Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


Tiny Desk Concerts

May 23, 2015


Bob Bollen hosts All Songs Considered for National Public Radio. In 2008 he launched the Tiny Desk Concert series where invited musicians perform behind Bob’s desk in the office of NPR. Someone sent me a link to one of the performances and I couldn’t stop watching, video after video. There are over 150 videos of archived show’s at  Some of them are calm and intimate while others are crazy and rowdy. I suggest that you have more than 5 minutes when you click on the link.



Congrats MMEA!

May 19, 2015

All-State Conference

Virgil Bozeman, (Richmond Middle/High School), Rob Westerberg (York High School), Allysa Anderson (Camden-Rockport Middle School)

Virgil Bozeman, MAAI Teacher Leader Phase 5 (Richmond Middle/High School), Rob Westerberg, MAAI Leadership Team (York High School), Allysa Anderson MAAI Teacher Leader Phase 1,2,5 (Camden-Rockport Middle School)

Last Friday I had the chance to catch up with many Maine music educators at the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) conference at USM Gorham. It was a beautiful day on the campus and I was so thrilled to see old friends and meet music educators that I didn’t know before attending. I bumped into several Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders, some presenting. I know that there were many other music teachers attending that I didn’t see. (I wish I could be there for all three days!) Along with conversations with teachers I also had a chance to pop into the rehearsal sessions of the Band in Warren Hill Gym, the Mixed Choir in the First Parish Church (across from campus), the Treble Choir in the Recital Hall, Corthell Hall, and the Orchestra in Corthell Hall. For those of  you who couldn’t be there I took a couple of videos of the student rehearsals. (embedded below)

What did I learn?

  • The number of participants overall attending the conference was up – and several new MMEA members
  • Treble Choir was a new addition this year and is very successful
  • Students are amazing; kind and well prepared AND wonderful to listen to
  • Conference and student schedules well organized and providing opportunities to meet the needs of both groups
  • Teachers are experiencing similar challenges at their schools and welcome the opportunity to come together with their colleagues from across the state to learn from each other
  • The planners of the conference and All-State festival are fully committed to creating a successful event

Mixed Choir rehearsing

I noticed that there were more younger teachers and with that goes lots of energy and eagerness to learn! Some teachers said that they were not on the Maine Arts Education list-serv which means they are not part of the statewide community that is connected by the list-serv. Please be sure and send me your email and let your colleagues know about the list-serv so they can be part of the visual and performing arts community. By being a member you receive Tuesday morning Arts Ed Updates.

A note from MMEA President-Elect, Sue Barre, confirmed what I guessed from being in rehearsals on Friday: “We had a wonderful day of music making yesterday, all four ensembles were top notch!”

Thank you to those who took advantage of the learning opportunity that MMEA affords at the annual conference. And more importantly CONGRATULATIONS and a HUGE THANK YOU to the conference and All-State planners. I know it is no small task! Your lights are shining brightly!

Mixed Choir rehearsing, First Parish Church

Mixed Choir rehearsing, First Parish Church


Shoulder massages during a break from Mixed Choir rehearsal

The Mixed Choir singing Hallelujah by Beethoven.

The Band performing a segment of the Olympic Fanfare by John Williams.


The Dirigo March

May 15, 2015

Maine’s own March

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Leo Peppin, Photo by Andy Molloy

The Dirigo March was composed by Maine native Leo J. Pepin, in 1961.

In 2012 the March was unanimously approved by the Maine State Legislature as the, Official State March. The music is in the public domain and is now being made available to Maine high schools, colleges and bands throughout the State.

Composer Pepin was an accomplished lifelong musician. Upon graduation from the Northern Conservatory of Music he opened a private music studio where he taught for 30 years. When he “retired” he continued to play, record, and entertain publicly in many music venues, much to the delight of his community. He was greatly honored in 2014 when he was inducted into the Franco American Hall of Fame. Additionally, March 20, 2014 was declared Leo J. Pepin Day, in the State Capital, in recognition of his accomplishments. The Franco American Collection at the University of Southern Maine is now the home of the original Dirigo March Manuscript and many other artifacts related to Mr. Pepin’s life and legacy.

Like many Maine natives, Leo Pepin came from humble beginnings, and represents all that is best about Maine and the opportunities it has to offer its citizens. His parents were both immigrants: his mother Margaret came from Ireland and his father George from Quebec, Canada. Throughout his life he was devoted to serving his Country and his State. Mr. Pepin passed away on September 15, 2015 at the age of 90.

As a lifelong resident of Maine he was proud of his State, and was pleased to present the March as a gift to the people of Maine. Mr. Pepin remarked, “Now at public events when marches are played, the people of Maine will have their own State Song. Now we can play our very own March.”

You can access the March for Conductors by clicking HERE.

You can access the March for Musicians by clicking HERE.





April 29, 2015

Bach’s Prelude No. 1

DSCN1328I will never forget the first time I saw boomwhackers (after I had left the classroom) in action. It was during my first year working at the Maine Department of Education. I visited the York schools and was in a lower elementary classroom of Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader Cynthia Keating’s. The kids were very excited and engaged in their learning. This video took me right back to that moment. Thanks to MAAI Teacher Leader Andria Bacon for sharing this video.




April 27, 2015

Happy kids – Africa (Uganda) – this is extremely warm and wonderful!

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All-State Music Conference

April 20, 2015

Maine Music Educators Association

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 2.05.21 PMThere is one month until the All State Festival and In Service Conference being held at USM, Gorham campus on May 14 and 15, 2015. The Maine Music Educators invite you to join them and promise that there is something for everyone!

The following highlights are important to note

  • 5 workshops with Christi Carey Miller of Hal Leonard
  • Key note by Peter Boonshaft
  • NAfME Eastern Division President Robert Frampton
  • Exhibits Crawl
  • President’s Reception
  • Workshops about online auditions
  • Director’s Chorus

Click Here for the Registration Form!  Registration (pre-register by April 30, 2015)

Call for a hotel reservation today Best Western Merry Manor (207) 774-6151

Thank you to Sue Barre and Sam Moore- Young who are the conference co-chairs. If you have questions please email them at or  Thanks also to Kristin Thomas who is doing an AMAZING job on the festival side of things.

In addition the conference highlights include the following

  • Performances by the Navy Band Thursday night and the Director’s Chorus and Maine Rock Orchestra Friday night.
  • Maine Music Educator of the Year and Outstanding Administrator will be announced at the President’s Reception.
  • York Treble Choir and Chamber Singers performing
  • Brunswick Concert Band performing
  • Over 60 workshops including 2 workshops by Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Leadership Team member and York High School choral director Rob Westerberg about assessment – Keeping it real and painless :-)!

I hope to see you there on May 14 or 15!!


Who Are They?: MECA, Part 6

April 15, 2015

Maine College of Art

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.42.14 PMThis is the sixth and final post as part of this series on the Maine College of Art (MECA) which is located in downtown Portland. Thank you to Raffi Der Simonian, Director of Marketing & Communications for his help in putting this series together.

The final post includes information about MECAs new music and art program which received $3 million to kickstart the program. Learn about it in this video from Ian Anderson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.


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