Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra
The Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra (PBSO) was founded in 2007 as a constituent member of the Eastport Arts Center. PBSO is a community of dedicated volunteer musicians who cherish the opportunity to play symphonic music with others. The mission of PBSO is threefold: to bring symphonic music to the communities of Washington County, Maine, and neighboring New Brunswick, Canada; to provide an arena in which musicians may meet, practice and perform together; and to provide a serious hard-working orchestra in which musicians can further develop their skills.
PBSO currently is comprised of approximately 40 musicians who come primarily from communities around Passamaquoddy Bay in Washington County, Maine and Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Musicians are of all ages and from all walks of life. PBSO welcomes new players!
If interested, please plan to attend a Thursday rehearsal at 7 pm at the Eastport Arts Center. For more information about the rehearsal schedule, call June Gregory at 207-213-9145 or Lee-Anne Frost at 506-529-8278.
From its inception, PBSO has grown and thrived under the inspiring leadership of director and conductor Trond Saeverud. Maestro Saeverud is an international violinist and conductor who has served as concertmaster and soloist in Norway, Denmark, The United States, and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.
He currently is the Music Director and Conductor of the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Conductor and Music Director of the Bay Area Youth Symphony, Houston, Texas.
Gregory Biss, assistant conductor, is a celebrated composer and pianist, president of the board of the Eastport Arts Center, and a catalyst for the growing musical presence in Eastport. Both men contribute unique styles of conducting and music interpretation that expand the skills, knowledge, and confidence of PBSO musicians.
2017 Spring Concerts
PBSO presented the 2017 Spring Concert Series in Eastport on June 16, Machias on June 17, and Calais on June 18. The program featured soloists Trond Saeverud (violin) and Joachim Woitun (cello) playing Johannes Brahms’s Concerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor. Also on the program was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale). While PBSO had played parts of Symphony No. 6 in previous concerts, this was the first performance of the entire symphony. Audience members were moved by the concert and one audience member described it as: “The best experience of music I have ever had! I felt as if I was standing at the edge of a clearing, hearing voices calling to each other—it was as if I were INSIDE the music.”
2017 Fall Concerts
PBSO celebrates its 10th anniversary with its first Broadway Pops Concert! Concerts will be presented in Eastport on November 17, Machias on November 18, and Calais on November 19. Don’t miss PBSO’s performance of original scores from My Fair Lady, Gigi, Funny Girl, Carousel, Camelot, The Sound of Music, and A Connecticut Yankee.
PBSO welcomes new musicians. The first two fall rehearsals are August 17 and August 24. All rehearsals are from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center. Carpooling is available. For more information about the rehearsal schedule or concerts, call June Gregory at 207-213-9145 or Lee-Anne Frost at 506-529-8278.
In addition to EAC and its constituent groups, PBSO works cooperatively with other community organizations, such as the Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition, The University of Maine at Machias, and local schools.
The core activity of PBSO consists of spring and fall annual seasons of 10 rehearsals and 3 concerts. Regular venues include Eastport, Machias, and Calais. In addition to these concerts, PBSO offers several other programs:
- The PBSO Woodwind Quintet provides outreach to local school-age children, represents PBSO in venues that are not practical for the orchestra as a whole, and carries the experience of quality classical music to under-served populations. In the spring of 2014, with the help of a generous grant from the Maine Community Foundation/Artists in Maine Communities, the Quintet completed its first major project Peter and the Wolf. Through this project the Quintet introduced school-age children in part of Washington County to orchestral instruments and music and cooperated with local schools, artists, and arts organizations to create a stage set and educational materials. Eight schools participated in three performances and a fourth performance was open to the public. At least 725 people, mostly children, were served by this program. Questionnaires completed by over 400 teachers and children yielded overwhelmingly positive results and requests for additional performances.
- The Music for Children Program grew out of the Woodwind Quintet success. It develops and presents annual music programs to elementary age children with selected music based on children’s literature and/or visual arts. After a year of development and with generous grants from the Maine Arts Commission and Maine Community Foundation, the Music for Children Program got off to a roaring start in March 2016 with the presentation of Hansel and Gretel. Gregory Biss, composer, pianist, and PBSO assistant conductor, adapted Engleberg Humperdinck’s opera to create a 45-minute program for 12 musicians. With nine performances in six days at the University of Maine at Machias and Eastport Arts Center, we exceeded even our own ambitious expectations! Our audience included approximately 1,200 students from 18 Washington County schools as well as home schooled children and at least 200 adults. The music, libretto, narration, teaching guides, and stage directions of the completed project are being prepared for sharing with other schools and youth groups in Maine. In subsequent years, the Music for Children Program will adapt and present additional works, such as Brundibar, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Little Mermaid, and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
- The Performance Scholarship is awarded to a gifted young orchestra member who prepares and performs a significant solo piece at the spring concert. The student receives $300 and a certificate.
- The Leadership Internship targets a young musician with exceptional interest in music who works with an orchestra member to gain experience in various facets of orchestra management. The student receives $300 and a certificate.
In addition to these permanent programs, in 2016 PBSO purchased lighting (which was permanently installed at Eastport Arts Center) and a keyboard with an amplifier and necessary accessories. The new lights benefit all performance groups and the sound equipment will be available for use by other Eastport Arts Center constituents groups. This project was made possible by a generous grant provided by the Steven and Tabitha King Foundation.
In its first 10 years PBSO has performed 72 concerts with 94 works by 52 composers; premiered 5 new compositions by Maine composers, and reached more than 2,000 children with 10 Music for Children performances. You can help assure that the next decade is rich with many more inspired performances! PBSO is supported by donations from the community, ticket donations at the door, gifts from musicians in the orchestra and their families and friends, and by generous grants from foundations such as the Helen and Charles Ladd Charitable Corporation, the First Bank, the Davis Family Foundation, the Maine Arts Commission, and The Maine Community Foundation. PBSO gratefully accepts contributions of money, services, and equipment.
In addition, for the first time, with your donation of $15 and $5 for shipping and handling, PBSO will send you a commemorative t-shirt. Now you can wear you support for PBSO with pride! The black t-shirt features a caricature (created by local artist Tom Brennan) of conductor and music director Trond Saeverud. To order your shirt, please make your check payable to PBSO, print and complete this form, and mail both to: PBSO, PO Box 114, Eastport, ME 04631.
For more information about the orchestra and how you can help support PBSO, please contact us at: PBSO, P.O. Box 114, Eastport, Maine, 04631.
U.S.: June Gregory, (207) 213-9145 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada: Lee-Anne Frost, (506) 529-8278 • email@example.com
2017 Board Members