The Oratorio Chorale begins its 40th season with “Musical Fireworks,” a program that includes music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi and Schutz, plus J.S. Bach’s aria “Jauchzet” featuring soprano Jessica Petrus and trumpeter Betty Rines.

The concert also includes the Maine premiere of the “Kyrie” from “Festival Mass” by Bates College’s Scott Ordway.

The program introduces Emily Isaacson, the Chorale’s new director, who took over the baton when Peter Frewen, who retired after 27 years with the Chorale.

The Chorale will be joined by the Portland Brass Quintet, the Maine Chamber Ensemble, organist Ray Cornils, and soloists soprano Petrus, mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo and John D. Adams, baritone.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Brunswick, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 at Woodfords Congregational Church, Portland.

Isaacson said the beginning and end of this program celebrate the power of singing by highlighting a polychoral compositional technique made famous during the first half of the Baroque Period in Venice.

The technique — defined from the Italian as “broken chairs” — describes the division of the choir into musically distinct groups.

The program opens with Mozart’s “Venite Populi,” described by Isaacson as “a song of welcome.” It is an example of the tension in Mozart’s compositional life between music he was paid to write referring to the tight restrictions placed on him by the church.

The Maine premiere of American composer Scott Ordway’s “Kyrie from “The Festival Mass” uses the unusual instrumentation of voices, organ, strings, timpani and brass quintet.

Cornils is municipal organist for the city of Portland, a post he has held since 1990. He has also served the First Parish Church, UCC in Brunswick as minister of music since 1987 where he has built an extensive music program of five vocal and two hand bell choirs.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, half price for students, and free for children younger than 12. Tickets may be purchased from members of the Chorale, at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick; Now You’re Cooking, and Lisa Marie’s Made in Maine in Bath; Book Review in Falmouth; and Sherman’s Books and Stationery in Freeport.

For ticket information, contact 798-7985 or

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