FARMINGTON — SongFest 150, a concert celebrating UMF?s history in song, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Nordica Auditorium at Merrill Hall.

This festive event will feature songs common in local schools, concerts, churches, clubs, celebrations and protests during UMF’s 150 years. They will be sung by local singers and groups.

Robin Lisherness, UMF alumnus, will be master of ceremonies and Patricia Hayden, accompanist for many UMF and local productions over the years, will serve as pianist.

The songs run the gamut from the early music of local shape-note composer Supply Belcher to songs of the Civil War and both World Wars to folk songs celebrating or protesting civil rights and the human condition. There will also be  doo-wop and songs of the ’50s and ’60s to the rock and the pop of the ’70s and ’80s. Popular songs of today will also be featured, including music by Phil Carlsen and Joel Hayden, two local composers.

Students, faculty, alumni and associated community members will take to the stage. The popular Northfield, the UMF Community Chorus, and Clefnotes, UMF’s student a cappella group, will perform. Groups organized solely for this concert will visit the decades of jazz, war, barbershop, doo-wop, folk revival, protest and bell-bottoms. A medley of children’s songs will be sung by an ensemble of W.G. Mallett School teachers.

TDX, the popular UMF show choir from the ’70s, will be remembered in a retrospective, and local singers Ruth Hill, Dan Woodward, Bruce McInnes and Hannah Sloane-Barton, who will portray Lillian Nordica, will grace the stage.

The concert is part of the ongoing celebration of UMF?s 150th anniversary and is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help offset the costs of production.

For additional details, visit the calendar of events on the UMF 150th Anniversary website at

UMF’s Sesquicentennial Celebration is supported in part by the donations from area businesses and organizations, including Franklin Savings Bank, Sunday River, Hight Chevrolet Buick GMC, Kyes Insurance, Shiretown Insurance Agency, University Credit Union and Unity Foundation.

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