February 2019

~Chamber Newsletter~

Info and happenings in our Chamber and Town!

Go to  brandonbuilds.com  for construction info

Ruane and Duquette, Tammie award winners for Best Folk Album 2019,  at Brandon 
Music Feb 23

Richard Ruane and Beth Duquette are a Vermont-based acoustic duo performing original music with a clear traditional-roots influence that is steeped in tradition, but of its own time. They are known for their strong, imaginative vocals and harmonies, often compared to classic sibling harmony duos. Some of their original songs harken back to traditional ballads and jazz tunes from the 30's, but also remain firmly planted in life's current challenges and joy.  Ruane sings and provides inventive instrumental backing on guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin and ukulele, while Duquette contributes inspired lead and harmony vocals.   Ruane and Duquette perform with a comfortable ease and audience rapport that comes from many years of collaboration and love of creating music together.  
Their songwriting has won awards from the Songwriter's Association of Washington's Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and the SolarFest Songwriting Showcase and they have been finalists at Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition in Kerrville, Texas, the Great Waters Music Festival Songwriter Contest and the Plowshares Coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter Competition.   
Their latest Album "Notch Road" received the honor of a Tammie award for Best Folk Album of 2019 in The Vermont Times Argus/ Rutland Herald as well as one of the Best Vermont Albums of 2018 in County Tracks. "Notch Road" was included as part of The FolkChef Kitchen's podcast Best of 2018 in a list that includes Joan Baez and John Prine.  
They have toured throughout New England and beyond, appeared in the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's Emerging Artist Showcase, on Folkstage on WMFT, Chicago, Illinois, on Bound for Glory on WVBR, Ithaca, New York, Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs, New York and many other venues throughout the northeast.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2019, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert begins at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show.Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 www.brandon-music.net

Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce- 
Meet the Candidates Forum

Thursday, February 28th - 7:30pm

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a candidates forum on Thursday, 
February 28, at 7:30pm. To be held in the Town Hall basement meeting room. It will be moderated by Bill Moore. Candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer questions from the public.
For more information, contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or info@brandon.org

The 2019 contested races are as follows-
3 year Brandon select board- Tim Guiles and Dennis Reisenweaver
3 year OVUUSD- Brandon School Director- Mike Lufkin and Derek Larsen

New Exhibit Series Celebrates 20 Years of the Brandon Artists Guild
The public is invited to the opening reception Friday, March 1 from 5PM to 7PM.

The Brandon Artists Guild (The BAG) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of themed exhibits honoring our planet. The series will run from March through October, with each show lasting two months. The first exhibit, Art of the Earth, opens March 1and runs through April 30. 
The exhibit series represents a departure for the 20-year-old Artists Guild. "Rather than having our traditional single-artist exhibits, we decided to invite all our exhibiting members to contribute to four group shows based on a single theme," says artist Judith Reilly, "and what better subject than the Earth, where we draw our inspiration from?"
This year is also the Chinese Year of the Pig, which ties into the BAG's history. In 2003, the Guild's first public art fundraiser, "The Really Really Pig Show," caught the public's attention and put the young Brandon Artists Guild on the road to its current success. "We owe a lot to the pigs," says Reilly.
The Year of the Pig also recognizes nature's elements, Earth, Wood, Water, and Fire. The BAG will devote its four exhibits to these elements. The Art of the Earth exhibit will include pottery by guest artist Amanda Ann Palmer.
In addition to Art of the Earth in March and April, the remaining exhibits are:

Art of Wood - May 3 through June 25
Art of Water - June 28 through August 27
Art of Fire - August 30 through October 29
The Brandon Artists Guild is an artist-run gallery with approximately 40 exhibiting artists and additional supporting members. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural organization, the BAG supports the visual arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and educational programs.
The BAG, at 7 Center Street in Brandon, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM, and Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. Information: 802 247-4956


Travel the world by experiencing two rare musical opportunities - Piandia March 2 and  Step in Trio, March 3 at Brandon Music.

The experience starts with a rare opportunity to experience traditional classical Indian music in the intimate setting of Brandon Music by two highly acclaimed musicians performing together as Piandia on Saturday March 2 at 7:30pm.  Boston based Berklee College professors and old friends John Funkhouser on piano and Jerry Leake on tabla come together to perform ragas from North India.  Ragas consist of at least five notes, and each raga provides the musician with a musical framework within which to improvise, an area in  which Funkhouser and Leake  excel.  As Funkhouser explains, 'Musically we start with a seed and attempt to grow a tree.  We take our time and let the music gradually evolve and build, riding the wave from a peaceful meditation to a vibrant rhythmic crest merging back into the sea."  John Funkhouser is one of the leading jazz pianists of today performing with many groups as well as his own regular jazz trio and quartet and has appeared at major venues world-wide.  Jerry leads the world-rock fusion band Cubist and is a co-founder of the Indo/Jazz Band Natraj.  Jerry studied North Indian tabla with Rajeev Devasthali and Todd Nardin, and South Indian mrfangam/rhythm theory with T.K. Ramakrishman.
The weekend continues with a special Sunday afternoon jazz performance by Step in Trio, March 3 at 3pm featuring the highly acclaimed New York City bassist Joe Fonda, the Italian pianist Carlo Morena and the brilliant Chilean, Felix LeCaros on drums. Conceived in the 1990s Step Trio has changed membership but retained founding member Joe Fonda as the creative constant. The recording of two albums, "A Drop of Water" and "As You Never Said before" was the peak of this musical period. In this latest iteration Step in Trio's music is based on Carlo Morena's compositions strongly influenced by modern jazz composers like Kenny Wheeler, Steve Swallow, Don Grolnick and Vince Mendoza whilst also infused with European classical, Argentinian and Brazilian Music.  The new music has a strong Italian influence and when coupled with Joe Fonda's ferocious rhythmic approach and Lecaros' sophisticated and sensitive percussions a fresh sound palette results.
Step in Trio are touring Canada and the East Coast during the first ten days of March and are planning on recording their new music at Firehouse 12 in New Haven Connecticut.
Both events are part of Vermont Arts 2019, celebrating arts in Vermont.
The concert on  March 2begins at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show.Venue is BYOB. 
Brunch is available prior to the concert on  March 3 at 3pm.
Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 www.brandon-music.net

Experience the dynamic vocal range and unique sound of singer songwriter Steve Hartmann at Brandon Music!

March 9 at 7:30pm.

On March 9th Brandon Music presents  the compelling  and enigmatic  singer-songwriter, Steve Hartmann from Jericho Vermont.   A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Hartmann majored in piano and double majored in stage performance and song writing,  Hartmann is known for his unique sound, pristine vocals and engaging stage presence that draws you in and leaves you stunned.  Born in Dalat, Vietnam towards the end of the Vietnam War Hartmann was adopted at the age of 5 months.  He struggled to find a sense of belonging until he found music at the age of 12.  He's a self taught guitar player and a classically trained pianist.  He started the journey of finding his "sound" when he met his best friend and bassist, Drew Breder, at age 18.  Using various vocal effects and looper pedals, his sound has grown to be readily identifiable as his own.   Having opened for major label acts like Jeffrey Gaines, Chris Carrabba and Reeve Carney,  and won several singer-songwriter contests, Steve's dynamic vocal range, lyrically driven tunes and captivating stage presence sets him apart.  Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional and Twin Forks says, "Steve's vocals are pristine".  The incomparable Livingstone Taylor who taught Hartmann at Berklee College said, "I was blown away-speechless."   The powerful  American  singer songwriter and guitarist Jeffrey Gaines commented, " If you ever get a chance to see him live, take it.  You won't regret it."
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2019, celebrating arts in Vermont.
Concert begins at 7:30pm. Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 www.brandon-music.net

Line Barral receives her
$2019.07 check 

      Shop and SAVE!
Shop and WIN!

The Downtown Brandon Alliance, Brandon Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Brandon are excited to announce our 2018 Grand Prize winner!
Congratulations to Line Barral of Brandon! Line won $2019.07, the 2018 grand prize for our newly launched Buzz Card shopping incentive program! We had over 75 completed cards turned in, which translated to about 500 tickets entered into the drawing. But don't stop making use of your Buzz Card, another $2019.07 will be won by some lucky person at the end of 2019! There will also be many gift certificates from the participating businesses to be won.
This "get out to shop" program helped to bring all our friends and neighbors into our local businesses. Join in the fun, after your purchase of $10.00 or more the clerk will punch your card! After you get 10 punches you get $20 in Brandon Green and entry tickets for the 2019 grand prize!   It's that EASY! 
We hope this incentive will help you make the extra effort to come into town and do your shopping all through the upcoming construction season.

So grab your card, run into your local businesses and get punched!!

KEEP USING YOUR CARDS!!     List of businesses and their punch design

Please read this letter from Alison Walter, a friend and neighbor and daughter of Ellen Walter, part of our Chamber family.
"Hi Everyone, I am forwarding this along for my daughter. Please share! Thanks, Ellen"-Blue Moon

In 2014 I was diagnosed with a relatively rare kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy. This disease causes inflammation in the kidneys and over time decreases their ability to filter wastes out of the blood. IgA is a slowly progressing disease and is undetectable until it has reached an advanced stage. When I was diagnosed 4 years ago, I had 35% total kidney function. Even with aggressive treatment by my doctors at UVM Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, my kidney function is now only at 16%. 
I have to find a kidney donor ASAP! It takes 5 years to get a kidney through the deceased donor program, and most people start dialysis at around 12%. That does not give me enough time to wait for a deceased donor kidney. 
Dialysis greatly limits life expectancy (most people don't live on dialysis for more than 3-5 years).  It greatly limits your life because you have to be in hospital receiving dialysis for 4 hours a day about three times a week, and it worsens your outcome once you get a transplant. Right now I am getting twice weekly steroid injections to try to delay dialysis as long as possible. I really need your help so I can find a kidney and continue my life with renewed energy!
You are qualified to donate if you are physically and mentally healthy and between the ages of 18 and 60. Studies show that kidney donation does not negatively affect your health. But the quality of the recipient's life is dramatically improved!  I am registered for transplant at both Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. My insurance covers all medical costs. There are grants to cover travel expenses, and we can set up a Go Fund Me to cover loss of income (many employers offer up to 30 days paid leave for organ donation) and hotel costs. 
If you are interested in giving me the gift of life, you can fill out a health questionnaire for whichever hospital is most convenient for you.  Please fill in Alison Walter as the recipient. Once you fill out the interesting questionnaire, a nurse from the hospital will contact you to go over your health screening. 
If you are approved, they will send you a blood typing kit in the mail. Once they determine that you would be the best potential donor, you will be called to schedule a time to do a complete medical screening at the hospital. 
The entire process is completely confidential, you can change your mind at any time, and I will have no idea if you have applied or what your status is unless you choose to tell me. Thank you. I am so grateful for your help. Please share!
More info available at: 
My contact info: alwalt10@gmail.com

Get it! 

OPERA at-a-glance: the latest exhibit at the Compass Music and Arts Center
  Did you know that opera singers are basically Olympic athletes?
An opera singer has to be able to sustain high notes over a long period of time while using their body to amplify a sound so that it can be heard over a full orchestra and do so without any microphones. Opera singers show us the loudest sounds and the highest pitches the human body can produce. It takes many years before someone can audition to be cast in a professional company. This is one of the facts you can discover by visiting the 'Opera at-a-glance' exhibit in the Compass Music and Arts Center.
The Center is also providing a listening room where visitors can relax and sample different operas and hear the astounding voices of such great opera singers as Luciano Pavarotti and Renée Fleming.
The history of recorded sound is a further strength of the Compass Center as it hosts the Phonograph Rooms. Part of the exhibit will be devoted to how recording helped to popularize opera for all to enjoy.  

The Compass Center is celebrating the world of opera with this exhibit to launch the  collaboration between the Compass Music and Arts Foundation and BARN OPERA and its founder and artistic director Josh Collier who is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. 
The Foundation, through the new BARN OPERA venture, is organizing performances of loved operas through 2018 and beyond.

The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of   downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.). 

Pick up your hard hat!!
Great gifts !!!
Join in the fun, support the Downtown Brandon Alliance and Chamber as they help the businesses prosper through the construction AND win some money and great prizes!!
Stop in the town office and pick up your bright orange hard hat for only $5.00 and be eligible for our monthly $50.00 drawing in Brandon Green!! The drawings will be done throughout the Even BETTER Brandon construction project. We're working on lots of other ideas and functions to make use of your stylish hard hat!
Watch for more info on the super End-of Project prizes!


Compass Treasure Chest

Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email compasstreasurechestconsign@gmail.com and follow them on Facebook.

Free online tech support!

This is why we love the Brandon area, and the folks who make up our Chamber of Commerce!
Many thanks to Greg Smela of 
" Simple Systems of Vermont", a locally owned tech company. Greg will provide free online tech support for BACC members via an online support forum.

How does it work?

Easy! Current BACC members can sign up at www.ssvt.net/bacc. You'll be prompted to create an account by entering your name, email address, company/organization name and phone number. Your account will be activated within a few hours and you'll receive instructions at the email address you provide. 

What do you get? Simple... free support. That means, if you have a computer or other tech-related question you can post it in the forum and expect to receive an answer generally within 24 hours (but most likely much sooner). What kind of support is provided? We'll assist with hardware and software support and advice. Are you having a problem deciding on what hardware might work for your business or what software application will do the job? Post away and we'll help you.
What isn't covered: Telephone or email support. We can't answer your individual questions by email or phone as we are a business too and need to earn our keep! We also can't help your Aunt Ida or your friends, kids, pets, etc., but we hope this free service will help you deal with the small problems you may face from day to day.

We ask that you limit participation to one account per BACC membership. We are providing this for current BACC members as a way to help support our wonderful Brandon community.
                    Many thanks Greg!!
Celebrate the good life with Brandon's own award-winning beer and wine.
Brandon's home grown beers and wines!

Foley Brothers Brewing and Neshobe River Winery's tasting barn is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 to 5. Tasting flights, growler fills, bottles, and a country setting await you. Bring your friends or make some new ones here!

Others drive hundreds of miles to enjoy the beer that's right in your back yard! Come visit us today.
And don't forget, you can rent our tasting barn for private parties and special events.
 Follow us on Facebook and don't miss our latest release.
 Now open Sundays 11-4:00 !!
Read a great little review from a Woodstock B&B blog here!
  Foley Brothers Brewing
Neshobe River Winery
Inn At Neshobe River
79 Stone Mill Dam Rd.   247-8002   oldmillbnb@yahoo.com

Call for Exhibit Proposals at the Compass Music and Arts Center
Compass is seeking innovative work for solo and/or group exhibits from artists working in a variety of media.

Curators and both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply. Site-specific work/installations will also be considered. This is a rolling open call for exhibits.
  A variety of exhibit spaces are available, giving flexibility to artists for the scope of their vision and needs.
  Further information, including a sample exhibit contract and submission guidelines, can be found at www.cmacvt.org.
  Compass is a multi-faceted arts center with many components drawing visitors through its doors, including artist studios, gift shops, a consignment shop, music, a café, and a variety of events. Located in Brandon, Vermont it is also in the heart of a pulsing arts community.
  The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive, Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off Arnold District Rd.).

Studio and Gallery Spaces available to rent now at the Compass Center


Calling all artists in all disciplines! Have you ever dreamed of creating and working in a supportive environment with other artists? A place where there is space for artists to create, display and sell their work, provide classes, meet with colleagues and have access to a café and other amenities.  Compass Music and Arts Center is such a place. For more information and to schedule a visit, call Edna Sutton at 802-247-4295.  Very reasonable rates starting from $170 per month inclusive of all utilities.  Short leases available.
Compass Music and Arts Center 333 Jones Drive, Park Village, Brandon, VT.

Get on board the successful Gateways
to Adventure promotion!
You can sponsor a page at any time,
for one full year, for only $25.00
Sponsor ALL eleven pages
for only $200.00  
Gateways to Adventure        Click here for a printable PDF   Sponsorship form


Chamber "dollars"- a refresher course!

Every now and then I think it's important to
remind those of us who have been taking Brandon Green for years, and new businesses that have joined the Chamber, about the process for handling the certificates.
The $5.00, $20.00 and $25.00 certificates are legal tender and handled just like a check. You take the Brandon Green and give your customer change back, just like cash or a check. Then you deposit the Brandon Green into your account, just like a check. Simple and supportive of all our members.
Click here for more info on our popular Brandon Green

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
VACE health insurance program is back! Watch for a newsletter for more info and a meeting date to go over the plans. Other products still offered through VACE include, Dental and Vision packages.
M ore information on all of these products can be found at www.vaceinsurance.com
Or contact Holden Financial Services a division of the Richards Group (802) 775-2503 

Next Chamber Meeting-
Monday, March 18th, 2019 will be our next meeting!  6:30pm

The third Monday of the month.

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership
and the general public are invited to attend.