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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: October 30, 2017

USM pays tribute to Bernstein and Kennedy

Written by: Bob Keyes
Photo by Associated Press/Terhune

Photo by Associated Press/Terhune

The University of Southern Maine Concert Band, under the direction of Trae Blanco, presents “Lennie and John at 100” at 2 p.m. Sunday at Corthell Concert Hall in Portland.

Featuring Mariana Mihai-Zoeter, soprano, and euphonium player Chris Leslie from the West Point Band, the concert celebrates the friendship of John F. Kennedy and Leonard Bernstein.

 Photo by Associated Press

Photo by Associated Press

The 100-year anniversary of the birth of Bernstein and Kennedy is cause for celebration, Blanco said. Bernstein and Kennedy were intertwined. The composer saw the politician as a leader with sympathy for the arts, and Kennedy recognized Bernstein as having his own inspirational qualities. The newly elected president selected Bernstein to compose and conduct a fanfare for Kennedy’s inaugural gala, and Bernstein conducted a national memorial for Kennedy after he was slain.

Tickets cost $15, $10 for seniors, USM employees and alumni, and $5 for students. They can be purchased online at, by phone at 780-5555, and at the door.

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