August 25 – 31, 2023Vol. 25, No. 11

Community Chorus Seeks New Singers

Members of the Colby-Kennebec Choral Society, Colby College Chorale, and Colby Collegium sing Schubert’s Stabat Mater in Colby’s Lorimer Chapel. Photo courtesy of Marti Stone Photography.

by Gregor Smith

The Colby-Kennebec Choral Society (CKCS) invites all interested singers to join for its fall program “Canções D’Além Mar,” or “Songs from Across the Sea.” Rehearsals start on Tuesday, September 12, and will continue on Tuesdays, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., in the new Gordon Center for the Performing Arts at Colby College in Waterville. The performance will be held on Saturday, November 20, in the Gordon Center’s 300-seat concert hall.

The chorus will sing nine works, each from a different land and in a different language. According to the choir’s director, Dr. Néviton Barros, “The captivating choir program transports listeners to a mesmerizing realm where foreign languages interweave harmoniously, creating a tapestry of cultural diversity through song.”

The centerpiece of the program is Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez’s 23-minute Misa Criolla, or “Creole Mass,” which uses a Spanish translation of the traditional Latin text of the Catholic mass. Continuing with Dr. Barros’s description, “With its roots in Latin American folk traditions, the Misa Criolla infuses sacred liturgy with vibrant rhythms and melodies, evoking a sense of spiritual fervor and unity. Adorned with indigenous instruments and lush choral arrangements, Ramirez’s composition captures the essence of devotion and celebration, offering a captivating glimpse into the rich musical heritage of foreign lands.”

Dr. Néviton Barros conducts a dress rehearsal of Schubert’s Stabat Mater. Photo courtesy of Marti Stone Photography.

Founded in the 1960s, CKCS is a four-part (SATB) community chorus that performs both classical and contemporary works. At present, it has four dozen members. Singing with Colby’s two student choral ensembles, CKCS currently prepares two programs per year: a concert of short works of diverse styles and eras but with a common theme in November and a choral masterwork with the Colby Symphony Orchestra and professional soloists in late April or early May. Last spring’s masterwork was Schubert’s Stabat Mater, D. 383; next spring, it will be Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9.

Dr. Barros is starting his second year directing the chorus. He was trained in both his native Brazil and the U.S., culminating with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University. He has served as Assistant Director to the Coro Sinfônico Comunitário UnB in Brasília, Brazil and to the Coro Nacional del Perú in Lima, Peru and as Musical Director for the International Brazilian Opera Company in New York City and for Grace Baptist Church of Christ, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Currently, he directs not only the Choral Society but also the two student ensembles, the Colby College Chorale and the Colby Collegium.

The Choral Society is always seeking new singers of all ages and all voice parts. Tenors and basses are particularly welcome, and high school students are especially encouraged to join. Neither prior experience nor an audition is needed. The ability to read music is helpful, but not required. Learning tracks and printed scores will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Barros (he/him/his), at or 859‑5680.

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