A 1999 graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Lori holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Classical Guitar), and was the first place winner of the 1995 Downeast Classical Guitar Society Competition. In 2022 she completed a Master’s degree in leadership studies.
A classical guitarist and vocalist, Lori Arsenault has been a music director in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine since 1998. She currently leads the congregational singing from the piano or guitar, and occasionally from the organ at the 4 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. Sunday Masses at St. Hyacinth Church in Westbrook, and the 5 p.m. Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Church on Stevens Avenue in Portland. In addition to weekly Mass celebrations, she provides liturgical music for weddings and funerals. She also freelances in music, communications, and website management for several musicians and organizations.
A lover of words, communication, and recording technolgy, in 2012 Lori became a volunteer reader for Librivox.com, a world-wide community of volunteers reading public domain books into audiobook format. In 2019 she became the volunteer public service coordinator for the biweekly print newspaper, The Gorham Times, managing the “For Interest” and “Calendar” sections of that publication. In 2022 she became the editor, and in September 2023 accepted the position of managing editor.
In 2020 during the pandemic, she became a substitute teacher for the Gorham Schools, and then also a long-term substitute teacher of music at St. Brigid School in Portland, Maine for the spring of 2020.
From 2011 to 2020, Lori was the operations and concert manager for the USM School of Music, now Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine. She retired from that position in 2020, and continued to coordinate the five USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps through the summer of 2023. Prior to her work in the School of Music, from 2002 to 2011 she was the administrative manager for the dean of the School of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology, which then became College of Science, Technology, and Health.
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 the community, Lori has been active on boards and committees for several organizations including Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), Regional Transportation Program (RTP). She has been involved with FIRST(R) Robotics since 2003, first with Team 172, the Northern Force, has been a competition judge, and remains on the organizing committee of the Pine Tree District competition in Maine managing the websites Pine Tree and for the Robotic Institute of Maine.
In 2016 she joined the Saco River Jazz Ensemble as bassist/vocalist. The 501(c)(3) non-profit band is a 17-piece big band dedicated to providing jazz music to nursing homes, veteran’s homes, and community celebrations. She had been a regular volunteer sing-a-long leader at the City of Portland’s nursing facility Barron Center for over 20 years, until the pandemic prohibited visitors into skilled nursing facilities.
In her free time, Lori enjoys playing music, drawing, painting, biking, refinishing wooden furniture, artistic dance roller skating, and computing.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
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, maybe I can still improve my skills a bit on all of them.
“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