LEWISTON — John Corrie and the Maine Music Society are celebrating Corrie’s 10-year anniversary as MMS artistic director. In addition to the MMS Chorale, formerly known as the Androscoggin Chorale, MMS includes the MMS Chamber Singers and the MMS Orchestra. Corrie directs all three groups.
Since his arrival in 2006, the MMS Chorale has more than doubled in size to 80 singers, and the MMS Chamber Singers was formed in 2013. His 10-year anniversary coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the MMS and a full schedule of four concerts will be presented in 2015-2016.
When asked what has changed in 10 years, Corrie emphasized that the quality of the music performed has improved, and audience numbers have grown. Collaboration with high school choirs is an idea he has implemented, giving local students the unique opportunity to perform with experienced musicians and to learn from them.
The next collaboration will be a Beethoven concert in April at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, which will bring together the MMS Chorale, the Bates College Choir, the Edward Little and Lewiston High School Chamber Choirs and the Basilica Schola to perform “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” and “Missa Solemnis.” The Bates College and MMS Orchestras will provide the instrumental portion of this momentous work.
Connie Hitchcock, President of the Maine Music Society Board, says “John has the unique ability to set a tone for the optimum balance of camaraderie and professional musicianship. This is key to creating a sense of cohesiveness among the singers and musicians, helping each to strive for perfection. His congenial manner, encouraging people to perform beyond what they thought was possible, has led to more singers and better music.”
The second concert of the MMS 2015-2016 season of celebration will be “A Heritage Christmas,” presenting Christmas music from the British Isles, to be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13, at the Franco Center.