Thursday January 17, 2013

Windham Orchestra presents ‘Psalms & Fireworks’

BRATTLEBORO _ On Friday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m., at Bellows Falls Union High School, and Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m., at Brattleboro Union High School, the Windham Orchestra, joined by the choruses of all four Windham County High Schools, will present "Psalms & Fireworks."

Under the direction of Hugh Keelan, "Psalms & Fireworks" takes musicians, singers and audience members on an extraordinary musical journey that includes Grieg’s "Holberg Suite" for strings, Mozart’s passionate "Susanna’s Aria" from "The Marriage of Figaro," and Handel’s rousing "Music for the Royal Fireworks." The concert draws to a dramatic close with Stravinsky’s "Symphony of Psalms" during which the orchestra is joined by the Bellows Falls Union High School Chorus, directed by Mary Westbrook-Geha; Brattleboro Union High School Chorus, directed by Patty Meyer; Leland & Gray Union High School Chorus, directed by Ron Kelley; and Twin Valley High School Chorus, directed by Sue Maddern. Brattleboro Union High School senior Aurora Phillips is the vocal soloist for Mozart’s "Susanna’s Aria."

To purchase tickets ($15, $10 seniors and students) call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523, or visit www.bmcvt.org.

Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival returns Jan.


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BRATTLEBORO -- The Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26, at several sites in Brattleboro.

Now in its 6th year, the Brattleboro Music Center’s annual festival features more than 20 musicians and the rich traditions of Ireland, Scotland, England, New England and French Canada.

The Northern Roots Festival is a day-long event featuring participatory workshops, performances, pub sessions, a dance band, and a family dance, all of which culminate in an evening performance.

Among the musicians featured in this year’s evening performance and daytime workshops are the Boston-based duo of Scottish fiddler Katie McNally and guitarist Eric McDonald; Connecticut-based traditional singer Ellen Cohn; Massachusetts based New England fiddler David Kaynor; and local Vermont musicians fiddler Laurie Indenbam, accordionist Andy Davis and pianist Arthur Davis. Also returning for this year’s evening performance is Traddleboro ensemble, this year featuring Scottish piper Dan Houghton, singer Charity Houghton, New England fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger and French Canadian guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussionist Keith Murphy.

Other musicians participating in the festival’s daytime activities are the Scottish and Irish, husband-and-wife, storytelling team of Jerry and Nancy Bell; Irish flute and whistle player Dan Restivo; traditional English folk singer Tony Barrand; pianist, accordionist Mary Cay Brass; and Irish & French Canadian fiddler Becky Tracy.

The daytime schedule includes several participation workshops including Scottish Fiddle, Irish Flute & Whistle, and Guitar DADGAD workshops; and for all instruments New England Dance, Scottish, and French Canadian tune workshops; as well as a Dance Band Prep workshop. Daytime performances include Local Repertoire Favorites, Double Fiddle, Spinning Stories & Wool, and Songs of Trades & Professions.

David Baker, of Baker Violins, will also be on hand to advise on fiddle care, fitting and maintenance.

The majority of the festival events happen at the New England Youth Theatre. McNeill’s Brewery provides the perfect setting for a rollicking afternoon of jam sessions.

Tickets for the Northern Roots Festival (combination day and evening $35, daytime only $20, evening only $20; youth combination day and evening $15, youth day only $10, youth evening only $10) are available from the Brattleboro Music Center at www.bmcvt.org or 802-257-4523. Advance ticket purchase is recommended; seating for the evening performance is limited.

Admission at 3 p.m. for the Family Concert and Family Dance only, is $5 per person at the door. On Saturday, during the festival, tickets can be purchased at New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St., with doors opening at 11:30 a.m.