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Happy 105th!

Edward Raymond

Edward Raymond turns 105-years-old today, Jan. 29, 2015. Raymond was born and raised in Colchester. He attended the Colchester one-room school house until sixth grade when he went to work. He served in WWII and currently resides in a nursing home in Rutland. His son Wayne LaBonte Sr., of Burlington, sends this wish on behalf of their family:

Happy 105th birthday Gramps, Edward Raymond (born Jan. 29, 1910)

Dad, Gramps, Great Grandfather, Uncle, Friend; many names, same great person, same warm smile and wonderful wit. We love you so much!

Donna and Wayne, Wendi, Landis, Libby and Collin

Wayne Jr., Micky, Tyler and Kacey

Ray Hayden, Hazel, Janice and all the folks at Ray’s Seafood

Wishes or comments may be sent to wlabonte@burlingtontelecom.net

Donations allows CHS music program to purchase new piano

Pictured from left: Friends of Colchester Music President Marie Bouffard, Rotary Past President Leora Black, and Rotary Chair of Allocations Kent Booraem present checks to CHS Choral Director Melissa Towle for the purchase of a new Yamaha Clavinova piano for the CHS music program. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Pictured from left: Friends of Colchester Music President Marie Bouffard, Rotary Past President Leora Black, and Rotary Chair of Allocations Kent Booraem present checks to CHS Choral Director Melissa Towle for the purchase of a new Yamaha Clavinova piano for the CHS music program.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

It was a festive night at Colchester High School on Dec. 17 for the band and choral program’s annual winter jubilee concert. The mood became even brighter when members of the Colchester-Milton Rotary and Friends of Colchester Music fulfilled a donation request from CHS Choral Director Melissa Towle for a Yamaha Clavinova piano for the school’s music room.

FCM President Marie Bouffard, Rotary’s Past President Leora Black, and Rotary’s Chair of Allocations Kent Booraem, presented Towle two checks for $2,000 each to allow her to purchase the piano.

“The Colchester-Milton Rotary Club has a history of supporting music in the community. In 2011, the Rotary donated $1,000 to the Friends of Colchester Music to support a program at Malletts Bay School. In the past year, the organization has also made donations to the Colchester Community Chorus and Band,” said Black. “We believe music makes a difference in the lives of students and community members.”

According to Towle, the more than 20-year-old piano is the “workhorse of the CHS music department.” It gets daily use by the school’s 110 choral students (CHS has the largest high school choral program in Chittenden County); and it is used by the band and drama programs. The piano has been rebuilt once and was in need of major repairs.

Some of the CHS choral students and Choral Director Melissa Towle (seated left) gather around the school’s new Yamaha Clavinova Piano purchased from Contois School of Music through donations from Friends of Colchester Music and the Colchester-Milton Rotary. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Some of the CHS choral students and Choral Director Melissa Towle (seated left) gather around the school’s new Yamaha Clavinova Piano purchased from Contois School of Music through donations from Friends of Colchester Music and the Colchester-Milton Rotary.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

The $4,000 price tag for the new piano put a replacement instrument out of reach for Towle’s already stretched music budget, much of which goes toward the purchase of sheet music for the school’s annual choral performances.

“We were thrilled that the Colchester-Milton Rotary was able to provide $2,000 to help purchase the piano,” said Bouffard. “FCM is a small booster group, but we are fortunate to have great support from CSD families as well as the Colchester community…their support helped make our matching donation possible.”

“What a wonderful gift,” said Towle. “This piano means so much to the students and to our entire music program… We feel so very lucky to have such a supportive community.”

A brand new Yamaha Clavinova piano sells for nearly $6,000, but Towle received a quote on a floor model for $4,000 from Contois School of Music in Essex Junction.

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UVM professor examines trauma and triumph of Maya Angelou

Part of First Wednesdays at Essex Junction’s Brownell Library

UVM professor Emily Bernard will look at the transformation of beloved poet and activist Maya Angelou in a talk at Brownell Library in Essex Junction on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Her talk, “Delicious to the Ear: The Inspiring Voice of Maya Angelou,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public.

Before she became an internationally revered poet, memoirist, and activist, Maya Angelou was mute for five years as a child. Bernard will explain how poetry awakened Angelou’s voice, a voice that transformed a history of trauma into inspiration and beauty.

Emily Bernard is a professor of English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Vermont. Her books include “Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten” (2001), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; “Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendship” (2004), chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age; and “Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs” (2009), a book she co-authored with Deborah Willis, which received a 2010 NAACP Image Award. Her most recent book, “Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White”, was published by Yale University Press in 2012. Her essays have been published in several anthologies and journals.

For more information visit vermonthumanities.org.