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Caribou Choral Society again set for Christmas concerts

CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou Choral Society is planning 90-minute Christmas concerts featuring sixty vocalists in Fort Kent, Caribou and Presque Isle early next month.

The group’s first show, titled “Ring Those Christmas Bells” is set to begin at 3 p.m. at the St. Louis Church in Fort Kent on Sunday, Dec. 3. The next performance will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Caribou’s Holy Rosary Church. And the final Christmas concert will begin at 3 p.m. the next day at St. Mary’s Church in Presque Isle.

Choral Director Dan Ladner said all concerts are free for everyone to attend.

Ladner has led the choral society since it began in the mid-1970s and has selected every song for each of the group’s performances.

Conductor Daniel Ladner and members of the Caribou Choral Society perform in this undated photo. (Courtesy of Richard Nichols)

“I try to keep both the singers and the audience in mind,” Ladner said of the song selection process. “I don’t want to do only classical music or only sacred music, so the first half of the show is both classical and sacred, and the second half of the show has lighter music, with songs from broadway or that are humorous.”

Ladner said a new addition to this year’s show is called the “Twelve Days of a Regifted Christmas.” In that song, Ladner said the lyrics are changed to reflect regifted presents. For instance, instead of “a partridge in a pear tree,” it’s “an album by The Partridge Family.”

Caribou Choral Society President Mary Warren said an audience favorite that will be repeated again this year is the Hallelujah Chorus.

“We invite audience members to come up and join us [during the Hallelujah Chorus],” Ladner said, “and we usually get about ten or fifteen.”

“It raises the rafters,” Warren said. “It is amazing, and it always fascinates me how many people not only know the song, but stand when they hear that music. They may be reticent at first, but they eventually come up to sing. It’s fabulous.”

“It’s a good way to end the concert,” Ladner said. “Nothing can follow that.”

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