The Penobscot Bay Singers, a 30 to 40-voice chorus based in Belfast, will begin their 39th season with a first rehearsal Wednesday, Sept. 7 at St. Margaret’s parish hall on Court Street. Rehearsals will be Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. The chorus performs three concert cycles a year, beginning this season with a Christmas concert on Dec. 9, 10 and 11.

The group has brought diverse classical, liturgical and popular choral works to Waldo County and beyond over the years, sometimes with other groups such as the Mt. View Chamber Singers and, as often as can be afforded, with instruments in addition to the piano. Linnea Johnson of Belfast is the accompanist, and Richard Dostie is the music director.

This Christmas season, the Singers will prepare a varied program of works by both modern composers (Gawthrop, Martinson and Tavener) and early (Pachelbel) as well as some traditional, but lesser known carols. To bring the chorus into full balance, more tenors and basses would be welcome. New and returning singers in all sections are invited to sing, however.

Auditions for voice placement will be held after rehearsal (come about 8:30 p.m. or sit in on the rehearsal) on Sept. 7 and 14 or by arrangement. MaryAnn Valaitis-Whaley is in charge of auditions and can be reached at 567-4321 or

The spring concert, scheduled for March 31 and April 1, will feature works by American composers. Music for the Pops concert, set for June 8 and 9, has not yet been selected but is sure to please both singers and audience.

Singers pay a $50 a year membership and are asked to help with fundraising efforts for the group, as concert income does not cover the costs of music, direction, accompaniment, rehearsal and venue space, piano tuning, etc. For more information about the Penobscot Bay Singers or to hear them in concert on their CD of Faure’s “Requiem” and “Cantique de Jean Racine,” write to Penobscot Bay Singers, P.O. Box 5, Belfast, ME 04915. The CD is $15.

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