Highlights: Young Musician ‘Ready to Try This’ With Next Generation Concert

  • Katya Mueller at her home in Hartford, Vt.,on May 16, 2017. Mueller is taking part in the upcoming Next Generation concert at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vt. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Katya Mueller, of Hartford, Vt., practices on May 16, 2017 in her living room. Mueller is taking part in the upcoming Next Generation concert at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph, Vt. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Brazilian violinist Omar Chen Guey has been a soloist in several different countries and has also performed for the King of Norway, Harald V. He is a prizewinner at both the Tibor Varga and Lipizer International Violin Competitions. He has performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Ani Kavafian, David Finckel, Lawrence Dutton, and Colin Carr and received a DMA from Stony Brook University and a Masters from Juilliard. He is a member of A Far Cry Orchestra and was assistant concertmaster of the Orquesta de la Comunidad Valenciana, in Spain, directed by Lorin Maazel.

  • Dartmouth World Music Percussion Ensemble photographed in Hanover, New Hampshire on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Copyright 2016 Rob Strong

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2017

During the first several years she spent refining her technique on the violin, Katya Mueller found it “really inspiring” to watch fellow students from the Upper Valley Music Center (UVMC) tune up for the annual Next Generation concert at Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall.

During Friday night’s ninth annual showcase of young musical talent, Mueller will be showing the way. In addition to joining three UVMC colleagues in a Shostakovich string quartet, she’ll play a movement from an Oskar Rieding concerto.

“I’d seen a lot of advanced players go to festivals and auditions over the years, including The Next Generation,” Mueller, a West Hartford resident and a freshman at Hartford High School, recalled this week. “This year my teachers were, like, ‘Now you’re ready to try this.”

In preparation for her early-spring audition for the concert, Mueller spent the better part of a year, under the tutelage of UVMC’s Jenn Turbes, practicing the first movement of Rieding’s Violin Concerto in G major, Opus 24. After what felt to Mueller like a “smooth” audition, “I heard within three days that they were picking the piece I wanted to perform.”

In the meantime, Mueller and the rest of the UVMC foursome were spending their already-busy Wednesday practice days exploring the second movement of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Opus 110 with music center director Benjamin Van Vliet.

“Performance goals like The Next Generation are great motivators — and a deadline never hurts,” Van Vliet wrote during an exchange of emails on Tuesday. “They are chances for students to gain recognition for their hard work.”

Upper Valley musicians taking their turns onstage with Mueller and instrumentalists from around Vermont will be Hanover pianists Stephen Wang, Jonathan and Joseph Goff; Windsor pianist Alexandria Leary; the Hanover flute and piano duo of Thomas and Sophie Usherwood; Norwich violinist Hannah Chipman; Hanover violinists Maya Lynn and Max Taxman. Upper Valley singers include Thetford Center’s Raphael Orleck-Jetter, South Royalton’s Emily Ballou and Hanover residents Catherine Han, Marie Pillsbury, Tyler Nabinger and Kate Budney.

Janet Watton, chairwoman of the board of the Chandler Center for the Arts, said that the Next Generation series was inspired by a concert featuring up-and-coming musicians from public radio’s From the Top program, during the Chandler’s centennial celebration in 2007.

“Wonderful as From the Top was, we were miffed that only two of the performers were from Vermont,” Watton recalled in a recent email. “So we forged ahead and created our own show.”

This year’s show will be in the biggest venue at which Katya Mueller has played since taking up the violin at age 6.

“I’ve soloed this (Rieding) piece in front of an audience before,” Mueller said, “but not with an audience as big as it’s going to be in there.”

Mueller said the only time she’s attended a concert at the Chandler as a member of the audience was a performance by a string quartet late in 2016.

“I was not thinking about the room very much as someplace I might play some day,” she said, “but it did sound amazing.”

The Next Generation concert starts at 7:30 on Friday night at Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall. To reserve tickets ($10 to $16) and learn more, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464 during weekday business hours.

Best Bets

The Rough & Tumble duo of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler perform their mix of Americana, folk and indie rock at three Upper Valley venues over the coming week, starting Friday night at 7 at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret; to reserve tickets ($15) and learn more, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

On Saturday night at 7, Graham and Tyler play the monthly Summer Street house concert at 30 Summer St. in Bradford. Admission is by donation, preferably of between $5 and $10.

And on Tuesday night at 6, the duo completes a swing through the Upper Valley with a stop at Windsor Station.

Violinist Omar Chen Guey and pianist Daniel Weiser play works of Mozart, Saint-Saens and Strauss at two concerts over the weekend. Their “Violin Voyage” begins Saturday night at 7:30, at First Congregational Church in Lebanon, where admission at the door is $10 for church members and $20 for others.

The duo returns to action on Sunday afternoon at 3 in South Pomfret, at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center. Admission is $20.

To order advance tickets for $18 to either concert, visit classicopia.org or call 603-643-3337.

The Handel Society of Dartmouth College celebrates its 210th anniversary with a performance of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Opus 58, on Saturday night at 8, in Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. For tickets ($10 to $20) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

The Latin-jazz ensemble La Voz de Tres performs with Dartmouth College’s World Music Percussion Ensemble on Wednesday night at 7, at Spaulding Auditorium at Dartmouth. For general-admission tickets ($10) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

On the theme of “Harmony at the Junction,” the Valley Chords barbershop group holds an introductory rehearsal for women of all ages and vocal ranges at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction on Wednesday night at 6:30. Jessie Caynon, from the Rhythm of New Hampshire Show Chorus, will guest-direct this rehearsal, the first of five in preparation for a concert on June 23. Admission is free. To learn more, email valleychords@yahoo.com or call 802-333-4577.

Looking Ahead

The Old Church Theater in Bradford will hold auditions on May 27 and May 31 for its August production of Mad Gravity, William Missouri Downs’ comedy about a couple whose very different sets of parents meet for the first time — at the same time that a comet is heading straight for Earth. Casting of the play, which will run Aug. 11-13 and 18-20, is for two men and three women. The auditions start at 2 in the afternoon on the 27th and at 6:30 the night of the 31st. To reserve a time and learn more, visit oldchurchtheater.org or call 802-222-3322.

The Adam Ezra Group will play a set of roots rock at Pierce’s Inn in Etna on May 26. Admission is $45 for the performance alone, which starts around 8:15 p.m., and $65 for listeners partaking of the barbecue that starts at 6:30. For tickets and more information, visit piercesinn.com or email piercesinn@valley.net.

On the theme of “Draw the Circle Wide,” the Juneberry Community Chorus will perform a Memorial Day concert at the First Congregational Church on Thetford Hill on May 29 at 4 p.m. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more, visit uvmusic.org.

Randolph’s Chandler Center for the Arts is inviting aspiring dramatists with connections to Vermont to submit scripts built around social concerns to the third annual Vermont Issues Playwriting Contest. May 31 is the deadline to send original plays with running times of at least 45 minutes, either by email or snail mail. The submission fee is $20, and playwrights are welcome to submit a second script for $15. Judges with theater experience will evaluate the scripts and choose up to five finalists, who will be notified by Aug. 31, with each receiving $100. Each of the final selections will receive staged readings in the Chandler’s Upper Gallery between September and next May.

For applications, registration forms and more information, visit chandler-arts.org.

The Woodstock History Center is inviting aspiring actors to perform in period costume during its annual cemetery tour on July 15. Monologue and dialogue roles are available, each with scripts running between five and 10 minutes. To learn more, call 802-457-1822 or email education@woodstockhistorical.org.

Theater/Performance Art

Northern Stage wraps its production of Mamma Mia, the sex farce/musical built around the hit songs of ABBA, this weekend, with performances this afternoon at 2, at 7:30 tonight and Friday night, at 2 on Saturday afternoon, at 7:30 on Saturday night, and with the finale on Sunday afternoon at 5. To order tickets ($14 to $54) and learn more, visit northernstage.org or call 802-296-7000.


Interplay Jazz and Arts hosts a jam session for musicians of all ages and abilities tonight from 7 to 10 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret. Admission is free for performers and for spectators.

Organist Erica Johnson plays works of Bach, Louis Vierne, Giovanni Martini and contemporary composers Eleonor Sandresky and Sean Shepherd on Sunday afternoon at 4, at the Church of Christ (aka White Church) at Dartmouth College in Hanover. Admission is free.

Saxophonists Fred Haas and Michael Zsoldos and pianist Sonny Saul are among the Woodstock-area musicians performing at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre with the jazz and funk bands from Woodstock Union High School and Woodstock Union Middle School, on Sunday night at 6. Admission is $5 to $20. To learn more, visit pentanglearts.org.

Bar and Club Circuit

Jason Pettus plays guitar at the Canoe Club in Hanover tonight at 6. Musicians following him to the venue with 6 to 9 p.m. shows over the coming week are pianist Gillian Joy on Friday, pianist Randall Mullen on Saturday and pianist Will Ogmundson on Wednesday. On Monday night from 5:30 to 8:30.

Singer-songwriter Rick Clogston appears at the tavern of the Lyme Inn tonight starting at 6.

Singer-songwriter Ryan Zimmerman performs at Taverne on the Square in Claremont tonight at 7.

Sensible Shoes pulls into Windsor Station tonight at 7:30, with plans to cover such rail-related songs as Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, Phish’s Back on the Train and Asleep at the Wheel’s My Baby Thinks He’s A Train.

Following them to the microphone over the weekend are My So Called Band with a tribute to 1990s music on Friday night at 9 and Jim Yeager’s Toast ensemble infuses a dance party with funk, soul and R&B rhythms on Saturday night at 9:30.

Singer-songwriter Randy Budner plays the tavern at Jesse’s in Hanover on Friday evening at 5.

The folk duo Skinner & T’witch performs at the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse on Friday night at 7, downstairs at the Methodist Church in Sunapee. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more about this season’s series, visit sunapeecoffeehouse.org.

Guitarist Ted Mortimer kicks off the weekend of music at the Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 8. And on Saturday night starting at 9, My So Called Band pays tribute to popular music of the 1990s.

Bluesman John Lackard appears at Lebanon’s Salt hill Pub at 8 on Friday night, followed on Saturday night at 9 by The Party Crashers.

Hammond B3 organist Tom Caselli leads his B3 Brotherhood into Salt hill Pub in Hanover for a session of funk and jazz on Friday night starting at 9. And on Saturday night at 9, the Better Days trio plays classic rock, blues and funk.

Flew-Z plays at the Salt hill Pub in Newport on Friday night at 9. And on Saturday night at 9, Arthur James sings and plays the blues.

The Burlington-based alt-rock ensemble Binger performs at the Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Friday night at 8:30. Jeff Brzech and the Outfit rock the house on Saturday night at 8:30, bassist Dave Clark hosts a pickin’ party on Sunday afternoon from 3 to 6 and Bow Thayer plays his weekly set of Americana on Wednesday night at 7:30.

Soulfix performs at the Crossroads Bar & Grill in South Royalton on Friday night at 9 and at the Farmer’s Table in Grantham on Saturday night at 7.

Wherehouse sets the rockin’ rhythm for dancing at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night starting at 9.

Open Mics

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 on Thursday nights. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Joe Stallsmith leads a weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass at Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Monday nights starting at 6.

Bradford’s Colatina Exit holds an open mic on Tuesday nights at 8.

Jim Yeager hosts his open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern at 8:30 on Wednesday night, then a session at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret next Thursday night at 7.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Entertainment-related news and announcements also can be sent to highlights@vnews.com.