Opera in Washington County

February 15, 2016

Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra


Do you remember the 2014 PBSO Woodwind Quintet’s production of “Peter and the Wolf?” That project, which involved 8 schools and more than 700 students, resulted in approximately 450 teacher and student questionnaires that were overwhelmingly positive. One student wrote: “If you have a chance to see this show, do it! And I’m not a music person.” The success of “Peter and the Wolf” and requests from additional schools ignited a desire in PBSO to build on this first major outreach experience by establishing the MUSIC FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM. This Program annually will develop and present accessible, yet serious, musical programs for elementary-age children. To tie the music to other areas of the curriculum, selected music will be bound to great examples from children’s literature or fine arts. PBSO looks forward to introducing Washington County children to opera and orchestral instruments and music and showing them how music goes beyond a one-time show to become a life-long friend.

This year there is excitement in the air as the PBSO Music for Children Program busily prepares “Hansel and Gretel” for presentation to more than 1,200 school children from 17 schools in Washington County! Seven performances for schools are scheduled in March at EAC and at UMM with a public performance at EAC on Saturday, March 19. Home-schooled students are invited to attend the performance of their choice.

Composer Gregory Biss, writer Sarah Dalton Phillips, and artist Chris Grannis are creating a phenomenal score, narrative, and set that will delight audience members of all ages. The ensemble consists of 13 PBSO musicians and the cast includes Washington County children and adult singers and actors.

This project is funded in part by generous grants from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Community Building Grant Program of the Maine Community Foundation; and the Steven and Tabitha King Foundation. Thanks also to Eastport Arts Center, the University of Maine at Machias, and the many volunteers who have contributed hours of service to make this dream a reality.

For additional information please contact June Gregory at 207-213-9145 or june.gregory@gmail.com.

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