Making Music Soar

Making Music Soar

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Facebook Posts

The Shaker song “Simple Gifts” was written in the mid-nineteenth century, but it is often associated with the twentieth century American composer Aaron Copeland, who used “Simple Gifts” as a prominent theme in his ballet, “Appalachian Spring.” Copeland surrounded the simple Shaker melody with lush orchestration. While Copeland’s version is beautiful, this performance by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss seems truer to the spirit of the Shaker original.

Link: youtu.be/baNueuDCue0

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

The Shaker song “Simple Gifts” was written in the mid-nineteenth century, but it is often associated with the twentieth century American composer Aaron Copeland, who used “Simple Gifts” as a prominent theme in his ballet, “Appalachian Spring.” Copeland surrounded the simple Shaker melody with lush orchestration. While Copeland’s version is beautiful, this performance by Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss seems truer to the spirit of the Shaker original.  Link: https://youtu.be/baNueuDCue0  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

This week, we are delighted to bring you the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, singing Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song “Hallelujah.” A few years after Cohen first recorded this song, Francisco J. Nunez founded the Young People’s Chorus of New York City with the mission to “provide children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance that seeks to fulfill each child’s potential, while creating a model of artistic excellence and diversity that enriches the community.”

Nunez’s success in achieving his vision can be seen and heard in this rehearsal recorded in 2019. Enjoy!

youtu.be/9G8NCnbpSrA

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, we are delighted to bring you the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, singing Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song “Hallelujah.” A few years after Cohen first recorded this song, Francisco J. Nunez founded the Young People’s Chorus of New York City with the mission to “provide children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance that seeks to fulfill each child’s potential, while creating a model of artistic excellence and diversity that enriches the community.”  Nunez’s success in achieving his vision can be seen and heard in this rehearsal recorded in 2019. Enjoy!  https://youtu.be/9G8NCnbpSrA  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

On this second-to-the-last day of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women with Libby Larsen’s “We Pray to Be at Peace,” performed here by the Concordia Choir of Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kansas.

Link: youtu.be/toaM2i00FXs

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

On this second-to-the-last day of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating women with Libby Larsen’s “We Pray to Be at Peace,” performed here by the Concordia Choir of Olathe East High School in Olathe, Kansas.  Link: https://youtu.be/toaM2i00FXs  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

This week, we are featuring our own Maine Music Society Chamber Singers in a virtual performance of Gordon Bok’s “Hearth and Fire.” Unlike other songs that the Chamber Singers have recorded virtually, they have never actually sung this one together in person, having learned, rehearsed, and recorded it only virtually. 

Jean Bass, who did the legwork to get permission for this performance, explained that, “It took just a little googling for me to locate Gordon Bok's agent. She secured Gordon's permission for us to add Hearth and Fire to our repertoire, and sent us an arrangement. It happened to be in 4/4 time and we (well, I, but folks were willing to indulge me) preferred the 3/4 version on the recording of his that we'd shared.  When I wrote back for permission to sing it in 3/4, she replied, ‘Don't stress, just sing,’ which seemed excellent advice for the time we're in.”

After being spoiled for days by lovely spring weather, it looks as though there is cold rain in the forecast. Don’t stress about the change in weather; just snuggle inside and enjoy “Hearth and Fire.” 

Link: youtu.be/_GlzAIux580

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, we are featuring our own Maine Music Society Chamber Singers in a virtual performance of Gordon Bok’s “Hearth and Fire.” Unlike other songs that the Chamber Singers have recorded virtually, they have never actually sung this one together in person, having learned, rehearsed, and recorded it only virtually.   Jean Bass, who did the legwork to get permission for this performance, explained that, “It took just a little googling for me to locate Gordon Boks agent. She secured Gordons permission for us to add Hearth and Fire to our repertoire, and sent us an arrangement. It happened to be in 4/4 time and we (well, I, but folks were willing to indulge me) preferred the 3/4 version on the recording of his that wed shared.  When I wrote back for permission to sing it in 3/4, she replied, ‘Dont stress, just sing,’ which seemed excellent advice for the time were in.”  After being spoiled for days by lovely spring weather, it looks as though there is cold rain in the forecast. Don’t stress about the change in weather; just snuggle inside and enjoy “Hearth and Fire.”   Link: https://youtu.be/_GlzAIux580  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

This week chorale member Jane Mitchell is sharing the British rock band Queen’s hit song, “Somebody to Love,” performed here by the Toronto rock choir, newchoir. Jane chose to share this music “because it's one of the first songs I heard that had the big choral sound that I fell in love with. The power of many voices singing together as one is truly joyful and inspiring. Singing with the Chorale brings back these feelings. I'm hoping some day we can sing this!”

Jane Mitchell sings soprano in both the Maine Music Society Chorale and the Chamber Singers, and she is also a member of the Maine Music Society Board of Directors. Recently retired after 35 years working as a paralegal, Jane lives in Greene with her husband and two cats. Prior to the pandemic, in addition to singing, she was very active in theater with Community Little Theatre and Monmouth Community Players. She looks forward to the day when all these activities can resume.

Link: youtu.be/pl-JzXT5glc

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week chorale member Jane Mitchell is sharing the British rock band Queen’s hit song, “Somebody to Love,” performed here by the Toronto rock choir, newchoir. Jane chose to share this music “because its one of the first songs I heard that had the big choral sound that I fell in love with. The power of many voices singing together as one is truly joyful and inspiring. Singing with the Chorale brings back these feelings. Im hoping some day we can sing this!”  Jane Mitchell sings soprano in both the Maine Music Society Chorale and the Chamber Singers, and she is also a member of the Maine Music Society Board of Directors. Recently retired after 35 years working as a paralegal, Jane lives in Greene with her husband and two cats. Prior to the pandemic, in addition to singing, she was very active in theater with Community Little Theatre and Monmouth Community Players. She looks forward to the day when all these activities can resume.  Link: https://youtu.be/pl-JzXT5glc  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Spectacular!! Uplifting!!

In this series, we have shared many virtual choir performances that resonate with our pandemic conditions. This week, we bring you a song that was written about the Covid-19 pandemic and the dream of a post-pandemic world of social connection. The song “On the Day We Are Together Again” was released in April, 2020 by the singer-songwriter Humbird. Will Robertson’s arrangement of the song is performed here by the Congregation Bet Haverim Chorus from Atlanta, Georgia. 
Let us all look forward to the day we are together again. 

Link: youtu.be/32y2tNZP0Io

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

In this series, we have shared many virtual choir performances that resonate with our pandemic conditions. This week, we bring you a song that was written about the Covid-19 pandemic and the dream of a post-pandemic world of social connection. The song “On the Day We Are Together Again” was released in April, 2020 by the singer-songwriter Humbird. Will Robertson’s arrangement of the song is performed here by the Congregation Bet Haverim Chorus from Atlanta, Georgia. 
Let us all look forward to the day we are together again.   Link: https://youtu.be/32y2tNZP0Io  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

This week, we are celebrating the life of chorale member Mary Briggs, who passed away recently at her home in Norway, Maine. Mary was the kind of group member who didn’t call attention to herself, but who quietly and reliably pulled more than her weight. In the Maine Music Society Chorale, she sang alto and also took on tasks like preparing name tags for new members and organizing the distribution of posters before each of our concerts. 

Mary had two careers in her work life, first as a respiratory therapist and then as an accountant. One could argue that she also had a third career, as a musician. Several years ago, she told friends that her goal in retirement was to do as much music as she possibly could. In pursuit of that goal, she sang in the Maine Music Society Chorale and in her church choir; and she played saxophone in a variety of groups, including bands in Auburn, Bridgton and Bethel and in the LA Winds woodwind quartet. She loved all kinds of music, but especially classical, opera and jazz, and she was active in the Oxford Hills Music, Art, and Drama Boosters. 

Rick Rau, who sang with Mary in the chorale and played with her in the LA Winds, put together this musical tribute. It includes the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers, with woodwind accompaniment, singing the “Agnus Dei” set to the music “Nimrod” from Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and a performance of the LA Winds, including Mary, playing the 1960s rock music hit “Happy Together.” In creating this musical celebration of Mary’s life, Rick described her as “a good, sweet friend. I loved making music with her. We were ‘Happy Together.’”

Link: youtu.be/AGGFvbAr6GE

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, we are celebrating the life of chorale member Mary Briggs, who passed away recently at her home in Norway, Maine. Mary was the kind of group member who didn’t call attention to herself, but who quietly and reliably pulled more than her weight. In the Maine Music Society Chorale, she sang alto and also took on tasks like preparing name tags for new members and organizing the distribution of posters before each of our concerts.   Mary had two careers in her work life, first as a respiratory therapist and then as an accountant. One could argue that she also had a third career, as a musician. Several years ago, she told friends that her goal in retirement was to do as much music as she possibly could. In pursuit of that goal, she sang in the Maine Music Society Chorale and in her church choir; and she played saxophone in a variety of groups, including bands in Auburn, Bridgton and Bethel and in the LA Winds woodwind quartet. She loved all kinds of music, but especially classical, opera and jazz, and she was active in the Oxford Hills Music, Art, and Drama Boosters.   Rick Rau, who sang with Mary in the chorale and played with her in the LA Winds, put together this musical tribute. It includes the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers, with woodwind accompaniment, singing the “Agnus Dei” set to the music “Nimrod” from Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” and a performance of the LA Winds, including Mary, playing the 1960s rock music hit “Happy Together.” In creating this musical celebration of Mary’s life, Rick described her as “a good, sweet friend. I loved making music with her. We were ‘Happy Together.’”  Link: https://youtu.be/AGGFvbAr6GE  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Thank you for the lovely tribute to a lovely woman.

Mary will indeed be missed. She was a wonderful person and musical colleague.

Thank you Rick for this lovely tribute to Mary.

A beautiful tribute to a wonderful person! 💕🎶

I will miss her.

View more comments

February is Black History Month, and we are celebrating with a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the Spelman College Glee Club. The text was written by poet James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, in 1900. This was a difficult time in African American history, as the gains of the post-Civil War reconstruction period were wiped away by escalating racial violence and the institutionalization of segregation in Jim Crow laws. The song was first performed for a Lincoln’s Birthday celebration on February 12, 1900 by a chorus of 500 school children from the segregated Stanton school in Jacksonville, Florida. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been described as an “anthem of universal uplift.” In the decades that followed its first performance, communal singing of this anthem became such a staple of African American gatherings that it became known as the “Black National Anthem.” 

Link: youtu.be/pRF9FOPgLpw

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

February is Black History Month, and we are celebrating with a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the Spelman College Glee Club. The text was written by poet James Weldon Johnson and set to music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, in 1900. This was a difficult time in African American history, as the gains of the post-Civil War reconstruction period were wiped away by escalating racial violence and the institutionalization of segregation in Jim Crow laws. The song was first performed for a Lincoln’s Birthday celebration on February 12, 1900 by a chorus of 500 school children from the segregated Stanton school in Jacksonville, Florida. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been described as an “anthem of universal uplift.” In the decades that followed its first performance, communal singing of this anthem became such a staple of African American gatherings that it became known as the “Black National Anthem.”   Link: https://youtu.be/pRF9FOPgLpw  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

First Parish Congregational Church UCC, Yarmouth, Maine just featured this song (and told part of it's story) during worship last Sunday!

Really well done!

Great choice!

Today we bring you another virtual performance from the talented Rau family. Throughout the pandemic, they have found ways to make music with loved ones from a distance. In this performance of the jazz standard “Stairway to the Stars,” our own chorale members Shelley and Rick team up with their son Lucas in New York and Rick’s brother Ted in New Mexico. Enjoy!

Link: youtu.be/u18SllspJ9I

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

Today we bring you another virtual performance from the talented Rau family. Throughout the pandemic, they have found ways to make music with loved ones from a distance. In this performance of the jazz standard “Stairway to the Stars,” our own chorale members Shelley and Rick team up with their son Lucas in New York and Rick’s brother Ted in New Mexico. Enjoy!  Link: https://youtu.be/u18SllspJ9I  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Talented family!

Yay Rau’s!

This week we bring you a little pandemic humor, courtesy of chorale member and former Board President Connie Hitchcock. Connie is sharing a virtual choir parody of Billy Joel’s “Longest Time,” a song that the chorale performed for our “Piano Men” concert in 2016. This parody was created and performed by the Phoenix Chamber Choir of Vancouver, British Columbia. In sharing it, Connie observed that “Even though this was done in April 2020 and the COVID curve is not quite flattening, it does express our feelings and a hope that we can sing in person together again soon???”

Link: enchantmentathamilton.org/20200601ForTheLongestTime.mp4

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week we bring you a little pandemic humor, courtesy of chorale member and former Board President Connie Hitchcock. Connie is sharing a virtual choir parody of Billy Joel’s “Longest Time,” a song that the chorale performed for our “Piano Men” concert in 2016. This parody was created and performed by the Phoenix Chamber Choir of Vancouver, British Columbia. In sharing it, Connie observed that “Even though this was done in April 2020 and the COVID curve is not quite flattening, it does express our feelings and a hope that we can sing in person together again soon???”  Link: https://enchantmentathamilton.org/20200601ForTheLongestTime.mp4  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Loved it!

That's fabulous!

Humans have probably been making music together as long as they have existed on this earth. Since the pandemic began, we have seen an explosion of virtual music-making, where musicians make individual recordings of the same music, which are then merged electronically into a virtual choir or virtual orchestra. 

Several months ago, one of our chorale members shared Pete Seeger’s classic rendition of the Robert Lowry folk song “How Can I Keep From Singing.” This week, we are returning to that song, this time sung by a virtual choir, accompanied by a virtual orchestra. The NYC Virtual Choir and Orchestra is a project of the Podd Brothers, who have developed a specialization in creating musical arrangements for virtual performances (and who provide the four hands on the piano in this performance). The chorale member who shared this with us notes that this arrangement has a jazzy, energetic feel, quite different from Pete Seeger’s more mellow version. 

Link: youtu.be/VLPP3XmYxXg

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

Humans have probably been making music together as long as they have existed on this earth. Since the pandemic began, we have seen an explosion of virtual music-making, where musicians make individual recordings of the same music, which are then merged electronically into a virtual choir or virtual orchestra.   Several months ago, one of our chorale members shared Pete Seeger’s classic rendition of the Robert Lowry folk song “How Can I Keep From Singing.” This week, we are returning to that song, this time sung by a virtual choir, accompanied by a virtual orchestra. The NYC Virtual Choir and Orchestra is a project of the Podd Brothers, who have developed a specialization in creating musical arrangements for virtual performances (and who provide the four hands on the piano in this performance). The chorale member who shared this with us notes that this arrangement has a jazzy, energetic feel, quite different from Pete Seeger’s more mellow version.   Link: https://youtu.be/VLPP3XmYxXg  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Sorry, posted twice. Wasn't sure it went through!

This is beautiful. Thank you.

This week, we bring you more sounds of hope from the voices of children, a performance by the Trouveres Youth Choir of Charles Albert Tindley’s spiritual, “The Storm Is Passing Over.” The chorale member who shared this suggested using it “whenever we need an extra bump to give us hope that we'll get through.” So here is your extra bump of hope and joy.

Link: youtu.be/BdVlV5ruTVo

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, we bring you more sounds of hope from the voices of children, a performance by the Trouveres Youth Choir of Charles Albert Tindley’s spiritual, “The Storm Is Passing Over.” The chorale member who shared this suggested using it “whenever we need an extra bump to give us hope that well get through.” So here is your extra bump of hope and joy.  Link: https://youtu.be/BdVlV5ruTVo  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

Amazing!! Thank you!

Perfect timing!

Perfect for today!

This week, Maine Music Society Board Chair and tenor Rick O’Brien is sharing a virtual performance of the Irish ballad “The Fields of Athenry” by members of his family. Rick tells us that “This is a song that my family has sung together for many years. All of the singers and musicians are members of my family (wife, son, brothers, sister-in-law, nephew). The video has two components: a poem to the struggle for freedom, and a love story between my father – 95 years old and recovering from Covid-19 – and my mother, who passed away 15 years ago but was the family musical inspiration and taught us all to sing harmony.”

Rick O’Brien lives on Berry Pond in Winthrop, Maine, and works as an attorney in Auburn. In addition to all his musical activities, his hobbies include athletics, hiking, cycling, reading, and puzzles. 

Link: youtu.be/I4Wun3ML858

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, Maine Music Society Board Chair and tenor Rick O’Brien is sharing a virtual performance of the Irish ballad “The Fields of Athenry” by members of his family. Rick tells us that “This is a song that my family has sung together for many years. All of the singers and musicians are members of my family (wife, son, brothers, sister-in-law, nephew). The video has two components: a poem to the struggle for freedom, and a love story between my father – 95 years old and recovering from Covid-19 – and my mother, who passed away 15 years ago but was the family musical inspiration and taught us all to sing harmony.”  Rick O’Brien lives on Berry Pond in Winthrop, Maine, and works as an attorney in Auburn. In addition to all his musical activities, his hobbies include athletics, hiking, cycling, reading, and puzzles.   Link: https://youtu.be/I4Wun3ML858  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

So poignant and beautiful! Thank you Rick!!

This week, we feature another rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, a fitting way to usher in a new year for which we have high hopes. The chorale member who shared this with us, Kathy Bidwell, explains that, “After some of our choral singers did a virtual chorus of Messiah’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’, I sent it to several of my friends and family. This video was sent to me in response. It is truly amazing how technology can bring us this glorious music in such a safe way in these unprecedented times. Prepare to be amazed!”

Kathy Bidwell has been singing soprano with the Maine Music Society Chorale since 1987. A retired physical therapist from Central Maine Medical Center, Kathy lives in Lewiston. In addition to singing, she enjoys family, travel, genealogical research, reading, and kayaking.

Link: youtu.be/9jynUQjIXxM

#MakingMusicSoar
... See MoreSee Less

This week, we feature another rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, a fitting way to usher in a new year for which we have high hopes. The chorale member who shared this with us, Kathy Bidwell, explains that, “After some of our choral singers did a virtual chorus of Messiah’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’, I sent it to several of my friends and family. This video was sent to me in response. It is truly amazing how technology can bring us this glorious music in such a safe way in these unprecedented times. Prepare to be amazed!”  Kathy Bidwell has been singing soprano with the Maine Music Society Chorale since 1987. A retired physical therapist from Central Maine Medical Center, Kathy lives in Lewiston. In addition to singing, she enjoys family, travel, genealogical research, reading, and kayaking.  Link: https://youtu.be/9jynUQjIXxM  #MakingMusicSoarImage attachment

Comment on Facebook

That is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this, Kathy!

Load more