St. Johnsbury Lecture Series


Spring 2017

Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. at Catamount Arts, 115 Eastern Avenue, St. Johnsbury*


March 9, 2017
Inaugural Luncheon at 12:30*
The Warbler Wave

Charlie Browne
This illustrated talk prepares participants for the arrival of warblers in May— the migration, ecology, habits and field identification (including song). The most colorful of all our song birds, wood warblers and some 30 species may be encountered by patient observers in Vermont. We are fortunate to live in one of the favored environments for warblers and their watchers. (And join an optional follow-up Warbler Walk in May.)

*For all comers, a delightful luncheon prepared by the students of St. J Academy’s Culinary Arts Program under the direction of Award-Winning Chef Jerry Prevost, served at 12:30 at Catamount Arts. FREE to all Spring Season Members; all others, by donation. 

March 16, 2017
Flexibility, Patience and a Sense of Humor

Janet Givens

“Flexibility, patience and a sense of humor are the classic watchwords of every successful Peace Corps Volunteer.” That’s what they are told at the start… Janet Givens and her husband taught English as a Foreign Language during their two years in Kazakhstan. They lived, worked and played with Kazakh-speaking locals and dealt every day with cultural differences that often made them gasp. Did their flexibility, patience and humor help? Come and find out!

March 23, 2017
The Owl: Silent Predator of the Night

Kurt J. Valenta

Discover one of the most relentless predators of the skies. The owl, imbued with a mystical reputation, silent in flight and having unrivaled hearing and sight, can hunt in total darkness, catching prey with uncanny consistency. From tiny to quite large, owls live from the Arctic to the heat of the deserts and in the shadows of great forests. We will parse fact from fantasy and gain better understanding of this majestic bird.

March 30, 2017
The French Connection

Bill Cotte

The latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th saw the rise of a truly ‘nationalist’ voice in classical music, concurrent with the Impressionist school of the visual arts in Paris under the influence of Monet, Renoir and Degas. The two composers whose music reflected the philosophy and style of this new ‘Impressionism’ were Debussy and Ravel. Join us as we explore this unique music in sight and sound.

April 6, 2017
Biking the Heel of Italy’s Boot

Judy Daloz, Pam Parker and Merrily Lovell

We will share highlights of our October 2016 bike trip to Puglia, Italy. Puglia is the heel of the “boot” where people have been living for at least 250,000 years. We biked on quiet, rural roads, past ancient olive trees, newly planted greens and through towns and villages with Greek and Byzantine influences. So far, Puglia has not been discovered by American tourists.

April 13, 2017
The Roaring 20’s Featuring Calvin & Grace Coolidge

Cynthia D. Bittinger

After World War I , the American public was ready for change. Women wanted to express themselves, and even vote! The stock market was soaring and many wanted to ride its roller coaster. Into this world of the 20’s were thrust the Coolidges from Vermont, after the wild, high flying Hardings from Ohio. The White House was to be changed from a speakeasy to a New England parlor. What did the Coolidges do? How were they received? Join us to look at the history of this era and this Vermont couple to appreciate their contributions to American history.

April 20, 2017
Shakespeare, He’s in the Alley: The Artistry of Bob Dylan

Alan Boye

Unlike poetry of instrumental music, listening to Bob Dylan requires a triangle of appreciations: words, music and voicing. So when people argue whether or not Dylan is a “great poet” they are simply missing the point. By recognizing the vast poetic and musical traditions from which Dylan draws and understanding how he has pushed the boundaries of those traditions is to begin to appreciate the artistry of his work.

April 27, 2017
Orchid Growing in Northeast Vermont

Walter Smith

What is an orchid? Why are they different from any other plant or flower? A general discussion of cultural requirements and peculiarities: light, temperature, humidity and air movement. Then a more detailed discussion about orchid species that can be successfully grown at home, where they can be purchased and cultural tips to maximize the likelihood of success.

Membership Information

Become a member today!

Membership dues entitle subscribers to attend all sessions and bring a guest to one of them.
Non-members may attend any single session for $6. Membership Dues are $30.00, mailed with the form or paid at the first session.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure or this form and send with fees to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Make checks payable to The University of Vermont.

Catamount Arts: (802) 748-2600 – after 1:00 P.M.

Membership in your local OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) entitles you to attend programs at any of the other 7 OLLI sites throughout Vermont, as well as EEE-Burlington (Elder Education Enrichment). Your active OLLI membership also entitles you to the discounted member rate for the OLLI programs on the UVM campus. Simply present your membership card during the corresponding semester.

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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April 22 – May 2, 2017
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