The leaves are turning color, so naturally it’s time to start thinking of summer, 2014, in Lubec! We’ll open on June 16 and run through August 29, and this season will be the first when we’re able to offer violin/viola every week but one (cello and piano already run all weeks)! Fran Berge will be our new faculty member for this in mid-summer and Alice St. Clair for the final weeks; both of these fine musicians come to SummerKeys recommended by faculty already on board, and Ms. St. Clair has been with us in the past as an ensemble coach. Put this all together and it means we can now offer coached ensemble virtually throughout the summer as well!

Workshops in less “typical” instruments such as oboe and Celtic harp will continue, and for a real kick, Gene Nichols (of The Orange River Jazz Band, not to mention U. Maine faculty) will offer a week we’re calling “Instrumentarium” which means, basically, if you own it, built it, invented it, or your house-mate insists you throw it out – jaw-harp, musical saw, hubcap-a-phone, ophicleide, or even a mundane banjo or ukulele – Gene will show you how to play it really well! He’s also known for his work on improv., outside of accepted disciplines.

We’ll be honored again to include Judy Goodman and Frank Van Riper (artist/photographers and authors of Downeast Maine, A World Apart and Serenissima, Venice in Winter) among our instructors – you can see Frank’s beautiful Washington Post column on Summerkeys by going to www.Talking Photography.com and clicking on Column Archive; and author John Rule will return to teach Creative Writing (if you’re yearning for the feel of Lubec, right away, his new novel, Monument Lot, a mystery/romance set in “our town” is now available on Amazon.

New to our “other offerings” is a dance program, housed in the beautifully refurbished Lubec Grange and taught by Dr. Melinda Copel (Ed. D. in dance from Temple Univ.): Modern Dance (with live accompaniment!) will be offered from 9:30 – 12:30 each morning during the week of July 21 and again the week of July 28; “Artworks of Maine” site will tell you more about the Grange.

Next, there’s excitement brewing on our concert scene: first, Richard McIntyre (organ) and John Newell (piano), who each played separate concerts last season, have come up with a unique idea for a joint concert of organ solo, piano solo, and piano/four hands as a treat to open our season on June 18th; and as if that weren’t enough, July 2nd’s “Greg Biss and Friends” concert will feature a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire”! This ground-breaking score of twenty-one short songs for soprano and chamber ensemble, known not only for its shivery dramatic beauty, but also its intellectual acuity is a rare bird on any concert scene because of the sheer difficulty of presenting it. The fact that we’ll be doing it mainly with SummerKeys faculty speaks volumes, I feel, about the incredible ability and versatility of these wonderful folks. Come see!

Since the cost, not merely of “staying afloat”, but also of showing our faculty that we do appreciate them, moves steadily ahead of our budget, we must increase tuition fees for most workshops by $25. Coached ensemble will go to $150, but all deposits and the registration fee will remain the same, as will Creative Writing. Nevertheless, we’ll continue to support the needs of Washington County students wanting to attend, and now there will be a very limited amount of financial aid available to others as well; and donations to this small scholarship fund will be truly appreciated (keep in mind, please, these would not be tax-deductible). An up-beat note, financially, is the fact that we’re now accepting credit cards (details can be found in this brochure and on our web-site).

We’re eliminating the Piano Trio Privilege program (a week of coaching with two faculty members), but special arrangements of this type may be made by contacting the director before May 1st. The regular Piano Privilege program will remain in place. And this seems like a good place to advise all of you that our Sunday-evening “Orientation” gatherings will move to the downstairs rooms of Congregational Christian Church (Lubec’s prime land-mark) this season.
If you’ve been with us before, you’ll remember that 1), performance opportunities abound and 2), the decision of whether or not to play for others is strictly up to you; however, during the busy weeks at the end of July and most of August we’re hoping (not requiring) that students arriving with a solo piece they’re wanting to perform at week’s end may be willing to do this on the Thursday Performance class , thus allowing the multiple groups and ensembles more chance to play on Friday evening, and still end up with a reasonable length for the class.

I’ll sign off with a topic one prefers to avoid, but which has come to seem necessary now: the “fate” of SummerKeys when I’m no longer around. I had provided for this many years ago, but during our last season it became apparent that, since enough persons still found this a subject of anxiety, I went to lawyers and accountants both in Maine and New Jersey, who advised that the maximum protection for the future continuance of this program would be the creation of an “LLC”. This has been done and my will changed to leave the “LLC” to persons equally representing the town, the faculty and the student body, all of whom have been informed and agreed to accept my charge of maintaining SummerKeys in exactly the way it has functioned since its inception. And this is how it will be when you arrive this summer – so pack up a sweater or two along with your musical dreams – the harbor seals and I will be watching for you.

All Best Wishes,
Bruce

PS – Because of the above-mentioned change to an LLC, we ask that any remittances made to us be made payable to Summer Keys Music LLC (and yes, each word is now separate).