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Museum L-A to host May 7 Jazz Concert

LEWISTON – The Youth Orchestra of Lewiston-Auburn (YOLA) and the Hebron Academy Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Bates Mill Atrium on Tuesday, May 7 as a prelude to the opening of Museum L-A’s next installment in the “The Power of Music” exhibition series, “The Roaring 20s to Swing” which opens in June.

This exhibit will cover one of the most fascinating historical times in America, when Jazz emerged as the first national, musical movement and spread throughout the country.  The rise of Jazz was bolstered by the concurrent evolution of music, technology and dance, while the Depression, Prohibition, World Wars I and II, and the 1918 Influenza epidemic left significant imprints on American culture and its music.  The concert runs from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public free of charge.

YOLA plans to play four pieces, each introduced by a member of the group.  The first two, "An Irish Party in Third Class,"   and "The Godfather," represent the immigrant influence on American music.  YOLA will finish the performance with jazz standards "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "It Don't Mean a Thing" from Duke Ellington. In addition to performing their music, students will talk about the importance of music and what it means to them.

YOLA was established in 2012 for student string musicians in the Lewiston and Auburn area.  It is comprised of players  from middle and high school with intermediate to advanced skills as well as adults who participate as mentor musicians. Current YOLA members are:  Abram Collette, Matthew Marchus, and Emily Schulze of Lewiston; Sophie Wallace, Auburn; Bradley Sperl, Jon Tuttle, Darby Tuttle, and Lizzy Wilson of Minot; Ryan Spooner, Sabattus; and Zane Dustin, Hebron. Adult members are Katy Sperl and Donna Berry of Minot. Director Linda Vaillancourt earned her undergraduate music degree from the University of Southern Maine and her Master’s degree in viola performance from the University of Maine.  For the past 14 years, Linda has taught students from pre-K to high school seniors.  She currently teaches band and orchestra at North Yarmouth Academy, music and strings at l'Ecole Francaise du Maine, and orchestra at Lewiston High School. She frequently performs as a  violist in the Bangor Symphony, Maine Chamber Ensemble and Maine Music Society.

The Hebron Academy Jazz Ensemble is comprised of students in grades 8-12. Sixteen members are from Maine and New England, and international students are from South Korea, China and Jordan. Their names and instruments are: Alto Sax: Zach Abisalih, Auburn; Alana Chipman, Poland; Tim Sullivan, Georgetown, MA, Tyler Swanbeck, Hebron. Tenor Sax: Daniel Warner, Windham, N.H. Clarinet: Abby Bennett, Oxford; Simon Park, South Korea, Eli Ross, Waterford. Trumpet: Ben Bradford, Poland Regional High School, Poland; Field Peterson, New Gloucester. Strings: Lilly Bourget, Hebron; Lillian Gharios, Jordan. Piano: Ju Hee Kim, South Korea. Keyboard: Yi Shi Pan, China; Bryce Moody, Auburn. Bass: Jon Tuttle, Minot. Guitar; Jack Morton, South Paris, Wes Horton Drums/Percussion: Josh Hews, Poland, Victor Klinkerch, Raymond; Dylan Malia, New Gloucester.

The Ensemble will perform Tim Fisher's "Thad's Place,"  "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon, "Respect"  by Otis Redding,  and "Better Get It In Your Soul" by Charles Mingus.  The Hebron Academy Jazz Combo will play "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck and "Straight No Chaser" by Charlie Parker.   

Ensemble director John Lawson relocated to Southern Maine in 2002 after graduating from the University of  Louisville School of Music.  Since then he has maintained a private teaching studio as well as a busy performance schedule.  John is currently a member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and regularly performs in pit bands at several theaters in the area including Good Theater and Maine State Music Theater.  John is in his fifth year as the instrumental music teacher at Hebron Academy where he conducts the Orchestra and Jazz Band and teaches music theory and digital recording courses.

Parking for the concert is available free of charge after 6 p.m. at the nearby Canal Street and Chestnut Street garages. For more information about the concert or upcoming exhibit and its opening reception on Saturday, June 15, contact Museum L-A at 207-333-3881.