Down East Singers go Celtic

Nov 28, 2017
Photo by: Marti Stone Professor Desmond Earley gives a thumbs up to Down East Singers’ Irish pronunciation.

Down East Singers, a Midcoast choral group that enjoys changing its musical style each December, will collaborate with Castlebay, tenor soloist David Myers Jr. and pianist Jennifer McIvor in a concert titled A Celtic Christmas.

Anthony Antolini of Cushing will conduct the concerts: Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 32 Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor; and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St.

The performances are the result of a musical collaboration with Desmond Earley, artistic director of the Choral Scholars of University College, Dublin, Ireland. Earley has spent part of his sabbatical working with members of Down East Singers on pronunciation of the Irish language and the style and interpretation of Irish and Scottish music.

Many of the pieces on the program are arrangements by professor Earley. Also on the program are Cornish and Welsh Christmas carols arranged by John Rutter and David Willcocks; and works by Irish composers Charles Villiers Stanford, Michael McGlynn and Fiontán O’Cearbhaill.

Vocal soloists include Meredith Batley, Sage Kosky and Emma Hallundbæk. In addition to accompanying Down East Singers, Castlebay will perform seasonal music from Ireland and Scotland.

Admission to the Boothbay performance is by suggested donation of $20; no tickets are required. Tickets to the Rockport Opera House performance Sunday, Dec. 10, are $20, free to those younger than 19, and are available from chorus members; online at; by calling 619-0413; or at The Grasshopper Shop in Rockland and The Owl & Turtle Bookshop, Camden. If tickets remain, they will be available at the box office at 1 p.m.

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

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