The DaPonte String Quartet is embarking on their first live concert tour since the beginning of the pandemic!

Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine

This fascinating and unique program will be performed live at several Maine venues through the end of 2021, with most performances being this summer.

Concert Dates (as of July 9, 2021)

  • July 17 – Saturday at 7PM: Rockport Opera House, Rockport
  • July 24 – Saturday at 7PM: St. Pauls Union Chapel, Waldoboro
  • July 30 – Friday at 7PM: Ocean View Grange, Port Clyde
  • August 1 – Sunday at 5PM: Belfast Free Library, Belfast
  • August 5 – Thursday at 7PM: Ellsworth Public Library, Ellsworth

This program will also be performed for private audiences in several locations, so if you live in any of these communities, you will be able to enjoy the program at your doorstep!

  • Moorings at the Downs
  • Thornton Oaks
  • Moorings at Foreside
  • Bartlett Woods
  • Sable Lodge Retirement Community
  • OceanView at Falmouth

About the Program

Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine” is the DaPonte String Quartet’s tribute to Maine’s Bicentennial. We are joined by guest artist Eric LaPerna, percussion for a program that highlights significant events along Maine’s pre-statehood timeline (from the 16th to the early 19th centuries), with selected music to share some of the cultural influences.

When we learned about the notated songs of Membertou (c. early 1500s-1611), a major shaman-chief of the Mi’kmaq nation, the idea for this program began to percolate. What music might there have been as so many different peoples explored, fished, and colonized Maine’s rocky coast and European influences began to permeate the land?  But we have only a scant trace of documented music from northeastern North America in this early period, making the written record of Membertou’s songs, and one young colonial bachelor’s dance book found in Topsham, so valuable.

We know that music played a vital role in indigenous communities, that European sailors sang chanteys to accompany their work, and that all communities blessed their watercraft with traditional music. Noblemen and naval captains would have heard the latest music in Europe. French Jesuit missionaries brought their musical liturgy and passed it on to new generations of Catholics. Publications of the latest English dance tunes sold like hotcakes when they arrived in Boston in the 18th century. But aside from such generalities, we can only speculate about what music might have been in the air, and crossing the seas, “earworms” perhaps, of the people who lived in what we now call Maine. 

 The chronological arc of this program of early Maine music traces a long period of lasting European colonization in the region. Over time English military forces in combination with colonial and imperial policies as well as deadly pathogens that devastated native villages led to Euro-American dominance in the region. In the face of this onslaught, Native American persistence in Maine, and the trans-national northeast more broadly, stands as witness to a remarkable human accomplishment built upon the adaptive skills and knowledge that are the foundation of indigenous cultures and societies.


  • Songs of Chief Membertou – Trad. Mi’kmaq, transcribed by Marc Lescarbot (1606/7), arr. by Gabriel Sagard Theodat.
  • Kaxarranka – Trad. Basque tune, arr. by Ferdinand Liva
  • Imperii proceres – Heinrich Isaac (c.1450 – 1517)
  • Four Songs from Canconiero de Palacio – Juan del Encina (c.1468 – d.1529/30)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh’s Galliard  – attr. to Francis Cutting (1550-1603)
  • A Sad Pavane for these distracted times  – Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656),  arr. by David Byers
  • Les Bergers et Les Ameriquaines from Concert Donné à Louis XIII en 1627 par les 24 Violons et les 12 Grand Hautbois – Anon., arr. by Kirsten Monke
  • Ballo del granduca  – Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
  • Concert pour Quatre Parties de Violes – Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)
  • The Birks of Abergeldie from Henry Playford’s Original Scottish Tunes – Anon., (1700)
  • “Little Ben” A Country Dance from Heinrich Isaac (c.1450 – 1517) – Arr. by Myles Jordan
  • Prelude from Te Deum – Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)