Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Symphony Sampler, August 28, Newport

Symphony Sampler is a lakeside event in Newport offering music, dinner, and raffles, to benfit the VSO's activities in the North Country. The Dancing Sail will provide a gourmet buffet (cash bar), and there will be a multi-prize raffle. There are two grand prizes: an overnight at the Doubletree Hotel in Burlington plus tickets for the VSO’s October 24 Masterworks concert in Burlington; and a handmade “Symphony Sampler” quilt created by Carolyn Ferrara. In addition, an Adirondack chair with original artwork by Earl Whitmore will be auctioned off during the course of the evening.

Musical entertainment will be provided by “Harp & Soul” (VSO musicians Heidi Soons, harp, and Anne Janson, flute) as well as two local high school musicians: cellist Sylvia Woodmansee of Westfield and flutist Emily Wiggett of Barton. “Harp & Soul” will perform excerpts from their popular school program, and the young musicians will join them for selections by Vivaldi, Bach, and others.

Emily Wiggett, age 17, was born and raised on a dairy farm in Barton, Vermont. She enjoys exhibiting her registered Jersey cattle at local shows. She will be a senior at Lake Region Union High School, where she is a member of the National Honor Society. She has studied flute and piccolo with Berta Frank of Jericho for the past four years. Emily is a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra and will perform as a soloist with the Vermont Youth Philharmonia during the coming season.

Sylvia Woodmansee, age 16, lives in Westfield and attends North Country Union High School. She has been playing the cello for five years, and studies with Mary Lou Rylands in East Craftsbury. She also studies piano (equally seriously) with Paula Ennis in Stowe. Sylvia has participated in the All State Orchestra as well as various chamber music camps. Aside from music, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and gardening.

Carolyn Ferrara is a member of the VSO’s regional board of trustees (the North Country Friends of the VSO). She says “I was motivated to design and make this quilt after listening to a marvelous performance by the VSO. Without the composers who wove notes into glorious scores, there would be no VSO. Their genius created music that has endured through the ages. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra and its exceptionally talented musicians have continued to convey the rich heritage of these composers to the public’s appreciation and delight.” The quilt, which measures 55" x 66."

Earl Whitmore, Sr., is Case Manager at Eagle Eye Farms of West Burke, and also serves as the Jay Peak Ski Area Children’s Program Director. Michael Racine, Eagle Eye Farm Vocational Program Director, will assist with construction of the chair. The tradition of auctioning off a painted Adirondack chair began at last year’s Symphony Sampler event, where the “chair art” was created by Katy Kavanagh.

The cost for the event is $30 for adults; $25 for ages 13-17; $20 for under age 13. Attendance is limited. All proceeds go towards VSO concerts and educational programs in the North Country. Last season the VSO’s SymphonyKids programs reached over 2500 school children in 17 presentations serving 27 schools in 23 different communities in Orleans and Caledonia Counties.

Good music, good company, good food, and a good cause! To make a reservation or to get more information about “Symphony Sampler,” call 802-334-8110 or 1-800-876-9293 ext. 10.