By Aaron Retherford
City Hall in Montpelier will be the site of a mini-festival of events on Saturday, November 19 thanks to The Summit School for Traditional Music and Culture.
This will be the first Summit School Sampler and the school’s executive director hopes to do this every year.
“We want to share all the things we do with the public. The first half of the day showcases workshops, performances, all free to the public,” Summit School Executive Director Dana Robinson said. “Not everybody knows what Summit School is and what we do. This is just our way of opening the doors and making ourselves available for people to come in and sample what we do for free. They can just come and see what they want to see.”
From 1-5 p.m., the workshops and performances will be put on by teachers from the school and guests for free. Shape Note Sing and the Montpelier Senior Center Ukulele Orchestra will each perform in one of the 30-minute time slots. Robinson said those organizations have similar missions to Summit School, so they’re a good fit for the event.
Daytime Schedule – All free and open to the public
1:00 – Shape Note Sing
1:30 – Montpelier Senior Center Ukulele Orchestra
2:00 – Summit School Trad. Camp All-Stars!
2:30 – World Music Chorus Showcase
3:00 – Southern Old Time Music Workshop
3:30 – Heidi Wilson and Avery Book – American Harmony Singing Showcase
4:00 – 5:00 – Cajun Dance Workshop
Starting at 6 p.m., there will be a cash bar run by The Skinny Pancake. Following is a ticketed dinner, dance, and fundraising launch for the school’s flagship event, the Spice on Snow Festival on the last weekend of January. The evening program also takes place at City Hall.
“Spice on Snow is Montpelier’s biggest city-wide event in the winter if not the entire year,” Robinson said. “The thing about Spice on Snow is we have all the venues, all the cafes are rocking with music. We need funds for that. This is kind of our launch where we alert the public to tell them we’re going to launch an Indiegogo campaign, we’re appealing to our donors, and we’re looking for business sponsorships. This is our time to start creating awareness of our festival, so people can start planning for that weekend in January.”
Back Road BBQ will supply 1/4 Misty Knolls chicken for dinner. Chef Bill Koucky is dishing out a “Kale Ceasar!” and potato salad, and there will be a vegetarian option from Helen Labun-Jordan.
To cap off the night, attendees can dance to Cajun and Zydeco music with Yankee Chank. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at https://summitschool.wixsite.com/summitschool. Each ticket purchased will be entered into the raffle with numerous prizes.