BUCKSPORT — The 17th annual Down East Center Ring Circus Band concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center.
The concert will feature rarely heard live circus music and humorous anecdotes under the baton of Conductor Gene Nichols, professor of music, University of Maine Machias. NIchols is a former director of music for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. The 50-member band includes professional musicians, music educators and retired military band personnel from around the country who volunteer their time for rehearsals and the concert.
Also performing will be Anah Shrine Circus clowns and the band’s home town clowns.
The concert is produced every year by Don Blodgett, retired educator, trombone player and Orland resident, who conceived of the scholarship program as a way to give back to the area where he received his early music education.
The evening serves as a benefit concert for music scholarships for middle and high school music students in Hancock, Penobscot and Washington counties.
The concert is free, but,donations will be accepted to benefit the scholarship fund. Since the first concert in 1997, $28,320 in music scholarships have been awarded. The scholarships are funded by the concert proceeds, individual donations, the town of Bucksport and The Bay Area Cultural Arts Society. Scholarships were awarded to 33 students in 2012 at 14 schools in the three counties.
Scholarships must be used to further a student’s musical training, including music lessons, music camp, repair or purchase of a musical instrument or accessories. Over the years, the scholarship has made it possible for students who have never had private instruction to take private music lessons or to upgrade loaned school instruments they had been playing since elementary school.
“The scholarship also helps finance a summer music camp experience, which can be a pivotal experience in a young musician’s life,” Blodgett said. “Every year, a number of the applicants indicate that their goal is to become professional musicians or major in music education.” Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a student’s individual application and a letter of recommendation from the student’s music mentor.
For information, contact Martha Pedrick, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-7776.