Around the World in 10 Events

Every summer, a short but sweet burst of Language Schools events fills the campus with music, lectures, and art—all in language, of course.

Here are the annual “Top Ten” suggestions from Michael Geisler, vice president for the Language Schools, Schools Abroad, and graduate programs. Be sure to check the campus calendar as well.

School of Hebrew
Sunday, July 1, 7:30 p.m.
Gitit Shoval and Ron Druyan concert
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Gitit Shoval, one of Israel’s singing treasures,  was discovered at the pre-Eurovision contest of 1979 when she was just 13 years old. Since then she has performed around the world, both solo  and with various musical ensembles. She has six solo albums and four holiday and children’s albums to her credit. Her seventh solo album complements her current show, “From Gershwin to Dylan: The Genius of Jewish Songwriters.”

Spanish School
Friday, July 20, 9:30 p.m.
Sarazino and Sergent Garcia
McCullough Social Space

Sarazino is the brainchild of Lamine Fellah, a musician, songwriter and producer whose nomadic life is reflected in the multicultural influences in his songs. Fellah is a child of a globalized world and Sarazino’s music draws on reggae, Latin and African grooves, Arabic music and catchy, international pop to create an upbeat celebration of the diverse world we all share. Sergent Garcia burst onto the French music scene in the late 1990s with a searing blend of Jamaican reggae and dancehall with Latin grooves that he dubbed “salsamuffin.” A veteran of French punk and indie rock, Sergent Garcia has explored his Spanish roots and passion for Caribbean and Latin music to create a popular sound that earned him fans across the globe and sales of hundreds of thousands of albums.

Chinese School
Saturday, July 21, 7 p.m.
Music From China
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Founded in 1984 by Director Susan Cheng and  under the artistic direction of erhu virtuoso Wang Guoweihe, the chamber ensemble performs a dual repertoire of traditional and contemporary Chinese music. What began as a mission to introduce audiences to the best of Chinese musical culture evolved into an affinity for the eclectic that embraces both traditional and new music.

French School
Saturday, July 21, 8 p.m.
Le Vent Du Nor
McCullough Social Space

Le Vent Du Nord is the top traditional music group from Québec performing melodies and stories exploring multiple cultural music traditions. Since its beginning in 2002, Le Vent du Nord has exploded onto the folk music scene. The group’s first recording, “Maudite moisson!,” was awarded a prize for traditional album of the year in 2004. Their second album, “Les amants du Saint-Laurent,” was  album of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Le Vent du Nord won the 2011 Juno for best Roots & Traditional Album, and was an official selection of the jury of WOMEX 2011, the biggest international music fair in the world.

Russian School
Wednesday, July 25, 7 p.m.
Leopold Erice Piano Concert
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Leopoldo Erice is a Spanish pianist born in Madrid in 1977. He studied music in his home country with José Ramón Martínez Reyero, Beata Monstavicius, and Joaquín Soriano; in Holland with Rian de Waal; as a fellow of the prestigious “la Caixa” Foundation Fellowship Program in Spain; and in the United States with Leonard Hokanson and Emile Naoumoff. He is Assistant Professor of Music at the American University of Sharjah and the founder and director of the Festival Internacional de Música Clásica de Ribadeo.

Portuguese School
Saturday, July 28, 9 p.m.
Richard Miller, with guests Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson
Mahaney Center for the Arts Concert Hall

Miller and his acoustic guitar bring us music in several rhythmic styles, including Xote and Bossa Nova. Accompanied by Vanderlei Pereira on percussion and Gigi McLaughlin on the accordion, Miller’s “Rhythms of Brazil” brings together a combination of styles whose origins span from southeastern to northern Brazil. Stacey Kent (vocals) and Jim Tomlinson (saxophone) will be joining Richard on stage.

Russian School
Friday, August 3, 8 p.m.
Zolotoj Plyos, a concert of Russian Music
Town Hall Theatre (Tickets are $15)

This prolific trio performs an astonishing variety of authentic Russian folk music, with instrumental accompaniment on over 20 authentic folk instruments. The three musicians—Alexander Solovov, Elena Sadina, and Sergeui Gratchev—met at the conservatory in Saratov.

German School
Friday, August 10, 8 p.m.
“The Marriage of Figaro”
Town Hall Theater (Language School students and staff free; limited number of $15 tickets available to the general public.)

Mozart’s opera, “The Marriage of Figaro,” will be performed by the German for Singers Program students. This innovative Language Schools program brings in classical singers from all over the country who want to master the German language—essential for anyone who wants to sing Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, or Wagner. This summer the program will stage Mozart’s classic comedy, under the direction of Bettina Matthias. Music Direction by Stefan Rütter.

German School
Sunday, August 12, 8 p.m.
“A Man Walks into a World” (Kommt ein Mann zur Welt)
Wright Memorial Theater

Martin Heckmanns’s “Kommt ein Mann zur Welt” has a core theme of identity. “Who am I?” is a question Heckmanns never finds himself able to answer, as it always tends to open an even deeper abyss instead of a congruent answer. Heckmanns manages to make this broad philosophical theme theatrically worthy by creating a linguistically witty play with action-oriented scenes. The main character Bruno Stamm is endowed with the common conviction that he is more special than the rest of mankind. During the course of the play, we witness him stumble into all the standard pitfalls of life that disappoint these convictions.

Italian School
Sunday, August 12, 9 p.m.
La Taranta
McCullough Social Space

La Taranta is a dance performance based on Tarantismo, a hysterical, convulsive dance manifestation attributed, according to popular belief, to the bite of the tarantula, a poisonous spider thriving in the area around Taranto (ancient Tarentum) from which it derives its name.


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  2. These events are located on the Vermont campus only. The Arabic School is on the Mills College campus in Oakland, CA.

  3. How do we (public) obtain tickets for the French School event on July 21st. Thanks for your help

  4. As far as we know this is open and free to the public, but just to be sure you could contact the French School coordinator at 802.443.5526.

  5. Are all summer language school events at Middlebury’s Vermont campus, such as foreign language films and lectures, open to alumni at no cost?

  6. Why don’t you publish the names and times of the foreign movies being shown throughout the summer on this venue. I never catch them in Seven Days if they should happen to get into there. This problem every summer keeps me from going down to Middlebury College. I have a M.A. in German from your institution dating 1983.

  7. For a variety of reasons, the movies screened during the summer Language Schools are no longer open to the public. Sorry for your frustration!

  8. Apparently I stand corrected! The Language Schools recently made the Friday 7 p.m. screenings open to the public (and free). See the schedule here:


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