Tapestry Singers answer the bagpiper’s call

Posted:  Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 8:00am
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Story Location:
380 Academy Hill Road
Newcastle  Maine  04553
United States

Tapestry Singers will present a program steeped in Scottish traditional music and poetry on Saturday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 3, at 5 p.m. Both concerts will take place at St. Patrick’s Church, 380 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle.

Concertgoers will be greeted by the evocative strains of a Scottish bagpiper Jeremy Burkhard of the Maine Saint Andrew’s Pipes and Drums of Bangor. Songs of country life, seafaring and homesickness, love and heartbreak, and celebration and joy follow in the concert program’s combination of rustic folk tunes and sophisticated arrangements. Many of the tunes, such as “My Heart’s in the Highlands” and “The Skye Boat Song,” will be instantly recognizable, while others may be unfamiliar but will soon be added to the list of new favorites. Included in the program are three songs that are meant to be sung by the audience with the chorus.

Several of the pieces feature the poetry of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet; other songs have verses in Scottish Gaelic. In addition to the bagpipes, instrumental accompaniment will be provided by Dave Martin on guitar, Sean Fleming on keyboards, Tommy Davis on piano, and Marcus Hutchins on flute and penny whistle.

Director Beth Preston explains the inspiration for a completely Scottish concert: “There are a number of the singers who boast of their Scottish ancestry and have campaigned for some music of ‘the Gaels,’ so I thought, ‘why not a whole concert?’ Tapestry Singers has made a move to perform current choral music, so in organizing this concert, I was on a wonderful mission of discovery to find newer arrangements of familiar Scottish tunes by mostly living composers.”

Jesse Wakeman, tenor soloist, will be accompanied by the chorus in several songs. A Maine native, Wakeman has been a featured soloist with groups across northern New England, including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, OperaMaine, ChoralArt. Other solos will be performed by chorus members Claudine Audy, Franklin Holland, Elizabeth Davis, Lynn Drewette, Jaja Martin, Gordon Clark, and Don Osier.

 Now in its 27th year, Tapestry Singers is an auditioned amateur group, but the music it tackles is often complex and unusual. Ranging in age from high school to retirement, the members share a love of music, harmony, challenges, and camaraderie. The members travel from many towns in midcoast Maine to weekly rehearsals in Damariscotta.

Tickets purchased at the door for the concert are $15 for adults, no charge for students. To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.tapestrysingersmaine.org/tickets. There is a $1 handling charge added to tickets bought online.