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"Those Stars": Social Band's new constellation of songs

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The Burlington vocal ensemble Social Band is out with a new recording, "Those Stars". They'll perform some of the new music at a series of concerts in the Champlain Valley starting this weekend.

The newest sixteen songs celebrate nature, the seasons, the night sky and life. Todd Moe talks with Social Band director Amity Baker, who says the latest CD continues a long tradition of performing the work of some of Vermont's best wordsmiths and tunesmiths.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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Baker explained that this focus on local talent started a couple years ago, “We thought it would be interesting to have a project where we ask local composers to write for us.” The only stipulation is that their text be from a Vermont composer or writer.

The writings vary from the early 1900s to the present day. This provides an interesting contrast between early 20th century poetry and more modern works.  “One of the characteristics of modern poetry is it’s free verse, as opposed to metered verse.” If the composer uses more modern poetry, that makes writing the music more challenging, but it can also be more interesting.

Social Band had to wait to see which songs would make the cut, before they chose a title for the collection: “As we were perusing the list of pieces that were going to be in this final program, we tried to find something that is poetic, kind of general a little bit, and it [Those Stars] is a favorite one of the songs from this project.” The group enjoyed the poetry of the text, as did the band member who painted the front cover watercolor.

The group will perform some songs from their new album along with older material for their upcoming concert season

You can hear Social Band in concert at 7:30 pm this Saturday at the Richmond Free Library and at 3:00 pm on Sunday in Hinesburg United Church. The schedule for the following weekends can be seen on Social Band’s website.

Pie will be served at the concerts, and attendees will have a chances to win a slice. There will also be a raffle to win a whole pie at the end of each concert.

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