Arts & Leisure

Arts Beat: Durham County Poets return to Brandon

DURHAM COUNTY POETS return to Brandon Music on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

By popular demand, Brandon Music is thrilled to welcome back Durham County Poets on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Hailing from Ormstown, Quebec and the surrounding Chateauguay Valley, the five seasoned musicians, all of whom are songwriters, work together individually and collaboratively in composing their music. 
Delving into a variety of styles and genres, their musical influences include a broad range of artists. From The Band to Dire Straits, Leon Redbone to James Taylor and Neil Young, they have managed to put it all together to create their own musical style best described as bluesy country/folk with a lot of verve.
The lead singer, Kevin Harvey, is a naturally laid back vocalist who nails the essence of whatever song he’s singing, bringing it to life in a way that serves the music and, particularly, the lyrics. The obvious joie de vivre expressed while performing together is reflected in the good time feel the band creates, which has been captivating their audiences consistently since their inception six years ago. 
The Durham County Poets feature David Whyte on electric guitars and vocals, Neil Elsmore on guitars and vocals and Carl Rufh on double bass and vocals. They have just added a drummer to the band—Rob Couture.
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 802- 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

Low Lily takes the stage at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1.
With a vocal blend that has been dubbed “outstanding” and “meticulous,” Low Lily’s cohesive sound comes naturally for musicians whose lives have been entwined on the road and onstage for almost two decades. Low Lily is Liz Simmons (vocals, guitar); Flynn Cohen (vocals, guitar, mandolin); and Lissa Schneckenburger (vocals, fiddle).
Setting down roots in Brattleboro, the band has crafted a signature sound they have shared with enthusiastic audiences throughout North America and the UK, garnering two #1 songs on international folk radio and two New England Music Award nominations.
Chosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Most Wanted Band of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary. With their first full-album release “10,000 Days Like These” (March 2018, following their 2015 self-titled EP release), Low Lily shares an intimate, no-tricks-involved, collection of songs that showcases their talents and proves them to be a formidable, ready-for-prime-time act. A first album this strong doesn’t come from newbies—all the members have performed with numerous well-known names in folk and traditional music.
Tickets are $20-$25 for adults, $18 for students, subject to applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased at the box office, 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury, over the phone at 802-382-9222 (Monday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.), or online at

Town Hall Theater is marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death with a limited screening of “Leonardo: The Works,” directed by Phil Grabsky at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 30.
Leonardo da Vinci is acclaimed as the world’s favorite artist. Many TV shows and feature films have showcased this extraordinary genius but often not examined closely enough is the most crucial element of all: his art.
Leonardo’s peerless paintings and drawings will be the focus, as the film presents every single attributed painting, in Ultra HD quality. Key works include The Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Lady with an Ermine, Ginevra de’ Benci, Madonna Litta, Virgin of the Rocks, and more than a dozen others.
This film also looks afresh at Leonardo’s life — his inventive-ness, his sculptural skills, his military foresight and his ability to navigate the treacherous politics of the day through the prism of his art.
Tickets are $13/$8 including all fees. Tickets may be purchased by calling 802-382-9222, at the box office located at 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury, Monday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., or online at

The Ripton Community Coffee House welcomes back Moors and McCumber at the Ripton Community House on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
The singer-songwriter duo Moors and McCumber perform Americana or roots music. It incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues. More recently, they’ve also been influenced by Irish music. 
James Moors and Kort McCumber grew up in different places and listening to different kinds of music, but when they met in 2005, they knew they’d found something golden. Since then, they’ve been cultivating their wide-ranging musical influences in songs that delve into love and life through haunting lyrics, soaring harmonies, and dazzling instrumental proficiency.
The duo has that rare chemistry which happens when two gifted singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists perfectly complement each other’s strengths, creating a modern-day version of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 
The doors for this concert open at 7 p.m. Refreshments are available. Call ahead for a slot on the open mic list.
Generous admission $15, general admission $10, $3 for children. For more information call 388-9782.

Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater will screen Massenet’s opera, Manon, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. The Met continues its season with one of Massenet’s most popular operas.
A take on the quintessentially French tale of the beautiful young woman who is incapable of forsaking both love and luxury, Massenet’s Manon features one of the truly unforgettable, irresistible, and archetypal female characters in opera. While the story is firmly set in class and gender issues of the past, the character of Manon herself is timeless, convincing and familiar.
Making her role debut as the title heroine is American soprano Lisette Oropesa. Michael Fabiano co-stars as Manon’s lover, the Chevalier des Grieux. Maurizio Benini conducts Laurent Pelly’s production, which transports the action from its original 18th-century setting to the Belle Époque era of late 19th-century Paris.
Jim Pugh will give a pre-show talk in the Byers Studio downstairs at Town Hall Theater at 12:15 p.m. with refreshments sponsored by the Opera Company of Middlebury.
Tickets are $24/$10 students and may be purchased at, by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Mon – Sat noon – 5 p.m., or at the door.

The Michele Fay Band will perform at Brandon Music, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
The Michele Fay Band features original and Americana music that mixes together a comfortable groove of folk, swing and bluegrassy songs that are “a little bit country.”
Fay’s heartfelt lyrics are central to the ensemble, as she sings with a clear, authentic voice. Fay has been writing songs “forever,” but has performed them for the past 12 years in Vermont. Her three band musicians are a perfect match for her talent as a singer-songwriter, and they add to the charm and sincerity of these songs without detracting from their earnest messages. 
Kalev Freeman, on fiddle, brings forth a light-hearted, lilting sound. Michael Santosusso, on upright bass, adds dynamic beat and matched harmonies. Fay’s husband, Tim Price, contributes accomplished, melodic instrumentals on mandolin and guitar.
The band’s performances are both energetic and unpretentious, appealing to a wide range of audience. Its growing musicianship is increasingly being well received throughout the region as it continues to gather its well-deserved recognition.
Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.

The Middlebury College Department of Theater and Dance will present Chuck Mee’s The Bacchae 2.1, directed by Michole Biancosino, on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Seeler Studio Theater at the Mahaney Arts Center. Additional performances will take place on Friday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
In this remaking of a classic Greek play, Dionysus, son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman Semele, comes to Thebes where the city’s ruler, Pentheus, refuses to acknowledge him as a god. In this poetic, quilt-like piece, Mee draws from many sources to create a modern adaptation of striking images of obscenity, violence and beauty. 
There will be a lively post-show talk-back and discussion following the Friday evening performance.
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For tickets or information, call 802-443-6433 or go to The Mahaney Arts Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury.

The 2019-2020 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Middlebury College with the 2019 French film, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” directed by Céline Sciamma.
The setting is in France, 1770. Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day, to paint her secretly.
Cannes Film Festival Winner: Best Screenplay, Queer Palm.
The film, in French with English subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125). It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

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