Northern School Notebook: April 5

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NYA to build modern learning commons

North Yarmouth Academy has announced plans to renovate and expand the current library space in the Curtis Building at 148 Main St., Yarmouth, into a state-of-the-art learning commons.

The NYA Learning Commons will be the nerve center of the school and provide the structure and space for information technology, online education, tutoring, collaboration, content creation, meeting, reading and study. The scope of the project more than doubles the current space to 3,250 square feet. A newly constructed 850-square-foot extension features an abundance of natural light and a 500-square-foot patio will allow students to study outside. Also included will be three group study rooms and two smaller study suites. Each have a glass panel wall to keep an open aspect to the rooms.

“The space is designed to engineer and drive future-oriented learning and teaching across all divisions,” according to a statement released by NYA. “Research indicates collaborative learning, the active exchange of ideas within small groups, not only increases interest among the participants but also promotes critical thinking and creativity …”

The NYA Learning Commons will also support various programs, including new early literacy and STEM programs for Lower School students.

Funding for the $700,000 project will come through private donations and foundation support, half of which has been committed by a quartet of benefactors.

Falmouth Girls and Boys State delegates selected

Eight Falmouth High School juniors have been selected to serve as delegates for this year’s American Legion Dirigo Boys and Girls State programs. Attending Dirigo Girls State at Husson University from June 17- 22 will be Emma Auer, Liberty Ladd, Sophie Magadieu and Neeya Rostampour. Dirigo Boys State will be held at Thomas College in Waterville from June 17 -21. Representing Falmouth High School are John Auer, Oscar Brautigam, Kade Kelley and Jacob Mitchell.

Girls State includes the operation of a model Senate and House of Representatives and county officer’s meetings. Bills of current concern to youth are debated and acted on through the same procedure as regular state government. Boys State is an opportunity to participate in a program that supplements their high school courses in government, where young men role-play and learn to campaign for local, county, and state offices. They then organize and carry out the functions of the state government.

Tuition to attend Dirigo Girls and Boys State is provided through the generosity of local American Legion Post No. 164, the Legion’s Auxiliary and the Falmouth Lions Club.

Falmouth Middle School jazz band awarded gold at state festival

Falmouth Middle School’s “Iron Twinkies” jazz band earned a Gold Award at the 2018 Maine State Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival in Division I on March 25 in Millinocket. The band, under the direction of music teacher Jerry Barry, scored 96.33 out of 100 possible points. Gold is the highest award presented at the festival, awarded to bands that receive a score of 95 or higher.

Tenor saxophonist Joey Rouhana was awarded a State Jazz Festival Outstanding Musicianship award, presented to the top five student performers in all of Division 1.

Nine additional individual Falmouth musicians also received Jazz Festival Awards for excellent solos or improvisation, including Paul Calcagni, Fiona Hanrahan, Chance Guyton, Boden Joyce, Kate Kinley, Katie Lamarre, Sophia Lambert, Max Polsky and Ben Wintersteen.

Rounding out the jazz bands 2018 roster are musicians Arsh Agnihotri, Cole Bennett, Chase Bevan, Jackson Boyd, Owen Davis, Bella Joyce, Ryan Merz, Gus Noble, Dennis Pogrebitskiy, Will Porter, Isaac Seeker, Mason Villacci, and Coco Xu.

The student musicians are adjudicated for their ability to perform stylistically in the jazz idiom. Judging categories include technical merit, artistic merit, solo/improvisation, and programming/presentation, which also includes the degree of difficulty of music for the selections performed.

The music performed by Falmouth Middle School included a blues swing tune entitled “Go Ask Your Mother!” by Paul Clark, the Rodgers and Hart classic ballad, “My Funny Valentine” arranged by Mike Smukal, and the jazz-rock closer “Feelin’ the Funk” by Erik Morales.

The judges commented that the band’s music was “confidently played” and performed “with excellent style and in tune.” They also remarked about the band’s “fantastic ensemble sound” and performed a “super set!” The judges were additionally impressed with the high quality of student jazz improvisations and the large number of soloists within the band.

The “Iron Twinkies” – Falmouth Middle School’s Jazz Band – earned a Gold Award at the Maine State Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival.

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