The Champlain Philharmonic, under the direction of Matthew LaRocca, will present its Annual Fall Concert Series: at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Ackley Hall at Green Mountain College in Poultney; and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College. The orchestra is celebrating its 15th concert season.
The program, “Dansa – Music from the Old Country,” includes the wild and wonderful Eastern European dances of Brahms and Dvorak, based on music of the traveling Gypsy (Roma) bands, “Veils and Whirlwinds” by Vermont composer Peter Hamlin, and Doppler’s Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise, Op. 26 and Bizet’s “Fantasie Brilliant Sur Carmen,” both featuring Karen Kevra on flute.
Kevra, artistic director of Capital City Concerts, who lives in Middlebury, has been soloist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe at venues including Carnegie Hall, the French Embassy in Washington D.C., and on French National Television. She has shared the stage with Jaime Laredo, Paris Piano Trio, Borromeo String Quartet, Boston Chamber Music Society, members of the Emerson and Talich String Quartets, and Trey Anastasio of Phish.
LaRocca is on the faculty of the University of Vermont and is also the director of Music-COMP, an organization that teaches composition to students throughout Vermont and facilitates live performances of their music by professional musicians. LaRocca is also artistic curator of the Vermont Symphony’s Jukebox concert series.
Tickets are available at the door; for information, go online to www.champlainphilharmonic.org.
Play for teens
Town Hall Theater will present a staged reading of Australian playwright Katie Pollock’s play “Normal” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 at Town Hall Theater. This staged reading may lead to a full production in 2019.
“‘Normal’ is the first winner of the theater’s Ingenious Grant for Playwriting. This international playwriting competition was created by Haley Rice to increase the quality and quantity of roles for young women under 18. Out of 230 submissions, Pollock’s play rose to the top.
“We read hundreds of plays, but when I read ‘Normal,’ I knew I had something good,” Rice said. ”It had killer roles for young women, the dialogue was fresh, and it features a terrific mystery at the heart of it.”
Pollock, who is Australian, will be in on the rehearsal process as much as she can. “We’re Skyping on day one with the cast. Katie is getting up early to chat with us, as it will be 7 a.m. in Australia when we’re rehearsing,” Rice said.
Based on a true story, “Normal” follows high-schooler Poppy, who starts to exhibit mysterious spasms and tics. As Poppy’s ailment worsens, more of her classmates are stricken, until the entire community begins to fracture along lines that turn into deep fissures. Who or what is to blame? And should the girls be treated for physical or psychological symptoms?
Admission is free (donations are accepted); call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
Cowgirl Monica Rizzio
Monica Rizzio grew up on a ranch, barrel racing in East Texas. Somehow, many years later, she found herself crossing over the iconic bridges of Cape Cod and seeing the ocean for the first time. The versatile performer now calls Cape Cod home, and her album “Washashore Cowgirl” is completely autobiographical, telling stories from that journey from Texas to the Cape.
Rizzio stops at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20.
Rizzio is the former front woman for Tripping Lily, a folk acoustic pop band, but left behind the acoustic condenser mic style and has brought back the cowgirl attitude and East Texas roots. Finding her outlaw country sound deep within the folk world, she likes to call her music “AmeriCountryGrass.”
She performed with Tom Rush, but as Rush says, “I made the tactical error of inviting Monica Rizzio to share the stage with me at Symphony Hall and she went and stole the audience right out from under me!”
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email email@example.com. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
Gov. Madeleine Kunin
At 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, Phoenix Books Rutland will welcome Gov. Madeleine Kunin for a talk on her new book, “Coming of Age,” at the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Many readers are already familiar with Kunin, the former three-term governor of Vermont, who served as the deputy secretary of education and ambassador to Switzerland under President Bill Clinton. In her newest book, a memoir titled “Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties,” the topic is aging, but she looks well beyond the physical tolls and explores the emotional ones as well. And she has had an extraordinary life: governor, ambassador, feminist, wife, mother, professor, poet, and much, much more.
Kunin has written three previous books: “Living a Political Life” (Knopf), “The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the Next Revolution for Women, Work, and Family” (New York Times Editor’s Choice), and “Pearls, Politics and Power.”
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to www.phoenixbooks.biz. The Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 117 West St.
Sound an Echo
Stone Church Arts brings the minimalist folk style of fiddlers Rachael Kilgour and Sara Pajunen to its concert series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in the chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, the stone church on the hill, 20 Church St.
Kilgour is an award-winning songwriter whose sincere and lyric-driven work (“a heartfelt slice of indie folk,” Billboard) has been heard at Lincoln Center and the Sundance Film Festival. A classically trained violinist studying contemporary improvisation, Pajunen is a sound artist, composer and a progressive practitioner of Nordic folk music.
Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors, $20 and $15 in advance, $45 for premium reserved seats; call 802-460-0110, or go online to www.stonechurcharts.org.
Archer Mayor mystery
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Archer Mayor for a talk on his new Joe Gunther novel, “Bury the Lead.”
Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation team are investigating a murder and an arson case, both potentially related to an outbreak of Ebola. When the body of a young woman is found near a trail at a popular ski mountain, the case falls to Joe Gunther and his team at the VBI. They quickly have a suspect, Mick Durocher, and a confession, but not everyone on the team is convinced. Despite Mick’s ready admission, investigators quickly sense there might be more going on than is immediately apparent.
Mayor, in addition to writing the New York Times bestselling Joe Gunther series, is an investigator for the sheriff’s department, the state medical examiner, and has 25 years of experience as a firefighter/EMT. He lives near Brattleboro, Vermont.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to www.phoenixbooks.biz. Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.
Romantic ‘Ghost Story’
“The Ghost Story” will be the next FOLA movie at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Heald Auditorium at the Ludlow Town Hall.
“A Ghost Story” is a 2017 American supernatural drama film written and directed by David Lowery. It stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Affleck plays a man who becomes a ghost and remains in the house he shares with his wife (Mara). When the wife comes home with a man and kisses him, the ghost hurls books from the shelf and turns lights on and off.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to www.fola.us.