Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

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Happpppy New Year!

January 1, 2022

I’m seeing the new light

Here we are at the start of another year – 2022. It feels like it couldn’t possibly be over 20 years when we were turning the century and we experienced the fear of the computer flaw and the Y2K scare. I know that the last year has been absolutely crazy for educators and I am grateful for those of you who continue to dedicate yourselves to teaching and putting students best interest in the center. I’m excited about starting a new year and sharing many arts education and educators stories with you that I’ve been working on during the last month.

Today I’m sharing a short story of my own. On December 13 I attended the winter concert at Camden Hills Regional High School. Many of you know Kim Murphy who teaches music at the school and directs the chorale, treble choir and chamber singers. I was moved to tears when the treble choir sang Where the Light Begins with text by Jan Richardson and music by Susan LaBarr. The piece was originally written for a middle school and the composer was asked to “contemplate the theme of peace”. When I think about peace I imagine teachers putting on their supermen capes each morning to face the challenges of the day. The first few lines of the song Where the Light Begins…

Perhaps it does not begin.

Perhaps it is always.

Perhaps it takes a lifetime to open our eyes,

to learn to see what has forever shimmered in front of us

If you google the title you can find the rest of the words and hear the song and perhaps you’ll be moved by the piece as well.

A few days later on December 21, I invited our neighbors for a Winter Solstice gathering. Some of you know that I’ve lived on a gravel, dead end road with 6 other homes in a small Maine town for over 20 years. Over the years we’ve gotten to know our neighbors through chatting while walking on the road, welcoming new folks with a loaf of bread and exchanging cookies during the holidays. Most importantly, we wave as cars pass by. We recognize people from the cars they drive. In all these years we’ve never had a gathering of all the neighbors. Two things prompted the invitation; one was the isolation of Covid, the second reason was because one neighbor passed away in August. I am reminded, now more than ever because of Covid, how important it is to reach out to others. Our outside gathering included a chance to look at the stars, stand around the fire pit, share and exchange cookies and refreshments. And, my favorite part … we each lit a candle (children and adults) and listened to a poem called The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper. And, on the shortest day of the year, we all felt a new connection.

Today on Facebook, a former student (whose mother I also taught), had listed some favorite moments of 2021. It was a very sweet post that had beautiful photos accompanying the moments. She lives on a farm and raising her own food including vegetables, chicken and rabbits. My favorite was a picture with 6 shelves of canned foods, and baskets and crates stacked and filled with different squash. She won’t go hungry and she has plenty to share!

Her post helped me pause and give thought to some of my favorite moments this year. One is – drinking my favorite tea, quince, sent to me by my Danish sister (that I can’t find in the US). I enjoy a cup of tea while listening to Poem-a-day which comes by email from the Academy of American Poets. (If interested, sign up at https://poets.org). I’ll finish this post with today’s poem called The New Year by Carrie Williams Clifford. My wish for you for 2022 is to remember to put on your Superman cape each day and have a safe and happy new year!

The New Year comes—fling wide, fling wide the door
Of Opportunity! the spirit free
To scale the utmost heights of hopes to be,
To rest on peaks ne’er reached by man before!
The boundless infinite let us explore,
To search out undiscovered mystery,
Undreamed of in our poor philosophy!
The bounty of the gods upon us pour!
Nay, in the New Year we shall be as gods:
No longer apish puppets or dull clods
Of clay; but poised, empowered to command,
Upon the Etna of New Worlds we’ll stand—
This scant earth-raiment to the winds will cast—
Full richly robed as supermen at last!

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Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

June 29, 2021

Epic body percussion

Here’s what one teacher did since they couldn’t sing during the pandemic. Students of Saint-Michel-Garicoïts de Cambo School, in the Basque region of southwest France, have given a *striking* performance using their bodies. Using an elaborate mixture of claps, leg slaps, stomps, finger clicks and taps, the 185 students transform the orchestral movement into a body percussion. The sound is fascinating and to top it off a drone recorded the performance. The ensemble rehearsed in groups of 50 every day for five months during the 2020 school year. All students are masked in the final performance, one to remember as part of their pandemic learner.

The story was shared on Classic fm digital radio and found at THIS LINK.

Thanks for sharing this Sue Barre!

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Freedom

June 26, 2021

Jon Batiste

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Jazz All-State

June 24, 2021

Performance

This is a letter from Sandra Barry, President of the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) sharing the recording from the Maine All State Jazz Choir singing Just the Two of Us.

Dear Jazz All-State Musicians, Parents, Educators and Guests;


The Maine Music Educators Association is thrilled to present the 2020-21 Jazz All-State Festival! This performance represents a great opportunity for some of Maine’s finest high school jazz musicians to come together as ensembles and work with highly regarded jazz educators and musicians from across the United States. 

In this year of all years, the vital importance of music in our lives could not be more obvious. Great performances and favorite pieces buoy our spirits, inspire, and soothe us. Before the wonderful performances come the work. The hours of practice, preparation and effort from each individual is an accomplishment unto itself, but goes largely unseen and unheard. To our musicians and the people who support them, we thank you. We know the work is challenging, and the time and self-discipline to prepare is difficult to find. This year, you also faced isolation, technical hurdles and perhaps limited access to your teachers and peers. You did it anyway. You are a unique group of musicians who can be proud of the inclusion you earned in Maine Jazz All-State 2021. 

Planning for this yearly event begins as the final notes sound at the concert, led by Jazz Vice President Matt Waite of Millinocket. Matt’s vision, attention to detail and thorough planning has set the stage for an outstanding student (and teacher!) experience. We are so appreciative, Matt!  Special recognition goes to Instrumental Jazz Chair Becky Mallory and Managers Kyle Smith, Honors Jazz Band, Michelle Snow, SATB Jazz Choir, Pat Michaud, Jazz Combo and Mike Sakash, Jazz Band.

Before the actual festival, students prepare audition materials. An audition is like no other experience, and this year students and teachers alike had to shift to an online format. Brian Hutchinson, Auditions Chair and retired music educator from Winslow, worked all summer on behalf of MMEA to learn and modify an entirely new platform. Brian’s persistence, technical ability and background as a music educator resulted in an opportunity for over 1,000 students to  audition for state and district events this year. Brian also assembled and supported the adjudicators who heard each audition. This would not have been possible without you, Brian!  

Normally, the festival host would have put in countless hours of effort. This year our host was the internet, corralled and controlled by Webmaster Adam Metzler of Mars Hill. Adam ensured that we had Zoom Rooms galore, and provided great technical advice and expertise. Thank you, Adam!    
At every step of the way, assisting us all is MMEA Executive Director Beth LaBrie. Whether it be ordering music, delivering T-shirts or answering the endless questions, Beth guides MMEA  in all manner of details, big and small. Kudos Beth!

This festival exists because of the need to create, perform and experience music. Join me in thanking Maine’s music educators for their efforts to inspire, instruct and guide our students, culminating in this event we witness today.  Their work in these unprecedented times is nothing short of heroic. 

Finally, we thank you–parents, guardians, family, friends and community members. Your support of these musicians is a crucial factor in their success. Continue to support music education for all in any way you can. Our children need and deserve robust and exemplary music programs and opportunities throughout the state of Maine.   

Sincerely, 
Sandy

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Maine Bicentennial Parade

June 22, 2021

August 21, 2021

The State of Maine Bicentennial Parade presented by Poland Spring, is back on, now scheduled for Saturday, August 21, 2021, in Lewiston and Auburn.

This statewide parade will feature an intergenerational marching band, under the direction of John Neal, and we are hopeful that you will pass this invitation to participate along to your band members and any others you know in Maine who have musical talent. We would love to have horns, woodwinds and percussion performers from all across our great State.

We are also eager to welcome other full bands, whether marching or on a float, to participate in the parade, if your group is interested in performing as an individual unit. Please visit our webpage, www.Maine200Parade.com for all the information and the participation form.

Sign-up is open through the end of June for both the parade and the band. Rehearsal information, music and other details are posted at https://www.maine200parade.com/bicentennial-band.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions and thank you for helping to spread the word about the opportunity to participate in this historic event. We are on social media at @OfficialME200 if you could also please share our posts about the parade with your members/students.

If you have questions please contact Kristen Muszynski, director of communications, Maine Department of the Secretary of State at  Kristen.Muszynski@maine.gov

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APPLY now!

June 21, 2021

Deadline tomorrow for MAEPL

Curious about the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) program, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL)? Wonder why you should consider applying? Listen to arts educator and veteran MAEPL Teacher Leader Charlie Johnson at THIS LINK explain his reasons and the benefits that he’s experienced during his ten years of participation!

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS TOMORROW, JUNE 22, 2021! DON’T DELAY!

DETAILS – THIS LINK

APPLICATION – THIS LINK

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE that contains all the information you need!

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Great Opportunity

June 18, 2021

What are you doing July 27-28?

Interested in getting together with other Maine Arts Educators and Teaching Artists? Learn more about Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL) and consider applying to attend the summer institute and become a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for the 2021-22 school year.

At the Summer Institute new Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders will learn foundational practices in instructional design and leadership skills. Participants will take part in a variety of workshops focused on emerging needs in Arts Education professional development.  

Collaboration, networking, and the sharing of resources are an expectation as a member of the MAEPL community.  During the Institute participants will develop an individualized growth plan that will be shared with others for feedback and suggestions.  

Throughout the school year, participants will continue to share how their individualized growth plan is developed and implemented, and they will have the opportunity to share at a Critical Friends Day, and with a thought partner.        

There is a Winter Retreat with participants to review and reflect on the work done, and allow for time to get feedback to plan for the next Summer Institute.  

Listen to Teacher Leader Kris Bisson talk about her experiences being involved with MAEPL

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Annual Expectations: 

  • Attend Summer Institute 
  • Work with a thought partner 
  • Develop a individualized growth plan 
  • Share the outcomes of your individual growth plan within the MAEPL community and beyond (i.e. workshop, resource, video, article, etc.) 
  • Share feedback and information about MAEPL through teacher leader stories and as part of your outcomes of your personal growth plan 
  • Collaborate, network, and share resources 
  • Participate in Critical Friend Day 
  • Attend Winter Retreat

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Opportunities: 

  • Membership in the vibrant MAEPL community
  • Access to online resources 
  • Learn/Experience creative activities together 
  • Collaboratively develop educational resources 
  • Establish and work toward an individualized growth plan
  • Take on leadership and facilitator roles in MAEPL, Arts Organizations, and school communities 
  • Connect and make long-lasting relationships with other arts educators  
  • Network across diverse arts disciplines 
  • Access cutting edge professional development for emerging needs of our students and leaders within the arts educational community and beyond
  • Learn from experienced leaders 
  • Gain recertification hours 
  • Partner with the Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Program 

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives.  

APPLY TODAY — CLICK HERE  June 22, 2021 deadline for new and returning applicants

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW: 

SUMMER INSTITUTE

Pilgrim Lodge is a camp run by the United Church of Christ of Maine on Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, with cabins with electricity and plumbing, large indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, modern dining facilities, wifi in main buildings and good general cell reception, and recreation options, including swimming, human-powered boating, and trails.  

APPLICATION

Administrator Name/contact information

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Questions? Contact Maine Arts Commission Director of Education, Martha Piscuskas at Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov.

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Pam and Kevin

June 11, 2021

Dedicated teachers for 42 years

This is a wonderful tribute to music teachers, Kevin and Pam Rhein. They have dedicated the last 42 years to teaching. The have impacted hundreds of students in Messalonskee Schools. This is a wonderful tribute to both of them – teachers, community members, parents, friends, and colleagues. Wishing you only the very best Pam and Kevin and thank you for your commitment to education!

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We Are the World

June 10, 2021

Clarksville Elementary School

This needs no description – just click below and listen to children singing “We Are the World”.

https://www.wlky.com/article/watch-s-indiana-elementary-school-kids-adorably-sing-we-are-the-world/36523056#

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Dill Pickles Rag

June 5, 2021

Charles L. Johnson

Kristen Mosca shares “Dill Pickles Rag” by the great Charles L Johnson. Kristen has played the piano since she was 9 years old and fell in love with Ragtime as a teenager. This song was a hit in 1906 and it was the second rag song to sell over a million copies after Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag”. 

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