LEWISTON – The unforgettable melodies and the extraordinary power of words in music of the folk music revival era will ring out again when the Androscoggin Chorale presents a concert of peace, love and protest songs called “Blowin’ in the Wind” May 17 and 18 at the Franco Center.

“There’s something for everyone in this program, and it has been a lot of fun putting this together,” said John Corrie, artistic director of the Maine Music Society. The Chorale will perform arrangements of songs associated with Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Lennon and McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and several singers/songwriters of popular rock music.

While the peak of this genre of popular music came in the 1950s through the ’70s, this program also reaches far back to include several spirituals and traditional folk songs that shaped America’s heritage.

Opening the concert will be two songs written and popularized by Pete Seeger, a folk music giant who passed away just a couple of months ago at the age of 94. Seeger was an expert at using folk music to achieve a dramatic transformation in his audiences.

The Seeger songs to be sung by the Androscoggin Chorale are “Turn, Turn, Turn” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

Five Simon and Garfunkel songs follow. They are “Scarborough Fair,” “The Sound of Silence,” Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” “Homeward Bound,” and “Feelin’ Groovy.”

Next on the program is “I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony).” An early recording failed to get much airplay, so it was re-worked as a Coca-Cola commercial. It became the ground-breaking “Hilltop” commercial featuring a multicultural group of young people on a hill near Rome.

“Let It Be” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney rounds out these selections of popular folk music, and three traditional spirituals, “This Little Light of Mine,” Follow the Drinking Gourd,” and “I Ain’t Gonna Study War,” complete the first half of the concert.

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell is followed by “All My Trials,” a Bahamian spiritual.

The Androscoggin Chorale’s rendition of “The Water Is Wide” will be augmented by clarinet, cello and horn accompaniment by three Bates College students.

“Hopelessly Hoping” by Stephen Stills and “Teach Your Children” by Graham Nash are next on the program. Completing the performance is a medley including “California Dreamin’,” written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and popularized by them with the Mamas and the Papas, “Surfin’ U.S.A.” by Chuck Berry and Brian Wilson, “Monday, Monday” by John Phillips, and “Happy Together” written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, and popularized by The Turtles.

“It’s the audience’s turn to sing along with three great folk songs” at the end of the concert, Corrie said. These numbers are “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan, “We Shall Overcome” by Zilpha Horton, Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan and Pete Seeger, and “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.

Bridget Convey is piano accompanist for this concert.

Founded in 1972, the Androscoggin Chorale is an auditioned, mixed-voice community chorus. The group’s diverse repertoire reflects its desire to explore a broad range of musical genres including contemporary, musical theatre, classical, opera, and oratorio.

The “Blowin’ in the Wind” concert be performed Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 at 3 p.m. at the Franco Center, Cedar and Oxford Streets, Lewiston.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $9 for students, and free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. For tickets, call L/A Arts at 782-7228 or go online to www.mainemusicsociety.org.


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