ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 14, 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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      The Big Music Weeks of Summer begin tomorrow. With three or more live concerts, fairs, theatricals, or festivals each week, there is plenty to see and hear in Franklin County.


      The music will help as Chevalier Drilling presents Citizens Concert Band in the Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      The Citizens Concert Band, directed by Kevin Loomis, will offer a program of patriotic and summery pieces.
      "We are very lucky to have Claire Hungerford join us as our vocalist," Mr. Loomis said.
      Soprano Claire Hungerford of Franklin is a member of 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.
      The New England town band offers more than just good music. Since they encourage all good local musicians, their chairs can hold famed working professionals sitting next to high school soloists.
      A concert band or Town band has several of the same instrumental sections as an orchestra and plays much of the same repertoire, but the concert band does it without strings. The Citizens Band seats about 45 musicians in the woodwind (flutes, clarinets and bass clarinets, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones), brass (trumpets, horns, trombones, baritones, and tubas) and percussion sections. Since bands have about the number of players as many orchestras, the brass, woodwind, and percussion sections all expand to produce a much "bigger" sound. There is more opportunity for a wider variety of band musicians to play the melody than in an orchestra, so many orchestral musicians also play in bands. It is a rich, rewarding experience.
      As far as I know, the Citizens Concert Band includes neither the flutaphone, recorder, nor harmonica. But it could. Most modern concert bands do not use a harp
      "It's going to be a big program," Mr. Loomis said. "We have a lot of new music and a great group of musicians." click here or call Mr. Loomis (802.868.2684) for more info about the band.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Highgate Historical Society-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat a complete supper.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.
      Click here for posters and more info.


     The Friends of the Opera House present Oliver! at the Enosburg Opera House for a three day run starting this evening at 7:30 p.m. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. each evening, tonight through Saturday, with a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.
      Oliver! is the musical story of Charles Dickens' young orphan, Oliver Twist, who changes his life by asking for more food. He ends up with a gang of pick pocketers run by Fagin and his lead thief Artful Dodger. After an unsuccessful pick pocketing attempt, Oliver is arrested and his life is threatened by the villainous Bill Sikes. Nancy, Bill's girlfriend, unsuccessfully tries to save Oliver but of course the hero comes out on top in the end!
      The cast features the best and brightest of Franklin County's young thespians. Brent Garrow produces and directs.
      Admission is $14 in advance for limited reserved seating, $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens at the door. Tickets are on sale now at the advanced ticket sites in Enosburg -- Precious Things Jewelers, Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank, People's Trust Company, Community National Bank -- and in St. Albans Chamber at the Commerce and Better Planet Books.


     The sixth annual Art in Bloom Festival brings a day of music, a gazillion exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm in Fairfax on Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Festival is a benefit for Fairfax Fire and Rescue.
      "We're a week earlier this year," organizer Shelly Potalla said. "It's a day filled with beautiful things, wonderful live music and mouth watering food. Very child friendly so plan on spending the day and supporting this wonderful fundraiser."
      Free yoga begins at 9 a.m. and face painting will go on all day.
      The artists and artisans include Shelly's Tie Dye, Amanda Bates, BFA Ski Team birdhouses, Boy Scouts lemonade, Jessie Cronin, Hannah Decker, Joanne Delaney, Gayle Derner, Eastmans' Bakery, Pastor Liz Griffin with Nicaraguan objets d'art as a fundraiser, It's Arthur's Fault, Lena Meunier jewelry, Barbara O'Bryan's tacky dough art (kids eat it up), Animal Whisperer Donna Owens, Ellen Powell, Tia Rooney promoting A Beautiful Woman, Set in Stone patios, Bruce Gilbert Smith, Sally Gilbert Smith baked goods, Olivia Snyder, photography, Sally Ziegler Art Studio, and more.
      The Festival offers music all day with No Left Turn, Dylan Day, and more.
      Dylan Day, former member of the Alzona Watson Band leaves for Boston College of Music in August.
      Shelly's Raffle Table has a huge basket with cooking equipment, a stool, a painted guitar, a big table with chairs, salt and pepper shakers, painted wooden toys, and more.
      Admission is free but gracious donations to the raffle help. "We're not even asking for parking donations," Shelly Pottala said. Email her for more info.


ROUSES POINT, NY--The Rouses Point Summer 2011 Concert Series presents the Nobby Reed Project on the Samuel de Champlain Center Stage tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      The Friends of the Stage is raising funds to complete the Stage Project and to establish a fund for entertainment in future years.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Brown Cow Summer Concert Series at the Covenant Community Church (home of the homemade root beer float) presents Carol Ann Jones and Gary Spaulding in concert tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m.
      "Hot dogs and fun for the whole family!" Ms. Jones said. Bring a picnic blanket.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Summer Concert Series presents Conscious Roots at BFA Fairfax on the Green on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. These concerts are free.


     The Torpedo Factory Art Center has three floors of open studios and galleries to observe artists and buy original artwork. It houses 82 artist studios, six galleries, the Art League School, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. Open to the public with free admission, the center is outside Washington, D.C. The site includes extensive online galleries of artwork, show info, classes, and much much 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).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.