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 classical music. 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.
In the first ten years, PBSO has:
- Performed 72 concerts in venues in Washington County, Maine, and Charlotte County, New Brunswick.
- Featured 24 soloist performances.
- Commissioned and premiered 6 new works by composers from Maine and Norway.
- Played 94 works by 52 composers.
- Reached over 2000 children in 10 Music for Children performances.
- Provided outreach to underserved populations, such as school children and the elderly, through ensembles such as the Woodwind Quintet.
- Provided Performance Scholarships and Leadership Internships to 3 high school seniors.
- Provided an opportunity for at least 75 volunteer musicians to learn from Trond Saeverud and Gregory Biss and share their love of music with each other and the community.
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 Fall Concerts
PBSO celebrated its 10th anniversary with its first Broadway Pops Concert! Concerts were in Eastport on November 17, Machias on November 18, and Calais on November 19. PBSO performed original scores from My Fair Lady, Gigi, Funny Girl, Carousel, Camelot, The Sound of Music, and A Connecticut Yankee. In addition, the concert featured soloist Gene Nichols playing Ponchelli’s Concerto for Euphonium.
2018 Spring Concerts
PBSO will perform the 2018 Spring Concert Series on June 22 in Eastport, June 23 in Machias, and June 24 in Calais. The program features the premiere of a commissioned composition by Roberto Pace, Concerto in Bb for Bassoon by W.A. Mozart, and Symphony No.4 in C Minor (Tragic) by Franz Schubert..
PBSO welcomes new musicians. All rehearsals are from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at Eastport Arts Center. The first two spring rehearsals are Thursday, April 5 and Monday, April 9. 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, 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 music programs to elementary age children with selected music based on children’s literature, history, and/or visual arts. In 2016 Gregory Biss (composer, pianist, and PBSO assistant conductor) adapted Engleberg Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel opera to create a 45-minute program for an ensemble of 12 musicians and a cast of 5. Music for Children presented Hansel and Gretel to approximately 1,200 children from 18 Washington County Schools, home-schooled children, and 200 adults. Currently, Music for Children is developing a presentation of the children’s opera Brundibar for performances in October 2018. Brundibar was written by Jewish Czech Composer Hans Krása with a libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister in 1938 for a boys’ Jewish orphanage in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). The program will encourage dialogue about the Holocaust, bullying, tolerance, coercion, and resilience. Up to 1,500 children will be invited to attend 9 performances at the Performing Arts Center at the University of Maine at Machias and Eastport Arts Center.
- 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 has demonstrated not only the ability to enrich the lives of musicians and community members by performing beautiful music twice a year but also by presenting classical music in new and pervasive ways. 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 • email@example.com
Canada: Lee-Anne Frost, (506) 529-8278 • firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Board Members