Dreads for Kids: LRHS music director up to challenge to spur fund drive

By Wayne E. Rivet

SC 29 paul greenstone

CHALLENGE — Lake Region Music Director Paul Greenstone will put his hair into dreadlocks if a goal of $10,000 is reached to create a music fund to assist high school musicians.

Staff Writer

Paul Greenstone is the first to admit that he is “such an introvert, you wouldn’t believe it.”

So, the thought of him putting his salty-colored hair into dreadlocks is somewhat surprising.

“This would really embarrass me,” the Lake Region High School band director said. “My hair right now is longer than I usually wear it and it really bothers me.”

But, there is very little Greenstone would not do to help his band of talented and committed musicians.

To help fill financial gaps created by continued tight school budgets, Greenstone has launched a drive to raise $10,000 for the Lake Region Music Scholarship Fund. His hope is that the fund will address a variety of needs from assisting students to attend prestigious music festivals and programs to buying new uniforms (right now, most performers wear reasonably-priced collared shirts with a LR music logo) to purchasing much-needed instruments (a new bassoon goes for about $6,000 — and that is an “inexpensive” model, Greenstone said) that at the moment remain just a “wish.”

As he moves closer and closer to retirement, Greenstone wants to leave the music program in a better financial state than when he arrived at Lake Region eight years ago.

“We have many very, very talented kids here in this school,” he said. “It has always been my goal to be sure they get the opportunity to experience the best music has to offer.”

Businesses that donate $500 or more will have their names included on a “thank you” banner, which will also list the names of individuals who contribute $250 or more to the cause. Checks can be made payable to the Lake Region Music Scholarship Fund, and mailed to the high school in care of Greenstone.

“We are very proud of our kids,” he said. “And, we are very proud of how active our group is.”

Indeed, the LR Band does make the rounds. Since June of last year to this coming June, band members will have been involved in 38 events — from performing in a wide array of venues from the Maine Blues Festival to Veterans Day assemblies, to holiday concerts to appearing at basketball tournament games. Laker musicians were among 3,000 performers taking part in the U-Mass Band Day in Foxboro, Mass. They were also selected to be part of the opening ceremonies at the renovated Cumberland County Civic Center, largely due to their efforts during the basketball playoffs.

Meanwhile, Lake Region Middle School musicians recently performed inside the State House in Augusta.

2014 has also been a highly-successful year for several performers — being selected as elite players.

Heather Hall, Giselle Wallace and Zachary Gray attended the All-New England Honor Band Festival in November. Gray achieved national recognition when he was selected to perform with the All-National Band in Nashville, Tenn.

Wallace took part in the All-State Jazz Festival in January.

Several high school and middle school students were named to the District 2 Honor Band. They included: Sean Buchanan (MS orchestra); Andrea Johnston, Brianna Warren, Emily St. John, Lucien Wallace, Matthew Mayo, Nathaniel Jordan, Tim Holbrook, DJ Moyse (MS band); Heather Hall, Giselle Wallace, Dan Gagnon, Anna Yates, Zachary Gray and Dan Neault (HS band).

In May, LRHS will send Giselle Wallace, Zachary Gray (band), Alex Menezes and Katie Caulfield (chorus) to the All-State Music Festival at the University of Maine at Orono.

“For some kids, music could become a career. For others, it will always be part of them their entire lives,” Greenstone said. “I simply want to give them every opportunity while they are here (LRHS) to experience music.”

And if it means wearing his hair in dreadlocks all summer, it is a small price Paul Greenstone is willing to pay for guaranteeing his students future successes.

For more information, e-mail LRHS Music Director Paul Greenstone at paul.greenstone@lakeregionschools.org



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