Arts & Leisure

Maiden Vermont tunes up for fall concert

THE ALL-WOMEN barbershop chorus, Maiden Vermont, will perform their annual fall concert on Saturday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m., at Middlebury Union High School. Jon Gailmor will join the chorus as a special guest. Tickets $15-25.

MIDDLEBURY — When you hear the term “barbershop music,” do you picture four guys in straw boaters, crooning a song from the 1890s? Sure that’s one ol’ fashioned way to sing barbershop, but it’s done differently here in Middlebury. Maiden Vermont is the local chorus of around 40 women singing four-part, a cappella music with tight harmonies and exciting interpretations, and they’re giving their annual fall concert at Middlebury Union High School on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m.
Maiden Vermont, which rehearses weekly in Salisbury, draws members from all over the Champlain Valley and sings a wide variety of music from doo wop to spirituals, show tunes to jazz. 
For this October concert, noted Vermont troubadour and songwriter Jon Gailmor, will be the featured performer. He’ll join the chorus for the second half, first as a solo performer and then singing with the group.
“My performances, regardless of where or for whom, are designed to fit the audience to a tee, and to leave them feeling renewed, hopeful and emotionally charged,” Gailmor said. “My originals are fraught with childish illogic, profound feelings, absurd humor and, at times, both subtle and obvious messages.”
Gailmor performed with Maiden Vermont several years ago, too, and their bond has become even stronger.
Maiden Vermont will, of course, be led by Linda Bortney, who founded this group 15 years ago when she retired to the Green Mountain State. She brings with her degrees in theater arts, music theory and composition, and a life-long passion for the thrill of barbershop harmony.
Since founding Maiden Vermont, Bortney has led the group on a merry musical adventure that has seen the chorus through many glamorous endeavors. Maiden Vermont has sung for a former U.S. Senator’s birthday. They perform to welcome new American citizens each year at naturalization ceremonies and entertain both spectators and participants at the Dragon Boat Festival in Burlington.  They’ve helped Middlebury celebrate the landmark opening of the new Cross Street Bridge.  They even sang the Canadian and American National Anthems to an audience of over 35,000 at Fenway Park before the Red Sox took the field on Vermont Day in 2010.
Feeling inspired? Maiden Vermont is always welcoming new members. Check them out most Thursday evenings at the Salisbury Elementary School, 7 p.m. Or mark your calendars to attend their fall concert on Oct. 26, at 4 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $15 for students, and are available at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater in advance, or at MUHS on the day of the show.

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