June 23, 2018
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Town leaders to sing choirs’ praises

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

MILLINOCKET, Maine — Town leaders will applaud the middle and high school choirs today for their sweep of Division II schools at the Maine State Vocal Jazz Festival, Town Manager Eugene Conlogue said Wednesday.

The Town Council will issue resolves honoring Unified Harmony, the combined Stearns and Schenck high school choir, and the Millinocket Middle School choir for their first-place finishes on April 10.

“The Town Council is always pleased to recognize outstanding achievement in the community, especially when it is by students attending our schools,” Conlogue said.

The winning efforts included first-place wins for middle school soloist Liza Brown and Unified soloist Gwen Morneault. Unified also won a first place for choreography.

The council will recognize the choirs’ history of excellence, Conlogue said. That includes Unified and Millinocket Middle School winning third place at the 2009 Maine Music Educators Association State Vocal Jazz Festival, with an outstanding choreography award going to Unified.

Millinocket School Committee member Kevin Gregory, chairman of the Performing Arts Booster Club’s second annual benefit dinner and auction on May 1, said he might seek more recognition of the choirs from the council.

He declined to say what he might seek.

“It’s such a great program that we have,” Gregory said Wednesday. “I think it’s a shining point of our school. I am probably prejudiced because my son is part of it, but for the middle school and the high school to win the state finals, wow.

Including the pit band and stage crew, Gregory said, the choirs have about 70 members from Stearns of Millinocket and Schenck of East Millinocket and the middle school.

The Unified Choir is among several efforts that combine students from both schools.

Matthew Waite is the director of the high school choir. Brenda Angotti directs the middle school choir, Gregory said.

The council meeting starts at 4:30 p.m.

Residents can show their appreciation by attending the meeting and the auction, Gregory said.

Held at the Walker Auditorium at Stearns at 11 a.m., the benefit auction will feature more than 200 items. The dinner will follow at noon. It will cost $6.

“I have a lot of stuff and I am still expecting a lot more,” Gregory said.

The Performing Arts Booster Club is composed of parents and residents who volunteer to help Katahdin region performing arts in public schools. Last year’s auction and dinner raised about $5,000 for travel costs, scholarships and equipment.

“Everything goes back to the kids,” Gregory said.

Anyone interested in donating items to the auction can e-mail Gregory at gregorykj@myfairpoint.net.

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