Category: Bennington Banner

Feature: Bennington Baroque

20th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 20, 2014
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NORTH BENNINGTON — This Saturday evening, Bennington Baroque will take its audience back in time to an era of musical history that predates modern instruments, notation, tuning standards and playing techniques.

Using historically accurate period instruments and plenty of their own creativity, the quartet will awaken pieces of music written in the baroque era, which lasted from roughly 1600 to 1750, performing works by French composers François Couperin (1668-1733), Michel Pignolet de Monteclair (1667-1737) and Marin Marais (1656-1728), as well as and several pieces by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) of Germany.

While classical music enthusiasts will notice a variety of differences between baroque music and modern or mainstream classical music, harpsichordist Sandra Mangsen and baroque violinist Kevin Bushee explained that baroque music is unique in its definition of virtuosity and rooted in a specific …

Feature: Blues Sanctuary

13th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014
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BENNINGTON — Active members of the local music scene since the late ‘60s, the musicians of Blues Sanctuary have watched the music world change before their eyes, and they’re still going strong.

“We’re like the bees,” said drummer Ken Pallman. “Radiation has hit, and we’re still living. Everybody comes and goes, and we’re still here.” Soon to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame through the Albany chapter, Blues Sanctuary formed in early 2002 as a trio with Rick Burgess on guitar and vocals, Pallman on drums and Jeff Bentley on bass, and has since expanded to a quintet with Bruce Mariani taking over on bass, Joe Candal playing keyboards and John O’Rourke adding a second guitar to the band.

Although the core of the band has been playing together for over a …

Feature: Painter Renée Bouchard

13th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014
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For Bennington artist Renée Bouchard, painting is all about communication, embracing the unexplainable and just making marks.

Although she was formally trained in watercolor painting at Maine College of Art in Portland, many of Bouchard’s recent works are inspired by her interest in self-taught or outsider art, a term for artwork produced outside the jurisdiction of any established artistic community. She is also inspired by artists who technically aren’t old enough to do anything at all professionally, such as her 20-month-old son, Ensor, and other young children. These unique influences combine with her own sophisticated artistic abilities and original ideas to form engaging, hypnotic and deeply personal paintings that have recently been featured in several exhibits around Southern Vermont and the Berkshires.

Last fall, Southern Vermont College hosted a solo show of Bouchard’s works, …

Feature: Bennington’s Dairy Bars

8th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 8, 2014
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BENNINGTON, Vt. — All across America, dairy bars are a timeless summertime tradition that bring together all the best feelings of the season, from the sunny, comfortable weather to childhood memories of summers off from school. Everyone’s a teenager when they’re at their favorite dairy bar — the stresses of daily life briefly melt away, bad moods are cured and, most importantly, the calories don’t count.

The dairy bars of Southern Vermont remain some of the longest-running businesses in the area, allowing local residents to keep their warm weather traditions alive summer after summer. After dinner or in the afternoons, local favorites like Tastee Freez and Billy T’s Northside Dairy Bar in Bennington, are crowded with families, Little League baseball teams and all varieties of ice cream lovers waiting for their cones, sundaes, …

Preview: The Cherry Orchard at Park McCullough

5th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 5, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — With many of his best-loved writings, especially his plays, set on country estates and in summer houses, Anton Chekhov’s masterworks feel at home in a setting like Park-McCullough House.

Since 2012, Randolyn Zinn and Allen McCullough’s professional theater group, Living Room Theatre, has presented a site-specific production of a Chekhov play on the grounds of the house, starting with “The Seagull” in 2012 and then returning to perform “Uncle Vanya” last summer. This year they turn their attention to “The Cherry Orchard,” Chekhov’s final play and one of his best-known writings.

While accurate, “site-specific” does not wholly describe the Living Room Theatre’s production of “The Cherry Orchard.” Most site-specific plays adapt the show to fit the performance space, but the situation seems to be reversed here — it’s as if the …

Preview: Norman Rockwell Models Reunion

30th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 30, 2014
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ARLINGTON — Decades after he painted their young faces into lasting symbols of blissful innocence and post-war American prosperity, Norman Rockwell’s models — the local people who posed for him during his time in Arlington — will reunite this weekend at Bennington Museum to celebrate Rockwell’s legacy and share their stories of working with the celebrated artist.

Rockwell lived in Arlington from 1939 to 1953, when he moved to Stockbridge.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and continuing into the early afternoon, the reunion will have presentations with slides and stories from Bennington Museum curator Jamie Franklin and a few of the 30 Rockwell models who are expected to attend, including Donald Hubert, who modeled for Rockwell’s painting “Saying Grace,” which sold for $46 million in an auction this December.

Deana Mallory, the museum’s director of …

Preview: Bennington gears up for Arts Weekend

30th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 30, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival returns this weekend for its second year in Bennington, and the arts organizations in town will come together to celebrate the occasion with Bennington’s first Arts Weekend, an organized effort to showcase local culture with performances, activities and exhibits from Friday to Sunday.

Organized by Craftproducers, an art and craft show host based in Charlotte, this year’s Art and Craft festival will feature 150 exhibitors spread around Camelot Village on Route 9 West, about 1.5 miles from downtown Bennington. The festival drew 125 exhibitors to Camelot Village last year, debuting in Bennington after relocating from Manchester.

All exhibitors at the show make their own products by hand, but the range of products is vast — just about anything handmade — artwork, clothing, pottery, jewelry, blown …

Feature: Parsonsfield

22nd July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 22, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — There’s a good chance that your next favorite band is playing at the Vermont Arts Exchange this weekend.

With one album released each, Parsonsfield and Phox are two young bands who are starting to turn heads in the worlds of folk and indie music, and they will both take the stage as part of the VAE’s Basement Music series this weekend, Phox on Friday and Parsonsfield on Saturday.

The VAE will present both concerts in partnership with the small-scale promotion outfit Billsville House Concerts of Williamstown and will offer unique fare from the Phantom Food Truck.

Before Phox brings their elegant vocal pop sound to the Basement stage on Saturday, Parsonsfield will kick off the weekend with their passionate 21st century brand of American roots music on Friday, sharing the stage (and a …

Feature: North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show

16th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 16, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — Route 67A in the village of North Bennington will have a little more art and whimsy for the rest of the summer (and into the fall), thanks to the 30 artists participating in this year’s North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show, returning for it’s 17th year.

Open through Oct. 25, the show officially opened last Saturday with a community barbecue boasting hot dogs, burgers and live music from local musicians including Joe Chirchirillo, the show’s organizer and curator.

Fund for North Bennington trustee Joe McGovern said the annual show began when local artist Anthony Cafritz approached him about installing sculptures on land owned by the Sage City Syndicate, a land preservation group based in North Bennington.

“It was kind of a lark at first. He was thumbing his nose at the wine-and-cheese art …

Feature: Summer Sonatina

16th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 16, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — With accommodations for 42 campers and a staggering total of 30 pianos placed strategically in bedrooms, hallways, closets and even the laundry room, Polly van der Linde’s home on Catamount Lane invites the students of her Summer Sonatina piano camp to completely immerse themselves in music for up to five weeks at a time.

Now celebrating their 45th summer, the van der Linde family started Summer Sonatina in 1969 at their home in North Bennington when they couldn’t find a piano camp elsewhere for their own children. In 1978 the family relocated the camp (and their home) to Old Bennington, taking over a 42-room former convent and packing it with as many pianos and bunk beds as it can fit, along with a professional kitchen to feed all the hungry pianists …

Interview: Sam Amidon

Published in Berkshires Week on September 3, 2014 Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — After performing at Wilco’s most recent Solid Sound festival in 2013, Brattleboro native Sam...

Feature: Robert Frost in Bennington

Published in Berkshires Week on September 3, 2014 Original article:

SHAFTSBURY — Bennington County is well known for its Revolutionary War history, but it holds a significant...

Preview: Garlic Fest

Published in Berkshires Week on August 27, 2014 Original article:

BENNINGTON — Garlic ice cream? Garlic cupcakes? Garlic peanuts? Unexpected flavors will tempt the crowds this...