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At 80, Dan Ladner Conducts Caribou Choral Society for Half of His Life


CCS turns 40 this year

By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 10, 2017


   The Caribou Choral Society (CCS) is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and their conductor, Dan Ladner is also marking a milestone by having conducted the CCS for half of his 80 year life.

   “Dan has impeccable talent, skill and taste in choral music,” said  Teresa Herold, current President of Caribou Choral Society.  He really knows what he's doing and every year the group improves under his direction.” 

   Ladner, who will be turning 80 years-young in the next couple of weeks continues to remain as vibrant and energetic as ever.  “Half of my life; I can't believe I've been conducting this wonderful group for forty years,” said Ladner.  “The good Lord has been good to me - as well as two handfuls of pills every day - I keep going strong as long as I can.”

   The CCS recently held their annual Spring concerts at St. Mary's Church in Presque Isle and Holy Rosary in Caribou.   “We have hundreds of titles in our library.  You can imagine collecting music for forty years,” said Ladner.  “So, to narrow it down to an evening's program was very difficult.  But after Thursday night's rehearsal this week I thought every song on the program sounds so good to me.  They just all sound so nice.”

   Sopranos, Mary Lou Nelson and Donna Small are two CCS members who have been with the group the whole 40 years.  While it is named after the City of Caribou, nearly 90 percent of the group is composed of members from other towns across Aroostook County and Western New Brunswick.   “This is a County group and part of New Brunswick, as well,” Ladner explained.  “We have the name Caribou Choral Society because when we started, we started right here in Caribou and we're going to keep that name.  Somebody tried to get me to change the name and I said, ‘No way!’”