The 2013 Longfellow Choral Festival, March 16 & 17, 2013

(Merrill Auditorium, Portland, Maine)

Longfellow & Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Scenes From the Song of Hiawatha (Complete, with Ballet and Film; and Other Works)

Artistic Director: Charles Kaufmann
Assistant Conductors/Choirmasters: Brian Arreola, DM, and Lester Green, DMA

Made possible through the support of our friends and patrons.

View/download a pdf of the program from the 2013 Longfellow Choral Festival (23.7 MB).

Call PortTIX at (207) 842-0800 to purchase $40 Package Tickets good for all six Longfellow Choral Festival Events

The Longfellow Chorus, directed by Charles Kaufmann, an excellent orchestra, and outstanding soloists soprano Angela M. Brown (and) baritone Robert Honeysucker turned what could have been a local celebration into a major musical event. Coleridge-Taylor's "The Death of Minnehaha" (Opus 30, No. 2), written in 1899, was the centerpiece of Sunday's program. Orchestra, soloists and chorus united to provide what can only be termed a definitive performance of a little-known masterpiece.—Christopher Hyde, Portland Press Herald, March 2, 2010


[Above, left: Charles Kaufmann, founding artistic director of The Longfellow Chorus. Above, right: "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America," the 'unofficial' 2-minute trailer.]

Two days of events featuring a complete performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's four-part Longfellow cantata Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha; the premiere in Portland's Nickelodeon Theater of our documentary film, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900 - 1912; a matinee performance of additional choral and orchestra works by Coleridge-Taylor, including his Violin Concerto in G Minor, Keep Me From Sinkin' Down, Deep River, and other works; a recital by the students and faculty of Project STEP in Boston; and the winning songs and choruses from the 2013 Longfellow Chorus International Composers Competition.

Event I: 1:00 PM, Wednesday, March 13, 2013 and 1:30 PM, Saturday, March 16, 2013

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900 - 1912 (Produced by The Longfellow Chorus, 2013, with Maine filmmaker Richard Kane. A documentary film 110 minutes in duration.) This film examines how the life and music of Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 - 1912) influenced the birth of the American Civil Rights Movement a century ago. The all-star lineup includes noted opera soloists Angela Brown, Rodrick Dixon and Robert Honeysucker, and a professional chorus and orchestra re-enacting historically important concerts at the Norfolk (Connecticut) Festival and in the Metropolitan A. M. E. Church in Washington, D. C. The film also includes interviews with numerous historians and musicians connected to the Coleridge-Taylor story. Meet many of the film's artists and historians in the theater.

--The respect and appreciation for this little-known character from history is obvious and infectious. The production value is really impressive. Very nicely shot interviews. Great use of archival. Great audio and mix. Well done. --Jed Rauscher, supervising producer, Lone Wolf Documentary Group.

Location: Patriot Cinemas Nickelodeon Theater One, 1 Temple Street, Portland, Maine. Call 207-232-8920 for more details.

TICKETS: purchase through PayPal (below) or in the theater.

Film (First Showing) 110 minutes: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America
Film (Second Showing) 110 minutes: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900 - 1912

[Video, left: one of the trailers for the documentary film currently in post-production by The Longfellow Chorus, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900 - 1912]

Event II: 4:00 PM, Saturday, March 16, 2013

TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

Internationally-acclaimed violinist Tai Murray and the Orchestra of The Longfellow Chorus offer a rare performance of Violin Concerto in G Minor, Opus 80, (1912) and various works for orchestra, chorus and soloists by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. With Rodrick Dixon, tenor; Mariana Green, violin; Lydia Forbes, violin; and 17 guest professional opera singers making up The Longfellow Chorus in Washington, D. C., as seen in our Coleridge-Taylor documentary (see Event I, above).

Additional works on the program: The Bamboula Rhapsodic Dance for orchetsra (1910); tenor Rod Dixon sings two contrasting late-Victorian love songs with orchestra: Coleridge-Taylor's Onaway! Awake, beloved! and J. Rosamond Johnson's Under the Bamboo Tree. Orchestral works by Coleridge-Taylor include Keep Me From Sinking Down (1912), for violin and orchestra; Ethiopia Saluting the Colors (1902), an orchestral march inspired by Walt Whitman's Emancipation poem; and the unpublished orchestration of They will not lend me a child, variations on a South East African melody, from 24 Negro Melodies (1905), Op. 59 No. 4, for solo cello, violin and orchestra.

LOCATION: Merrill Auditorium, Portland City Hall, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine, 04101. TICKETS available through PortTix, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101. To charge by phone, call PortTIX at 207-842-0800. Internet sales at www.porttix.com.

[Photo, right: Internationally-acclaimed violinist Tai Murray will perform Violin Concerto in G-Minor (Opus 80, 1912) by Samuel Colerdige-Taylor. Photo copyright Julia Wesely.]

View the program for Event II

Event III Pre-Concert Recital: 7:00 PM, Saturday, March 16, 2013

TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

Project STEP Student and Faculty Recital. Students and faculty from Project STEP in Boston perform works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, including 5 Fantasy Pieces for String Quartet, Opus 5 (1895) performed by the STEP Honors Quartet; 3 Hiawathan Sketches for Violin and Piano, Opus 15 (1896) and Deep River for violin and piano (arranged by Maud Powell) performed by violinist Mariana Green-Hill and pianist Geoffrey Wieting; and Charles Dancla Airs Varies No. 1: Theme by Paccini performed by violinist Kerby Louis Roberson.

LOCATION: Merrill Auditorium, Portland City Hall, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine, 04101. Admission to this event is included with the purchase of tickets for Event IV.

View the program for Event III Pre-Concert Recital

[Image, left: Violinist Kerby Louis Roberson, as seen in our documentary film, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America" (see Event I) will recreate Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's first public performance as a young student violinist during the Event III Pre-Concert Recital in Merrill Auditorium]

Event IV 8:15 PM, Saturday, March 16, 2013

TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha, Opus 30, No. 1 and No. 2: Hiawatha's Wedding Feast and The Death of Minnehaha. Join the 100-member Longfellow Chorus and Orchestra, with soloists Angela Brown, soprano, Rodrick Dixon, tenor, Robert Honeysucker, baritone, and the Longfellow Dance Ensemble led by choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie in what is probably the only complete performance anywhere in the world in the year 2013 of the opera-like cantata that made Samuel Coleridge-Taylor famous (continued in Event V). This BBC Radio 3 documentary by Andrew Green, "Sumptuous Was The Feast," details the background for performances of Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha in Royal Albert Hall during the 20s and 30s (and includes some commentary by Longfellow Chorus artistic director Charles Kaufmann).

LOCATION: Merrill Auditorium, Portland City Hall, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine, 04101. TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101. To charge by phone, call PortTix at 207-842-0800. Internet sales at www.porttix.com.

View the program for Event IV

[Image, right: Kamille Upshaw as Minnehaha in Darrell Grand Moultrie's choreography to Hiawatha (see Event IV and Event VI)]

Event V Pre-Concert Recital: 1:00 PM, Sunday, March 17, 2013

TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

More Coleridge-Taylor Songs and Choruses. Special guest Rodrick Dixon, tenor, presents his impressive repertory of Coleridge-Taylor songs and arias: The Arrow and The Song, [Work without Opus, (1893)], a Coleridge-Taylor manuscript previously thought lost; How Shall I Woo Thee, 1898, Coleridge-Taylor's setting of a poem by his friend and collaborator Paul Laurence Dunbar; Thou Art Risen My Beloved, (1911), one of Coleridge-Taylor's last and favorite compositions; and Nobody Knows the Trouble I See, Lord! in the form of J. Rosamond Johnson's moving setting of the original Fisk University Singers Jubilee Song. Additionally, our Washington-based guest chorus led by Dr. Lester Green will present selections from Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk University Singers, and join The Longfellow Chorus in presenting three Longfellow part songs by Coleridge-Taylor: How They So Softly Rest (1898); All Are Sleeping, Weary Heart (1910); and Loud Sang The Spanish Cavalier (1910). Additionally, in an all-star collaboration, Angela Brown, soprano, Karla Scott, mezzo-soprano, Rod Dixon, tenor, and Robert Honeysucker, baritone, will give a resounding performance of Coleridge-Taylor's setting of Longfellow's Poem on Slavery, She Dwells by Great Kenhawa's Side. Rounding out the program: excerpts from A Tale of Old Japan, (1911), Coleridge-Taylor's last cantata.

LOCATION: Merrill Auditorium, Portland City Hall, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine, 04101. Admission to this event is included with the purchase of tickets for Event VI.

View the program for Event V Pre-Concert Recital

[ Video, left: Longfellow Chorus members from Washington, D. C., recreate the April 1903 performance of "Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha" as they sing the opening of "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" in the Metropolitan AME Church on August 6, 2012, — an outtake from our documentary, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America, 1900 - 1912" ]

Event VI: 3:00 PM, Sunday, March 17, 2013

TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha, Opus 30, No. 3 and No. 4: Overture to The Song of Hiawatha and Hiawatha's. Join the 100-member Longfellow Chorus and Orchestra, with soloists Angela Brown, soprano, Rodrick Dixon, tenor, Robert Honeysucker, baritone, and the Longfellow Dance Ensemble led by choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie in what is probably the only complete performance anywhere in the world in the year 2013 of the opera-like cantata that made Samuel Coleridge-Taylor famous (continuation of Event III). This BBC Radio 3 documentary by Andrew Green, "Sumptuous Was The Feast," details the background for performances of Scenes from The Song of Hiawatha in Royal Albert Hall during the 20s and 30s (and includes some commentary by Longfellow Chorus artistic director Charles Kaufmann).

LOCATION: Merrill Auditorium, Portland City Hall, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine, 04101. TICKETS available through PortTIX, the Box Office at Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle Street, Portland, Maine 04101. To charge by phone, call PortTIX at 207-842-0800. Internet sales at www.porttix.com.

View the program for Event VI


[ Image, right: Angela Brown, soprano, shares her (candid) thoughts about the aria, "Spring Had Come," from "Hiawatha's Departure," (see Event III and V) in our documentary, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in America (see Event I) ]

Mission Statement of The Longfellow Chorus, Inc.:

The Corporation shall organize and maintain a chorus to perform and record vocal and choral settings of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poetry, written from 1840 to the present, shall inspire and commission new vocal and choral settings of Longfellow's poetry, and shall perform choral music of the Romantic and immediate post-Romantic eras, ca. 1825–1920.

Contact The Longfellow Chorus:

e-mail: The Longfellow Chorus

The Longfellow Chorus
c/o Charles Kaufmann
P. O. Box 5133
Portland, Maine 04101

207-232-8920

[Image, left: in this video outtake from our documentary, "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and His Music in
America," Longfellow Choral Festival tenor soloist Rodrick Dixon sings J. Rosamond Johnson's version
of the Fisk Jubilee Spiritual, "Nobody Knows The Trouble I See," which Rod will sing during Event V.]

[ Image, right: members of the Washington, D.C., branch of the Maine-based Longfellow Chorus perform the original "Keep me from sinking Down," as it appeared in 1872 in the Songbook of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University. This is the melody that inspired Coleridge-Taylor's 1912 violin concert piece by the same name. (See EVENTS I and II.) ]

Materials on this website are protected, copyright 2007–2013, The Longfellow Chorus, Inc., Portland, Maine, USA