Handmade Music Themed Quilt for Raffle!

Image

Don’t miss out! We’re raffling off this incredible music themed quilt hand made by our very own Nancy Averill! This quilt is huge! Perfect for a queen size bed, but fits a king size pretty well, too.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or three for $10, and will be on sale at our Bucksport and Brewer concerts, or you can contact us through our Facebook page or email nrsingers@gmail.com to make arrangements to purchase them! The drawing will be held after our Brewer concert on December 16th!

Silver Celebration Season Finale Concert!

Image

NRS Winter 2016 Poster Brewer.jpg

Join New Renaissance Singers for its 25th Anniversary Celebration Season Finale! We’re wrapping up a year of celebrating 25 years of sharing our music with our friends in Central and Eastern Maine.

For our 25th Anniversary Winter Concert, we’re sharing some old favorites such as S’Vivon by Bertaux and Christmas Jazz by Shaw. We’re mixing in some Handel and Eric Whitacre and rounding out the mix with a beautiful, spirited arrangement of Gaudete by Thomas Juneau.

Come early and sign up for the raffle of our beautiful music themed, handmade quilt. Join us after the concert for anniversary cake and our Christmas Cookie bake sale. Get your sugar rush instant gratification and then pick up some more to take home!

Admission: $10 suggested donation

We can’t wait to see you there and celebrate with you!

The First 25 Years of the New Renaissance Singers

Image

By Linda Sisson

1470128_640357379340870_770967334_nIn 1990 a new choral group was started by a music studio in downtown Bangor operated by Darrell and Nina Rhodes. In 1991 the group decided to become incorporated as an independent, non-profit, and moved into its own rehearsal space. The group’s first artistic director was Bronwyn Kortge. Bronwyn loved early music and the group enthusiastically embraced her suggestion, New Renaissance Singers, for their name. From the beginning, NRS was open to all with no auditions. The first concert they gave in the spring of 1991 was held at John Bapst High School, with the two dozen chorus members sporting pastel colored cummerbunds for the women and bow ties for the men.

For the next few years, NRS rehearsed in a space on the third floor of the building now housing Giacomo’s in the heart of downtown Bangor. Subsequent rehearsal homes included the First Methodist Church in Bangor, the Catholic Church of Brewer, Columbia Street Baptist Church, and the First Congregational Church of Brewer, our current home.1048870_566627436713865_816899593_o

Since those early years, NRS has performed in a wide variety of venues including area churches, assisted living facilities, the Bangor Library, the Cyrus Pavilion Theater in Orono, on a Fourth of July parade float, and even in a rock concert with Foreigner in Rockport. For the last few years NRS has also provided choral music for the Hospice Memorial Service.

Nancy Averill, a current member who has been part of the NRS for all twenty-five years recalls that the group sang a lot of early music in the beginning, practiced year-round, and gave four concerts a year! A founding member, Roxanne Munksgaard, fondly recalls an early concert featuring madrigals performed in Renaissance costumes at the Cyrus Pavilion.

Since then the range of music sung by NRS has been eclectic: an early Halloween Concert included a song written by Bronwyn called “Macbeth’s Witches” with lyrics by Shakespeare; a few years later the group performed Faure’s Requiem under the direction of Ann Mills. Today Molly Webster continues to select music from the whole spectrum of choral singing from early music (16th and 17th centuries) to contemporary compositions. The twenty-fifth anniversary concert includes an early madrigal, music from the 18th and 19th centuries by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, and three contemporary pieces. Two of the newer pieces are exquisite choral settings by young composers of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Emily Dickinson. The third new piece is a setting of a poem “Everyone Sang” by Siegfried Sassoon and was composed by Andrew Hirst especially for the NRS 25th anniversary.drew and group3

A choral director selects music, coaches the sections in learning their parts, teaches vocal techniques and inspires the chorus to create a beautiful, blended sound. Since 1991 the New Renaissance Singers have enjoyed the leadership of many talented Directors:

  • 1991-1993      Bronwyn Kortge
  • 1994                Steve Grives
  • 1994-1995      Lenore Hample
  • 1996                Ann Mills
  • 1997-2003      Sandra Blanchette
  • 2004                Steve Estey
  • 2004-2009     Laura Green Estey
  • 2010-2012       Drew Albert
  • 2012-2016       Molly Webster

Since 2006 NRS has been accompanied faithfully and joyfully by Dora Rexrode, making this year her tenth anniversary!

NRS has also been supported by the work of its Board of Directors. Under the leadership of current Board President, Tricia Griffith, in 2013 NRS started a scholarship fund to encourage the participation of young people in choral singing, by providing scholarship support to Bangor Area Children’s Choir and the University of Maine’s summer youth music program. Past President Pamela Ware says, “It’s a big job and Tricia is terrific at doing it.”

With each new member who joins us in song, our lives are enriched. Marie Harrington, the second person who has been with the chorus for all twenty-five years and has served on our Board, says the best part of singing with NRS has been all the wonderful people she has known through the years. We are always welcoming of new voices, so if you like to sing and are willing to make the commitment to weekly rehearsals, please join us and become part of the next 25 years of NRS history.

NRS spring 2015 037.jpg

Silver Celebration! Our Spring 2016 Choral Concert

Image

NRS Spring 2016  poster Bangor med

Join us and be a part of our year-long celebration of 25 years of making music together!

For our spring concert season, we are bringing you a beautiful mix of songs of hope and joy, with music ranging from contemporary to folk and classical. Included in the spring repertoire are pieces from Beethoven, Brahm and Mozart, mixed in with a little Pete Seeger and U2, and a collection of pieces based on the works of poets like Edna St. Vincent Millay and Emily Dickinson.

We are exceptionally excited to unveil a song specially commissioned to celebrate our silver anniversary. This contemporary choral piece was created for us by UMaine alumnus Andrew Hirst. “Everyone Sang” is based on the poem by Siegfried Sassoon, written at the end of World War I.

2015 Winter Concert: Silver Celebration

Image

NRS Winter 2015 poster 8x10New Renaissance Singers will present their winter concert, Silver Celebration, Friday, December 18, 7 pm at First Congregational Church of Brewer. The church is located at 35 Church Street and is handicap accessible. The concert is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $10 per person at the door. A Christmas Cookie sale and beverages will follow the concert. A portion of the proceeds will be used to support the NRS education scholarship fund. 

Silver Celebration will kick off the group’s twenty-fifth anniversary year. The music includes classical pieces by Bach, Haydn, and Rachmaninoff as well as contemporary arrangements and compositions celebrating the Christmas season.

New Renaissance Singers is an independent, four-part community chorus directed by Molly Webster and accompanied by Dora Rexrode. The group will also be performing at several assisted living facilities in the Bangor area in December. “We want to share our joy in music with as many people as possible,” says Board President Tricia Griffith.

For more information: call Molly Webster, Director, 992-7870 or email nrsingers@gmail.com or follow them on Facebook.