Press Release

“Christmas with Cornils – A Kotzschmar Christmas!”

PORTLAND, Maine —  Tickets are on sale for the popular holiday season performances of “Christmas with Cornils – A Kotzschmar Christmas.” Each year, Ray Cornils, Portland’s very own Municipal Organist, leads a group of talented musicians from across New England in a joyous celebration of the season. The concerts, featuring the world-renowned Kotzschmar Organ, one of the oldest working municipal pipe organs in the United States, have made “Christmas with Cornils” a treasured family tradition enjoyed by thousands over the years.

This December, The Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (FOKO) invite you to join Ray, the Festival Brass, the Parish Ringers, and the St. Mary Schola to hear all of your holiday favorites—and a few new selections, too! For advance tickets to either performance, please visit and search “Cornils.”

• Tuesday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston. ADULTS $15 ($20 at the door)

• Tuesday, December 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Luke in Portland. ADULTS $20 ($25 at the door)

Student tickets are also available online and ages 12 and under are free!

Please note that the Kotzschmar Organ is currently in the process of being renovated by a talented team of organ technicians at Foley Baker, Inc. of Tolland, Connecticut. The organ is expected to return in September of 2014.

As a result, this year’s “Christmas with Cornils” performances will be held in two different locations in Portland and Lewiston, providing an even greater opportunity for new audiences to experience the energy and excitement of a live holiday concert.

The performance will begin with a Cornils organ solo; Grand Fantasy on Joy to the World, by Marc Cheban, followed by Noel # 10 by Louis Claude D’aquin for organ and brass. Cornils crafts an interesting program throughout with sections representing the various traditions of the season.

For example, the section entitled “Come Let’s Be Merry” features the Parish Ringers with an outstanding arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and a rendition of Jingle Bells and includes March from The Nutcracker, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, and the famed Cantique de Noël for organ and brass.

Finally, the St. Mary Schola, under the direction of Bruce Fithian, will fill the cathedrals with wonderful a cappella choral works by Gabrieli, Scheidt, de Lassus, and Dethier in various sections of the programs.

This year, the grand finale sing-along of holiday favorites will include Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Silent Night and O Come, All Ye Faithful.

We hope you will join us.

For more information about the Christmas with Cornils and the Kotzschmar Organ, please visit