In our January series The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra (MSO) conducted by Rohan Smith, presents “A New World.” The program includes: “Voices Shouting Out” by Nkeiru Okoye “Rowing in Eden” by Philip Carlsen “Violin Concerto” Movement I “Allegro non troppo" by Johannes Brahms -- featuring Anne McKee, violinist and winner of MSO's 2020 Judith Elser Concerto Competition Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, “From the New World” by Antonín Dvorák: In keeping with our approach to this season, each program includes one or two contemporary works, including music by Maine-based composers, women and other underrepresented groups. This series open with “Voices Shouting Out” by Nkeiru Okoye, an internationally recognized composer of opera, symphonic, choral, chamber, solo piano and vocal works. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in music composition and is perhaps best known for her opera, Harriet Tubman. “Voices Shouting Out” was written in 2002 as an artistic response to 9/11. As described by the composer, the piece is “a march to acknowledge those fighting on behalf of our safety and yet a sparkling celebration of life for those who continue living.” The second contemporary piece “Rowing in Eden” was written by Philip Carlsen who taught music for 33 years at the University of Maine at Farmington. It was written in 1992 for the Portland Symphony Orchestra. According to the composer “It is a piece that attempts to evoke, in purely musical language, the astonishing outpouring of love and desire from Emily Dickinson in her poem “Wild Nights.” There is also a striking allusion to the “New World” symphony, which, just like this weekend’s MSO concerts, also concluded that original PSO program.” The MSO conducts the Judith Elser concerto competition to select talented Maine student musicians to perform with the orchestra. The next piece on the program, the first movement from Brahms Violin Concerto, will be performed by the 2020 winner Anne McKee. Anne grew up in Hallowell, graduated from Bowdoin College in 2020 and was concertmaster of the Bowdoin Orchestra. She currently lives and works on the island of Islesboro, where she serves as a community development fellow through the Island Institute and teaches violin lessons. The final piece on the program, “From the New World” by Antonín Dvorák, is always an audience favorite. Often called the New World Symphony, Dvorák wrote it while he lived in the U.S. While it contains no American melodies, he based it on the style of American music. It is truly a wonderful piece of music containing some unforgettable melodies. All MSO musicians and staff members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Audience members will be required wear masks to attend concerts, which will be at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Check the orchestra’s website at www.midcoastsymphony.org for updates on our latest COVID protocols. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 (cash or check) at the concert, free for ages18 and under and for college students with ID. Seating is being restricted so audiences are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at www.midcoastymphony.org or by calling 207-846-5378. Free student tickets must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 846-5378. “Short” season tickets are available for $60 and include a free guest ticket. Unused tickets from MSO’s 2019-2020 season may be exchanged for a Classical Season concert. This concert will be repeated on Sunday 1/16 at 2:30PM at the Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham.