MSO’s Judith Elser Concert Competition winner Anne McKee. Contributed photo

The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rohan Smith, plans to present two concerts dubbed “A New World,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar St. in Lewiston and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, at the Orion Performing Arts Center at 50 Republic Ave. in Topsham.

In addition to Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” the concert will feature MSO’s Elser Concerto Competition winner Anne McKee and music by MSO cellist and composer Philip Carlsen.

McKee, who will perform the first movement of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the MSO, grew up in Hallowell. She 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. “I am drawn to connections between music and community,” McKee said according to a news release from the orchestra.

Maine composer and cellist, Philip Carlsen. Contributed photo

Each MSO program this season has one or two contemporary works, including music by Maine-based composers, women and other underrepresented groups. This program features “Rowing in Eden,” written by Carlsen in 1992 for the Portland Symphony.

The orchestra also will perform “Voices Shouting Out” by Nkeiru Okoye, written in 2002 as an artistic response to 9/11. 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,” as described by the composer.

A free pre-concert visit with McKee and Carlsen hosted by Denise Shannon will take place from 1:30 to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Audience members must wear masks to attend concerts, which will be at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.

Tickets cost $22 in advance, $25 at the concert, and is free for children and for college students with ID.

For tickets, or more information visit MidcoastSymphony.org or call 207-846-5378.

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