"...a great sound...absolutely thrilling to hear..."—Bar Harbor Times
REHEARSALS RESUME SEPTEMBER 15
On September 15 the Acadia Choral Society will begin rehearsing for our Holiday Concert, which will take place on December 5-6 at St. Saviour's Church in Bar Harbor—Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. We rehearse on Tuesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ellsworth (121 Bucksport Rd.)
The theme of this year’s concert is “Saints and Angels of Christmas." Representing the angels, we feature a major work, Jonathan Willcocks' exciting three-movement Gloria. Also included are two shorter pieces by Willcocks: "Angel Carol" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Our saints are St. Mary (represented by Mozart's Regina coeli), St. Joseph, and St. Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6. As a tribute to St. Nicholas, we will perform Sy Brandon's delightful setting of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Other featured composers are long-time colleagues John Rutter ("Angels' Carol") and Bob Chilcott ("The Beatitudes"), who have also collaborated on many projects with Jonathan Willcocks and his father, Sir David Willcocks. These composers are truly leading lights of contemporary—yet beautifully accessible—choral music.
The Acadia Choral Society is a community chorus of approximately forty-five 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.
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!
We thank our corporate sponsors for their support: The Jackson Laboratory, Fiore Artisan Oils & Vinegars, Bar Harbor Savings & Loan, and MDI Biological Laboratory.
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