Moira Smiley & The Rhizome Quartet

Town Hall Theater

Saturday, September 16 7:30pm

Advance Tickets $27 (Includes $2 ticketing fee)
Walk-up tickets $32

Saturday, September 16

Tickets $27 in advance

$32 at the door

THT Welcomes Moira Smiley & The Rhizome Quartet

Singer / Composer, Moira Smiley introduces an upcoming album called ‘The Rhizome Project’ in a concert at Middlebury Town Hall Theater at 7:30pm, Saturday, September 16, 2023.

Smiley, a widely beloved, Vermont-based folk singer, songwriter and choral composer with millions singing her music, says; “The Rhizome Project is a concert of folk songs that form the root system of my musical identity as arranged with string quartet as virtuosic, multi-textured co-narrator and sonic envelope. After working with VSO’s Jukebox Quartet, I was smitten with the string quartet’s extraordinary range of colors. That range gives me, as arranger and vocalist a a thrilling chance to express the songs’ characters and emotions with the full range of my vocal and storytelling ability.”

The Rhizome Quartet is John Dunlop (cello), Brooke Quiggins Saulnier and Laura Markowitz (violins) and Stefanie Taylor (viola). While most of the songs from “The Rhizome Project” are traditional folk songs from the Appalachian and Anglo-Celtic traditions, it will also feature a few of Smiley’s original folk songs, a cover of Joan As Police Woman’s setting of Emily Dickinson’s ‘Bloom’ and a song from composer, Malcolm Dalglish’s ‘Hymnody Of Earth’ Song Cycle. 

The Rhizome Quartet:

Cellist John Dunlop has been performing in the Northeast for over twenty five years as principal cellist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Opera North, Opera Company of Middlebury, Hanover Handel Society and the Green Mountain Opera Festival. He has performed as soloist with both the VSO and BCO, premiering a new work written for him with the VSO in October of 2021, and with his piano quartet Northern Third. He is also the cellist with the fledgling new music ensemble TURN and VSO sponsored Jukebox Quartet.
John has also composed and recorded several award-wining film soundtracks for short films, including a documentary on childhood hunger in Vermont, where he called on his skills as a guitarist and bouzouki player in addition to cello. He has worked with Trey Anastasio of Phish on many of his solo albums and recently recorded on local folk duo Cricket Blue’s latest album. John teaches at Dartmouth College and privately in Richmond, Vermont where he shares a studio with his partner, VSO violinist Laura Markowitz.
Laura Markowitz, violinist, hails from Pittsburgh PA and played in the Santiago Philharmonic, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and the Florida Orchestra before joining the Vermont Symphony in the early 90’s. She plays violin in Eclectica String Quartet, viola with the band Cricket Blue and enjoys irish and swedish folk, leading summer fiddle classes with students in the area. She relishes the chance to play period music and played baroque viola in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Otter Creek Music Festival in July. Laura maintains a private teaching studio in Richmond.
Stefanie Taylor is the assistant principal violist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and violist for the orchestra’s Jukebox Quartet. She has been principal violist and principal second violin of Middlebury Opera and principal violist for Green Mountain Opera, and leads the Champlain Philharmonic as concertmaster. She has performed with the Craftsbury Chamber Players, Taconic Chamber Players, Vermont Virtuosi, Williams Chamber Players, the Manchester Music Festival, and Capital City Concerts.
During twenty years in New York, Stefanie performed regularly with the New York Philharmonic, as guest principal violist of the American Symphony, in ensembles including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and was assistant principal violist of the Long Island Philharmonic. She premiered several chamber works in venues including Merkin Hall, Roulette, Miller Theater, and performed live on WQXR.
Stefanie is an Affiliate Artist at Middlebury College and teaches violin and viola at the Middlebury Community Music Center. She is Artistic Director of the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber Music Workshop, and is on the faculty of Berkshire Summer Music. A graduate of Indiana University and Stony Brook University, Stefanie held fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Villa Musica (Germany), and Stony Brook.
Born in Nashville, TN, Brooke Quiggins Saulnier has performed in recitals and concerts throughout the United States and Europe and has won top honors in numerous solo and chamber music competitions. She previously held the Principal Second Violin position in the Miami Symphony Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. She is currently the Assistant Principal Second Violinist in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the VSO’s Jukebox Quartet. Brooke can be heard on the Sony Classical, Naxos, Columbia Records, Blue Note, and Universal record labels and has performed or recorded with Gloria Estefan, John Legend, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Nova), Sufjan Stevens, Young the Giant, Alexi Murdoch, Kat Wright, Francesca Blanchard, Moira Smiley, and Aretha Franklin to name a few. Brooke received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

Town Hall Theater

68 South Pleasant St

Middlebury, VT 05753

Moira Smiley and The Rhizome Quartet

    Tickets $27

    $32 at the door

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