March 2015
Chamber Newsletter

March 23-March 28

 March Mania has a new name- a cuter, gentler, friendly name, March Magic!!

March is cabin fever, gloomy, cold snowy days and people itching for nice weather.

How about a week of special offers to blast away the doldrums!

This year we're trying something a little different. We're making it a week-long event starting Monday the 23rd and culminating in a big retail sales event on Saturday the 28th. Some businesses will be offering discounts all week and others might be concentrating on the 28th, watch to see their deals.

We want to get our winter weary friends and neighbors out and about! Join in and have some fun. Let's jumpstart spring, clear out the winter merchandise, introduce spring products, grab a bite and a toddy and give us all a reason to walk the streets and smile. Get pampered, try a new hair style (not my area of expertise), get your car washed and oil changed, a long winter is coming to an end so let's party!


This isn't just for the merchants downtown either, having a week-long event will allow our non-retail members to come up with some special offers of their own!


Watch for participating businesses and their "special offers" in the Brandon Pittsford Reporter and in a special newsletter that will come out the weekend before the event!


Join us and be a part of the MAGIC that is Brandon and Forest Dale !!


SOUPer Supper at the Brandon Congregational Church
Saturday, March 14

The Brandon Congregational Church is hosting a SOUPer Supper at Fellowship Hall on Saturday, March 14.  There will be a five and a six o'clock seating.  We will be serving home made soups, salads, breads, desserts and beverages.  A free will offering will be taken.  Join us for this fun, family event. 

Chamber at Rutland Trade Show
 Brandon is well represented again at the annual
trade show in Rutland.

 Every year the Chamber attends this busy show to promote the Brandon, Forest Dale community and our varied endeavors that make us special. This year focused on the national award winning "Homespun" initiative, highlighting the growing renaissance of the fiber industries.

Our theme was:
"Brandon Homespun- The Threads That Connect Us"

Brandon Vermont's history is richly woven with creativity and resourcefulness. Weave your way through the fabric of our community and experience the art and craft of working with fibers and fabrics. The lost arts are alive and thriving in fascinating and fashionable ways. 


 Many thanks to the fiber folk who let us use their products to create a beautiful and eye catching display. We had lots of great comments and it stimulated conversations about Brandon and all our exciting and varied activities.

Big thanks and appreciation to the Chamber crew that made this possible. Nancy Leary for the design and set up, Joan Rowe, Liz Gregorek, Sarah Pattis and Wendy Bizzarro for manning the booth and Brian Coolidge for take down and clean up.

And a special thanks to Courtney Satz who has supplied us with so many gorgeous logos, graphic art and this beautiful design!!



Thursday, March 26th - Town Hall

The February 24th Barn Raising was a huge success and a great jumping off point for the future of Brandon and Forest Dale. Sponsored jointly by the Chamber of Commerce, our Planning Commission, and Brandon Mainstreet (formerly DBA), this special evening brought together members from these and other groups, our Town government and interested residents to explore ways in which we can communicate more effectively with each other towards a more livable, positive future for all of Brandon. Now is the time to work together to build connections, identify working relationships and set achievable and productive goals. Please come and bring a friend or family member and be a part of this process.
 To watch a short video of some of the action from the first meeting click on this link-- Brandon Forest Dale Barn Raisng # 1 


                                       Hope to see you there!


Thanks to all who supported the
Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace and Brandon Museum on voting day, March 3rd !!
And for your continued support of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce- it is so very much appreciated!


Great news! As of this writing Kevin Has
raised over $7000.00 for his movie project. Donations can still be made through
March 20 to the kickstarter campaign to
help with continuing costs.
Brandon movie in the making!! Kickstarter Campaign. 
Local resident and Stephen A. Douglas board member Kevin Thornton is making a movie and he needs our help.

"I have a doctorate in history and have taught college courses on the Civil War and 19th century politics. I could have written this story up for an academic journal. I still might. But I thought I had something better in this story, something with wider appeal, a love story about a gutsy young woman. And after I found her picture I knew it could be a film.

While I have the advantage of understanding the source material pretty well, I suffered under the obvious moviemaking disadvantage of, well, not being a filmmaker. Luckily for me, this is Vermont, so there are all kinds of talented, generous people who are helping with the many, many things I can't do. First among them is a young filmmaker, Josh Hummel, who signed onto this project when it was nothing but an anecdote and an idea. Without him, and all the other people helping us, this would be impossible. But now we're making a film. We have a moving - and important - story to tell, and we hope you become one of the people helping." -Professor Kevin Thornton


Click on this link for more movie information and details on the kickstarter campaign  

Creative Music & Live Looping Workshop and Concert with Acoustic

Double-Neck Guitarist Ian Ethan Case


Creative Music & Live Looping workshop, Saturday, March 14, at the Compass Music and Arts Center from 11am-2pm with Ian Ethan Case (fee $35) followed by a concert at Brandon Music at 7:30pm (tickets $15).


Following a very successful performance at Brandon Music (sister venue to the Compass Music and Arts Center) in 2014 which left the audience exhilarated, exhausted, amazed and enthralled, Ian Ethan Case will give a second not-to-be-missed performance at Brandon Music on Saturday, March 14th at 7:30pm.  Ian is only one of about five musicians worldwide to tackle the acoustic double necked guitar in earnest.  Drawing on a diverse musical background that saw Ian taking piano lessons at the age of five and later studying the drums, orchestral percussion, saxophone, electric guitar and bass, he naturally moved into playing this extraordinary, seldom-seen instrument.


Prior to the concert, Ian will be offering a workshop at the Compass Music and Arts Center from 11am-2pm.  This is an amazing opportunity for all musicians and those interested in music to develop their knowledge, skills and explore their unique creative potential.


In the first half of the workshop, Ian will focus on: 

  • ear training
  • developing better timing and rhythmic versatility
  • finding your own path (Ian will share a bit of his journey so far and how he ended up on this particular track in terms of musical direction, as a way to encourage people to explore their own unique creative potential.) 

In the second half, Ian will take everyone through the technological aspects of live looping, as well as demonstrating and exploring with the participants looping's creative aspects.


Emmy-winning composer and producer Peter Bruce Wilder was one of the first to discover Ian's talent and unique voice in the remote hills of Northern Vermont, proclaiming in 2008:

"Ian Ethan represents something so new in musical approach, that the result is near impossible to pigeon hole into a 'sounds like' statement. It has been my personal privilege to observe his unwavering and deep exploration of this new technique and on a relatively rare instrument ... the original music of Ian Ethan is not to be missed."
In January 2013, Ian was invited to perform with some of the world's foremost guitarists and bass players as part of Muriel Anderson's "All-Star Guitar Night" at the annual NAMM convention in Anaheim California, where he shared the stage with Robben Ford, Victor Wooten, Stu Hamm, Mimi Fox, and Stanley Jordan, among others. Since then he has gone on to perform with some of the most respected artists in his genre, including international solo bass icon and innovator Michael Manring and Grammy Award-winning reed player Paul McCandless (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Paul Winter Consort), as well as top notch classical musicians from the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

Most recently, after both were featured nationwide on the same NPR program ("Here & Now", Dec. 2013), Ian performed his original works at the Boston Museum of Science Planetarium with 4-Time Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen, with whom he continues to collaborate.


For more information about the concert or to enroll in the workshop contact Edna Sutton by March 13th at 4pm at 802-247-4295 or visit


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


Yabuno Ettun Project returns to Brandon Music
Saturday, March 21 at 7:30pm

   A unique musical experience is in store for the audience on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30pm when Brandon Music welcomes back the Yabuno Ettun Project.  Ehud Ettun, bassist, and Haruka Yabuno, pianist, describe their music as "simple, but unique, and fun."  The two young masters see their music as the next level of conversation.  Their improvisatory music is on the line between classical and jazz with a mixture of Baroque esthetics and contemporary jazz.

   They say, "We began our collaboration four years ago.  Since then, we've been developing our own musical language.  This language continues to grow, taking us - as well as our audiences - above and beyond any cultural, linguistic or geographic differences and barriers."  Eliseo Cardona, editor of the blog Blue Monk Moods says, "Their music is based on the intrepid attitude that anything goes as long as risk is shooing away any fear."

    A native of Israel, Ehud Ettun is a recipient of the America Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship and "Tzfunot Tarbut" grant.  Ettun studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy with Michael Klinghoffer and at the New England Conservatory with Dave Holland and Donald Palma.  "Quickly establishing himself as an up-and-coming bassist on the Jazz and world music scene" (Jazz Earshot), Ettun has performed at venues ranging from New York's Blue Note to Washington Kennedy Center and Boston's Symphony Hall.  He has performed with many artists including George Garzone, Danilo Perez, Fred Hersh, Frank London and others.

   Haruka Yabuno began her musical career at the piano when she was three and gave her first improvisation.  Her foundations in classical piano continued to strengthen as she accumulated numerous distinctions in national level competitions that eventually led her to be accepted into the prestigious Kumitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Japan.  While at Kumitachi College, Yabuno was exposed to the music of Jazz and studied with legendary pianists such as Makoto Ozone, Yosuke Yamashita and Masahiro Sayama.  Yabuno was awarded the highest honor by the Jazz department, The Yosuke Yamashita Award.  In 2010, Yabuno received a scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston.  Currently a resident of New York City, Yabuno has performed at many prestigious venues including Jazz at the Kitano, Shapeshifter Lab, Caffe Vivaldi, Somethin' Jazz and many more.


Concert tickets are $15.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.  Venue is BYOB. Call (802)247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 |  


First Annual Dance to benefit the Senior Class Project Graduation!
Saturday, March 28, 2015

DANCING AND DESSERT- join in the fun and make this a yearly tradition for OV Parents, Alumni and Friends.



Time:     8:00 to 11:00 pm      

Where:   Neshobe Golf Club

Cost:       $15.00 per person


Tickets can be purchased at the OVUHS office or at the door .   

Must be 21 or over to purchase alcohol!        
Click here for the cool invitation- Project Graduation Benefit Dance   



Michele Fay Band to play at Brandon Music

Saturday, March 28 at 7:30pm

Brandon Music is pleased to present a return performance of the Michele Fay Band on Saturday, March 28 at 7:30pm.  The Michele Fay Band is a compelling and captivating ensemble featuring original and Americana music that brings forth a comfortable groove of folk, swing, and bluegrass-influenced songs.  Fay's heartfelt lyrics are woven seamlessly together as she delivers with a crystal clear, authentic voice accompanied by guitar, fiddle, bass and banjo.  Art Edelstein, music critic for the Times Argus, says Fay's singing is as "smooth as a dollop of cream with your morning coffee ... Fay has a knack for writing songs that are heartfelt without being too self-conscious."


Fay's crack backing band, a perfect match for her talent as a singer-songwriter, adds to the charm and sincerity of these songs without detracting from their earnest messages.  Tim Price adds ideal melodic instrumentals on mandolin and guitar, while Kalev Freeman works his dazzling fiddle.  Michael Santosusso provides tenor harmonies and drives a dynamic beat with upright bass.  The performance will include a preview of songs from the band's new CD, 'Believe' due to be released this spring.


The Rutland Herald commented on the band's third CD, 'Endless Sky': "Michele's voice continues to be smooth and entrancing ... and harmony vocals only serve to strengthen the songs.  While the band's playing is top-notch, there's a reason it's called the Michele Fay Band, and that's Michele's voice ... another impressive cd from a band that seems to keep getting better."


Concert tickets are $15.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.  Venue is BYOB.  Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 | 


Muffy Kashkin Grollier: Felted Flora, Fauna and Fantasy
April 3rd through May 31st

Compass Music and Arts Center presents a new exhibit of felted paintings and mixed media work by Muffy Kashkin Grollier. The exhibit will run from April 3rd through May 31st, with an opening reception on April 3rd from 5:00-7:00pm, at which Muffy will give a short demonstration of her technique at 6:00pm.

 Muffy recalls the day, as a young child, that she took her mother's lead, a talented artist in her own right, and became an artist herself. "My mother would lie down on her bed with me at nap time. One day as my mother slept, I explored her nightstand. To my delight I found a tube of black paint. I painted the bed, the pillows and blankets and of course, my mother."

 Ever since, Muffy has been an artist, experimenting in different media and attending the University of Hartford Art School and the Massachusetts College of Art. She continues her artistic studies independently, taking classes and workshops with a variety of artists to study felting, pastel, watercolors, doll-making and mixed media art.

 She started felting about eight years ago with three-dimensional characters, before discovering the joys of painting with wool "two-dimensionally". However, her paintings are far from two-dimensional. The felting process allows for results similar to a bas-relief, giving the work a sense of depth almost as if it were sculpted.

 Felted paintings are created by layering fibers of wool onto a "canvas" - a thin piece of pre-felted wool batting - using felting needles to join the fibers together with those in the "canvas". Muffy incorporates techniques she learned from watercolor and pastel painting into her work and explains how similar this technique is to working with pastels. "Like pastels, you layer color over color so when you needle them in, the color underneath affects the color on top. It is a lengthy process but almost like meditation when I am working on a piece." She goes on to say "I have worked with pastels, watercolors and colored pencils but I like the needle felting best. I like the textural feel of the fiber; it's like the living spirit of the sheep is in the fiber and helps to bring the painting alive."

 Muffy has exhibited her mixed media art and felted paintings of flowers, animals, trees, fantasy scenes and three-dimensional dolls in juried shows at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont and the Plymouth Arts Guild in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


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 of Arnold District Rd.) .




Brandon Music presents Will Woodson and Eric McDonald with special guest Tim Cummings

Saturday, April 11 at 7:30pm

Brandon Music presents the dynamic duo of Will Woodson and Eric McDonald on Saturday, April 11 at 7:30pm.  Joining them will be special guest Tim Cummings. Woodson and McDonald are known as two of the finest young proponents of Scottish music. Cummings, a Vermont-based composer and multi-instrumentalist shares an uncommon hybrid of traditional folk styles - primarily Scottish and Appalachian.

 With an unusual blend of wind and plucked strings, Woodson and McDonald bring a breath of sensitivity to a tradition often known for its high velocity. Border pipes, wooden flute, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, and voice fuse together to create a detailed fabric of tunes and songs.  Soaring reels and swinging jigs give way to contemplative ballads, each displaying the organic chemistry of the duo.  Cummings brings his experience as a bagpipe performer to add to the entertainment. He frequently combines music, humor and stories to enliven and educate the audience about the refreshingly odd world of piping.

 Will Woodson is an innovative and powerful performer of traditional and contemporary music on border pipes, wooden flute, and tin whistle. He holds a Masters Degree in the performance of Scottish music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Woodson has performed across America, Canada, Scotland and Ireland appearing at major festivals. He has shared the stage with Phil Cunningham and Mike Maloney.  Woodson is known for his highly personal musical style, which utilizes the full extent of his singular instrument.

 Eric McDonald is one of New England's premier acoustic performers and instructors, known for his versatility in many styles.  Born and raised in the Boston area, McDonald studied at Berklee College of Music under renowned musicians John McGann and Eugene Friesen. While studying he toured with full time folk acts such as The Dave Rowe Trio and Matching Orange. McDonald has performed across the country and overseas alongside major artists. He is a member of the Scottish power trio Cantrip and the contemporary old time group The Knockbox Stringband.

 Tim Cummings was inspired as an eight year old to make bagpiping his primary focus in life!  He has studied at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, The College of Wooster (Ohio) where he taught piping and led the college pipe band, as well as the Victoria University of Wellington. Cummings is now a sought-after instructor, composer-arranger, and performer throughout New England and beyond.

 This performance promises unique entertainment with three professionals whose credentials are unparalleled.


Concert tickets are $15.  A pre-concert dinner is available for $20.  Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.  Venue is BYOB. Call (802)247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733 | 

Otter Valley Theatre Honor
Trip to Scotland Arts Festival

Otter Valley's Walking Stick Theatre Group has been invited to attend the world renowned Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August of 2015. They are one of 40 schools nationally to be selected to perform there. This selection is a tremendous honor for our school and the theatre department, however now they have to get there.  

Donations to support this wonderful educational opportunity can be made online at Any contribution will be appreciated. The total cost of the trip is over $60,000.

 Multiple fundraisers will also be taking place throughout the school year.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Brandon Vermont

Seeking sponsors to partner in our programming and ongoing rejuvenation and restoration!

   This is an exciting time for the Brandon Town Hall. We invite you to join us in building a future for this vibrantCommunity Center and event venue. The Friends were successful in obtaining a matching grant from Historic Preservation of Vermont to repair, replace and refurbish the 10 large, original windows in the upper hall. We were also awarded a Cultural Facilities Grant to continue our electrical upgrades throughout the building and new audio and lighting equipment for an incredible improvement to our stage area. We have become a destination venue for the central part of the great state of Vermont.

   The Friends of the Town Hall continue, in 2015, to build upon the success of years past. In order to do so, we seek sponsors to partner in our programming and ongoing rejuvenationand restoration.Individuals or organizations sponsoring programs will be featured on our website and program handbills, and will be seen by patrons from Brandon and many surrounding towns.

   Investment in this community asset is a way to visibly contribute to civic life andeconomic developmentin Brandon.The Town Hall is playing a growing role in attracting business to local shops, restaurants and guest houses. As our facility and programming continue to gather momentum, theTown Hall has become an engine of the local economy. Your sponsorship is one of the keys to the Town Hall's success.

   The Silent Movie Festival, already a tradition at the Town Hall, is a perfect opportunity for individual or corporate sponsorship. Featuring accompanying New Hampshire musician Jeff Rapsis, each silent movie attracted an average of 80-90movie goers last year. At a cost of $300 for each showing, you could become part of this Town Hall tradition. We plan to show six movies this year, andyou or your company may be interested in sponsoring all or part ofthe entire series.

   Our plan to make the basement area an additional space dedicated to educational, artistic and theatrical presentations has become a reality. It is being used by numerous community organizations including the Brandon Select Board, Cub Scouts, Recreation Dept., Civic groups, for special meetings, is available year round for community groups and can be rented for rehearsals, parties, receptions, etc.

   Please contact me at or at 802-247-5420 if you would like additional information on programming, use of the Hall, rental opportunities or just a tour of the building. We welcome you to visit ourwebsite at,and you can follow us on Facebook.

As a 501(c) 3 organization your sponsorship/contribution is tax deductible. Contributions in any amount towards this years programming would be greatly appreciated

   Thank youin advance for your generosity,

Dennis W. Marden, President

Click on the link below for the latest newsletter from our friendly little print shop in Middlebury.

Office for Rent
25 Union Street   

$350 - $375/month includes utilities

Two offices available.  Located at 25 Union Street, corner of Union St. and Railroad Ave, with the following amenities: Furnished Office spaces, Conference Room, Security System, Client Waiting Area, Kitchen, Bathroom with Shower, Off-street Parking.


Affordable and Professional!                    Contact: Stephanie at 247-3214


Space available in the GRANARY  29 Union St.

Large, bright and sunny corner studio is available - second floor.

The 19th Century building that has been restored and remodeled to accommodate those devoted to the arts and to small business. Fully renovated, with new electrical and heating systems, insulation and new windows. Current studios are occupied by a publisher, illustrator, milliner, painters, sculptor, photographer, jeweler, graphic designer, and Brandon Artist Guild. 

This the only available studio space available in the building. 


 $385/month all utilities included (except AC)


If interested please contact me at:, or 802-247-3214


Thanks! Stephanie


- Please forward this note to interested artists and small businesses~

2nd Floor Office above Gourmet Provence

39A Center Street, Brandon, VT



Includes room, free WI-FI, closet, waiting room, kitchenette, bathroom and great location.

Interested? Contact:Jim at 247-9595 or Nancy at 558-1444 


Call for Artists and Music Enthusiasts:

Sales offer opportunity to sell your unwanted items

Artists and music enthusiasts naturally generate excess supplies, artwork, music and equipment. Compass Music and Arts Center offers two separate events where these unwanted items can be sold to the general public. Clean out your overstuffed closet or basement and make some cash at the same time! See the event information below and contact 802-247-4295 or to reserve a space or with questions.

Music Swap Meet-April 4, 10-4pm

     Calling all Music Enthusiasts: The Music Swap Meet on Saturday, April 4th from 10-4pm is a great opportunity for record collectors and enthusiasts, audio fanatics and musicians of all types to sell, swap and barter vinyl records, CDs, 78s, tapes, audio equipment, phonographs, radios, musical instruments, ephemera and more.


$25 per space ($30 if renting a table) for each 6'x6' selling space with a maximum of 3 spaces per seller. Spaces are limited. No commission is taken so price your items to sell. Send completed registration form and payment by check by Thursday, April 2nd. Registration form is available online at or by contacting 802-247-4295 or



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


Please Practice Polite Parking :)
Be aware of your fellow businesses and their needs.

We all have to be aware of parking by our employees in the downtown. Try to park off the main streets when possible, and if you park out front before other businesses open, try to move your vehicle after regular hours kick in.
 There's lots of off-street parking so take advantage of it when you can.
Remember we're here for hours working, but our customers are only popping in for a short time, so let's make it easy and convenient for them to shop and support all of our businesses.

Thanks for making it easier for all of our customers.

BIZ Cards





"Brandon Means Business" campaign
  We want YOUR Success Story!


Has being in Brandon made a positive impact on your business?  Has the great water, the revolving loan fund, supportive community, reliable employees or (fill in the blank) been a key in helping you grow and succeed in your business dreams? 
The Reporter, the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce and the Brandon Area Economic Development Committee want to promote Brandon's business appeal while also promoting your business. The Reporter will create testimonial ads featuring key individuals from local businesses and their quotes on why Brandon is good for Business.
We'll run those ads on the Chamber and Town websites, The Reporter and other area newspapers. Don't be shy. It's at no cost to you and as they say, it's a win - win!


Contact Alyssa Zollman at or Bernie Carr at or 247-6401 for more details.


The Brandon Artist Guild will be closed on Mondays through April.


Think Spring!!


802 247-4956

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental, Vision & Life/Accident packages. More information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503  

Welcome !!
2015 New Members- go to for more info on our newest members


Edward Jones- Brady Prentice, financial advisor 989-5464

Briggs Carriage Co. Hair Lounge- Lisa Phelps 465-8396


Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area.
Just click here for an application and rates.  

We also have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual memberships are only $50/year)

Jeff Guevin- Chair of the Brandon Planning Commission
Jeanne Collins- RNESU Superintendent

No regular Chamber meeting in March- the board will gather for their annual retreat.
Next Chamber Meeting-
 Monday, April 20th 2015 at 6:30
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.