Arts & Leisure

‘Made in Vermont’ tour returns to Middlebury

THE VERMONT SYMPHONY Orchestra will play the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 28. The performance will include a film with music by Middlebury’s Matthew Evan Taylor (pictured) in conjunction with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival film “The Greatest Night.”

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Symphony Orchestra joins leaf-peepers on the road for the annual “Made in Vermont” chamber orchestra tour this fall, with a stop at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 28. Spirited works by Bartók, Devienne, and Haydn will showcase VSO principal flute Melissa Mielens, and 17-year-old cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing from Detroit’s Sphinx program. VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo will conduct.
This will be the third year of the VSO’s unique collaboration with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. The tour will feature the world premiere of “The Greatest Night,” a new film by Jeremy Lee MacKenzie, 2018 VSO Award winner at the festival. The film’s original score, composed by Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Music Matthew Evan Taylor, will be performed live by the orchestra as the film screens overhead.
IFETAYO ALI-LANDING
Ifetayo Ali-Landing began her musical studies on the violin and switched to cello at age four. She was named first-place laureate of the Sphinx Competition’s Junior Division in 2017, and one of the winners of the DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers in 2016. Ali-Landing has been a featured performer with orchestras around the country. She is currently a freshman in the music program at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
MELISSA MIELENS
Melissa Mielens is the principal flute with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of Indian Hill. She has played principal flute with many regional orchestras, and has toured abroad with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra and the New World Symphony among others. Mielens was one of the youngest recipients of a Fulbright Grant, and received her B.M. and M.M. degrees, both with distinction, from the New England Conservatory.
JEREMY LEE MACKENZIE
Jeremy Lee MacKenzie is a Vermont native, screenwriter, director, and wood-scrollwork artist with a BFA in creative media from Champlain College. His previous award-winning films, “Flicker and Hidden Blueprints: The Story of Mikey,” as well as this newest work, reflect aspects of the eight years he spent in jail on drug charges, where he was inspired to create art and to become a filmmaker. In 2017 MacKenzie was awarded the James Goldstone Emerging Filmmaker Award. He is currently a George Lucas scholar at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.
MATHEW EVAN TAYLOR
Composer and professor of music Matthew Evan Taylor grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and began playing the saxophone at age nine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in saxophone performance, and after a five-year stint touring as a founding member of Sony’s Moses Mayfield, he moved to Miami in 2009 to focus on composition, and to study at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Taylor’s work has been performed by the Imani Winds, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among others. He began teaching at Middlebury in 2017, and has collaborated extensively across disciplines to create new work.
Catch the VSO’s “Made in Vermont” concert on Saturday, Sept. 28,  at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall. General admission tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for students (children ages 6-17 and full-time college students with ID); free for children ages 5 and under. Tickets are available at the Middlebury College box office at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or  at middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

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