Down East Singers will begin its fall semester Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. at Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road; registration and voice-placement checks for new singers starts at 6:15 p.m.

The ensemble’s conductor is Anthony Antolini. Jennifer McIvor will return in her seventh year as piano accompanist. The singers travel to Tuesday rehearsals (7 to 9:15 p.m.) from throughout the Midcoast, Newcastle to Belfast. Carpooling is available.

This year’s December concerts are titled “Heaven and Earth: Jenks & Jazz” and will feature a jazz-oriented tribute to the late Glenn Jenks with a performance of his choral work, “Heaven and Earth,” commissoned by Down East Singers in 2001. Also on the program are pieces with lively rhythms and jazz-influenced harmonies by Praetorius, Schütz, Biebl, Distler and Zimmermann. Instrumental soloists include Sage Kosky, violin, and Alyson Ciechomski, string bass. The concerts will be presented Friday night, Dec. 9, at Newcastle’s St. Patrick's Catholic Church; and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11, at the Rockport Opera House.

The spring semester will include a Memorial Day concert featuring an English language performance of Haydn’s “The Creation,” accompanied by Mozart Mentors Orchestra with four vocal soloists.

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. Usual membership is about 70. Singers are expected to work on their music at home between weekly rehearsals.

The membership fee is $65 per semester; high school singers sing for free. For more information, call 619-0413 or visit

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