BELFAST — Penobscot Bay Singers announces joani mitchell as the group’s new accompanist.

An accomplished musician, mitchell has a degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music. She studied at the Berklee School of Music in Massachusetts then took a hiatus from formal education to tour with two jazz groups, Sleight of Hand and Fascinatin’ Rhythm, accompanying all their rehearsals, performing with them in concerts and on albums, and arranging most of their repertoire. When the time was right, she completed her degree work at the University of Maine in Augusta, graduating summa cum laude.

mitchell credits her choral director at George Valley High School in Thomaston for her career as an accompanist. The director plucked her from the alto section of chorus, told her “You will accompany the chorus” and trained her throughout the season.

mitchell taught K through 9 music for 26 years at the Riley School in Glen Cove before retiring in 2014.

She continues to work with students in Five Towns CSD with their musical productions. She has been involved with several local music theaters, continues writing and arranging music, and directs and accompanies the choir at Our Lady of Good Hope in Camden. mitchell has been able to support herself her entire life with her music and continues to teach piano and voice lessons in her own studio.

mitchell sees the role of accompanist as a symbiotic relation with the director, anticipating direction before being specifically requested. She is looking forward to working with director Rick Dostie, a fellow jazz enthusiast.

Linn Johnson, who retired after 31 years accompanying the Pen Bay Singers, will now finally be able to sing with the chorus as she had intended more than three decades ago.

mitchell and the Pen Bay Singers are looking forward to a very happy, productive relationship. Their first concert is “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at Searsport Congregational Church, 8 Church St., followed by a performance Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi, 81 Court St., Belfast.