Good news! Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph is officially ready for business again as of a recent community open house, only 15 months after the historic building’s major renovation began.
It actually never closed. Concerts and programs continued as usual throughout the dramatic transformation even as backstage and other important work areas were temporarily blocked off. The "new" building has nearly 6,000 additional square feet, an elevator that makes every floor accessible, and many 'green' improvements to help the 1907 structure transition into a classy 21st century cultural center.
I visited Chandler's open house celebration with VPR's Brendan Kinney and David Warren on Saturday, September 25th. The cheer of the sunny day was matched by the festive balloons and signs outside the Center. We enjoyed the music on all three floors, conversation with Chandler staff and board members, house tours, and stories about the remarkable effort it took to complete the project in such a short time. (Rumor has it that 49 pans of brownies went into the weekly project meetings alone!)
VPR Classical is pleased to be celebrating an opening in Randolph as well. Our newest signal, WVXR 102.1 FM is now on the air in Central Vermont! I thought about that recently when I purchased the two newest recordings by Nico Muhly for the VPR library. He's a Randolph native, 29 years old, and one of the most promising young classical composers on the scene today. Next year his first full-length opera will make its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera.
It takes a very culturally-minded, involved community to inspire a young composer - renovate a historic music hall - and support the launch of a new classical radio station.
Congratulations to Chandler, and to all of you for making great music possible in Vermont!