Orono Musicians Strike the Right Note

Posted March 08, 2011, at 6:29 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — “March Madness” isn’t only for college basketball.  Just ask Orono’s student musicians at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, where nearly the entire month will be a celebration of vocal and instrumental music.

Orchestral music takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, when string musicians from Asa Adams Elementary School, Orono Middle School and Orono High School perform an All Orchestra Concert at Hauck Auditorium on the UMaine campus. Under the direction of conducter Waldo Caballero, the program will include musicians from beginner through advanced levels, performing classical and popular pieces in large and small ensembles. While many Maine communities provide no orchestral program or have seen its decline in recent years,

Orono’s string program is strong and growing and has expanded to include co-curricular chamber groups in addition to ensemble classes.  Orono’s high school orchestra members each year earn positions in a variety of elite festivals and orchestras in Maine and beyond. This year, violinist Hanna Renedo and violist Norah Bird have been ranked among Maine’s top string players and will be performing with the All State Orchestra.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, more than 100 voices will be lifted in song when vocalists from Asa Adams ES, the Glenburn School, Veazie Community School, OMS, and OHS come together for the All Choirs Concert at Hauck Auditorium.  Whether listening to the fourth and fifth grade singers from Asa Adams under the direction of Julie DeGrasse, the Glenburn School Chorus under the direction of Sarah Clark, or the VCS, OMS, or OHS students under the direction of Terrence Henry, audiences can expect an excitingly eclectic array of international, American traditional, classical, and jazz-pop tunes. As with instrumental music, the choral program in the Orono and Veazie schools continues to be strong as students advance from beginner to higher levels of challenge. This year, vocal excellence of OHS students Alex Bernard, Jessica Cartwright, Conall Malloy and Mei-Lee Perkins earned them places in the District V Festival Chorus. Singers Conall Malloy, Maxim Birgfeld Davis, and Joseph Paul were also honored by acceptance to the All State Chorus.

The March music concerts are free and open to the public. Funds raised through donations at the door and sales of refreshments or raffle tickets benefit performing arts programs in the schools.

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