The Maine Music Society Board of Directors has announced its new officers who will lead the nonprofit organization through its 30th and 31st seasons.

Board member Richard O’Brien was elected chairman, replacing retiring Connie Hitchcock, and Board member David Blocher was elected vice chairman replacing retiring Sandy MacDonald. Re-elected for a two-year term were Treasurer Gilbert J. LaPointe and Secretary Susan Trask, according to a news release from the Lewiston-based society.

Richard O’Brien Photo courtesy of the Maine Music Society

O’Brien is a local attorney, having practiced with the firm of Linnell, Choate & Webber for the past 38 years. Over the years, he has served in various capacities for a number of municipal and non-governmental organizations.

He joined the MMS Board in 2017. Artistically, O’Brien has been singing in the tenor section of the MMS Chorale for the past seven years as well as in the Society’s Chamber Singers. He also sings in his church choir, has been a member of the cast for the fall musical with The Theater at Monmouth for many years, and is a devoted bluegrass mandolinist.

Most importantly, O’Brien has lived for many years in Winthrop with his wife Ellen, with whom he celebrates 43 years of marriage this summer.

David Blocher Photo courtesy of the Maine Music Society

Blocher is a baritone who has sung with the Maine Music Society Chorale for the past 30 years and has served on the Board of Directors in various capacities since 2006, and as president/chairman from 2009 to 2014.

He is retired from careers in software development and information technology management. He lives in an 1820s farmstead in Litchfield with his wife, artist Helen Warren.

Blocher’s hobbies include opera, mowing fields, wildlife and figuring out how things work. He is a volunteer at Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice where he sings in the Androscoggin Harmony hospice choir and visits hospice patients in their homes.

Gilbert J. LaPointe Photo courtesy of the Maine Music Society

LaPointe is a native of Lewiston graduating from St. Dominic High School in 1968. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts/Lowell in 1972 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in June 1972 where his specialty was Communications and Computer Systems. He has both an Master of Science degree in Systems Management and an MBA from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Shortly after his retirement as Lieutenant Colonel in January 1995, LaPointe converted a life-long woodworking hobby into a woodworking business from 1996 to 2002. He has also been active in the community serving as chairman of the Basilica Restoration Committee from 2002 to 2007 and as business manager for the various Catholic churches in Lewiston retiring from that in 2014. Having attended MMS concerts since his Air Force retirement, he did not hesitate to accept the invitation to join the MMS Board in 2015 and has been its treasurer since 2016. He lives with his wife Connie in Auburn.

Susan Trask Photo courtesy of the Maine Music Society

Trask has been singing alto with the Maine Music Society Chorale since its inception. She also is a member of the Chamber Singers and is president of the chorale. In addition, she is noted for writing the music notes that are shared with audiences as part of our spring pop concerts.

Trask  lives in Auburn with her husband Woody who also sings with the chorale. She is retired from a career as a teacher and literary coach in the Auburn schools and is now pursuing a retirement career as director of (and singer in) Androscoggin Harmony, a choir that sings for hospice patients at Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice. When she is not involved with her various singing activities, she loves sewing, reading, word puzzles, sailing and kayaking.

The Maine Music Society is a music-performing non-profit organization located in central Maine organized to support the artistic and educational activities of the auditioned, volunteer singers of the MMS Chorale, the MMS Chamber Singers, and the professional players of the MMS Orchestra. MMS offers quality performances to the public through artistic excellence, imaginative programming, and youth-oriented activities.

Even though the entire 2020-21 performance season had to be canceled, the officers and Board of Directors will be working to help the singers bring quality music to Lewiston-Auburn and area communities by providing virtual performances via MMS social media platforms. They are also looking forward to bringing the third Annual MMS Online Auction in November, just in time for holiday shopping.

For more information, visit mainemusicsociety.org, call 207-333-3386 or like them on Facebook.

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