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Five half hour programs that celebrate the people who are preserving the music, dance and storytelling typical of the Yankee and French-Canadian cultures that have grown up along Lake Champlain.
|The Coreys of Benson, VT are the subject of the premiere program. Keeping alive a family heritage of playing New England dance music, fiddler Freeman Corey Sr. and his sons Freeman Jr. and Melvin play kitchen parties and dances much as their forefathers did.|
|Another family keeping its musical heritage alive, the Beaudoins of the Burlington area are the subject of this program. The large family of French-Canadian descent draws on many generations of fiddling, singing and step dancing. They show it off in a half hour of entertainment and reminiscences. Lovers of traditional music recall the work of master fiddler Louis Beaudoin, who died in 1980. Now, Louis' wife heads one performing branch of the family called The Julie Beaudoin Family that includes her daughters and grandchildren. Louis' brother Willie leads La Famille Beaudoin, which includes his wife and son, his brother Bob, and Val Dion.|
|This program highlights the tradition of telling stories, reciting poems and spinning tall tales. Among the storytellers are Keith Wallace of Waterbury, Cora Bardwell of Dover and Claire Bouffard Chase of Jericho. Richard Sweterlitsch, a professor who teaches folklore at the University of Vermont, and Jane Beck, the state folklorist, comment on the narrative styles heard in the program.|
|In the 1930s, Helen Hartness Flanders began a remarkable collection of Vermont music that has grown ever since. Now at Middlebury College, the Flanders collection is under the care of curator Jennifer Post. This episode focuses on Post's work of preserving and developing the collection. Cameras accompany her on a visit to Margery Pierce of N. Shrewsbury, VT, where she records stories of how Helen Flanders used to tape Pierce's mother singing folk songs.|
|The final program in this series offers highlights of The Champlain Valley Festival, an annual event held at Kingsland Bay State Park. Performers from Vermont, New York, and Quebec show off their heritage in crafts, music, song, stories and dance before enthusiastic audiences. Both the festival and the program attest to the vitality of the traditional arts as kept healthy by those who have inherited them.|
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