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Professional ensembles come in all different sizes, organizations, and areas. Maine is truly fortunate to have so many fantastic ensembles within it's geographical boundaries; from ChoralArt to the Zenith Ensemble, there is a group for everyone to enjoy. Some feature local musicians while others bring talent from away to vacationland. Given this vast array of community and professional ensembles, it might seem taboo to add yet another option to the list of concerts, opportunities, and events, but I can say that nothing truly fills the viewport like the Dirigo Ensemble.
I am truly honored to announce that the Dirigo Ensemble has elected me as their first Artistic Director. The Dirigo Ensemble is a not-for-profit organization of local musicians that presents musical excellence in performance, education, and the proliferation of community art. As local musicians collaborating with schools, outreach programs, and other arts organizations, the Dirigo Ensemble will give all in the Maine community access to live music without sacrificing quality.
There is nothing like hearing voices so perfectly blended that the very room becomes an instrument. The Dirigo Ensemble aims to provide this kind of experience for Mainer's by Mainer's. Their motto, "At the roots of the human voice," is immedately striking for it is by the human voice that music can first be heard - it is the ony instrument that can perform without additional material. These twelve human instruments truly take music into art.
We will be hosting our first audition for altos, tenors, and basses on Thursday, October 17th at 5:30pm at Williston-Immanuel Church in Portland.
We are proud to be an ensemble made of Mainers for Mainers and beyond! Come help us bring a bit of the coastal flare to all we meet!
Check out the Dirigo Ensemble on Facebook!
So much to say, and yet there isn't enough space. A celebration of hope for our community. Truly an inspiring evening with over ninety musicians. It was a complete honor to work with Dr. Nicolas Dosman, Dr. Robert Lehmann Concert Master, William Blossom, Harold Stover, Kimberley Lehmann, Dr. Alan Carr, and so many more. Together, we produced ninety minutes of inspiring music and truth. For me, the highlight was actually during the dress rehearsal - the combination of full orchestra and choir nearly knocked me off my feet. There was no other way to describe the sensation - the power of Jenkins' Benedictus took on a whole new meaning as we exclaimed "Hosanna in excelsis!"
Not only was the music powerful, but the mission - a benefit concert for Preble Street and Through These Doors. After hearing that in the state of Maine, 1 in 4 women are victims of severe domestic violence, how could there be hope? Rebecca Hobbs and Meredith Cook opened our eyes to a world that is in desperate need of our support and help. They spoke of the homeless, the downtrodden, the endangered, and the destitute. They painted the picture we don't want to see, and we heard the despair in the spiritual Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen.
The concert was not intended to disturb though - rather it lifted the spirit. It was a chance to foster hope and rejuvenate the fight against domestic violence and homelessness. It was pieces such as Mozart's Mass in C, Beethoven's Hallelujah from the Mount of Olives, and even Rutter's All Creatures that gave voice to the joy we find in helping our neighbors. Regardless of all things, this concert was a sharing of community talent, hard work, and dedication to making Portland, Maine a better place for all. I am deeply indebted to the immense talent of all those listed below who made this concert a reality. Until the next concert, let us keep our hope alive and foster good will towards all whom we meet and help them however we can.
Alex Lehman, Daphne Teboekhorst, Aaron Emerson, Lori Arsenault, Dr. Thomas Parchman, Jocelyn Carr, Sophie Flood, Connie Plaisted, Dan Laciano, Alan Kaschub, Daniel Kaschub, Tom Kremser, Sebastian Jerosche, Matt Cloutier, Griffin Gingrich, Dr. Alan Carr, Will Wohler, Kate Beever, Harold Stover, Dr. Robert Lehmann, Kimberley Lehmann, Anna Pearlman, Sarah Hoag, Hannah Miller, Sam Scuth, Evan Cuddy, Leigh-Ashley, Cameron Prescott, Matthew Nichols, Shannon Allen, Bill Blossom, Anne Marie Chandler, Nicole Ponte, Emelia Bailey, Karen Harrison, Martha Vrana-Bossart, Susanna Moliski, Nancy Etnier, Samantha Loomis, Marylin Cush, Kathy Grammar, Joane Dube, Suzanne Proulx, Dr. Elsa Geskus, Sally Page, Nina Nico, Latre Lawson, Fran Wilson, Terry Myatt, Andrea Gretchen, Christopher Garrepy, Carol Ann Kroy, Sarah Hashem, Andrea Doria, Doreen Jamieson, Jeanne Bull, Susan Stanford, Pat Kulesz, Kristina Wunderlich, Adrianna Hey, David Steins, Sam Wilson, Martin Lescault, Jonas Rimkunas, Theresa Carter, Dr. Jeff Murphy, Alphonse Havugimana, Greg Owen, Lawrence Jamieson, Scott Wheatley, Dr. Peter Stickney, Bill Higgins, Frank Myatt, Gerre Myatt, Robert Faucher, Michael Gauthier, Patrick Volker, Bruce Roullard, and Matt Maloney