Many moons ago, Dr. Carl Whitehouse suggested we need a regular event series for Franklin County folks caught in the Winter doldrums. "Everybody would come out in the snow if we had Concerts for Grumpy Grownups," he said. This All Arts Council series began last year with a symphony concert, a multimedia presentation, and more.
The Concerts for Grumpy Grownups series offers exceptional classical performances with reasonable ticket prices. Some are even free!
And, despite the series title, kids of all ages are welcome.
The Vermont Youth Orchestra returns to Franklin County with Orchestral Favorites on Friday, January 31, in the MVU Theater in Swanton. Music Director Troy Peters will conduct. VYO soloists Eli Chalmer, trombone, and Theaura Dove Ziegler, cello, will appear with 83 of Vermont's best young musicians. The MVU Theater is the best acoustic space in Vermont.
"'Orchestral Favorites' is built around two of the most popular and beloved works in the repertoire," Mr. Peters said.
Cesar Franck's Symphony in D Minor is a tuneful and exciting masterpiece. Rossini's Overture to The Thieving Magpie has a dramatic, martial opening, exciting crescendos, and a rousing close. Eli Chalmer will solo in the lively Trombone Concertino by Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson, and Theaura Ziegler will be featured in the first movement of Elgar's nostalgic Cello Concerto.
"In the early Twentieth Century lots of composers were getting modern and adventurous and sort of going crazy," Mr. Peters said. "Elgar was looking backwards to the romantic era and was writing music that was more sentimental." The Cello Concerto captures the feeling of looking back to the sounds of the Nineteenth Century from the perspective of the First World War. The music responds to that world not with complication but by being emotional and old-fashioned.
"The Rossini is just ten minutes of non-stop fun," he said. "It's just charming tunes and lots of energy. Everyone knows the 'William Tell Overture' and this has a similar sense of excitement and adventure all the way through as a lot of Rossini's music does."
The Franck Symphony is our lead in to Valentine's Day. "It is full of romance and a composer who was all about being over the top, about being heart-on-your-sleeve passionate."
Eli Chalmer is a senior at Montpelier High School and has studied trombone for seven years. Mr. Chalmer also plays jazz and has participated in the Vermont All State Jazz Ensemble, as well as the All New England Concert Band. He plans to pursue a degree in music performance next fall.
Theaura Dove Ziegler is a home-schooled senior from West Barnet, Vermont. She has played the cello since she was five years old. Ms. Ziegler participated in Vermont All State Music Festival in 1999 and 2000; this is her first year as a member of the VYO. She will attend college to study cello performance next fall.
Music Director and composer Troy Peters has led the orchestra for more than eight years. A native of Scotland and graduate of the Curtis School of music, Mr. Peters is also a regular guest conductor with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Philharmonic, Vermont Opera Theater, and the Bach Wind Philharmonic as well as a popular judge for the Colgate Country Showdown.
Five of the VYO musicians are from Franklin County: Josh Adriance, Richford; Kelvin Crosby, Georgia; Jon Hutchinson, St. Albans; Chris McCarthy, Swanton; and Nicole Mongeon, Fairfax.
The Vermont Youth Orchestra is celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season. The VYO now offers three performances each season at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and one in Franklin County.
The Concerts for Grumpy Grownups series is sponsored by the All Arts Council with the ongoing support of the St Albans Messenger. Dinner for the orchestra will be provided by Dominos Pizza.
Orchestral Favorites, on Friday at 8 p.m., will benefit youth programs run by the VYOA. Admission is $5/adults, $2/senior citizens and students, children under 12 free. Tickets for all events in this series are available at Better Planet Books, Toys, and Hobbies and at the Kept Writer in St Albans, Enosburg Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall in Swanton, and at the door.
This program will also be presented on Sunday, February 2 at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts at 3 p.m. Tickets for this performance are $10 for adults; $5 for students & seniors. Tickets are available at the door and through the VYOA.
Call the VYOA at 802.655.5030 or visit vyo.org for more info.
Tickets for all events in this series are available at Better Planet Books, Toys, and Hobbies in St Albans, Enosburg Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall in Swanton, and at the door.
Click here to see the entire 2002-3 Grumpy Grownups concert schedule.
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460