Poland senior takes first place in state musical theater festival

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LEWISTON — The Maine Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing concluded its annual Musical Theater Festival on Nov.21. Traditionally held live at the Olin Arts Center at Bates College, the competition and audition process is now online.

Sophie Patenaude, a senior at Poland Regional High School, took first place in her division, singing: “I’ll Be Here” from “Ordinary Days” by Adam Gwon and “Mister Snow” from “Carousel” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Patenaude has performed in local theater productions since she was in first grade, appearing as Dragon in “Shrek: The Musical,” Wendy in “Peter Pan,” Cinderella in “Into The Woods,” and Hope Harcourt in “Anything Goes,” as well as a professional production at Ogunquit Playhouse in 2013. In 2017, she began refining her performance under the direction of D’arcy Robinson, adding the role of Emily Webb in “Our Town,” for which she was awarded a Maine State Drama Festival All-Cast Award.

Patenaude began her vocal education with Julia Edwards in 2015 as a member of her school’s chorus and chamber choir, and began lessons with Betsey deGroff in the summer of 2020. Outside of performing, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, spending time with friends and family and writing music.

Students from across the state submitted audition videos for a panel of judges to adjudicate from as far away as New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This year the online competition attracted a record number of registrants from Standish to Bucksport and beyond.


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