2014 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: SACRED MUSIC IN A SACRED SPACE
The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will be hosting a summer concert series. Come and enjoy the many talented performers in this sacred space. Concerts are free and open to the public. Donations to restore the Casavant Organ are gratefully accepted.
Wednesday, July 16, 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm: Benjamin Noyes (cello), Linda Vaillancourt (viola), Shaina Graff (violin), Scott Vaillancourt (organ)
Benjamin Noyes (Cello) grew up in Portland, inheriting a rich musical/pedagogical heritage from his parents. He found local acclaim immediately and while attending Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Irene Sharp invited him to study in San Francisco where he attended the School of the Arts and San Francisco Conservatory's preparatory division. He won numerous awards, including top prizes in NFAA's ARTS Recognition, National Federation of Music Clubs, and National ASTA competitions, as well as being selected by Yo-Yo Ma to participate as soloist and recitalist throughout China to perform with the Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzen and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. As a fellowship recipient he attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Festival, and Meadowmount. As an undergraduate, he attended Eastman School of Music, received his BM from Rice University and his MM from Northwestern University where he participated in the Chicago Symphony's Civic Orchestra program playing under maestros Pierre Boulez, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Daniel Barenboim, amongst others. He held a position with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and various summer opera orchestras for five years before moving to Virginia to focus on teaching and performing.
A multi-faceted individual, Benjamin has as many talents as interests. After a year playing with the Roanoke Symphony, Roanoke Opera Orchestra, Miami Symphony and adjunct faculty at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Ben is building a private studio and continues to garner acclaim for performances of solo recital programs, chamber ensemble concerts as well as various non-classical ventures. Pursuing the artist's life has led him to collaborations and performances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as teaching, coaching, and motivating individuals of all ages and professions. He also finds joy in many areas including but not limited to composing, recording, producing, drawing and writing
Linda Vaillancourt (viola) holds a BM in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, and an MM in viola performance from the University of Maine. She currently serves as the middle school instrumental music teacher and strings director at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth, and the music teacher at l’École Française du Maine in Freeport. She helped found, and is the music director for, the Youth Orchestra of Lewiston/Auburn, a community-based ensemble designed to serve string students in the L/A area.
Linda has been very active in strings education in Maine. She served as the Orchestra Vice-President for the Maine Music Educators’ Association from 2002-2006, and continues to serve as manager for the Maine All-State Orchestra, a position she has held for several years. She also frequently works as a manager or coordinator for the District II Music Festivals. She conducted orchestras in the Statewide String Festival in 2004, 2009, and 2011.
Linda also maintains a busy performance schedule, playing primarily viola, but also some violin. She has played in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2000, and is also a member of Maine Pro Musica, Maine Chamber Ensemble and Maine Music Society. She is frequently called to play in other local groups, including the Bates and Bowdoin College Orchestras and the PORT Opera Orchestra, and has played in pit orchestras for several different high school and community theatre productions.
Linda lives in Lewiston with her husband, Scott, and three young children.
Shaina Graff (violin) began playing the violin at age three and music has been an integral part of her life ever since. Her studies have included various methods first beginning as a Suzuki student. Suzuki instructors include John Kendall and more recently Teacher Training from Ronda Cole, Kimberly Meier-Sims, and Cathryn Lee. She pursued a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music Performance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduating with honors under Hungarian Professor Michael Barta. Further individual studies with violinists around the world include Timothy Shiu, David Kim, and Geza Koposh. She was honored chamber music coaching with Cavani String Quartet and Kodaly String Quartet. During her studies, she appeared as concertmaster and soloist with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, as well as performed with the Chamber Music Society and Altgeld Chamber Players. Shaina has been director of her own studio, Shaina's Strings Studio, which has been providing violin and viola lessons to aspiring musicians of all ages for over a decade. Her students are involved in community events, orchestras, performances, competitions, and have gone on to receive scholarships at the university level. Seeking to spread the enjoyment and passion for music to all, Shaina's Strings Students enjoy playing music of all genres with the fundamentals and technique to take them to unlimited possibilities. Shaina is a member of the Suzuki Association of America and String Teachers Association. As a professional, Shaina performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Paducah Symphony Orchestra, and recently to include Midcoast Symphony and North Shore Philharmonic. Other performances include Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Union Avenue Opera, Tulsa Opera Co., Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Winter Opera St. Louis, Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony, Southeast Missouri Symphony, and the Southern Illinois Summer Music Festival Orchestra. Additionally to orchestral settings, Shaina is active in various performing styles and settings. In addition to educating and performing, Shaina is extremely passionate about chamber music. She served as vice president of the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society and for over a decade as a violinist of the Chautauqua String Ensemble. She desires to create more opportunities for musicians and to enhance the musical connection with the community through chamber music. Shaina has always been drawn to Maine and after visiting she fell in love with the state and the people. As a new resident to the beautiful Northeast, Shaina looks forward to making a positive valuable impact on musicians and music lovers of all ages. She treasures the role she partakes in each violinist's educational life and looks forward to unlimited possibilities to come.