KINGFIELD, Maine — Western Maine’s premier summer cultural event, the Kingfield Pops is set for Saturday, June 26, and will feature the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and guest soloist Suzanne Nance along with some of the bright stars of Maine’s traditional and contemporary music scene in a program that celebrates the outdoors and Maine’s musical heritage.
The BSO and Nance, an award-winning singer as well as Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s music director and weekday morning host, will perform a program of pops, patriotic and light classical tunes. The BSO has performed at the Kingfield Pops for five out of its eight years. Joining them for several numbers will be Gene Nichols, who plays the musical saw.
To open the show, Lewiston-Auburn’s Greg Boardman and sons Aidan, Ethan and Isaac, will join forces with Belgrade’s Gawler Family (John and Ellen and daughters Edith, Molly and Elsie) to present the best of Maine’s traditional and contemporary acoustic music. Well known to fans of the Maine music scene, they marry old and new musical conventions to create rich, textured harmonies with vocals, fiddles, guitars, cellos, banjo, bass, ukulele, keyboard and percussion. Molly Gawler, a dancer with the international dance troupe Pilobolus — currently selling out concerts all over the world — will be presenting an original dance.
Also on the opening slate are the Pineland Fiddlers, a touring ensemble of young fiddlers, age six to 16, who perform widely in Maine and have toured in Quebec City, Cape Breton, Turkmenistan and Ireland. Their lively repertoire draws on Maine’s Celtic, Quebecois and Down East traditions. The Western Mountain Trash Can Band’s steel drum ensemble welcomes guests to the site and sets the tone for a festive evening.
One of the highlights of the 2010 concert is expected to be the arrangement of a pair of Irish tunes that Greg Boardman, a well-known Maine fiddler, composer and teacher, has created for the Gawler Family, Boardman Family and Pineland Fiddlers to play together with the BSO. In the same vein, Damon Honeycutt, a dancer and composer, is contributing an orchestral arrangement for a tune composed by the American blues musician Leadbelly, also to be played by opening performers and orchestra.
The evening will end with a grand fireworks finale.
Earlier in the day, at the Pops Festival of the Arts in the village of Kingfield from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., artists and artisans display and sell their creations, which include metal work, woven baskets, wooden bowls, photography, blown glass, sterling silver jewelry, pottery, stained glass, handmade toys, candles, quilts, homemade fudge and more. Local musicians will play live music throughout the day.
One aspect of the Kingfield Pops’ mission is to provide music enrichment for youth — specifically music education, opportunities to see fine live music, and occasions for young musicians to perform for appreciative audiences — which is why the Pops offers free tickets to youth age 17 and younger.
Admission is free for the Festival of the Arts. Tickets for the Kingfield Pops concert are $25 at the gate, and free for children 17 and under. The gate opens at 4:30 p.m. Picnics are welcome; food vendors are on site. Pets should be left at home. Lodging packages are available for those wanting to make a weekend of the festivities.
For more information, visit www.kingfieldpops.com.