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St. John Chamber Choir to perform Lenten concert March 16

Courtesy of Andrea Hand
Courtesy of Andrea Hand
The Chamber Choir at St. John's, Bangor.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The St. John Chamber Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at St. John Catholic Church, 207 York St.

The Chamber Choir will present a program of contemplative music for Lent and Passiontide by William Byrd, Claudio Monteverdi, Daniel Pinkham, Josef Rheinberger and Randall Thompson. The featured work is Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater, a multi-movement setting of the 13th century text that expresses the suffering of the mother of Christ during his crucifixion.

The choir, under the direction of Kevin Birch, is joined by a string quintet led by violinist Anatole Wieck.

Rheinberger was a German composer and organist born at Vaduz in the principality of Lichtenstein, Bavaria, in March 1839, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1901.

When 7 years old, Rheinberger already served as organist in his parish church, and at the age of 8 composed a Mass for three voices. He attended the conservatory at Munich from 1851 to 1854, and finished his musical education with a course under Franz Lachner. In 1859 he was appointed professor of the theory of music and organ at the conservatory, a position which he held until a few months before his death.

Founded in 1995, the Chamber Choir performs sacred choral music

ranging from chant to modern works twice a year. Formed in response to the Second Vatican Council’s challenge to find practical means to preserve and use the rich heritage of Latin chants and motets and to explore the repertory of music used in other communions, according to Birch.

The suggested donation for the concert is $10.

For information, call 942-6941. To listen to a performance of the Chamber Choir, visit

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