Children offered free choral training

BLUE HILL — Blue Hill Bach has received a $2,000 grant through the Maine Community Foundation’s Hancock County Fund to offer free vocal and choral training for young people in grades 8 through 12.

Beginning Monday, June 10, participants began working with voice teachers and conductors on a weekly basis to learn four-part chorales from J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The works will be performed as part of the annual Blue Hill Bach Festival July 22-29.

Students need no prior choral experience. Instruction will focus on improving music reading skills, learning to listen to and blend with other parts, following a conductor, expressing the text’s meaning and having fun. Free individual vocal instruction will be offered by request. Students will observe and participate in rehearsals with the Blue Hill Bach chorus as the ensemble prepares for performances in late July.

Instructors for the session are vocal instructor and Blue Hill Bach ensemble member Lori Sitzabee, and voice teacher, singer and Blue Hill Bach Executive Director Marcia Sly. University of Maine Director of Choral Activities Francis John Vogt will conduct rehearsals, and Blue Hill Bach Music Director John Finney will conduct final rehearsals and the performance.

Blue Hill Bach was founded in 2011 with the mission to present historically informed performances, recordings, and educational programs that explore vocal and instrumental music of the Baroque and other repertoire that demonstrates the place of Baroque music within the span of music history.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Stephen Hammer, Blue Hill Bach draws upon musicians, who are specialists in Baroque performance practice, from Maine, greater New England and across the United States. Ensemble players perform on original period instruments or replicas, creating a sound that is faithful to the composers’ intent.

The Blue Hill Bach chorus includes professional singers, local community members and students from area high schools and colleges.

For more information and to sign up, call 613-5454, email [email protected] and visit

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