Arts Beat for Jul. 1: Summer music at its best

WINDBOURNE, FEATURING VIRTUOSIC vocal harmony deeply rooted in American folk-singing traditions, will play Monday, July 8, at Middlebury’s Festival on-the-Green at 7 p.m.

The Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-Green, celebrates its 41st anniversary season from July 7 through 13 on the Middlebury Town Green. The festival kicks off this Sunday, July 7, at 7 p.m., with jazz pianist turned roots musician Sam Reider and the Human Hands, performing an irresistible mixture of bluegrass, gypsy jazz and mysterious sounds from around the world.
The festival, again rated a “Top 10 Summer Event” by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, continues next Monday, July 8, with a “Brown Bag Special” presentation at noon by Rik Palieri. Then, at 7 p.m., the festival really gets under way with Windbourne, featuring virtuosic vocal harmony deeply rooted in American folk-singing traditions. Monday’s performances culminate with Bon Débarras, a trio that brings together a fusion of Québecois folk music, traditional step-dancing and global influences, at 8:30 p.m.
The balance of the festival will feature noontime “Brown Bag” family-oriented presentations at noon through next Friday. In addition, there will be evening musical performances from 7 until 10 p.m. by a wide variety of exciting musicians, including: The Small Glories; the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio; The Joe Davidian Trio featuring Amber de Laurentis; the Matt Flinner Trio; OKAN; the LowDown Brass Band; Soule Monde; Big Night; and the Vermont Jazz Ensemble. See next week’s column for additional details and specific performance times.
Although all festival events are free, donations are welcome. For more information visit or call 802-462-3555.

The Henry Sheldon Museum invites you to celebrate Independence Day at their annual Pops Concert on Wednesday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m., featuring the Vermont Philharmonic, led by Director Lou Kosma. This popular family event takes place on the spacious, manicured grounds of the Middlebury College athletic fields.
The concert will feature contemporary music, light classics, and Broadway and film favorites that will appeal to all ages and musical tastes. Musical selections will include Bohemian Rhapsody, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and songs from Mary Poppins.
Every year, the performance features a stellar vocal soloist and this year is no exception; the guest soloist is jazz vocalist Holli Ross.
A spectacular fireworks display begins at dusk. Should the weather interfere, the concert is held in the adjacent Kenyon Arena of Middlebury College’s Peterson Family Athletic Complex. Fireworks are rain or shine. There is plenty of free parking adjacent to the athletic fields. The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnics.
Adult tickets are $30, youth 12 to 18, $10, and children under 12 years of age admitted free. Tickets for the Concert are available at the Sheldon Museum, online at, or by phone, 802-388-2117. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, flashlights, picnic dinners.
The Pops Concert and Fireworks event is the Sheldon Museum’s biggest annual fundraiser. All net proceeds go toward funding the Museum’s youth education programs. The museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library.

The Ripton Community Coffee House is happy to welcome back Moira Smiley at the Ripton Community House on Saturday, July 6, at 7:30 p.m. Smiley will be joined by Stefan Amidon, drums and voice and Tyler Bolles, bass and voice.
Addison County native Smiley is a singer and composer who creates and performs new work for voices. A musical polyglot and vocal shape-shifter, her voice and her compositions have been heard on feature films, BBC and PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 60 albums. Smiley accompanies herself with banjo, accordion, piano and percussive movement, and when she’s not leading her own group, Moira Smiley & VOCO, she has toured with Indie artist tUnE-yArDs, Irish super-group, Solas, The Lomax Project, and Billy Childs’ “Laura Nyro Re-Imagined.” She’s also toured with Paul Hillier’s Theater of Voices and KITKA. Recent solo performances include TED, Stravinsky’s “Les Noces,” the London Proms Festival, features on BBC Radio3, and ABC Australia’s Books & Artsprograms.
Smiley’s recordings feature spare, vocally driven collections of warped traditional songs, original polyphony and body percussion. She is a well-known choral composer (recent commissions included for Los Angeles Master Chorale) and arranger, with millions of singers around the world singing her works. In 2018, she released a solo album and choral songbook called “Unzip the Horizon.”
Admission $15 generous admission; $10 general admission; $3 for children. The doors for this concert open at 7 p.m. Refreshments are available. Call ahead for a slot on the open mic list. For more information, call 388-9782.

On Friday evening, July 5, at 7:30 p.m., the 40th annual Salisbury Summer Performance Series (at the Salisbury Congregational Meetinghouse) will host the return of the lively traditional music of long-time series friends, Atlantic Crossing.
Having performed across the U.S. and U.K., they have been designated “American Masterpiece Artists” by the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Folklife Center. With their fiddles, guitar, mandolin, whistles, percussion and vocals, Rick Klein, Viveka Fox and Peter Macfarlane will continue to perform their special mix of songs from Quebec, Maritime Canada, the British Isles and New England.
In recent performances and recordings, they have introduced original songs based on regional lore and arrangements of songs drawn from the Flanders Collection of New England Folk Music at Middlebury College. Their performances and recordings (the most recent being “Glory of the Day,” 2016) testify, as one reviewer noted, to the complex and interwoven history of New England culture and music. All the traditions benefit from their rich harmonies, driving rhythms, emotional expression and abiding sense of fun.
This will be the second event in the Summer Performance Series, which will continue, with the exception of July 12, on Friday evenings through Aug. 9, at the historic and accessible 1838 meetinghouse in Salisbury Village.
Although there is no admission charge, a donation in support of the series is always appreciated. Any receipts in excess of the expenses for the series will be applied to the continued restoration of the Salisbury landmark.

The beautiful sounds of ringing bells will fill the air again this summer, as the 34th annual Middlebury College Carillon Series kicks off with Sergei Gratchev, carillonneur for the Middlebury Russian School and city carillonneur, Hulst, Netherlands, on Friday, July 5, at 6 p.m.
Each year, musicians from around the world come to Middlebury to perform in the Chapel’s soaring tower, high above the college campus. All of the concerts are free and open to the public, and can be enjoyed on the steps of Mead Chapel or on the surrounding lawns.
Mead Memorial Chapel is located on the campus of Middlebury College at 75 Hepburn Road. Free parking is available on College Street (Route 125) and on Old Chapel Road. In the case of inclement weather, the concerts will still take place, and audiences are welcome to listen from the chapel steps and front landing. For further information, call 802-443-3168 or visit

Celebrate the July 4th weekend with The Melting Nomads, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 5 at Otter Creek Brewing, 793 Exchange Street in Middlebury.
The Melting Nomads formed in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont in April of 2018. Though this band is fresh on the scene, it’s members have dedicated much of the last five years to the growth and evolution of their musicianship through touring, writing and recording with numerous groups from the Northeast. Devoted to sharing their music and bringing high-energy funky grooves to every room they enter, these nomads will be roaming soon to a musical pasture near you. Blending various individual influences, the group creates a rocking fusion of soulful lyrics and reggae feels with elements of jazz and funk.
For more information, phone 802-388-0727.

The Sunday Sessions continue at Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Sunday, July 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. with Keith “Papa Grey Beard” Williams.
Williams is a one-man-band playing lively and joyful songs with guitar, ukulele, banjo, harmonica and “footdrums” (bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, cymbal, shaker, tambourine and cowbell).
Wine is available by the glass, and there will be a good selection of Vermont cheese, sausage, crackers and chocolate available. Music is rain or shine on the covered porch (moved indoors if it’s pouring). Lincoln Peak Vineyard is located at 142 River Road in New Haven. More information is at

The Rochester Chamber Music Society’s 25th Anniversary Season for Summer 2019 continues this week with the Marguerite Schenkman Memorial Concert on Sunday, July 7, at 4 p.m. in the Rochester Federated Church, 15 North Main Street (Route 100) in Rochester.
Mary Rowell, violin; Paul Reynolds, viola; Emily Taubel, cello and Cynthia Huard, piano will perform works by Schumann, Carolyn Shaw, Beethoven and Nico Muhly.
Although there is no admission charge, donations in support of the series are always welcome. For more information, phone 802-767-9234 or visit

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