BUCKSPORT — If you can’t run away and join the circus, perhaps the next best thing is to join the Down East Center Ring Circus Band for its free July 8 concert.
The show will go on at 7:30 p.m. at the Bucksport Performing Arts Center at Bucksport Middle School on Miles Lane.
Children dance with the clowns and audience members sing along on select numbers. Every year, a full house erupts in laughter and applause at the variety of rarely heard live circus music and humorous circus anecdotes of conductor Gene Nichols, an associate professor of music at the University of Maine-Machias.
Nichols performs regularly with the Arcady series and is a former director of music and band director for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus and Wild West Show.
Donations are collected during the concert to raise money for music scholarships for students in Hancock, Penobscot and Washington counties.
Conceived and produced each year by retired educator and musician Don Blodgett of Orland and Milwaukee, Wis., the scholarship program has awarded approximately $21,500 in scholarships since the first concert 15 years ago. Scholarships may be used for music lessons, music camp, musical instruments or music equipment.
To mark the milestone 15th year of the concert, local music educators who have contributed to the success of the scholarship program over the years will be recognized during the concert.
This year, Nichols will again conduct a 50-piece circus band in selections of marches, specialty numbers, an overture and possibly a solo or two.
Special program support is provided by the Bucksport Area Cultural Arts Society, the Bucksport branch of Bangor Saving Bank, the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and individuals. Organizers hope to meet or exceed the number of scholarships granted last year.
Students interested in applying for 2011 scholarships should contact Martha Pedrick at [email protected] for information.