Archive for March 26th, 2012


In Today’s News

March 26, 2012

Brewer High jazz ensemble scores big at Berklee Jazz Festival

An article in the Bangor Daily News posted on March 25 reports on the Maine schools and students who participated and were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the Berklee Jazz Festival recently. You can read the article by clicking here.


MMEA Jazz All State Festival

March 26, 2012

Maine Music Educators Association bring students and adults together

In most areas of the country, March Madness means Basketball. That happens in Maine in February, but there is also a March Madness in Maine for students in the Arts. There are Regional and State Drama Festivals, Visual Art Shows and it is Music in Our School month, meaning concerts abound. Oh…and it’s Jazz Season…ALL month long!

The Maine Music Educator’s Association (MMEA) sponsors District and State Jazz Festivals for both Middle School and High School jazz groups throughout the state.  Tonight (Monday, March 26, 2012) at 9:00, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) will broadcast some of Maine’s finest student Jazz Musicians from the MMEA Jazz All State Festival, held in Scarborough in January. You will have an opportunity to watch individual students from many Maine High Schools participate together in Jazz Bands, a Jazz Combo and a Jazz Choir.

In March, students participate in Jazz Ensembles which are part of their school music programs and these groups then compete against similar groups from other schools. First, these groups must qualify for the MMEA State Festival at an MMEA District Festival by receiving a certain score…any number of schools may qualify.  Then, each type of group has it’s own State Festival. If you love Jazz, you will love all of these festivals and be prepared for Maine’s student Jazz Musicians to blow you away with their talent! The first of the MMEA State Festivals was the MMEA High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, held at Mount Desert Island High School on March 16 and 17. On Friday, March 16th all Jazz Combos competed and schools that have more than one Jazz Band competed in the ‘Multiple’ Jazz Band category.  On Saturday, March 17th, all of the other High School Jazz Bands competed in three different venues and 4 different divisions. The divisions are determined by school size…all of the schools are ranked in order of size and then 4 equal divisions are created. There were a total of 37 schools involved, with 30 on Saturday (7 schools participated with combos only).

Awards for the High School Instrumental Festival were as follows:

In Division IV:

  • First Place–George Stevens Academy, directed by Steve Orlofsk
  • 2nd Place–Maine Central Institute (MCI), Directed by Dean Neal
  • 3rd Place–Old Orchard Beach, directed by Mark Manduca

In Division III:

  • First Place–Old Town High School, directed by Jeff Priest
  • 2nd Place–MDI (Darth Vader), directed by Dan Granholm
  • 3rd Place–Fryeburg Academy directed by C. Brent LeCasce.

In Division II:

  • First Place–Nokomis High School, directed by M. Stanley Buchanan
  • 2nd Place–Westbrook High School, directed by Phil Rich
  • 3rd Place Brewer High School, directed by Brady Harris

In Division I:

  • First Place–South Portland, directed by Craig Skeffington
  • 2nd Place–Brunswick High School, directed by Michael Scarpone
  • 3rd Place–Noble High School, directed by Mark Mumme.

In addition to these ordinals, the following schools had students that received outstanding musician trophies:

  • George Stevens Academy
  • Houlton High School
  • John Bapst High School
  • Ellsworth High School
  • MDI
  • York High School
  • Fryberg Academy
  • Nokomis High School
  • Brewer High School
  • Westbrook high School
  • Greely High School
  • South Portland High School
  • Thornton Academy
  • Brunswick High School

Congratulations to all of the participants!

This past weekend, Saturday March 23rd, the MMEA Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival took place at Stearns High School in Millinocket. Once again, audiences were treated to the reason there are so many excellent High School Jazz Bands in the State of Maine. Excellent student musicianship was apparent in these groups. Again, there were 4 divisions, with a total of 33 bands representing 30 different schools from throughout the state.

Following are the results from Divisions I and II:

In Division I:

  • First Place–Falmouth Middle School Jazz  Band, under the direction of Jerry Barry
  • 2nd Place–Noble Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Marilyn Bachelder and 3rd Place–Greely Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Scott Thurston.

In Division II:

  • First Place–Lenonard Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Shianne Priest
  • 2nd Place–Brewer Community School under the direction of Lanissa Nadeau
  • 3rd Place–Reeds Brook Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Becky Mallory

Complete results of outstanding musician awards and Divisions III and IV will be posted soon.

Next weekend, vocalists will take the stage in Ellsworth for the MMEA State Vocal Jazz Festival. On Friday, March 30th, Middle School Show Choirs will compete against one another and on Saturday, March 31st, High School Show Choirs and High School Jazz Choirs will compete.

If you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend your weekend, I strongly recommend that you find your way to Ellsworth High School. The students are sure to impress you, and I will have my own group there, so perhaps I will see you in Ellsworth!

Thank you so much to music educator Pam Kinsey for this post!


Elementary Assessment Webinar

March 26, 2012

March 14, 2012

Rob and Catherine

Rob and Catherine

Almost 25 educators participated in the second Maine Arts Assessment elementary webinar on March 14th that was re-scheduled since the first one held in January had a technology glitch and was not recorded.

Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg did a fabulous job faciliating and their guests music teachers Barb Packeles and Alice Sullivan and art teacher Shannon Campbell shared experience and examples of assessment tools.

The participants were half music and half art teachers and 83% presently assess their students a lot with 16% assess a little. When it comes to comfort level assessing; almost 64%are very comfortable, 27% somewhat comfortable and 9% not at all.


Some of the challenges assessing students in the arts classroom include the following:

  • traveling classroom to classroom and in many cases school to school
  • standards based – translating grades to a standards based classroom
  • the number of students taught over a few days
  • hardly any time between classes

Advantages of assessing:

  • makes the learning goals clear
  • data driven world – holds us accountable and teacher can show how the teacher has done their job
  • documents how students are doing
  • 21st century teacher can exhibit the artifact of the learning
  • allows for student reflection
  • student designed assessments – effective strategy
  • provides for a more balanced curriculum when using the Maine Learning Results

This is just a small piece of the discussion that took place during the webinar.


To access the recorded webinar session please go to:

Catherine and Rob have put together a meeting plan that you can use during a teachers meeting. Bring your colleagues together and use the webinar archive and the meeting plan to help lead the discussion. You can access the meeting plan for this session and the other 4 webinars at



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