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Maine Central Institute (MCI) announced that the School Band and Orchestra magazine (SBO) named MCI music director and head of the Visual and Performing Arts department, Dean Neal, as Maine’s 21st Annual Class of 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. Neal is featured with music directors from other states in SBO’s recent magazine (
According to Headmaster Christopher J. Hopkins, “Dean Neal influences the lives of every single MCI student who studies with him or enjoys the music he provides at school games, student concerts and gatherings, and community events. He is a supportive music instructor and advisor who celebrates and nurtures the talents of our students, and MCI holds his enthusiasm of student achievements as a benchmark to others. Mr. Neal’s work with the School’s music ensembles has led to state and national recognition, and his unyielding support of student musicians is a remarkable testament to his commitment to share music education with students who have either studied music all their lives or are new to music instruction.”
Neal has been a music instructor at MCI since 1990. In the interview with SBO, Neal commented that his greatest achievement has been “helping music education become an integral part of the school community” at MCI. He shared, “When I first began teaching…music classes and ensembles were present, but they had not yet realized their great potential to influence the lives of each person in our school community. Through the joint efforts of K-12 Music Educators, parents and students, music now enjoys being a part of a vibrant arts community which impacts our school and local community in significant ways.” Neal added that music education gives students “a voice to express their thoughts, emotions, and creativity through music… each student has something to say and something to share through music which is programmed for them or music which they select or create. Effective art has the ability to communicate with people in powerful ways and I am thankful to be a part of bringing that out of our students.”
MCI ( is the secondary school for the towns of Pittsfield, Burnham and Detroit. MCI enrollment includes day students from 14 Maine communities, and boarding students from six states and 18 countries. For more information, contact (207) 487-5915.
Dean Neal, MCI Music Director/VPAE department head.
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