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Maine is a state of the United States, located in a region called New England. Its musical tradition possibly extends back thousands of years to the music of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and other indigenous peoples. Modern musicians from Maine include the bluegrass brothers Roland and Clarence White and the contemporary ragtime performer Glenn Jenks, singer/songwriter Bruce Thulin.

In the colonial era, the talented composer, singer, and compiler of tune books and Maine resident Supply Belcher (1751–1836) was known in his time as "the Handel of Maine." Belcher organized the first choir in Maine.

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Music venues and institutions

Major music venues in Maine include Portland's Merrill Auditorium and The State Theater.

The state is home to several prominent country music organizations, including Maine Country Music Association Hall of Fame, Down East Country Musica Association and the Maine Academy of Country Music (www.macmhome.org). Musical institutions include the Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick, which has been in operation since 1959 and is one of Three professional music theaters in the state; the others are Northport Music Theater in Northport which opened in 2007 and Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunguit which opened in 1933.

The oldest continually operated symphony orchestra in the country is the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. The only other professional orchestra is the Portland Symphony Orchestra; Portland is also home to the Portland Choral Arts Society and the Portland String Quartet. The DaPonte String Quartet is the only other professional string quartet in Maine. The Portland Opera Repertory Theatre and OperaMaine are the main outlets for opera in the state.

Portland is also home to One Longfellow Square, which promotes music and other aspects of expression, utilizing a small downtown space to present a wide variety of artists in an intimate setting.

Outside of Portland, there are pockets of people who keep the traditional musical styles of their ancestors, including the Swedish music of Stockholm and New Sweden, the French-Maine community across the state, especially in Upper St. John Valley, home to the Acadian Festival, and the ethnic Russian music of the Kennebec River community in Richmond, Maine.

Maine's musical heritage also include the long-standing men's a cappella group, the Meddiebempsters, at Bowdoin College, and Bates College's all-male Manic Optimists. Bowdoin is also home to the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music. Other Maine festivals which focus on Western classical music are the Atlantic Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, and the Sebago-Long Lake Festival Players.

Original compositions about Maine and by Maine composers are stored in the Maine Collection at the Bagaduce Music Lending Library in Blue Hill. With over 225,000 separate titles, this library houses the largest publicly available sheet music collection in North America.

Folk music

Maine has had a long folk fiddling tradition, which has helped inspire many modern bluegrass musicians. Maine's bluegrass and fiddling tradition celebrated at the Eastern Maine Music Festival; there is also a Bluegrass Music Association of Maine. Maine's contributions to bluegrass include Clarence and Roland White of the Kentucky Colonels and Jimmy Cox.

Many prominent singer-songwriters grew up in Maine, Patty Griffin, Ellis Paul, Slaid Cleaves, and Rod Picott. Slaid Cleaves and Rod PIcott were childhood friends in South Berkwick. Randy Browning of the Late Bloomer moved to South Berwick.

The Freewill Folk Society at Bates College also continues the folk tradition. There are also more traditional folk acts like Schooner Fare, Maine's best-known folk trio-turned-duo following the death of Tom Rowe in 2004, and the Dave Rowe Trio founded by the late Tom's son. Newer, Progressive folk artists in Maine have been emerging since the 1990s, including artists such as Heather Caston and Nancy Cartonio.

Maine's religious music includes the well-known church choirs of St. Luke's Episcopal Cathedral and two Bangor-area churches both named after St. John (one Catholic and one Episcopal).

MaineFolkMusic.com has news, music reviews, artist, venue, and promoter profiles, a performance calendar, and recommendations,
focused on Maine folk music artists, and other regional and national folk artists performing in Maine.

One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine is a popular folk music venue.

Jazz

The mid-coast region of Maine is said to be the center for jazz; it is home to the Mid-Coast Jazz Society, the Maine Festival in Brunswick, and the Boothbay Harbor Jazz Festival. Johnny Smith, a famous jazz guitarist grew up in Maine.

Popular music

Although not prominent for its rock music, Maine is still home to numerous venues and bands that play a diverse range of rock, punk, metal and more. Bands and artists like Howie Day, Ray Lamontagne, Rustic Overtones, The Elliotts, Sparks The Rescue, Jeremiah Freed, and Corey Beaulieu, the lead guitarist of Trivium, have found a large amount of success outside the state. Hardcore punk band A Global Threat originally hail from Maine.

The Underground In Bangor and The Kave in Bucksport are two of the more popular midcoast venues. Geno's Rock Club, The Big Easy, The Asylum, The Freeport Square Gallery and L.L. Bean's Discovery Park and in Freeport, and The Station in Portland are other popular venues. Portland is home to independent record label Death Grip Records, while Lisbon Falls is home to liveMainejams.com, an online web 2.0 resource for local musicians and their fans.

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