Wed, Jan 25, 2012 12:07 PM
Sounds of violins, flutes and trumpets tuning up, people settle
in their chairs, lights go down, the conductor raises his hands,
silence-then the music begins. This is the Vermont Symphony
Orchestra's Holiday program, "Fun and Games," featuring teenager
Eileen Kocherlakota's musical composition, "Jill and the
Beanstalk," a fractured fairytale. When the lights go up, I see the
faces of Killington Arts Guild members in the audience.
The Vermont Symphony is one of the few, and the oldest,
state-supported symphony orchestras in the nation. It started in
1934 by Alan Carter, who gathered musicians, farmers and
storekeepers to form the orchestra that traveled to gymnasiums,
armories and hillsides presenting music.
The VSO provides quality performances for a modest cost to a
diverse audience throughout Vermont. The VSO needs many supporters.
Dorothy Webber is one such local supporter who has served as a
board member in the Rutland area for many years. She is also a
member of the Killington Active Seniors and the Killington Arts
Looking at the Paramount, I remember the day in the mid-1990s when
I toured the theater with the Rutland Historical Society. The plans
for the restoration sounded formidable. They thought the building
was sound but I could see the walls needed plastering, ceiling
repaired and gold trim restored. The big problem was money.
In 1992, Ed Fowler of Killington, a stockbroker, pledged $2,000,
and decided he was "born to raise money" for the theater. At a
meeting at the Cortina in 1996, Allen George, president of the
group raising funds announced it couldn't be done and retired.
Fowler became the leader.
Local support was important but not enough. He went to Jim
Jeffords and other legislators for help raising the $3,500,000
required. Historic reconstruction began in January 1999. The
theater, opened in October 2,000. Why is the Paramount so
important? Ed says "…because theater is live. You can't make
mistakes. It is people performing their best."
The VSO celebrates Mozart's 256th birthday and Robert De Cormier's
90th birthday at the Paramount on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 with
Faure's Requiem, "written for pure please" and Mozart's Requiem,
played in the movie Amadeus.
The Paramount is the place where KAG Member Saski Hagen Groom's
Children's Theater performs and where in April 2012 at the Brick
Box, Yvonne Daley's book, "Vermont Writer's" will come to life, as
a play. KAG members are supporting the arts as an audience
and as presenters.
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