‘Nutcracker’ features BSO, children’s choir

Posted Dec. 17, 2008, at 6:44 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:09 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Robinson Ballet and Bangor Area Children’s Choir will share “The Nutcracker” with the Bangor community this weekend.

Join the festivities at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, or 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Peakes Auditorium, Bangor High School.

This marks the 25th year that the Robinson Ballet has performed the “The Nutcracker” in Bangor during the holidays.

Guest conductor Benjamin Makino is a musician of “discipline and style.” He is one of the most engaging young musicians to recently appear on the national stage, organizers said.

A Southern California native, Makino holds degrees from Chapman University and the University of California, Los Angeles. After his university studies, Makino continued his training at the prestigious Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, under the instruction of Maestro Gianluigi Gelmetti.

In 2006 Makino was selected by Maestro Placido Domingo to participate as the Young Artist Conductor in the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera, a post he held for two seasons.

He was the only U.S. citizen selected from nearly two hundred international candidates for the 50th Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors in 2007, and in 2008 he was the recipient of a scholarship from the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington for study in Naples, Italy.

Makino is deeply committed to arts education and maintains an active career as an educator. He has served on the music faculty of the University of California, Irvine; has worked with the opera workshops of the UCI and of California State University, Fullerton, and has been a guest lecturer on opera for the Stanford in Washington program.

Recent appearances include performances with the Washington National Opera at Strathmore Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and in “Hansel and Gretel” at the Lincoln Theater in Washington.

The Godfather Drosselmeyer will be performed by Keith Robinson. Francesca LeVigne plays Clara. The Nutcracker is Nick Cormier. In the second act, the Snow Queen is acted by Kathleen Clark and Mathew Sevey plays the Snow Prince.

Robinson Ballet is a highly respected dance company that enhances the community by reaching out to educate, inspire and involve people of all ages by providing opportunities to create and experience quality dance.

The Robinson Ballet creates, encourages, and provides performance training and opportunity to people interested in performance dance. The company increases awareness, enjoyment, appreciation and participation of dance and offers strong educational programs, which are accessible to communities throughout Maine.

For information about the Robinson Ballet, call 989-7226 or visit www.robinsonballet.org.

The Bangor Area Children’s Choir is the only children’s choir in the Bangor area with professional-quality voices. Choir members come from Bangor and many of its neighboring towns.

Strongly supported by music educators, the choir is an asset to the cultural arts in Bangor and surrounding communities.

The Bangor Area Children’s Choir has benefited the youth of this area for more than a decade. Most recently, it has formed affiliations with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Penobscot Theatre.

The choir is an independently operated, nonprofit organization and relies on fundraisers, public support and contributions from area businesses. For information about the Bangor Area Children’s Choir, visit www.bangorareachildrenschoir.com/index.html.

The Nutcracker Store will be open to sell nutcrackers, holiday ornaments, snow globes, picture frames and books.

Tickets to “The Nutcracker” and other BSO performances are available by calling the Maine Center for the Arts box office at 581-1755 or 800-MCA-TIXX or visiting at www.bangorsymphony.org. For information about other BSO programs, call 942-5555 or 800-639-3221, or visit www.bangorsymphony.org.

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