The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s been the experience of Maureen Baillargeon Aumand ’64, who says while the years and the technology may have advanced over the decades, the values of AHN continue to hold strong.
“My most cherished memories from my AHN years besides a strong sense of tradition and camaraderie have to do with Glee Club and exposure to the arts in many forms,” says Aumand. The Glee Club’s director was Sister Annette Covatta, SNJM (who spearheaded the opening of the Campus Arts Center in 1969), herself a concert pianist and, as Aumand recalls, “a teacher whose love of art and music and life itself was palpable, passionate and contagious.” Sr. Covatta also led the “Culture Series” which provided students with exposure to traveling artists who brought music, dance, and theater to AHN’s stage.
Aumand says at the time the only opportunity to “do theater” was the senior play, but she relished the chance to hone her public speaking skills under the tutelage of Mrs. Margaret Riley. “I always looked forward to the assembly where the entire student body would get to see the fruits of the senior thespians’ labor. When I was a senior I played a boarding school director in a slice of life drama remember actually living during tech week at the then AHN boarding school on Madison Avenue ( life imitating art!) .”
She says she’s glad to see current students have more opportunities to collaborate with fellow actors from other schools. This year’s spring musical, Legally Blonde, will feature actors from Christian Brothers Academy.
The mother of three boys, and grandmother of nine spent her post-AHN years as an English teacher and librarian in the Watervliet City School District, but she couldn’t shake the acting bug.
On and off for more than 20 years she has performed in community theater productions and is currently directing Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers for the Sand Lake Center for the Arts mid-February. Ticket information is available here. She will follow up that production by directing Paul Zindel’s The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds at the Albany Barn in April and is looking for a few good women, if any Holy Names actresses are interested. You can reach out here for more info.
Aumand says whether Holy Names students aspire to be actors or astronauts, she hopes they embrace authenticity and deep personhood during their time here. “It will serve them well so that sixty years down the line they will know and recognize each other as sisters and be able to celebrate what has endured.”