The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival opens for its 47th season on July 16. Mark Silber

Among the many concerts and music festivals that I attend, one stands out especially: The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival combines the highest caliber musicians with a lovely, almost dream-like rural venue. The 47th annual edition of this five-Tuesday series opens at Deertrees Theatre and Cultural Center on July 16.

The first half of the Bowdoin International Music Festival wraps up on Friday with the first of its two large orchestral concerts, featuring violin virtuoso Tessa Lark.

Prefer classic pop? You’ll find it in spades this Friday as the Doo Wop Project motors into Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel. This vocal quintet brings fresh energy to the classic pop tunes made famous by 1950s-1960s groups such as the Crests, Belmonts and Four Seasons.

Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival

They came to the Lake Region to enjoy their summer vacations. They stayed and became a musical magnet of Vacationland.

That’s the quick take on a fascinating story of how five musician friends from central Indiana, five of them teaching to Ball State University, created the Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival 46 years ago. The story was related to me last summer by Homer Pence, bassoon virtuoso and leader of the group. Long since retired, Homer now lives year-round in a cozy cabin in Harrison and attends every concert.

The formula has been unchanged for decades. About two dozen professional musicians, representing the full spectrum of sound, gather each summer to perform five Tuesday evening concerts at Deertrees Theatre and Cultural Center, one of Maine’s loveliest venues for music and drama.

The current artistic director is Mihae Lee, a Korean-born piano virtuoso who lives in Connecticut, where she also directs a classical concert series. Repertoire is strictly chamber music, ranging from trios to ensembles as large as 12.

I’ve been a regular attended for about 20 years, and much of my summer schedule revolves around this festival. I love both the music and the venue, a huge wooden edifice constructed in 1936. Deertrees is one of the most active summer venues for the performing arts in the Northeast, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Maine Register of Historic Places.

The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival presents five concerts at Deertrees Theatre, 156 Deertrees Road in Harrison, at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday, beginning July 16 and ending August 13. Call Deertrees at 583-6747 or visit

Bowdoin International Music Festival

Two amazing women will showcase their talents this Friday as the Bowdoin International Music Festival reaches its halfway point, marked by an orchestral concert in its largest venue.

Violinist Tessa Lark, recipient of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, is one of the most captivating artistic voices of today.

Born in Kentucky, Lark’s earliest musical experience was in her father’s bluegrass band. Today she’s a graduate of the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and tours the globe appearing with symphony orchestras. On Friday Lark will handle the solo part in Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, the one and only concerto written by the famed Finnish composer. Its extended cadenza for the soloist demands consummate virtuosity.

Contemporary composer Melinda Wagner garnered widespread attention when she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Recipient of many other prizes, honors and commissions, Wagner is currently a composer in residence at the festival. One of her newer works, “Scritch,” written for oboe plus string quartet, will be featured on Friday.

Also on the program will be Edvard Grieg’s “Holberg Suite,” composed for string orchestra.

This concert is scheduled for July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Brunswick High School, 116 Maquoit Road. Call 373-1400 or visit

Doo Wop Project

Love the classic sounds of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Drifters, Belmonts, Crests, Flamingos, Temptations and Del Vikings? Most of these artists date back to the 1950s and 1960s and those who are still with us are getting long in tooth.

A fresh and energetic retooling of these classics is the stock in trade of the Doo Wop Project, five guys who will be performing on Friday at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel.

The Doo-wop genre developed in the 1950s by African-American youths, but the format quickly gained traction with much wider audiences, scoring many crossover hits, spawning new sub-genres and launching the musical careers of dozens of very young pop ensembles.

Those halcyon days will be recalled by the Doo Wop Project at 8 p.m. July 12 at the Vinegar Hill Music Theatre (known for many years as the Smith Sisters Farm and until recently, as Arundel Barn Playhouse), 53 Old Post Road in Arundel. Call 985-5552.

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