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PRESS RELEASES


BFA Jazz Band


Michael Zsoldos and the BFA jazz band will be joined Trio Jota Sete for an evening of jazz on Friday, February 16th, in the Bellows Free Academy Performing Arts Center in St. Albans. sponsored and organized by St Albans Community Arts.

Michael Zsoldos is a native of St. Albans, and was introduced to music through parents’ love of music. Now based in Woodstock, Vermont, saxophonist and composer Michael Zsoldos teaches jazz and classical saxophone and music theory at Dartmouth College, and for eight years was the saxophone instructor at the University of Vermont.

He has performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Sheila Jordan, Kevin Mahogony, Houston Person, Luis Perdomo, Jason Palmer, Matt Wilson, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Ben Vereen, Bebe Winans, Yolanda Adams, and many others. Michael’s debut CD as a leader, Off the Cuff, is playing on streaming services and jazz radio stations worldwide.

Currently, Michael is a member of the NYC-based Miro Sprague Quintet and Eugene Uman’s Convergence Project; a group whose original music merges Colombian rhythms with jazz harmonies.

Trio Jota Sete is known for its original material, selections from Brazilian composers such as Jobim, Guinga, Garoto and Edu Lobo, and arrangements of choice Jazz standards. Guitarist Jason Ennis brought together drummer Conor Meehan and bassist Michael O’Brien to create an unique sound. Jason Ennis is a musician with a unique sound, deep groove, sensitive feel, and a diverse background in Jazz, Blues, Brazilian and other Latin American styles and Classical music. His interest in Brazilian music led him to adopt as his primary instrument a uniquely Brazilian Violão de Sete Cordas (7-string classical guitar), a staple of the Choro and Samba.


Share Your Heart, Share the World


by Alek Wolfe

Although poetry may be a dying art-form, everybody has a “poetic” story to tell. Young writers from Vergennes, Montpelier, Bellows Free Academy St. Albans, and Rock Point School had poetry brought to life in a small gathering. BFA students from Larissa Hebert’s American Literature class, and from Nate Archambault’s Creative Writing class were among those attending with their teachers. On Sept. 14, 2017 students from all of these schools gathered at the Bishop Booth Center in Burlington, VT for a workshop with several guest speakers. These speakers included skillful poet Tim Seibles. Seibles, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been mastering his craft of poetry since he was a child.

"When it was raining outside, my mother told me to go and write a story. That was my first encouragement to write," Seibles said.

Seibles found his love for poetry writing during college at the age of 19.

"You're trying to wake yourself up and pay closer attention to what's around you and what's inside you," Seibles said.

Seibles has written many poems. One of these poems that students worked with in the workshops was titled “Lobster for Sale.” The workshop was focused on personification.

"Every so often you go into a store and there will be a tank with lobsters. I was staring at a tank one day and I thought, what would a lobster in such a situation think about," Seibles said. The lessons learned will be taken from the event and used in future writing by the participants.

Rajnii Eddins returned as a presenting poet from the event last year. He also visited BFA last year to deliver a workshop with students.

"So many gifts arrived as a result of connecting with Share Your Heart, Share the World. It opened a lot of doorways for me to share my craft and to be inspired by the folks at BFA," Eddins said.

Stella Kahn, a senior from Montpelier, was one of the students in attendance at the event this year.

"I love the power that writing has to connect us and the power that it has to build community and build connections and friendship," Kahn said.

Kahn never thought of herself as a poet, but she hopes to master her craft in the future.

"I would love to take away new confidence in my ability to write. I haven't written a whole lot before this event," Kahn said.

Abigayle Domingue, a sophomore, was one of the BFA students who was in attendance at the workshop.

"I think it definitely will become an outlet for me if I ever need to express what I'm feeling or if I went through something throughout the day. I think it's just an outlet to write that all down and get it out of my head," Domingue said.

For people interested in going to this event in the future, Domingue has some words of advice.

"I would say just go out and try something new. Even if they know they don't enjoy writing, the inspiration from these poets and the powerful words that they speak will help them gain something from it," Domingue said.

Seibles love of poetry and willingness to share has positively affected some young minds today, in a world where poetry is often considered "archaic.”