TOPSHAM — Every year about this time, members of the Oratorio Chorale put together their own program of solos, duets, quartets and instrumental works to end the season. This year’s event, Sunday at Mid Coast Presbyterian Church in Topsham, was as casual as ever — artistic director Peter Frewen was not present — but its artistic and entertainment value was even higher.

As a pianist, I have to express my delight at the playing of accompanist Derek Herzer, who can do everything, including Lisztian pyrotechnics, with style and grace. His solo of “Skazka, Op. 35, No. 4 by Nikolai Medtner, depicting King Lear’s storm scene, “Blow winds and crack your cheeks,” was striking in itself. Its performance on a well-tuned Yamaha upright was little short of incredible.

Chorus member Michael Knudsen is also a composer and pianist, and his “Gentle James — March Funebre,” a tribute to his friend James Whitemyer, was both quirky and moving, a funeral march in 3/4 time, with pleasant harmonic progressions, a rondo form, and a few hints of ragtime and the blues.

The vocal program ranged, in the words of one performer, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

After the opening 18th century round, “Welcome, Welcome Every Guest,” sung by the ensemble, came a folk song expressing the cynical side of the American psyche, “The Golden Willow Tree.” As arranged by Aaron Copland, it was unlike anything in “Appalachian Spring,” but all the more interesting.

The rapid, difficult score was well managed by tenor Frank Cichocki, who also entertained with an imitation Gilbert and Sullivan patter song by Andre Messager: “Long Ago in Alcala.” HIs final appearance was in the Strauss “Lagoon Waltz,” from “A Night in Venice.”

The sublime was represented by Gabriel Faure’s “Apres un reve,” sung by Vivien Chinnapongse, an authentic rendition of “La Vie en Rose,” by Martina Victoria, who seemed at times to be channeling Edith Piaf, and Rachmaninoff’s “Lilacs” (Op. 21, No. 5) by Marian Dalton.

Two arrangements for STBB quartet of “The Nearness of You,” and “In the Wee Small Hours,” by bass John Todd, were beautifully sung but a bit too complex for the material. Todd also performed a fine version of “Stars,” from “Les Miserables,” and a lighter “Call Me Irresponsible” later in the program.

I am continually surprised at how good Stephen Foster is. His parlor duet, “Hard Times Coma Again No More,” sung by Todd and Jennifer Geiger, is a masterpiece, conjuring up a pioneer couple whistling in the dark.

Soprano Melissa Orth sang an ingenue version of “Dream a Little Dream,” and then joined Dalton in the “Sisters” duet from “White Christmas,” complete with white ostrich feaher fans.

The ensemble was in good form for a lushly sensual “Begin the Beguine” and a jazzy “Ain’t Misbehavin”‘ with stride bass by Herzer. The program concluded with a sing-along of “It’s a Grand Night for Singing.”

Christopher Hyde’s Classical Beat column appears in the Maine Sunday Telegram. He can be reached at: [email protected]