The Mount Desert Summer Chorale performs Mozart’s “Requiem” at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church in 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF DOUG MCMINIMY

Community chorus resumes live performances

MOUNT DESERT — The Mount Desert Summer Chorale, a community chorus that has been giving concerts on Mount Desert Island since 1968, will put on live concerts at the Criterion Theatre on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 7 at 2 p.m.  

The program, Old Favorites for New Beginnings, celebrates the return of live performance with a short program of mostly familiar music, ranging from Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” to Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth.” 

The Chorale usually presents large-scale performances of works for chorus and orchestra.  

“But this year, not knowing what conditions we’d face, we planned something more flexible,” says music director David Schildkret, who will conduct the performances. “The program is also a bit of an MDSC retrospective. There are excerpts from pieces the Chorale has performed over the years, along with some music that is new to us.” 

The Chorale’s president, Jennifer Reece, said in rehearsal, “This program is not only enjoyable to sing and to listen to, it covers the range of emotions we feel upon returning to live singing after a long break because of the pandemic. The ‘Hallelujah’ choruses express our joy at once again being able to sing with one another; Mozart’s ‘Lacrimosa’ acknowledges the losses we’ve felt over the last 18 months; and all of it expresses our pleasure in once again giving live concerts on MDI.” 

Members of the Chorale are both year-round and summer residents of Mount Desert Island. Many members plan their summer work and vacation schedules around rehearsals and performances. 

This year, for the first time, the Chorale will sing in the air-conditioned Criterion Theatre. Tickets are $15 for general admission (except for donors who donate $100 or more) and are available at the Criterion box office or online at 

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