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2019/2020      OUR 54th CONCERT SEASON 蠔Scroll down through the listings below to see upcoming events, then a section with summaries of 54th Season events after they happen, and finally some notes on our occasional Community Outreach Programs for Seniors and Guilford Central School.

Vermont Public Radio is a 54th Season media sponsor.
蠔Note: The schedule is subject to change from time to time, so please check back.


FEBRUARY 29, 2020  

MIDWINTER MUSICALE: CONCERT & SOUP SUPPER蠔Carl Sandburg: Poet, Author & Folk Musician 
Guilford Community Church, 38 Church Dr., Guilford, Vt.

SATURDAY, 3:00 p.m.: In 2014, FOMAG administrator Joy Wallens-Penford visited Carl Sandburg蘗s home 蠟Connemara,蠡 a National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The visit inspired her to celebrate Sandburg蘗s many gifts in a lay-led service at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in early 2015. Expanded for an Osher Institute presentation the following year, this latest adaptation of the program includes biographical information as well as a sampling of Sandburg蘗s poetry, prose, and children蘗s stories. Musical elements include folk tunes by his regional neighbors or published in his vast American Songbag collection, as well as some ragtime piano selections, a style mentioned in his award-winning poem 蠟Chicago.蠡 Fellow Illinois resident Abraham Lincoln was a large presence in Sandburg蘗s life and work. An accompanying show of slides and videos offers quotations, photographs, and a few short performances. . . . The program is followed by a warming teatime Soup Supper with three homemade soups, hearty breads, fruit and cheese, desserts, and a variety of beverages. Performers TBA. Admission of $15 at the door includes the reception.


APRIL 11, 2020  蠔11th Annual Women in Music Celebration: 蠟The Bostonians蠡 
A Private Home in the area

SATURDAY, 6:00 p.m.: 蠟The Bostonians蠡 includes works by renowned composers Amy Cheney Beach (1867-1944), Helen Hopekirk (1856-1945), and Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972). Performers include pianist Virginia Eskin with assisting instrumentalists and voice. Attendees enjoy a bountiful pre-concert buffet of hearty hors d蘗oeuvres, salads, and side dishes; a variety of wines and other festive beverages; and a post-concert reception of desserts donated by area restaurants and specialty bakers. A popular Silent Auction of as many as three dozen pairs of 2-for-1 tickets to regional concerts, plays, opera, and cinema, plus a few special items and gift certificates, offers real entertainment and shopping bargains while supporting our current season of events. Tickets are on a sliding scale from $20 to $35 per person. To request an invitation packet, contact the FOMAG office at 802-254-3600 or


MAY 24, 2020  蠔12th Spring Organ Concert & Holiday Cookout
The Organ Barn, 158 Kopkind Rd., off Packer Corners Rd., Guilford, Vt. 

SUNDAY, 3:00 p.m.: A guest organist performs on the c. 1897 Tracker Organ in the Barn. Performer/s and program repertoire TBA.
     A festive Holiday Cookout follows on the back deck and lawn, with grilled options for meat and veggie lovers alike, plus homemade sides and salads, and a variety of sips. Make-your-own Ice Cream Sundaes with all the fixings are featured for dessert. Concert: $15, optional meal $10 per person.


Follow signs to the Organ Barn for 9 mi. from the Guilford Country Store on Rt. 5, or for 5 mi. from Keets Brook Rd. at Rt. 5 in Bernardston, Mass. (see below for route details).

DETAILED DIRECTIONS TO THE ORGAN BARN: From the North and East, take Interstate 91 to Exit 1 in Brattleboro. Take Rt. 5 South 1.3 miles to the Guilford Country Store on your left. This is 蠟Algiers蠡 village in Guilford. Take a RIGHT across from the store onto Guilford Center Rd. Go for just over 2 miles to your first LEFT, which is Weatherhead Hollow Rd. Follow this road for about 4.9 miles to Packer Corners Rd. on the RIGHT, just after the Franklin Farm. Follow this well-groomed dirt road for 2 miles till you see a G-clef sign saying 蠟Concert蠡 that is pointing left into Kopkind Rd. . . . . From the South, you can save several miles of travel by taking Exit 28B for 蠟Bernardston.蠡 At the end of the ramp, turn RIGHT and head about a 1/2 mile to the T-junction with Rt. 5. Turn RIGHT on Rt. 5 and proceed for just under 4 miles to Keets Brook Rd. on your LEFT. Take this road, which turns to dirt and leads you to the crossroads with Weatherhead Hollow Rd. in Guilford, Vt. Turn LEFT at the crossroads. The Franklin Farm is on your right as you turn. Take a RIGHT onto Packer Corners Rd. just after the farm. Proceed 2 miles to the sign for the Concert at Kopkind Rd.


JUNE 7, 2020  蠔A Cappella  la Carte: 蠟The Birds & The Bees蠡   
Guilford Community Church, 38 Church Dr., Guilford, Vt.

SUNDAY, 6:00-6:45-7:30 p.m.: This three-part evening begins shortly after 6:00 with a brief and merry Annual Membership Meeting in the Zeller Room downstairs, recapping the season and sharing what蘗s planned for next year, then electing a secretary/clerk and other members of the 2020-21 Board of Trustees. . . . A cordial Community Potluck follows at 6:45 with food and drink contributed by FOMAG and attendees -- desserts are set aside for a post-concert reception. . . .  The A Cappella Concert in the upstairs Sanctuary at 7:30 features the GUILFORD CHAMBER SINGERS, directed by Tom Baehr, performing a set of SATB songs on the evening蘗s theme of 蠟The Birds & The Bees蠡 inspired by the literal flying/crawling/hopping sort. Our guest group, the CANTABILE VOCAL ENSEMBLE, a quintet of professionals from the Pioneer Valley, then offers a complementary set of the 蠟naughty蠡 kind (wink, wink!!). . . . A Dessert Reception caps the evening. The building is handicap-accessible, with an elevator to the second-floor Sanctuary. Enjoy all or just some of the evening蘗s three-part 蠟menu.蠡 Concert admission by donation. 


PAST EVENTS in 2019-2020  

54th Labor Day Weekend Festival   
The Organ Barn, Tree Frog Farm, 158 Kopkind Rd., Guilford, Vt.

AUG. 31  SATURDAY, 7:30 p.m.: Guest organist Robert Barney has roots in the Barney, Bullock, Cutting, and Weatherhead families of Guilford. Director of Music for 25 years at Trinity Church in Concord, Mass., he has also directed the Youth Pro Musica chorus in Newton, Mass., since 2007 and in 1985-97 was Artistic Director of the Boston Gay Men蘗s Chorus. He earned his B.Sc. in Music Education at Concordia College and his Master蘗s in Organ Performance at the New England Conservatory (NEC). He performed solo works by Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, and C. P. E. Bach; as well as Mendelssohn, who reintroduced Bach to music fans in the 1800s, and Samuel Brenton Whitney (1842-1914), a Vermonter who was considered the foremost interpreter of Bach in the United States. Barney also performed two of Handel蘗s nine German arias with Boston soprano Janna Maria Frhlich and Vermont flutist Amara Cunningham. 

SEPT. 1  SUNDAY, 2:00 p.m.: Conductor Kenneth Olsson led the Guilford Festival Orchestra in Chaconne ou Passacaille from Les Nations by Couperin (strings); Les nuits d蘗孤 by Berlioz, featuring Julie Olsson, soprano; two pieces by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel arranged for winds; and Symphony #1 by Felix Mendelssohn. . . . Musicians and audience then joined forces on Randall Thompson蘗s Alleluia as the concert蘗s traditional sing-in finale. . . . Grounds opened at 12 noon for picnicking and lunch sales. 

Both Labor Day Weekend concerts were admission free, with generous donations encouraged to help defray the high cost of this musical weekend in the country.

The Classical Guitar   
All Souls Church, 29 South Street, W. Brattleboro, Vt.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 3:00 p.m.: Guitarist David William Ross joined forces with the Procter/Hale Duo癩Stephen Procter, guitar, and Alison Hale, flute癩on this Celebration of the Classical Guitar, performed for a full house!. . . . Ross performed works by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-92), Italian composer and guitarist Carlo Domeniconi (b. 1947), and Cuban composer, conductor, and guitarist Leo Brouwer (b. 1939), among others. The Procter/Hale Duo focused chiefly on their specialty of the Brazilian Choro tradition. while choro means 續cry蘗 or 續lament,蘗 蠟the music often has a fast and happy rhythm,蠡 according to Wikipedia. 蠟It is characterized by virtuosity, improvisation and subtle modulations, and is full of syncopation and counterpoint . . . considered the first characteristically Brazilian genre of urban popular music.蠡 . . . Admission of $15 at the door included a teatime harvest-themed reception with the performers.

49th Community Messiah Sing: A Benefit for the Homeless   
Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro, Vt.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1:00 p.m.: Since 2007, when the Sing was rededicated for this purpose, all door donations have been passed along to the Groundworks Collaborative, for its shelter and food programs, as well as other services for our disadvantaged neighbors. This 49th Sing raised $1,878 to add to the nearly $22,500 passed along so far. Kenneth Olsson literally 蠟pulled out all the stops蠡 in his first time as organist for this event -- the Centre Church Estey instrument was a joy to hear! Cailin Marcel Manson was not only a very effective but visually 蠟lyrical蠡 conductor in his debut with the Sing. . . .  Our soloists Elizabeth Wohl, Julie Olsson, Walter Cramer and Cailin Marcel Manson also ably demonstrated their skills while trumpeter Joyana Damon made the most of her featured parts in a couple of the later sections. . . . About 250 folks from the Tri-State area come to sing the choruses from Handel蘗s masterwork, performing the full Christmas portion and a few favorite passages in Parts II and III. As usual, a goodly number of area folks came just to listen to such a grand choir. Sponsors covering most of our costs癩with service trades or cash donations癩include Brattleboro Reformer, C&S Wholesale Grocers, The Marina Restaurant, Richmond Auto Repair, and Centre Congregational Church. Additional support comes from FOMAG蘗s Miriam Adams Howland Memorial Fund and another memorial donor. . . . At the door we also collected bags of nonperishable foodstuffs, winter outerwear, long-johns, blankets, and new, unwrapped toys for Groundworks to distribute during the holidays -- a generous carload, indeed!

47th Christmas at Christ Church: 蠟An Olde New England Christmas蠡   
Historic Christ Church, cor. Rt. 5 South and Melendy Hill Rd., Guilford, Vt.

FRIDAY, DEC. 13, 2019, 7:30 p.m. (cancelled due to icy weather), and SATURDAY, DEC. 14, 2019, 4:00 p.m.: The Guilford Chamber Singers, under director Tom Baehr for an eighth season, presented a short a cappella program. Included are seven tunes by William Billings (1746-1800), Supply Belcher (1751-1836), Oliver Holden (1765-1844), Timothy Swan (1758-1842), and Samuel Adams Holyoke (1762-1820). These itinerant singing masters were well known in the region from around 1770 through well beyond the turn of the century. A carol by English 蠟West Gallery蠡 composer Joseph Stephenson (1723-1810) was also included. Adventurous for their time, these early works were combined with two more recent pieces by New England composers Charles Ives (1874-1954) and Karl P. Harrington (1861-1953). . . .  A few Guilford Chamber Players played instrumental pieces mostly from the same era. . . . Don McLean read 蠟Christmas Jenny,蠡 a story by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930), an American novelist and short story writer who lived for a time in Brattleboro癩Don has been involved with a series of local programs this year about Wilkins Freeman蘗s literary contributions. Known for her skills in integrating local color  in her work, she was the first recipient of the William Dean Howells Medal for Distinction in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. . . . . We sang a few traditional carols before heading away into the night. . . . A total of $937 in door donations are being shared with the Christ Church Guilford Society, which oversees the building蘗s preservation and manages its special-event use.


IN ADDITION TO OUR REGULAR SEASON OF CONCERTS & BENEFITS, posted above, we established two Community Outreach Programs in 2008-09 . . . . . 

CONCERT SERIES FOR SENIORS: These enthusiastically received performances at Windham County retirement homes, public housing villages, senior activity centers, and rehabilitation/nursing home facilities feature a wide variety of local musicians offering classical music, jazz standards, popular music from several past decades, as well as original material and World Music with an audience that clamors for more! These programs require member donations, grant funding and other targeted sponsorship support since we offer them free of charge but are committed to paying honorariums to our performers.

MUSIC ENRICHMENT PROGRAM at GUILFORD CENTRAL SCHOOL: From 2007-08 through 2014-15, we received annual grants from the Max Y. Seaton Trust for partial support of this program, which offered rhythm and voice workshops for students in upper grades in a 3-day residency led by drummer-percussionist Todd Roach and colleagues. We have also arranged for performances by groups from the high school for an additional bit of inspiration and encouragement for Guilford students to continue their involvement with music. Watch this space for other Enrichment Program news.