ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 16 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 26, 2012


      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 Summer of Music keeps us busy all around the County again this weekend with free concerts, two summer musicals, Summer Sounds, and the Jig.


      Never let it be said that this column neglects political activity. Drummac Septic Service presents Towne Meeting in the free Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. This is a Presidential election year but no politicians will be skewered before their time.
      "Our name came out of folks coming together to play music at family and community gatherings," Gary VanCour said.
      Town Meeting blends strong harmonies and acoustic instruments in vintage and contemporary folk and folk-rock. And they drive a bright red 1976 Avanti, one of only 156 built that year, which is pretty cool. It has its original 400 cu. in. small block V-8 engine.
      The group crosses generations in its selection of songs as well as membership with Dennis Hulbert, vocal and 12 string guitar; Miles Moody, vocals and 6 string guitar; Rich Sutphen, vocals, lead guitar, and mandolin; Gary VanCour, vocals, 6 string guitar and ukulele; and Justin VanCour, bass guitar. They are family and life long friends who have sung and played music together on and off for years. They formed the band after jamming at several Towne family reunions (Gary, Rich and Justin are in the Towne family tree).
      They have three CDs out now, Stillwater, released in 2008, A Christmas World from 2009, and Looking Back with its degree of nostalgia related to each tune.
      Towne Meeting will play a benefit for the North Country Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, NY, with Lita Kelly, Roy Hurd and Splitrock next Thursday.
      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 some delicious desserts.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing, and the Swanton Chamber.
      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 for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church.
      Click here for more info.


     20 years of Jigs.
      The twentieth annual Jig in the Valley brings an eclectic day of outdoor music in a good cause to the Fairfield Community Center on Sunday. This community event brings together musicians who are generous with their time, the community members and friends, and people from all over the state. Look for great local music, fabulous food under the tent (pizza!), the giant yard sale/flea market, bingo, an iPad raffle, and activities for kids of all ages all afternoon on the Green in East Fairfield.
      The Jig features hours of alternative country, folk, bluegrass, rock, jazz, swing, Motown, and rhythm and blues with the music beginning at noon. The performers include Chasing 440, Dale & Darci, The Eames Brothers, Carol Ann Jones and an All Star Band, Near North, the Oleo Romeos, the Nobby Reed Project, Young Guns, plus special guests Skeeter Camera, Brian Curry, Tom & Gayle Steele, Phil Rolleston, Al Zansler, and more.
      A big ticket raffle to support the Community Center has a brand new Apple iPad, an overnight stay for two at the Trapp Family Lodge, a Cuisinart food processor, and tickets for Lake Champlain Cruises. Raffle tickets are available at Stone's Shell, the Bent Northrup Memorial Library, As The Crow Flies, and at the Community Center. Winners will be drawn at 4 p.m at the Jig. You do not need to be present to win. Raffle tickets are only $5 each or three for $10.
      The Jig in the Valley runs from noon until dusk on Sunday, rain or shine. Admission is $10 per person or $25 for families. The proceeds benefit the many programs at the Fairfield Community Center including a wide variety of educational, arts, and special programming. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and plenty of kids. Call 802.827.3130 or click here for more info.


FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library has an exhibit of a dozen works created by migrant farm workers. Many of the artists are working on farms in Franklin County.
      The book Invisible Odysseys, conceived by artist and writer B. Amore and produced by geographer Susannah McCandless, independent scholar Ethan Mitchell, and the Vermont Folklife Center, accompanies the exhibit. The library will host a book signing tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. There will also a panel discussion. The Messenger will cover the exhibit on Saturday.


ALL NOBBY--It is All Nobby Reed Project All the Time as the Project plays the Champlain Country Club in St. Albans, the Jig In The Valley, and the Fairfax Summer Concert Series.

ENOSBURG FALLS--Shout it from the Rooftops! The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Fiddler on the Roof with a three-day run tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      "It is our strongest musical cast yet," Suzanne Hull-Parent said, "and the choreography is evocative." The leads pursue music seriously. The show even has the Fiddler literally on the roof.
      The new drapes are up in the Opera House and this show marks the debut of the new sound system.
      Admission is $14 for Reserved Seating, or Open Seating at $12 for Adults and $10 for Students and Senior Citizens. Tickets are available at the box office or click here to purchase. Call 802.933.6171 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Downtown St. Albans Summer Concert Series presents Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers playing on the green in Taylor Park tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m.

FAIRFAX--Fairfax Community Theater Company presents Charlotte's Web-the Musical at BFA-Fairfax on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
      E.B. White's classic play is grand for more reasons than the chance to see a couple of grownups upstaged by two dozen kids. And a singing pig. The cast is simply huge. Rose Newton and Jaylin Seaman play Wilbur. Blaize Hall is Charlotte. And 25 great players appear as Fern, Goose and Gander, Sheep, the Lambs, Templeton, Owl, Bat, the Arables, the Zuckermans, and more. The production is directed by Cheri Gagnon, produced by Linda Horner, with musical director Carol Wheel and accompanist Jerry Starks.
      Admission is $10 and $8. Call 802.849.2923 or email for tickets and more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The 2012 Christian Music Concert on the Park and annual Chicken BBQ continues with Heartsong -- Singers for Christ on the Lincoln Park Bandstand on Saturday evening at 5 p.m.
      Heartsong brings country gospel, southern gospel, contemporary Christian music, and original tunes to their extensive travels around the United States.
      The BBQ costs $8 and includes chicken, chips, roll, coleslaw and a drink. A freewill offering will be taken during the concert to help support Heartsong’s ministry. Call Pastor Tim Stetson (802.933.2513) or email.

GRAND ISLE--Island Arts presents the Bluegrass Gospel Project in a Sunday Picnicking Concert on the porch at the Grand Isle Lake House. Picnicking begins at 5:30 p.m. and the concert at 6:30.
      Their music brings the beautiful and inspirational message of gospel lyrics to the American bluegrass tradition. This concert will include classic and original tunes with the BGP signature vocal harmonies and instrumental virtuosity.
      Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets are available at Hackett's Orchard, the Green Frog, the Back Chamber, the Alburgh Library, and the Country Store on Isle La Motte, or online at and

ST. ALBANS--The Champlain Country Club presents the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at 7 p.m.

ST. ALBANS BAY--The Bayside Pavilion presents the Missisquoi River Band featuring Cindy and Jim Weed and Pat Murphy on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Free.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Summer Concert Series presents the soul and blues of the Nobby Reed Project on the Green by the Town Office on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
      Admission is free. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs, and family. In the case of rain the concert will be held in the middle school gym.

HIGHGATE FALLS--St. John Episcopal Church presents Citizens Concert Band on the lawn on Wednesday, August 1, at 7 p.m.
      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. This New England town band encourages all good local musicians so their chairs can hold famed working professionals sitting next to high school soloists.
      The historical brick St. John's Church is now used for weddings, Evensong services, and concerts in the summer.
      Admission is by free will donation.
      Call 802.868.7185 or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and Trad Camp host free concerts by special guests at Memorial Auditorium every day next week. YTV kids and instructors have been in residence from July 20 - August 3 to learn about playing, singing, and dancing in traditional and folk styles.
      Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Library presents comic, inspirational speaker, and mime Robert Rivest this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The program jumps across his childhood dreams as a superhero, an explorer, a dragon slayer, a stuntman, a firefighter, and more.
      The St. Albans Library Writers' Medley takes over the conference room today at 2 p.m. The Medley is a time of fun and sharing for writers and those interested in writing. Call Wanda (802.524.1507) for more info.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library presents Family Fun Night in the Highgate Municipal Park this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. The evening will include the National Guard's 25 foot climbing wall.
      Fun with Mr. K! takes over the library for an hour on Wednesday, August 1, at 10 a.m.

RICHFORD--The A. A. Brown Public Library Richford Summer Camp offers a series of musical guests (mostly) on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. This Tuesday, July 31, the camp hosts the games of Big Blue Trunk at 9:30 a.m.


     Citizens Concert Band webmaster Helen Reed, French Horn, has reorganized their website with a scrolling series of historical photos of the band. The site includes a conductor's welcome, concerts, members, pictures and audio clips, a history of the band, a donation page, and contact info.


      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 © 2012 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.