Posts Tagged ‘USM Gorham’


MAEA Exhibit

January 23, 2017

Opening Saturday USM

The Maine Art Education Association members exhibition – Portals – opens Saturday, January 28, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., University of Southern Maine Art Gallery, Gorham. Exhibit will remain until March 3, 2017.



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.


Theatre Festival

December 10, 2013

300 high school students engaged in learning

IMG_3771Every so often I have an opportunity to spend time with students. Last week I was with 300 high school students – the reason? To attend the Northeast Educational Theatre Festival that was held at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham campus. Rick Osann, arts educator from Bonny Eagle High School invited me to attend the event and I am so grateful that he did. What an experience!

I watched as the regional thespian officers formally opened the event with a skit and proceed to provide information in a collaborative manner, utilizing their stage skills throughout. Students were easily split into groups with each leader facilitating 20-minute ice breaker activities with about 25 students each. As time passed the energy in the room rose and the activities did exactly what they were planned to do – engage students in a manner that provided them to get to know each other. I wish other teachers had a chance to observe since it was such a learning opportunity for me as well.

IMG_3740The two-day event has several purposes: to provide opportunities for students to meet others from around New England, networking to learn from others, to provide feedback to students, and to attend valuable workshops on a variety of topics. Some of the topics include: Leadership, Directing, Clowning, Film Auditioning, Medieval Comic Theatre and Masks.

Students returned to the bleachers for the continuation of the program to hear from a couple of the adults. I said a few words that included information that my younger son had shared with me about what he learned from participating in theatre programs growing up.

IMG_3746Following me was a wonderful presentation given by Matt Conover from the Walt Disney Company. His key points: inspiration, finding one’s spark, and leadership resonated with me. Mr. Conover traced his own history mentioning inspirational people who had (and do) provided guidance and trusted him to take on leadership roles. They also nurtured him to follow his dreams. In college he earned a degree in lighting design and gave back to his own high school. He started in at the ground floor at Disney and 17 jobs, 25 years later he continues to love the work he does.

I was sad to leave and not be able to participate in the many workshops being offered over the next day and one half. Along with workshops, I am certain the students realized how fortunate they were for the opportunity. I know I was appreciative! The morning was a reminder of why I do what I do! Congrats to the student leadership team and the adults who worked so many hours to plan and implement an event of this magnitude.

IMG_3766 IMG_3755 IMG_3786

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