The Biography and the Story

The Biography

A music minister from the age of 14, Lori has been an active music director in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine since 1998. During the COVID-10 crisis, she is currently providing music for the 5 p.m. livestream Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Portland, and 8 a.m. in-person Mass at the Father Hayes Center, on Stevens Avenue in Portland. When churches are once again fully open to the public, she is also a regular music director in the Sebago Lakes Region Parishes at both St. Anne’s Church in Gorham and St. Anthony’s Parish in Westbrook. She also freelances in music, communications and website management for several musicians and organizations. She is currently the mentor of the Website subteam and former co-coach of FIRST(R) Robotics Team 172, the Northern Force, and she is the volunteer public service coordinator for the Gorham Times, managing the “For Interest” and “Calendar” sections of that publication.

New this winter, Lori is now a substitute teacher for the Gorham Schools, and has just accepted the position of long-term substitute teacher of music at St. Brigid School in Portland, Maine.

Recently retired from the University of Southern Maine School of Music in 2020, Lori is still the coordinator of the five USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps: Southern Maine Theatre Academy, Southern Maine Youth Band Day Camp, Southern Maine Music Academy, Southern Maine Choral Music Academy, and Southern Maine Junior Music Academy. Prior to her work in the School of Music, she was the Special Assistant to the Dean in the College of Science, Technology, and Health from 2002 to 2011.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Lori holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Classical Guitar), and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in USM’s Leadership Studies program, expecting to graduate in 2022. Playing a variety of instruments from an early age, she excels more as a generalist than a specialist in both music and digital technology.

In the community, Lori has been active on boards and committees for several organizations including Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), Regional Transportation Program (RTP) and is currently double bassist/vocalist with the Saco River Jazz Ensemble, a non-profit big band dedicated to providing big band must to nursing homes and veteran’s homes. She has also been a regular volunteer sing-a-long leader at the City of Portland’s nursing facility Barron Center for over 20 years.

Within the University community, Lori served two consecutive terms as treasurer of the Universities of Maine Professional Staff Association (UMPSA); and three consecutive terms on the Professional Staff Senate, which included being chair of the communications committee, newletter editor, and professional staff representative to the Faculty Senate. She returned to the service of the Faculty Senate in the fall of 2012 as their official staff recorder of minutes.

In her free time, Lori enjoys playing music, drawing, painting, biking, refinishing wooden furniture, artistic dance roller skating, computing and studying the oboe and English horn.


1995 winner, Downeast Classical Guitar Society Competition, collegiate division.

More about me

Born Lorraine C. Arsenault in 1955 in Lynn, Massachusetts, I am a recycled Roman Catholic. I was baptized Catholic as an infant by my parents, Tilmon Joseph Arsenault (1926-1963) of Chelsea, Massachusetts and Hilda (Jill) Mary (Rodrique, Arsenault) Robinson (1929-2012), and named after one of my father’s sisters, Lorraine. My middle name came from a little girl, the daughter of my mother’s skating partner who died of leukemia. I was called Lorry as a child, and changed it to Lori sometime soon after my dad died in 1963. This website touches on just a few areas of my interests.

One time a long time ago, a wise professor shook his finger at me and said that I would never “make it” as a musician, because I was too busy flitting from instrument to instrument. Well, years later I still wonder what it means to “make it.” See, I’m still a musician, and I can still flit from instrument to instrument, thank God!!! It’s why I love to teach children to love making music on whatever instrument they choose. And, if I live long enough, I hope to master all of mine!

It’s all about the music. Whether you dance, or skate, or draw or paint, or sing or play an instrument, create something beautiful or useful, read a book outloud, smile, say a kind word, heal someone who’s sick, or fix something that’s broken, or just do your work day after day–no matter what it is that you create–you don’t really set out just to listen to the music, or play the music. For your hobbies and activities to really fulfill you and those around you, your goal must be to actually become the music.”  -Lori