September 16, 2019

Concerts to make holidays last a little longer

You are invited to attend one – or both – of two upcoming Twelfth Night concerts.

Bill Shook contacted me last week to suggest you join the New Renaissance Singers and stretch the holiday music season out a little longer.

“For many of us,” Shook wrote, “the Christmas Season means so many things: family, gifts under the tree, rich foods we probably shouldn’t eat, plus the music of the season.”

Then he noted, “When the 25th of December passes, we tend to get an empty feeling; maybe a little sadness that it’s all over for another year. Well, it doesn’t have to be.”

The New Renaissance Singers he describes as “a small but enthusiastic group of men and women who have a passion for choral music,” are presenting two Twelfth Night concerts.

The first will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, at First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St. in Bangor. The second presentation is 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 4, at the Brick Church, located on the corner of Main and Union streets in Bangor.

The program will include both traditional and classical Christmas music, and you will have a chance to sing along with the chorale.

An offering of $5 is suggested.

“So, if folks aren’t ready to let the musical sound of Christmas escape them just yet,” Shook closed, “come hear New Renaissance keep the season alive.”

Are you considering, as a New Year’s resolution, to become a volunteer for a worthy organization?

Here is one suggestion:

Maureen Flagg and Tammy Gordon invite you to “Come Work for Peace at Home” as a volunteer for Spruce Run Association, the domestic violence project serving Penobscot County.

Training for Spruce Run Hot Line volunteers begins in mid-January, and no prior experience is required, Flagg and Gordon emphasize.

You would work nights and weekends from your own home or, if you prefer, during the day at Spruce Run’s Resource Center.

And, while you’re helping others, you also can help yourself, because work study and continuing education units can be earned through this volunteer experience.

Hot line training prepares you to support those affected by domestic violence.

The training includes presentations on the dynamics of domestic violence and crisis intervention skills development.

If you are interested in this or other volunteer opportunities at Spruce Run, call Flagg or Gordon at 945-5102.

Perhaps, like me, you love history and find visiting old cemeteries fascinating because they can often give you clues to a community’s past.

You can often tell, for example, if an epidemic such as smallpox or influenza spread through a town when you find, listed on one large tombstone, the names of several children in one family.

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs volunteers to research and photograph monuments in its national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots.

According to a release that quotes Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Pricipi as saying, “The efforts of dedicated volunteers will assist VA in maintaining all national cemeteries as national shrines.”

When this particular project was begun last May, it was estimated 300 memorials would be found but, through November, approximately 800 memorials were identified with help from more than 220 volunteers.

The VA is continuing to recruit volunteers to document approximately 300 memorials in 20 remaining states until all are documented.

To learn how you can help in this project, call historian Darlene Richardson at (202) 565-5426, or e-mail

From Melora Norman, outreach coordinator for the Maine State Library, comes this suggestion for anyone who has trouble reading regular print or holding a book, or someone who lives in a town without a library.

She suggests you inquire about the Maine State Library Outreach programs, which include Talking Books, Large Print and Books by Mail.

All these items are available free to eligible Maine residents, through the U.S. Postal Service.

For information, call (800) 762-7106, or visit

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find it hard to believe this is the last day of 2003.

It has been a delightfully rewarding year for me, thanks to you, because this column, after all, is really yours.

It is our community connection.

You are the community information providers; I am its conduit.

Together, we make a pretty great team, and I thank you, sincerely, for your input and support.

To all, I extend my very best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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