Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village


The Maine Festival of American Music

12th Annual
June 21 - June 24, 2017

“The Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions” provides a rare opportunity to experience Shaker music and history in the context of the wider world of classical and folk music, while also celebrating American musicians, composers, historians and craftsmen. The Shakers host the festival with all concerts taking place in their 1794 Meeting House, one of Maine’s most beautiful and acoustically superb venues for vocal and instrumental performances.

Shaker music, received mostly by spiritual inspiration rather than deliberate composition, is a product of one of America’s most unique communal religious experiences. The majority of Shaker songs originate from the mid-19th century and have been preserved by the Shakers through oral tradition. There were at one time in excess of 25,000 Shaker songs and, today, as many as 1000 remain a part of the active repertoire of the Sabbathday Lake Shakers. One of these living songs, “Simple Gifts” has achieved lasting significance outside of the Shaker Church. Written originally in 1848 by Maine’s Elder Joseph Brackett, “Simple Gifts” in its best known adaptations has been used by Aaron Copland to create “Appalachian Spring” and by Martha Graham for her avant-garde dance performance “The Shakers.” By its quintessential nature, this song ties together the performances presented throughout the Maine Festival of American Music.

Our full line-up of concerts, including online ticket ordering, will be available soon. Please check back or join our email list at the bottom of this page to be notified.

Portland String Quartet, photo credit Woody LelandThe Portland String Quartet

Kevin SiegfriedKevin Siegfried and the Portsmouth Singers

PSQ Workshop Master ClassFriday, June 23th, 3pm– 5pm
Developing the Gift of Talent
Workshop Day at the Festival brings student and adult quartets together with the Portland String Quartet to study major works from Classical to the modern American repertoire.  Arrangements of Shaker Hymns will also be included in this culminating Master Class performance in the historic 1794 Meeting House.  This performance is FREE OF CHARGE to the general public.
Tickets FREE

Chris MooreChris Moore of 317 Main Community Music Center

Don Roy TrioThe Don Roy Trio

Portland String QuartetThe Portland String Quartet

Simple Gifts, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village