"...a great sound...absolutely thrilling to hear..."—Bar Harbor Times
MAY 7-8 SPRING CONCERT
Tickets are now available for our Spring Concert, "Acadia Sings!" The performances will take place on May 7-8 at St. Saviour's Church in Bar Harbor—Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The ACS will premiere a commissioned work, "Song of Acadia," by renowned local composer George Emlen. The new work will be part of a nature-themed concert offered as part of the year-long Acadia National Park Centennial festivities.
Mr. Emlen says of his new work: “I wrote my text as I sat on Pemetic Mountain recently and was greatly inspired. This is the voice of the island speaking to us, and we, the chorus, are singing the words that the island speaks to us.”
David Brunner, the composer of Earthsongs, was likewise moved by a visit to Acadia: “I was reminded continually of James Percival Gates' words ‘The world is full of poetry’…and felt ease and comfort and grace and gratitude.”
The program also offers inspired musical settings of poetry from Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Muir, Wendell Berry, and the Buddhist Sutta Nipata. Lighter “novelty” selections include a sea shanty, a loon song, and even a lobster dance! Finally, the Kelley Farm Five will perform “Acadia Waltz,” composer Rick Barter’s “love song to Acadia.”
Dr. Jamie Hagedorn directs the chorus, with Assistant Director & Accompanist Kimberly Haller. Cellist Max Treitler, oboist David Woolsey, and tenor Jay Emlen are featured soloists.
Tickets for the May concerts are available for a suggested donation of $15, at Sherman’s Books & Stationery and Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars (both in Bar Harbor), the Northeast Harbor Library, the Southwest Harbor Public Library, and the SevenArts gallery in Ellsworth. Tickets are also available from chorus members.
The concert will be repeated at 7 p.m. on June 4 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth. Tickets for the June 4 performance will be available at the door.
We thank our corporate sponsors for their support: The Jackson Laboratory, Fiore Artisan Oils & Vinegars, and Bar Harbor Savings & Loan. The Acadia Choral Society is an Acadia Centennial Partner.
CHORISTERS—REGISTRATION FOR AUGUST EVENT
The Acadia National Park Centennial Celebration will take place at the Jordan Pond House on the morning of August 27. George Emlen will direct a choir of 100 singers, performing "This Land Is Your Land" and "America the Beautiful." There will be a mandatory rehearsal on August 22 at MDI High School, from 6 to 8 p.m.
If you wish to sing, please fill out this Google form. Please register soon to ensure your place in the chorus.
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.
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