Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.—BARNARD — Local non-profit BarnArts directly spawned out of a winter recital organized by Jarvis Antonio Green in Barnard on Dec. 19, 2011, and that recital has been celebrated as the first Winter Carols and founding event for BarnArts ever since. BarnArts will be celebrating 10 years of Winter Carols with a virtual Zoom event at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec.18th. Woodstock resident, jazz saxophonist, conductor, composer and arranger Michael Zsoldos is directing this year’s event.
“The BarnArts Chorale, and the whole Winter Carols program, reminds me of the vital role that music can play in our lives, particularly now— as an example of people working together empathetically, in community toward a common goal,” said Zsoldos. This year’s Zoom performance will be Zsoldos’s fourth consecutive year as the director of Winter Carols and conductor of the BarnArts Chorale and Youth Chorale.
After the initial winter recital in 2011, BarnArts founder Jarvis Green directed two more years of Winter Carols, including a presentation of John Rutter carols in 2012, which Zsoldos conducted. The initial Winter Recital and the founding of BarnArts was spurred by Green giving voice lessons locally in Barnard in fall 2011 and from a community desire by many residents seeking more community-based arts as well as from a group of young creative people who came to Barnard that summer as WWOOFers at Fable Farm, a group that included Green.
Green left BarnArts in early fall 2014 to pursue other interests, and BarnArts continued and so did Winter Carols. Linda Treash, who was on the board during the initial years, steered the transition of BarnArts after Green and was named executive director in early 2015. Pianist Kathy Tarrant directed Winter Carols in 2014 and harpist Judi Byron directed in 2015 and 2016 until Zsoldos took over. Green is now the producing artistic director of JAG Productions in White River Junction, a non-profit dedicated to exploring the African-American experience through theater.
Winter Carols is all joy!” said Treash. “By the community and for the community! I am delighted we are able to do it this year, as we all so need more moments of joy! Celebrating 10 years of BarnArts is pretty special. When Michael and I brainstormed ideas, he immediately went for the Zoom idea.”
Zsoldos has created an original arrangement of the classic carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” for the Zoom BarnArts Chorale to perform new this year. Tenvyears of Winter Carols will also be celebrated through an eight-minute segment of three former BarnArts Chorale performances behind a video track with clips and photos through the years. “It will be a fantastic remembrance for all of us!” says Treash.
This year’s BarnArts Chorale includes sopranos: Laura Foley, Cathy Foutch, Bitsy Harley, Jill Leavitt, Sara Norcross, Danelle Sims, Etta Warren; altos: Barbara Abraham, Nicole Conte, Anne Dean, Linda Grant, Mary Myers, Cassidy Metcalf, Jane Metcalf, Carin Park, Deborah Rice, Linda Treash; tenors: Kathleen Dolan, Clara Gimenez, Carol Rousseau, Jack Snyder, Tambrey Vutech; and basses: William B. Hoyt, Jim Reiman, Mark van Gulden, Michael Zsoldos.
“Another real point of joy each year are the kids!” says Treash. “BarnArts Youth have sung since 2012, and many of the youth have grown up doing this yearly performance for the community.” Marlena Farinas, now age 12, has sung since she was 4 in 2012, and Zella Little, now 9, sang first at the age of 5. Joining Marlena and Zella this year in the BarnArts Youth Chorale will be Annabelle Park, Charlie Park, Caylen Piper, Alyas Piper, Malakai Piper and Ben Rumelt. All are residents of Barnard.
Musical performances have also been part of Winter Carols through the years, with local musicians coming back year after year to play for the community! Barnard residents Chloe Powell (violin, cello) and Justin Park (guitar, mandolin) have played in all 10 Winter Carols. During the early years they played as a quartet or trio with Lizzy Bogosian (fiddle) and Patrick Sullivan (fiddle). Since 2016, Powell and Park have played at Winter Carols with their band Trifolium, which includes Andy Mueller (guitar, mandolin, fiddle), and they will do so again this year!
Other musical performances .ill be provided by Mark van Gulden and Kathleen Dolan of ArtisTree and Michael Zsoldos on his saxophone, all of whom have performed most years. Zsoldos delights each year with his jazz Christmas interpretations, this year joined by fellow Dartmouth Faculty members, Jason Ennis (guitar) and Mike Eckroth (piano).
Tickets are a “you pick” $5-25 donation and can be found through barnarts.org or facebook. The Zoom link will be emailed out to ticket holders on Thursday evening. For more info go to barnarts.org, email [email protected] or call 802-234-1645.