BELLOWS FALLS -- Immanuel Retreat Center and Stone Church Arts, 14 and 20 Church St., presents the Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music II on Jan. 17-19, culminating with a Mandolin Chamber Music Concert on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music II is a workshop and concert dedicated to the classical mandolin and chamber music composed for the mandolin ensemble format. The public concert on Jan. 19 at 3 p.m., will present works for mandolin and guitar, and mandolinists are invited to register for a weekend of rehearsal, instruction and performance.

Led by August Watters, a Boston area teacher and composer, the festival is designed for the classical mandolin community and for concertgoers interested in classical chamber music.

The purpose of the festival is to create learning and performance opportunities for those interested in chamber music composed for mandolin and its related instruments (as well as classical guitar).

A great wealth of music exists for mandolin-guitar ensembles; most of it has been forgotten or out of the public eye for generations. FMCM provides an opportunity to explore mandolin ensemble music, from baroque to Romantic and contemporary works.

The Festival weekend workshop is open to anyone who plays mandolin, mandola or guitar and reads standard notation. Music will be available for advance preparation. Guitar parts will be written in standard classical guitar format, although pick-style guitar may substitute for mandola.

Participants will divide their time, roughly evenly, between ensemble rehearsals and workshops. Chamber ensembles will be assigned according to preference, ability and interest. A choice of workshops will be available, addressing technique, repertoire and theory.

Watters is a multi-stylistic, improvising mandolinist, composer/arranger and teacher in the Boston area. He has performed with some of the leading figures in today’s revival of this most elegant instrument, and the advancement of its musical traditions. His work as an interpreter, improviser, composer and arranger bridges contemporary classical music, jazz, folk music traditions, and the historical concert mandolin repertoire.

For more information and to register, visit Tickets for the Jan. 19 concert will be on sale Village Square Booksellers and online. For information, call 802-463-3100 or e-mail