Androscoggin Chorale and Lewiston High School choir will blend their voices at concert of seasonal music both new and old

Proceeds from a silent auction will help underwrite Maine Music Society concerts

LEWISTON – The Maine Music Society is bringing “A Heritage Christmas” to the Franco-American Heritage Center.

It’s beautiful Christmas music in a beautiful setting, and there will be two performances this year. The first is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13; the second at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14.

John Corrie, artistic director of the Maine Music Society, will conduct the Androscoggin Chorale, a 60-voice mixed chorus, which will be joined by the Lewiston High School Concert Choir led by Rebecca Poppke, LHS chorus director.

“There are so many wonderful things we are doing,” Corrie said. “It is such a singular pleasure to be doing this collaboration with the high-school kids.”

The program consists of carols and Christmas music both old and new. It concludes with an invitation for the audience to join in on traditional songs of the season.

A highlight of the concert will be “Ave Maria,” by Franz Bibel, sung by the combined choirs. Corrie said the arrangement is for two choirs and features the alternating textures of tenor and bass voices with the alto and soprano voices.

He said the combined 80 voices of the Androscoggin Chorale together with the LHS concert choir “will build to a dramatic finish.”

Poppke conducts the students for their presentation of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” The baritone solos of that piece will be sung by Brian Pfohl, a former Bates College student who is now a member of the Androscoggin Chorale.

“This concert is a tremendous opportunity for Lewiston High School, and we’re very grateful for the opportunity to sing with the Androscoggin Chorale,” said Poppke.

The men of both groups combine for “Noel,” by Steven Sametz. Poppke said about 40 male voices will come together for this number.

Besides conducting great music by outstanding singers, Corrie said there is another reason why he is enjoying this production. “Because Rebecca and I will share the conducting, I get a chance to sing, too, which I dearly love.” Corrie said he and Poppke also will sing a duet, “Night of Silence.”

The program concludes with both vocal groups singing familiar Christmas carols.

The Maine Music Society’s two presentations of “A Heritage Christmas” will also offer a chance to participate in a silent auction. Proceeds will be used to help underwrite the cost of concerts by the Androscoggin Chorale and the Maine Music Society Orchestra.

All items will be shown and bids taken two hours before the concerts, during intermission and half an hour afterward at the Franco center on Cedar Street.

Headlining the items for sale is an opportunity to conduct the Androscoggin Chorale. The winning bidder will rehearse with the chorale and conduct one piece during its spring concert in May 2009.

Also up for bid is a working harpsichord tuned by Corrie. Other items include art work, jewelry, quality furniture, a week’s stay at an Islesboro cottage and a weekend at a Sugarloaf condo.

Pictures and information on auction items are available by clicking a link on the home page of the society’s Web site at

Go and do

WHAT: “A Heritage Christmas” concerts

WHO: Maine Music Society and Lewiston High School Concert Choir

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14

TICKETS; $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $9 for students; children under 12 accompanied by an adult, free. Tickets cost more at the door.

CONTACT: L/A Arts at 782-7228 or the Maine Music Society at 782-1403

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