The School of Music is celebrating the 20th year of the Southern Maine Junior Music Academy with a concert at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 in McCormack Performing Arts Center at Gorham High School. This year’s academy boasts 98 middle school students. The final concert, which is free and open to the public, features the Academy Jazz Band, Chorus, and Concert Band. The program will include the world premiere of “Angelic Anthems” by renowned concert composer Randal Standridge. The piece was commissioned especially for the celebration of this 20th season of the camp.
The Southern Maine Junior Music Academy was founded at USM in 1994 by educator Dawn Boden. George Shabo, who has been with the academy since the beginning, has been the camp director for the past 12 years. The concert band director for the entire 20 years has been John Morneau. The Shabo and Morneau team also head up the Southern Maine Youth Band Day Camp, held each year in June. The Southern Maine Junior Music Academy is run by an energetic group of staff members who have been working with young musicians for several years, and includes a number of USM music alumni.