Visual and Performing Arts

Visual and Performing Arts2022-08-26T23:07:47-04:00

Lincoln Academy is committed to the Arts.  Whether you love to sing, perform on stage, or create an artistic masterpiece, you will find a rich variety of opportunities in the Arts.  With over ten clubs and ensembles and thirty courses in music, drama, and art, there is something for everyone.  Lincoln Academy students place at regional and state competitions every year in music, choir, theater, and visual art competitions.

All students must take 3 credits (either 3 trimesters or a full year) of Visual and Performing Arts to graduate from Lincoln Academy.

Visual arts:

Courses include: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry making, graphic design, digital photography, advanced art and AP art. All classes are open to all grades, but students must take one trimester of Art Fundamentals before taking other art classes.

Performing Arts:

Choral Groups

  • Lincolnaires Chamber Choir
  • Concert Choir
  • Jazz Choir (after school class)

Instrumental Groups:

  • Wind Ensemble (for experienced instrumental musicians)
  • Jazz Bands (after school class)
    • Jazz Big Band
    • 4 o’clock Combo
    • 5 o’clock Combo
  • Concert Band


The theater department offers credited courses in acting, play production, and digital media. Theater productions are produced after school, and vary year to year but include multiple opportunities to perform on stage. A typical year might include a fall musical and winter One-Act competition or play.

Lincoln Academy Visual and Performing Arts in the News:

Lincoln Academy Visual and Performing Arts photo gallery:

Contact Information

Elizabeth Matta : Performing Arts Department Head—Director of Bands, Jazz Bands, and Orchestra
Elizabeth Matta

Liz Matta is a native of Foxborough, Massachusetts. She credits her many great musical experiences in Foxborough, including performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and being challenged to think like a band director from an early age by Steve Massey and Ted Hagarty, as the reasons she has such a passion to work with kids, teach music and continue to perform.

Ms. Matta has been the Lincoln Academy Band Director since 2006. Under her direction, the Lincoln Academy Band Program doubled in student participation and in the number of instrumental performing ensembles offered in just her first four years. Lincoln Academy bands regularly receive gold ratings at state and national competitions, and her student musicians place at regional and state competitions every year. Ms. Matta directs the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, String Ensemble, Jazz Big Band, the Four and Five O’clock jazz combos and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory.

Ms. Matta is the Program Director of “Maine Music Outreach”; a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower Maine high school musicians to make a difference in the lives of others. With MMO, Liz has trained and lead groups of high school student volunteers to work and play at the Holy Trinity Music School’s Summer Music Camp in Cange and the CEMUCHCA Summer Music Camp in Cap-Haïtien since 2012.

Ms. Matta has worked with bands and jazz bands throughout New England as a clinician and guest conductor. In addition to teaching, Ms. Matta can be heard playing as a freelance saxophonist. She enjoys reading, hiking and enjoying time with her family.

Academic Affiliations:

B.M. Music Education, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
B.M. Saxophone Performance, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
M.A. Band Conducting, American Band College/Sam Houston State University

Emily Anderson : Performing Arts Faculty, Choir Director
Emily Anderson

Emily Anderson is a native of Barrington, Illinois. She studied Vocal Music Education at University of Maine, and student-taught at Bangor High School. After moving back to the Chicago area to teach middle school general music for three years, she and her husband moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where she taught K-8 music at the Tisbury School and was Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Society. Emily returned “home” to Maine with her family and joined the incredible Lincoln Academy community in 2019.  At LA, Emily directs both the Concert Choir and Lincolnaires as well as teaches trimester music courses in piano, guitar, ukulele and the history of rock and roll.  When she’s not leading rehearsals, singing or playing the piano, she can be found hiking, kayaking, gardening and playing with her two kids, Ellis and Everett.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. Music Education with a Vocal Concentration, University of Maine in Orono
M.A. Education in Curriculum and Teaching, Fitchburg State University

Griff Braley : Theater and Film Faculty—Theater Director
Griff Braley

Descended from Northern Maine potato farmers, and after a mostly idyllic young life, Mr. Braley moved to mid coast Maine in the seventies, discovered music, theater and writing, and took up the theater arts, graduating from Bates College with a theater major. After 38 years in education, and 20 years as Artistic Director at Heartwood Regional Theater Co., he has directed more than 200 plays, including many originals and adaptations. At Lincoln, Mr. Braley can be found in the Poe Theater where he annually directs two high school plays, while teaching film, play production and acting. His blessings in life include the amazing Mrs. Joy Braley, five incredible children, and seventeen grandchildren. Other interests include matters of faith, poetry and music.

Academic Affiliations:

B.A. Theater - Bates College
Certified Drama K – 12
Certified English 9 - 12

Nina Sylvia : Visual Arts Department Chair
Nina Sylvia

As a graduate of Lincoln Academy ('84), Nina Sylvia brings tradition and a deep connection to the Hall House visual arts room. Having taught for many years in two larger Maine high schools, it is her great pleasure to work with the creative students from the historical artists colonies of mid-coast Maine as well as the inspiring students from around the world. She is a practicing artist, working out of her home studio on the pond, finding subject matter by abstracting her extensive gardens, and always eager to learn new and cutting edge techniques. She built her own home and has been restoring a 60 year old wooden sailboat. During the "quieter" months, she travels and competes with an adult synchronized skating team.

Academic Affiliations:

BFA Printmaking, Maine College of Art
M.Ed. Teaching and Learning, University of Southern Maine
Member of the MAEA, NAEA, and River Arts.

Jonathan Mess : Visual Arts Faculty
Jonathan Mess

Jonathan Mess teaches three-dimensional art and ceramics at Lincoln Academy. As an artist, he creates experimental works using reclaimed ceramic materials. Art critic Daniel Kany writes, “Mess’ slabs usually act like the unruly child versions of paintings. Their lines are wild, and their surfaces are varied and thickly textured with glazes, slips, fissures and irascibly independent materials that refused to be melted into line… In terms of ceramics, Mess’ casual boldness is remarkable.” An Ohio native, he has been teaching visual arts with a focus on ceramics for over a decade. Mess has received several grants and awards, including the Maine Arts Commission's 2015 Contemporary Craft Fellowship, a St. Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artist Award, a Ruth & Harold Chenven Foundation Grant, and selection as a finalist for the Society of Contemporary Craft’s Raphael Founder’s Prize in 2013. His work is in private collections and is exhibited nationally and internationally.

Academic Affiliations:

B.F.A., University of Montana, Missoula
M.F.A. Ceramics, State University of New York, New Paltz

Kate Mess : Visual Arts and DET Faculty, Graphic Designer
Kate Mess

Kate Mess joined LA's Visual Art Department in 2019 and previously worked as a design consultant on many LA publications. A studio jeweler and graphic designer, Kate has a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters from SUNY New Paltz. She has taught at SUNY New Paltz and SMCC, run workshops for the Maine Craft Association and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. In addition to teaching Small Scale Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Graphic Design, Yearbook, Art Fundamentals and Intro to DET, Kate continues her design work on LA publications.

Academic Affiliations:

B.F.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison
M.F.A. Metal, State University of New York, New Paltz