Archive for October, 2018


Traditions of the Season

October 31, 2018

Where do they come from?

Ever wonder about the where Halloween traditions originated? Well, wonder no more. You can read about them at THIS LINK. Share these facts with your students. On costumes: With all these ghosts wandering around the Earth during Samhain, the Celts had to get creative to avoid being terrorized by evil spirits. To fake out the ghosts, people would don disguises so they would be mistaken for spirits themselves and left alone.

  • Jack-o-Lanterns
  • Ghosts
  • Trick-or-Treating
  • Trick-or-Treating, the Scottish Way
  • Trick-or-Treating, American-style
  • Black Cats
  • Bobbing for Apples
  • Black and Orange
  • Pranks
  • Candles and Bonfires
  • Candy Apples
  • Bats
  • Candy
  • Candy Corn

Maine Arts Awards

October 30, 2018

First ever presented

One of the highlights of the Maine International Conference on the Arts held in September at USM was the presentation of the Maine Arts Awards by Arts EngageME. This is the first time these awards have been presented in Maine. Arts EngageME is an advocacy and support organization for the Maine Arts Commission. It is modeled on the support organizations for many of Maine’s other state cultural agencies, with a directive to increase the Commission’s capacity to advocate and to hold an endowment in support of Maine’s cultural sector.

Emily Isaacson | Artist of the Year presented her award with Severin Beliveau, Larry Rubenstein, and Julie Richard


  • Emily Isaacson – Artist of the Year
  • 240 Strings – Arts Education Association
  • Rangeley Friends of the Arts – Rural Arts
  • Schoodic Arts for All – Community Organization
  • Alan & Lorna Crichton – Philanthropy
  • Bill Raiten – Lifetime Achievement


These videos were created by Maine Arts Commission Marketing & Communications Director, Ryan Leighton and they are MARVELOUS!

Bill Raiten with Ryan Leighton








Why Teach?

October 29, 2018

Why do you teach?

Below are some of the responses to the question: Why do you teach? asked to participants at the  Pre-MICA Arts Education conference at USM on September 27, 2018. What would your answer be?Kaitlin Young lead the session and challenged participants to dig deep about their role as educators.


Poetry for Halloween

October 28, 2018

Access poems to compliment what you’re teaching

The Poetry Foundation is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. (taken from their website) The Poetry Foundation is the publisher of Poetry magazine.

If you’re looking for a huge selection of poems to incorporate into lessons take a look at what they provide. Especially for the Halloween season, you might want a poem to share with your students. I’ve provided two below and some information about each one that arrived in my email by the National Endowment for the Arts/Poetry Out Loud program. If you’d like more information about several Halloween poems they are AVAILABLE HERE.

Halloween Party by Kenn Nisbett

Here’s a poem for the younger set. Written in a meter and rhythm that readers of children’s poetry will recognize, this poem is in the voice of a young boy dressed as Dracula, who finds himself in the scariest place any kid can imagine: looking stupid in front of his entire class.

Scariest lines:

The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.

Costume how-to: In this case, how about a party how-to? It’s elementary school so, okay, there are limits. Nothing too scary, but candy and costumes, a few games, and then more candy. In the classroom, everyone’s doing the Monster Mash and sifting through their loot. Fun and not too freaky. But down the hall? The scariest place in any school is the inside of the teachers’ lounge.

Creepy fact: According to multiple sources, Kenn Nesbitt, while being a poet, is a completely normal, well-adjusted human being.

Originally Published: October 26th, 2006

Halloween Party

We’re having a Halloween party at school.
I’m dressed up like Dracula. Man, I look cool!
I dyed my hair black, and I cut off my bangs.
I’m wearing a cape and some fake plastic fangs.
I put on some makeup to paint my face white,
like creatures that only come out in the night.
My fingernails, too, are all pointed and red.
I look like I’m recently back from the dead.
My mom drops me off, and I run into school
and suddenly feel like the world’s biggest fool.
The other kids stare like I’m some kind of freak—
the Halloween party is not till next week.
“Halloween Party.” © 2005 by Kenn Nesbitt. Reprinted from When the Teacher Isn’t Looking (© 2005 by Kenn Nesbitt) with permission from Meadowbrook Press.
Source: When the Teacher Isn’t Looking (2005)

Grieving his dead love, Lenore, the speaker is disturbed by a ceaseless tapping at the door. He opens it to first—eek!—nothing. Then comes the raven, who stirs and intensifies the speaker’s grief by croaking out, again and again, the fateful single word “nevermore.” See how Poe uses repetition to build the poem’s momentum, how the meter accelerates with your breath. No balm awaits: the raven remains, terrorizing and haunting. Will Poe’s hero escape it?

Scariest lines:

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Costume how-to: The Bereft. Dark pouches under bloodshot eyes, hair and clothes unkempt, with a bit of paranoia tossed in to underscore your inconsolable sorrow. (Hint: Have a paper due? Pull an all-nighter or two.) Must-have accessory: The raven (stuffed?), of course, with its dark, oily feathers and beady eyes.

Creepy fact: The cause of Poe’s death remains a mystery, but has been variously attributed to alcoholism, cholera, syphilis, brain disease, and, recently, rabies.

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”
    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.
    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”
    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”
    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”
    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
            She shall press, ah, nevermore!
    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Bangor Symphony Orchestra

October 27, 2018

Know Your Orchestra! Voucher Program

Masterworks II

Beethoven’s 4th

November 4, 2018 at 3pm
Collins Center for the Arts
Lucas Richman, conductor
Chloe Trevor, violin
Ludwig van Beethoven, Prometheus Overture
Leonard Bernstein, Serenade (After Plato’s “Symposium”) with Chloe Trevor
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 4
Beethoven fans, this program is for you! The great composer’s Prometheus Overture opens the concert before the young violinist Chloe Trevor tackles Bernstein’s notoriously difficult and moving Serenade. Beethoven’s rousing Symphony No. 4 concludes the concert.
The Know Your Orchestra! voucher program encourages students to become acquainted with classical music and their home orchestra. Each voucher admits up to four children 18-and-under for just $5 each when accompanied by at least one adult. Up to two accompanying adults can receive the discounted ticket price of $15. Prices include all processing fees! The attached voucher may be used for any of the 2018-19 season Masterworks concerts. We encourage voucher holders to reserve their tickets before the concert by calling the CCA Box Office at 207.581.1755 or 1.800.622.TIXX Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

For more information about the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, please visit their website. 

A Principal Speaks on Music

October 26, 2018

A Doorway to Learning

This is the opening of a blog post written by a principal, Jim Warnock, who keeps a blog called Principal Notes Thoughts About Education.

Two sixteenth notes followed by two eighth notes.  The interval was a perfect fourth, though I didn’t know that at the time.  What I did know, at twelve years old, was that I was hooked on that sound.  I leaned over to my mother and said, “I want to play those.”  I was pointing at the timpani, sometimes called kettledrums. That concert changed the course of my life.

It’s worth the read at A Doorway to Learning.


Story Slam

October 25, 2018

Congratulations Kaitlin

The story tellers at Sweet Tree Arts fund raiser at the end of an amazing evening of stories.

Laughter, tears, surprise, wonder – all emotions I felt last Friday night at the Sweet Tree Story Slam. How I got here was the theme provided by Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts Center and Sweetland School in Hope. Each story was amazing and had the 100 or so folks in attendance sitting at the edge of their chairs. Our own Kaitlin Young, music teacher from Sedomocha School in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader, and Maine’s 2018 Teacher of the Year was amazing as she shared her story of an amazing year.

The event was held in the barn at Hope Orchards – a cozy spot to spend a Friday night after a long and busy week. The tasting of apples, eating and drinking of apple cider and pie topped off the night. The story slam was a fund raiser for the greenhouse that the school is purchasing. If you’d like to contribute contact Lindsay at

If you’re considering holding a Story Slam with your students or perhaps for a fund raiser go ahead, don’t hesitate – its a great opportunity for learners of all ages. Not to mention a great way to bring community together around a topic on a cozy Friday night!

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