Oratorio Chorale

Past Director Peter Frewen

Music Director Peter Frewen led the Chorale from 1986 to 2013. He retired in June 2013 following a concert of the Chorale’s first-ever commissioned work, Pravasa: Travels of the Guitar, by composer Vineet Shende. During his years as music director of the Oratorio Chorale, former director of the Androscoggin, and founder of the Maine Chamber Ensemble, Frewen earned high regard from fellow musicians, reviewers, and audience for his versatility in choral and orchestral directing. He was educated at Pomona College, Queens College (CUNY), and Yale University. He is also an alumnus of Pierre Monteux’s Domaine School for Orchestral Conducting in Hancock, Maine.

In his 27 years as the Oratorio Chorale’s music director, Peter Frewen strengthened the group’s reputation as one of the region’s premier choral organizations. Chorale members have studied and performed more than 500 works of music by 120 composers in some 80–90 concert programs, formed lasting friendships, and brought many fine performances of great works of music to our midcoast Maine communities.

 Highlights of the Chorale’s Years with Director Peter Frewen

1992: Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with radio personality Robert J.
Lurtsema as the Voice of God and 60 children as animals on the ark

1993: Maine premiere of The Outermost House by Ronald Perera, text by Henry Beston, with poet Kate Barnes, Beston’s daughter, as narrator

1994: Choral Music from the Inside Out, a “kinderkonzert” with script and narration by Michele Wigton and music of John Rutter, Jean Berger, and others

1996: Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, joint concert with the Androscoggin

Chorale and the Maine Music Society

1998: Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé (the latter again in 2010 )

1999: 25th Anniversary concert: favorite selections from our repertoire

2002: Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and Dvorak’s Requiem (again in 2013)

2003: Haydn’s The Creation and J. S. Bach cantatas and selections from the Passions

2006: Mozart’s 250th Celebration: Requiem with soprano soloist Barbara
Bonney; Maine premiere of Bryan Johansen’s Lux Aeterna with PSO principal cellist James Kennedy

2007: Participation in “Christmas with Cornils,” Merrill Auditorium

2008: Premiere of Three Longfellow Poems by Vineet Shende with the Portland
Symphony Orchestra

2010: Maine premiere of Dominick Argento’s Jonah and the Whale with
the Maine Chamber Ensemble

2011: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury in concert; participation in the
PSO performance of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe

2012: Guest residency by the Orchid Ensemble

2013: Commission and performance of Pravasa: Travels of the Guitar by Vineet Shende