2016-03-18 / Ticket

Midcoast students perform at singer songwriter event

The Times Record

SINGERS/SONGWRITERS WORKSHOP STUDENTS and mentors pose after a performance at the Chocolate Church Arts Center. 
CONTRIBUTED IMAGE SINGERS/SONGWRITERS WORKSHOP STUDENTS and mentors pose after a performance at the Chocolate Church Arts Center. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE BATH

Twenty students from the Hyde-Bath, Hyde-Woodstock, and Morse High School wrote songs and performed them to a sold out crowd at the Chocolate Church on Feb. 27. The students did not go it alone, getting some professional help from facilitators of the 12th annual Singer Songwriters Workshop.

Grammy award Winner Michael McDonald, his son Hyde alumnus Dylan McDonald, Hyde alumnus Brian Thompson, rock and soul singer Madison Welsley from Memphis, recording artist Lisa Redfern of Maine, singer Lauren Crosby, songwriter Emily Rose from Georgetown and singer-songwriter Tim Mercer of Portland took the students through the many twists and turns of lyric writing and accompaniment.

Matt Newberg, head of the Music and Performing Arts Department, took a moment to talk about the most important part of the adventure.

“For me, it is both seeing Hyde alumni return to facilitate and watching how easily our students welcome both Hyde-Woodstock and Morse High School students,” he said. “This year’s show was perhaps the most accomplished so far, I can’t think of a single student performance that wasn’t right on the money.”

Newberg said of the Saturday performance that the crowd of about 140 people was appreciative, supportive, and enthusiastic.

“Highlights were Hayden Connor, performing for the first time ever, and Maya Markowicz performing the first song she’s ever written,” he said.

“One of the best parts of working with the Hyde alumni is seeing that people like me can go on to make a career in music,” Connor Foye, one of a dozen participants from Hyde-Bath, said. “Everyone was such a big help; working with people like Michael McDonald is an opportunity that I never expected to have. It was really amazing to have people with that much experience give you their advice.

“I've always written songs, but over the week I've been learning how to write songs that not only sound good, but songs that mean something. The skills I learned in the Songwriters Workshop I'll be able to take forward with me. I am now empowered to write songs that I feel good about and will continue to improve my writing.”

The music program at the Hyde School is unique. The program offers academic courses such as Introducing Music Theory and Songwriting, Theory and Performance, and Sound Engineering and Stage Production. The curriculum provides hands on experience in a state-of-the-art recording studio on the Bath campus under the expert guidance of Matt Newberg, director of the music department. Added to the mix is an annual songwriters workshop, a trip to Nashville to record, and summer songwriting workshops teaching them to write, perform, and appreciate music.

To learn more about Hyde Schools, its Songwriters Workshop and other summer leadership programs, and renowned parenting and teen workshops, go to hyde.edu. To listen to the student demos, visit the Hyde School SoundCloud account at soundcloud.com/hydeschools. To see photos from the event, visit the Hyde School Facebook page at facebook.com/HydeBoardingSchools.

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