Now in its 58th year the USM School of Music is a major presence in the musical community of Southern Maine. Faculty and alumni teach and perform in a wide array of venues, and their presence is felt throughout the region and beyond. Working with the many musical organizations that call northern New England home, they contribute immeasurably to the cultural life we all value.
The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO)
• Many of the orchestra’s principal players are faculty members of the School of Music.
• USM choral groups frequently perform with the orchestra in major choral/orchestral collaborations.
• Professors Robert Lehmann and Robert Russell have appeared as guest conductors with the PSO.
• PSO Youth Concerts featured the premiere of a composition by student award winning Josh Newton and a concerto performance by student Matt Cloutier.
• Faculty often appear as soloists with the orchestra.
• Student Christopher Climo sang as a soloist for the PSO Assistant Conductor Search
• Staff and students contribute to PSO’s youth outreach.
• USM provides instruments, staff and students to assist with the PSO’s Instrument Petting Zoos
• Individual members of the faculty have served on the Portland Ovations board and committees for over 25 years.
• Collaborations have included week-long residencies with major conductors, including visits by Frederick Fennell, Elmer Iseler, and Eugene Corporon, and the full length concert production of Dan Sonenberg’s The Summer King.
• Numerous shorter residencies, workshops, opera symposia, and master classes have been jointly presented, featuring such artists as Isaac Stern and Emmanuel Ax.
• Many faculty have presented pre-concert lectures and/or workshops.
Choral Art Society
• Professor of music Robert Russell is celebrating his 35th anniversary as conductor of the Choral Art Society. He follows in the footsteps of professor Harold Brown, the society’s founding conductor and former chair of the School of Music.
• The Choral Art Society has commissioned and premiered works by USM faculty composers.
• The University Chorale and the Choral Art Society sometimes collaborate on performances of major works, including appearances together with the PSO and Portland Ballet.
• USM provides soloists who perform with the Choral Art Society.
• The two organizations pool resources to maintain a choral library.
• Faculty serve as pre-concert lecturers.
• Faculty provide music instruction for the members.
Portland Jazz Orchestra (PJO)
• Professor Christopher Oberholtzer directs the PJO.
• Numerous faculty and alumni perform with PJO as ensemble members and soloists.
• Graduate students perform as PJO members
• USM faculty serve as staff writers for the PJO.
• USM artist faculty members and alumni have appeared in leading roles with PORTopera.
• The Maine Emerging Artists Program was spearheaded and led by Professor Ellen Chickering. Students and recent graduates have participated in both this program and Mainstage productions.
• Faculty members, alumni and students perform both on stage and as principal players with the PORTopera orchestra.
Casco Bay Concert Band (CBCB)
• Professor Peter Martin conducts the CBCB.
• Alumnus Will Wohler serves as Associate Conductor.
• More than twenty USM alumni and current
undergraduate and graduate students perform in the Casco Bay Concert Band.
Presents outreach performances and education throughout the state and region:
• Large and small ensembles tour the state and region; in recent years they have performed for audiences from Aroostook and Washington Counties to venues in New York and all six states in New England.
• School-based performances highlights the touring season. USM ensembles present school-day performances and workshops throughout Maine.
• Faculty regularly conduct and present clinics at
All-State and District high school festivals throughout New England.
• Faculty serve as guest conductors, guest lecturers, guest composers, guest performers, and adjudicators throughout the state and region.
• More than 50 students are teaching weekly in Gorham, Standish, Yarmouth, Falmouth, Windham, Saco, Scarborough, Westbrook, Portland, and South Portland
• Sponsors Creative Health: Conference for Healthcare Professionals and Caregivers operated by School of Music alumna industry leader.
• USM alumni constitute nearly half of all the music teachers in the state of Maine.
Provides faculty, students and alumni who perform as members of or guest artists with the:
• Artie Shaw Orchestra
• Bangor Symphony
• Berkshire Choral Festival
• Boston Academy of Music
• Boston Camerata
• Boston Pops
• Boston Symphony Orchestra
• Boy Singers of Maine
• Brooklyn Art Song Society
• Casco Bay Concert Band
• Commonwealth Opera
• DaPonte String Quartet
• Green Mountain Opera
• Handel and Haydn Society
• Lincoln Festival Chorus
• Maine Music Society
• Maine Pro Musica
• Maine State Ballet Orchestra
• Maine State Music Theatre
• Metropolitan Opera
• Midcoast Symphony Orchestra
• North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra
• Ogunquit Playhouse
• Opera North
• Portland Ballet Orchestra
• Portland Community Chorus
• Portland String Quartet
• Rhode Island Philharmonic
• Sebago Long Lake Festival
• Springfield Symphony Orchestra
• St. Mary Schola
• White Mountain Bach Festival
Administers the USM Youth Ensemble program, which includes the:
• Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
• Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
• Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
• Portland Young People’s String Consort
• Southern Maine Children’s Chorus
Administers the Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps, which includes the:
• Southern Maine Theatre Academy
• Southern Maine Youth Band Day Camp
• Southern Maine Music Academy
• Southern Maine Junior Music Academy
Has representation on the Boards of Directors and officers in the:
• The Boy Singers of Maine
• Casco Bay Concert Band
• College Music Society
• Association of Concert Bands
• Association of Technology in Music Instruction
• Maine Music Teachers Association
• Maine Music Educators Association
• Maine Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association
• Maine Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing
• Maine Learning Technology Initiative
• Music Educators Journal, Editorial Board
• Maine String Teachers and Players Association
• Maine Suzuki Association
• National Association for Music Education’s Council for Composition
The USM School of Music faculty and administration are dedicated to fostering the musical talent of young musicians through private lessons, rehearsals, clinics, coaching sessions, summer music camps, and consultations with teachers. The influence of the University of Southern Maine School of Music extends far and wide, and brings it prestige and professionalism to the musical community of Portland, the state of Maine, the Northeast, and beyond.
School of Music
USM School of Music and the Community
Auditions for: Portland Youth Symphony Orchestras, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, and Youth Choirs
The USM Youth Ensembles invite young musicians and singers (ages 8-18) to audition for the following ensembles.
Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
Portland Young Peoples String Consort
Southern Maine Youth Chorale
Southern Maine Children's Choir