Introduction to the Maine Music Society Chorale
Welcome to the Maine Music Society Chorale. We are an auditioned chorus, striving to make beautiful music in the Lewiston-Auburn area.
Conductor and Artistic Director: Dr. Richard Nickerson
Chorale President: Susan Trask
Section Leaders: Cynthia McGuire, Soprano; Carol DiBello, Alto; Jon Whitmore, Tenor & Bass.
Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm with an occasional Saturday morning rehearsal. Please arrive to be ready to sing at 6:45. During the week before a concert performance there are usually extra rehearsals. The schedule of rehearsals for the year will be available early in the season. We generally schedule three chorale concerts a year.
Responsibilities of singers
Keeping up: Singers are expected to obtain information about musical instructions and markings missed if they have been absent. Usually the notes from rehearsals are sent out by the section leaders via email. Please read them and mark your scores accordingly.
This Chorale Members Only site is where singers can find many resources to support learning the music. For most pieces, rehearsal tracks recorded by our accompanist may be found, and links to YouTube recordings are often listed. It is most helpful if singers practice and learn the notes early on, so that more rehearsal time can be spent on interpretation and polishing.
In order to ensure the most effective rehearsals, please
- Bring a pencil for making notations in the music. Use the pencil liberally!
- Give your attention to the director during his instructions.
- Remain quiet when another section is singing separately.
- Do not hum or tap your foot unless asked to do so by the director.
- Treat the rehearsal space and the performance spaces with respect.
Attendance at all rehearsals is expected. Attendance is noted by section leaders and by the director. If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, please contact the director and your section leader in advance by phone or email to let them know you are unable to attend. Phone numbers and email addresses for section leaders and other members of the chorale will be distributed to you early in the season.
Up to two rehearsals may be missed for a particular concert. Of course, if you are feeling at all unwell, you should not attend. If you have missed two rehearsals and find you will be missing a third, please contact the director and discuss with him whether it will be appropriate for you to sing in the concert. It is important that each singer be well prepared for each concert.
Chorale dues are $50 per year, $80 for a couple.
Music is purchased by each singer from the Chorale. It ranges in cost from approximately $8 to $30 for a year consisting of three concerts. Once all the music has been distributed, we will inform you of the amount. You may bring a check made out to Maine Music Society to rehearsal at that time, or pay online.
For women: a specific black dress, black shoes (not sneakers) and black hose. A scarf will be provided. If you do not yet have a dress, a Chorale representative will arrange to order it for you. Cost is around $65.
For men: a black tuxedo, tuxedo shirt, black shoes (not sneakers) and socks, and black bow-tie and cummerbund.
Note: We recognize that, especially for new singers, the costs may be prohibitive. If this is the case, financial assistance is available. Payments can be stretched out over the season; some scholarships are also available.
As part of the Maine Music Society, the MMS Chorale is a community organization. Except for the Artistic Director, accompanist, and part-time office staff, we operate on the participation of volunteers. Successful and satisfying concerts happen only through the efforts of many hands.
There are many ways to participate:
- First, and most important, is learning the music in a timely way and singing purposefully.
- In preparation for concerts:
- Helping with staging and other concert production
- Sharing posts re concert from email blasts, face book and other social media
- Ongoing tasks
- Managing the ordering of concert dresses
- Collecting dues and music money and keeping records
- Organizing refreshment list for rehearsals when needed
- Creating nametags
- Development work. The MMS Board has a Development Committee which oversees fundraising. This committee also needs volunteers who would help with various tasks, such as thanking donors, acting as a liaison to corporate sponsors, etc. Ideas for new business sponsors are always welcome.!
- Donating to the MMS online auction in the fall.
- Marketing work. The MMS Board has a Marketing Committee which promotes all MMS events. Help is needed with writing press releases, posting pre-written information to online community calendars, taking pictures to use in publicity articles, etc.
- Newspaper watch: Send links of any articles to our webmaster for posting on our website. Clip and save articles/photos for use in exhibit panels.
The Maine Music Society
The Maine Music Society is the umbrella organization for the Maine Music Society Chorale, the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers and our professional Maine Music Society Orchestra. It supports the artistic and educational efforts of these groups. MMS is nonprofit and has an elected board of directors.
Current board members as of April 2022:
Rick O’Brien*, Chair
David Blocher*, Vice Chair
Gil LaPointe, Treasurer
Susan Trask*, Secretary
Judy Andrucki*, Randi Cornelio*, Connie Hitchcock*, Karen McArthur*, Jane Mitchell*, Linda Nickerson* and Sheryl Whitmore*
Associate Directors: Christine Bosse, Chip Morrison, Patty Weidler*
*Also Chorale members
Financial support for the MMS comes from corporate sponsors, grants, businesses, organizations and from individuals. We are always striving to broaden our base of support. We are also looking for new ideas for fundraising. Please mention your ideas to any board member.
The Maine Music Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard Nickerson as its new Artistic Director. Dr. Nickerson, or “Rick” as he prefers to be called, is completing his first season with MMS and has directed the chorale in a variety of stirring performances for the 2021-22 concert season.
Rick presently serves as Director of Choral Activities at Windham High School in Windham, Maine, a position he has held for 34 years. He is a highly-qualified musician with degrees in choral conducting as well as experience in orchestral conducting. A frequent guest conductor and clinician, he has made numerous guest appearances in the United States, Canada and Europe. Dr. Nickerson has served as the Artistic Director of the Boy Singers of Maine (2001-2009) and as Chorus Conductor for the “Magic of Christmas” with the Portland Symphony Orchestra (2007-2014). His choirs have performed for many dignitaries, including 3 U.S. Presidents.
Dr. Nickerson has received numerous awards including Maine Music Educator of the Year, Maine Distinguished Choral Director of the Year and runner up for Maine Teacher of the Year. In January 2009, he was recognized by Choral Director magazine as one of its “Choral Directors of Note”. In December 2016, he was named as a Top-10 finalist for the Music Educator Grammy Award. He has held many professional offices including 2 terms as President of the Maine chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.
Rick and his wife, Linda, reside in Windham and have four grown children.
Once again, welcome! We are thoroughly enjoying making beautiful music together!