BRATTLEBORO — It will be a busy weekend for the Brattleboro Music Center with back to back events on Saturday and Sunday, each one deserving its own weekend in its own right. First off, BMC will present what promises to be the biggest and best ever Northern Roots Festival, a popular day-long event on Saturday, Jan. 30, combining workshops, jam sessions and an evening concert that will bring the highest caliber of Irish, Scottish, Scandinavial and French Canadian music to the local scene. Few other events of this size offer the opportunity to experience this range of music through teaching workshops, performances and jam sessions.
Daytime events are scheduled from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat St. in Brattleboro, with some afternoon sessions at McNeill's Brewery, and an evening concert featuring the best of Northern Musical Traditions will take place at 7:30 p.m. Some of the highlights include a performance by the Irish duo of local favorites Dan Restivo (Irish flute) and Becky Tracy (fiddle); Festival director Keith Murphy's traditional solo songs from Canada; Mariel Vandersteel (Norwegian Hardanger fiddle) and Stash Wyslouch (guitar) bring their Scandinavian expertise to workshops and performances; and Will Woodson (Scottish pipes and flute) and Eric McDonald (guitar and mandolin) represent the Scottish tradition.
The festival also continues its "Traddleboro" tradition: each year, local musicians collaborate on music specifically for the festival. This year's offering comes from local singers Amanda Witman, Robin Davis and Mia Bertelli.
For ticket information and a complete schedule for the festival, contact the BMC at 802-257-4523 or visit www.bmcvt.org
Then on Sunday, Jan. 31 the Brattleboro Music Center brings back the award-winning Heath Quartet as part of the BMC Chamber Music Series. The young British string quartet will appear at 4 p.m. at Centre Congregational Church on Main St., Brattleboro.
The Quartet's Brattleboro performance will feature String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 5 by Franz Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in F major, Op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven, and String Quartet No. 3 in E flat minor, Op. 30 by Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky.
In 2013, the Heath Quartet became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, the group was awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and, in 2012, won the Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Regular visitors to the United States, the Quartet also recently made its debut in New York at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Tickets for this concert are on sale at bmcvt.org for $30, preferred and $20, general admission.
This concert is a Vermont Arts 2016 performance, and is partially underwritten by Against the Grain Gourmet and Douglas Cox Violins. The media underwriter is Vermont Public Radio.
Founded in 1952, the Brattleboro Music Center is a unique, community-based organization, exceptional for the breadth and quality of its programs. Today, under the artistic advisement of Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, the BMC consists of numerous performance, participation, and education programs. For over 60 years the Center has helped define southeastern Vermont as a rural region distinctive for its rich cultural life. In addition to providing a full array of education, performance and concert experiences for generations of residents, the Music Center has also attracted scores of professional musicians and other artists to the area. The result is a town and region nationally renowned as home to a rich diversity of artists and arts events.
Each year, the Music Center enriches the lives of more than 10,000 residents of southeastern Vermont and neighboring New Hampshire and Massachusetts counties. Hundreds of classes, workshops, concerts and other events bring people together to learn, listen, and join together in celebration of music and community.