The Maine Science Festival has commissioned Grammy award winner Lucas Richman (composer and music director for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra) to write a symphonic piece about climate change in the Gulf of Maine, which is warming faster than almost any other body of water on earth. This piece will have its world premiere at the March 2020 Bangor Symphony Orchestra concert (Masterworks IV: Sounds of the Sea that will serve as the 2020 Maine Science Festival headliner and a Maine Bicentennial event.

As part of this project, we are coordinating interviews between Lucas and those who have direct knowledge of climate change in the Gulf of Maine: Maine scientists and those who work in the Gulf. Our hope is that these interviews will help inform Lucas' composition by providing him the insight of others who can explain what is happening in/to the Gulf of Maine; what it means to Maine and the Gulf to be under the immense threat posed by climate change; and what is being done to mitigate it.

We are also working with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and assisting in an educational outreach program for middle schools in Maine centered on The Warming Sea. Lucas and climate scientists will visit with students, and through activities and discussion, students will explore the roles of a composer and scientists and how they overlap in this project. Lucas will also solicit the students’ thoughts about climate change and their hope for the future. Directly after the concert (3 PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020), the MSF will lead a talkback forum with Lucas and some of the people he interviewed, to discuss their work, their thoughts on The Warming Sea, and ways Maine can move forward.