RR Arts Preview

Taconic Music will present two concerts with the Taconic String Band Dec. 30 and 31.

Contributions should be sent to jim.lowe@rutlandherald.com at least two weeks in advance.

Taconic holiday music

MANCHESTER – Taconic Music invites the community to ring in 2020 with a pair of concerts that offer something for everyone, from the young to young-at-heart.

First on the calendar is the Family Concert at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30 at the Manchester Community Library, featuring the Taconic String Band — Taconic artistic directors Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova, together with a cadre of string and percussion players — performing music from around the world. They will be joined by students from Strings for Kids, playing several holiday favorites side-by-side. Admission is by donation ($10 suggested, kids free).

On Tuesday, Dec. 31 the Taconic String Band returns to the Inn at Manchester’s Celebration Barn, joined by special guest, singer Maxine Linehan, in a concert featuring Bach’s iconic Double Violin Concerto, Viennese waltzes, and popular tunes, culminating in that New Year’s classic, Strauss’ Radetzky March. Enhancing the festivities will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar 4 to 7 p.m. The concert is 5 to 6:15 p.m. without intermission.

New Year’s Eve tickets are $25; call 802-362-7162. Valet parking will be available.

Christine Ohlman in concert

PUTNEY – Next Stage Arts Project will bring Saturday Night Live’s Christine Ohlman with her rockin’ band Rebel Montez back for an all-out rock n’ soul concert/dance party at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Next Stage, 15 Kimball Hill.

Known as “The Beehive Queen” for her mile-high hairdo, Ohlman is the current, longtime vocalist with the Saturday Night Live Band. Voted number seven on Alternate Roots’ list of top 30 female vocalists, this queen of blue-eyed rock n’ soul grew up loving equally the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff, whether played by Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, or Pop Staples. Ohlman teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector and never looked back, picking up a guitar and forging a career as a songwriter in the process.

“I’ve come here tonight to set your souls on fire,” she’ll tell an audience. And she will.

Tickets are $22, $18 in advance; call 802-451-0053, email info@nextstagearts.org, or go online to www.nextstagearts.org.

A Grift New Year’s

MIDDLEBURY – Town Hall Theater throws a dance party for New Year’s Eve featuring The Grift Tuesday, Dec. 31. Doors open at 8 p.m. and The Grift will take the stage at 8:30. A free midnight champagne toast, a tradition at THT, will ring in the New Year.

“We’ve had great bands here on past New Year’s Eves,” says THT’s artistic director, Doug Anderson, “but The Grift is one of the best. We nabbed them again this year and it’s a great thing for all of us.”

The Grift’s sound defies easy categorization, blending booty-shaking grooves and improvisation with radio-friendly hooks, witty lyrics, and tight vocal harmonies. The band includes Clint Bierman on guitar, mandolin and vocals; Peter Day on bass, guitar, vocals and the occasional trumpet; Jeff Vallone on drums, bass and vocals; Andrew Moroz on keys and horns. The Grift was formed by Middlebury College grads Clint and Jeff in 1999, and since then has performed more than 2,300 shows in 25 states and four countries.

Tickets are $20, $17 in advance; call 802-382-9222, or go online to https://townhalltheater.org.

Katie Trautz’ ‘Passage’

RIPTON – Katie Trautz’s 2019 album, “Passage,” will be celebrated with a CD release show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan 4, at the Ripton Coffee House. An open mic begins the night, followed by the main act.

Trautz’s new album is a collection of original music written over the past decade, with echoes of honky-tonk, Appalachian music and modern Americana that give the album an eclectic and creative sound. The decision to create an album that reflects the complicated passage between childhood and adulthood was a deliberate one, closing a chapter of songwriting, and turning a new page of creativity.

This is Trautz’s 11th album, including at least four with Wooden Dinosaur and three with Mayfly. “Passage” is her second solo album, but the focus on original music sets it apart from her previous records. Trautz is joined by Mike Roberts (electric guitar), Julia Wayne (harmonies) and Tyler Bolles (bass) for the Ripton Coffeehouse show.

Trautz is a native Vermont fiddler who has toured nationally and internationally sharing traditional music and original folk songs. Katie also plays the guitar and banjo, crossing genres with her numerous ensembles. She is the co-founder of the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture, based in Montpelier.

Admission is $10-$15, $3 for 12 and younger, at the door; go online to www.rcch.org. “Passage” can be found on iTunes, amazon.com, CDBaby, and at www.katietrautz.com.

Gypsy Reel

SPRINGFIELD — Get into the spirit of the season with Gypsy Reel’s wassail, coming to the Copper Fox 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday Dec. 28.

You’ll be in for a centuries-spanning range of festive music — modern Christmas favorites, wassails, traditional Celtic instrumentals, and a few surprises you won’t hear anywhere else. The Gypsy Reel Wassail Band is Graham and Camille Parker, Jon Clinch and Claudine Langille, and features fiddle, banjo, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitars and powerful four-part harmonies.

Four-hands piano

MIDDLEBURY – When we want to get swept away by passion, drama, fantasy, and magic, we go to the theater. Drawing on their experience at opera companies across Europe, London-based pianists Mairi and Nathan Harris Grewar present “Night at the Theater, piano duet arrangements of some of their favorite music from the world of ballet and opera at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28.

From Bernstein’s fizzy Overture to “Candide” to Schreker’s brooding “Prelude to a Drama,” and treasures from Tchaikovsky including his “Nutcracker” Suite, each piece tells a captivating story.

Tickets are $25, $15 under 18; call 802-382-9222, or go online to https://townhalltheater.org. Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant St.

Dorset Players

DORSET – A meeting for interested directors for The Dorset Players 17th Annual One-Act Festival will be held at the Dorset Playhouse at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 and 8. Both seasoned and first-time directors are invited to attend the meeting and submit play proposals to one-act producer Lynne Worth. The festival will be presented April 3-5.

This is an opportunity for first-time directors to try their hand at directing without making the commitment to a major production. In addition, people interested in working as assistant directors or learning the functions behind the scenes are invited to attend the meeting. The festival will consist of a mix of short plays, both comedy and drama, each with a duration of 10 to 25 minutes.

For additional information or to submit a script in advance, please e-mail dorsetplayersvt@gmail.com.

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