Welcome to the Maine Music Society Chorale. We are an auditioned chorus, inspired to share beautiful choral music with the Lewiston-Auburn community.
Conductor and Artistic Director: Dr. Richard Nickerson
Chorale President: Susan Trask
Section Leaders: Cynthia McGuire, Soprano; Carol DiBello/Jean Bass, 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
Singers are expected to check in with their section leaders to get updated notes from missed rehearsals. Usually these notes 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 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:
- Bring a pencil for making notations in the music.
- 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.
Chorale dues are $50 per year, $80 for a couple.
Each member of the chorale is responsible for purchasing their music for each concert. 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 or pay online.
For women: a specific black dress or specific top and your choice of black dress pants (not jeans or yoga pants), black shoes (not sneakers) and black hose. A scarf will be provided. If you do not yet have a dress or top 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 manner and being prepared for rehearsals and concerts.
- In preparation for concerts:
- Helping with staging and other concert production
- Sharing posts re concert from email blasts, face book and other social media
- Managing the ordering of concert dresses
- Collecting dues and music payments and keeping records
- 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 all marketing tasks. For more information contact a member of the board or marketing committee.
The Maine Music Society
The Maine Music Society is the umbrella organization for the Maine Music Society Chorale and the Maine Music Society Chamber Singers. 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 August, 2023:
Rick O’Brien*, Chair
Sheryl Whitmore*, Vice Chair
Gil LaPointe, Treasurer
Susan Trask*, Secretary
Kayla Caswell, Randi Cornelio*, Connie Hitchcock*, Karen McArthur*, Diane Marquis, Jane Mitchell* and Linda Nickerson*
Associate Directors: David Blocher*, Patty Weidler*
Board Member Emeritus: Judy Andrucki
(*Indicates they are 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.
Richard Nickerson was recently named Artistic Director for the Maine Music Society. He has been Director of Choral Activities at Windham High School in Windham, Maine for the past 32 years where he conducts 3 choirs and teaches courses in music theory, guitar and music industry. Among the choirs that he currently conducts is the internationally acclaimed Windham Chamber Singers. He also served from 2009-2020 as Minister of Music at the North Windham Union Church.
A frequent guest conductor and clinician, he has made guest appearances in 18 states, 4 Canadian provinces and 8 European countries. He served for 8 seasons (2007-2014), as the conductor of the “Magic of Christmas” Chorus with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He also spent 8 years (2001-2009), as the Artistic Director of the Boy Singers of Maine. His choirs have performed for many dignitaries, including 3 US Presidents. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1998 and returned in 2016 to conduct the Maine Festival Chorus.
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 a “Choral Director 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. In 1997, a group of parents began a scholarship in his name, which is awarded each year to a Windham High School graduate planning to make choral music a part of their college experience. His professional memberships include the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, Maine Music Educators, Chorus America, Choral Canada and the United Church of Christ Ministers of Music.
Nickerson received a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Music Education, the Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Maine and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the Conservatory of Music – University of Missouri – Kansas City. He has studied conducting with Dr. Eph Ehly, Dr. Charles Robinson, Dr. Dennis Cox, Werner Torkanowsky, Robert Shaw, Eric Ericson and Rodney Eichenberger.
He lives in Windham, Maine with his wife Linda and twin cats.
Once again, welcome! We are thoroughly enjoying making beautiful music together!