KVYSO is a place of growing for these five seniors

by Eric W. Austin

For these five high school seniors, the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestras have been a place to grow, to build friendships, and to nurture their passion for music. This Spring, they are preparing for their final concert before heading off to college, on Mothers Day, May 12, 5 p.m., at the South Parish Church, in Augusta.

“I was such a rascal,” says Sophia Scheck with a rueful grin. “I didn’t just learn music, I learned to make friends, and sometimes how to lose them, and that’s okay.”
– Waterville High School senior Sophia Scheck

Sophia Scheck

“I was such a rascal,” says Sophia Scheck with a rueful grin. Scheck, a senior at Waterville High School, plays the viola (which is similar to a violin but a little bigger with slightly different strings). “Pineland Suzuki (school) has affected my life in so many ways,” she says. “I didn’t just learn music, I learned to make friends, and sometimes how to lose them, and that’s okay.” Scheck hopes to head for the Boston Conservatory next year to major in viola performance.

Carolyn Phelps Scholz

Carolyn Phelps Scholtz, a senior at the Ecology Learning Center, a public charter high school in Unity, plays the fiddle and has found her musical experience incredibly rewarding. “I’m still playing music with people that I started playing with when I was four,” she says. “We’ve grown up together, as people and musicians, and we’ll always have that.”

Diana Estes

Diana Estes is a homeschooler and has spent her life playing music and singing with her parents and six siblings. In her sixth year playing the cello, she sat as principal cellist in the Mid-Maine Youth Orchestra and now holds that place in the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony. In 2023, she won the Anna Bereziuk and Lindley Wood Prize for Ensemble Endeavors in the Bay Chamber Prizewinner’s Competition. Outside of music, she is a devoted student, book enthusiast and soccer player. She has been accepted to Cedarville Univ­ersity, in Ohio, as a cello performance major, where she plans to double-major in biology before heading to medical school on her way to becoming a chiropractor. “I almost gave up playing cello in August 2021,” she admits. “I was prepared to sell my instrument, but my parents encouraged me to continue for just one more week, so I did. Three years later I’m on my way to college for cello, something I used to not like! The community and friendships built during my time at Pineland Suzuki School have been invaluable to me.”

Eben Buck

Silas Bartol

Eben Buck, who attends Cony High School, in Augusta, and Silas Bartol, from Maranacook High school, the remaining seniors in the orchestra, have been friends since childhood. “I still laugh about the “time Silas Bartol stuck his finger in Eben’s ear on stage during a rehearsal,” says Buck’s mother. “Eben calmly took Silas’ finger out of his ear and stuck Silas’ hand in his own pocket. They were four or five years old.”

The KV Youth Symphony Orchestras are a nonprofit initiative spearheaded by the Pineland Suzuki School of Music, in Manchester, with the aim of bringing the string musicians of the Suzuki school together with other local students of wind, brass and percussion instruments for a complete orchestral experience. Their May concert will feature music selections from Mozart’s Violin Concerto #3, Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn, Bizet’s L’Arlesian Suite #2, among other pieces.

For more information about their upcoming concert or to find out how to enroll a student in the program, please visit their website at www.kvyso.org.

Waterville student graduates from UWM

A total of 1,966 students received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 17, 2023, including Jorge Hernandez Lasa, of Waterville, from the College of Letters and Science, Doctor of Philosophy, Spanish.

Local residents named to RIT dean’s list

The following students were named to the dean’s list at Rochester Institute of Technology, in Rochester, New York, for the fall semester of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Lunden Dinkel, of Augusta, who is in the industrial design program.

Tyler Dow, of China, who is in the computer science program.

China Primary School observes 100th day of school

Mrs. Eaton’s first grade class, at China Primary School, celebrated the 100th day of school. They rotated through stations such as making 100 gumball machines, stacking and ordering 100 cups in number order, making the number 100 with 100 Legos, following pattern block templates with 100 pattern blocks, and so on! The class enjoyed celebrating being one hundred days smarter in first grade!

Carrabec High School 3rd quarter honor roll (2024)

Carrabec High School


High honors: Dakota Cahill, Kolby Carpenter, Jayden Cates, Devyn DeLeonardis, Cooper Dellarma, Joyanna Jones, Summer Lindblom, Alyssa Schinzel, and Hailey Wyman. Honors:  Riley Crocker, Trevor Donahue, Molly Hay, Nevaeh Holmes, Emma Junkins, Dillon Nelson, Ryan Parlin, Caleb Rice, and Lucas Vicneire.


High honors:  Kobi Jennings, Dayna Jean Labonte, Machaon Pierce, Seth Price, Desmond Robinson, Brooks Sousa, and Ciarrah Whittemore. Honors: Damien Bornstein, Logan Caldwell, Mason Courtney, Haley McFadyen, Paige Reichert, Gerald Rollins, Josephine Scheve, and Levi Small.


High honors:  Emma Campbell, William Rogers, and Myah Williams. Honors: Jaysen Longley, and Jackson Newton.


High honors:  Chandler Atwood, Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Henry Lindeman, Leeyah Nelson, Jillian Robinson, Austin Sales, and Katie Scalese. Honors: Ashlyn Courtney, Jordan Kramer, Reed Smith, and Ava Welch.

Activities abound at RSU #18 schools

National Pancake Day


Top, Mr. Moody and Mrs. Ridgeway treated China Primary School staff to a yummy pancake breakfast for National Pancake Day! What are your favorite toppings?

Surfrider Foundation Donation

Above, China Primary School’s fourth graders were recently engaging in a persuasive writing unit, and during the unit one student passionately wrote about how their school should have a fundraiser to raise money to help support a cleaner ocean. Mrs. Jacobs’ class organized a popcorn fundraiser with the support from the China PTO. They raised over $400 to donate to the Surfrider Foundation in Maine.

March Making a Difference Award

Congratulations to Maren O’Connell, left, and Christine Meader for receiving the March Making a Difference Award at Williams Elementary School’s recent Be the Light Assembly, in Oakland. The school appreciates all they do each day to support the students at Williams Elementary School.

Sharing Nonfiction Writing

Mrs. Couture’s second grade student, Eli, at the Atwood School, in Oakland, read his nonfiction writing piece about wolves to Superintendent of Schools, Carl Gartley. Eli shared, “I felt a little bit nervous but mostly honored to read to Mr. Gartley.” Gartley enjoyed Eli’s sophisticated word choice and fun facts. After Eli left central office, he said, “This was the best afternoon ever!” Eli’s work was definitely Atwood awesome.

Mobile Science Lab

China Middle School’s fifth through eighth grade students had the opportunity to work in the Mobile Science Lab! Two different programs were offered to students. Some students learned about balancing ecosystems with invasive species. They developed tools to mitigate the effects of the invasive species. Other students participated in the Micropipette Challenge where they practiced measuring and transferring liquids using a pipette. CMS was the first school the new Mobile BioLab visited. Sixth graders at China Middle then attended the kick-off event for Educate Maine and the Maine Mobile BioLab, at the State House, in Augusta!

Emma Concaugh named to College of the Holy Cross’ dean’s list

Emma Concaugh, of Oakland, a member of the Class of 2024, was named to the College of the Holy Cross Fall 2023 dean’s list, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Local residents named to Clark Univ.’s dean’s list

The following local residents were named to Clark University’s Fall 2023 dean’s list, in Worcester, Massachusetts:

Sam N. Golden, of South China, was named to second honors.

Maya L. Patten, of Mercer, was named to second honors.

Frankie D. Roberts, of Unity, was named to second honors.

Ella Conway earns dean’s list

Emerson College student Ella Conway, from Skowhegan, is named to the College’s dean’s list for the Fall 2023 semester, in Boston, Massachusetts. Conway is majoring in media arts production and is a member of the Class of 2026.

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust accepting scholarship applications

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is currently accepting applications for the Bank’s 2024 Career & Technical Education Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to income-eligible high school seniors who attend a technical career program as part of their high school curriculum and are planning to attend a college or technical school in the academic year immediately following graduation.

Students must reside in counties in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont where the bank has a branch location. Applicants selected to receive a 2024 scholarship will be eligible to apply for an additional $1,000 scholarship in 2025 to be used for their second year of college or technical school.

The deadline to apply for the 2024 Career & Technical Education Scholarship is May 1, 2024. Interested students can visit www.barharbor.bank/scholarships for more information about eligibility and to download the application.

The Bank established the Career & Technical Education Scholarship in 2018 and has awarded 84 scholarships to date.