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Brick Church music series takes a bow

Aaron Flinn will perform April 8.
Aaron Flinn will perform April 8.

The final installment of the Old Brick Church concert series will close out the official season Friday with a double billing of two Vermont singer-songwriters, Aaron Flinn and Rebecca Padula.

The performance series, which kicked off in October, focuses on bringing local artists in for regular concerts to draw out Williston neighbors in a place where they can meet one another, while also raising funds for charitable causes that support others in the community. This season has generated $31,000 to support various local causes, organizers said. Friday’s concert will benefit the Vermont Community Garden Network, and the organization will be providing refreshments during the intermission.

Flinn combines “elements of folk, indie rock and classic country” according to his website, along with “powerful vocals, poetic lyrics and finger-picking guitar” in his Americana-style rock songs. Padula, whose focus is on Americana roots, delivers in her alto voice “a dark folk-rock espresso with a shot of bluegrass and a hint of jazz,” according to her website.

Organizers for the event said this season has been great for attracting crowds, with nearly every show’s seats sold out or standing-room only.

“We just thought they’d make a great double bill,” said co-organizer Keith Gaylord. “They’re both really good at getting a great response from the audience.”

Past beneficiaries have included the Williston/Richmond Rotary Club, Me2 Orchestra, the King Street Center, Friends of Williston Library, Partners in Adventure, Vermont Respite House and Women Helping Battered Women.

“The whole premise is trying to build community – we do it through music, art and nice treats and just a good time,” said Gaylord. “It’s a terrific performance space, too.”

“It’s the best ticket in town for Friday nights,” he added. “It really is, they’re great evenings.”

Tickets for Friday’s show, which starts at 7 p.m., cost $12 in advance or $14 at the door (or $10/$12 for children under 12 and seniors). They can be purchased online at town.williston.vt.us/brickchurchmusic or at the Town Clerk’s Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday. The doors open at 6 p.m.

New Rising Stars event set for April 29

Following the close of the Brick Church Music Series, the town is organizing a production to unearth local, aspiring talent and give them a chance to shine on stage in front of an audience that could choose their fate.

The Rising Stars event will feature five-minute performances by a handful of new or emerging artists – including comedians, storytellers and musicians. “What we’re doing is trying to encourage aspiring musicians, people who busk on Saturdays or are getting a gig every now and then downtown,” said Music Series co-producer Keith Gaylord. “It’s the first time we’ve done this, but it’s turning out to be a lot of fun,” he said.

The artists were invited to submit, by way of an audition, what they planned to do on stage at the Brick Church, and the producers are currently in the process of selecting seven or eight finalists for the April 29 show.

“We’re helping others financially through good causes, and we’re helping younger musicians,” Gaylord said, noting that like the Music Series, there would be a beneficiary of the proceeds from tickets sold, in this case, Women Helping Battered Women. In addition, the performers themselves would be earning about what the town normally pays opening acts.

“Everybody understands they’re going to have five minutes, whether it’s two numbers or whatever it is. The audience will decide who returns,” said Gaylord. Tickets can be obtained the same ways as the Brick Church Music series, via the Town Clerk or online (see above.)

‘Mary Poppins’ takes flight

The Lyric Theatre’s production of “Mary Poppins” opened last weekend, and starred a number of Williston locals, including Elizabeth Pattison in the title role. With five shows left over the coming weekend, April 7 to April 10, Lyric organizers note that the community can take in this special performance before the winds change.

— Jess Wisloski, Observer staff