Audience, Turn On Your Cellphones

Dartmouth Wind Ensemble Pushes the Boundaries

  • Margaret Glaspy is one of the musicians coming to Randolph for a show titled “Roots and Branches” at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Sunday, Feb. 23.

    Margaret Glaspy is one of the musicians coming to Randolph for a show titled “Roots and Branches” at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Sunday, Feb. 23.

  • Margaret Glaspy is one of the musicians coming to Randolph for a show titled “Roots and Branches” at the Chandler Center for the Arts on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble performances conducted by Mathew Marsit tend not to follow rigid expectations of what a “classical” performance should be. That’s intentional.

“I try and do this once a season with the wind ensemble,” Marsit said. “The concert experience doesn’t have to fit old standards only.”

Generally, that means Marsit gravitates toward pieces composed in the past few decades. For the ensemble’s Sunday show , it means Marsit will spend time in both the acoustic and electric worlds.

Mothership, written by Mason Bates, a club DJ and composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will close out the show. At certain points, it feels as though it’d find a home in more traditional classical music. At others, when a synthetic kick drum anchors the sharp instrumentation, it’s lent a distinctly modern sense of drama.

“It makes for a very unique sonic experience,” Marsit said of the show’s electroacoustic combinations. “But it’s also not overwhelming. You’re not listening to some computer-generated noise in the background. It truly is a valuable instrument to the ensemble.”

Another tool Marsit will use is something else not normally seen in the classical concert hall: lights. A performance of Steven Bryant’s 2008 piece Ecstatic Waters will cast lights around the house to correspond with changes in the music. For Mothership, audience members are encouraged to download a smartphone app called Wham City Lights prior to the show, and turn it on during the performance. The phone lights will change along with the music.

“With (Bates’) Mothership, it’s really about creating more of a club music feel,” Marsit said.

Other pieces to be performed on Sunday are David Maslanka’s Mother Earth: A Fanfare from 2003; Karel Husa’s 1975 piece Al Fresco ; and Christopher Theofanidis’ 2013 Concerto for Marimba and Wind Sinfonietta, which will have its New England premiere.

Despite Marsit’s penchant for bringing his shows out to the edge of so-called “classical music,” he said these challenging pieces represent where the wind ensemble, as a performance form, is at today. And the modern flourishes don’t take away from the composition beneath.

“It’s very attractive music,” he said.

The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble will perform at the Spaulding Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $9-$ 10, and can be purchased from

Best Bets

Woodstock’s monthlong “Satchmuration” events, which celebrate jazz musician Louis Armstrong, will end on Sunday with a live performance and historic film combo. “Satchmo! A Screen Meets Stage Salute to Louis Armstrong” features the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band with local guests Fred Haas and Michael Zsoldos, as well as the Woodstock High School Jazz Ensemble and SpeakChorus. General admission tickets are $24 in advance and $27 on the day of the show, or $38 for general advance tickets for dinner and the show. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to For other Armstrong-focused events this weekend, go to

∎ Banjo player Jayme Stone, fiddler Bruce Molsky, singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy and guitarist Julian Lage will come together to perform “Roots and Branches,” a show honoring the work of Alan Lomax, a field collector of 20th-century folk music who died in 2002. The show is at the Chandler Center in Randolph, and begins at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. It will be preceded by a free talk from the performers and a community potluck dinner. Tickets to the show are $25 in advance, and $30 the day of the show. They can be purchased at or by calling 802-728-6464.

Looking Ahead

Ed Kowalczyk, who for years fronted the massively popular ’90s group LIVE, will perform a solo set at the Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Tickets are $40, and can be purchased at


Bassist Stanley Clarke, a four-time Grammy Award winner with more than 40 albums to his name, will play at the Tupelo on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $60, and can be purchased from

∎ Chris Rosenquest, who is behind the folk project Poor and Perfect, will perform at White River Junction’s Main Street Museum on Friday. The show will function as a dual EP release party, along with the band Forts/Gainesville. The Pilgrims will also perform at the show, which begins at 9 p.m. Admission is by a suggested donation of between $10 and $20.

∎ The Starry Mountain Singers, a vocal octet that performs music from America, Europe and Caucasus Georgia, will perform at the Friends Meeting House in Hanover at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. A donation of $12 is suggested along with admission.

∎ Dartmouth’s World Music Percussion Ensemble will perform Latin American dance tunes at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Spaulding Auditorium. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at

∎ Jazz trumpeter and vocalist Billy Novick will perform Sunday at Grantham’s Center at Eastman as part of the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon series. Tickets to the 4 p.m. show are $18, and can be purchased in advance by calling 603-763-8732 or emailing

∎ Guitarist Scott Ainslie will play at Idlewood The Restaurant’s Blues in the Barn series in Sharon. The show is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and tickets are $12, although those who come for dinner earlier can watch the show for free. Reservations can be made by calling 802-763-5236.


Muskeg Music will present a night of English country dancing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at Tracy Hall in Norwich. All dances will be taught, and refreshments will be provided. Admission is $8 for adults.


The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College will present a screening of the five live-action Academy Award-nominated short films at 7 p.m. on Friday. The films shown will be The Voorman Problem, about a psychiatrist talking to a man convinced he is a god; Helium, about a terminally ill boy taking refuge in stories of the titular, imaginary land; Avant que de Tout Perdre, about a woman who holes up in a supermarket with her kids after leaving her husband; Aquel No Era Yo, about a Spanish aid worker’s dealings with an African child soldier; and Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?, a Finnish comedy about a woman trying to get her family out of the house in the morning. General admission tickets are $8, and can be purchased from


The Colby-Sawyer Players, a student organization, will present The 39 Steps, a comedy that was adapted to film by none other than Alfred Hitchcock, this weekend. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m. in the college’s Sawyer Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

∎ The Dartmouth Theatre Department will present a production of Spring Awakening, the famous contemporary rock musical, over the next three weekends. This weekend’s shows are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $10 to $15, and can be purchased from

∎ The Parish Players’ Ten-Minute Play Festival will finish its two-week run this weekend, with performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15, and reservations can be made by calling 802-785-4344

∎ Northern Stage in White River Junction will conclude its run of The Fox on the Fairway, a throwback to old-time British farces, at a 5 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Performances are also happening twice today and Friday and Saturday nights. For show times and ticket prices, go to

∎ Enfield’s Shaker Bridge Theatre will wrap up its production of Freud’s Last Session, a verbal sparring match between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, this weekend. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and the last Sunday matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, and can be reserved by calling 603-448-3750 or emailing

Bar and Club Circuit

Blues group the Blue James Band will play at Lebanon’s Salt hill Pub at 9 p.m. on Friday. At the same time the next night, acoustic alt-country artist Wayne Canney will perform.

∎ Modern and classic rock duo Second Wind will perform at Newport’s Salt hill Pub on Friday for a special dinner time set, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Rock group Nick’s Other Band will play at 9 p.m. on Saturday.

∎ Dartmouth-based funk-rock group Green Room will play at the Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Saturday, starting at 9 p.m.

∎ The Putnam-Pirozzoli Guitar Duo, made up of Gerry and Tom, respectively, will play at the Sunapee Community Coffee House at 7 p.m. on Friday. The duo has recently released its second CD, Sanctuary.

∎ Clay Canfield brings his musical talents to the River Stones Tavern in Quechee on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m. He also performs at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock on Sundays, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

∎ Heartfire, also known as Robin and Lori Lull, will play at Jesse’s in Hanover on Friday, starting at 5 p.m.

∎ The Dead Blues Society will play at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Sunapee’s One Mile West. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, local singer-songwriter Brooks Hubbard will perform.

∎ Scott Brown will play his finger-picked guitar at the Canoe Club in Hanover tonight, followed by Gillian Joy on piano on Friday. Randall Mullen will play piano on Saturday, Rowley Hazard will pick up his guitar on Sunday and Jonathan Kaplan will play piano on Tuesday. All music starts at 7 p.m.

Open Mics

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

∎ Salt hill Pub in Hanover runs an open mic hosted by Chad Gibbs on Mondays at 7 p.m.

∎ At Salt hill in Lebanon, Brian Warren and Seth Barbiero will host an open mic tonight starting at 8.

∎ Brian Warren also hosts an open mic at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock. It’s on Mondays, starting at 8:30 p.m.

∎ Bradford’s Colatina Exit hosts an open mic on Tuesdays starting at 8 p.m.

∎ The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Wednesdays, beginning at 8 p.m.

∎ Gregory Brown hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Jon Wolper can be reached at or 603-727-3242. Send Highlights to