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Brattleboro to host All-State Music Festival in 2017

BRATTLEBORO—The Selectboard gave its support to a request for the town to host the All-State Music Festival in May 2017.

Brattleboro Union High School music department head and band director Steve Rice brought the news to the Selectboard on April 19.

According to Rice, “This event brings together about 400 of the state’s top high school musicians to rehearse and perform in four All-State ensembles.”

Over the four-day festival, students will perform in jazz, orchestral, band, and choral ensembles.

Rice added that the festival launches with a parade featuring approximately 20 to 25 Vermont high school marching bands on the evening of Wednesday, May 10.

The board enthusiastically approved a motion that endorsed hosting the parade.

Similar to the Strolling of the Heifers, the parade route will start on Flat Street and end at the Town Common.

Board members discussed the positive aspects of the festival, one being the money that visiting parents and teachers would spend in local restaurants and hotels.

The downside, said Town Manager Peter Elwell, is the potential loss of revenue when parking meters on the parade route are “bagged” — closed — at approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 10.

Merchants too, may not be happy about the temporary loss of parking, Elwell said.

Board Vice-Chair and Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kate O’Connor said the chamber might be able to help the merchants and community with advance information.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #354 (Wednesday, April 27, 2016). This story appeared on page D4.

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