Photo Courtesy of Euphony

Splendor and solemnity: Blue Hill Bach to present rich holiday program



BLUE HILL — Blue Hill Bach will present Orono’s chamber choir Euphony in a holiday concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church. Led by Francis John Vogt, Euphony comprises University of Maine-Orono students, alumni, faculty and community members.

“Many of Euphony’s singers have joined Blue Hill Bach as ensemble members, soloists, Young Artist Fellows, and even stage managers,” Blue Hill Bach Executive Director Marcia Gronewold Sly says. “We’re excited to celebrate the holidays by presenting this stunning chamber choir.”
Euphony will be joined by a string ensemble and keyboard accompanist Laura Artesani. The program will include works by J.S. Bach and seasonal works that include medieval chant, contemporary carols and spirituals.

Soloists in Bach’s “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland” (Cantata 61) will include UMaine alumni Kayla M’Lynn Gayton, who has appeared as soprano soloist with Blue Hill Bach; Zachary Fisher, who has been heard frequently as tenor soloist and was Blue Hill Bach’s Young Artist Fellow in 2018; and baritone Ryan Conway, a UMaine student. UMaine students Mari Smith, soprano, and Eli Smith, tenor, will also will be featured in solo selections.

Founded in 2006 at UMaine, Euphony specializes in commissioning and performing new choral music by today’s foremost composers, including Arvo Pärt, Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Dove and many others. Music Director Francis John Vogt is director of choral activities at the University of Maine, where he conducts the University Singers and Oratorio Society, and teaches voice and choral conducting. As a tenor soloist, he has performed, recorded and toured nationally and internationally. Locally, he has sung with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Maine, Blue Hill Bach and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Penobscot Theatre.

Euphony’s accompanist, Laura Artesani, heads the Division of Music in the School of Performing Arts at UMaine. She also teaches music education courses, serves as piano accompanist for the University Singers and performs frequently in faculty and student recitals. In addition, she is the organist/pianist at the Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono.
For the safety and health of performers and audience members, Blue Hill Bach will observe the COVID-19 policy established by St. Francis Church, which requires that only those fully vaccinated attend events. All performers will be vaccinated, and singers will be spaced at a safe distance. Seating will be limited; however, the concert will be recorded for release on Blue Hill Bach’s website and YouTube channel.

Concert tickets are available in advance only on the Blue Hill Bach website, bluehillbach.org. General admission is $25 per person, $10 for students and free for ages 18 and under.
For more information, call 613-5454 or visit bluehillbach.org.

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