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Happy New Year!

I spent New Years Eve with my wonderful girlfriend enjoying First Night in Burlington, VT. There were all sorts of things to see and do. It was quite chilly (in the single digits!) but we persevered and enjoyed the day.

We caught the Vermont Youth Orchestra at the Flynn Theater for their yearly First Night concert. They performed slightly more popular music than the typical orchestral repertoire (though this all depends on how familiar you are with such things) as well as some newer works. Works included the theme from the Indiana Jones film “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the theme from the widely popular video game “The Legend of Zelda.” Violinist Duncan Yandell was a featured soloist in a medley of Cape Breton fiddle tunes with the orchestra that certainly brought down the house.

We wandered around Church St., enjoying the day and looking through the many shops. We met up with my friend Erik for a much needed lunch at Bruegar’s Bagels. Nothing like a couple of bagels to fill you up for the rest of the afternoon!

We took in a quick concert with the Gordon Stone Band at the First Congregational Church. They did not disappoint. If you’re familiar with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, they would be the closest thing I can think of to Gordon Stone and his trio. The musicianship was at it’s peak for this show. I’ll certainly look forward to seeing them again sometime soon.

Afterwards, we wandered a bit more and went to check out the exhibit at the Burlington Firehouse Gallery for the Arts. I love checking out art at this gallery anytime I’m in town. The featured exhibit was quite unique this time. It featured a large group of statues made out of hollowed out logs with faces of clay and wood on top. Viewers were supplied with pieces of wood to tap the statues and hear the different qualities of sound from each part. I thought it was a great way to engage the viewer in the art.

We finished off the evening downtown with some fireworks on the brisk top floor of the Church St. parking garage. We stayed warm in the car but, of course, I hopped out for a few photos.

facecarving

childplayingstatue

gordonstone

Thinking back on 2008…

2008 was a heck of a year. You know the saying, “Good times, bad times.” But I think that there are amazing things that 2008 brought us that will better arm us for the future. Change, hope, it’s gonna be the story of 2009.

I’m certainly looking forward to another year. I was starting to feel, as we often do around this season, that we need to cleanse ourselves and start anew. Well, 2009 is here and we’ve got our chance.

It’s a great point in time to make changes, goals and resolutions. I’ve already started working on my list…

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