2014-01-10 / Columns

High school facility fails the all-state music audition

To the editor:

Several weeks ago, the Kennebunk High School music department hosted the Maine all-state choir, band and orchestra auditions for 500-plus mid- and southern-Maine high school musicians. Kennebunk High School volunteer students, faculty and Visual and Performing Arts Booster parents performed admirably, but the building failed miserably. Please take a minute to read the following comments provided by Kennebunk High School band director and instrumental teacher, Ben Potvin:

“The judges had nothing but glowing reports about our friendly student volunteers, the excellent food prepared by Steve Kingston of the Clam Shack and the presence of our VPA Boosters. Unfortunately, the judges were less than impressed with our school building. The walls to the hallway are too thin and they complained about the noise in the audition rooms all weekend. I had to move two of the rooms because Mrs. Nardone’s room was blazing hot and the thermostat did not move; Mr. Mitchell’s room refused to warm up. The dimly lit, narrow stairwell was also daunting to a lot of the students and judges.

“This is the third year that Kennebunk has hosted allstate auditions, although the last two years have been at the beautiful Kennebunk Elementary School facility. Based on reactions from the lead judge, I doubt we will be asked to host again next year.”

This is a further testament why the Kennebunk High School renovation project is crucial. Our judges were not able to do their job for two days, yet our faculty and students have been working in hot and cold, noisy, cramped rooms for years.

This is exactly why it is so important for our communities to vote yes on Jan. 21. Our buildings need to be capable of supporting our educational programs and our students. Renovate to stimulate. Vote yes.

Tom Macisso

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