Sets goal for Sullivan commission

Midcoast Community Chorus on Kickstarter

Nov 03, 2012
Photo by: Marti Stone Midcoast Community Chorus is directed by Mimi Bornstein.

Camden — On Nov. 1, Midcoast Community Chorus launched an innovative campaign to raise funds to commission a choral work by Paul Sullivan. The world premiere of this new piece will be in January. MCC has 45 days from the launch date to raise the necessary $5,000 through the

"This is a positive leap of faith with the community; it's a real test of the support we have in the region, and whether our mission resonates with the larger audience in cyberspace," said MCC executive director Shelley Johnson.

Kickstarter has been hailed as one of the best innovations of the decade, providing individuals, businesses, and organizations with a crowd-sourcing platform to raise the money needed for new ideas. Investors (from $10 and up) pledge money and receive rewards connected to the project. Each project has a strict deadline; if the goal is not reached, no money is collected. This insures that only projects capable of gathering sufficient interest and support for their ideas get funded.

MCC was founded in late 2007 by artistic director Mimi Bornstein with its mission of "singing as a community for the community." Bornstein believes in harnessing the power of music to build community and change lives, explaining that “when we sing we change who we are, and when we change who we are, we change the world.”

Now in its fifth year as an independent, nonprofit 501c3 organization, MCC has raised awareness and more than $45,000 in funds for local nonprofits serving the needs of residents in the Midcoast region. Past concert beneficiaries have included Knox County Health Clinic, New Hope For Women, Five Town Communities That Care, Maine Farmland Trust, and Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast.

MCC's long-range plan has always included the commissioning of a new choral work and the production of its world premiere for residents of Midcoast Maine. Through three performances with the Paul Winter Consort, Bornstein and chorus members developed close ties with composer and Paul Winter Consort pianist Sullivan. Sullivan is a Maine resident and Grammy Award-winning composer and performer.

"In early meetings with Paul Sullivan, we knew we had found the perfect partner for the composition of a choral piece that would not only highlight our amazing chorus but also bring the joy and power of what we do for the community to the music," said Johnson.

Highlighting Bornstein's vision that we can change the world through music, Sullivan has decided to title the new work "One Song at a Time." The commissioned piece will be premiered Jan. 12 at Peakes Auditorium in Bangor and on Jan. 13 at the Strom Auditorium in Rockport. Theresa Thomason, gospel singer and lead vocalist for the Paul Winter Consort, will perform Sullivan's commission with the chorus.

The funds needed for the commission and the additional concert costs required to stage the two performances with Sullivan and Thomason are $7,500. MCC received a $2,500 donation from a committed community supporter to seed the project and needs to raise the remaining $5,000 by Dec. 15. To read more about the project and contribute to this community effort, visit and search for One Song at a Time. For more information on MCC, visit

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

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