LEWISTON — A piece of music written by a 2003 Edward Little High School graduate will be debut Sunday during a ceremony in Augusta meant to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Maine becoming a state.

Colin Britt Jody Somers

The Maine Bicentennial Commission will be hosting its Statehood Day Ceremony at 1 p.m. March 15 at the Augusta Armory,

During the ceremony, a specially commissioned piece of music by 2003 ELHS graduate Colin Britt titled “So Also We Sing: A Maine Trilogy” will be performed by the Bicentennial Choir and Bangor Symphony Orchestra.

Britt, who grew up in Maine and now lives in New Jersey, said he learned about the opportunity through his mother.

“My mom came across a grant application through the Maine Arts Commission, and they were looking for someone to compose a piece of music for Maine’s bicentennial,” Britt said. “I had to write a letter where I explained my qualifications, what kind of piece I would write for the Statehood Day ceremony and provide some sample works of music I’ve composed.”

Britt has been composing music since high school, where he started off writing music for musical theater, and after graduating, went to Hartt School

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He graduated from Hartt School in Connecticut with a degree in music composition and later received a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Yale School of Music and a doctorate in choral conducting from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

When he learned that the Maine Bicentennial Commission had selected him to compose music for the Bicentennial, Britt said that he was honored but surprised.

“I honestly thought they might choose someone of higher stature in the state, so to be selected to write music for the Bicentennial is a huge honor,” he said.

Normally, when composing a piece of music, Britt said he has an abundance of time to work on it.

However, Britt, who learned he’d be composing the piece in November, had just two months to compose a full piece for a choir and a chamber orchestra.

“I basically gave up my winter break from teaching to do it,” Britt said. “The length of time it takes to compose a piece varies depending on its size and complexity. (The Statehood Day) piece was fairly involved due to the orchestra.”

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While Britt’s mother will be at the ceremony to watch the performance of her son’s composition, Britt said he is unable to make it to the ceremony due to a prior work obligation.

“I’m conducting a concert of my own in New York at the same time as the ceremony,” Britt said. “I hear the performance is going to be streamed though, so I’m hoping to see some of the rehearsal process earlier in the day.”

[email protected]

For more information on the Statehood Day ceremony, visit www.maine200.org/calendar/event/3.


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