Around the horn: reviews to wet your whistle

The sets were realistic down to several pesky mosquitoes. Costuming, lighting, sound, as well as sets, were as usual and the usual in the Department of Theatre is terrific.

Saving the best for last, kudos to the cast, one and all, for fine performances. Never once did the thought cross my mind that these are actors playing children -- these were children, and in that respect Ramos achieved quite a bit. The success of the plague was brought about by the actors, however, not by changing the date by two years.

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Thursday evening, Sept. 27, I was at the Vergennes Opera House to hear the opening concert of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's 14th annual Made in Vermont Music Festival, called Let us serenade you! Anthony Princiotti was on the podium.

The interests of the evening was the work commission from Vermont composer, Sarah Doncaster, whose work -- Rush Patrick's Vision, which was inspired by the view from the footings of an old farmhouse near Irasburg once owned by Rush Patrick, and now part of the farm owned by Doncaster's family (she and her family and local community members for many years have sponsored the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival, the brainchild of Sarah Doncaster). Doncaster is a thoughtful composer. In addition to knowing her music to the Warebrook Festival, I have also heard the Settings of the Great O Antiphons that she composed for the choir at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul here in Burlington. Her music is not derivative; it is always pure Doncaster. This piece was no exception. It perfectly reflected what she said as a prelude to the playing of the work, and was warmly received by the audience and the orchestra.

The balance of the program featured works by Hugo Wolf -- his delightful Italian Serenade, which Princiotti had edited. The Serenade for Winds, Cello, and Doublebass by Dvorak is a work of great charm, and they received the appropriate attention that it deserved. The evening closedwith Tchaikovsky's well-known Serenade for Strings.

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