Life in the music world at Rockland District Middle School is full of exciting opportunities this year. In addition to the normal spring concert, there are a couple of extra events happening.

On Thursday, April 3, the Symphonic Band from the University of Maine at Orono will be playing a brief concert in the auditorium at Oceanside High School East. As one of the finest collegiate bands in New England, this will be a wonderful opportunity for the band students to witness a professional group and see what they can achieve with time and practice.

On Tuesday, April 29, UMaine alumnus Christopher Keene will be coming to RDMS to hold a school-wide assembly. Keene speaks about the power of singing to bond communities and families. He brings groups of people together through beautiful traditional music. Community Sings are mass events bringing any number of people together to join in song. Groups range from a few singers to hundreds to thousands, and are usually untrained non-musicians who make up the audience of a choral concert. Keene recently directed the Maine District III Elementary Honors Festival Chorus, and currently presents and coaches throughout New England.

His vision and passion is that music belongs to everyone and every person can sing and enjoy it. By teaching music in the aural tradition, he is able to quickly get a large audience to sing together and realize the joy and sense of community that comes from singing together. He is a dynamic and energetic speaker, and band teacher, Abi Nash, has personally seen him get a crowd of 300 people who claimed they couldn’t sing learn a four-part song in 20 minutes and enjoy it. The assembly will be taking place at 1:20 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend. Learn more about Mr. Keene’s work at ChristopherGKeene.com.

This year the seventh-grade band students have been asked to collaborate with Camden-Rockport Middle School in a combined concert. This is a wonderful opportunity for both schools and yet another example of how music can bring people and communities together in unique ways. The seventh-graders will be joining Camden’s Symphonic Band (grade 7 and 8). The concert is Monday, May 19, 7 p.m. and will take place at the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School.. This is a very exciting opportunity and the students and directors from both schools are working hard towards this concert.

The final event of the year is RDMS’s Spring Concert. It will be held Wednesday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the RDMS gym. This performance will include both RDMS bands and will feature Mr. Walton’s chorus students as well. We are very excited for this concert as it will showcase everything the students have learned this year and be a wonderful way to end the year. All the students have worked very hard and progressed rapidly this year and I am excited to see how they progress throughout the years to come.