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Arts Beat for June 8: Student concert slated for Town Hall Theater Sunday

On Sunday at 2 p.m., faculty members, students of all ages, and special guests will take to the stage at the Town Hall Theater to perform together with a spirit of collaboration that has been driving the Middlebury Community Music Center in its first year. The concert will be preceded by a reception at 1 p.m.
MCMC faculty and students are thrilled to be able to present a diverse concert, celebrating the many styles of music — from bluegrass to classical to jazz — that are taught weekly under the roof of the Community House, now the home of MCMC. The concert will be a fundraiser, with proceeds going to MCMC and its scholarship fund.
With 23 faculty members teaching 19 instruments (including voice), MCMC has developed a community of 210 students enrolled in private and group classes in their first nine months as a school. Response from the community has been resoundingly positive, with many people saying, “This is just what our community needed.”
MCMC looks forward to its first full summer, offering private lessons as well as classes and camps. The Summer Session begins on June 22. To learn more about MCMC, or to contact executive director and founder Sadie Brightman, visit mcmcvt.org.
Tickets $10, generous tickets $20. All proceeds to benefit MCMC and its scholarship fund. For tickets, visit the Town Hall Theater box office, call 382-9222 noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday or visit townhalltheater.org.
GYPSY REEL IN BRANDON
The high-energy, stirring music of Gypsy Reel comes to Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The band plays tunes rooted in the Celtic tradition but garnered from the whole world. Their music is an exciting synthesis of world rhythms and influences from three continents.
The lineup includes hot banjoist, guitarist and vocalist, Claudine Langille, formerly of Touchstone, the sensational Irish/American fusion band that won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic; Graham Parker, eclectic fiddler extraordinaire; Camille Parker, who has captivated the hearts of audiences across the globe with her mandolin, bodhran playing and her singing in French, Spanish and English; and Mark Harding on standup bass.
Based in Ludlow, Gypsy Reel has been together for over 30 years earning them the title of “the hottest acoustic band around” according to The Message in Chester. Their eighth and newest studio album, “Red Red Rose,” features music from the Celtic tradition and original material from the band — the kind of eclectic material they will be performing at Brandon Music.
Their tours of the U.S., Canada, Central America and the U.K. have gained them rave reviews.
Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon. For additional information, visit brandon-music.net.
ARTIST’S RECEPTION
The Sheldon Museum in Middlebury presents the exhibit “Warren Kimble All-American Artist: An Eclectic Retrospective,” on view through Oct. 18. A public reception is scheduled during Middlebury’s Art’s Walk, this Friday, 5 to 7 p.m. Kimble will be present at the reception.
This exhibit highlights the career of internationally known Brandon artist Warren Kimble, who came to prominence for his folk art but since has concentrated on diverse themes, inspired in part by his residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson. These themes include his “Sunshine” series, his “Widows of War” paintings and sculpture, and more recent “House of Cards” and “Into the Box,” open-faced boxes which feature found objects and architectural assemblages.
In addition, as a tribute to the public and the Sheldon Museum, Warren and his wife Lorraine have agreed to display their personal collection of folk art by other artists, which will be located throughout the Sheldon’s historic rooms. Gallery talks of the exhibit will be held every Wednesday at noon.
Admission to the museum is $5 Adults; $3 Youth (6-18); $4.50 seniors; $12 family; $5 Research Center. The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. Museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; Research Center, Thursday and Friday, 1-5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call 388-2117 or visit HenrySheldonMuseum.org.
BOB MACKENZIE BAND
The Bob MacKenzie Blues Band brings its high-spirited and good-humored American roots music to Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Bob MacKenzie Band plays blues classics, jump, swing, and rhythm & blues — tunes that will get you dancing, or simply let you enjoy the night, listening while the band takes you back through decades of great music. The band includes Bob MacKenzie (vocals, harmonica); Dennis Willmott (guitar, vocals); David Bain (piano/organ/vocals); Mike Schuster (bass); and John Wallace (drums).
Admission is free. As with all Wine Down Friday shows, the “doors” open at 5:30 for picnicking. Food will be for sale by Almost Home, and wine by the glass. Bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket. The Wine Down Friday series happens rain or shine — there’s room on the winery porch in the case of rain. No alcohol may be brought onto the grounds, and please leave your pets at home. Lincoln Peak Vineyard is located at 142 River Road in New Haven. More information is at lincolnpeakvineyard.com.
BIGELOW & STAPLETON
Friends of the Ripton Community Church will present a program featuring Diana Bigelow and Jim Stapleton reading from their memoirs on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Bigelow and Stapleton have each recently self-published a memoir. Bigelow’s life story was written at the request of her grandson; Stapleton’s book is an account of his eight years as a hermit in the Pennsylvania woods. The afternoon presentation will feature readings from their works, as well as a discussion with the audience about the process of self-publishing.
The Bristol couple have presented other programs at the Community Church, including Mark Twain’s “The Diaries of Adam and Eve” and an evening of their own stories and songs.
Admission is free to the 90-minute presentation but donations for the continuing restoration of the church are appreciated. Refreshments will be served. The church is located on Route 125 in Ripton village.
TWO BROTHERS TAVERN
There will be three live musical performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.
Join Two Brothers every Wednesday, at 9 p.m., for the Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy, or anything else, 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.
Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents Jester Jigs who will play a set list consisting of your favorite party songs, rock, modern rock, and pop/dance covers along with an endless supply of originals. There is a $3 cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Toast takes to the Tavern’s stage for an encore performance. It’s always a party, so bring your friends and acquaintances. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN
There will be one live musical event this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 51 Main presents Hot Box Honey. This talented duo spices up the Middlebury music scene. Led by jazz vocalist Jane Evans and guitarist Gregory Evans, Hot Box Honey showcases an upbeat eclectic mix of swing, Latin, funk, reggae and soul rhythms.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

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