Vermont Symphony Orchestra

South Pomfret – Virtual Summer Festival Tour

Nothing captures the joy of a summer in Vermont quite like performing at the historic Suicide Six ski area, just up the road from Woodstock, where the VSO was founded. We are so grateful for our friends at Pentangle Arts and our loyal audience who make this concert such a success. We wish we were spending the evening with all of you, surrounded by green hills and our favorite retro ski lodge, and hope that you can get into the spirit of the Summer Festival Tour today, wherever you are!




Melissa Mielens, Principal Flute: It is the indirect fault of VSO that I have now become a massive Vermont butter snob. The caterer for the Suicide Six concert, Michael Bellefeuille, always puts out Ploughgate butter (from Waitsfield, I believe). I had never had it before, but WOWIE. I came home afterwards, bought some for my family, and promptly got them hooked. Prior to preparing morning bagels for themselves my kids will ask, “Do we have GOOD butter?”

Eleanor Long, Orchestra Manager: In 2016 at this location, something went awry with the sound system during 1812, and our virtual cannon sounded like a BB gun. In 2012 Jane Lynch from Glee was in the audience. She was super friendly about autograph requests!






Sasha Vaut, Director of Philanthropy: The behind-the-scenes activities are always fascinating to me—and we’ve had some fun ones at Suicide Six. In 2018 the weather was extremely hot. The staff arrived early to help with setup and were quickly wrangled into meal prep for the musicians… in a hot kitchen… with no AC. In our brand-new tour shirts (which have to last the entire tour) we decided to take turns jumping into the walk-in cooler to mix the iced tea/cool off. Oh, how we missed that walk-in cooler later in the tour when the temperatures were so high! The next year at Suicide Six, we almost didn’t have fireworks! As I was casually chatting with our Tour Director, Colin and a staff member from the lodge, we noticed a rogue mountain biker up on the ski slopes. This doesn’t sound that crazy, except they were looping down the hill closer and closer to Northstar Fireworks—who cannot set off fireworks if there’s danger of someone being nearby. The amazing staff member took off and alerted their team to keep an eye out for this person and Colin and I combed the trails for a sign of a helmet. Luckily, the rogue rider was spotted safely at the bottom of the trail well before the fireworks went off and the crowd was none the wiser!



Many of our musicians have their own tour traditions and favorite places to visit while traveling the state. Click here for an interactive map of Second Trumpet Greg Smith’s favorite cycling routes, and here for a map of Principal Horn Shelagh Abate’s go-to tour stops.


Sponsors, Vendors, and Community Partners

Tour Sponsors and Partners

We are so grateful for our tour sponsors and partners who help make our tour possible year after year.

Thank you also to the individuals who help to make our concerts possible.


Concert Sponsors and Partners


Sponsor Spotlight: Woodstock Inn

When we explored our options for returning to South Pomfret, Woodstock Inn was instrumental in helping make it a success. From making connections to community partners to expanding our marketing reach, we are grateful for the partnership with Woodstock Inn and their generous support.


This concert wouldn’t be possible without a few more key players: Alita Wilson, Executive Director of Pentangle Arts, who works tirelessly to bring high-quality arts programming to the area, and longstanding volunteer Michael Bellefeuille. Michael masterminds the parking egress at the concert, and also dons a chef’s apron and caters our musicians’ dinner. We miss working with these two, and hope you’re as happy to hear their messages as we are.


Music and more

We always open our Summer Festival Tour concerts with The Star Spangled Banner, so three of our musicians recorded a creative tribute on oboe and English horn. Here’s Graham Powning’s “Variations on The Star Spangled Banner.”


No fireworks show would be complete without Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. When the pandemic upended this year’s tour, VSO musicians decided to record each of their parts in their own homes, so that they could still perform together—and share a musical moment with all of our extended VSO family. Please enjoy the intro courtesy of our cello section, and the finale with the full orchestra.


As the fireworks continue, it’s our tradition to play a variety of Sousa marches. Here’s The Stars and Stripes Forever, from five VSO violas.


And, in lieu of a visit to Vermont this summer, our trombone section has donned their concert attire to take care of business at home.


Looking for more music? We’ve made a playlist with some favorite pieces from past Summer Festival Tour programs (on Spotify below and YouTube here).

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday week. Feel free to join us virtually for each stop on our tour—tomorrow we’re showcasing Randolph!