Down East Singers start 39th year

Aug 30, 2018
Photo by: John Griggs Anthony Antolini of Cushing is the artistic director of Down East Singers.

Rockport — The 39th season of Down East Singers begins Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 6:15 p.m. with registration and voice placement checks for new singers. Rehearsals are held Tuesdays from 7 to 9:15 p.m. at Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road. The ensemble’s conductor is Anthony Antolini. Jennifer McIvor will return in her ninth season as piano accompanist.

This year’s December concerts are titled Hark! How the Bells! and will be a collaboration with the Russian St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble, which performed in 2012 with Down East Singers, to great acclaim. The repertoire will include choral music from Ukraine and Russia (in English, Ukrainian and Russian). Concerts will be: Thursday, Dec. 6, at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Boothbay Harbor; and Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Rockport Opera House. The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble will perform on its own and as part of Down East Singers for these concerts.

The 2019 spring semester for Down East Singers will focus on a Memorial Day performance of Ernest Bloch’s “Sacred Service” — one of the greatest Jewish liturgical works of the 20th century — sung in Hebrew, with baritone soloist Cantor Scott Sokol of Framingham, Mass. accompanied by the Mozart Mentors Orchestra.

Down East Singers’ usual membership is about 70, and residents from throughout Midcoast Maine participate. It is open to all community members, and new singers are welcome. Sight-reading skills are desired but not required, as long as ability to match pitch accurately is demonstrated.

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. Music is provided free of charge, but must be returned at the end of each semester. 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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