‘Bill of Rights’ concert to benefit YJI slated for Sept. 22 in Maine

“Once you sing something, you remember it forever.” — Neely Bruce

UPDATE: July 4, 2019: On this Independence Day, we celebrate the Bill of Rights and the news that the amazing soprano Judith Milardo will be joining the chorus at our concert in Maine.  One more week off for vocalists, then we’re back to rehearsals on July 15. Flutist Susan Gayle has newly signed on, joining violinists Mary Herman and Lisa Mayer, viola player Michael Hayashida and harpsichordist Richard Hicks. We are still looking for cello, double bass and oboe players.

UPDATE: June 28, 2019: Our growing chorus is taking an early July break and will be resuming rehearsals on Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Auburn, Maine. New singers are welcome! We are still looking for musicians to play oboe, flute, cello and double bass. If you are interested, please write to

UPDATE: June 13, 2019: The first official rehearsal will be Monday, June 17 at the First Universalist Church in Auburn, Maine. Enter off the parking lot across the street from the Dairy Joy at 137 Spring St.  We continue to welcome new singers and musicians.

AUBURN, Maine, United States — The Maine premiere to Wesleyan University composer Neely Bruce‘s acclaimed “The Bill of Rights: Ten Amendments in Eight Motets” is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 22 at the historic First Universalist Church of Auburn.

Neely Bruce, rehearsing “The Bill of Rights’ in 2016 (YJI)

The piece, composed in 2005, has been performed more than 20 times across the country, including such venues as Faneuil Hall in Boston and the Newseum in the nation’s capital. A YJI reporter wrote about one of the concerts in 2009 and another in 2010, both in Connecticut.

Listening to the Bill of Rights performed, YJI’s Kiernan Majerus-Collins noted a decade ago, that the chorus “sounded like the people of America, singing for their rights.”

The Maine premiere will be conducted by Prof. Bruce personally, presenting a rare opportunity for singers and musicians in the region to perform with the composer.

The concert, which will be free to attend, last about 45 minutes. We plan to hold a discussion about the Bill of Rights for about an hour after it is over, details to follow.

Donations will be solicited to benefit Youth Journalism International. Half the proceeds will also be given to the church’s building fund to help its effort to maintain a structure on the National Register of Historic Places.

Anyone interested in helping to sponsor the program, please let YJI know!

There will also be a program for the event. Anyone interested in buying space in the program or contributing to make the event possible, please contact YJI at

This page will be updated regularly as the details come together. You will also be able to find information about rehearsals.

The first rehearsal is slated for 7 p.m., Monday, June 17 at the church. Entrance is from the parking lot across from Dairy Joy at 137 Spring St., Auburn, ME 04210.

Mary Majerus-Collins/YJI


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