Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fête de Printemps: guitare et chorale

On Sunday March 27, 2010 the children of L'Ecole Française performed at the Franco American Heritage center in Lewiston. The event was a fundraiser for the school's Suzuki music program.

The program started with La Chorale des Petits, composed of the children of Pre-K to grade 1, directed by Clarisse Bizot with Scott Vaillancourt accompanying on the piano.
The children performed Un petit têtard tout rond (Marie-Céline), A-E-I-O-U, V'la l'bon vent (folk song) et La maison citrouille (Music by Pierre Chêne and lyrics written by the children).

They were followed on stage by La chorale composed of the children of grades 2 to 7, directed by Didier Carribou and also accompanied on the piano by Scott Vaillancourt and Nathan Kolosko on the guitar. They warmed up with Chocolat and then interpreted Vois sur ton chemin (B. Coulais), Le lion est mort ce soir (Salomon Linda), L'hymne de nos campagnes (Tryo), Le lion, la biche et le chevalier (H. Salvador), et pour finir, Douce France (C. Trenet).

The program continued with the guitar student of Nathan Kolosko, who played La Bergamasca (traditional song), Feather Dance (N. Kolosko) and several very lively Twinkle variations.

To end the first part of this wonderful concert, Nathan Kolosko interpreted three of his songs: The myth of the Fomorians, I-The Dance of the Cíocal and II-Oileán Thúr Rí.

Fête de Printemps: piano et violon

The piano students started the second part of the program. They played many beautiful songs: Lightly Row (folk tune), Claire de Lune (Lully), Ode to Joy (Beethoven), Chanson Comme ça (student composition), Musette (Anonymous), Christmas Secrets (Dutton), the theme from Swan Lake (Tschaikowsky) and Night of the Tarantella (Faber).

The piano teacher, Leah Neuchiller, then performed Fantaisie - Impromptu, Opus 66 by Frederic Chopin.

The Suzuki violin students performed two duets, Bourrée by Handel, and the Concerto in d minor for 2 violins - 1st movement by Bach accompanied on the piano by a parent volunteer.

Finally, Yasmin Craig Vitalius, Suzuki violin teacher, also accompanied on the piano by a parent volunteer, concluded the program by playing Sonata No.4 in F Major by Handel.

It was wonderful to see so many talented people on stage. The audience really enjoyed your performances. Bravo à tous et merci beaucoup!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fête de printemps - Fundraiser

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Franco day

La chorale had a busy day on March 17.
In the morning, the children of grades 3 to 7 went to the State House in Augusta. They started by singing a few songs to celebrate Franco-Day. They also served as Honorary Pages at the Senate and House of Representatives. It was an incredible opportunity to learn more about State Government.
After school, the children went to Lewiston, at the Franco-American Heritage Center. They performed four beautiful songs and were followed on stage by several artists from Quebec.

Bravo les enfants!

'Maine Friends of Haiti' is her way of pitching in

Portland Press Herald -

March 13

A Web site to link Maine resources for Haiti aid uses Mary Doyle's media skills.

By David
Staff Writer

Mary Doyle doesn't have medical expertise or a lot of disposable income for charitable donations, but she wanted to do her part for the people of Haiti and the Mainers who are helping there.

She does have a knack for bringing people together and developing Web sites, so she tapped those skills to create the Maine Friends of Haiti Web site.

The site lists the large number of Maine groups working to help the people affected by the Caribbean nation's devastating earthquake, which hit Jan. 12, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving 1.5 million more homeless.

"I tried to think of something that could be helpful," Doyle said. "There was no Web site or group that was tying all the different efforts together."

With her background in public relations and photography, Doyle decided she could help promote the good work being done by so many Maine groups and also highlight the options available for people who want to support the recovery effort.

Willy LeBihan, founder of the French School of Maine in Freeport, said the concept helps connect the disparate groups working to help and could boost donations by educating people about all the different efforts under way.

"I think it is a wonderful idea, so people get a sense that the effort is not isolated and it creates a sense of community, of people working for the same goal," said LeBihan.

In its schools section, the site lists the French school's effort to rebuild a school for 740 students in Jacmel, outside Port-au-Prince. The Haitian school was destroyed in the earthquake and though all the students were able to escape, the principal's wife was killed, LeBihan said.

LeBihan believes the site will make it easier for donors to find specific initiatives they feel strongly about, which will help overall fundraising.

Doyle, who lives in West Newfield in York County, designed her first Web site as a mechanism to inform people about unique hostels in Ireland, after a trip there to visit her son. Through that, she learned about the power of the Internet in reaching people, and the benefits of collecting in one place disparate information that would take the average person a long time to discover on their own.

Every time Doyle becomes aware of a group working on earthquake relief, she asks them if they would like to have a link and description of their group or event added to the site. She has sent e-mails to every school superintendent in the state offering to include students efforts on behalf Haiti on the Friends of Haiti Web site.

The site also includes a calendar of upcoming Haiti-related events statewide and a link to a slideshow of submitted images of volunteers working in Haiti and Mainers holding benefits here.

There is no charge and Doyle earns no money from the site.

"I'm a person who feels groups should all try to work together. It could be so much more effective if efforts are collaborative," she said.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Find this article at:

Monday, March 22, 2010


Here is an extract from the chorale performance of Monday March 15 at the Freeport Community Center. Merci à Debbie Wright for the videos!

Cabane à sucre

On Friday, we went to a maple sugar house. We had a breakfast with pancakes, maple syrup and orange juice. Delicious! Then, we went to visit the farm. We saw lots of animals (horses, pigs, and bunnies (one was only one week old), and geese and cows too!..) We had the chance to touch some of them and to feed them. It was lots of fun. Then, we went for a little walk to see how they tap the maple trees. We even tasted the sap coming out of the tree. They need 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Then, we went inside the sugar house and the owner explained how they transform the sap into maple syrup. We learned a lot. -The Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade 1 students


Last Wednesday, a Canadian Educational program, Aster, came to show us a planetarium. In the beginning, we were a little worried about going into the ''dark tent''. But once inside, we found it was just like the night and we felt more comfortable. We saw planets, stars and constellations. Our presenter, Megge, showed us the differences between the planets. She explained that the earth goes around the sun and the moon around the earth. The older children also learned about shooting stars and aurora borealis. They even saw astronauts in the international space station! Everything was in French and we all really enjoyed it. - Les Petites et Moyennes Sections

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Playground equipment

Dear Parents,

As you know, a healthy body and a healthy mind are important for a child's development. Recess is an important part of the day. Teachers and parents will affirm that without recess, children do not learn as well and are less focused in the classroom.

We are about to partake in a new and exciting venture for our students. We have carefully selected new playground equipment that is age appropriate, encourages creativity and development, and also blends into the natural setting of the environment. The purchase of this equipment would remain a long-lasting addition to our school. This structure would also benefit children in the community because our playground is used by neighborhood children outside of school hours.

Please take a moment to look at the proposed playground equipment, a climbing wall and tree house structure. A poster of the structures we would like to purchase is found hanging on the bulletin board near the office. The structure offers safe physical play for a wide range of ages serving children from preschool through middle school.

You can also view the structures on the website of Landscape Structures, using the links below:

Tree House:

The Peak Natural Climber:

Where we need your help:
We will have a fundraising kick-off event in April. We will be raising money through Corporate Sponsorship, Grants, the local community and fundraising efforts at the school. We are looking to raise approximately $50,000 to the purchase and installation of the new equipment.

We believe this equipment will add a wealth of value to the school experience and will provide lasting memories for our students of their happy memories with friends on the playground!

Thank you for your help as we undertake this exciting effort!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A skier at school

On Monday February 22, Kirsten Gill, a high level skier at Bates College made a presentation to the children of grades 2 to 7. She introduced herself, presented her results, how long she has been skiing, her level and her goals. She also told us about the competitions she took part in: where they were, how she traveled there, what she did on a typical day. She also told us how long she trains everyday and what she does during training, her techniques and what kind of equipment she uses.

This presentation, in an impressive level of French, taught children about her incredible life. She started downhill skiing when she was 2 years old, did a lot of competitions and training, and then switched to cross country skiing. She traveled a lot for her sport, to France, Sweden, Chili, Austria, New Zealand, etc. The children also learned about different techniques and the equipment used with them, the amount of training necessary to reach a good level, and even the average speed of a skating race.

Her presentation was followed by the many questions prepared in advance by the children. Children and adults have been captivated by her experiences.
UN TRES GRAND MERCI to Kirsten. And good luck!
L’Ecole Française du Maine is now part of your supporters!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

CD release concert - "border crossings"

kolosko-dimow duo

Nathan Kolosko - classical guitar

Carl Dimow - flute/bass flute

Saturday, March 27th, 7:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church, 580 Forest Ave., Portland, ME
$10 admission, ($5 for anyone under 15 years old)

Hello everyone,

I want to let you know that my new CD with Carl Dimow, "border crossings" is done and ready for listening!
We're very excited about this new disc. It features new compositions by each of us, plus our arrangements of four of the Afro Sambas of Baden Powell. There's a more detailed description of the CD below.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to hear sound samples, they're posted on my website. And if you can't make it to the concert but would like to purchase the CD, you can buy it directly from the site. (Or feel free to get it from me in person.)

I hope to see you on the 27th.


PS - We will also be making an appearance on the TV show 207 the week of the concert!!


The kolosko • dimow duo consists of the critically acclaimed composer/performers Nathan Kolosko (on classical guitar), and Carl Dimow (on flute and bass flute). As Creative Artists Kolosko and Dimow have a natural propensity to break down the boundaries between classical music and other genres. Their new CD, border crossings, draws on elements of classical music, world music and jazz. The disc includes original music by both musicians and frequently features the unique combination of bass flute and guitar.

border crossings has three distinct and unique sets of repertoire:

Kolosko's Nayarit, Dimow's Klezmer Suite, and the duos' collaborative arrangements of four of the Afro Sambas of Baden Powell. Nayarit was inspired by John Steinbeck's novel, The Pearl. Its four movements explore the themes and characters of the novel, drawing in places on folkloric music from the Pacific coast of Mexico where the novel is set. The Klezmer Suite evolved from Dimow's many years of performing and touring with the Casco Bay Tummlers klezmer band. Its movements are rooted in the rhythms and scales of klezmer and middle eastern music and range in mood from introspection and mystery to joy and celebration. The brilliant guitarist Baden Powell effortlessly combined elements of classical music and jazz with his rich Brazilian roots. The duo featured a number of his compositions on their first CD, nos•tal•gia, and have returned to his inspiring music on this disc with original arrangements of four of his Afro Sambas.

Press quotes from our first CD, nos•tal•gia:

"The Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos is stunning ... This is a great recording that I highly recommend." - Flute Talk Magazine
"...such artistry, you may find yourself levitated a few inches off the floor ... the sound is both celestial and lively." - Portland Press Herald
"Nostalgia features some truly sublime playing, both meditative and playful, as well as a successful delivery of the sentiment expressed in the title." - Portland Phoenix
".. elegant phrasing and mastery of color - simply breathtaking."- Gazette - Greater Boston Flute Association

Monday, March 8, 2010

Franco-American Day of Maine - March 17


We want to inform you of the activities that will take place at the Augusta State Capitol to celebrate the Franco-American Day of Maine on March 17th. Here is a summary of the main events:
• 8 am : Chorus of the students of L'Ecole Française du Maine
• 9 am : Proclamation and nomination of the Franco-American of the year, first at the House of Representatives then at the Senate.
• 11:30 am : Press conference with Governor Baldacci at the Hall of Flags
• Noon : Franco-American lunch at the State Capitol cafeteria
• 2 pm : Meeting and discussion about the French language with Mr. Moussa-Makan Camara (Permanent Observer to the United Nations of the International Francophonie Organization), Mr. Michel Robitaille (CEO of the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques), Mr. Neil Leblanc (Consul General of Canada in Boston), Mr. Christophe Guilhou (Consul General of France in Boston), Ms. France Dionne (Quebec Delegate in New England), Emil Wyss (Consul of Switzerland in Boston). This meeting will most probably be held at the Legislative Council Chamber.
• 7 pm : Music concert “French in Action” (Franco-American Heritage Center, Lewiston, ME). For more details, please see
• Chorus of the students of L'Ecole Française du Maine (Franco-American Heritage Center, Lewiston, ME). For more details, please see

All these events are free, open to the public and you are cordially invited!

The team of the Quebec Government Office in Boston

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chinese New Year Celebration

The children enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year at school.

Willy decorated the school with dragons and streamers to set the scene for the day’s festivities. Activities included making crafts, sampling special foods, putting on a play, singing songs in Mandarin and learning about the Chinese culture. We want to thank Sally for sharing all of this with us. Mary Lou prepared another splendid meal including Chop Suey, dumplings and the traditional New Year Nian Gao cake. We finished the lunch with fortune cookies and chocolate coins for good luck! We performed the skits and songs in the Community Hall for an audience of parents and friends, where all the students did a fabulous job. The year of the tiger is definitely off to a great start!