Advance registration is now open for Down East Singers, which will begin fall semester rehearsals on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 6:45 p.m., at Watts Hall, 174 Main Street, Thomaston.
Rehearsals will continue Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. through Dec. 5. The ensemble will prepare a multi-media performance in collaboration with Halcyon String Quartet featuring the world premiere of Marianna Filippi's To Maine, With Love, for string quartet, accordion, piano and chorus. The work was commissioned by Down East Singers for Maine's bicentennial in 2020 but performance of it had to be postponed due to the pandemic.
Composer Filippi, who grew up in Midcoast Maine, recently completed her graduate studies at the Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In addition, the program will include Wreathe the Holly, Twine the Bay, by Maine composer Delmar Dustin Small, and Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria. Projected art to go with the music will be displayed simultaneously by Luke Fatora.
Performances will be on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m., at Watts Hall in Thomaston, and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. at Rockport Opera House. Performances will be recorded for later broadcast on Down East Singers' YouTube channel.
Anthony Antolini, of Cushing, the group's artistic director, has conducted the ensemble since 1991. Jennifer McIvor, of Wiscasset, is the assistant director and piano accompanist.
Down East Singers is open to all community members, and new singers are welcome. Sight-singing skills are desired but not required, as long as an ability to match pitch is demonstrated. All singers are expected to work on their music at home between rehearsals.
The membership fee is $80, payable either through the website or by mail. High school students sing for free. Music for the semester will be provided at the first rehearsal. To register or find out more, visit www.downeastsingers.org or call 207 619-0423.