Festival celebrates ragtime, all things Shaker
Featured will be the Portland String Quartet, famed pianist, music historian and Shaker community
NEW GLOUCESTER – The fourth Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions will be held Wednesday through Saturday, June 24-27, in the historic 1794 Shaker Meeting House at Sabbathday Lake.
The four-day festival presents American music in the broader context of the world’s great chamber music and brings composers, guest artists, music historians and fine instrument makers together with the Portland String Quartet.
Besides the quartet, renowned pianist Virginia Eskin, music historian Steven Ledbetter and members of the Shaker community will continue this musical celebration with a focus on ragtime as well as Shaker folk art, music and commentary. Featured will be the chamber music of George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931).
The schedule for the festival directed by the PSQ and hosted by the United Society of Shakers follows:
Wednesday, June 24
“Ragtime: American Originals!” – Pianist Virginia Eskin and the PSQ will explore the development and impact of ragtime music.
Thursday, June 25
Featured will be Shaker folk art in slides with commentary by Brother Arnold Hadd and Shaker hymns arranged and performed by the PSQ.
Friday, June 26
Workshop day – A combination workshop/master class will be offered; five ensembles will perform movements from the string quartets and piano quintet of George Chadwick.
Saturday, June 27
Ledbetter will join Eskin and the PSQ for the Chadwick Festival, featuring a quartet by Beethoven, Chadwick’s Romanze for cello and piano, and a lecture by Ledbetter. It will close with Chadwick’s romantic piano quintet.
Due to seating limitations in the Shaker Meeting House, reservations for all festival events are suggested.
Tickets are $25 per concert for adults, $20 for seniors and free to students 12 and younger. The master class is free; cost of the players’ workshop is $50. Checks should be made payable to The United Society of Shakers.
For more information, call 926-4597, e-mail usshakers@aol.com or visit www.shaker.lib.me.us.

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