ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 7, 2011


      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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      BFA-St. Albans hosts a special open house and tour of Franklin County's newest performing arts center on Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m.
      "The stage needed to be bigger than the band room," instrumental music director Eric Bushey said. Concert-goers will remember shows that crammed small ensembles onto the stage. "Now we can seat the largest symphony orchestra in the state."
      Speaking of seats, the new space has about 482 "people sized" seats. The former auditorium had more but some were inaccessible and the rest were very cramped.
      "We'll even be able to shut the lights off during a show," Mr. Bushey said.
      Wednesday's grand opening will include presentations from all the fine arts departments including instrumental music, dance numbers, a video, and choral pieces.
      It turns out that the play thought to be the first staged at BFA has become obscure, so three seniors will share the monologue Hamlet's advice to actors from Act III, Scene 2 instead, Fine Arts Department co-chair Joan Grant said.
      Hors d'oeuvres will also be served.


     The All State Music Festival is coming to BFA Saint Albans in just a month! The Festival offers the finest musicians from Vermont's high schools the opportunity to perform in a band, orchestra, chorus or jazz ensemble. BFA needs your hospitality to house the incoming students. Lots and lots of students.
      "We need about 410 beds and as of today we're only at 210," Eric Bushey said. "Yikes!!!"
      This experience is open to everyone -- retired folks, parents with kids of any age, empty-nesters, couples with no kids -- anyone with an extra room, a pull-out couch, an inflatable bed, or just a little extra space for these musicians to lay their heads on for two of three nights.
      Click here for more info and for a hosting form or here to sign up online.


ST. ALBANS--A Sappy Art Show begins Monday at the new Village Frame Shoppe and Gallery. The pieces include a wooden bowl by Toby Fulwiler, turned from a Maple tree culled from the Wright Family Farm in Enosburgh; Maple Nut, a metal sculpture by Matthew White; photographer Doug Bergstrom's 360 degree view of the inside of Dr. Chip Chiappinelli's sugarhouse; plus acrylic paintings, oil paintings, photographs, and watercolors by artists from Burlington, Stowe, and other parts of Vermont.
      "It is a must see show for people who are attending the Maple Festival," owner DJ Patullo said.
      Located at 72 Main Street, the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5. The show will hang from April 12 - May 10.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on painter and photographer Natalie LaRocque (Bouchard), wood sculptor Toby Fulwiler, painter Wendy James, and printmaker Lyna Lou Nordstrom. The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of April.
      The gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts work from CarePartners this month. The adult day care has a whimsical collection of different types of media: quilt squares that "reflect the artistís own interests and personalities," shadowboxes that allow an expression of "creativity in three dimensions," and button art which "was a fun way to use ordinary objects."
      The show continues through the end of April.


COLCHESTER--It is the Spring Concert (Long) Weekend at the Music Center. The Vermont Youth Orchestra (which can now fit on the new BFA stage) invites everyone to join them for a concert or two Ė or six!
      The VYO Chorus and Vermont Youth Concert Chorale Spring Concert kicks off the weekend with Amadeus in the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael's College tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. Jeffrey Buettner conducts with Annemieke Spoelstra, accompanist.
      The concert features the world premiere of Did You Hear? a commissioned work by Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Robert Paterson, with text by David Cote, plus the first portion of Mozartís Requiem, concluding with Lacrymosa. The choruses are joined on this concert by VYO instrumentalists. Admission is $10 for adults and seniors or $5 for students; tickets are available through the Flynn Box Office and at the door. click here for tickets and more info.
      Presto starts the instrumental weekend on Saturday at 11 a.m. with a program of selections performed by the VYOA's beginning string students. Ace Ali conducts. Admission is free.
      Vermont Youth Strings continue Saturday afternoon at 1:30 pm with selections by Handel, Brahms and more. David Gusakov conducts. Admission is $5 for adults and seniors or $2 for students; tickets are available at the door.
      Vermont Youth Sinfonia takes the stage Saturday at 5 p.m. with selections from Berlioz, Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius and Holst under conductor Jeffrey Domoto. Admission is $5 for adults and seniors or $2 for students; tickets are available at the door.
      Fast Forward to Sunday evening for the Vermont Youth Philharmonia at 7 p.m. The program includes works by Beethoven, Granados and Bizet. VYO soloist Sid Hammer, cello, presents the Bruch Kol Nidrei, Op. 47. Anne Decker conducts. Admission is $5 for adults and seniors or $2 for students; tickets are available at the door.

FLETCHER--The Fletcher Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at the Fletcher Union Meeting House on Saturday at 5 p.m. The event will feature Latimer Hoke and Sarah Bahr with Mark Sustic. Call Pat Root (802.849.6461) for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Carol Ann Jones & The Superchargers on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Georgia singer-songwriter-dairy farmer's new acoustic album Hope is at DiscMakers at press time. Her all-star band, The Superchargers, are regional greats: Andre Maquera, lead guitar and vocals; Gary Spaulding, drums; Will Patton, bass, tenor, steel guitar, and vocals; and Thom Carvey, bass, saxophone, backing vocals.
      Call 802.524.1405 for reservations and click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the UVM Old Time Music Club present Irish artists Craobh Rua in Billings North Lounge at UVM on Sunday at 3 p.m. The celebration of Irish music and song will include a mix of jigs, reels and polkas with tender ballads and airs. The group's Belfast-based musicians, Brian Connolly, Jim Rainey, Conor Caldwell, and Aaron Hagan have toured throughout the world playing traditional Irish music on uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistles, tenor banjo, mandolin and guitar.
      An initiative of Culture Ireland, Imagine Ireland is a year-long season of Irish arts in America in 2011.
      Admission is by $15 suggested donation; tickets are available at the door. Email for more info.


     It's Spring, so it is time again to think about joining the Vermont Youth Orchestra.
      Music Director Designate Jeff Domoto will host three audition information sessions starting Sunday at the Elley-Long Music Center. Students and parents can receive advice about audition preparation and answers to questions about the audition process.
      This week, Session 1 will be Sunday from 4 - 5 p.m. and Session 2 on Monday from 7 - 8 p.m.
      Choral Conductor Jeffrey Buettner will host a Choral Information Session on Tuesday from 5:50 - 6:30 p.m. also at the Elley-Long Music Center
      Call 802.655.5030 or email for more info.


     Performance artist Janice Perry of Ferrisburg has been called a cross between Doris Day and a high velocity rifle. She tours, she teaches, she's a Fulbright Scholar, and she's a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Performance. Her work includes digital media and the kabarett tradition. Her site includes her tour schedule (Being Derrida in North Carolina next week), bio, teaching, fan mail, 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 © 2011 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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