Special to The Ellsworth American
ORONO — The Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s 2011 season came to a rousing finish on Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts. Maestro Lucas Richman was on the podium and personally orchestrated the program finale, his own composition based on the psalms of David, “In the Day When I Cried Out.”
It may be confusing to consider the last piece first, but its effect on the music leading up to that moment is worth noting. According to the program notes, “In the Day When I Cried Out” was commissioned by First Night Pittsburgh and premiered on Dec. 31, 2000. It has all the elements of today’s music and then some. The opening was Bernstein, representing despair, and on to barbershop harmony, George Gershwin, a New Orleans jazz funeral march and a middle full of John Williams. This is not to denigrate the music because the construction was very well done.
Richman is a top orchestrator. After a series of climaxes, the Praise Band sound took over. Contralto Kelly Caufield was sensational, leading her compatriots Ben Layman, tenor, Ralph Cato, baritone and Jennifer Barnett, soprano, into the world of evangelical fervor. There was improv, clapping and ever increasing tone. At the end, the audience went wild and so did the performers, insofar as professionally possible. An encore followed, “Baba Yetu,” the first song of “Calling All Dawns,” the recording that won Richman a Grammy for his conducting. This maestro has solidified his place in the firmament of northern Maine.
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