CLAUDE BONANG models his Lone Ranger costume that he plans to wear for Midcoast Maine’s Got Talent Friday.

CLAUDE BONANG models his Lone Ranger costume that he plans to wear for Midcoast Maine’s Got Talent Friday.


Musician, artist and former Brunswick High School teacher Claude Bonang is making his third appearance in the Brunswick Rotary Club’s Midcoast Maine’s Got Talent contest — and he’ll be dressed for the part.

The talent show, to be held Friday at the Crooker Theatre, will feature a variety of talent from the area with cash prizes of $500, $250 and $100 for top picks.

The last two years, Bonang brought home judge’s trophies for his musical renditions played on the rhythm bones, an unlikely instrument, but one that shouldn’t come as a surprise to Bonang’s many former biology students in the area.

Bonang also plays a variety of other instruments, such as the saw, spoons and a variety of string instruments that he brings to fairs and retirement homes around the Midcoast.

After long deliberations as to what he was going to perform this year, Bonang said he finally decided on a rendition of the finale of the William Tell Overture played on the wooden spoons.

“So, I thought, I’d better get a Lone Ranger outfit,” Bonang said and before he knew it, he had Googled a set that included a hat, mask, bandana and a Texas Ranger badge.

Wanting to be as authentic as possible, Bonang said he needed to get his hands on a pair of cowboy boots. It was serendipity for Bonang as he found the one and only pair at Goodwill — in his size at that.

“So then I thought, wouldn’t it be neat if I got out on stage and fired three shots and then pulled my spoons out and say ‘Hi ho Silver — Away!’ and then start playing,” Bonang said.

Perusing Bonang’s collection of instruments, he picked up what looked like remnants of a barbecue. He said he used to play fake bones for years until he found what he called the Cadillac of bones — Texas steer bones at $29 a pair plus shipping from a company in California.

To his disappointment, Bonang said they were of varying sizes and something he knew he could do better.

“I called Bisson’s Market up and talked to him and told him what I wanted to do and he says, I’m going to butcher tomorrow, I’ll give you a call,” Bonang said.

Two dollars and a bag of bones later, Bonang was home boiling out the marrow and cutting to size his own instruments.

Bonang also talked about how he came to play the saw after hearing someone else play. He said he went home and ordered one online, hoping his wife would be out when it arrived so he could practice secretly and surprise her with his skills — it didn’t work.

“So I practiced and I practiced and one night after dinner, Anne went out to work in our flowerbeds and I came down with the window open and I started practicing and about five minutes later she came in and she stood at the top of the cellar stairs and she said, Claude, all the dogs in the neighborhood are howling right now!”

A true Renaissance man, Bonang has also self-published a book, “Memories in Verse and Prose,” that he wrote and illustrated chronicling his life and memories of Brunswick.

Tickets for Midcoast Maine’s Got Talent are $12 adult, $10 seniors and students, $30 family, and are available at Shaw’s at Cook’s Corner, Indrani’s at Tontine Mall, and Riley Insurance on Maine Street.

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