BAR HARBOR and ELLSWORTH — As it has done since 1978, the Acadia Choral Society once again will mark the start of the holiday season on Mount Desert Island with its annual concert performances at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church on the first weekend in December. The group will repeat the performance the following weekend at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Ellsworth.
The hope-filled theme of this year’s concert, “Here Comes the Light,” brings together several key topics reflected throughout the program: glory, peace, light and snow. Opening with three variations of songs to the Virgin Mary and continuing with reflections on peace and glory, the first half culminates in Bob Chilcott’s exultant “Gloria”. This 15-minute piece employs a brass quintet, timpani and piano, and features a contrasting mixture of jubilant exclamations and stunning legato sections.
The second half of the program revolves around motifs of light and snow, opening with a madrigal-like setting of text drawn from “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Graham and carrying through the themes of light, love and snow in two works by contemporary composers, Eric Whitacre and Kim Andre Arnesen. There is also an arrangement of a well-known Peter, Paul and Mary song, “Light One Candle”; a hauntingly beautiful arrangement of “Still, Still, Still”; and the rousing thematic closer, “Here Comes the Light”.
As ACS continues its search for a permanent director, the chorus has engaged guest Music Director Molly Webster of Bangor to lead the chorus this season. Webster conducts with great enthusiasm, energy, musical talent and joyfulness. She comes to us with a superb musical background and rich experience leading other vocal groups. Kimberly Haller, Accompanist and Assistant Director, continues to share her artistry playing piano and other instruments for rehearsals and performances.
Performances will take place at St. Saviour’s in Bar Harbor on Saturday, December 2 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 PM. The performance at St. Andrew in Ellsworth will be on Sunday, December 10 at 3:00 PM. The concerts are supported by corporate sponsor Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegar. Tickets are available in advance from chorus members, as well as at the Southwest Harbor Library; Sherman’s Books & Stationery and Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegar in Bar Harbor; and the Seven Arts Gallery in Ellsworth. The suggested donation at the door is $15.