Friday, September 22, 2023

Windham Chamber Singers prepare for 36th year of performances

By Jolene Bailey

Music is a form of expression which surrounds us all. Focusing on the arts, anyone of all ages can develop interests within. Windham High School’s Chamber Singers display a plethora of experiences inside music and personal skills.

Tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2 for the
Windham Chamber Singers' holiday tradition 'An American
Family Holiday' concert which will be featured during two
performances on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Windham
Performing Arts Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO 
The Windham Chamber Singers is a choir of high school students in grades 9 to 12 who perform classical music in concert settings under the direction of Conductor Dr. Richard Nickerson, who has not only helped impact students to grow as musicians, but also adapt senses of passions and navigate into lifelong habits.

“The chamber singers offer a sense of responsibility, accountability, purpose, and even a sense of being on time,” Nickerson said.

He had founded the current group of Windham Chamber Singers in the fall of 1988.

“The thing that has stayed the same is the people with the desire to achieve excellence,” Nickerson said. “Students come into the group with such high expectations and knowing the bar is high and tasked with upholding those standards.”

Activities for the Windham Chamber Singers change year to year. This year, they will be singing at the open ceremony at the Cumberland Fair. Based on activities like this can lead to forming new traditions according to the invitations.

“One of our old traditions was in the fall, we’d all go apple picking as a bonding activity. These activities can help us grow as a group and when traveling often, it’s good to know everyone’s personalities,” said Nickerson.

Here in Windham, the most popular event for the Windham Chamber Singers year after year is the presentation of a beloved holiday tradition, An American Family Holiday concert. Two concerts will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Windham Performing Arts Center with performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. This heartwarming event is set to captivate audiences of all ages and promises to be a memorable experience for families, friends, and music enthusiasts alike. Tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 2.

This year’s An American Family Holiday concert will welcome back Daniel Strange, a WCS alumnus who is on the faculty at the University of Miami. Also returning will be crowd favorite, Ashley Liberty. The concert headliner will be Broadway’s Clyde Alves, who has an impressive Broadway resume that includes his recent performance in the Tony-nominated production of New York, New York. In addition to his work on Broadway, Alves is a New York based singer- songwriter and lover of the acoustic guitar. His music bridges multiple genres including folk, rock, soul, reggae and pop infused with multilayered honest and transparent lyrics.

“We are excited to share the stage with Alves and continue our tradition of bringing the highest quality performers to Windham," said Nickerson.

The concerts will honor many local traditions and also introduce some new surprises and longtime host, Kim Block, will return as Master of Ceremonies.

Tickets are priced at $10 to $32 for reserved seating and can be purchased by calling 207-892-1810 ext. 2875 or online at

WHS students who join the Chamber Singers say that it is an exceptional activity to be involved in.

“Chamber Singers has been one of the most amazing things I’ve had the privilege of experiencing. I joined in late 2020, during the height of the global pandemic, I wasn’t given the normal start that most were,” said Abi Coleman, who serves as president of the group. “We rehearsed 16 feet apart on baseball fields, on Zoom calls, and in rooms that we had to leave and ventilate after 30 minutes of use. Now we’re on the other side of it, I am so endlessly grateful that I stuck through with singing.”

During this school year, the Windham Chamber Singers will also be touring exclusively in Maine the first week of April with tours lasting roughly four to five days.

“I’m most excited about the tour. There’s so much to look forward to: the bus rides, staying at hotels, bonding with everyone, and performing,” said Coleman. “We get to sing a repertoire consisting of songs we’ve practiced at different points in the year. It’s just so surreal that we are fortunate enough to be able to travel around and perform for so many different people.” <

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.