ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 3, 2014


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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      Summer Sounds starts this Sunday at Bay Day!
      34th rendition of Bay Day kicks off a day with lots more than fireworks in St. Albans Town Bay Park all day this Sunday. The annual summer festival offers a full family day with the Great Race, lakefront games, sports, fair food, fireworks, and continuous live music, all to celebrate Independence Day. This familiar Franklin County family festival has new surprises every year as does the Town Park with new access and features almost every time you visit.

LIVE MUSIC ALL AFTERNOON--The All Arts Council and the Town of St. Albans will offer live music for Bay Day starting about 2 p.m. under the tent on the Bathhouse patio at St. Albans Town Park at the Bay. The afternoon music lineup includes Chasing 440 plus the Padulabaum duo of Gary Dulabaum and Rebecca Padula, and some very special guests. These popular entertainers will mix it up with family music, rock 'n' roll, country, swing, old timey/bluegrass, jazz, some gospel, and their own originals.
      Chasing 440 chases great bluegrass with Amanda Benway, singer/songwriter and lead Mandolin; David Benway, guitar and vocals; Arnold Royea, fiddle; Michael Ryan, banjo and vocals; and Larry Blackhurst on bass. Their sets include 9 Pound Hammer, 30 Years of Farming, and That Bluegrass Music. 2:45 and 4:15 p.m. on the Bathhouse patio.
      Gary Dulabaum is a nationally known performer, recording artist, author, and teacher from South Burlington. Americana roots singer-songwriter Rebecca Padula has written more than 40 original songs and released 3 independent albums. She is a documentary film maker and an advocate for media literacy and free speech. 2, 3:30, and 5 p.m. on the Bathhouse patio.
      [Times are approximate -- come for the whole day.]

SUMMER SOUNDS--The All Arts Council and the Town of St. Albans welcome a band that can rock the Bath House tent as Mylan Technologies presents Jamie Lee Thurston to open the 24th Summer Sounds season under the stars on the back stage at Bay Day on Sunday at 7 p.m.
      Mr. Thurston has done a hat trick, headlining each of the major festivals this year. This is his third free appearance here in Franklin County, after Maple Festival and Dairy Festival. Don't miss it.
      The Summer Sounds headliner writes, sings, produces and plays lead guitar. He lives his music, "every word, note and riff." Sometimes mellow, often rollicking, and always raw and real, he has been enthralling audiences since he first went on the stage with his Dad, the renowned Jimmy T, at the age of 3.
      "My music is what I am, what I want and all I can ever imagine -- coming together in a studio or on a stage," he said.
      He paid his dues in the bars and clubs across the Northeast and Canada, then opened for the superstar country acts Dixie Chicks, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Billy Currington, Travis Tritt and Charlie Daniels. Music City is now home for good.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of St. Albans and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Bud Light, Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, Mylan Technologies, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing and WOKO. Visit for the summer concert schedule.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.

     The family events include the great race, volleyball and horseshoe tournaments, food and games for all ages, and more all starting at 1 p.m. The park opens at 8 a.m. The music is free.
      The Bay Day-Summer Sounds social, presented by St. Albans Town Recreation, will be an all day event with the Bay Day food vendors starting to serve at about 2 p.m.
      Fireworks will begin at dusk thanks to generous contributions from the community.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on photographer Jo Anne Wazny of Berkshire. The retired teacher creates two dimensional works plus book. She gets her inspiration and joy largely from nature.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The cooperative features works by 45 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus the first Sunday of each month, noon to 5 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of July.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery exhibits works by the Franklin County Senior Center Art Class led by Donna DeGrechie this month. The group is showing drawings and paintings of roosters. All pieces in the exhibit are from private collections and not for sale but are for the enjoyment of visitors.
      The show continues through the end of July.


WILLISTON--Justice will rock the Maple Tree Place Green in a free show this evening at 6:30.
      Justice includes Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals. Click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's best known blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals. The pub has live music lined up for every evening in March.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents Heliand Consort on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The program "Ancient Airs and Tropical Dances" will include music based on folk tunes from Hungary, Spain, and South America, a quintet by Milhaud that depicts a medieval king's outing with his court, and arrangements of Strauss waltzes.
      The Heliand Consort first took shape when Elisabeth LeBlanc of St. Albans and Rachael Elliott of Lyndon sat side-by-side in the Vermont Youth Orchestra. They connected with founding pianist Annemieke Spoelstra to form a trio to perform live chamber music throughout the state. The name Heliand is Old Saxon for "healing power." The Consort grew to include Berta Frank, flute, Katie Oprea, oboe, Ms. Leblanc, clarinet, and Ms. Elliot, bassoon. Ms. Frank and LeBlanc are now VYOA staff members and Ms. Elliott is the VYO Endangered Instruments instructor.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, and is wheelchair accessible. The suggested donation benefits the performers. Call 802.326.4603 or Click here for more info.

EAST FAIRFIELD--The Meeting House on the Green presents a concert with the Keeghan Nolan Band in the Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures series on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Vermont country singer-songwriter and Summer Sounds favorite Keeghan Nolan has a solid run of award winning performances at the major fairs, festivals, and concerts throughout New England, Florida, West Virginia, and Nashville to her credit.
      The 1876 church is an architectural, social, and spiritual anchor of East Fairfield thanks to marriages, baptisms, funerals, candlelight services, and many a roast beef dinner. The non-profit Fairfield Community Center Association acquired the Meeting House for essential services and enrichment programs to the region. They have rebuilt the roof on the shed addition over the old tracker organ, removed the chimney, repaired of eaves and soffits, installed a new electrical service, wiring, and lights, removed the old furnace and oil tanks, and leveled and stabilized the front entrance. These concerts will benefit the restoration of this historic landmark for future generations.
      "This is one of the sweetest sounding acoustic rooms in Vermont," Will Patton said last month.
      Admission is $15 and kids under 12 are free. Refreshments will be for sale at intermission. Call 802.827.6626 to reserve tickets. Click here for more info.

HIGHGATE FALLS--St. John Episcopal Church presents Citizens Concert Band on the lawn on Wednesday, July 9, at 7:30 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 Concert Band under the direction of Kevin Loomis 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.

MORRISVILLE--Carol Ann Jones and Gary Spaulding team up in a free concert in the new concert pavilion at Ox Bow Park next Wednesday, July 9, at 5:30 p.m.


     New England's Creative Economy directory is officially live now, as the state directories of artists faded away on Monday. spotlights the creative people and places in the New England states. The online directory includes profiles for cultural nonprofits like libraries and theaters, creative businesses like recording studios and design agencies, and artists of all disciplines from the performing arts, to crafts, to visual arts.
      CreativeGround is a project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) which has ongoing partnerships with the National Endowment for the Arts and the six state arts councils.


      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 © 2014 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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