Entertainment Highlights: Summer’s Band Stays Active in Winter

In the summertime, the Upper Valley Community Band’s horn, trumpet and percussion sounds ring in the ears of audiences on the area’s town greens. Come winter, the band’s schedule is more sporadic, but its 80-ish members, ranging from high school students to octogenarians, rehearse weekly year-round.

Saturday night at the Lebanon Opera House, fans of the venerable community band will be able to hear what it has been up to at “A January Thawbreaker” concert.

“We’re a community band and we want to do something for the community in the wintertime,” explained Carole Blake, the UVCB’s director of 23 years. “We just want to make sure that the community knows that we’re still here.”

Since its founding in 1914, the band has stuck to the traditional marches and big band selections for which it is known, but has also adapted to the musical whims of the past century. Saturday night’s show will include the selection Rock, Roll and Remember, a tribute to the late American Bandstand host Dick Clark. There will also be selections from the repertoires of big bands led by Benny Goodman, Glen Miller and others, and a medley of songs associated with crooner Tony Bennett.

A January concert at the opera house has been a staple in the UVCB’s annual performance schedule since the 1980s; each year at the winter concerts, the group a different area organization. This year, the band selected Good Neighbor Health Clinic and Red Logan Dental Clinic, and representatives from those organizations will be on hand to answer questions from the public. As Blake said, “People might have heard of it, but never looked into it. This is a chance for them to get a little bit more knowledge about those organizations.”

While it’s pleasant to perform in the open air on summer evenings, Blake said, “It’s a nice treat to play in the opera house. It’s a great venue to be able to play in,” Blake said.

The Upper Valley Community Band will perform “A January Thawbreaker Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lebanon Opera House ($5-$8).

Best Bets

Since performing at Carnegie Hall at age 16 with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, violinist Leila Josefowicz has been in great demand, performing with symphonies the world over. Josefowicz’s repertoire encompasses works from both classical and modern composers. Accompanied by pianist Pedja Muzijevic, Josefowicz will make her Hopkins Center for the Arts debut at 8 p.m. Saturday in a concern with selections from Brahms, Beethoven, Schumann and Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag ($25-$40).

∎ Pioneering ska band The English Beat, led by founding member Dave Wakeling, comes to Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction at 8 p.m. tomorrow. Expect to hear the politically-charged songs that made the Beat famous, as well as those from Wakeling’s subsequent band, General Public ($35).

∎  As a soloist with the vocal group Celtic Thunder, Irish tenor Paul Byrom has performed for audiences that include President Obama, Irish President Mary McAleese and Emperor Akihito of Japan. Byrom is now touring North America in support of his new CD This is the Moment and will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tupelo Music Hall ($30).

∎  Internationally renowned pianist Simone Dinnerstein will bring her rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations to Chandler Music Hall in Randolph at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Julliard-trained Dinnerstein has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and has also brought her music to Louisiana prisons and Maryland nursing homes and community centers through her work with the Piatigorsky Foundation, which brings classical music to unconventional spaces ($32, advance; $35, day of show).

∎  New Hampshire’s Landaya Ensemble, led by Guinean djembe player Sayon Camara, brings the traditional music of West Africa to the Main Street Museum in White River Junction tomorrow (7:30 p.m., $5-$10).

On Stage

Shaker Bridge Theatre continues its run of Speed-the-Plow, David Mamet’s play about Hollywood power and gender politics, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Whitney Hall Auditorium in Enfield ($25, adults; $20, students).

Choral Music

Erma Mellinger directs the Cantabile Women’s Chorus in their annual winter concert, at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Norwich Congregational Church and at 4 p.m. Sunday at Lyme Congregational Church. Accompanied by Jeanne Chambers, the women of Cantabile will include selections from Daley, des Pres, Mendelssohn and Walker ($5-$15).


DJ Shar4 spins tunes at Salt hill Pub in Hanover’s club night, starting at 10 o’clock Saturday.

∎  Muskeg Music has long sponsored the Saturday night contradances in Tracy Hall in Norwich. At 5 p.m. Saturday, there will be a family contradance, followed at 6:30 by a potluck supper, Muskeg Music’s annual meeting at 7:30 and the main contradance, called by Lausanne Allen and with music by Cuckoo’s Nest, begins at 8. All events take place at Tracy Hall, and beginners and singles are always welcome ($5-$8; seniors by donation; free for children 16 and younger).

∎  The Upper Valley Dance Club hosts a ballroom and East Coast swing dance night at the Richard Black Community Center in Hanover on Saturday. Lessons for beginners start at 6, with free waltz lessons at 7:30 and the main dance at 8 p.m. ($5-$10).


Green Mountain Comedy Festival headliner Jason Lorber has opened for Joan Rivers, was recently named Vermont’s Funniest Comic. He’ll likely leave audiences in stitches tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in a show at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph ($12).

Bar and Club Circuit

The John Lackard Blues Band will entertain patrons at Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon tomorrow at 9 p.m.

∎  Canoe Club in Hanover has the jazz duo of Ed and Dixie Eastridge tonight, pianist Gillian Joy tomorrow, guitarist Rowley Hazard on Saturday, guitarist Jairo Sequeira on Sunday, Liz and Dan Faiella on Tuesday and folk guitarist Doug Henry on Wednesday.

∎  Singer and guitarist Jason Cann is at Harpoon Brewery tonight and Shepard’s Pie Restaurant on Route 4 in Quechee tomorrow.

∎  Bluegrass band Hot Mustard entertains diners at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland tomorrow at 9 p.m.

∎  Rock trio Baldilocks plays Salt hill Pub in Newport at 9 p.m. tomorrow. Saturday night, the Boston-area progressive rock band The Van Burens comes to the pub for a 9 o’clock show.

∎  The Conniption Fits play a gig at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon at 9 p.m. tomorrow. Brooks Hubbard, Enfield native and singer-songwriter, performs there at 9 p.m. Saturday. The pub also has live traditional Irish Music sessions at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

∎  Frydaddy lead singer Carlos Ocasio performs at Salt hill Pub in Hanover tomorrow at 9 p.m.

Open Mics, Jams

Every fourth Friday is open mic night at the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse, starting at 7 in the basement of the Sunapee Methodist Church.

∎  Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock has an open mic led by Brian Warren at 8 p.m. Monday.

∎  Chad Gibbs hosts the Monday night open mic at Salt hill Pub in Hanover, starting at 7:30.

∎  Shepard’s Pie Restaurant on Route 4 in Quechee is the site of a Tuesday night open mic, starting at 6.

∎  The Colatina Exit in Bradford has an open mic on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

∎  There’s an open jam every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 at Tuck’s Rock Dojo in Etna.

∎  Wednesday night is open mic night at Skunk Hollow Tavern. It’s led by Gregory Brown and starts at 8:30.

∎  Anthony Furnari hosts an open mic at Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Entertainment Highlights appears each Thursday. Email news of upcoming shows and events to kbryan@vnews.com.