One of the lesser known signs of spring in eastern Maine is the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s annual choral concert, which always occurs in mid-to-late April and tends to herald the advent of warmer temperatures. With a nearly 100-person choir comprised of the members of the University Singers and the Oratorio Society at the University of Maine, led by Dennis Cox and Ludlow Hallmann respectively, it’s a chance for a multitude of musicians to perform.
This year’s choral concert — the last in the BSO’s 2012-2013 season — is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at the Collins Center for the Arts at UMaine, and will feature just one composition: Antonin Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater,” a religious cantata in 10 parts that the composer wrote in response to the death of his daughter, Josefa. Maestro Lucas Richman will lead the orchestra in the performance of this nearly 90-minute piece.
There are solo parts for four voices, and the featured vocalists include soprano Natalee McReynolds, with whom Maestro Richman has worked several times at his other post at the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee. Israeli mezzo-soprano Bracha Kal is also set to perform, along with Colorado tenor Dustin Peterson and German bass Benjamin LeClair.
Sunday’s concert will round out a season that’s seen much upheaval at the BSO, including the departure of Executive Director David Whitehill and the arrival of his replacement, Brian Hinrichs. It’s also capping off a season that’s seen the BSO pay off nearly all its debt and find firm financial footing at a time when many orchestras across the country are finding it exceptionally difficult to stay afloat.
Tickets for Sunday’s concert range from $19 to $43 and are available at the Collins Center for the Arts Box Office by calling 581-1755 and online at collinscenterforthearts.com.