Free Shaker music program at Farnsworth
Rockland — The Farnsworth Art Museum will present a Shaker music program as part of this year’s Lincoln Center Education Workshops Tuesday, July 22, at 10:45 a.m. The program, featuring musician Chris Moore’s group Kindling Stone, will take place in the downtown museum’s auditorium and is free to the public on a first come, first served basis.
The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as the Shakers, composed an estimated eight to 10 thousand songs in 19 communities from Maine to Kentucky, beginning in the 1780s and continuing to the present day. Hundreds of these tunes are still remembered and sung at the one remaining active Shaker community in Sabbathday Lake.
With the exception of the song “Simple Gifts,” popularized by Aaron Copeland in his score for Martha Graham’s ballet “Appalachian Spring,” this vast repertoire of early-American folk hymns is virtually unknown to contemporary singers and audiences. This program does not attempt to give a concise overview of Shaker music, nor does it aim to present an historical reenactment.
“Rather, we hope to share some of the vitality and resonance we have found in the beautiful melodies and meaningful messages of this American sacred musical tradition. In this way, perhaps we can engage a collective spirit that strives to glimpse the Shaker way of life,” said Moore.
Moore grew up in Maine, began studying piano at age 7 and classical violin at 10 and graduated from Waynflete School. After receiving his degree in acting from Skidmore College, he moved to New York City, where he worked as a performance artist, musician, puppeteer and on the staff of the Arts at St. Ann’s concert series in Brooklyn. While in New York, he studied with mandolin master with Andy Statman. In 1989, Moore founded the band Rust Farm with Boston guitarist John McGann. Rust Farm released two albums, the second produced by bluegrass great Tim O’Brien in 2000.
Moore has composed, performed and recorded music for dance, film, television, spoken word, theater and visual art projects. He has performed as a classical soloist and was awarded a Maine Artist Fellowship in 2001. His songs have been recorded and performed by Adrienne Young, Mark Erelli, Rani Arbo, Carol Noonan, Northern Lights, Dennis Brennan and others. He moved to Nashville in 2003 to focus on songwriting and, in 2006, founded the band Kindling Stone with musician Mark Wingate from North Carolina and Nashville native Charlotte Avant. Moore returned to Maine last year to work as the Director of Music Education for 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Farnsworth Art Museum will be working together with Lincoln Center Education, a division of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. located in New York City, to provide a professional development workshop to enhance the understanding of aesthetic education for Maine teachers. The workshop is based on LCE’s inquiry-based teaching methodology. Using experiential workshops, viewing works of art in the museum and exploring implications for classroom work and curricular connections, teachers come away with a practice that characterizes imaginative teaching and learning. For more information, visit farnsworthmuseum.org/teacher-programs.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or firstname.lastname@example.org.