Now in its fifth decade, the Oratorio Chorale is a symphonic chorus of 80–100 auditioned, professionally directed singers committed to advancing choral music through performances, educational and community outreach, and collaborations. The Chorale’s 2015–16 season, its third under the leadership of Artistic Director Emily Isaacson, includes five concert programs, with thirteen performances. This year the Chorale also inaugurated a new Young Artists Program and a women’s chorus, “Sweetest in the Gale.” Additional activities include summer singing workshops and winter singer salons, both open to community members.
Titled “Celebrating Home,” the 2015–16 season pays tribute to exceptional musicians from Maine alongside nationally recognized soloists. Concert programs this season included “Prodigies” in November, featuring music of classical prodigies and Maine virtuoso pianist Christopher Staknys playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, with the Maine Chamber Ensemble. In December, the Chorale and women’s chorus presented three performances of our annual “Sing We Noël” celebration. March brought a duo of Masses by Dvorak and Nico Muhly, highlighting the talent of Maine’s premier organist, Ray Cornils. An April concert by Sweetest in the Gale introduces music by Hildegard von Bingen, Meredith Monk, Libby Larsen, and others, with solos by soprano Mary Sullivan and Chorale accompanist Derek Herzer.
The final concert of the 2015–16 season continues the Chorale’s tradition of collaboration with area arts organizations as we perform Verdi’s Requiem with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra and Vox Nova. In 2014, we joined the Bowdoin Chorus and Orchestra with the Mozart Mentors Orchestra in three sold-out performances of Mozart’s Requiem. Plans for 2016–17 include additional collaborations, notably the Chorale’s participation as chorus in residence for the Portland Bach Festival.
For further information: www.oratoriochorale.org