In the school year, 2008-09, the program will be entering its seventh year in practice and eighth year since its creation. The program has succeeded in far exceeding its initial benefit as a class bringing programs to the entire school and broader community as well as sponsoring dozens of field trips to arts events. Our partners in this program include the Lebanon Opera House, The Hopkins Center Outreach Department at Dartmouth College, and AVA Gallery. We also work closely with the Education Department at the Hood Museum of Art. These organizations offer excellent educational material in conjunction with all their programs making it possible to include other classes that could benefit with the vitality of an arts experience in the six areas of the arts covered by the Experiencing the Arts program (Theater, Media Arts, Visual Arts, Dance, Music, and Writing/Poetry).

Within the school Experiencing the Arts has made partners of Mascoma's Alternative Program and other classes often including additional students on field trips. These partnerships enable teachers to enhance their curriculum and students to benefit from the enrichment opportunities.

Experiencing the Arts has been honored to continue to win the Artlinks grant support and matching support from Mascoma School District. We have also enjoyed generous support from the Byrne Foundation and Mascoma Bank Foundation, the Walker Fund, and The Wellborn Ecology Fund. You can e-mail Experiencing the Arts Director, Christopher Morse here

A Fully Integrated Program

"Teachers across the disciplines see a greater need for Arts activities to stimulate learning in their classes. They are excited to stimulate learning by bringing the arts into their curriculum. Teachers do not work in a vacuum and learning does not just take place in the formal classroom. In order to continue to raise the bar and meet No Child Left Behind goals, teachers need the continued investment of their students. They must be excited about learning. With Experiencing the Arts we have seen firsthand that student learning is energized by enrichment experiences. Students find the classroom work more meaningful and useful when skills have been brought to life, so to speak, by arts experiences.

In January 2008 Experiencing the Arts became a fully integrated program. The course in Experiencing the Arts will be a club program allowing for the development of after school programming it supported with the Art Club. All the Experiencing the Arts curriculum areas - field trips, all-school assemblies, artists in residence, cross-curricular arts experiences for individual classes, entire departments, entire classes, the whole school and the broader community will be designed with increased input from partnering teachers and community programs such as the PTO and vertical programming with district schools.

Experiencing the Arts has built itself into this fully integrated community program through a steady evolution; strengthening of partnerships with the faculty, broadening of partnerships in the school district and with community organizations such as the PTO. This year, we took Canaan Elementary students to see Old Yeller. Students from all area schools enjoyed performances of Synergy Brass Quintet, and students from Canaan Elementary and Indian River School have scheduled visits to the Ways of the Woods mobile museum which will be at the Mascoma campus April 23-24 as part of the theme week festivities. The Ways of the Woods exhibit is offered together with a wood turning demonstration with Dustin Coates. Based on the success of the Synergy Brass Quintet's vertical programming and their rapport with Mascoma's band, a residency with Synergy has been arranged for December 2008. Synergy will work with the band students at all levels, then students will perform for the local community in an evening performance at Mascoma, the following morning, participating students will perform with Synergy as part of a Youth Education Series performance at Lebanon Opera House benefiting about 26 schools.

Building on this direction, arts programming can become a vital part of the Mascoma education and can inspire the imaginations of both students and teachers. As the theme week and Open House Festival become regular events, teachers will be able to explore specific facets in their curriculum which could be enhanced by a hands on component and reinforced by their students presenting their efforts at the festival.

Experiencing the Arts has had a very successful 2007/08 school year and we are poised to expand on community partnerships that will identify curriculum areas that can be enhanced by arts experiences. We had the biggest and most successful festival culminating a week of hands on projects in many courses. The Principal was so pleased with the energy in this hands on celebration of student work, that he named the festival the school's open house.

In 2007/08 we also enjoyed our usual slate of arts experiences, twelve field trips, eleven guest artists, five all school assemblies, Art Club, community projects such as building a war memorial eagle sculpture for the town of Grafton and collaborating with the Mascoma Valley Health Initiative creating a mural for the national "Kick Butts" campaign. This year we also hosted two events with vertical programming that benefited students of all ages from all five district area schools as well as Cardigan Mountain School - Synergy Brass Quintet and The Ways of the Woods mobile museum. We will continue these activities. Experiencing the Arts Director, Christopher Hill Morse

Celebrating Ian Taliaferro's Life

Friends of Ian Taliaferro gathered for a photo with the lathes that will be dedicated to his memory.Front row (Left to right ) - Colten LaClair, Brittini Brayton, Ciara Bombaci, Sandra Chow, Hannah Brown, Alonda Paddock, Jake Lessard, Britny Morril, Stephanie Maville, Billy Wilson, Mariah Capron, Becca Gooch, Shawn Vick, Kathy Cross, Dave Shinnlinger , Ashlee Clark.

Back Row (Left to right ) - Mike Lyon, Darren Kelly, Jeremy Ford, Kyle Boisvert, Cory Argent, Kyle Doe, Leo Supry, Cole Mock, Kasey Blain, Kevin Morse, Zack Duquette, Justin Grace, Dakota Burbank.

Read Across America Day with Poet, Roger Martin

Experiencing the Arts, Taking the Freshman class to Romeo and Juliet and Celebrating our 200 Experiences

Experiencing the Arts has once again made it possible for an entire class to share an enrichment experience. Back in March of 2006, Experiencing the Arts broke the 100 experience number taking the entire Freshman class to a play (Of Mice and Men) and now, just three short years later it seems appropriate that we are repeating the event to break the 200 experience number! Tuesday, March 3, 2009 10:00 AM, all Freshmen will see Romeo and Juliet at the Capital Center for the Arts, in Concord, NH.

How do we feel about the impact of these 200 enrichment experiences? How has having these opportunities broadened the horizons of the participating teachers, students and the community? Look over the Performance Histories below to see the variety of experiences that are included in these 200 experiences.

Experiencing the Arts has sponsored (on average) annually: 16 field trips, two artists in residence, four all school assemblies, four guest artists, the Read Across America program, art and writing contests, the literary arts magazine, and has sponsored dozens of workshops for the hands on theme week and Student Showcase Festival that has grown from 45 class periods of programming three years ago to 157 last Spring. Please contact Christopher Morse here if you or your employer would be interested in sponsoring any Experiencing the Arts activities.

Hannah's Ghost World

Synergy Brass Quintet Residency

Experiencing the Arts is pleased to sponsor a three day residency with Synergy Brass Quintet. Last year, Synergy was so successful connecting with students of all ages that we designed this residency for them to work with band students of all ages at Enfield and Canaan Elementary Schools, Indian River Middle School and Mascoma High School. More than 200 students will celebrate music at Mascoma School District by playing together with Synergy for the community and participating with Synergy in several venues.

"Coordinating the Synergy workshops with four different class schedules was a challenge. The goal was to have music students enjoy intensive workshops with Synergy, and to play together. Workshop sessions were scheduled during the class day on both December 15 and 16, and a mandatory workshop session and final practice for the evening concert after school from 3-7 at Mascoma High School on the 16th. Experiencing the Arts sponsored a pizza party dinner for all 211 band members! The concert for the community will be December 16th at 7 P.M.. Donations encouraged.

At 9 A.M., December 17th, the third day of the residency, busses arrive at the schools to take all the students to the Lebanon Opera House. Mascoma High School students play with Synergy for the Youth Education Series (YES) show at 10 A.M.. By performing for the YES show our bands will be benefiting a community of about 26 other schools. Because of the size of the group they will not all be playing together (the community concert at Mascoma High School will be the only time all 211 play together).

After the concert at Lebanon Opera House, the elementary school students and Indian River School students will return to their schools.

Mascoma High School band will continue from Lebanon Opera House to Hanover High School. They must each have a bag lunch and will be eating lunch on the bus between Lebanon and Hanover. At Hanover High School, they will work with Synergy for an hour and a half and then play with Synergy and the Hanover band for Hanover High School.

I am very pleased to offer this residency opportunity. We hope that parents come to the concert December 16th at 7 P.M. at Mascoma High School! "

Christopher Morse, Director, Experiencing the Arts


From their website

Synergy Brass Quintet performs more concerts than anyone in classical music today, averaging nearly 300 engagements per year. Acclaimed for "a veritable fireworks display of outstanding musical ability combined with superb showmanship" (Door Concerts, Inc) in addition to "blazing precision [and] amazing technique" (The Watertown Daily Times), the Synergy Brass Quintet has emerged as one of the world's most exciting ensembles. Synergy "has hit on a magical approach...unadulterated exuberance, and a rock star approach of performing," (U.S.1). Their engagements have taken them to every corner of the United States including the Ravinia Music Festival in Illinois, the Bethlehem Musikfest in Pennsylvania, the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, and internationally at the Festival de Musica de Camara de Aguascalientes. And, after hearing the ensemble at Tanglewood in 2003, Samuel Adler invited the Synergy Brass Quintet to perform on the premiere recording of his Transfiguration: An Ecumenical Mass. Synergy is often heard on National Public Radio, and in 2005 they broadcast on NBC with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

In addition to Synergy's rigorous performance schedule, the ensemble dedicates an enormous amount of time to the education of tomorrow's musicians and music-lovers. They have presented various programs at over 500 public schools from coast to coast, "[bringing] classical music to the kids in a way that they thought it was some pretty cool music. Not always an easy task to do...The students (even the non-band students) talked about you long after you were gone" (Bottineau High School, Bottineau, ND). Synergy teaches the various genres of music and composer backgrounds to "present a very educational program" (North Ward Elementary School, McCook, NE), making music accessible to all children.

View 2007 page for pictures

Nature Walk

Annie Dillard, philosophical as ever, can find meaning in what seems like nothing to the rest of us. She writes, "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty and violence?" On our walk today, look for evidence of these things- beauty, mystery, death and write about them. Describe them. How did they get there? What is the story they have to tell? What deeper meaning are they hiding?

...Listening to the wood, I hear all these noises. This loud croaking sounds behind me- where is it coming from, I think the swamp. What could it be? Animal or just a weird noise, but I think it's a frog I looked over at a frog? (Grace Purcell)

...The bump in the tree sits there as if it's ready to birth a child. The pine needles lie upon the roots allowing the baby to have a soft cushion to land on. The tree had aged and was ready to pass on its life to its child? (Jesenia Vinton)

...Tree branches are swaying with the breeze it's surrounded by bright blue puffy clouds. Pine needles cover the ground as it's a blanket covering the trees and roots? (Candice Bean)

...I see a bright pink and yellow flower that stands out amongst the brown dry and bare plant life surrounding it?.. I look closely at the tree trunk and I can see small neon green bugs that are frantically scurrying around, bumping into one another then quickly turn the opposite direction... (Katrina Hardan)

...There are dark and white puffy clouds gilding over the top of the trees to cast a dark shadow, but the bright blue sky stands behind the clouds?. Underneath a small branch a light grayish- black feather sits there in silence... (Kayla Dole)

...Someone said: "We can't control the length of our life, but we can decide the width our life have." I agree, God might be set up our fate before we came, but I think he just can set the time we have. Our lives still in our hands. We can pray for God give us more time to stay in the earth but we can't pray for God give us more value we have in the earth? (Xia Yun Zhou, Summer)

...I know some kind of animal had to have made this. The trunk of this tree was taken over. From where I am standing there are three holes visible to me? (Jake Lessard)

This forest, full of greens and browns,
Its beauty softly speaks,
Gazing off I watch leaves gracefully fall,
The extended branches squeak
A sign, so obvious and irritating,
Shows on the forest floor
The trees lay motionless, lifeless
On the ground where they stood before.
(Vicki Armstrong)

...All too soon the trees sense the subtle change in the atmosphere, signaling the end is near for its colorful, faithful leaves?. The leaf gracefully flutters through the air, finally landing with a soft crinkle on the ground; its eventful, yet all too short journey ending in this final descent? (Lindsey Savard)

...So many leaves are already dry and dying whether they're in a tree or bush, yet the death of these leaves is beautiful. Only out in the wild is the shedding of dead body parts so beautiful. The shedding of our skin and hair is so ugly and annoying, but the woods take pride in it? (Cherylynn Calfy)

There is some mystery about how the trees have fallen. Is it because of some violent winds, some animal knocking them down, or they just got old and died. I myself will probably never know the fate of these fallen trees. (Josh Moore)

The trees look like they have
Been through battle
A battle that no one
Has won.
And through the tall
Tree leaves, I see the
Rising sun.
(Ciara Bombaci)

First catching my eye as I walked into the silent woods was a small, deserted pond, containing shrubbery, deceased leaves and brown branches. The pond peacefully sits, making mirror images of the world above itself. If that is not beauty, I do not know what beauty is. (Cassie Tomkiewicz)

I think of the violence the tree made when it came crashing down to earth and the thunder booms it made. I think back on the beauty of the tree, the leaves blowing in the wind. (Zach Newcity)

Thoughts of Autumn

Autumn Leaves Brittini Brayton

Swiftly, silently
Floating down
Caught by the wind
And shifted

Toward the dying sun
Swirling and bouncing
As they go by
Catching you're eye.

Reds and yellows,
Oranges and golds,
All intertwined in an
Intimate dance,

Each one,
A beauty to see
As they slowly,
Ever so slowly

Descend to lie
On your shoulder
And whisper the words
"Summer is over".
Ode to the Changing of Colors
Dan Adam

All the leaves are rustling on the trees,
Because of the icy cold breeze.
These leaves were once a brilliant green
And are now multicolored and pristine.

Red, yellow, and orange is all you see
Like a beautiful sunset over a fiery sea
On the Ground chipmunks scurry
Trying to hoard nuts before the first flurry.

Deer and bear get fat for the cold
Coats of fur getting thick and bold
Apples and beech nuts are plentiful
Eating 'til they are sure their bellies are full.

Beautiful scenery is all around, you look

So take your face out of your book.
Autumn comes but one a year
And it will always be held dear.
Ode Autumn
Stephanie Behuniak

The leaves fell dead
But the color remained
Dark skies and cold rushing water
Air that stings the breath
How can this season be compared to others?
The cold chill puts me in a daze
How the warmth has vanished is unknown
The sky darkens as the day progresses
Only the dark moon finds comfort.
Meghan McDonald

Every year in mid September
Autumn hides under a rock
Waiting to push away summer
And expose its true beauty.

It sends bright, cheerful colors
To all trees in the land.
A truly joyous season
The most beautiful time of the year.

As summer ends and fall begins
We all want to start fresh
Autumn gives us that chance.
Let's start a new beginning.
Ode to Autumn
Katie Brown

Bright colors and pumpkins galore,
warm and cold weather,
sweet corn and apples to eat,
Autumn flowers blooming.

Trick or treating, dressing up,
windy days and the swaying of the trees.
Smell of the fruit and autumn,
death of plants and trees.
Gardens full of pumpkins ready to decorate,
orchards of red delicious apples.

Death of some things, birth of others,
Calm waters, cold nights.
Soon winter will come,
and it will be another year until?
Ode to Autumn
Alonda Paddock

Awakening in the crisp, frost- touched morning
In time to see the colors of the mountain light up,
The wind picks up a funnel of newly fallen leaves
And then they drop, as if just from the tree.
Society seems to have calmed the way the colors of leaves
Have drained to shades of beauty.
This Autumn is a time for those mundane
To explore the season and be untame
For this time only comes to spy
No bystander should let it pass by.

Painting Competition on a Toyota Tacoma

Figure Drawing

Performance History 2008

Number attending, Event and Location, Participating classes
38 9/25/08 The Hood Museum of Art, Alma-Tadema and Antiquity: Imagining Classical Sculpture in Late-19th -Century Britain. Art 1 (3 classes ).
32 9/23, 30. 10/7, 14, 21, 11/3 Figure Drawing with Dierdre Dennis, Art Club
30 10/16 The Hood Museum of Art, Immanence and Revelation: Paintings and Drawings by Ben Frank Moss And Coastline to Skyline: The Philip H. Greene Gift of
California Watercolors, 1930-1960, October 16, 10 A.M.. Mrs Wenig AP Biology and Biology 1
39 10/20 The Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH, What is Art? Mrs. Grout Humanities and AP English (45) Art 2, Drawing, and Portfolio
3 11/22 Painting Competition a Toyota Tacoma Truck, Art Club, White River Junction, VT
500 11/24 African Troupe Acrobats, Mascoma High School, all school assembly.
104 12/17 Northern Stage, White River Jct. VT, Les Miserables, Dec. 17, 2008, 10 am, French Classes with Madame Beaufays and Mrs. Grout AP English
211 12/15-17 Synergy Brass Quintet residency, 211 band students Elementary, Middle, & High School
500 12/16 Synergy Assembly performance, Indian River School
750 12/16 Mascoma High School, Community Performance of all bands with Synergy Brass Quintet
300 12/17 Lebanon Opera House, Youth Education Series, Synergy Brass Quintet & Mascoma Band
100 12/17 Hanover High School, Synergy workshop and performance with aproximately 80 band students from Hanover's band and Mascoma's high school band, plus audience
12/19/08, Litterary Arts contest "Life's Lessons."
15 1/14 Educational Poster Show, reception with remarks by Interim Superintendant, Patrick Andrew.
22 Hopkins Center (SPS), Hanover Jazz Reach, Stolen Moments: The First One Hundred Years of Jazz Tuesday, February 3 * 10:00 am * Spaulding Auditorium, MAP, Mr. Wilson's Jazz Band

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