Thursday, July 18, 2002

New music teacher for Cape

Published in the Current

Cape Elizabeth High School music students will have a new teacher come the fall, following the retirement of Norm Richardson, who had taught music at CEHS for eight years in the last phase of a long teaching career.

Tom Lizotte of Biddeford has been chosen to replace Richardson, and high school Principal Jeff Shedd said Lizotte is well qualified to fill the big shoes Richardson leaves behind.

“Tom Lizotte comes very highly recommended to us,” Shedd said.

The position had about a dozen applicants, and the interview process included two parents, an indication, Shedd said, of the community-wide nature of the music position.

Lizotte himself knew both Richardson and middle school music teacher Terry White, and said he has “great respect” for both men.

“I’ve known Norm for as long as I’ve been in Maine,” Lizotte said.

Lizotte also has a long-standing collaboration with White, who preceded him in Biddeford. After coming to Cape, White continued to write some music for the Biddeford bands, Lizotte said.

“I’m very excited about coming to Cape Elizabeth,” he said. “It’s really a wonderful community. ”

Lizotte said he doesn’t expect to make many changes to the strong music program at CEHS. “I’m not into fixing stuff that’s not broken,” he said.

Looking into the future, though, Lizotte would like to incorporate into the music curriculum pieces written specifically for CEHS musicians.

“I think it’s important for students to have music composed specifically for them,” he said. It’s something he did in Biddeford, with great success. The students could meet the composer and discuss the piece before playing the composition in its first public performance.

One location Lizotte would like to see celebrated in music is Two Lights State Park, a place he called, “my most favorite place in all of Maine.”

Commissioning pieces, he said, is also a way to teach students that music is not a static library of old composition. “Art is something that’s created every day,” Lizotte said.