Play Every Town

251 252 Community Concerts for a Cooler Climate

Newport City

Concert Thirteen: 10/12/22 at Newport United Church

We arrived in Newport City on a lovely evening with the light and the leaves dropping early hints of autumn.

click any image to enlarge

Lake Memphramagog, view from St. Mary Star of the Sea

Lake Memphramagog, view from Newport waterfront

Newport United Church

The program

A small but appreciative audience of 18 attended the concert. We were fortunate to have three young local singers join in: North Country Union High School seniors Marelle Mosher and Ryan Carpenter, and Newport Elementary teacher Saigelyn Green, who also composed one of the songs she sang. Like Mavis MacNeil, another singer, composer, and public school music teacher, who joined me on the Hardwick concert. Saige got her start composing in Vermont’s wonderful statewide composition mentorship program Music-COMP.

Scarlatti Sonata in G major, K.13 (preceded by 13 ii-V-I’s)

Ryan sings Ciampi’s “Nina”

Marelle sings “Scarborough Fair”

Saigelyn sings her own “Something More”

This is a good place to mention another area composer and educator: Sara Doncaster, who teaches at Lake Region Union High School and who has been the champion supercontact for the northern reaches of this tour. It was Sara who put me in contact with Saigelyn and also with Danielle Carrier (choral teacher at North Country Union HS) who recommended Ryan and Marelle. Sara knows the area in and out—she ran a new music festival in the north country for years—and saved us an enormous amount of legwork by pointing us to the best places to play in several towns, as well as pointing us to local musicians for collaborations. She is seriously connected, and generous in sharing her connections.




Now I’m just being artsy

Six Preludes by Jim Romeo...seemingly artless

Cam Green, Saige’s mom, filled in Newport City

A long day

...about the piano

Yamaha serial no. 3894848 was manufactured in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1984. It is a model C7, the largest (7'6") of the "Conservatory" grand series and just one step below its top concert-hall model. It was donated in 1986 by Edwin B. & Genevieve Pouty Gage, Newport residents who also endowed a local charitable trust and were benefactors of many other area organizations including the United Christian Academy, the Holland Dialysis Center at North Country Hospital, the Goodrich Memorial Library, and the Welcome Center.
High-end Yamahas like the C7 are among the most markedly responsive pianos. That means they are sensitive to minute differences in attack weight, and translate those differences to significant change in volume and tone. This is both wonderful and scary: the most subtle nuances of expression are possible, but the high responsiveness means there’s no hiding any sloppiness. Meanwhile, no. 3894848 was in quite decent but not perfect regulation. A single piano key consists of over 100 parts, any of which may wear slightly differently from note to note. On many pianos, this level of irregularity would have been fairly insignificant, but because of the Yamaha’s exquisite responsiveness, these little differences kept me constantly on my toes (fingers).

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last updated March 01, 2023