Jazz singer Aubrey Logan will be part of the 2024 Portland Symphony Orchestra summer concert series at Old Orchard Beach. The show is on June 22. Photo by Amy Gawlik

Portland Symphony Orchestra announced this year’s lineup for its summer concert series at Seaside Pavilion at Old Orchard Beach.

Robert Lehmann will conduct the first performance, called the Great American Songbook, on June 22. The show features California-based guest vocalist and trombonist Aubrey Logan, and the tunes will be a mix of standards and originals. Logan has put out three solo albums and has been a featured artist on eight others, including the Postmodern Jukebox release “PMJ And Chill.”

On June 28, PSO welcomes longtime Portland rock band Rustic Overtones. The band celebrates its 30th anniversary of the debut album “Shish Boom Bam.” Nine have followed. This will be the first time the band has collaborated with the PSO, and music director Eckart Preu will be conducting.

The series continues on July 13 with Symphonic Con, featuring guest conductor Morihiko Nakahara. Pop culture and comic books will be celebrated as the orchestra performs film scores from “Lord of the Rings,” “Legend of Zelda,” “Star Wars,” “Superman” and “Harry Potter” among others.

All three shows have 7 p.m. start times, and tickets range from $30 to $40. Find them at portlandsymphonyorchestra.org.

Cover art of the new Alejandra O’Leary single “My Religion.” Design by Agnė Aleknavičiūtė



“My Religion” is the latest single from Freeport-based rock musician Alejandra O’Leary.

The song was released March 10, and can be purchased digitally on O’Leary’s Bandcamp page and is available on streaming platforms and YouTube.

“My Religion” is a mid-tempo rock song with propulsive percussion, some whirling synths and electric guitar that are the bedrock for O’Leary’s melodious vocals as she sings about finding her way through a rough patch. “Behold me now, see how my skies have fallen since I was practicing my religion,” she sings.

“The song was inspired by going through lots of huge unpredictable life upheavals (some extraordinary, some extraordinarily horrible) in a compressed period of time and then the ongoing struggle to make my way back to myself after being changed as a person forever by these experiences,” said O’Leary, who collaborated with musicians Jamie Church, Joe Beninati and Todd Hutchisen.

The newly-renovated Johnson Hall Opera House in Gardiner. Photo by Michael Miclon


The 160-year-old Johnson Hall at 280 Water St. in Gardiner is celebrating the completion of a multiyear, multimillion dollar renovation and restoration with some huge acts playing sold-out shows, including the Robert Cray Band on March 26, Colin Hay on April 9, and Shawn Colvin with KT Tunstall on April 23.


There are still seats available to see Lyle Lovett with Lisa Loeb on May 8.

Dates for Ladysmith Black Mambazo (South African vocal group), Lady Lamb (singer-songwriter) and comic Brian Regan will all be announced in the coming weeks.

Executive/artistic director Michael Miclon said the seating capacity for the main theater is 407, and the downstairs space can hold 100 or so. He also said that the official name going forward is Johnson Hall Opera House.

Johnson Hall was built in 1864 as a multi-use event space that hosted things like graduations, concerts and roller skating.

In 1888, it became an opera house that hosted theatrical performances. That lasted until the mid 1920s when it became a movie theater.

But in 1956, Johnson Hall shut down altogether and sat empty for nearly 30 years.


In the mid-’80s, vaudeville veterans Benny and Denise Reehl were part of group of individuals who purchased the hall with the hopes of making major renovations. While they were able to make enough improvements to open the downstairs space, the crown jewel of the building upstairs stayed in a state of disrepair.

Miclon came on board a decade ago, determined to finish was the Reehls started.

What began as a $4.1 million project became a $9.2 million one, largely because of pandemic-related issues, including supply chain delays and workforce shortages.

The end result is a gorgeous theater with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

Miclon hopes that between the main theater and the smaller one on the first floor, they can host at least 90 shows a year.

See Starling in Portland on Thursday. Photo by Belle Fall



Portland-based folk-pop quintet Starling is performing at The Jewel Box at 644 Congress St. in Portland on Thursday. The show starts at 7 p.m., and there’s no cover charge.

The band is Sara Hallie Richardson (vocals, guitar), Lauren Genova (violin), Meg McIntrye (violin), Anna Maria Amoroso Noyes (viola) and Hannah Jackson (cello).

Richardson said the members of Starling have been playing together in various forms for over a decade and announced their group’s official name in the fall. She described Starling as a string quartet with a female vocalist pulling from influences that include Joni Mitchell, Kasey Musgraves and Astrud Gilberto.

“We’re a genre-bending and genre-defining project. Each player works tirelessly to write and arrange lush, dense sounds combined with unique soaring melodies. It is truly a dream-come-true enterprise,” said Richardson.

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