Sheffield Sessions

Jake Armerding and Annie Bartlett of the Sheffield Sessions, which kicks off Noon Music in May at Stowe Community Church on May 5.

The wait is over! Stowe Performing Arts returns with its Noon Music in May concert series in Stowe Community Church, Wednesday, May 5.

The mostly classical series will open with Sheffield Sessions, based in Winchester, Mass.

This season’s entire Noon Music in May series is presented in loving memory of the late Irene Bareau, a classically-trained musician, a passionate supporter the arts and the primary benefactor for Noon Music in May for many years.

“The series was near and dear to her because the concerts were held at noon, in the center of town, and were easily accessible, especially for those who no longer wished to drive at night,” said Lynn Paparella, executive director of Stowe Performing Arts.

A chance meeting between violist Annie Bartlett and violinist-composer Jake Armerding in 2011 led to all kinds of musical adventures. Their collaborative debut, a simple house show, was oversold in a matter of days. Bartlett’s proficiency on viola and violin, extensive training in the classical field and ambitious music nature make her a perfect foil for Armerding, whose songs, primarily an infusion of folk, bluegrass and 1980s pop, are also informed by his extensive classical violin training as a child.

The Boston Globe calls violinist-producer Armerding “the most gifted and promising songwriter to emerge from the Boston folk scene in years.”

Armerding grew up playing classical violin and listening to 80s pop radio, and now performs with Rosin, Barnstar! and The Fretful Porcupine. Over the course of 2,500 performances, he has shared the stage with Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Josh Ritter, David Wilcox and Toad the Wet Sprocket.

For Bartlett, music is about creating experiences and community. When she is not playing music, she lives for outdoor adventures with her husband, boys and two rescue dogs. “Always go. You never know what you’ll find,” is her family mantra and the most interesting experiences in her musical life have also emerged from exploring new territory.

As a member of Rosin, a fiddle player in Hank Wonder, founding member of the Sheffield Sessions, and board chair of the Winchester Community Music School, Bartlett has fused her classical training and her adventurous spirit to create a musical community that brings together musicians and audiences across genres.

Seating is limited and open to fully-vaccinated attendees only. Social distancing, masks, proof of COVID vaccination and reservations are required. Send your name, complete contact information and proof of vaccinations to or call 802-253-7792. You will receive a confirmation and a seating assignment. Plan to arrive at the church one-half hour before the start of the concert.

“We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Stowe Community Church for hosting the concerts, our hospitality sponsor, Green Mountain Inn, media sponsor, Stowe Reporter and, most especially, the family of Irene Bareau, who will continue to honor her memory by sponsoring Noon Music in May,” said Paparella.

See the full schedule at

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