FARMINGTON — The Mt. Blue Music Boosters are preparing for one of their major fundraisers of the year, a popular dance featuring the music of the Al Corey Band.

The dance will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the Mt. Blue Middle School cafeteria.

This year professional dance instructor Gary Smith will offer ballroom dance classes from 6 to 7 p.m., Deb Seeley, board chairwoman and treasurer of the Mt. Blue Music Boosters, said.

Although the dance was started seven years ago by Karen Beacham to raise funds for Jazz Band trips, this is only the second year since the dance was passed on to the Music Boosters.

Local sponsors help bring the band from Waterville, she said. That helped the Music Boosters raise several hundred dollars last year.

Now in its 30th year as an nonprofit group, the Mt. Blue Music Boosters provide up to $10,000 for the district music program, including $3,000 in scholarships for summer camps and private lessons.


The group financially assists four special groups: the school band, Mt. Blue Fiddlers, Mt. Blue Voices and the Mt. Blue Chamber Chorus, she said.

“We provide above and beyond what the school district provides for in the musical budget,” she said. “Within reason, we try to provide what teachers and the school district needs.”

They pay for music and provide instruments used in the elementary schools. They also provide for repair of instruments and bring in concerts, she said. 

This year, they are combining efforts with the Western Maine Arts Institute to bring a Czechoslovakian boys chorus here in February to provide concerts for younger students.

Along with the dance, the group raises funds through a plant sale in November with plants furnished by Riverside Greenhouse, a Cabaret featuring music and dinner at Calzolaio’s Pasta Company in Wilton on March 8 and a summer Children’s Theater.

For two weeks in the summer, children learn their part in a play in what also is a training ground to move on to the school district’s theater program, she said. 


They get experience on stage and in public speaking. They help create costumes and design sets. They also learn theater exercises such as how to control their voice, how to relax their bodies and how to become their character. They also learn to work together and help each other, she said.

The cost of $80 runs the camp and hires a director. The Music Boosters gain funding through ticket sales, she said.

Although the group only has six members, “we work well together and get a lot done,” Seeley said. She is joined by Jeb Enoch, Wendy Ames, Holly Rice, Kathy Gregory and Carol Shumway.

They also send home surveys in the fall and get about 200 responses from parents willing to help, she added.

The group meets the first Monday of the month from September through May at 7 p.m. at the Mallett School. Any parent with time or interest to get involved is welcome to come or call her at 778-9053 for information, Seeley said.

Seeley became involved when her children were in school. Now her grandchildren are in the music program.


There was one child in her daughter’s class who didn’t have a great home life. The school chorus was the one thing that was just his, she said.

What it did for him and her own children, keeps her involved, she said.

“I watched my daughter as she grew through music and learned to express herself with each piece she would play,” she said. “This is still a skill she uses as an adult, what a wonderful gift. Music gives each one of us our own individual space for some peace and escape in a world of demands and chaos.”

[email protected]

What: Dance featuring Al Corey Band

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28

Where: Mt. Blue Middle School cafeteria

Tickets: in advance, $15 adults, $10 students and seniors; available at Devaney Doak and Garrett Booksellers, Calico Patch in Farmington and Wilton Public Library. At the door, $18 adults, $12 students and seniors.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.