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Highlights: Young Musician Performs to Aid Woodsville High Track Program

  • Chris Sarkis plays piano during the daily sing along at Horizons Day Camp on Lake Fairlee on Tuesday. The Woodsville High School graduate sings at Alumni Hall on Sunday in a benefit performance for the track and field program at his alma mater. (Courtesy photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, August 02, 2018

For four years at Woodsville High School, Chris Sarkis struck a harmonious balance between his loves for music and for competitive sports.

Two years after graduation, music now has the upper hand. But he hasn’t forgotten his formative experiences as a runner. He’s returning to his hometown of Haverhill to contribute his baritone voice to the cause of the track and field team at his alma mater.

After Court Street Arts offered Alumni Hall free of charge for his concert with Lebanon pianist Henry Danaher this Sunday, Sarkis decided “that if the proceeds could go anywhere, the track team would be ideal.

“Equipment is expensive,” Sarkis said this week, “and there never seems to be enough of it.”

The gesture means as much to Woodsville co-coach Christina Flateau as whatever amount the concert raises for the track program’s uniforms, starting blocks, vaulting poles and discuses for a team of about 30, including Sarkis’ sister Olivia — a long jumper and triple jumper.

“We weren’t surprised that Chris would do something like this, because he’s a super-generous kid, but we were thrilled,” Flateau said on Tuesday. “What we get from the athletic budget is not a whole lot. (Athletic Director) Mike (Ackerman) has always been great to us, but it’s a public school.”

In addition to track, which Sarkis described as “a very affirming experience that gave me a lot of good values, that got me to where I am today,” Woodsville High provided the music program that launched him to the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. In addition to majoring in music education there, he sings and dances with the Crane Opera Ensemble.

“I encouraged him and a couple of his classmates on the track team to try chorus, and it kind of exploded for him,” said Flateau, a Crane alumna. “He ended up singing for the all-state chorus in 2014, and he really found his voice.”

In Sunday’s concert, Sarkis will throw his voice into a program ranging from a Monteverdi opera from the early 1600s through folk songs and spiritual arrangements of the 20th century.

And after finishing his summer deployment as a counselor and music director at the Horizons Day Camp on Lake Fairlee, Sarkis will return to Potsdam for his junior year. Between classes in both voice and piano, he’ll prepare to sing the lead role in the world premiere of Mayo, composer Tom Cipullo’s opera based on the true story of a man who spent the last 60 years of his life at the Iowa School for Feeble-Minded Children.

All of which leaves little to no time for anything but recreational running.

“I tried the cross-country team in the fall of my freshman year, but I figured out early on that I just didn’t have time for it and to do everything else justice,” Sarkis said. “I really, really miss running, but there’s a lot of practice time for music, a lot more than for sports. So something had to give.

“A few people manage to do it at this level, but I’m not superhuman.”

Singer Chris Sarkis and pianist Henry Danaher perform music ranging across 400 years of Western culture at Court Street Arts in Haverhill on Sunday afternoon at 3. Admission is by donation to the varsity track-and-field program at Woodsville High School.

Best Bets

The rock bands I Love You! and Tetsuo, and the punk group Nimble Pines, perform the Bands for Bail concert that the Main Street Museum in White River Junction is hosting on Friday night at 8. Proceeds from the admission fee of $10 benefit Migrant Justice’s programs to help foreign workers in the Vermont dairy industry. To learn more about the organization, visit migrantjustice.net.

The West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts hosts two concerts at the Union Episcopal Church over the coming week, starting Saturday night at 6:30 with The Coral Suite ensemble of violinist Dana Lyn and guitarist Kyle Sanna. The duo also performs its “through-the-looking-glass” style of traditional Irish music during the 2 p.m. Sunday concert at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, where admission is includes in the park’s $10 entry fee.

And on Wednesday night at 6:30, Syrian-American singer-songwriter Bassel Almadini leads his indie-funk band Bassel and the Supernaturals to the Union church. Last summer, the musicians wowed audiences at concerts in Claremont and Cornish.

Admission to the center’s summer concerts is by donation. To learn more about the series, visit wcc-ma.org.

The Modern Times Theater duo of Rose Friedman and Justin Lander combine Vaudeville-style music and Punch-and-Judy puppetry during their free concert at the Wilder Club and Library on Friday afternoon at 4. The gathering, followed by ice cream on the club porch, wraps the Quechee/Wilder Libraries series of summer readings.

Goshen, N.H. singer-guitarist Tom Pirozzoli and South Newbury, Vt. fiddler Patrick Ross perform at the Harbor House Livery in Sunapee Harbor on Friday night at 7. The Livery also is hosting an art show at which Pirozzoli is exhibiting paintings.

The Billings Farm and Museum hosts “Farm to Ballet,” with nimble young dancers cavorting to a live string ensemble’s rendition of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, on Saturday evening from 5:30 to 8. To reserve tickets ($20) and learn more, visit billingsfarm.org or call 802-457-2355.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Starting on Wednesday, the New London Barn Playhouse stages Newsies, Harvey Fierstein’s Broadway adaptation of the 1992 Disney movie about an 1899 strike by newspaper delivery boys in New York. The production opens with performances on Wednesday afternoon at 2 and Wednesday night at 7:30, and concludes on Aug. 19.

The Barn’s run of the showbiz musical 42nd Street ends this weekend, with performances at 7:30 tonight, Friday night and Saturday night, and at 5 Sunday afternoon.

To reserve tickets ($20) for these and subsequent productions, visit nlbarn.org or call 603-526-6710.

Looking Ahead

The Altius String Quartet will perform at New London’s First Baptist Church next Thursday night at 7:30. Admission is $5 to $25. To reserve tickets, visit summermusicassociates.org or call 603-526-8234.

Theater/Performance Art

The BarnArts Center for the Arts stages a family-friendly adaptation of Spamalot!, the hit musical based on the Camelot-spoof movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, at Barnard Town Hall this weekend, starting Friday night at 7. Admission is $8 to $12. To learn more, visit barnarts.org.

Opera North opens its Summerfest at Lebanon Opera House on Friday night at 7:30, with the first of four performances of Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann.

Stagings of Rossini’s Barber of Seville are scheduled to begin on Sunday afternoon at 5. For tickets ($20 to $90) and more information, visit operanorth.org or call 603-448-0400.

The New York Theatre Workshop stages five plays-in-progress at Dartmouth College’s Warner Bentley Theater over the coming three weekends, starting Saturday afternoon at 4 with a performance by Alexandra Tatarsky’s American Psychobabble (or, my favorite way to die right now in this room).

This weekend’s shows continue on Saturday night at 7:30, with a staging of Itamar Moses’ After the March, a mash-up of vignettes following a protest. For tickets ($9 to $13) and more information about these and subsequent plays, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

The Lincoln, N.H.-based Children’s IMPACT Theater Company performs an adaptation of the fairy tale Little Bo Peep and the Beautiful Owl on Monday morning at 10 at the Claremont Opera House. General admission costs $6. To reserve group tickets visit claremontoperahouse.org or call 603-542-0064.

The BarnArts Center for the Arts is holding open auditions next week, at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre, for its October production of the Mel Brooks musical comedy The Producers. The sessions are scheduled to run between 4 and 6 on Tuesday afternoon and between 6 and 8 on Wednesday. Rehearsals begin in late August. For more information, visit barnarts.org or call 802-234-1645 or email info@barnarts.org.

Music

Singer-songwriter Rebecca Levi performs a set of Americana and folk during the Feast and Field Market in Barnard tonight at 5:30.

The folk duo of Mark and Sue Robinson performs on the bandstand at Denny Park in downtown Bradford, Vt., tonight at 6. Admission is by donation.

Rob Curto’s Forro for All performs music of northeast Brazil tonight at 7 at Lebanon’s Colburn Park. The Lyme Town Band plays Monday night at 7.

The South Royalton Town Band performs on the bandstand in South Royalton tonight at 7.

MorganEve Swain leads the roots ensemble The Huntress and Holder of Hands onto the back lawn of the Woodstock History Center on Friday night at 5:30 to play Pentangle Arts’ free weekly brown bag concert.

Singer Susan Brison and jazz guitarist Billy Rosen play the Norwich Farmers Market on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30.

The roots trio Decatur Creek performs at the Flanders Stage on Sunapee Harbor on Saturday afternoon at 5.

The roots band Still Hill mixes progressive bluegrass with old-timey rhythms and songs on Sunday afternoon at 5, on the bandstand behind the Hartland Recreation Center.

John Lovejoy leads The Flames onto the Newport Common on Sunday night at 6, and into Grantham’s recreation park on Tuesday night at 6, to play rock and pop favorites.

The Lyme Town Band performs on the bandstand at the Fairlee common on Tuesday night at 6:30, coinciding with the Fairlee Community Church’s ice-cream social.

Mo’Combo plays soul and jazz on the bandstand in downtown Canaan on Tuesday night at 7.

The RoadTrash Band plays classic rock and country on the bandstand at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction on Wednesday night at 6:30.

The acoustic trio T-Bird & The Buzzards plays pop, rock, blues and country favorites on Wednesday night at 6:30, on the Ben Mere Bandstand overlooking Sunapee Harbor.

Bar and Club Circuit

Singer-songwriter Holly Furlone plays Peyton Place in Orford tonight at 6.

Guitarists Steve Ellis and Billy Rosen play the Weathersfield Inn in Perkinsville on Friday night at 7.

Bassist Peter Concilio leads his jazz ensemble into Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night at 8.

Singer-songwriter Alan Scardapane plays The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Friday night at 8, and the rock ensemble Carter Glass appears on Saturday night at 7:30.

A long way from Hawaii’s Big Island, Soulstice pulls into Windsor Station at 9:30 Friday night. The Gully Boys play on Saturday night at 9:30.

Pianist Sonny Saul performs jazz at the On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

Souflix plays Saturday night at 8:30 at Fairlee’s Lake Morey Resort.

Keyboardist Doc Winslow, bassist Tom Lord, guitarist Kit Creeger and drummer Bryant Harris perform their weekly gig at Poor Thom’s Tavern in Meriden on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Royalton singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner plays the SILO Distillery in Windsor between 1 and 3 on Sunday afternoon.

Guitarist Ed Eastridge and bassist Skip Truman accompany singer Dixie Eastridge during the buffet supper ($10 to $25) at Loch Lyme Lodge with on Sunday night at 6. And singer-songwriter Derek Burkins performs during the weekly cookout ($8 to $20) on Wednesday night at 5:30.

Saxophonist Michael Parker, bassist Peter Concilio and guitarist Billy Rosen play jazz at Carpenter & Main in Norwich on Tuesday night at 6.

Open Mics

Jim Yeager hosts open mics at 7 tonight at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret; at Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock on Monday at 7:30; at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday at 6; and at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Wednesday night at 8.

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.

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.