Cape students talent on tap at Berklee Jazz Festival

Students from Cape Elizabeth High School earned awards at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival hosted by Berklee College of Music in Boston on Jan. 26.

Pianist Alex Hansen and Ryan Oberholtzer, who plays tenor sax, were awarded for their outstanding musicianship, and the Cape Elizabeth Concert Jazz Ensemble received an honorable mention.

The local musicians competed against over 275 bands featuring nearly 4,000 students from 16 states across the country and Puerto Rico. Students competed for $175,000 in scholarships to attend the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive, the world’s preeminent summer musical performance program.

Telling Room students excel at regional competition

Telling Room authors took the Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by storm this year, as 13 students and alumni were recognized by the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious program for youth in grades 7-12. 

Gold Key winners included Kathleen Thomas and Benedita Zalabantu, whose fantasy novel and powerful poetry, respectively, will be considered for national medals. Camila Ciembroniewicz and Hussein Maow were Silver Key winners, while honorable mentions went to Ashanti Haywood, Siri Pierce, Luke Spooner, Jane Way and Annabelle Williams. Telling Room educators also congratulated alumni and Telling Room Ambassadors Liam Swift and Zainab Almatwari, as well as current Young Emerging Authors Catherine Morrissette and Lulu Rasor, who took home honors.

YHS sophomores create opportunity to volunteer  

Zoe Siegel and Parker Harnett, sophomores at Yarmouth High School, have published a new database-driven website entitled “How to Help in Maine,” found at in November to raise awareness of all the places students and adults can donate their time, goods and money to charities that need them most.

Siegel and Harnett wanted to create an engaging space where students can learn about the benefits of volunteering and then link to charities that reflect their specific interests. 

To date, 20 charities are listed that visitors can peruse. If someone has a specific material good they want to donate they can search for a charity that needs that particular item. Potential volunteers can search by region throughout Maine or donate through a search via an organization type. There is also an event calendar with fundraisers and projects for charities throughout the state. Siegel’s and Harnett’s goal is to provide easy access to events students might not hear about otherwise and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone. Adults are also welcome and encouraged to use the site. 

The goal is to grow the website exponentially so it eventually covers all charities in all regions of Maine. To that end, on the website there is a simple way to “Add Your Charity” by filling out a Google form linked to the page. The website creators hope it becomes a self-sustaining website to which charities and students are drawn. A final component of the site is a blog page, where students are encouraged to send in stories of volunteering, with articles ranging from tips to awkward encounters to inspirational moments.

The Cape Elizabeth High School Concert Jazz Ensemble received an honorable mention at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival hosted by Berklee College of Music in Boston on Jan. 26. 

Bath Middle School students Arianna Hodsdon and Gage Suitter served as honorary pages in the Maine Senate on Feb. 21, as the guests of Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic.

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