challenged. Those under 5 are free. Tickets are available at the door. Call 802.540.1784 or for tickets and info. Tickets will also be available at the door.
      "The concert is going to be very interesting."

     Christmas with Counterpoint will be reprised tonight at 7 p.m. at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Chapel in Montpelier, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the North Congregational Church in St. Johnsbury, and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Shelburne United Methodist Church.


     The second issue of Route 7: A Vermont Literary Journal was released at the Artist In Residence Gallery on Saturday. The 60-page volume offers 23 writers, painters and photographers from Vermont and beyond.
      The magazine includes Pine Grossbeak, Pamela Ahlen; The Pastor, Ben Aleshire; Lament For The Birds, Ellen Chamberlain; Cocaina, Nathaniel Davis; Before I Knew It, Paige Feeser; A Fool Of A Man, Kevin Fitten; Loved Ones, Amber Fogg; To Cut Down Pines, Rebecca Hamm; Recipe For Disaster, Seth Hurley; Back To The Beginning, Lisa Judge; Picture This, Donald Lefebvre; Vermont Mood, Larry O'Connor; End of the Season, Stephen Payne; Future Tense, Al Salzman; The Last Time I Felt Peace, Michelle Spaulding; The Veteran, Ted Tedford; and January, Sarah Willey. Artwork includes the cover oil painting of the abandoned St. Albans Bay gas station by Joshua Givens, Thoreau's Bench, a photo by Peter Arthur, plus untitled photos by Meredith Crowley and Alan Lampson.
      The new issue is available at Rail City Market, As the Crow Flies, and The Eloquent Page in St. Albans, as well as The Flying Disc in Enosburg Falls.
      Call co-editors Launie and Jedd Kettler (802.524.9607) or email for more info. Click here for excerpts from the new magazine and full on-line content.


FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library and the Fairfield Gallery in the Fairfield Municipal Building present a new photography exhibit, A Deep Look at a Small Town: Marlboro, Vermont, by photographer and oral historian Forrest Holtzapfel. The show continues through December 31.
      The exhibit and book, A Deep Look at a Small Town, pairs black-and-white images with audio interviews of Marlboro residents. It evokes the work of 19th century rural village photographers.
      The Fairfield Gallery is open on Mondays and Fridays 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and on Thursdays 3 - 6 p.m. The exhibit is also open by appointment for school groups to self-guide.
      Call Community Librarian Kristen Hughes (802.827.3945) or click here for more info about the library or the exhibit. Click here for more info about the artist.


WINOOSKI and BURLINGTON--The CCV Community Choir and Queen City Larks will perform a holiday concert tomorrow in the Sadie White room at Community College of Vermont in Winooski and again Saturday at the First Congregational Church Chapel in Burlington. Directed by Amity Baker with Carolyn Wood, both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.
      Email for more info.

AROUND NORTHERN VERMONT--Summer Sounds favorite and storyteller Tim Jennings will hold several Weatherbeard CD Release concerts this weekend. Mr. Jennings makes traditional stories personal in retelling these timeless folktales. Concerts begin at the Lovin' Cup Café in Johnson tomorrow at 7 p.m. and continue Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the North End Studio in Burlington and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Sandglass Theater in Putney.
      Call 802.635.7423 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow!Bella presents the Starline Rhythm Boys on Saturday at 5 - 8 p.m. (note the early time) in a benefit performance for the Fairfield Community Center. Dance to the band, bring an item of food for the Food Shelf, and support the Center.
      Call 802.827.3130 or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the Vermont Folklife Center present Nowell Sing We Clear at the Unitarian Universalist Society on Sunday at 4 p.m.
      The 36th touring season brings unusual songs, carols, stories, and customs drawn from English-language folk traditions. Tony Barrand, Fred Breunig, Andy Davis, and John Roberts sing of the events and people and customs in the Christmas story and reenact a Mummers Play from Kentucky. The pageant also includes the dance band sound of fiddle, button accordion, electric piano, drums, and concertina; they encourage the audience to sing along.
      Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12. $1 will be donated to the Tom Sustic Fund for every ticket sold. Call 802.86.FLYNN or click here for tickets.

BURLINGTON--Three Tomatoes hosts a Young Tradition Vermont benefit dinner featuring Mayfly on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
      Katie Trautz and Julia Wayne of Mayfly are past winners of the Young Tradition Weekend Showcase Contest and well established performers, teachers, and organizers here in the Northeast.
      The Young Tradition Vermont board of directors planned this intimate dinner to support Young Tradition's Trad Camp, Weekend, Events for Tom, Fiddleheads, and the Tom Sustic Scholarship Fund. Dinner will include salad, Red Hen bread, lasagna, wine, and dessert.
      Admission is $30 for the meal and concert. Advance reservations are required. There are only 20 seats available
      Email for reservations and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers Music to Dine By with John Cassel on the piano on Wednesdays at 6:30 and the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on Fridays at 5:30. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


     Live the life of a musician for 5-1/2 days. A band camp for grownups, the Jazz Vermont staff and guest artists "will rehearse, encourage, cajole and groove with you for this special week, held only once each year." Jazz Vermont 2011 will be held at the Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort in West Dover. The site includes brochures and pricing, questions and answers, contact info, and more.


      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 © 2010 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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