Performance Notes, Aug. 20, 2020

StompBoxTrio will perform Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Cooper Field in Putney.

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Opportunities to make art in a crisis

There will be a weekly public art studio in town starting Friday.

River Gallery School of Art, in collaboration with The Root Social Justice Center, InSight Photography Project and First Proof Press will be offering free art making opportunities from 1 to 4 p.m. on Fridays through Oct. 9. The studio at River Valley School, 32 Main St., will be open for people to use printmaking, drawing and painting to create art around issues of the pandemic, social and racial justice, the 2020 election and the climate crisis.

People who would like to make art but cannot make Fridays can contact the school to arrange another time.

Drop-ins are welcome. There is a six-person maximum in studios and masks are required. Paste-ups will be put up in town Oct. 15 thru Nov. 15.

In addition, River Gallery School will have an art table at the Solidarity Friday rallies in Pliny Park for art and sign making from 5 to 6:30 p.m. First Proof Press will be offering two free T-shirt making workshops, to be announced. InSight Photography Project students will create their own series of public paste-ups to join the community conversation.

For more information or to arrange another time to make art, contact Jess Weitz,

Women's chorus to rehearse, perform via Zoom

Rehearsals for the fall semester of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus will take place online, via Zoom.

There will be morning or evening meeting times on Thursdays beginning Sept. 3, for 12 weeks, with the choice of either 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 7 to 8:30 p.m. The chorus is open to anyone, age 10 and up, who identifies as a woman or non-binary and whose vocal range comfortably includes the A in the middle of the treble staff.

Singers who wish to try the chorus are welcome to do so on Sept. 3 and 10. Registration is necessary to receive a Zoom link.

Themes throughout the 12 weeks will be welcoming the ancestors, healing and moving into the new and the now. A final concert, also via Zoom, will be held Nov. 22.

Founder-director Becky Graber has created backing tracks to sing along with, and she will offer practice tracks and occasional YouTube tutorials.

"We'll sing wonderful songs for you to take away with you into your daily life, and I'll offer ways you can enjoy exploring your own singing," Graber said. "There's a lot Zoom can't do, but we'll find ways to enjoy making music together in our own spaces."

The Chorus offers a new sliding scale option in the fee structure for this fall, as well as family and student rates and financial aid. Registration and payment may be done online or by regular mail. See for more information.

Drive-in concerts scheduled

Two drive-in concerts are scheduled at the base of the Harris Hill Skill Jump at the end of this month.

The BMC Pops will perform Aug. 28, and the VJC Seven with Wanda Houston will perform Aug. 29. Both concerts are at 6 p.m. The concerts are presented by Retreat Farm and the Brattleboro Music Center.

Tickets, now available, are free but reservations are required. A suggested donation of $20 per car is welcome. Attendees should bring a blanket, lawn chair and picnic.

Each ticket includes access for one car and includes two parking spaces: one for a car and one for each group to enjoy the concert.

The Brattleboro Music Center Pops Orchestra players are professional musicians from Brattleboro and the surrounding area. Audiences will recognize musicians from Juno Orchestra, Vermont Symphony, Springfield Symphony the music center faculty and area college faculties.

The VJC 7, featuring Wanda Houston, is an octet made up of members of the 17-piece Vermont Jazz Center Big Band. It utilizes the "band within a band model" made popular by Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw: a large band pared down to a smaller group that focuses less on arrangements and more on improvisation. The front line of the VJC 7 is comprised of Rob Freeberg (trumpet), Michael Zsoldos (tenor and alto saxophones), Sherm Fox (baritone saxophone) and John Wheeler (trombone). The rhythm section is by Eugene Uman (piano), David Picchi (bass) and Steve Rice (drums).

Houston, the featured vocalist, has led an active career as an actress, performing on the grand stages of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Broadway. She toured Europe as the wicked stepsister in "Sisterella," for which the NAACP awarded her "Best Supporting Actress in a Musical."

Reservations can be made by going online to and clicking the "Buy Tickets Now" button. For more information, visit the Facebook event, "Music Under the Stars Drive-In Experience," or contact the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523.


Next Stage Arts Project presents StompBoxTrio

Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present a socially-distanced lawn concert by Americana music band StompBoxTrio on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Cooper Field in Putney.

StompBoxTrio is a Western Massachusetts band that features Evelyn Harris (vocals, percussion), John Cab n ("Dobro" steel guitar, stompbox) and David Rodriguez (wood bass, foot tambourine). The trio blends vintage American blues, funk and soul while adding some 21st-century flair to inspire hip-shaking and foot-stomping.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets for outdoor seating in distanced pods on the ball field, and face masks to wear whenever leave their pods. The rain date for the concert is Sunday.

Tickets are $20 (infield) and $15 (outfield) in advance and $20 at the door. Children 12 and under can attend for free. Advance tickets are available online at More information is available on the website or by calling 802-387-0102.


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