The Acadia Choral Society began in Ellsworth in 1957 under the direction of Madame Tsuin Hwa Hsu. The chorus, which grew to about fifty members, rehearsed at Madame Hsu’s studio and at the office of her husband, Dr. Theodore Hsu, both on High Street. They performed through the late 1960’s throughout Hancock, Washington, and Penobscot Counties, including concerts with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and with renowned guest conductors such as Erich Kunzel and Pierre Monteux.
After a hiatus of several years, the Acadia Choral Society was re-established by George Emlen in 1978. From 1984 to 2007, the chorus was directed by Shirley Smith, then Dr. Jamie Hagedorn until 2017. We have since had several guest directors including Douglas Beckham, Molly Webster, Sing Rose, and Joan Kroehler. Our new director, starting in the winter of 2019, is Daniel Pyle.
(Many thanks to Malen Hsu of Ellsworth, who has shared with us a wealth of information, programs, and press clippings about the Acadia Choral Society’s early years under her mother’s direction.)