Schools: John Bapst Concert Choir named International Champions

Posted April 25, 2011, at 10:09 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — When John Bapst seniors Andrew Babbitt and Sarah VanKirk suggested that the school’s Concert Choir add a competition to its schedule, Fine Arts Director Alfred McIntyre agreed to try to make it happen. On April 9, their efforts were rewarded. After eight months of preparation, the Bangor school’s Concert Choir was named International Champions in the Concert Choir category at the Heritage Music Festival in Salem, Mass. In addition, the top two solo vocal awards presented at the competition went to Babbitt of Hampden and John Bapst sophomore Rose Upton of Orland.

More than 1,000 students competed in instrumental and vocal groups at the two-day festival. The event featured schools from Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states. In addition, there were performance groups from Toronto and Vancouver, Canada.

The John Bapst singers performed three pieces for the judges: “The Last Words of David,” “Kyrie” and “Zadok the Priest.” McIntyre commented, “I always tell the students, ‘Let the hard work we do today be worthwhile tomorrow.’ When we heard that the first place Gold Award for Concert Choir went to the school from Bangor, Maine, we were just ecstatic.”

In addition to Upton, Babbitt and VanKirk, the Concert Choir includes seniors David Botello, Nichole Bouchard, Katelyn Day, Megan Doane, Laura Donovan, Jacquelyn Dougherty, Brittany Ellis, Angela Frankland, Justin Lad, Aaron Ortiz, Nickole Powers, Sheila Rajan, Justin Smith and Nick Southwick; juniors Alex Beals, Ashley Charpentier, Paige Côté, Margaret Howson, Amanda Lalime, Kurt Massey, Jessica Moore, Leigh Neptune, Julia Pelkey, Sarah Tapley, Maria Ullo and Kristen Weed; sophomores Rachel Bladen, Jonathan Deschaine, MacKenzie Hayman, Christina Long,  Jaime Roy, Mitchell Stewart and Adam Strang; and freshmen Jane Branch, Stephanie Colavito, Nicholas Galinski, Ayla Geel, Macey Jennings, Nick Jordan and Noah Potvin.  The Concert Choir was directed by McIntyre and accompanied by pianist Thomas Jones.

Letters About Literature

The Maine Humanities Council, which partners with the Library of Congress for the annual Letters About Literature competition, has announced the contest’s state winners for 2011:

  1. Charlie Budd, Mary Snow School, Bangor, Level I, grades four-six, “Elijah of Buxton” by Christopher Paul Curtis.
  1. Libby O’Brien of Cape Elizabeth, Level II, grades seven-eight.
  2. Kirsten Page of Scarborough, Level III, grades nine-12.

For the Letters About Literature contest, students in Maine and around the country were asked to write to an author — living or dead — explaining how that author’s work changed their view of the world or themselves or how it made a difference in their lives.

Teachers play an important role in this, using the competition as an assignment and helping students further refine their thoughts and improve their writing skills. More than 1,300 students from Maine submitted letters for the 2011 competition, which is organized nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Target Stores is a national sponsor, and in Maine, the David Royte Foundation supports the program.

“Letters About Literature invites students to examine how authors, stories and characters have had an impact on their lives and encourages their love of reading and writing, hopefully for years to come,” said Erik Jorgensen, executive director for the Maine Humanities Council. “As we have been each year, we were amazed by the honesty, cleverness and genuine emotion expressed by Maine students in their submissions to the 2011 competition.”

The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities and the world. The council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas through its programming. The council also provides grants supporting projects in community history, exhibits, workshops and other areas of study.

Other local honorees were:

Level I:

  1. Third place: Kailey Smith, grade six, Leonard Middle School, Old Town, “Hoot” by Carl Hiassen.
  2. Honorable mention: Andrew Vaillancourt, grade six, Leonard Middle School, Old Town, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Level III:

  1. Third place, Allison Rowe, grade 11, Bangor, “The Last Song” by Nicholas Sparks.

Semi-Finalists, listed by school:

Camden Rockport Middle School, Camden, Tyler Bilodeau.

Fairmount School, Bangor, McKenna Baker.

Pennies for Patients

DEDHAM, Maine — Dedham School participated in Pennies for Patients — a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The kids met their goal of $700 by raising $1135.34.

By reaching the goal they met their challenge and were allowed to “duct tape” teacher Beth Handley to the wall and throw water balloons at her.

The school has a first-grader who has leukemia and was getting ready to go on her Make-a-Wish trip, and she threw the first water balloon.

History, social studies

THOMASTON, Maine — The General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston is accepting registrations for two free professional development programs for history and social studies teachers in July. Funded by Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation and approved for both continuing education and college credits, the programs are offered under the auspices of the museum’s Center for Early American History and scheduled for July 11-15 and 18-22.

Inspired by a letter dating from 1794 recently acquired by the museum in which Henry Knox wrote to his daughter Lucy that her correspondence provided “a cordial to [his] spirits,” the summer teacher programs will focus on personal letters and the rich historical source material they provide. The museum’s concurrent summer exhibit will showcase Knox family letters, and visiting professor Dr. Konstantin Dierks of Indiana University, author of “In My Power: Letter Writing and Communications in Early America,” will speak.Also, Dr. Marla Miller of University of Massachusetts at Amherst will discuss her scholarship on women’s industry in the 18th century and her most recent work, “Betsy Ross and the Making of America,” and noted professors and lecturers from Simmons College, San Diego City College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the Tate House Museum and the Maine Historical Society will conduct seminars both in person and online.Field trips to the art museums at Bowdoin and Colby colleges and a ferry trip to Islesboro, where renowned food historian Sandy Oliver will host an open-hearth cooking lesson, round out the programs.Teachers may sign up for either or both weeks. All books and classroom materials are provided free to participants, and housing with museum member families is available as space allows. The two-week program is approved for three credit hours through either the University of Maine Hutchinson Center or Framingham State College, as well as for 4.5 continuing education units, or CEUs. Participants also will receive a $100 cash stipend per week.Contact Sophie Mendoza, Knox Museum education coordinator, at 354-0858 or http://center@knoxmuseum.org for more information and to request registration materials. Space is limited.

Destination Imagination

ORONO, Maine — Orono Middle School’s Destination Imagination team of Lily Koffman, Jake Koffman, Emma Peterson, Anna Webber, Emily Noyes and Katie Sypher are raising funds to support their upcoming trip to Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., May 23-28.

The students will present their solution to the challenge “Unidentified Moving Objects.” Planned events include a yard sale, car wash and bottle drive on April 30, and a buffet dinner at Oriental Jade on May 9. For more information, contact Beth Sypher, 866-3813.

Colleges

Commencement at MMA

CASTINE, Maine — Peter G. Vigue, chairman and chief executive officer of The Cianbro Companies, will address the graduating class at Maine Maritime Academy’s 68th Commencement at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 30, in Alexander Fieldhouse. Vigue, a 1969 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, will receive an honorary doctorate from the college.

Commencement activities will begin at 9 a.m. with the awards program in Delano Auditorium, Leavitt Hall. Class members will receive six associate degrees, 203 bachelor’s degrees and 14 master’s degrees. Also participating will be 43 associate degree candidates from the college’s educational program with Bath Iron Works. The graduating class represents more than 130 Maine communities and 20 other states, as well as Kuwait and South Africa.

MMA President Dr. William J. Brennan and Victoria M. Larson of Windham, chairman of the board of trustees, will present diplomas. Dr. John Barlow, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, will preside at the exercises.

Capt. P.J. Loustaunau, commandant of midshipmen, will conduct the regimental change of command ceremony. The oath of office will be administered to new U.S. Merchant Marine officers. Capt. Thomas A. Buterbaugh, USN, commanding officer of MMA’s NROTC unit, will administer the oath of office for Navy officers. A formal commissioning ceremony for Navy officers will take place at 1 p.m. in the Harborview Room of the Harold Alfond Student Center.

Averett University

ORRINGTON, Maine — Whitney Rose Bronson of Orrington was recognized during the April 5 honors banquet and convocation at Averett University in Danville, Va.

Bronson received the Alpha Chi Scholarship, which is awarded to the sophomore with the highest grade point average. Bronson is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in equestrian studies: management.

DePaul University

HAMPDEN, Maine — Rebecca Smith, a student at DePaul University in Hampden, has been named to the dean’s list for the 2011 winter quarter. Dean’s list commendation goes to those with a GPA of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale.

EMCC Tech Day

BANGOR, Maine — Eastern Maine Community College on April 26 participated in Tech Day, an annual event designed to bring together the on-campus and off-campus community.

Activities included lunch sponsored by the Student Senate, a concession stand to benefit “Sunday Suppers,” an organization that the Student Senate volunteered with on their trip to Washington D.C.; a balloon pop extravaganza, the first “Pie-Hit-Face-Smash” event, and the staff-vs.-students softball game to benefit the Student Senate Scholarship Fund for EMCC students.

Other activities included free STD testing services by Penquis, Aqua Massages, the annual car show, Ultimate Frisbee, EMCC’s Got Talent, Mechanical Bull, Velcro Wall, Egg Toss, Water Balloons, Spin Art Frisbees, Big Chair Photos and Hose Hockey.

Students also took part in a variety of community service programs.

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