By Levi McAtee ’18
The All-State Music Festival will take place on May 17th-19th. Lincoln Academy is proud to have thirteen students who qualified for the festival in both instrumental and choral music. The following is a brief description, in no particular order, of the first six of those students.
Kayleigh Tolley, Class of 2019, is a vocalist currently living in Damariscotta who qualified for the All-State Music Festival. You may know her by her captivating performance as Maria in the fall production of West Side Story, or perhaps by her continued prize-winning performances at the NATS (National Association for Teachers of Singing) Classical Competition, or simply by her mellifluous, inimitable voice. Though she found the All-State audition to be a little stressful, she was able to “push through the nerves by just smiling and enjoying [her] time singing.” Kayleigh says Denise Flanagan and Ms.Preston have been her most inspiring music teachers. Denise, her first piano teacher, “taught [her] how to read music, and about rhythm and scales and all the basic musical concepts,” and Ms. Preston taught her “how to sing and how to develop [her] own unique voice.” Kayleigh “[hopes] to study classical voice in college and continue singing for the rest of [her] life.” She says she would be happy in a career with any sort of musical involvement, but she “[loves] to act, dance, and sing, [and] would love [to] continue all three.” When asked about the contents of her favorite playlist, Kayleigh said she has “a million different favorite playlists,” but she put special emphasis on Josh Groban saying he has “the voice of an angel” and has been “somewhat of a guilty pleasure.”
Jojo Martin of Newcastle, flutist, pianist, and singer, is a student of the Class of 2020 who qualified for the All-State Music Festival in voice. Seasoned from years of practice and “really working at it,” Jojo found the demanding All-State audition to be “just like any other audition.” He said if you “know that nothing will go wrong… then it won’t.” Jojo’s musical background has been “quite vast,” and he has been fortunate enough to have outstanding music teachers (namely John Morneau, Liz Matta, Beth Preston, and Aaron Robinson) who have “taught [him] so much about each aspect [of music] and all have very different styles of teaching which cover a broad spectrum of abilities.” In addition to making music, Jojo also enjoys running, swimming, and theater. Looking to the future, Jojo currently aspires to become a professional jazz pianist; however, in the meantime he is content with anticipating “spending time with musically talented people” at the 2018 All-State Music Festival.
Sam Russ, the tubist of the class of 2019, hails from Damariscotta. His tuba, Officer Tubbs, was instrumental to his success in qualifying for the Festival. He decided to perform in the All-State Orchestra (as the top-scoring tubist in Maine he had the option of choosing the Band or Orchestra) because “there’s only one tuba in an orchestra, it’s going to be a really exciting experience.” When asked about the positive influences of his music career, Sam had this to say: “Mr. Morneau at GSB taught me to play the tuba and helped me develop a love for the instrument. Ms. Anne-Marie D’Amico has helped me develop my skill to a far more advanced level. Ms. Matta has been great in helping me transition deeper into the world of music, giving me access to opportunities I didn’t know that I had and answering all my questions. She also makes a great bell cover on the sousaphone.”
Sam hopes to double major in music and education to the end that he might one day be a professional tubist. When Sam is not playing the tuba, he is “usually running,” and led LA Cross Country team to a State Championship in the fall of 2017.
Chris Burrow, class of 2019, is a clarinetist currently living in New Harbor. Despite finding the sight reading to be “pretty hard,” Chris reportedly loved the audition repertoire and successfully qualified for the Festival. He attributes much of his success to his being an autodidact (he has taught himself to play several instruments in addition to the clarinet); however, he also eagerly recognizes the mentorship of his band director, Ms.Matta, who “inspired [him] to pursue music”; it is clear that music Mattas to him. He is unsure what his post graduate plans are, though he plans to attend higher education and “spend [his] life on music.” His favorite collection of music is David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 9, and his other musical endeavors include playing music for school theater productions and participating in the Seacoast Community Orchestra. He looks forward to “performing with other talented musicians” at the Festival this May.
Phoebe Pugh of Alna, thespian, Debate Team captain, and salutatorian of the Class of 2018, is yet another gifted student who qualified for for the Festival in voice. Though singing is just one of many pursuits in which Phoebe excels, she says it “has been an incredibly important part of who [she is].” At the festival this year, she “loved auditioning” and “had a lot of fun preparing for and being a part of [the process].” Though she works hard for her impressive achievements, Phoebe recognizes the significance of the tremendous support she has received at LA. She had this to say of her mentors: “I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that my involvement in the LA music program has given me. To all of the music and theater teachers who have helped me to pursue my passion and become inspired, I want to give my sincerest thanks.”
Prospectively, Phoebe intends to study public policy and history while minoring in music. In the immediate future, she is looking forward to her Senior Recital, which will take place on Friday, May 25, at St.Patrick’s Church. The ceremony, a tremendous opportunity to support Phoebe and the culmination of her musical efforts so far, will begin at 7:00pm.
Miles Austin Jackson, Class of 2018, also qualified for the Festival in voice. Miles was home schooled in Jefferson for much of his elementary education, so he did not “[have] as much training as most high school musicians until [he] got to high school”; however, Miles has since taken full advantage of every musical opportunity he could find. Perhaps the most significant of said opportunities was the guidance of a myriad of instructors, namely Ms. Preston, Ms. Matta, Mr. Boyd, Dr. Dosman, Scott Wheatley, Matthew Fogg, Adam Soosman, and Lance Burpee. Modestly, Miles attributes his success to these teachers saying “they have pushed [him] to be the best musician that [he] can be.” Though Miles found the audition to be “nerve-wracking,” he was also able to have “a lot of fun” and enjoy it as “an awesome learning experience.” Miles hopes to major in music in college and become a professional musician, a music teacher, and/or a music therapist. He “loves the LA music program and the teachers and the students,” and LA is both proud and sad to see him go. Mile’s final high school performance, his Senior Recital, will take place on Sunday, May 27 at 4:00. The performance will be held at St.Patrick’s church.
The public is invited to attend the All-State Concerts, which take place on Saturday, May 19 at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono. The choir concert takes place at 2:30 pm and the instrumental concert (band and orchestra) at 5 pm. Tickets are available at the Collins Center website. Then next opportunity to hear Lincoln Academy musicians perform locally will be on Sunday, May 20 at 7 pm at the Spring Choir and Strings Concert, St. Patrick’s Church in Newcastle.
Levi McAtee is a senior at Lincoln Academy and an intern in the LA Communications Office. Next year he will attend Bowdoin College where he hopes to study economics with a minor in dance.