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Winter Harbor Music Festival finds its voice online

The annual event served as a way to bring music lovers together, no matter their background. WHMF is trying to do the same through virtual concerts and conversation.

WINTER HARBOR, Maine — The Winter Harbor Music Festival began more than a decade ago, offering people the chance to experience chamber music. Every August, talent ranging from The Juilliard School; to young college students; to locals in Winter Harbor would gather and perform with each other. The idea of WHMF has always been to integrate different backgrounds and experiences into music. 

The festival has since grown, and while that in-person interaction can't happen right now, Executive Director, Deiran Manning, and his team want to make sure music is still touching lives. I spoke with Manning about some of the changes to what's now an on-going series throughout the year. 

"We have expanded recently to doing an opera program, and so that's kind of become our large draw for the festival," Manning says. "We were planning on doing the Barber of Seville which is a large-scale piece of work, and we were expecting to have a large turnout. At this stage we can't do that, so basically we sort of changed our goal with the festival from trying to incorporate people of different ages and stages, to trying to bring people art and culture to their home." 

Credit: NCM
Deiran Manning, Ex. Dir. Winter Harbor Music Festival

While keeping an eye on the changing stay-at-home orders, Manning says they're still trying to work out what might happen this summer, which could include a Drive-In Opera. In the meantime, you can catch virtual concerts every first Friday of the month. On May 13th, Deiran Manning will be leading a conversation called, "Opera 101." To learn more, click here

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