Founded by Mary Cheyney Gould, the Chorale celebrates the joy of singing good music together. And, if our singing brings joy to others, than our cup truly runneth over. This 90-member community chorus of auditioned singers performs concerts in December and May each year. Music Director Bronwyn Kortge focuses on the contemporary chorale repertory to create thematic programs which engage the audience in a musical exploration of the complexities of human emotion and spirituality. We perform in many venues throughout downeast Maine, but our home venue is the Congregational Church in Blue Hill.
Our Acadia Centennial concerts will be a musical and visual celebration of the natural world and our deep and abiding spiritual connection to the glories of nature. Director Kortge’s inspirations for this concert program come from a personal awareness of the “spiritual disconnection” that can occur when a person is separated from the natural world. “There is a belief that separation from nature is so detrimental to a person that one ceases to function as a part of the natural world.” This disconnection leads to a withering of the human spirit, both individually and collectively, that can be likened to and correlated with the global ecological crisis that is threatening natural treasures around the world.
Re-connection to the natural world can heal the human spirit, making whole and healthy both our physical and spiritual beings. “For those of us that live on the verge of Acadia National Park, and in and among Maine’s wild loveliness, we respect and rely on these healing powers” says Kortge.
Simultaneously, the works in this program explore the eternal and very human cycle of love, loss and renewal that marks the passage of people dear to us as they move into and out of our own lives. “I envision the first half of the program as a seamless song-cycle, moving with me through the search for reconnection and renewal, from loss to freedom.” Eight contemporary chorale works create a moving tapestry that traces the peaks and valleys, the dark forests and bright sunlit meadows of human love, loss and grief.
The second half of the program will be devoted to a live-scored film featuring a newly commissioned work, “Parks and Ponds” by young composer Francis Snyder, a former student of Bronwyn Kortge at MDI High School who is now studying composition at Boston University. The five movements of his work are built around poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrating the beauty of nature and humankinds joy in experiencing the natural world. Scored for a chorus, soloists and a small orchestra, this is a remarkable and complex sound poem that conjures the elation and rapture that we can all experience in the wonders of the natural world. This powerful feeling will be further amplified by a movie projected on a screen behind the chorus as it performs Parks and Ponds. The film, called “The Ride,” was filmed on the carriage trails of Acadia National Park and captured on GoPro camera’s by director Kortge during bike rides on the trails over the past two years. The resulting footage was then edited and synched with the musical score by MDI cinematographer Jeff Zaman.
There will be four performances of this multi-media concert event celebrating the Acadia National Park Centennial. The first two performances will be at The Reach Performing Arts Center on Deer Isle on Friday, May 6th @ 7:30 PM and the second on Saturday, May 7th @ 3PM. The following weekend there will be two performances at the MDI High School Auditorium on Mount Desert Island on Thursday, May 12th @ 7:30PM and the fourth and final performance on Friday, May 13th @ 7:30PM. All concerts are general admission at the door, suggested donation $15, students free. There will be no advance ticket sales, doors open 1 hour before each show. For more information visit bagaducechorale.org, email email@example.com , or call 207 667-3555