Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mohawk Warriors Band Camp

July 8-12, 8am-noon

This week long camp will be centered around team-building and learning with Marching Basics, Jazz Improvisation, Battery Percussion, and a Performance Clinic. Open to beginners and experienced instrumentalists in grades 8-12.

Day 1 – Musicianship 101 will introduce the essentials for having successful experiences in music: effective habits of practicing, being a team player, watching and listening, self-evaluating, being imaginative, and “leading from every chair.” 1-2 pieces of high-quality but accessible concert music will be studied for developing these skills.

Day 2 – Marching Basics will guide students through the fundamental techniques of modern Marching Band. This will include learning a simple piece of marching music, learning and using commands, playing competitive marching drill games, practicing marching in “8 to 5” step, and practicing playing while marching. The goal is to instill a sense of what constitutes a respectable marching band performance, and the introduction of a parade march that could be used for Booster Day or other events.

Day 3 – Jazz Improvisation will focus on modal improvisation with the blues scale. We will introduce improvisation by playing over a drone, using call-and-response in small groups, practicing “trading 4’s” with partners, and finally by learning a simple jazz standard and taking turns playing in the foreground and background. A quick Jazz History primer will also be included in the workshop.

Day 4 – Battery Percussion is all about drumming and intensive rhythmic study. While focusing on rhythm games, improvisations, and emulating the Brazilian “Batucada” and Indian “Tintal” styles, students will learn the basics of meter, groove, and polyrhythm on auxiliary percussion and battery instruments (snare drums, bass drums, tenor drums). This workshop will culminate with the creation of an original “street beat” that could be used for Booster Day and other school events.

Day 5 – Performance Clinic will focus on refining and presenting the best work of the week. An informal performance presentation would be offered to friends and families, followed by a picnic lunch.

Join us for a week of great music!!!

$75, sliding scale
Registration form (219 KB pdf file)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Officers Elected

Mohawk Music Association Officers (elected June 11, 2013)
  • President:  Sherry Taylor
  • Vice-President:  Cindy Allen
  • Treasurer:  Emily Robertson
  • Recording Secretary / Corresponding Secretary:  Kim Erslev and Nikki Miller
  • Secretary pro tem: Peggy Davis

Friday, June 7, 2013


The next Mohawk Music Association meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in the Mohawk library. This is the last meeting of the 2012-2013 school year.
At this meeting we will elect new officers, wrap up the past year, and most importantly, start our planning for next year. As Mohawk continues to create and evolve the arts programming in the school, the Music Association can provide a valuable asset to administrators due to our years of involvement. I hope to see everyone next Tuesday so we can continue our work for dynamic arts programming at Mohawk.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mohawk Fight Song

       Mohawk Fight Song
Music & lyrics by Stan Smithers

Fight for the victory
Forward we go.
Come on, let's cheer every Mohawk Warrior
To the Foe.
The Blue and the Gold
Will fame always bring.
All hail every coach and player
Let's fight, team, fight to win!!!!!

Thanks to Kevin Hollister for providing the lyrics.

Stan Smithers
photo credit: Massamet 1978

See Mohawk Alma Mater for more information about Stan Smithers.

Mohawk Alma Mater

Video of Mohawk's Select Chorus performing the Mohawk Alma Mater at the Fall Open House on September 22, 2016.

Mohawk's Alma Mater was written in the late 1960's or early 1970's by Stan Smithers, the first Music Director of the newly formed nine-town regional school district. Mr. Smithers began teaching music to local students in 1946 at Arms Academy and then came to Mohawk in 1967 from Arms Academy. He retired from Mohawk in 1978.

Stan Smithers
photo credit: Massamet 1978

The lyrics to the Mohawk Alma Mater were recently printed on the back page of the Class of 2013's Graduation Program.

        Mohawk Alma Mater
Music & lyrics by Stan Smithers
Mohawk Trail, Our Alma Mater
Love and praise be to thee evermore.
All thy sons and all thy daughters
Will be loyal and true to thee.
Hold high thy name, uphold thy fame
As through the years we go.
May the mem'ry of our days with you
Fill our hearts, our whole life through!

From the river on to the mountains,
From the farms to the factory frame,
You have gathered every student
To be molded into your name.
Oh, Mohawk! Be our strength and guide
A stalwart to your youth.
Oh, Alma Mater, Praise to thee
We light your lamp of truth!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Music Scholarships at Senior Awards Night

Principal Lynn Dole announces an award.
The following scholarships were awarded at Mohawk's Senior Awards Night (Thursday, May 30, 2013.)

Mohawk Music Association Scholarship Awards
These scholarships are awarded based on the following requisites (in order of importance): 1. Musicianship.  2. Student must have been a member of the Mohawk Music Department for a minimum of two years, including his/her graduating year.  3. Dependability, commitment, and merit within the Music Department and/or the Association.  4. A student planning to major in music in college will be given priority.
$500 - Kaitlin Grant
$500 - John Hollister
$400 - Alma Crawford-Mendoza
$400 - Rachel Purington
$200 - Jessica Williams
Francis Rollo Kinsman Music and Theater Scholarship
The Francis Rollo Kinsman Music and Theater Scholarship was presented through the Mohawk Music Association by the Kinsman Family to honor and celebrate Rollo’s lifelong love and dedication to music. Mr. Kinsman and his daughter were in the audience for the presentation of this first $1000 scholarship to the student who exhibits the same love and passion for music.
$1000 - John Hollister
Shelburne Falls Kiwanis Club Stan Smithers Scholarship
This scholarship was presented by Steve Smithers, son of former Mohawk Music Director Stan Smithers. Stan Smithers was Music Director at Mohawk for many years and composed our school’s Alma Mater.
$500 - John Hollister
Table on the stage loaded with awards.