George V. Nostrand
While three bands and close to 20 musicians will hit the stage over the course of the evening at the Arkell Pavilion on Friday, organizer Bill Muench promises a tight show.
“When I see three bands on a bill I generally expect a four-hour mega show,” Muench said. “We’re running 7 to 9 p.m., so you’ll see the best of each band.”
He said the show will contain not only sets by each of the three very different bands, but also a few tunes together.
The concert is a benefit for the Arkell Pavilion at Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) in Manchester. The Pavilion, which was built in 1965 on the side of Mount Equinox, seats 400 and has hosted shows ranging from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra to The Samples. An interesting feature of the building is that the walls can be rolled up to create an open-air venue.
The money raised by this show will help with upgrades to the aging lighting and sound system. In addition to raising funds for repairs, Muench and musicians participating in the show hope to raise awareness of the center’s role in the community and express their gratitude.
Christian Heins plays bass for The Bondville Boys, and has been involved in a number of other music-based fundraisers in the area. He said raising awareness of the arts center’s role in the community is as vital as raising funds.
“They are all about the music,” Heins said. “They are also willing to reinvent themselves and be innovative.”
If you’re thinking that a bill that features rock, bluegrass and a cappella seems a bit strange, there is some method to Muench’s madness.
“The Bondville Boys and Don’t Leave are two of the longest-running bands in this area, and it will be fun to do a show together,” Muench said. There’s also a connection between bands. “Don’t Leave started in 1986, and a year later we added Jake Geppert, who ended up founding The Bondville Boys in 1990.”
Geppert said shows with different styles of music are healthy for the bands and music fans.
“It’s like different streams coming together and crossing,” he said. “Each band’s fans are exposed to the others and it benefits everybody.”
And where does the a cappella group fit in? Muench’s son Weston is a senior at Colby College in Maine, and part of the singing group The Colby Eight. Weston is also a guitar player and singer, whose band is called Please Stay.
The Colby Eight has never performed in Manchester, but is making a side trip as it heads down to perform at Princeton on Dec. 2.
This will be the last show of the season, as the Pavilion is not insulated. Tickets are available at the door, but Muench recommended buying them in advance online as he expects the show will sell out.
Southern Vermont Arts Center
Southern Vermont Arts Center presents Don’t Leave, The Bondville Boys and the Colby Eight in a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Arkell Pavilion, 930 SVAC Drive in Manchester. Tickets are $15; go online to www.svac.org.