Friday, August 1, 2014

8 PM, Wednesday, August 13, 2014: Maine Public Radio's "Maine Stage" to Air Coleridge-Taylor Works From the 2013 Longfellow Choral Festival, which features a 
comprehensive Works List and a 
Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma, 
We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) has 
a program every Wednesday night called Maine 
Stage, which features broadcasts of programs by 
Maine's many fine Classical soloists, ensembles and 
orchestras. Wednesday after next, August 13, 
8 PM, Maine Stage will present highlights from the 
2013 Longfellow Choral Festival in Merrill Auditorium, 
Portland. The 2-hour radio broadcast will present 
works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Keep me from 
sinkin' down for orchestra and violin (Lydia Forbes, 
soloist); the Bamboula Rhapsodic Dance for 
orchestra; the Violin Concerto in G-Minor (Tai Murray, 
soloist); and Hiawatha's Wedding Feast (Rodrick 
Dixon, tenor soloist). You'll hear me as announcer -- 
not since my Classical announcing days at WPKM 
(Portland) and WEVO (Concord, New Hampshire) have 
I had a chance to get before the mic. Mark your 
calendars: you can listen to this broadcast anywhere 
in the world on MPBN.netYou can download a 
Hiawatha's Wedding Feast libretto -- handy for 
following the Longfellow text while listening -- here
Those of you who missed these performances, and 
those who have never heard Hiawatha's Wedding 
Feast -- or anything by Coleridge-Taylor -- will be 
pleasantly surprised. But especially, broadcasting 
music with Longfellow text from Longfellow's city of 
birth is a great connection to history -- exactly the 
mission of The Longfellow Chorus. 

Recreates the Norfolk (Connecticut) 
Music Festivals of 1910 and 1912

[Musical America, June 11, 1910, featured an article 
about the Norfolk Music Festival, where "Scenes 
from The Song of Hiawatha" and the "Bamboula 
 Rhapsodic Dance" had been performed by musicians 
from New York City under the baton of Samuel 
Coleridge-Taylor. From left: Samuel Coleridge-
Taylor; George Hamlin (Hiawatha tenor soloist); 
Maud Powell; Mrs. Arthur Mees; Gertrude May Stein 
(contralto); Mr. Bassatt and Dr. Arthur Mees 
(conductor). Photo by H. Godfrey Turner, Maud 
Powell's husband and manager. Courtesy Musical 
America and the Norfolk Historical Society.]
It's not just about Maine history. The Wednesday, 
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor from the 2013 Longfellow 
Choral Festival will present music associated with the 
Norfolk Music Festival, now the Norfolk Chamber 
Stoeckel, patrons and originators of the festival, yearly 
supplied $30,000 or more for the events, according to 
Maud Powell. Tickets were free, but by invitation only 
from the Stoeckels. The audience sat at many small tea 
tables arranged at orchestra level, where, indeed, tea 
was served. In that sense these concerts were afternoon 
teas in the Music Shed, which still exists today as it did 
one hundred and two years ago. In 1910, the chorus was 
made up of 450 singers from various community choruses 
in Litchfield County, Connecticut -- the Litchfield County 
Choral Union -- supported by an orchestra of 75 
professional players from New York City.

The Litchfield County Choral Union first performed 
Hiawatha's Wedding Feast on June 5, 1901. The Union 
performed it again on June 2, 1910, with Coleridge-Taylor 
conducting, on a program that also presented the premier 
of the Bamboula Rhapsodic Dance. The Violin Concerto in 
G-Minor was premiered at the festival on June 4, 1912, 
after which Maud Powell performed Keep me from sinkin' 
down, with cuts, as an encore. Paul Hawkshaw, director 
of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, theorizes that 
Maud Powell introduced the cuts in order to shorten Keep 
me from sinkin' down for eventual recording for the Victor 
Talking Machine Company, something that, perhaps 
because of Coleridge-Taylor's sudden death on September 
1, 1912, she never did. A Victor phonograph record could 
only hold four minutes of music. Without Maud Powell's cuts 
-- as The Orchestra of The Longfellow Chorus performed it 
in 2013 -- Keep me from sinkin' lasts about six minutes.

Our historical connection with Maud Powell is also timely: 
Maud Powell received a Lifetime Achievement Award -- a long-
overdue GRAMMY -- from The Recording Academy this past 
January. Karen Shaffer, founder of the Maud Powell Society, 
and violinist Rachel Barton Pine have advocated tirelessly for 
years to achieve this. (You can hear a lengthy interview with 
Karen Shaffer, by the way, and see and hear Rachel Barton 
Pine perform works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in our film, 

Several of the musicians in the Orchestra of The Longfellow 
Chorus attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival as 
students a number of years ago. Among them are Peggy 
Friedland, flutist, Ben Noyes, cellist, and Karen Beacham, 
clarinetist. It is Karen's wonderfully musical clarinet solo that 
you will hear in the slow segment of the Bamboula Rhapsodic 

Don't Miss it!

Charles Kaufmann, Artistic Director
The Longfellow Chorus
PO Box 5133
Portland, Maine 04101

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