May 10, 2024

Windham Chamber Singers able to reschedule Lewiston performance

By Masha Yurkevich

The April snowstorm caused many to lose power and caused the Windham Chamber Singers (WCS) to lose most of their entire spring tour. But Dr. Richard Nickerson, the conductor of the Chamber Singers since 1988, said that the performance at the Franco Center in Lewiston was the only concert that was able to be rescheduled.

The April nor'easter storm forced the Windham Chamber
Singers to cancel much of its planned spring tour, but
the concert in Lewiston at the Franco Center was able
to be rescheduled and was held in late April.
The Chamber Singer's history goes back 37 years and they have performed all over the world, but this was their first time they were performing in Lewiston. It was a wonderful night in a beautiful venue and both the choir and audience were electric.

“There isn't enough time or space to tell you what this group means to me,” says Nickerson. “My primary goal is to make music at the highest level. I hope the students will also gain an understanding of how to work together towards a common goal. We are ambassadors for our school, town, state and country and take that responsibility very seriously.”

Abigail Coleman, Windham Chamber Singers president, has been part of the Chamber Singers for all four years during her high school career.

“I have looked up to the Chamber Singers since third grade when I performed with them during the District Art Show, but I had never felt a very fierce interest in auditioning, mostly because I was convinced that I'd never be accepted,” says Coleman. After a virtual audition during COVID, she was delighted to learn that she had been accepted.

“Chamber Singers means the entire world to me,” says Coleman. “I have met some of my dearest friends through this group, friends who share the same passions as I do. This group has given me an incredible relationship with music; it has allowed me to sing so many amazing songs and be a part of so many fulfilling performances.”

Performing with the group has made her want to continue singing for a long time after she graduates, and she doesn't anticipate that this feeling will go away for a long time.

“I enjoy everything about being part of the Chamber Singers. I love rehearsing for three hours every Wednesday, and I love spending time with my peers beforehand while we wait for rehearsals to start. I love the sense of community it brings, and the bonds that can only be created with something as powerful as music,” says Coleman. “I love traveling with them and creating memories. I love every minute of every performance we do. Being able to show every audience what we have worked so hard for, whether that be the RSU14 faculty at the very beginning of the year, or the incredible people who come to AmFam, or any of the concerts in between, it fills me with a sense of pride and belonging that I have failed to find anywhere else.”

Coleman says that Chamber Singers has taught her many valuable lessons, big and small, but the biggest lesson that she will take away from her time in this group is taking responsibility.

“It sounds very simple,” she says, “but I have been taught through practicing my music, being to every single rehearsal and performance, and being in the Vice President and President roles that if you take full responsibility and make sure you are prepared, the outcome will be so much more fulfilling knowing how hard you worked. It was a lesson that I as a freshman needed to learn, and it is a lesson that I will carry throughout my entire life.”

Next year, Coleman will be majoring in Business Management and Marketing in college. Her career goals have nothing to do with music, and that is fully intentional.

"Music is my outlet and my personal way to decompress and allow myself to forget every other stressful component of my life,” she says. “I completely plan to pursue music throughout my life; however, it will strictly remain a hobby. My love for music is very special to me, and I do not want that love to fade by making it something that I have to do rather than something I get to do.”

Being part of Chamber Singers for the past four years has been an honor and something that will always be special to Coleman.

“It's given me so many dear friends, life lessons, and I can thank this group for being responsible for how happy I've been during high school. I will always be incredibly thankful for everything that the music, my friends, and Dr. Nickerson have done for me.”

The next upcoming Chamber Singers concert will be on Thursday, May 30 at Windham High School. This will be the Senior Concert and this event will honor the graduating class of 2024. <

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