CV Arts Preview

Lou Kosma will conduct the Vermont Philharmonic in its annual Family Concert Sunday at the Barre Opera House.

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Philharmonic for families

BARRE – When we think of music, it’s usually the melody that first comes to mind. But time and rhythm are just as important, so the Vermont Philharmonic will devote its annual Family Concert to an exploration of time. The Philharmonic, conducted by Music Director Lou Kosma, will present “It’s About Time!” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Barre Opera House.

Children and their parents will hear a rousing Sousa march in 6/8 time, a metronomic Beethoven Allegretto scherzando in 2/4 time, Leroy Anderson’s “Syncopated Clock” in 4/4 time, a lovely Tchaikovsky waltz in 3/4 time, and a Paul Desmond jazz standard, “Take Five,” in 5/4 time.

The program also includes two works featuring talented young musicians. Cellist Justin Zhou, one of the stars of the 2018 Jon Borowicz Memorial Scholarship competition, will perform Saint-Saens’ Allegro appassionato (in 2/4 time). Zhou is a junior at Hannover (New Hampshire) High School; he has been playing the cello since he was 7, and has won numerous competitions, including the New England Conservatory concerto competition for three years.

Student composer Katharina S. G. Mueller, a junior at Hartford High School, will hear the orchestra perform her work, “A Fairy Tale Without Red,” inspired by the classic Red Riding Hood story from the perspective of the wolf. Mueller is a violinist and an avid composer under the aegis of Music-COMP.

The concert concludes with the rousing finale from Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with audience-engaged “cannon fire.”

Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, $5 for students, and are available at the door. For information, go online to

Mezzo Sophie Michaux

PLAINFIELD – Join central Vermont favorite mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux and pianist Kai Ching Chang at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 17, Plainfield Opera House.

The program of songs and arias of choice from the Baroque to the current day includes new compositions by Boston composer Adam Simon, and audience-participatory singing. Music is from Italy, France, England and the United States, and includes composers Purcell, Mozart, Rossini, Poulenc, Simon and others

“Michaux’s voice is a luscious shade of burgundy, velvety and ever so slightly smoky,” wrote The Boston Musical Intelligencer.

Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors, $5 students, at the door, or online at For information, call 802-498-3173 or email

MacMaster and Leahy

RANDOLPH – Internationally acclaimed fiddlers and step-dance sensations Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy will return to the Chandler Center for the Arts for a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

MacMaster and Leahy continue to bring fans throughout the world on a musical and personal journey of discovery, inspired by the rich Celtic traditions of their Cape Breton and Ontario homelands. For this special visit to Vermont on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the longtime Chandler audience favorites will feature their talented children alongside skilled musicians, singers, and dancers deeply steeped in the folk music and movement of Canada’s storied Celtic communities.

“The fiddle was definitely common ground for us when we first got together,” MacMaster recalls. “I was so in awe of Donnell’s family — of 11 siblings who could play and had a family band. And now here I am doing almost exactly the same thing — well, kind of!”

For tickets or information, call 802-728-6464, or go online to


BURLINGTON – Québecfest unites De Temps Antan and Le Vent Du Nord together for one night on the Flynn main stage at 8 p.m. Friday, March 15.

Long joined in both blood and spirit, Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan now combine forces in an exciting tribute to Québec’s musical revival. As charter members of an elite Québecois fraternity — two members of each band have a brother in the other — each group has carved its own distinct path to prominence. Now they combine their considerable talents in an artful integrated program of original and traditional music celebrating Québec’s vibrant Francophone culture.

Le Vent du Nord features button accordion, guitar, and fiddle, and the band’s sound is defined by the hurdy-gurdy, which adds an “earthy, rough-hewn flavor to even the most buoyant dance tunes,” according to the Boston Herald.

De Temps Antan forms a power trio catapulting audiences headlong into the future French-Canadian music and culture. Since the band’s founding in 2003, Éric Beaudry, David Boulanger, and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honored songs and melodies, adapted to the needs of each generation.

Tickets start at $15; call 802-86-FLYNN (863-5966), voice/relay calls welcome; or go online to

Ukrainian classical

ST. JOHNSBURY – The Semenenko-Firsova Duo, violin and piano, will appear in concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at South Church Hall, presented by the Northeast Kingdom Classical Series. Winners of the Best Concert Award at the 2016 Dubrovnik Summer Festival, violinist Aleksey Semenenko and pianist Inna Firsova will perform a varied program featuring works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Poulenc and others.

Tickets are $18, $16 for seniors, $6 for students and those on a budget; call 802-748-7135, or go online to

Dancer Lida Winfield

JOHNSON – Vermont dancer, choreographer and spoken-word artist Lida Winfield will perform “In Search of Air,” about her struggle learning to read, at 7 p.m. March 11 at Northern Vermont University-Johnson’s Dibden Center.

Winfield, whose work combines dance, storytelling and visual art, grew up with a learning disability and didn’t learn to read until her early 20s. She earned a master of fine arts degree from Goddard College and is a visiting assistant professor of dance at Middlebury College.

Admission is free; call 802-635-1408.

St. Paddy’s weekend

WATERBURY CENTER – Grange Hall Cultural Center offers traditional Irish music, step-dancing, storytelling, and workshops in its fourth annual Irish Arts Festival on the St. Paddy’s Day weekend March 13-17.

The Grange Hall Cultural Center has partnered with Vermont Music Center to present two nights of concerts of traditional Irish acoustic music by acclaimed and international performers, with four Irish music workshops for all ages and levels, veteran storytellers sharing Irish lore and popular tales, award winning step-dancing, open music sessions, and a whole lot of “Great Craic!” (Gaelic for “Good times!”). All proceeds go to the Grange Hall Cultural Center Renovation Fund.

- Wednesday, March 13: “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” — MOXIE Productions theatrical reading of Irish play, 7 p.m.

- Saturday, March 16: Traditional Irish Music – for all ages, instruments, and levels, taught by Annabel Moynihan, 2 to 3 p.m.

- Saturday, March 16: Mid-Tempo Irish Tunes – for all ages and instruments, intermediate level, taught by Dominique Dodge, 3 to 4 p.m.

- Saturday, March 16: Traditional Irish Acoustic Music — concert by Sarah Blair, Dominique Dodge, and the Knotwork band, Irish storytelling by Ethan Bowen, Mountain Theater and step-dancing by Here Comes Treble, Upstairs Hall, 7p.m.

- Sunday, March 17: Irish Fiddle — for all ages and backgrounds, taught by Sarah Blair, 1 to 2 p.m.

- Sunday, March 17: Irish Music — for all ages and instruments, taught by Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

- Sunday, March 17: Irish Kitchen Ceili – intimate Irish concert featuring Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington, Dominique Dodge and the Knotwork band, with Irish storytelling and step-dancing, Downstairs Gallery, 5 p.m.

Concert tickets are $15 each at the door or online at Workshops are individually priced with discounts for multi-class enrollment. For more information and registration, call 802-244-4168, or go online to


JOHNSON – “Notweed,” a multimedia exhibit that features 500 hanging stalks of Japanese knotweed, soundscapes and interactive contemporary dance, will run March 11-April 5 at Julian Scott Memorial Gallery at Northern Vermont University-Johnson.

The exhibit of work by NVU-Johnson associate professor of digital art Sean Clute, opens with a reception 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 14, and includes a dance performance by Pauline Jennings at the gallery at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28.

Clute and Jennings are co-artistic directors of the multimedia dance company Double Vision. The dance performance also will feature the work of composer and Goddard College faculty member Otto Muller.

With Japanese knotweed identified as an invasive species in Vermont and other states, “Notweed” explores the concept of invasiveness. “The idea that an original, natural, native or good ecosystem can be destroyed by an invasion of outsiders often parallels rhetoric used to portray immigrants as an existential threat. The installation also explores the rural idyll, a kind of static and timeless ‘natural state’ that exists in opposition to the urban and its association with change and progress,” says Clute, director of the Media Arts Research Studio at NVU-Johnson.

Admission is free; call 802-635-1469.

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