Handel’s Messiah Concerts in Vermont – 2009 Season

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Music events

 Handel’s Messiah concert
Due to popular demand, we have gathered the list of Handel’s Messiah concerts in Vermont this December… just like last year! Let’s enjoy the music of Christmas!

The Vermont Philharmonic has two Handel’s Messiah concerts:
– In Montpelier – Friday December 4th, 2009 at 7:30 pm at the Saint Augustine Church – and in Barre – Sunday December 6th, 2009 at 3:30 pm at the Barre Opera House – The Vermont Philharmonic performs the Messiah with conductor Lisa Jablow.
More information at: Vermont Philharmonic

Brattleboro – Saturday December 5th, 2009 at 1 pm 39th Annual Community Messiah Sing – Centre Congregational Church. Conductor Terry Larsen with soloists Christine Speidel, soprano, Lisa Woods, alto, Tim Levesque, tenor and Andrew Semegram, bass and organist Bill McKim. 250 to 300 singers will join in the choruses. It is a fund raising event for the homeless.
More information at: Friends of music at Guilford

Rutland – Sunday December 6th, 2009 at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm – The Grace Congregational Church will have its annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.
More information at: (802) 775-4301.

Thursday December 17th, 2009 at 7:30pm, Community Church, Stowe and Friday December 18th, 2009 at 8pm, College Street Congregational Church, Burlington: Performance of the Vermont Mozart Festival orchestra with the Oriana Singers; conductor William Metcalfe
More information at: Vermont Mozart Festival http://www.vtmozart.org/

– Middlebury – Sunday December 20st, 2009 at 2 pm – Middlebury Congregational ChurchA sing-along led by Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus.
More information at: Middlebury College – Annual Messiah Sing

Stowe – Monday December 21nd, 2009 at 7:30 pm – 17th Annual Handel’s Messiah Community Sing – Stowe Community Church – It’s also a sing-along with the soloists and the 20-piece orchestra.
More information at: Go Stowe

 And finally,
Arlington – Sunday December 27th, 2009 at 3 pm 7th Annual Messiah Sing-along – St. James Episcopal Church
More information at: St. James Episcopal Church

Enjoy the music!

Planning your Summer Vacation to Vermont

justin_morrill_homestead_575Photo: Justin Smith Morrill Homestead – Vermont State Historic Site – Strafford.
You’re starting to think about your summer vacation. I know it, because many of you read our article “Fun things to do in the summer in Vermont” this month…
So here are some tips and links to help you plan your summer vacation in Vermont, and some ideas on things to do here this summer:
1- Vermont Life Magazine – monthly e-newsletter – You can subscribe for free to Vermont Life Magazine’s monthly e-newsletter. They usually have a list of events for the month and more…
2- Vermont Public Radio – e-newsletter – Another e-newsletter you can subscribe to. They cover interesting topics and take you to the web pages where you can download a special program. Last month for instance, they talked about the documentary “Maple Sugar Time”.
3- Vermont Life Magazine – web extras – Free on their website. Lots of great information. In the Spring 2009 web extra, you can see maps of the 5 riverside bike rides discussed in the printed issue (zoom close to see details).  In the Summer 2008 web extra, they presented restaurant hopping suggestions for Northern, Central and Southern Vermont, recipes by awarded-chef Michael Kloeti and even a nice little documentary filmed in the kitchen of his restaurant on a Friday night “Behind the scene”…
4- Vermont Life Magazine – I don’t get anything for promoting Vermont Life Magazine but it’s a nice publication to plan your vacation to Vermont. You can start with a free issue! See their website.
5- Vermont Summer Vacation Guide – Vermont Department of Tourism has a vacation guide for each season. You can order it on line.
6- Outdoors associations websites – Here are 3 official websites for information and events on outdoors activities (Vermont Outdoor Guide Association), hunting and fishing (Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department), and golfing (Golf Vermont)
7- Vermont State Historic Sites – There are a number of events all summer long at Vermont Historic Sites, and an open house week-end in June at all sites. For the calendar of events, you can consult their official website.
8- Vermont Mozart Festival – July 19th to August 9 – The Vermont Mozart Festival is in our opinion one of the nicest series of events of the summer in Vermont. It is a series of classical music (and some jazz) concerts in wonderful outdoor settings, including some historic sites. Let’s hope for better weather than last year, when they needed to use their indoor “rain site” too often. For the complete calendar of events, see Vermont Mozart Festival.
9- The Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain – You may know that this year is a very special year in Vermont. It is the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain and there are tons of events organized by public and private organizations. The major event is “Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront Festival” from July 2 to July 14. You can see the complete calendar of events on their Events page. They also printed a magazine you can find on local news stands or buy on line.
10- Our Amazon bookstore: right here we have compiled for you a list of travel guides, maps, outdoors books, gastronomy and more. This online bookstore takes you to the Amazon website to complete your purchase. Hope you’ll find it helpful. See our Bookstore page.
11- Last by not least, you can check our Summer 2008 articles on outdoors, Vermont historic sites, things to do, summer concerts, bike rides, etc. on our List of Articles page.
On that note, we hope you come to Vermont to enjoy a great summer, and we’d love to hear from you on ideas, suggestions, things and places you loved…

Things to do in Vermont – August 1-3

Dragon Boat FestivalNew this week!
5th Annual Vermont Lakes Region Cycling Weekend – It’s both Saturday and Sunday and seems like a really nice event for cyclers. They are 13 rides to choose from, from rolling to hilly terrain, and from 19 to 65 miles in length – on paved, scenic, rural roads. The small groups of cyclists gather at Green Mountain College in Poultney. And for all the rides, they are given detailed maps and clues, and are accompanied by an experienced leader. And to make it even more attractive, some rides lead to interesting cultural or historic places, such as the Slate Valley Museum, Fort Ticonderoga (on the NY side) or Hubbardton Battlefield. Accommodations are available.
More information at: www.cyclingvermont.org
Related Post: Battle of Hubbardton Reenactment
3rd Annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival – Sunday August 3, in Burlington, at the Waterfront Park, from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm – The traditional Chinese Dragon Boats are competing! Teams of 20 paddlers (and a drummer) in 40-feet boats. Definitely a popular event, as the registration for participants is already full! And it’s a fund-raising event for Breast Cancer. We’ll be there!
More information at: Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival
2008 Pipers’ Gathering, Killington – sounds like a very serious gathering of pipers with workshops and group instructions during the 2 days, but for the general public, those of you who like such music, it’s also the chance to listen to “some of the best pipers” in the world (say the organizers) in 2 concerts Saturday night August 2 and Sunday night August 3 at 7:30PM.
More information at: www.pipersgathering.org
• The President Calvin Coolidge Homestead is always a nice place for a relaxing time, when the weather is nice and they do have some additional attractions on Saturday August 2 (Plymouth Old Home Day, including a chicken BBQ) and Sunday August 3 (piano concerts at 3PM).
Related post: President Calvin Coolidge House 
• At Mount Independence Historic Site, a great place for some day hikes, it’s a “Hike into History” on Sunday August 3, at 2PM, where you can hike the Orange Trail and the Blue Trail and learn from Steve Zeoli what happened there in 1776 and 1777 during the American Revolution. You can also bring a picnic and/or hike the flat, easy Baldwin Trail (green trail) which just won the 2008 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Leadership in History Awards (quite a mouth full!), the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. And indeed, the signage on the trail is superb!
Related post: Day Hike: Mount Independence
Champlain Valley Folk Festival – August 1-3 – at the Kingsland Bay State Park – celebrating its 25 years – We suspect it is probably a casual event… in the State Park… but there are still an impressive number of artists appearing over the 3 days (35 on the program we saw!)… so if you enjoy folk music, I hope you enjoy it.
More information at: www.cvfest.org
Directions: Take Route 7 to Ferrisburgh. From the center of Ferrisburgh, take Little Chicago Road west toward the lake. Turn right on Hawkins Road and continue for 4 miles to the Festival Entrance.
• And finally, as surprising as it may be, Les Miserables musical is playing in Vermont… from July 31 to August 23 in Weston. We’ll try to go and check this production in the next few weeks and tell you what we thought. We are not expecting the kind of production you can see in New York or London, but we’ll see…
More information at: www.westonplayhouse.org

And for continuing events:
Vermont Mozart Festival. It’s your last chance to attend one of its outdoors concerts in a place with beautiful scenery: Friday night August 1, at Shelburne Farms, and Saturday August 2 and Sunday August 3 the 2 “finale” concerts at Shelburne Farms and Stowe. We are planning to attend one of them… and praying for sunny weather;
And don’t forget the concert for kids at Teddy Bear Company Factory, in Shelburne, on Sunday. See our Event Calendar for the complete schedule.
Related posts:
Grande Isle Magic… and Jazz
Vermont Mozart Festival: Schedule
Vermont Mozart Festival: Grand Opening
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 4th week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see previous posting);
Related post: Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – Friday August 1 and Saturday August 2 at 8:30PM and Sunday afternoon August 3 at 2:30PM – We were there last week-end and the concert was delightful. It is worth the drive there and you can find nice romantic inns to stay at, in the area. Time Magazine says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side”.
More information at: Marlboro Music
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you have a chance to attend!

Things to do in Vermont – July 25-27

Marlboro Music FestivalThis posting is becoming a weekly tradition, I guess…
I hope you like it.
There seems to be a lot of music played these days in Vermont. Hey, it’s summer and concerts are mainly outdoors, it’s wonderful… except when we get pouring rain like last week-end… oups!
It reminds me that we want to give you some ideas of “summer concerts on the green” – stay tuned for this upcoming posting!
But for now, this week-end, what caught our attention:
Vermont Mozart Festival is still happening (the full schedule is on our Event Calendar page). There are more concerts to attend this week-end in one of the beautiful places the Festival chooses to play at: Friday night July 25, at the Barre Opera House (in-door) and outdoors on Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27, concerts at Shelburne and at Stowe. We are planning to attend 2 of them… and praying for sunny weather;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 3nd week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see last week’s posting);
11th Annual Green Mountain Antiques Show & Sale in Woodstock – We have not been there, but I am guessing that the event could be reasonably big, it’s in Woodstock afterall and it’s the 11th year they have it! For information, call 802-484-5942;
– The Green Mountain Chamber Festival is having concerts for the whole month of July. Friday night July 25 is a faculty concert “Immortal Beethoven” in Burlington. Should be nice!
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – We are intrigued by this series of concerts, which seems to get great reviews. The Time says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side” – this week-end, Saturday night July 26 and Sunday afternoon July 27… we’ll try to go!
Harp concert, Heidi Soons, the principal harpist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra – Salisbury Congregational Church, Salisbury, this Friday July 25; For information, call 802-352-6671;
– The Vermont Arts Council has noted this special exhibit in Dorset, “It’s all about Marble: Dorset marble heritage” on the history of Dorset Quarries and its marble industry. Only Sunday afternoon July 27;
– and for something less serious, of course the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition is Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27 in Windsor. Well, we like the arts, but we also like fun, so we’ll be there Sunday evening!
– And last but not least, this Saturday July 26, for the sportive crowd (very fit crowd!), it’s the 5th Annual Onion River Century Ride – 100 kms or 110 miles biking ride.

We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!

Fun Things to Do in Vermont

Swimming - LakeThere are lots of fun things to do in Vermont in the summer. Here is for starters:
– Go to one of the 89 swimming holes – ponds and rivers – listed on this website. Make sure to watch their slideshow, it gives you a great idea of the look of the different places (names are on the photos). Great for a hot day!
– Go to one of many outdoor concerts of the Vermont Mozart Festival or the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival;
– Watch antique cars at the 51st Annual Antique & Classic Car Meet, in Stowe on August 8-10;
– Eat a maple cremee: you got to have one if you are in Vermont in the summer… Make sure you get the ones made with real maple syrup and not just the flavor! We’ll give you some addresses soon, but for now, let’s mention Morse Farm, up County Road, near Montpelier, that’s the place everyone knows;
– Go to the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition in Windsor on July 26-27; 40 teams from all the country will compete!
– Get a Vermont Brewery Challenge – Official Passport and visit all 18 great micro-breweries in the state of Vermont; Get a stamp at each and you can win prizes!
– Go and watch the Challenge Race at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes on July 20; it’s a 3-mile race of around 50 small boats. Should be fun. Around 200 spectators usually attend. And may be even more fun, on Saturday 19 (today!) there is a duct tape boat construction and race there!
– Attend your first Thunder Road night in Barre (not NASCAR racing but close!) – every Thursday and occasionally on week-ends;
– And if you are into American Revolution history, go to one of the reenactments/encampments which take place at different historic sites along the summer: the Battle of Hubbardton early July, Mount Independence encampment this week-end, Bennington in August…
What do you think? Fun enough?… Anything fun we should add to this list, leave us a comment and tell us about it!!

Grande Isle Magic… and Jazz

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Historic sites, Music events

Helen Sung jazz trioWe attended the Vermont Mozart Festival’s Wednesday (July 16) event, Grand Isle Jazz with the Helen Sung trio. What a fabulous location right on a point into the lake, with water on three sides, and such a majestic historic building – the Lakehouse – on the site. And the weather was perfect.
The music and acoustics were wonderful. Helen Sung and her trio were light and airy, just coooool jazz, on the porch of this fabulous landmark of Lake Champlain. If Samuel de Champlain had landed here last night, he never would have returned to Quebec. There is no doubt. No seriously….
Ms. Sung can best be described as “fluid” in her style. Constant, great sound coming out of the group, and headlined by her technically excellent piano technique. “Watch the left hand”, I said to my wife Christine. “She is as strong on the left as the right”. That’s top notch playing…on any stage. Superb!
This time, we had our picnic and took in the whole location and let the music just top off the night and it did. We are looking forward to more of these great “experiences” for all of our senses. You should as well.
A special note for history lovers: Grande Isle Lakehouse, built in 1903, is actually one of the few remaining historic lakeshore hotels in New England. It is now used for special events… and weddings! Quite majestic indeed!
You can read more on its history on this website.
For the complete list and schedule of the Vermont Mozart Festival concerts, check our Event Calendar page.

Things to do in Vermont – July 18-20

Tiger LiliesSummer is definitely here and Vermont is still booming with activities and festivals. Anywhere you stay, you can enjoy music or historic narrations or military reenactments or food festivals!
So, as you plan the upcoming week-end, here are a few events we noticed:
Vermont Mozart Festival is in full swing with both adults and kids concerts this week-end;
25th anniversary week-end of Billings Farms, Woodstock – July 20 – with lots of activities planned. The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra will perform at 1 pm, and Robert Resnik & Friends at 3 pm. There will be free ice cream and cookies throughout the day. And Governor Jim Douglas will be there (2 pm)!
Mount Independence reenactment and encampment “Soldiers Atop the Mount” – it’s the major activity of the summer for the site;
7th Annual Killington Wine Festival – July 17-20
Vermont Brewers Festival – July 18-19 – Rumor is that the Brewers Festival in Quebec is better but…
30th Annual Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-green – July 13-19 – Vermont Public Radio (VPR) gave a nice preview last Saturday of some interesting musicians participating to the event, such as some celtic and some Quebec traditional music groups;
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes, has a fun small boat race on Sunday (3 miles rowing or paddling) attracting around 50 participants and a small crowd of roughly 200;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 2nd week-end of competition. Interestingly, the Northshire Digital Arts Center holds a digital photography contest for all attendees and participants of the horseshows. Check rules and prizes here.
David Maxwell – Bennington Center for the Arts – The concert will be recorded for a future album. The organizers say that critics and fans think David Maxwell is one of the finest blues pianists alive.
Marlboro Music – Marlboro College, Malboro – We don’t know the event, but the organizers are quoting the Time to have said that it is “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”
We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!

Vermont Mozart Festival – Schedule

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Historic sites, Music events

Vermont Mozart FestivalVermont Mozart Festival is in full swing, after its Grand Opening, last Sunday night (see our posting).
Quite unique in its format with 16 concerts (plus 3 for families and kids), over 3 weeks from July 13 to August 3, in various locations throughout Vermont! Great music, wonderful scenery, many opportunities for a nice outdoor picnic before the concert. And to make it even more special, several of these venues are actually taking place in historic sites: such as the West Monitor Barn, St. Anne’s Shrine, Middlebury Hall Town Theater, Barre Opera House and of course the Inn at Shelburne Farms.
We have the complete schedule of concerts with artists and locations for you on our Event Calendar page (easier to glance at than the official website, we believe)!
Link to Vermont Mozart Festival official website for bookings.

Vermont Mozart Festival – Grand Opening

July 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Historic sites, Music events

Shelburne Farms InnDoesn’t this place look gorgeous? It is Shelburne Farms, a pretty fancy 19th-century country home, on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne. Designed in 1886 by Dr. William Seward Webb and Lila Vanderbilt Webb, it was and still is a 1,400-acre working farm, and now a national historic site. The lake and mountain views are spectacular, and the setting seems perfect for an enjoyable summer evening. On the sweeping lawns of the 24-room Inn, on Sunday night July 13, it’s definitely the place where we will be, for a nice picnic (doors will open at 5:15PM), dressage at 6:30PM and at 7:30PM the Grand Opening concert of the Vermont Mozart Festival, one of the top summer events in Vermont. Tickets are $36, but you can also buy season ticket pass for the summer-long series of concerts throughout Vermont. What a wonderful excuse to drive around Vermont all summer long!
We have the complete schedule of concerts, with artists and location on our Event Calendar page!
Post-Event Note: Well, unfortunately, the rain prevented us to enjoy Shelburne Farms. The concert was relocated indoors.  The music was great, and there was a great moment when Senator Leahy spoke the words of Abraham Lincoln on democracy in sync with the music! Very well done, senator!
However we have to say that the hall was overcrowded and the rain on the roof was somewhat distracting. Oh well… Our personal recommendation would be to skip a concert if you don’t have tickets yet and you know the rainsite is being used.

Things to do in Vermont – July 12-13

Hubbardton reenactment
Sunday morning – July 6, 2008 – Battle of Hubbardton reenactment

Fourth of July’s week-end is hardly over that we are already thinking about next week-end! Summer is here and Vermont has so many events and activities to choose from! It seems particulary true for the upcoming week-end of July 12-13.
So, we thought we would share our initial thoughts with you, the few events which garbed our attention, and which we will write more about as the week progresses.
Vermont Mozart Festival – a renowned festival for musicians, will have its Grand Opening next Sunday night at Shelburne Farms. We’ll be there!
French Heritage Days, Vergennes – an event more popular every year, for the people like me who enjoy Quebec food and music, and a lot more! We’ll be there as well, on Saturday.
– the Mountain Bike Festival in Waterbury July 12 and 13 – for the more sportive among us!
– the Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – the start of six weeks of top equestrian competition in the beautiful Green Mountains scenery;
– the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival – 25 hot air balloons will launch Friday at 6:30pm, Saturday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 a.m.!
So… come back and visit us for more detailed information and all the relevant links. And don’t miss our upcoming story on the Best Maple Cremee in Vermont as well!