BRUNSWICK — The Psalterium Institute will present “Advent & Christmas: An Evening of Sacred Choral Music” in both Brunswick and Lewiston on the weekend before Christmas. Admission to both concerts is free, but a freewill offering of $10 per attendee, if they are able, will be appreciated.

The performances will be under the direction of Leon Griesbach and will feature the Psalterium Institute Chamber Choir, Boy Choir, and Magnificat Girl Choir. Here is the schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 17

St. John the Baptist Church
39 Pleasant Street, Brunswick

6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18
Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
122 Ash Street, Lewiston
6:30 p.m.

The Psalterium Institute is dedicated to the mission of training singers to produce beautiful choral music, while also instructing them in the traditions of Catholic sacred music including Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, and modern sacred repertoire.

Griesbach, the executive director and founder of the Institute, is the former director of music at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland and former director of liturgical music at the Pontifical North American College in Italy, where he led the seminary’s 45-voice choir in liturgies at the seminary and St. Peter’s Basilica.

​“My experiences in choral music over the last 30 years have all formed me deeply,” he said. “Every time I hear a powerful performance, see a brilliant work of art, find myself in an awe-inspiring structure, or in other situations where beauty is apparent, I am most often brought back to moments as a boy chorister, weeping because something is so beautiful it hurts. One of the reasons I founded the Institute was to ignite in each heart a desire that takes them on a lifelong journey punctuated by moments of deeply consoling and satisfying beauty.”

For both singers and listeners, in settings both sacred and secular, the Institute serves as a source of education and formation in broader musical education.

“The Institute presents learning and listening opportunities to an array of audiences while training clergy, music directors, cantors, and choristers for the full range of liturgical offerings throughout the Diocese of Portland,” said Griesbach.