BANGOR, Maine — Some singers believe that what the Queen City really needs to improve its sound quality is more gospel music.
To accomplish that, Roger George and Nancy Dymond, both lifelong residents of Bangor, have teamed up to produce a program of gospel and inspirational music to be performed by a 30-member choir at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University.
The concert is a benefit for the children’s outreach programs of St. John’s Episcopal Church, located on French Street in Bangor, which George and Dymond attend. Hilda Hutchins McCollum, whose lead gift made the performance hall at Husson possible, also is a member of St. John’s.
“We decided to hold our concert at the Gracie Theatre this year because it is a beautiful theater with superb acoustics,” George said. “It was truly made for this type of singing.”
George, an African-American hairdresser and Bangor native, believes his hometown needs more gospel music. Over the past few years, he has helped organize a joint service in January of his church and All Souls Congregational Church, 10 Broadway, in Bangor to mark the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. He also has produced the Bangor Rotary shows.
“I think people like hearing gospel music,” George said last year at a rehearsal for the 2009 gospel concert. “It’s been very well received at the [American] Folk Festival. It’s also a great opportunity for local singers to perform this kind of music and an opportunity for the local community to hear it.”
For Ben Layman, who is well known for his performances with the Penobscot Theater Company in Bangor and at The Grand in Ellsworth, it’s a rare opportunity to sing with a relatively large group.
“These are people I sing with once a year,” he said. “I love singing with this choir and it’s a social thing for me as well.”
Danny Williams, director of the University of Maine Black Bear Men’s Chorus, is the music director for Sunday’s concert, according to George.
Members of the choir from Destiny Worship Center in Bangor also will perform at the concert.