LEWISTON — In two November events, the Noonday Concert Series at Bates College presents very different approaches to solo musical performance.

Both starting at 12:30 p.m., Portland singer-songwriter Emilia Dahlin performs on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and Salome Sandoval, a Venezuelan musician who sings and plays early music on lutes and classical guitars, on Nov. 16.

Taking place nearly every Tuesday during the academic year, the Noonday Concerts explore a variety of music and are open to the public at no cost. They are held in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. For more information, call 786-6135 or contact [email protected]

The Noonday series is designed “to offer a short, entertaining and high-quality performance to members of the campus and the Lewiston-Auburn community as a gateway to our other performances, programs and educational opportunities,” explains concert hall manager Seth Warner.

The series frequently presents artists affiliated with Bates, including students, faculty members and staff. Frank Glazer, one of Maine’s most prominent pianists and a Bates artist in residence, is a regular in the series. But guest artists, coming from as far afield as southern New England, appear often. If classical and jazz are emphasized, Warner’s ears are open to any style of music that his audience will enjoy.

“It is not common, even in larger metropolitan settings, that a listener can experience this sort of quality and variety at midday in a space with beautiful acoustics,” he adds. In addition to music in diverse genres, the Noonday series has offered dance, video presentations and once, a demonstration of the inner workings of a piano.

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Dahlin is acclaimed for her storytelling ability and her distinctive, powerful voice. Her songs incorporate topics from “Greek myths, robotic messiahs, epic floods and tax evaders” presented in a distinctive folk-jazz style, according to her website.

A New England resident from birth, she now resides in Portland, where she was voted “Best Female Vocalist” three years in a row from 2005 through 2007 and “Best Singer/Songwriter of 2006” by readers of the Portland Phoenix.

Sandoval’s repertoire includes Italian Baroque and English Renaissance pieces, and music from Latin America and Spain. Her performances have been featured in radio shows, theater, movie soundtracks and television, and she has produced two CDs, “Singing with the Fire” and “Potions.”

The Noonday Concerts are a beloved institution at Bates, a sampler of the region’s musical menu and an educational resource not just for Bates students. In the past, pupils from nearby Pettingill Elementary School would walk over, attend the Noonday Concerts, and then write reviews of them for class, Warner says.

“By the end of the year they had an experiential musical education that many college music majors don’t acquire.”


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