The Portland Symphony Orchestra is expecting a very special Mother’s Day concert next year.

The PSO has launched the Portland Lullaby Project, with the goal of creating 10 lullabies based on the journal entries of Portland-area expectant and new mothers.

The lullabies, which will be created with help from five PSO musicians and two local singer-songwriters, will be performed free to the public at Port City Music Hall on Congress Street May 7, 2015. Mother’s Day next year is May 10.

The Portland Lullaby Project will be funded by a $15,000 campaign on, which began Nov. 17. As of noon Monday $4,912 had been donated by 62 people.

The money will be used to pay musicians, to hold the public concert, and to record the lullabies as CDs. The lullaby CDs will be distributed in the community, including to people who donated to the project, and will be available free on line.

“It’s an opportunity for us to provide our skills to meet a need in the community, beyond entertaining,” said Rose Kue, PSO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement. “By helping a mother and child bond together, we’re helping entire families.”


The expectant and new mothers involved will be chosen with help from the PSO’s partners in this project, including Maine Medical Partners and Opportunity Alliance’s Young Parent Program, Kue said. The musicians and songwriters have not been chosen yet.

The project is part of national effort started by Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, as a way to help young women and their partners see themselves as parents and bond with their babies, according to the project’s Kickstarter page. The PSO is one of a dozen groups around the country that is partnering with the Carnegie Hall program.

Tom Cabaniss, a composer from the Carnegie Hall program, will come to Maine in February to hold a lullaby songwriting workshop. The goal is for 10 simple songs to come out of the workshop. Then local composers and musicians will take over, arranging the songs for ensembles and recording them prior to the May concert.

For more information on the Portland Lullaby Project, go to


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