Arts & Leisure

Arts Beat: Winter Thaw jazz concert comes to Vergennes

LC JAZZ BAND will help chase away the winter blues when they take the stage at Vergennes Opera House on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Winter won’t seem so long once you’ve secured your ticket to the annual LC Jazz Band’s free Winter Thaw Community Concert at The Vergennes Opera House on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
LC Jazz is a Vergennes-based 17-piece big band with vocalists and a whole lot of heart and talent. LC Jazz plays the music of the greats (Basie, Ellington, Goodman, Miller, Sinatra and Darin) and, for over 25 years, has raised funds for their music scholarship program. The scholarships benefit students from Vergennes, Mt. Abe and Middlebury union high schools who are entering a music performance or music education program.
Although this concert is free, any donations are welcome at the door and will go toward the student scholarship fund. It’s great fun for the entire family and a terrific concert to dust off your dancing shoes.
All tickets are free and can be reserved online, or by calling the Vergennes Opera House at 877-6737 and leaving your name, phone number and the number of tickets you’d like, or at the door on the evening of the performance. If reserving online or by phone, the limit is four tickets.
Any unclaimed tickets will be released to folks waiting after 7:15 p.m. the evening of the concert. Last year’s concert raised $2,000 for the scholarship fund.
Come on down and take the winter chill out of your bones, enjoy some terrific music and libations from Bar Antidote at the cash bar, which opens at 6:30 p.m.
The VOH is located at 120 Main St. (Route 22A) in Vergennes. For more information, phone 802-877-6737, or visit

Brandon Music welcomes Melissa D and Friends — Phil Henry on guitar and Jimmy Kalb on fiddle — on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Melissa D is a highly talented singer/songwriter with an amazing soulful and honey-smoked voice from the green hills of Vermont. Her music is relaxing, with reflective lyrics that touch the soul of the listener. Melissa is a classically trained vocalist and former rock front-woman for The Alley Katz and previous member of CHILL, a folk rock duo. She is currently a solo artist. In our frenetic, overproduced world, Melissa D’s live act is refreshingly unpretentious. She is highly expressive in her delivery of covers and originals.
Bree Noble, C.E.O. of Women of Substance Radio and Podcast, describes Melissa D this way: “Melissa D has a distinct voice that, from her very first note, immediately sets her apart from the pack. She has a lilting quality tinged with pleasingly edgy rasp, reminiscent of standouts like Suzanna Hoffs and Meredith Brooks. She sings with an openness and vulnerability that is both inviting and infectious. Her songs are familiar, like favorite childhood memories you fondly conjure up over and over, but not predictable or routine. One listen and you’ll surely be back for more.”
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 email [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon,

The Brandon Artists Guild (BAG) announces its annual show of new artwork by local students from grades K to 12. The opening reception will be on Friday, Feb. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m.
“Our students have been embracing their time in the art studio to work as true artists,” says Otter Valley Union High School visual arts instructor Frannie Willard. “They have been striving to develop their creative thinking by pushing the boundaries with traditional and unconventional artistic mediums.”
This celebration of creativity from local schools gives students an opportunity to have their work displayed in a professional gallery setting. The exhibit also provides the public a rare chance to see talented student work in a wide variety of styles and media, including sculpture, collage and paint.
The exhibit includes work from students from OVUHS, and from Barstow Memorial, Neshobe, Lothrop, Sudbury and Leicester elementary schools.
The Brandon Artists Guild is an artist-run gallery with approximately 40 exhibiting artists and additional supporting members. A 501©3 nonprofit cultural organization, the BAG supports the visual arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and educational programs.
The show, which runs through March 1, is free and open to all. The BAG, located at 7 Center St. in Brandon, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 802-247-4956 or visit

Middlebury Community Players presents Lillian Groag’s hilarious farce, “The Ladies of the Camellias,” on Thursday, Feb. 6, at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, at 8 p.m. Repeat performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Feb. 9.
The show is based on an imagined 1897 meeting between the greatest French actress of the age, Sarah Bernhardt, and the most famous tragedienne of the era, Eleonora Duse. Since the women are both divas and rivals, their respective companies can only tremble and wait until unstoppable Bernhardt meets the immovable Duse.
The situation becomes even more ludicrous when an amateur Russian anarchist takes the companies hostage but discovers that dealing with actors’ egos is much harder than changing the course of history. What follows is high comedy mixed with reflections on theater, reality, social conscience and the power and limitations of art. 
Tickets are $13 for the Thursday performance, $19 for all other performances (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased at the THT box office, 802-382-9222, or in person at 68 South Pleasant St. in Middlebury. Box office hours are Monday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., also open one hour prior to show time. Tickets may also be purchased online at

Pete’s Posse will be performing for the Burnham Music Series at Burnham Hall on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding footwork; mandolin, claw hammer banjo, jaw harp and keyboards with voices added to the mix; that’s the multi-generational heart and soul of Pete’s Posse, at work and at play.
A well-known multi-instrumentalist and troubadour, Pete Sutherland, has decades of concert touring, teaching and studio production behind him. His all-Vermont “Posse” includes his talented young fiddle protégé and fellow Clayfoot Strutter, Oliver Scanlon, and the dynamic accompanist Tristan Henderson, also of Atlantic Crossing and Pipers Den.
Featuring Sutherland’s rootsy songs, the band’s original and traditional fiddle music, and a few unique covers, this band provides a fine opportunity for an intimate listen to an ever-evolving musical friendship that spans generations.
Admission is $10 for adults. Teens and kids are free. Burnham Hall has handicap access and refreshments will be served. For more information, call 802-388-6863. Burnham Hall is located at 52 River Road in Lincoln. The doors open at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2020 Music Series at Otter Creek Brewing Erin Cassels-Brown and Jer Coons will be performing at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, in OCB’s pub space. This duo are returning to the OCB Pub Space for a show of Americana/country inspired songs you don’t want to miss.
Otter Creek Pub Space is located at 793 Exchange St. in Middlebury. For more information, call 802-388-0727.

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