The DaPonte String Quartet celebrates the holiday season with a free presentation of its acclaimed “Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine” concert program at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Second Congregational Church in Newcastle. They are joined by guest artist Eric LaPerna on percussion for a concert that highlights significant events along Maine’s pre-statehood timeline (from the 16th to the early 19th centuries), with selected music to share some of the cultural influences.

When the ensemble learned about the notated songs of Membertou (c. early 1500s-1611), a major shaman-chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, the idea for this program began to percolate. What music might there have been as so many different peoples explored, fished, and colonized Maine’s rocky coast and European influences began to permeate the land? Musicologists have only a scant trace of documented music from northeastern North America in this early period, making the written record of Membertou’s songs, and one young colonial bachelor’s dance book found in Topsham, so valuable.

The concert is free and has limited capacity due to COVID precautions. This is a vaccination and mask required event. Reservations are strongly recommended, and can be secured online via

Comments are no longer available on this story