Eastport Arts Center

where creativity and community meet

Palaver Strings: ‘Welcome Home,’ a program of music and stories from Maine’s immigrant communities

Eastport Arts Center welcomes the Potland-based Palaver Strings on Sunday, November 10 at 3 pm for Welcome Home, a program which celebrates the vitality of Maine’s immigrant communities through music and storytelling. In partnership with the Immigrant Welcome Center of Greater Portland (IWC), this program will be performed in Portland and 8 Maine locations, with the goal of exposing rural Maine communities to the experiences of new immigrant families, celebrating Maine’s cultural diversity, and encouraging audiences to reflect on their own heritage and how to make Maine a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. 

Welcome Home includes three segments, each centered around a significant immigrant and/or diaspora community in Maine: French-Canadian, Iraqi, and Burundian and Rwandan. Each segment features storytelling and musical performances by guest artists from these communities, including original songs and music with cultural significance.

Guest artists include Iraqi speaker and poet, Kifah Abdulla and Iraqi oud player, Jawad Nageeb, Burundian singer, Maisha Mustafa, and French-Canadian trad musicians, Alex Wilder and Jaige Trudell.  Palaver Strings will host the evening and accompany the guest artists, using original arrangements by members of the orchestra. Audience members will be encouraged to engage with a visual art installation, adding their own reflections about heritage, immigration law, and the current political climate in Maine and the wider world. This installation will serve as valuable documentation of the program itself and the communities’ experience of these issues. Through multi-disciplinary collaboration, Welcome Home will bring together artists and audiences who might not otherwise interact, center underrepresented voices, and create a memorable experience for everyone involved.

“As we tour with this program around Maine, we will celebrate Maine’s cultural diversity, reflect on our own histories, and create space for dialogue between performers and listeners from different backgrounds,” noted Maya French, Palaver’s Managing Director and Co-Artistic Director. “We believe deep listening and empathy for unfamiliar experiences is an important part of making Maine a safe and inclusive home for everyone.”

Palaver Strings

Palaver Strings is a 13 person, musician-led string orchestra and nonprofit whose mission is rooted in community and creative programming. Through innovative performance, educational workshops, and community engagement initiatives, Palaver reaches diverse audiences throughout New England and beyond. Recent projects include a concert at the Kennedy Center, string lessons for low-income students, and songwriting workshops for LGBTQ seniors. The majority of Palaver’s audience members, students, and workshop participants come from Maine and Massachusetts.  With the support of local partner organizations, Palaver will formally begin a performance residency and open the Palaver Music Center (PMC), a community music school in Portland, ME, in 2019.  

Tickets are $15; special benefactor tickets are available for $20. Attendees 17 and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets may be purchased via the EAC site, eastportartscenter.org, or at the door prior to the event. Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is fully handicapped-accessible.

Pianist Raja Rahman in Concert

Eastport Arts Center will present a concert by pianist Raja Rahman on Tuesday, September 3 at 7 pm. Rahman will perform Bach’s Italian Concerto in F, Bach-Busoni’s Chaconne in D Minor, Beethoven’s Sonato No. 8 in C Minor Op. 13, and Schubert’s Impromptu Op. 90 No. 2 and 4. A prize-winning graduate of The Juilliard School, Rahman has performed worldwide and won concerto competitions, Juilliard’s Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship, International Concert Artists competition, and numerous other prestigious awards. His career has taken him all over the world in concert as both soloist and chamber musician. In addition, as co-star of the magic and music duo “Jarrett & Raja”, he has appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent as a semifinalist, the CW Network, ABC’s “Shark Tank”, “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, and the BBC.

A seasoned teacher of 20 years and Director of Piano Studies at Nevada School of the Arts, Rahman teaches a studio of 20 students in Las Vegas and conducts master classes across the country.

Tickets for the concert are $15 at the door or at eastportartscenter.org. The Eastport Arts Center (EAC) is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is handicapped-accessible. 

Adirondack folk singer Alex Smith in Concert

Eastport Arts Center will present a concert by singer/songwriter and musical storyteller Alex Smith on Saturday, August 31 at 7 pm, presenting a delicious pairing with the day’s city-wide Salmon and Seafood Festival activities. Smith grew up in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park, and his music strives to echo the culture of that area, building songs from a blend of traditional folk harmony and modern lyrics. Writing about contemporary concerns while paying homage to his region’s musical roots, Smith draws on the triumphs and hardships of friends, relatives and neighbors to create fictitious characters who teeter on the balance between beauty and imperfection.

Smith’s first studio album, “Hamilton County,” was named Traditional Folk Album of The Year by the National Traditional Country Music Association. His discography also includes albums “Sawdust,” “Close to Home” and “Live from Caffe Lena.” Another project of note is his contribution to the Emmy award-winning documentary “Songs to Keep: Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector,” where he was featured alongside Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow and Dan Berggren.  Mountain Lake PBS producer Paul Larson, who sought Smith for the film, said, “When Alex sings traditional folk songs from his region, he energizes them with his own voice, arrangements and charisma.” Fellow folk musician Dan Berggren commented that Smith’s songs “stretch the expectation of what fresh, new music can say about ancient hills, the communities they hold, and their stories.”

For audio and video clips and more information, please visit alexsmithlonglakemusic.com.

Tickets for Alex’s concert are $15, youth tickets will be discounted. Tickets may be purchased at the door or at the EAC site.  Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

The Concert Series presents: Annual Young Persons’ Concert

The Eastport Arts Center’s popular summer concert series will conclude on Friday, August 30, with our Young Persons’ Concert. This annual concert, a tradition of more than 20 years, is a showcase for talented young musicians from all over Washington County. You won’t want to miss the diverse program and the chance to say you saw them way back when! A reception with refreshments courtesy of Eastport’s R&M IGA will follow the show.

“As a music educator and a parent of young musicians, I always enjoy being entertained by our young local area musicians. It is a wonderful night where they get to showcase their talents,” said Robert Sanchez, Director of Eastport schools’ music program and parent of returning performers Cora and Ellis Zipperer-Sanchez. “The Young Person’s Concert at Eastport Arts Center gives them a taste of what it means to be a working musician, while showing them that on top of the aesthetic pleasure of music, there is a monetary value to their creative endeavors.”

Tickets for this show are $5; youth tickets will be discounted. Tickets may be purchased on the EAC site, or at the door. Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

The Concert Series presents: Mira Armij Gill

The Eastport Arts Center’s popular summer concert series will welcome back world-class concert pianist Mira Armij Gill on Friday, August 23 at 7 pm. Gill’s program will include works of Scarlatti, Ligeti, Lees, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy and Lyopunov.  A reception will follow the concert with refreshments courtesy of Quoddy Bay Lobster. Many will remember Gill’s memorable performances over the past decade in Lubec, Eastport, and Saint Andrews.

Gill received both Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with the John Browning and Joheved Kaplinsky.  She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Institute and has studied at the Gnessin Institute in Moscow, and at the Mozarteum Sommer Academie in Salzburg.   Ms. Gill made her debut at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall as winner of the Artists International Young Artist’s Piano Award. She has won top prizes in the Utah Symphony Guild Competition, the Midland-Odessa National Concerto Competition, the Kawai America National Competition, and the Joanna Hodges International Brahms Competition, and the Jefferson Symphony Concert Auditions in Golden, Colorado.

Since 2004, Ms. Gill performs annual solo recitals each summer in Lubec, Eastport, Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Winter Harbor, Maine and St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. This past year she gave recitals in Manhattan in the LiveSounds Concert Series including a two piano performance of Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. Also new to her roster were concerts at St. Luke in the Field Church, and “Make Music New York” Concert Series in Washington Square Park, for minimalist music in lower Manhattan.  She performs each year on Mu Phi Epsilon concerts and in recent years was presented in recital as the NYC Alumni Chapter’s Distinguished Artist at Tenri Cultural Institute.

A resident of New York, Ms. Gill served on the piano faculty of the Turtle Bay Music School for 13 years and served as Resident Teaching Artist at SAYA! (South Asian Youth Action) where she established and developed a thriving piano program in Elmhurst, New York.  Currently, Ms. Gill is a member of the piano faculty at the Third Street Music School in lower Manhattan while maintaining a busy private studio.

The Concert Series runs through August 30. Tickets are $10, and youth tickets are discounted. Tickets may be purchased on the EAC site, or at the door. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

The Concert Series presents: Resinosa Ensemble

The Eastport Arts Center’s popular summer concert series continues on August 16 with the Resinosa Ensemble, including Joëlle Morris, mezzo-Soprano, Eliza Meyer, cello and Bridget Convey, piano. A reception with refreshments courtesy of Sweetie’s Dog-O-Rama will follow the concert.

Resinosa Ensemble focuses on the performance of chamber music, working with living composers, and offering music slightly off the beaten path. The trio’s program, “Prelude to a dream” Meets “American Reflections”, will feature a well-balanced assortment of “night” music and music written by American composers featuring American poets. Included works are Andre Previn’s “Four Songs”, with poems by Toni Morrison; Lukas Foss’ “Capriccio, for cello and piano”; Bohuslav Martinů’s “Nocturne III, for cello and piano”; and Johannes Brahms’ “Two Alto Songs.” The ensemble will also present Boston-based composer Scott Wheeler’s “Three Night Songs”, which he recently arranged for them. Finally, Eastport’s own John Newell composed “Night Songs”, a set of seven songs incorporating poems by Sara Teasdale, for the ensemble. “Newell’s music is wonderful,” said Convey, “and the Resinosa Ensemble considers it an honor to perform.”

In the next few seasons, Resinosa will feature more new works by Maine composers, including Marianna Fillipi, Rick Nelson, Nancy Gunn, and Daniel Sonenberg. Resinosa has performed throughout Maine, at venues such as Bowdoin College’s Studzinski Recital Hall; Bates College’s Olin Arts Center; Colby College’s Museum of Art; and was a featured ensemble at the Back Cove New Music Festival 2018.

Originally from Evian, France, Mezzo-Soprano Joëlle Morris has performed throughout Europe and the United States and is admired for her versatility, from the concert stage to the operatic arena, in intimate jazz settings and French cabaret or simply sharing her gifts as voice teacher and coach. Morris has sung across the United States, France and Switzerland, and since relocating to Maine in 2011 has appeared with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the Mozart Mentor Orchestra, and has given recitals at the Franco Center, Waterville Opera House, Colby College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Nordica Auditorium and the Early Music Festival in Portland. Morris is co-founding member of the Resinosa Ensemble and the Amethyst Chamber Ensemble in Maine as well as the musical director of CODA chorus in Winthrop, Maine. In addition to annual summer appearances in France, she is a Music Associate in Voice at Colby College, Bates College and holds a private studio in central Maine.

Cellist Eliza Meyer performs regularly with chamber and orchestral ensembles around New England, including Resinosa Ensemble and the Portland and Bangor Symphonies. She teaches at UMaine Augusta and Pineland Suzuki School, in addition to maintaining a private teaching studio at her home in Vassalboro. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree and a Performer Diploma from the Indiana University School of Music, where she was a recipient of the Eva Heinitz Scholarship, and her Master of Music Degree from The Boston Conservatory, where she was a member of the Honors String Quartet and a winner of the String Idol contest. She has studied with Andrew Mark, Rhonda Rider, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Helga Winold.

Pianist Bridget Convey has found much fulfillment in collaborating with living composers, including Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell, James Tenney, Daniel Sonenberg, Vineet Shende, Elliott Schwartz and many others. As a soloist and ensemble musician, Bridget has been heard at venues such as Lincoln Center (NYC); Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles, CA); Ojai Music Festival (CA); Maybeck Performing Arts Studio (Berkeley, CA); Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Columbus, OH); and others. She received her Diploma from Mannes College of Music, NYC (Pre-college Division) 1989; BFA from State University of New York at Purchase 1993; and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts 1997.  Bridget can be heard on Navona, Cuneiform, Independent and Nataraja labels. She teaches piano at Bates College and has a private piano studio in Central Maine.

The Concert Series runs through August 30. Tickets are $10, and youth tickets are discounted. Tickets may be purchased on the EAC site, or at the door. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra Rehearsals Resume

PBSO begins the 2019 Fall Concert Series with the first rehearsal on Thursday, August 15. Rehearsals take place every Thursday at Eastport Arts Center from 7-9 pm. Concerts are November 15 in Eastport, November 16 in Machias, and November 17 in Calais. The program consists of F. Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major (The Great) and N. Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Trond Saeverud conducting and playing the violin solo. New musicians are always welcome. If you play an orchestral instrument and would like to be part of this dynamic group, please plan to attend the first rehearsal or contact June Gregory at june.gregory@gmail.com or 207-213-9145.

The Concert Series presents: Sam Schuth, violinist

The Eastport Arts Center’s popular summer concert series continues with Sam Schuth, violinist, on Friday, August 9 at 7 pm, with a program including Eugène Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata in A minor, “Obsession”, Op. 27; Mozart’s Duet for Violin and Viola; Manuel Ponce’s Estrellita; and Brahms’ Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 100. A reception sponsored by the Eastport Chowder House will follow the concert.

For the Mozart, Schuth will perform opposite his mother and first teacher, Alice St. Clair, a strings educator and Concertmaster of Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra. Gregory Biss, pianist, will provide accompaniment for the Ponce and Brahms pieces.

Schuth grew up in Eastport, and often at Eastport Arts Center, where he performed with Eastport Strings and participated in Stage East productions. He then attended the University of Southern Maine, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Music in violin performance. While at USM, he was concertmaster of the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and toured with the USM String Quartet and the USM String Quintet. He now lives in South Portland, where he continues to make and teach music.

Concert Series tickets are $10; youth tickets will be discounted. Tickets may be purchased on the EAC site, or at the door. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

The Concert Series presents a recital by Molly Abrams, soprano: ‘Seascape’

The Eastport Arts Center’s popular summer concert series continues on August 2 and 9 with gifted Washington County-raised musicians who return home to share their new music. Soprano Molly Abrams will take the stage on Friday, August 2 at 7 pm, with a recital titled, ‘Seascape,’ featuring classical and musical theatre selections celebrating the coast, its beauty and its inhabitants, including selections by Gabriel Faure, Alan Menken, Kurt Weill, and Benjamin Britten, and piano accompaniment by Gregory Biss. A reception sponosored by Waco Diner@ will follow the concert. Eastport native Sam Schuth, violinist, will appear on Friday, August 9 at 7 pm. (Stay tuned for details about Sam’s concert!)
 
“After spending three years in the midwest, I am very excited to be back in Maine exclusively!” noted Adams. “I got the idea for this repertoire after finishing my graduate voice recital. I noticed how many songs I was already singing related to the sea, so I decided to learn a few more to make a short recital celebrating the beautiful place that we call home.”
 
A Cutler native, Molly Abrams received undergraduate degrees in vocal performance and vocal music education from The University of Maine and recently graduated from The University of Illinois with a master of music degree in vocal performance and literature.  Abrams studied with Yvonne Redman and performed with Lyric Theatre @ Illinois in their productions of The Rape of Lucretia (Lucia), Hansel and Gretel (Gretel), and Sky Macklay’s premiere of The Surrogate (Woman’s Uterus).  She frequently performs musical theatre as well and most recently was a soloist for Nathan and Julie Gunn and Friends: An Evening on Broadway at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  Abrams also placed first in the Advanced College Women Classical division at the Central Region NATS Competition this past year. 
 
Concert Series tickets are $10; youth tickets will be discounted. Tickets may be purchased on the EAC site, or at the door. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.
 

The Coldharts present: The Legend of White Woman Creek

Eastport Arts Center will present The Legend of White Woman Creek, a one-woman opera, on Friday, July 17 at 7 pm. The show, written and performed by the coldharts touring theater company, was inspired by a ghost story, and

Eastport Arts Center will present The Legend of White Woman Creek, a one-woman opera told from the perspective of a ghost, on Friday, July 17 at 7 pm. Written and performed by the coldharts touring theater company, the show weaves a tale of frontier life and peril through thirteen original folk songs, based on the traditional music that first inspired Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez. It premiered at the 2012 Twin Cities Horror Festival and has performed across North America, most recently, as part of the coldharts’ 2019 Broken Union Tour, at New York City’s So-fi festival for solo performance works.

Since the late 1800s, inhabitants of western Kansas and eastern Colorado have claimed to witness the specter of a woman singing to herself at twilight as she wanders along a dry, cracked streambed known as White Woman Creek. Some say Anna Morgan Faber was killed, some say she killed herself, others say worse… but to hear the truth, you must hear Anna’s song for yourself.

The piece received raves from the Edmonton Journal: “A series of magnificent narrative songs, performed just perfectly… An absolute triumph of music, production and mischievous willingness to unnerve.” 

The coldharts create music-theater inspired by the American Gothic. Founders Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan created The Legend of White Woman Creek together; Hartman performs the show under Ryan’s direction.

Tickets are $15, and are available at the door or on the EAC site. More information may be found at www.thecoldharts.com. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.

 

ONE-NIGHT ONLY
at the EASTPORT ARTS CENTER
as part of the BROKEN UNION TOUR

“Her voice is a trained heart-tugging tool, and she expertly controls her vast range. Hartman can move from soft murmurs to cries so powerful you’ll need to have some tissues handy for when she really lets loose. – CBC

“Not only best show of the Winter Mini-Fest, but one of the most moving musicals I’ve seen in many moons.” -Orlando Weekly

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The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The work of Eastport Arts Center is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.