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Arts Beat for March 20: Philharmonic to perform French compositions

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Posted on February 27, 2017 |
By Greg Pahl



The Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra will return at 4 p.m. on Sunday to the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury to present their Spring Concert series featuring works by the great French composers; Bizet, Faure, Ravel and Saint Saens. The orchestra will perform the same program the previous night (Saturday) in Ackley Hall at Green Mountain College in Poultney at 7:30 p.m.

The orchestra will be led by their new Artistic Director, Matthew LaRocca. LaRocca teaches theory and composition at Saint Michael’s College, directs the South Burlington Choir and is assistant director of Music-COMP, an organization that teaches composition to hundreds of students throughout Vermont.

Featured on the program will be Saint Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 33 performed by Shelburne native McKinley James. The orchestra will also perform Faure’s Pavane, Op. 50 and selections from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne Suite 1 and 2 and Ravel’s “Valse Nobles et Sentimentales.”

James is currently a student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She was a winner of the Vermont All States Scholarship Competition. Now as a member of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, she has toured through Germany and Switzerland. In addition to being a classical cellist, James also plays traditional folk music. Her band, the Irregulars, has played at contra dances and concerts throughout the Northeast, including the New World Festival, the Dance Flurry and the Champlain Valley Folk Festival.

Tickets are available at the door for both performances for $15 general admission, $10 seniors and $5 students. Advance tickets for the Middlebury performance at the Town Hall Theater may be purchased by calling the THT box office at 382-9222 or go to townhalltheater.org. For more information visit champlainphilharmonic.org or Facebook at facebook.com/ChamplainPhil. The Champlain Philharmonic is a community orchestra that performs regularly in the Addison and Rutland regions of Vermont. This is their 13th performance season.

CHELSEA BERRY LIVE

Hear Chelsea Berry, a singer-songwriter with the edge, power and finesse of legends, live at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Her vocals are smooth and lyrics reminiscent of the folk music of the sixties. Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, brother of James Taylor, calls her vocals “world class” and her presence has been described by listeners as “compelling… she draws the entire house into her world like moths to a flame.” As a vocalist and performer, she evokes the style of artists such as Sheryl Crow, Janis Joplin and Paula Cole.

A favorite among venue owners up and down the East coast, Berry’s beautiful voice and commanding stage presence has brought her across the U.S. as regular support for Livingston Taylor as well as headliner of her own shows from California to Washington, Minneapolis, New York, and everywhere in between. Born and raised in Alaska, she now makes her home on Boston’s North Shore.

Fellow singer, guitarist and songwriter, Chris Smither says she is “Great, talented, beautiful… her future is so bright you’re gonna have to wear shades.”

Recently, Berry appeared as the cover of “The Noise” magazine in Boston, has been featured multiple times on Boston’s 92.5 The River, and has played venues from Boston’s House of Blues to the Shalin Liu in Rockport, Mass. and Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has opened for artists such as Chris Isaak, Marshall Crenshaw, Laurie Lewis, Roger McGuinn, Patty Larkin and more.

Berry was a 2016 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist and has been a student of American songwriting legends such as Dave Van Ronk, Livingston Taylor, Janis Ian and Chris Smither.

Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show.Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or email [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

 “IDOMENEO” AT THT

Mozart’s first operatic masterpiece, “Idomeneo” returns to the Met in the classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production, conducted by music director emeritus James Levine. This MET in HD extravaganza will be broadcast to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The superb ensemble includes Matthew Polenzani as the king torn by a rash vow; mezzo-soprano Alice Coote in the trouser role of his noble son Idamante; soprano Nadine Sierra as Ilia; and soprano Elza van den Heever as the volatile Elettra, who loves Idamante to the bounds of madness.

A free talk about this opera will be given in the studio on the lower level before the broadcast at 12:15 p.m. (45 minutes before the start time) by Scott Morrison. Tentative run time is four hours.

Tickets $24/$10 students, and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office, or at the door Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. or one hour before show time.

“FOCUS ON THE SHELDON”

As part of the current exhibit at Middlebury’s Henry Sheldon Museum, “Focus on the Sheldon: A Five-Point Perspective,” there will be a panel discussion at noon on Wednesday with the five photographers whose works are featured in the exhibit, facilitated by Pieter Broucke, Middlebury College Professor of Art and Architecture.

The Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. Museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Research Center hours: Thursday and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. Admission to the Museum is $5 adults; $3 youth (6-18); $4.50 seniors; $12 family; $5 Research Center. For more information call 388-2117 or visit HenrySheldonMuseum.org.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be one live music performance this week at Two Brothers Tavern located at 86 Main Street in Middlebury. Join Two Brothers every Wednesday at 9 p.m. for The Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy or anything else. Two Brothers Lounge is a laid back atmosphere where collaborations and libations fuel creativity. Alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley, come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter and there is no cover charge. For additional information, call 388-0002.

LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN

There will be one live musical event this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main on Saturday when In the Pocket takes to the stage, at 7:30 p.m. In the Pocket is a six-piece ensemble based in Burlington playing Jazz classics from the Swing, Be-Bop and Sinatra eras. Featuring Michael Lestrange on vocals and George Voland on valve trombone, Vermont’s “little big band” delights audiences of all ages with its repertoire of recognizable Jazz standards. Come party like its 1959 — with In the Pocket. All ages, no cover. For information visit www.go51main.com or call 388-8209.

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