Spring Concert on May 19th, 2017!

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Join New Renaissance Singers as we unite in song for our 26th Annual Spring Choral Concert!

This season’s program “United In Song”, arranged by our Director, Molly J. Webster, features a walk through the history of American composers from Steven Foster to the more contemporary works of Jay Althouse and Maine’s own Andrew Hirst. The theme expands to include works from outside influences such as the Beatles and Leonard Cohen, and songs of peace and unity.

Before and after the concert, there will be a silent auction of items donated by varied talents and services of our members, from a picnic basket with wine, to massage, art and handmade items, with funds raised to benefit New Renaissance Singers and our music scholarship fund. Refreshments will be provided after the concert, so feel free to hang out with us, have a snack, and bid on some great stuff!

The First 25 Years of the New Renaissance Singers

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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.

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NRS 2015 Student Scholarship Fund

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MAINE SUMMER YOUTH MUSIC SENIOR CAMP SCHOLARSHIP

 

We created our student scholarship fund to help foster and grow a love of music and singing in our community. In the last few years, we have donated scholarships to Bangor Area Children’s Choir. This year, we are offering a senior camp scholarship to the Maine Summer Youth Music at UMaine, Orono. High school students in the greater Bangor area are welcome to submit their applications. 

Thank you to everyone who has generously supported NRS and our scholarship fund and made it possible for us to give back to our community. As we continue to grow, we hope to be able to offer several scholarships a year!

Applicants must be greater Bangor area students eligible for senior camp as of Spring 2015 (See MSYM website for details.) The student’s specific area of interest should be vocal/choral music. To apply for the scholarship, students must send the following to New Renaissance Singers:

  • Completed MSYM Application
  • Letter of Recommendation from a Teacher or Vocal Instructor
  • Short essay describing their musical experience and how attending MYSM camp will impact their plans for the future (approx. 500 words)

Send the application, letter, and essay to:

New Renaissance Singers

Attn: Scholarship Committee

PO Box 3544

Brewer, ME 04412

Application Deadline is June 1, 2015. A decision will be made and the student notified by June 5, 2015. MSYM will be notified of the applicant’s acceptance and scholarship, and the information and payment will be sent to MSYM directly.

Incomplete applications and those received after June 1 will be ineligible for the scholarship. For questions, contact us at nrsingers@gmail.com or director Molly Webster at 992-7870

Spring Rehearsal Season Starts!

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The weather outside is frightful, so why not warm yourself up with thoughts of spring – and join us as we start rehearsals for our spring concert season! Rehearsals begin Tuesday, January 20th!

We’re already excited about this season’s repertoire! Our intrepid Director Molly Webster says that it’s going to be centered around the theme of LOVE and it includes some Billy Joel! Maybe some Foreigner? And no doubt some other really awesome choral music.

New members are welcome to join us, and if you’re considering joining, but aren’t sure, you’re invited to come listen in on a rehearsal or two and see if it’s something you might like.

The songs are usually a mix of easier and more challenging pieces, and even if you’re not comfortable with your ability to read music, Molly is a great teacher and you will learn a lot, and probably surprise yourself!

 

Come sing with us!

New Renaissance Singers Winter Concert 2014

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NRS Winter 2014 Poster small webThe New Renaissance Singers (NRS) will present their winter concert “Lighting Up the Season,” on Saturday, December 13, 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 35 Church Street, in Brewer. Admission is by donation with a suggested amount of $10 per person at the door. There will be a reception following the concert.

NRS is a non-audition, multigenerational community choir which has been performing in the greater Bangor area for twenty-four years. Musical Director Molly Webster arranged this year’s winter concert program to offer an eclectic mix classical pieces, folk songs, and contemporary choral arrangements, with an underlying theme of light and hope. The concert will also include a guest performance by The Husson University Singers.

NRS is dedicated to providing opportunities for many groups to enjoy their music. In addition to this public concert, NRS performs at several area nursing homes.

Some of the proceeds from the concert will support the NRS music scholarship program for young people in the area. Last year the award went to a scholarship for Bangor Children’s Choir. This year the grant will go to students participating in the Maine Summer Youth Music program at the University of Maine. “It is our goal to ‘pay it forward’ so that young people will have the chance to experience the joy of choral singing, and will be able to perform in choirs in the future,” says NRS Board President Tricia Griffith.

Press Release–May 26, 2014

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New Renaissance Singers

P.O. Box 3544

Brewer, ME 04412

nrsingers@gmail.com

http://www.nrsingers.com

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Contact: Tricia Griffith, President, New Renaissance Singers

(207) 812-0039 or nrsingers@gmail.com

 

The New Renaissance Singers 2014 Spring Choral Concert

I DREAM: Songs of Faith, Hope & Love

 

(BANGOR) Wednesday, May 14, 2014:

New Renaissance Singers is pleased to announce their 2014 Annual Spring Concert Schedule. This season, the choral group will be revisiting a favorite old location in Brewer, with a performance at the First Congregational Church of Brewer on Saturday, May 31st at 7:00pm. They will wrap up their spring concert season at 7:00pm on Saturday, June 7th at the Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono. Admission to the concerts is a suggested $10 donation.

 

A portion of the concert proceeds will go into the new NRS Student Scholarship Fund as part of New Renaissance Singers’ mission to nurture a love of music in the community and beyond. This year, the funds contributed will go towards providing scholarships to children singing in the Bangor Area Children’s Choir. The group welcomes suggestions for future beneficiaries, especially in the area of vocal music.

 

The repertoire this year features a beautiful collection of songs of hope, peace, love and life, from classic works like Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Ubi Caritas by Duruflé to energetic pieces like Martin Shaw’s With a Voice of Singing and Road to Freedom by Gwenyth Walker. Choral music fans may also recognize favorites like Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth and Cover the World with Love by Jerry Estes. As always, the concert will feature soloists as well as a duet and quartet.

 

New Renaissance Singers is extremely fortunate to be celebrating its second successful season with director, Molly J. Webster. Originally from Patten, Maine, Molly is an alumnus of The University of Maine with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance, as well as a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. In addition to directing New Renaissance Singers, Molly is the choir director at The Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono, an instructor at The New England School of Communications-Husson University. She is also the founder of the Husson University Singers and Divisi, a select choir.

 

New Renaissance Singers is a well-established, non-audition, multigenerational chorus serving Central and Eastern Maine. We welcome all who share a love of singing, and believe that in uniting our voices in song we can nurture a love of music in our community and beyond. If you love to sing and would like to join the fun, The New Renaissance Singers always welcomes new members. For more information about the group, visit their website: www.nrsingers.com. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nrsingers , or contact Tricia Griffith, NRS President at (207) 812-0039 or nrsingers@gmail.com.

 

New Renaissance Singers is grateful for the continued support of individuals and businesses throughout the community.