Down East Singers begin spring semester

Dec 27, 2013

Rockport — Down East Singers will begin its spring semester Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. at Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road, preceded by registration and voice-placement checks for new singers starting at 6:15 p.m.

Anthony Antolini of Cushing is the group's artistic director, having served in that position since 1991. Jennifer McIvor of Wiscasset is the rehearsal accompanist. Down East Singers was founded in 1979 by Marion Gray. The singers, approximately 70, travel to Tuesday rehearsals (7 to 9:15 p.m.) from throughout the Midcoast, Waldoboro to Belfast.

The chorus will be preparing for its annual Memorial Day Concert, to be presented Monday, May 26, at Camden Opera House at 5 p.m. The concert will be a new oratorio titled “As It Began to Dawn” by Maine composer Delmar Dustin Small, an oratorio about the awe and mystery of Easter morning and Jesus' subsequent appearances to his disciples. As has become the group’s tradition on Memorial Day, the concert will begin with Igor Stravinsky’s arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner,” arranged for chorus and orchestra.

The performance will be accompanied by the Mozart Mentors Orchestra, composed of string teachers and their top students, and will also include harp, woodwinds, brass and a full complement of percussion instruments. The work was premiered last spring by the Bowdoin Chorus to high acclaim. The role of Jesus will be sung by tenor David Myers Jr., tenor section leader of Down East Singers. All other solo parts will be sung by members of the ensemble and have not yet been cast.

Down East Singers is open to all community members, and new singers are welcome.  Sight-reading skills are desired but not required, as long as an ability to match pitch accurately is demonstrated. A voice-placement check for new singers will be given at the time of registration. All singers are expected to work on their music at home between the weekly rehearsals. The membership fee is $50 per semester; and high school students sing for free. Music for the semester will be provided on loan, free of charge.

For more information, visit downeastsingers.org or call 619-0413.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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