Posts Tagged ‘music education’


Master Musician Visits Waterville

March 17, 2016

Waterville students benefit

IMG_2924Waterville schools had the privilege of hosting Srinivas Krishnan, an Indian Musician, for a week-long residency. The educational experience impacted the 80 members of the high school band, the 40 member chorus and 50 member orchestra. In addition, Srini worked with the 38, grades 4-8 elementary and middle school gifted and talented students from AOS 92 (Waterville, Winslow, and Vassalboro).

Singing WedWhile in Waterville Krishnan, taught the students about music from other cultures, cooked and treated them to Indian food and told stories. As often happens when providing unique learning opportunities for students, he enlightened the students about life and humanity. Scrini’s goal is to work in small towns to share his culture with students who would not otherwise be able to have access.

Not only was this a learning opportunity for students but when teaching artists spend time in schools, teachers benefit as well. It was an initial contact that Scrini had with Sam Lyons while he was at USM that lead to this residency. It was evident that Scrini impacted Sam and music educators Sue Barre and Ciara Hargrove as well.

With HS teachers

Ciara, Scrini, Sue, Sam

I joined Maine DOE visual and performing arts specialist Beth Lambert for the culminating performance at Waterville Senior High School and it was evident that the impact Scrini had on the music program and students during the week was enormous. In addition to the performance that I attended the community packed the auditorium on one evening that a day school was canceled.

Playing Tablas with HS Students

Playing Tablas with high school students

Srinivas Krishnan who goes by Scrini, is a Master Percussionist from India and has been trained under four master musicians in India. He gave his first solo recital at the age of 16 and was featured as a percussionist at the University of North Texas at the age of 21. Srinivas performs on the tabla, the ghatam, the Middle Eastern dumbek, the Irish Bodhran, and the mridangam. He has degrees in areas of the science, engineering and management from Miami University. You can read his entire biography at THIS LINK.


Ciara and Scrini singing

The English department chair, Katie Dunn sent the following note to the members of the music department Sue Barre, Ciara Hargrove, and Sam Lyons:
Thank you for such a heartwarming cultural experience on Friday. I was overwhelmed to see so many of our students singing and playing music with Scrini Krishnan. Over a quarter of the school was on that stage! And they had embraced this Indian rhythm and sound that is so different than what I imagine they usually hear and play. It was awesome to see and hear the results.

Check out a segment of the performance Scrini directed with the audience by CLICKING HERE.

Amy Calder from the Kennebec Journal attended the Friday concert and she describes the experience very well in the article at THIS LINK.

IMG_1768I think the experience was best summed up by accomplished sophomore musician Soren Nyhus, 15, a cellist in the school orchestra. “We all work to make the music better with the notes, the rhythms and all that stuff. Working with Scrini taught me that music is more than working on the notes. Music has the ability to speak to all of us through the heart, music is our common language.”

CLICK HERE for a glimpse at a rehearsal with Scrini that lead up to the performances.

CLICK HERE for video footage of the afternoon at Waterville High School.

Sue Barre, department chair, hopes that Scrini will return and involved more learners as part of a Global Rhythms Concert. If you’d like more information please contact Sue at


Who Are They?: Bay Chambers, Part 2

February 4, 2015


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.

Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School is the first organization being highlighted. Located in Rockport, they provide rich music opportunities for students of all ages in the mid-coast area. Monica Kelly is the Executive Director and you can learn more at This post was written by Monica about their program called Odeon.

Marti Stone photo

Marti Stone photo

I don’t really know how it happened. I am not a strings player. My children weren’t either. But somehow I managed to found Odeon, a community string orchestra in 2000 in mid-coast Maine.

I had been involved with Bay Chamber Concerts for four years as a trustee and kept hearing about the concerns that there were no string ensemble programs in our area and the Next Generation program, a summer camp for Maine youth interested in playing chamber music together, was struggling to find participants. At the same time, my three young boys were attending the Riley School, an arts-focused K-9 school in Rockport and I was chair of the parent committee. The then director, Glenna Plaisted, a true visionary educator, said to me that she thought we should start an orchestra at Riley. Well, the truth was that the school didn’t have enough students to make that happen, so I convinced her to partner with me in writing a grant to the MBNA Foundation, which at that time was funding a lot of arts education programs in our community. Low and behold we were awarded a small sum which we used to hire our first conductor, the amazing Augusto Salazar. Not only was he an amazing musician, he was willing to drive to Rockport each week from Kittery because he believed so much in what we were doing.

Marti Stone photo

Marti Stone photo

So on a cold January night in 2000, eight children, ages 8-18 showed up to audition for the Odeon Ensemble. We had three quite advanced students, and a handful of intermediate and beginning ones to boot. Kindly a couple of the parents who played stringed instruments agreed to sit in and help out. At the debut concert held that spring, the first work on the program was called “Warm-up – the scale in G major”!!!

Quickly the program began to grow and within 5 years we were up to 40 members in three ensembles. Some of the students at that time were quite advanced and we experienced some glorious moments of music before they all graduated and went off to schools like Oberlin, Wellesley, and Tufts. And then, in 2006 we were invited to merge with Bay Chamber Concerts.

Throughout the years Odeon has evolved and the groupings have changed. Our latest configuration is as follows: Allegro, for beginning young string musicians; Symphony, for intermediate youth in strings, winds, brass and piano; and the Adult Ensemble. We perform at least two formal concerts per year and seek opportunities to play in assisted living facilities, schools, etc. We even did a flash mob in Hannaford’s and Reny’s one year!

It has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life to foster this program and see it evolve, grow and adapt to the people who make it happen. I am grateful to the musicians who have led Odeon over the years: Augusto Salazar, Gilda Joffe, Marshunda Smith, Deirdre McClure, Nate Martin and new to this spring, Sarah Glenn, for their contributions in building a community orchestra for mid-coast Maine. And I cannot write a complete story of Odeon’s history without mentioning two supporters from the board of Bay Chamber who have given their hearts and souls to the ensembles because of their belief in the value of being music makers; Eleanor Poe Barlow and Caroline E. Seamans.

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University Singers

February 28, 2014

Unique student opportunity


Invitation to a Free Lunch Time Concert.  The University of Maine Singers under the direction of Dr. Dennis Cox and accompanied by Dr. Laura Artesani will visit the Camden Hills Regional High School for a short concert on Tuesday, March 11th at 12:15 – 1:00 PM.  There is plenty of space in the Strom auditorium, please attend and hear this excellent college ensemble!

There is also a chance that there will be a short male a cappella workshop from 1 – 1:30, if there is enough interest from area middle school/high schools.  If interested, please contact Kim Murphy at ASAP and let her know.

The University Singers will be on tour during this time. The locations where they will be performing are listed below. All concerts are scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM, free and open to the public.

  • March 10, First Baptist Church, Bar Harbor
  • March 11, Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head
  • March 12, First Parish Church of Christ, Saco
  • March 12, Winnisquam Regional High School, Tilton, NH
  • March 14, Lasell College, Newton, MA



Summer Youth Music Camp

January 31, 2014

UMaine program

Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 9.28.58 AMOrono, Maine — Registration is underway for Maine Summer Youth Music (MSYM) Camp at the University of Maine.

Junior Camp, for students in grades 5-8, is July 13-18 and Senior Camp, for students in grades 8-12, is July 19-27. Eighth-grade students may attend either or both camps.

Campers study with UMaine faculty and public school music teachers while staying in a residence hall on the Orono campus. Vocal and instrumental opportunities include symphonic band, jazz band, string ensemble, chorus, and musical theater, along with master classes and evening concerts. Senior campers may work with Joan deAlbuquerque, guest conductor from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Registration may be done online with a debit card, credit card or electronic check, or through the mail. For more information about the camp, as well as the cost and scholarships, visit

About the University of Maine
The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s premier public university. It is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from across the U.S. and more than 65 countries. It currently enrolls 11,247 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers doctoral degrees in 35 fields, representing the humanities, sciences, engineering and education; master’s degrees in roughly 70 disciplines; 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs; and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship on its campus, with substantial efforts aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit

For more information and application – Monique Hashey, 207.581.4721,


Music Sharpens Brain Pathways

December 4, 2013

Quality music programs are essential

Education Week, November 25, 2013 in an article called Music Training Sharpens Brain Pathway Studies Say, writer Sarah D. Sparks provides an overview of the new research suggesting that the “complexity involved in practicing and performing music may help students’ cognitive development.” Now that is information that I am sure Maine music teaches are aware of and observe it day – to – day teaching students music.

Read the entire article by clicking here.


In Today’s News

April 10, 2013

USM music education

This article was included today in the Bangor Daily News Media partners Free Press. It provides information on what is happening at USM in the music education department. The article is called Music education faculty halved due to university budget cuts. Click here to access the article.


Playing for Maine

October 8, 2012

Be In Love – Playing for Change – Playing for Maine

Recently in the Portland area the Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) decided to create their own Playing for Change video. They partnered with a number of local filmmakers, musicians, and students to make their own video in the style of the Playing For Change “Songs Around The World” series. They selected the song by Portland musician Dominic Lavoie, “Be In Love”.

MAMM also made a commitment to raising awareness and the value of music education in the lives of young people by providing a series of local concerts in various locations in Portland.

I was surprised and very happy to see a former student of mine singing in the video, Sara Richardson.

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