The Penobscot Bay Singers will perform “The Peaceable Kingdom,” Randall Thompson’s sequence of sacred choruses based on texts from the Book of Isaiah, Saturday, March 27 at the United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 28 at Mt. View High School’s Clifford Performing Arts Center, Route 220 in Thorndike, at 3 p.m.

Joining the Belfast-area chorus will be the Mt. View Chamber Choir led by David Stevenson in a program of a cappella pieces including spirituals, modern and Renaissance sacred works.

Richard Dostie, music director of the Penobscot Bay Singers, will direct them in “The Peaceable Kingdom,” which was commissioned by the League of Composers for the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society in 1936. Thompson was inspired by the familiar painting by Edward Hicks’ painting illustrating Isaiah XI:6-9, which begins: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

However, Thompson chose to begin the eight choruses with texts that warn of the dire results of wickedness. With dramatic word-music painting, he whips the music into a frenzy of syncopated antiphonal dissonances before leading the singers into the deep, dark, but calmer chords of despair and, finally, to rich, tranquil and then triumphant harmonies and rhythms describing the promises of ” … ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.”

The singers are divided into two choruses for several of the pieces for the antiphonal effects. Linnea Johnson is the accompanist.

The Singers, now in their 36th season of performing choral music in the Belfast area, are excited about performing in the new auditorium at the new Mt. View High School and pleased to be again sharing the program with the much-loved Mt. View Chamber Singers.

A $12 donation is suggested for the concert. PBS is a 501(c)(3) corporation sustained by member dues, fund raising, concert donations and help from its community of friends. For more information and the dates for the PBS’s June Pops concert, go to or write to Penobscot Bay Singers, P.O. Box 5, Belfast, ME 04915.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to