2011: the year of the vermont composer

We gathered in the second floor office of the State House this afternoon to celebrate the Governor’s signing of the proclamation declaring 2011 the “Year of the Vermont Composer”.

I don’t write music myself, but the work I do in radio depends on the continued creativity and support of the talented folks who were in the room with me today. I would even extend that thought and say that their contributions inform the very quality of Vermont’s artistic culture as a whole.

“I didn’t know there were this many composers in Vermont!” – Governor Shumlin noted, surveying the dozen or so composers and media reps in his office as he opened the day’s ceremony. Brilliant sunlight beamed in between the heavy red floorlength drapes and streaked the red and blue patterned carpeting in the office, creating a halo effect around the desk. Expectation built as the Gov explained the many initiatives and issues his fledgling administration was undertaking. Then Northfield-area composer Dennis Báthory-Kitsz spoke on behalf of the Consortium of Vermont Composers to accept the honor:

…and Derrik Jordan read the decree with the Governor standing by.

After the ceremony I talked to Báthory-Kitsz about the meaning of the day’s events:

And, earlier today on the air, I talked with Steven Klimowski, the Artistic Director of the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, about today’s proclamation. What does it mean for local composers, and Vermont’s cultural landscape? His answer of “recognition” echoed the many similar responses I got with the same question this afternoon, which included “validation”, “affirmation”, and “appreciation”.

There are an estimated 150 or so composers living and working in Vermont today. Here’s hoping that today’s declaration goes a long way to do ALL of that for their work, and then some. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work made today possible!

2011 is still young. We have a lot to look forward to this year.

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2 Responses to “2011: the year of the vermont composer”

  1. Lily (Linda) Filippi Says:

    Thank you, Gov. Shumlin,
    Thanks, Pete! For a Governor to pay such close attention to what others would consider a minute and insignificant cause, you acknowledged a small but relevant group of individuals who are part of the creative juice flowing in Vermont. My eighteen year old daughter is a brilliant composer, and I am so sorry we were unaware of yesterday’s signing of this marvelous document! We both applaud you for having a keen eye towards the arts, especially the young composers, whose career paths have originated here, in our spectacular state.
    Lily (Linda) Filippi

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for the comment.

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