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FIRST NIGHT NORTH 2017

 

"First Night Again"

By WindRose
Alan Greenleaf & The Doctor

One of Vermont's most original and prolific songwriters, Alan Greenleaf writes ballads that tell stories inspired by his years as a farmer in northern Vermont. His music draws from many American traditions, including country, Appalachian, blues and jazz. Alan has been playing with the Doctor, Jonathan Kaplan, for a dozen years. "Doc" is a classically trained pianist who fell for the blues and old time traditional American music, and his keyboard work provides an inspired backdrop for "Americana" music at its best.Vermont Public Radio's Robert Resnik: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Alan Greenleaf is a true Vermont treasure!"

St. Johnsbury House - 8 and 10 pm

Ana D'Leon

A self-taught musician from St. Johnsbury, Ana D'Leon draws inspiration from her life experiences, her imagination, and a myriad of different music genres to create her unique sound. First Night's artistic director heard her singing at the local Farmers Market this summer and asked if people compared her voice to Tracy Chapman. "I get that all the time," she replied. He signed her on the spot to perform on New Year's Eve.

Catamount Arts Theater One - 6 and 10 pm

Annie and the Hedonists

Lead singer Annie Rosen, with her husband Jonny Rosen on guitar are joined for their First Night North premier by two virtuosos of versatility Colin McCaffrey and Davy Sturtevant on guitar, fiddle, trumpet, and mandolin. The Hedonists interpret the songs of the great female blues artists of the ‘20s, 30s & 40s: Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Rosetta Tharpe, Blue Lu Barker, Ella Fitzgerald and others. Other styles include western swing, bluesy country, and roots Americana. The Albany Times Union says, "Jazz, blues, country, folk, bluegrass ... it's all here. Annie Rosen's versatile, vintage- tinged voice is the perfect match for the Hedonists' ace musicianship." They were a big hit at the Peacham Acoustic Music Festival and veterans of four First Night festival in New York towns, St. Johnsbury is the lucky pick for this New Year's Eve.

United Community Church, North - 8 and 10 pm

Ashley Miles

Country singer Ashley Miles is a two-time winner of the Country Showdown and several state and national country music awards and has appeared on stage with Jo Dee Messina. An avid songwriter, she is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Her first CD "Today is Now" showcased her original songs and she released her latest album "Some Fairytales Do Come True" at First Night last year.

Universalist-Unitarian Congregation - 9 and 11 pm

Barbara and Paul Connelly

North Church's 2,000-pipe, three-manual organ with over 40 stops is a centerpiece of the stately north building of the United Community Church's sanctuary. Barbara Connelly has been at the console of this magnificent "king of instruments" for over three decades, offering parishioners a rich accompaniment to weekly worship services. She also was her son Paul's first organ teacher. For First Night, the Connellys share the stage and occasionally trade benches when they perform instrumental duets featuring the church's 1896 Steinway grand piano. The mostly classical program for organ also includes some seasonal songs.

United Community Church, North - 5 pm

Barnyard Incident

Based in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, the Barnyard Incident draws its talent from a wide variety of musical backgrounds to create a rhythmic acoustic sound ranging all the way from toe-tapping barn-burners to smooth ballads, with a few tall tales tacked on. Jeff Simano, Perry Williams, and Deb and James Sullivan switches off fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, string bass, hand percussion, and solid harmony vocals in styles from bluegrass to alt country to blues.

Universalist-Unitarian Congregation - 5 and 7 pm

Barry Hayes

Best known as a photographer, Barry Hayes has also been working with the St Johnsbury Players and other local theater groups in many varied capacities for over 25 years. He has sung the lead role in musicals such as Camelot, Kiss Me Kate, and Carousel. He wrote, directed, and performed in "he Musical Mystery Tour, an original review featuring the music of the Beatles. He has played guitar and bass for productions of Tommy, Wizard of Oz, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Tonight he brings the music of classic rock and folk rock artists such as Peter. Paul and Mary, John Denver, the Eagles, and of course, the Beatles.

St. Johnsbury House - 11 pm

Barry Robinson

Lauded for his "amazing, robust" voice and "potential for operatic stardom" (New York Amsterdam News), baritone Barry Robinson is a rising talent in the world of opera. He recently made his international operatic debut at the German Opera Berlin in Prokofiev's L'amour des trois oranges. This season, he "dug into the role of the priest Fojo with passionate commitment" (New York Times) in revival of Harry Lawrence Freeman's Voodoo and was praised for his "ideal, thrillingly doom-laden deep baritone for the sinister spells and invocations" (Parterre Box). He is a recent 2015 recipient of an encouragement award from The Wagner Society of New York. He sings a varied program from a vast repertoire that includes the opera and art songs of Mozart, Verdi, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, and Benjamin Britten, plus songs from the Broadway stage. Barry is accompanied on the piano by Robert Wilson who has worked as a vocal accompanist for the Juilliard School of Music and for onstage auditions at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

United Community Church, South - 8 and 9 pm

Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing

 

Guitarist and banjo player extraordinaire, Bob Amos was the lead singer and songwriter for 13 years of the internationally acclaimed bluegrass band Front Range. After moving to St. Johnsbury, Bob put together his current band Catamount Crossing, which features Freeman Corey on fiddle, Chris Cruger on bass, Gary Darling on mandolin, and Steve Wright on guitar. Bob's daughter Sarah Amos plays a vital part in the band's signature sound, and their duets are proving to be big hits in their performances. The band puts on an entertaining high energy show, with stellar vocals, terrific original material, plus great new interpretations of bluegrass classics. Their CD Sunrise Blues received Vermont's Times-Argus' "Tammie" Award for "Best Traditional Album of the Year".

United Community Church, North - 7 and 9 pm

Bayley-Hazen Boys

This trio of veterans from the locally legendary Bluegrass band Gopher Broke are Gary Darling on mandolin, Steve Wright on guitar, and Chris Cruger on bass. The Bayley-Hazen Boys take you on a rollicking ride from the hills of northern Vermont down through Americana to the southern Appalachians. Combining their fresh interpretation of time-tested traditional material with a wealth of original songs, they blend soulful ballads, tight vocal harmonies, and hard-driving instrumental work into a sound evoking the spirit of the early Stanley Brothers and Bill and Charlie Monroe.

United Community Church, North - 11 pm

Ben Schwendener

Blues, folk-rock, and jazz holiday piano stylings are on composer / pianist Ben Schwendener's First Night program. Ben sustains a unique voice in contemporary creative music. He has created music for small and large ensembles, dance companies, film, video and art installations, written volumes of piano music for children of all ages, and performs frequently with ensembles and on solo piano throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Paul Robicheau of the Boston Globe raves: "A new sound in jazz. Schwendener's pieces project a scholarly precision...in the end, the reigning voice is his gentle piano..." Ben has released nine recordings on his Gravity Records label. He is on the faculty at Boston's New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

United Community Church, South - 10 and 11 pm

Bill Tobin

An outdoor enthusiast as well as an award-winning harpist, Bill's music is often inspired by the peace and joy that is found in nature. Imagine hearing his ethereal meditative pieces played on his concert harp in front of the huge painting "Domes of Yosemite" in the Athenaeum's elegant art gallery. In addition to his highly regarded contemporary compositions Tobin is also playing lively jigs and his arrangements of well-known classical and sacred music. Among the many accolades for his music, Tobin has won the New England Scottish harp championship.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum - 9 pm

Bobbi and Me

Bobbie Strich and Marvin ("Me") Drake have been performing in the North Country for three decades, presenting many of their acoustic classics long before they were classics. Their unique guitar styles and vocal harmonies bring these vintage songs to life with an original twist that's sure to appeal to almost any taste in music. Bobbie and Marv love interacting with their audiences and especially enjoy taking requests.

Universalist Unitarian Congregation - 8 and 10 pm

Brendan Taaffe

Making his First Night debut, tenor and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Taaffe brings his delightful "crankies". A crankie is a scrolling illustration, wrapped up inside a wooden box and then hand-cranked so that it moves across a viewing screen. Back in the day they were called 'moving panoramas' and are complete magic. Brendan makes his crankies with cut paper and incorporates them into his solo shows. Deeply versed in Irish and American traditions, it is on the mbira that Brendan Taaffe has found a truly distinctive voice, blending old-time ballads with traditional Zimbabwean rhythms. The ripple of the mbira, an instrument over a thousand years old, and Taaffe's lush tenor casts old songs in a new light, creating "the kind of hushed, lonely warmth you experience sitting by a fire in a drafty house." The late, great folk singer Pete Seeger once commented to Brendan, "Your mbira playing is beautiful!" Brendan tours with his music throughout the U.S. and Europe.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum - 6 and 8 pm

Catamount Comedy Show

Three comedians in the fast-growing Vermont stand-up comedy scene come to First Night this year with their most family-friendly material.

Paul Church has featured for national acts such as Jon Dore and Emo Phillips. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person, self promotion, and also telling jokes. Most nights of the week he can be found drinking water in dive bars all over the Burlington area or eating alone in one of Burlington's many fine food establishments. And He likes mint ice cream, buffalo wings and 'za. Not always at the same time ... but sometimes.

Kathleen Kanz is a co-founder of the Green Mountain Comedy Festival, and was a finalist in the Vermont's Funniest Comedian Contest. Her hilarious jokes and dry sense of humor make her comedy style is as unique as her last name.

Eric Dreiblatt runs the Fun and Game Show, a monthly stand-up game show at the Vermont Comedy Club, and he hosts the weekly Drink Comedy Open Mic. He was a featured performer in the 2015 and 2016 Green Mountain Comedy Festival. His easy going, energetic style makes gives him a natural style that delights audiences.

Catamount Theater One - 9 and 11 pm

Children's Story Hour

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum director Bob Joly presents dramatic readings of a variety of popular children's books in the Athenaeum's awe-inspiring art gallery. Children, parents, grandparents, and anyone who wants to be a kid again for a few minutes are invited to stop by a give a listen to some wonderful stories.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum - 5 pm

Claire Cote

After graduating from St. J Academy and Baltimore's Goucher College Claire Cote followed her muse to Berlin, Germany where she has been performing and teaching dance since 2011. Claire presents a new solo performance in which she adds percussive instruments--shakers and bells--and vocals to a self-produced electronic track and her contemporary, improvised dance--a unique style that blends elements of ballet, modern, jazz, and African-influenced movements. Her costume is also self-made. The audience is invited to get up from their seats afterwards and join her as she leads a dance workshop, which guides people through the process of discovering expressive and creative movement. She uses verbal imagery to inspire a wide range of movement qualities and gives parameters that inspire new ways of moving. Connect to a variety of music, get loose and sweaty, and become more aware of group and partner dynamics and composition. No prior dance training is necessary - only openness is required.

Morse Center Stuart Theater - 7 to 8:30 pm

Cosy Sheridan

Ever since winning songwriting contests at both The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1992, Cosy Sheridan has been on the road playing everywhere from house concerts in Iowa and to a full house at Carnegie Hall. Her concerts explore topics ranging from love songs for adults to practical philosophy for a complicated world. And then there are her signature parodies on aging and women. Her songs are carefully crafted and often shorter than the average folk song. She plays a percussive bluesy guitar style, often in open tunings and occasionally with two or more capos. Backed by the strong rhythms and harmonies of her bass player Charlie Koch, Sheridan's concerts are full of energy and emotion.

Catamount Arts Cabaret - 8 and 10 pm

The Counselors

Guidance counselor colleagues Emily Nyman, Jessie Lanham, and Lynn Berry enrich the musical soul. They "make you love, make you cry, bring you down, then get you high." From mellow folk to high energy classic rock, including originals and cover tunes, the Counselors provide the perfect soundtrack to transition you into the New Year.

St. Johnsbury House - 7 and 9 pm

Chamberlain Sisters

Seventeen-year old Autumn, with her 14 year-old twin sisters Lauren and Sadie sing harmonies that are as close as their family relationship. Autumn's gift of perfect pitch keeps the Chamberlain Sisters singing their pop classics and original songs right in tune.

St. Johnsbury House - 4 pm

Dina Danielson Dance Ensemble

Energetic, sometimes humorous and wonderfully entertaining adult dancers return with their diverse, family-oriented repertoire of modern dance. These performers, many of whom have been dancing for over 15 years, meet weekly to pursue technical training in the Martha Graham dance technique under the direction of Dina Danielson. They have performed original works in local venues over the past nine years to rave reviews and are among the area's most technically advanced modern dancers. This year's pieces include old favorites, new works, and our signature piece, "Bottom of the Ninth", which humorously depicts a group of kids playing a pick-up game of baseball.

Morse Center Stuart Theater - 5 and 6 pm

Drummatics

These dedicated drum enthusiasts come from many walks of life to Linda Warnaar's class to understand and share the universal appeal of the traditional beat of a wide variety of drums. The Drummatics are sure to get hearts pounding and spirits soaring when they draw you into their circle of rhythm this New Year's Eve.

Catamount Arts Cabaret - 6 pm

Emily Nyman

Introspective, folkie singer-songwriter Emily  performs an eclectic mix of folk and classic rock, with a sprinkling of blues, country, and old standards. Emily's career as a guidance counselor brought her together with Lynn Berry, a counselor who is also an artist and poet. When Lynn shared her poems and Emily shared her music, a songwriting team was born. Entertaining audiences from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to the Jersey shore, Emily connects with people of all ages and musical tastes in an intimate way, inviting listeners to experience the emotions behind her originals or reminisce to familiar cover tunes.

St. Johnsbury House - 5 pm

Enigma

Enigma is a four-piece band of high-school students. But don't let their youth fool you. With Autumn Chamberlain on guitar and piano, Tiffany Sanville on bass and drums, Mitchell Chase and Ethan Roberts on drums and guitar, and all four on saxophone and vocals,, these are serious, talented musicians. Enigma's versatility also shows in the variety of styles that they play: music from throughout the decades including classic rock, funk, country, and more.

St. Johnsbury School Auditorium - 8 pm

Family Fun Fair

Youngsters can a celebrate the New Year at the Family Fun Fair, where the giant inflated boucy castle and obstacle course give them the opportunity to let their energies run wild. This year the fun, safe, fully supervised environment moves to the St. Johnsbury School. Face painting, games, crafts, and many other surprises await!

St. Johnsbury School - 4 to 8 pm

Fifth Business

Leaving songs about bad love sung in the key of "me" to the younger crowd, Fifth Business shares traditional and original music leading off the beaten path. Ranging from English pub songs to American tragic ballads, their vocal repertoire focuses on songs old and new that illuminate the less-trodden corners of life. Nic Anzalone started his career as a violinist, but now spends more time in less polished traditions, fiddling with Tritium Well. Stuart Corso provides always-invigorating accordion music and a vast repertoire of traditional songs, some of which can be sung in public. Steve Davie adds guitar and octave mandolin, along with songs which are original in every sense of the word. Heather Alger and Kate Davie contribute vocals, percussion, and some sense of propriety.

Grace Methodist Church - 5 and 6 pm

Film Shorts

For those who like take a cozy break with a good movie on a cold night, First Night offers a new variety of short films. Most of the films have never been shown before at Catamount Arts.

4 and 5 pm - Walt Disney Short Animated Films(G-reated)
6 and 9 pm -The Road to the Academy Awards Films (PG-rated)
7 and 10 pm -75th Annual Academy Awards Short Films (PG-rated)
8 and 11 pm - Oscar-Winning Short Films (PG-rated)

Catamount Arts Theater Two - 4 pm to Midnight

Fyre and Lightning Consort

With Ellie Hayes on Vielle and recorder; Kathy Light on harp and recorder, and Steven Light on lute, recorder, and bagpipes, central Vermont's Fyre and Lightning Consort have been dedicated to the performance of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music for the past 40 years. They have also become increasingly interested in traditional music of various types, including the music of the Sephardic Jews and traditional music of the British Isles, as well as new compositions. The Consort's arrangements and vocal renditions of a fascinating repertoire of songs, dances, and early polyphony can be both mesmerizingly beautiful and toe-tappingly exciting - often at the same time!

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - 4 and 5pm

Green Mountain Youth Symphony

Conducted by Artistic Director Robert Blais, the Green Mountain Youth Symphony was founded in 2001 to create a community of young musicians through the performance of great music. GMYS has three orchestras serving over 100 student musicians from more than 30 towns throughout central and northern Vermont and New Hampshire each year. MYS also holds a Creative Arts and Music Program at Johnson State College every August. The GMYS Senior Orchestra has played in the grand Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, representing North America in the Eurochestries Festival. And now this select orchestra comes to play in St. Jay.

St. Johnsbury School Auditorium - 4 pm

Heidi Osgood-Metcalf

She started studying piano at seven and writing music when she was twelve. Beckoned by life out West, it was decades later when Heidi Osgood-Metcalf came to peace with the true direction she wanted for her music: to play from the heart, and be true to herself. Her solo piano serves as soundtrack for her photographs of the dramatic and varied landscape of Montana. Grammy Award winner and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman has this to say: "Her music boasts brilliant skills as a composer and pianist, but it is the power of the emotion that she brings to her pieces that resonates most deeply... (and) moves gracefully from intimacy to exuberance as only Heidi could express it."

United Community Church, North - 6 pm

Highlands View Chamber Ensemble

Ranging in age from 7 to 12 years old, members of the Highlands View Chamber Ensemble are students of Glee and Kathy Charlestream, who founded their School of Music in the hills of Cabot, Vermont. Laughter and fun is what sets this group apart from others. In a family-like atmosphere, the students' music reflects the joy of music as well as a high level of musicianship. Pianist Robert Wilson of New York City accompanies the ten young violinists on Celtic fiddle tunes, as well as works from classical composers such as Bach and Vivaldi.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - 6 pm

The Hitmen

Remember the days when dance bands played only hits, were all great instrumentalists, and everyone sang in tight harmony? Remember when those bands used to go big with great sound and lights? Remember how special it was to go out to hear a band and experience that "wow" factor? So do The Hitmen, because they were in those bands! A virtual "supergroup" of seasoned vets from some of the New England's great bands including Daze of Time, TANK, The Bolts, Skywalker, BB & the Phantom Band, Exit 23, and the BelAires. They are Bob Dimick on keyboards, Bruce James on drums, Larry Beaudry on guitar, and Mitchell Chase on bass and sax.

St. Johnsbury School Auditorium - 9 to 10:45 pm

Islay Mist Ceilidh

A ceilidh (pronounced "kay-lee") is a Gaelic word usually referring to an informal evening of Scottish traditional music. Islay Mist Celidh is an engaging group from northern New Hampshire that is fast gaining a following as the freshest, most enjoyable collection of enthusiasts of traditional Celtic music in New England. The music is toe-tapping, hand-clapping friendly and celebrates not only the Celtic heritage of our area, but the positive, community-minded spirit as well.

United Community Church, South - 6 and 7 pm

Jean Charles

Classical guitarist Jean Charles offers a concert of classical Spanish and Haitian compositions. Born, raised, and educated in Haiti, he was admitted to the 'Conservatoire National' and performed at various concerts and special occasions in his home town of Petion-Ville.¬† Since emigrating to the US in his early 20's, Jean has proceeded to study guitar for a life time. He is now an adjunct faculty member at Lyndon State College where he teaches acoustic and classical guitar.

Grace Methodist Church - 4 pm

Kingdom All Stars

These kids are just like an all-star baseball team only with student musicians instead of baseball players. Concerts instead of games. Cast members are auditioned for talent, good practice habits, and their willingness to embrace the group concept. This band of All-Star student musicians come from public and private schools in the Northeast Kingdom. The All-Stars have been featured in concert at Burlington's Discover Jazz Festival, the main stage at the Caledonia County Fair, and the Somersworth International Children's Festival in New Hampshire. They are looking forward to playing the Vermont Statehouse at the annual Farmers Night concert series. Roberge LeHoullier of the Somersworth Festival commented, "Everyone was completely blown away by them."

St. Johnsbury School Auditorium - 6 to 7:45 pm

Kingdom County Comedy Theater

Be prepared for laughs when the teen actors of Kingdom County Productions' comic troupe take the stage to play the best of Monty Python, Saturday Night Live, Duck's Breath Mystery Theater, and some original comedy-along with a comic improv or two.  Suitable for all ages, this troupe started in 1993 and it's been raising the roof ever since.  This year's edition is directed by Ariel Zevon and Jay Craven. Don't be surprised if your cheeks hurt from the fun.

Catamount Arts Cabaret - 5 and 7 pm

Kingdom Recovery Center Karaoke

Making you a rock star on New Year's Eve, if only for three to five minutes at a time... The staff and friends of the Kingdom Recovery Center welcome you who want to make your own music by singing along to karaoke back-ups. Hot cider, coffee, and cookies are served at Dr. Bob's Birthplace on the corner of Central and Summer Streets.

Kingdom Recovery Center - 4 to 11 pm

Marko the Magician & Hypnotist

What makes Marko's performances so special is his ability to mystify, entertain, and make everyone laugh on different levels at the same time. There's nothing better than seeing grandparents, parents, and children all having a wonderful time together at the same show.  Marko's magic show at 9 pm and hypnosis show at 10 pm truly transcend all age social barriers to bring people together in a common state of amazement. With up to a half-hour of extra time for his hypnosis show this year, Marko can wring every drop of comedy from his audience volunteers. Marko's shows are designed for fun; no one is ever embarrassed or compromised. Marko believes the participants in his shows are the stars, and he makes them shine.

Fuller Hall - 9 and 10 pm (until it's over!)

Mike Goudreau Acoustic Duo

A swinging mix of jazz standards and blues is in store when Mike Goudreau on guitar and vocals with Jonathan Boudreau on upright bass and back vocals take the stage. Recently returned from a month-long tour in Russia, Mike's warm and unpretentious style has earned them accolades across the U.S., Canada, and Europe ! Goudreau has been a regular performer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Tremblant International Blues Festival, and the Newport (Vermont!) Jazz Festival among many others for the past 25 years. He has also produced 17 jazz and blues albums and his original songs have been heard on hundreds of TV shows such as NCIS Los Angeles, Gotham, Memphis Beat , Friday Night Lights, Let's Make A Deal, Justified, and Everybody Hates Chris, just to name a few.

Catamount Arts Cabaret - 9 and 11 pm

Milkbone

The dynamic father / son guitar duo of Bill and Walker Storz with the saxophone of Ryan Clancy takes you on improvisational journeys through American jazz, blues, soul, rock and country. Rooted in these musical traditions while also incorporating fresh ideas, Milkbone has been delighting audiences of all ages throughout the region since 2008 and have appeared at the Newport (Vermont) Jazz Festival, Honk Festival in Massachusetts, and at New York's Lincoln Center. Experience a musical trip, from past traditions through the present and into the future with Milkbone!

Catamount Arts Cabaret - 4 pm

Mono Malo

The dining hall at St. Johnsbury Academy becomes a dance hall when these northern Vermont veterans take the stage as Mono Malo. Swamp funk and Gulf Coast blues, when done just right, should be hard hitting and dynamic, making an audience jump up and move their feet. Led by harmonica playing guitarist and vocalist Peter Bertolotti, the four-piece band features songs made famous by artists such as Sonny Landreth, Muddy Waters, The Thunderbirds, Keb Mo', Coco Montoya, Colin James, John Hiatt and Paul Butterfield. The occasional original tune creeps into the set list, showcasing the songwriting skills of PB Jr and Australian slide guitarist Randy Bulpin. Rounding out the roster is bassist Ted Donlon and drummer "Shrimp".

Streeter Hall - 5 and 6:45 pm

Newark Balkan Chorus

Based out of the Northeast Kingdom's Newark Street School's after school program, the Newark Balkan Chorus is a revival of the chorus that Evanne Weirich started in 1995. Returning to the First Night stage for the first time since 2005, the Chorus is now lead by Elly Barksdale and Erin (Barksdale) McKinnon and helped by Jericho Bicknell, who were all original chorus members during their elementary school days. The a cappella chorus sings traditional songs in the Macedonian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian languages in two, three, and four-part harmonies that range from sweet to dissonant. The unique quality of this style of music, often very robust, allows these young voices to soar and find themselves at a preciously young age. The Junior Chorus is comprised of students as young as 8 years old, and the senior group is capped by eighth graders. The senior chorus has been honored to sing in the Young Traditions Vermont showcase and for devotions for the Vermont House of Representatives.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - 7 and 9 pm

Nimble Arts Ruckus Circus

The Nimble Arts ensemble perform a stunning display of circus arts featuring trapezists, jugglers, contortionists and more! Featuring an award winning cast whose resumes include Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize and the Big Apple Circus, they explore community vitality, who they are individually and why they create, inviting the audience into an elusive world they build as the audience watches and sometimes participates. Through the mechanical riggings and physical poetry of contemporary circus, Nimble Arts shares their personal stories through aerials, acrobatics and object manipulation in a magical world inspired by dance, gravity, vaudeville and life! 

Fuller Hall - 7 and 8 pm

Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band

The soulful and stirring music of the Jews of Eastern Europe and, more recently, of New York's Lower East Side has found a home in Vermont! The Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band has been playing klezmer music in New England for almost 35 years. "Nisht Geferlach", translated literally from the Yiddish, means "not dangerous". More colloquially, it means "Relax, it won't kill you". The band plays songs from the golden age of New York's Yiddish Theater as well as freilachs, bulgars, and other lively instrumentals that display the Tin Pan Alley and New Orleans jazz influence on Jewish immigrant musicians. And in true Klezmer tradition, dancing is encouraged!

Streeter Hall - 7 to 8:45 pm

No Strings Marionette Theater

Welcome to the mysterious and magical world of marionettes. Creating one-of-a-kind puppets sparkling with spirit, Barbara Paulson and Dan Baginski masterfully animate these figures, channeling thought into gesture, transforming wood into being. Their miniature actors' show is a modern-minded fairy tale pf "Wasabi, A Dragon's Tale". Eleven exquisitely crafted marionettes, including a seven-foot , fire-breathing dragon, perform amidst sumptuous story-book scenery, where both your imagination and the stage have no boundaries. The show begins with an interactive sing along where kids get to be part of the show.

Fuller Hall - 5 and 6 pm



Northern Vermont Songwriters

They come from many walks of life with a common love of writing songs and performing them. This New Year's Eve they share a common stage for nearly two hours, taking turns singing and playing short sets of their wide variety of songs for each other and their First Night audience. In alphabetical order they are:

Jane E. Cline began her singing career at the age of seven, performing in rock bands. Two of her songs have been highlighted in an Indie film titled "Mustang Stallion- Outlaw's Tail". Her style is country folk with a little hint of spirituality, blues, bluegrass, funk, and jazz. She finds inspiration with songs that tell a story or have an emotional impact.

Sid Gulick has played guitar and sung with such bands as Montreal's White River Bluegrass band and the Woodbury Woodchucks and General Honeydew and the Incredible Meloncollies going all the back to the 70's.

Michael Hahn attended Berklee College of Music and has entertained New England audiences for decades with such popular bands as Hornbeam, Don't Call Bett, Hoochi Lombardo, Whetstone, and The Ten Mile Shuffle Band. Michael was a finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition for his original song, "Chick Magnet".

Carol Hausner's is know for her pure, heartfelt singing, compelling harmonies, and expressive, award-winning songwriting. Carol plays traditional, contemporary and original bluegrass, country, and folk music with various bands in the Mid-Atlantic States and New England. In 2009 she placed first in the Bluegrass category with co-writer Colin McCaffrey at the legendary MerleFest Chris Austin songwriting contest for "Love Gone By."

Steve Spensley plays guitar and fiddle and draws inspiration from a wide variety of genres, performing traditional, contemporary, and original music. He plays with the Salt River Revue and is a charter member of both the Turkey Mountain Window Smashers and the Muddy Rhodes Blues Band. He has worked with the Vermont Actor' Repertory Theater as composer, arranger, and performer for "Vermont Artists...In Play."

Victor Tremblay considers himself lucky to be living in beautiful rural northern Vermont loves the outdoors. Now retired, he has been a singer / songwriter since his early teens and has just recorded his first CD.

Catamount Arts Theater One - 7 to 8:45 pm

Phoenix Bazaar

From the far eastern realm of New Hampshire, all the way out to the Western borderland of Burlington, Phoenix Bazaar has delighted young and old with their fiery antics. A fire arts performing troupe located in the Littleton, NH area, Phoenix Bazaar is an odd assortment of fire performers that are dedicated to exploring the balance of movement and flame. From poi, to fire staff, to fire fans, they bring a variety of fiery delights, in front of the St. Johnsbury Fire Department, appropriately enough.

Main St. and Eastern Ave. - 6:40, 7:40, and 8:40 pm

Pipe and Slippers

Pipe and Slippers is a folk band that plays both traditional and contemporary music, as well as band originals. The band members hail from here in the North, where they grew up listening wide-eyed (or wide-eared?) to various local folk musicians. The band members each play multiple instruments and often switch it up on stage, but the band's core formation consists of Nathan Colpitts' soulful guitar and vocals, Andrea Otto's lovely vocals in both harmony and solo, Alycia Moore's sweet fiddle and vocal harmonies, and Owen Davie's punchy bass.

Grace Methodist Church - 9 and 10 pm

Planitarium Shows

The Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Planetarium presents the new, original show "Time", using its unique combination of modern technology and ancient wisdom to explore the heavens, and reveal how our modern system of time came to be. This 20-minute automated presentation runs every half-hour from 6 to 9 pm. Audiences are welcomed and seated for each show by Museum staff on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fairbanks Museum Planetarium - 6 to 9 pm

Poetry Slam

The First Night North Slam Poetry Competition pits poets from the community (perhaps you!) presenting their three-minute (maximum) poems aloud. The subject matter of slam poetry can be absolutely anything a poet cares enough to write about and to perform in front of an audience (that may well include youngsters). Poets compete against one another and are judged by the audience. No props or costumes - just the poet's voice. All of this is overseen by the evening's emcee. Audience participation greatly enhances the mood of the event. Cheering, applauding, hissing and booing are completely appropriate at a Slam Poetry Competition.

Catamount Arts Theater One - 4 to 5:45 pm

Sails

An engaging indie punk band with classic vocal hooks and an electronic influenced style, Sails has had the opportunity to focus exclusively on what personally affects them and inspires them to create a new electrifying sound that provides a truly exciting blend to their performance. With Mark Russell on bass and guitar, Ethan Kascenska on guitar, and Tyler Kittleman on keyboards, it's time to get up and get down!

Morse Center Stuart Theater - 11 pm

Sophie and James Lamar

This father and daughter duo play a blend of originals and covers. Sophie is a senior at Lyndon Institute and has been singing for eleven years. James is a local teacher who has previously played for young audiences during First Night. His original songs include a few from his recent musicals. Together, Sophie and James share an uplifting mix of songs that will make you feel good.

St. Johnsbury House - 6 pm

St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltones

St. Johnsbury Academy's select mixed a cappella vocal group sing a delightfully eclectic program ranging from the sacred to contemporary. Having shared the stage with Vermont's premier professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint, the Boston Children's Chorus, and the North Country Chorus, plus an annual appearance at the Vermont Madrigal Festival in Burlington, director Alan Rowe refers to the Hilltones as the "Academy's vocal ambassadors".

United Community Church, South - 4 pm

St. Johnsbury Academy Jazz Band

Another highly accomplished student group from St. Johnsbury Academy, the Jazz Band offers a concert of audience-friendly improvisations from their recent fall concert. Under the capable leadership of Director Alan Rowe, the group regularly represents the Academy at appearances throughout the state and has gained a well-deserved reputation for its tight riffs and enthusiastic renditions of jazz classics.

United Community Church, South - 5 pm

Stephen Huneck Exhibition

Featuring angelic creatures both human and canine, Catamount Arts' exhibition, Better Angels Of Our Nature: Stephen Huneck At Dog Mountain, displays the work of one of Vermont's most visionary artists. The work pictured here is "Angels", a painted wood carving, c. 1986.

Catamount Arts, Main Gallery - 4 pm to Midnight

Swing North Big Band

This 18-piece "Basie"-style band with full orchestration boasts five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. Band director Phil Brown and Janet Edmundson add vocals to the beloved standards of the swing era. While no band members make their entire living from performing, Swing North has consistently attracted some of the finest musicians in Vermont and New Hampshire for over 30 years. Several are music educators with degrees from such acclaimed schools as New England Conservatory, Berklee and Eastman Schools of Music. Many of them also perform in other organizations including Maple Leaf seven, Vermont Jazz ensemble, and the Twilight Jazz Group.

Streeter Hall - 9 to 10:45 pm

Tim Van Egmond

A multi-talented storyteller, master of the hammered dulcimer, and singer, Tim Van Egmond transports audiences to the wellspring of wisdom, humor, and inspiration found in multicultural tales and folk music. His engaging warmth and dynamic performance tickles your ribs, makes your spine tingle, and warms your heart in an uplifting experience of enjoyment and enchantment. Says renowned author and storyteller Jane Yolen, "Tim is a triple treat. He can sing, he can play a variety of wonderful instruments, and he can tell whopping good tales!"

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum - 5 and 7 pm

Tritium Well

With their irradiating mix of originals, traditional American, Cuban, reggae, rock, funk, blues, Tritium Well produces ecstatic musical experiences that feel like sonic excursions around the Earth! Hot guitarist Bobby Farlice-Rubio leads this "radioactive" four-member ensemble with wicked violinist Nicolas Anzalone, world-class drummer Linda Warnaar, and brilliant bassist Kevin Colosa. When people ask what kind of music they play, the standard answer is always "roots, rock, and reggae!" just to satisfy the need for brevity. Their varied and uncommon repertoire includes songs made famous by Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Hank Williams, Buena Vista Social Club, Leadbelly, Willie Nelson, Grateful Dead, Old Crow Medicine Show, among others. Whatever beat they play, feel free to get up and bogie.

Morse Center Stuart Theater - 9 to 10:45 pm

Uncommon Folk

Uncommon Folk is a merry little band of friends who have been playing together for over a decade. They play mostly folk; a little bit of bluegrass, some toe-tapping, old-time fiddle tunes, original songs, and even a sprinkling of country. Their multi-instrumental talents and sweet harmonies weave a magical spell and their stories always keep audiences entertained. Uncommon Folk is Paul Amey on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and viola; Samantha Amey on upright bass, finger-picking guitar; and Tom Bishop on frailing style banjo, bass. And all of these uncommon folk share the vocals in common.

Universalist Unitarian Congregation - 4 and 6 pm

Village Harmony Alumni Ensemble

A non-profit umbrella organization for music performance and training based at founder Larry Gordon's farmhouse in central Vermont, Village Harmony has been holding its acapella singing performance camps for teenagers, college-aged students, adults and mixed age groups in the US and abroad since 1989. Led by Village Harmony founder Larry Gordon and Gideon Crevoshay, the young adults of the Village Harmony Alumni Ensemble gather during the holidays to enhance their fluency in songs from a wide range of traditions and create a sound that is guaranteed to be dynamic, unpredictable, and absolutely exciting. With clear command of radically-varied singing styles and infectiously joyous stage presence, Village Harmony performances always knock people's socks off.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - 8 and 10 pm

WindRose

Wind Rose continues their quest for the perfect blend of voices, striving for those moments of pure harmony, all the while entertaining the Northeast Kingdom and beyond for decades, with regular appearances on stage, television, and the radio. Now see them live, but beware - they may be having even more fun than you! This perennial First Night quartet, featuring the voices of Becky Canedy, Pat Webster, Sandi Breen, and Mark Breen (yes, the Fairbanks Museum's Eye on the Sky weatherman!) finds inspiration from Broadway, doo-wop, Big Band, pop hits, and even some original tunes.

Grace Methodist Church - 7 and 8 pm

Firworks at Midnight

First Night revelers gather in front of the Academy Field House to welcome the New Year as Classen's 100-foot crane raises our big lighted ball. (We would never "drop the ball" at First Night.) When the ball reaches the top at the stroke of midnight a spectacular show by North Star Fireworks starts the year off with a boom and fills the sky with bright color and joyous oohs and aahs. Everyone is invited to come on out to welcome the New Year at this town-wide celebration. No button required.

Saint Johnsbury Academy Gymnasium – 12 Midnight

The Foundry Workshop

The Foundry Workshop is dedicated to providing a well-appointed, co-operatively-guided workspace for inventors, artists, engineers, programmers, do-it-yourselfers, and other eccentrics. Operating out of Lyndon Institute's True Building Workshop they have ventured out to learn and demonstrate their own creations at "Maker" events in Burlington, Rutland, and Montpelier, as well as the local NEK Makers Showcase. They participated in the Stars and Stripes Parade and First Night St Johnsbury. The Foundry will be exhibiting their First Night light show on Main Street this year.  Since we will have just concluded the longest night of the year, how better to celebrate than with a display of lights?  Visit their pavilion to enhance your viewing experience and find shelter from the elements.

Main Street - 4 pm - Midnight 

Ecumenical Worship

After their Saturday First Night performance with their band, Annie and Jonny Rosen get up on Sunday morning to join with clergy from several local churches to lead a worship service to welcome the new year. The ecumenical congregation celebrates unity and new beginnings with Gospel and spiritual songs. People of any faith, and no faith, are most welcome.

FIRST DAY EVENT - SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017

United Community Church, North - 10 am

Lake Willoughby Dip

You can start the year off with a splash at the biggest and best New Year's Day party at the beach. This 13th annual event supports the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Caledonia County. To jump in for a great cause, register at relayforlife.org/willoughbydip. Or just come to the North Shore Beach in Westmore, Vermont to cheer and warm everybody's heart.

FIRST DAY EVENT - SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017

Lake Willoughby, Westmore - 1 pm

Sacred Circle Dance

Dance to sacred music from various cultures, while holding a safe space of mutual support for community and global healing and abundant blessings for all. All dances are taught, and no experience or partners are necessary to join in the simple, rhythmic movements. First Night buttons honored or a $10 donation is suggested.

FIRST DAY EVENT - SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017

Universalist Unitarian Congregation - 2 to 4 pm

Contra Dance

Tim Van Egmond calls the moves for the lines of dancers moving up and down the hall in beautiful downtown Peacham to lively music of fiddlers Jason Bergman and David Carpenter . Contra dancing in an American folk dance form that was all the rage in 1800 and is still immensely popular. The moves are similar to the basic figures in square dancing, except the dancers form a set of two parallel lines. Each dance is taught, so anyone who can walk can contra dance. By the end of the evening you are likely to have danced with everyone. Tim Van Egmond is a member of the legendary band Swallowtail and a skilled and delightful dance caller. Admission by First Night button and/or donation.

FIRST DAY EVENT - SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2017

Town Hall Gym, Peacham - 6 to 9 pm