PORTLAND — The Longfellow Chorus and Orchestra present their annual Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Birthday Concert this weekend at First Parish Church on Congress Street.

Under the direction of Charles Kaufmann, the chorus and orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The program will include the winning choruses, songs and short cantatas from the 2010 Longfellow Chorus International Composers Competition, as well as ”The Death of Minnehaha,” by composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who died in 1912 and was inspired by the words of Longfellow.

Kaufmann began the concerts in 2007 to commemorate Longfellow’s 200th birthday.

Back in the day, many composers set Longfellow’s words to music. Kaufmann wanted to begin that tradition anew, and began an international competition for new choral work based on Longfellow’s writings.

For this year’s competition, 63 composers representing the United States, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Turkey, Australia, Germany and France submitted work.

The two-hour concert will feature soloists Angela M. Brown and Robert Honeysucker, a soprano and baritone, respectively.


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