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"...a great sound...absolutely thrilling to hear..."—Bar Harbor Times



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Rehearsals are underway for the Acadia Choral Society's Holiday Concert, which will take place on December 3-4 at St. Saviour's Episcopal Church in Bar Harbor, and December 11 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth.


The theme of this year’s concert is “Peace and Harmony.” The wide-ranging program includes selections from the Renaissance to the current decade, from Europe to the Georgia Sea Islands. Highlights include Jon Washburn’s “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which evokes peace in forty languages, and Craig Courtney’s “A Musicological Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas,” presenting the familiar carol as you’ve never heard it before. The concerts will conclude with a carol sing-along.


We thank our corporate sponsor: Fiore Artisan Oils & Vinegars. The Acadia Choral Society is an Acadia Centennial Partner.






Choristers: The Study Guide page has links to recordings and information about the repertoire.






Composer George Emlen, Music Director Jamie Hagedorn, and choristers Ellen Gilmore and Jay Emlen were interviewed by Michael Donahue on Maine Arts Alive on WERU on May 24. You can still hear this very enjoyable interview in the station's archives.


The chorus' nature-themed concert in Spring 2016—including the world premiere of George Emlen's "Song of Acadia"—received a wonderful review in the Mount Desert Islander.




The Acadia Choral Society is a community chorus of forty-five to fifty members who come from far and wide—from Brewer to MDI to Bucksport, Franklin, and Thorndike. They are devoted music-lovers from all walks of life. The chorus performs at St. Saviour's Church in Bar Harbor on the first weekend in December and the first weekend in May, and at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth on the following weekend.


Rehearsals take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Evanston (121 Bucksport Rd.) No auditions are required. CD’s of all the vocal parts are provided as a study aid.


If you are interested in joining the chorus, please contact our music director, Dr. Jamie Hagedorn. No auditions are required. The Member Guidelines page includes information about concert and rehearsal dates, attendance, fees and dues. New members are warmly welcomed!




The Acadia Choral Society began in Ellsworth in 1957 under the direction of Madame Tsuin Hwa Hsu. The chorus, which grew to about fifty members, rehearsed at Madame Hsu's studio and at the office of her husband, Dr. Theodore Hsu, both on High Street. They performed through the late 1960's throughout Hancock, Washington, and Penobscot Counties, including concerts with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and with renowned guest conductors such as Erich Kunzel and Pierre Monteux.


After a hiatus of several years, the Acadia Choral Society was re-established by George Emlen in 1978. From 1984 to 2007, the chorus was directed by Shirley Smith. Dr. Jamie Hagedorn is the current music director, assisted by pianist/organist Kimberly Haller.


(Many thanks to Malen Hsu of Ellsworth, who has shared with us a wealth of information, programs, and press clippings about the Acadia Choral Society's early years under her mother's direction.)






The Acadia Choral Society is committed to creating a professional-level musical experience that not only entertains but also inspires and challenges our audiences and members. We sing music of diverse periods and styles with attention to beautiful choral sound, appropriate performance practice, musical expression, and textual understanding. We strive to be recognized as an asset to the cultural life of our community and our state.










Photos courtesy of Lydia B. Goetze

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