Thursday, September 19, 2013

Band and Chorus Performances at the Open House

Tonight's Open House at Mohawk will feature performances by two ensembles:
  • 6:15 - 6:30 pm, the 8th grade members of the Middle School Band will perform in the Front Foyer
  • 6:30 - 6:45 pm, the High School Concert Chorus will perform in the Front Foyer. Song selection:  "Oh Too Short is Life", "White Winter Hymnal", and "Scarborough Fair."
Look for the Mohawk Music Association table in the hallway outside the auditorium. Stop by and sign up to help with two of our fundraisers: Pie Sale (October 11) and Baked Potato Sale (October 12 & 13.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Car Wash Fundraiser

* Hey, get your car washed today

The Music Department is having a Car Wash Fundraiser on Wednesday, September 18.

Music Department students will be in front of the school washing cars and accepting donations from 1:00-6:00pm. ($10/car suggested donation)

The event is being run by students (via the soon-to-be official Tri-M Music Student Honor Society) and parents (under the auspices of the MMA). All proceeds will benefit the Tri-M Music Student Honor Society. Come out to support the Mohawk Music Department, and give your car or truck a little TLC!
Questions?  Please email Mr. Halligan:

Rose Royce sings her 1976 disco hit song Car Wash on Soul Train:  YouTube video (3 min 39 sec)
* Hey, get your car washed today
Be in our band, you don't have to pay
Come on and give us a play

Car wash
Talking about the car wash yeah
Car wash yeah
Come on y'all and sing it with me
Car wash
Sing it with feeling
Car wash yeah [Repeat till fade]

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fond Farewell to Bygone Eras

Mohawk Marching Band
photo credit Massamet 1978

It's bittersweet to see them listed on the Sealed Bids - Surplus Items sheet. The Mohawk Music Department uniforms from the Smithers and Waynelovich eras were removed from the storage closet this summer and are up for bid. They served us well for many years, but it was time for them to go - no longer used and taking up too much space.

Mohawk Music Department's old uniforms are listed on the September 2013 Surplus Items Bid Sheet

Lots of good memories associated with those uniforms, starting with my wife and siblings wearing them in the 1970's, to my daughter wearing them in the 2000's.

Here are a few photos, scanned from yearbooks, showing the uniforms proudly worn in their glory days.

photo credit Massamet 1973

photo credit Massamet 1973

photo credit Massamet 1973

Band and Dance Band
photo credit Massamet 2009

Middle School Band and Chorus
photo credit Massamet 2009

The Mohawk Music Department is moving forward with talented leadership and fresh ideas (and new uniforms!) Today's students are fortunate to be part of this energetic program. I'm looking forward to watching them perform this year.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Middle School Chorus to Perform at Springfield Falcons Hockey Game

Mohawk's Middle School Chorus performs "God Bless America" on the ice at the Springfield Falcon's hockey game on March 1, 2013 under the direction of Gina Glover.

 Gina Glover, the Director of the Middle School Chorus, posted the following on her Class Pages.


For the past several years the Mohawk Middle School Chorus has been invited to perform “God Bless America” on the ice at the Springfield Falcon’s hockey game. This year we have been invited to perform opening night at their 20th anniversary celebration! This is quite an honor for us and I would like to give chorus students this opportunity. There will also be a variety of fun events happening that evening!

The date for this trip is Saturday October 5th. We would need to leave Mohawk at 5:30p.m. and will return between 10:30 and 11:00p.m.

The cost of this trip is $20.00, which covers the ticket cost as well as the fee for the bus. In addition I will need to have 4 chaperones for this trip.

Also…..anyone can come down and watch us perform! Tickets are usually $20-$25 but we will have a special price of $15.00. This is also a fundraiser and $3.00 of each ticket sale will go back to the music department!! We will need to sell 75 tickets for this game in order to participate.

I know this is coming up quick. In order to confirm I will need to know how many of you can attend and how many extra tickets you would like. I will also need payments right away in order to get a check to the Falcons in time. If we find that we cannot have enough people, we can always choose another date. The cost will still be $20 and I encourage families to send that in as soon as possible.

Finally, I am asking that all families please email me tonight if possible, if your child is planning on attending, and how many tickets they will need to reserve.

My email address is Please feel free to call me (413-625-9811) if you have any additional questions.

P.S. – you can also respond on the Mohawk Trail Regional Music Department Facebook page!!!

Thank you for your quick response,

Gina Glover

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mohawk Music Department News – September 2013

Maestro Halligan
Mohawk Music Department News for September 2013 from Music Director Scott Halligan.

The Mohawk Music Department has plans for a fantastic year! We have great fundraisers planned, a new music honors society called Tri-M, a new Rock Band class, we’ve made improvements to the Music Room, and we have preliminary plans for a 4-day Spring Break trip to NYC! (2013-2014 Events list.)

Need a Car Wash? We’ll be kicking off our year with a Car Wash Fundraiser on Wednesday, Sept. 18! (Rain Date: Friday Sept. 20) From 12:50-6:00pm, Mohawk High School Music Students will be washing cars and trucks, making music, and accepting donations to support the Music Department! This will also be the inaugural event for Mohawk’s new music honors society: Tri-M! Interested in participating in this event as a chaperon? Email Mr. Halligan!

The High School Music Department is starting a Tri-M Chapter this year! Tri-M Music Honor Society is the international music honor society for high school students. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities, and to inspire other students to excel in music and leadership. Through more than 5,500 chartered chapters, Tri-M has helped thousands of young people provide years of service through music in schools throughout the world. Tri-M is a program of the National Association for Music Education. For more information go to:

The High School Music Department is also kicking off a new Rock Band class this fall! Students will learn the essentials of playing in a rock band, and will have opportunities to perform at Mohawk events like Booster Day! Students in Rock Band will also explore a new, ground-breaking curriculum called "Rock and Roll, an American Story" courtesy of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. For more information go to:

The Music Department is accepting donations to help get this new class rocking and rolling! Do you have an old electric guitar collecting dust? A bass lurking under the couch? A neglected drum kit? Pay it forward to the next generation of rockers! If you have any of the items below, in good condition and working order, please do bring them in (note that donations are subject to school approval):
-Electric guitars, basses, and keyboards
-Cymbals and/or drum kits
-Area rugs (or carpet samples) for drum sets and dampening sound
-Amplifiers and small audio mixers

We had a very busy summer in the Mohawk Music Room, and the results are impressive! All closets were emptied and completely reorganized, including the formerly-overflowing and now-immaculate Costume Closet. New technology was installed, and new high-quality chairs and music stands arrived. A new epoxy floor was installed in the music library. The barn for theater scenery storage also received a lot of TLC! A major overhaul of the music library is still under way, including the installation of new high-density sliding shelving units. It was a major undertaking, and a labor of love for a lot of people, to achieve all of this! THANK YOU to all the students, parents, and staff that helped to make the Mohawk Music Room Makeover 2013 a success! (Coming Soon: photos of the Music Room transformation will be posted to the MMA website for your enjoyment!)

The destination for this year’s High School Music Competition Trip is NYC! We are finalizing plans to participate in the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Music Festival over Spring Break (April 24-27, 2014). The festival includes a performance in Riverside Church, adjudication and coaching by nationally acclaimed adjudicators, lodging, and an awards ceremony, dinner, and dance aboard the Circle Line Cruise around Manhattan. More information will be announced soon on Class Pages! Information about the festival can be found here:
Breath-taking images of Riverside Church are here:

Interested in getting involved with planning events, fundraising, or chaperoning? Have other questions? Get in touch! 
Scott Halligan:
Gina Glover:
Mohawk Music Association President, Sherry Taylor

Mohawk Music 2013-2014 High School Events

Mr Halligan, Mohawk's Music Director, released this list of High School Music Department events. Please see his Class Pages on the Mohawk School website for updates and additions to to list.
Look forward to a whirlwind of Mohawk Music events this year!

Mohawk Music
2013-2014 High School Events
*September 18, 12:50-6:00pm, Car Wash Fundraiser, Band and Chorus Members (rain date: Sept. 20), Chaperones Needed
September 10, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
September 19, 6:00pm, Open House, Chorus Members

October 8, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
*October 11, Booster Day, Parade & Game, Band, Rock Band, (Rain-Date: Oct. 12), Chaperones Needed
October 13, 4:30-5:00pm, Ashfield Fall Festival, Select Chorus
October 18, in-school Kathy Bullock Workshop, All Music Students
*October 25, 8:00-2:15, Cantate Choral Festival, Keene State College, NH, Select Chorus, Chaperones Needed

November 9, time tbd, Senior District Auditions, Westfield State College, Interested Students, Registration deadline September 20, (Band audition information) (Chorus audition information)
November 12, 6:30 pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
November 23, 3:00pm, Hilltown Harmony Concert, Shelburne Falls, Select Chorus

December 6 & 7 at 7:00 pm, The Crucible in the Mohawk auditorium
December 10, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
December 12, 6:30pm, Winter Concert, All Music Students, (Snow Date: Dec. 19)

January 2, 4, times TBD, Senior District Rehearsals, UMASS, Accepted Students
January 10 at 7:00 pm, Mohawk Music Benefit Concert in the Mohawk auditorium
January 11, 3:00 pm, Senior District Festival Chorus, UMASS. Tickets $7. Zach Arfa qualified to participate in this event.
January 14, 6:30pm, MMA, Meeting Parents
January 17, 7pm, Pothole Pictures, Shelburne Falls, Select Chorus
January 25, time TBD, All-State Auditions, Shrewsbury, Qualifying Students
January 31, Mohawk High School Choirs will sing in a special high school assembly dedicated to the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. The presentation will include what are called "songs of the struggle," which are the protest songs sung by South Africa's people as they struggled to free themselves from apartheid.

February 6, 6:15pm, Open House, Chorus Members
February 11, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents

March 6-9, times tbd, All-School Musical, Music and Drama Students, (Snow-Dates: March 13-16)
March 11, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
March 20-23, All-State Festival, Boston, Accepted Students
March, Dates TBD, MIOSM Events, All Music Students

April 8, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
*April 24-27, NYC Competition Trip, Band and Chorus Members, Chaperones Needed

May 13, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents
May 15 Senior Appreciation Event: Music Department Seniors will go to Northampton for dinner at Paradiso, followed by an a capella concert (Straight No Chaser) at the Calvin Theater
May 17 (tentative), Lyonnaise Event, TBD
May 15 May 21, 6:30 pm, Spring Concert, performances by all music students
May 26, 10:00am, Memorial Day, Ashfield, Band Members
May 29, Senior Awards Night, Band Members

June 1, Graduation, Band and Chorus Members
*June 9 & 13, Elementary School Tour, All Music Students, Chaperones Needed
June 10, 6:30pm, MMA Meeting, Parents

July, Dates TBD, Mohawk Warriors Band Camp, Band Members 

* Chaperones Needed

Friday, September 6, 2013


The next Mohawk Music Association meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 10, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the Mohawk library.

1. Secretary’s Report
     a. Minutes from August meeting
2. Treasurer’s Report
3. Music Directors’ Reports
     a. Scott
     b. Gina
4. Old Business
     a. Budget – need to approve a budget for this year
     b. MMA flyer update
     c. Open House
     d. Baked Potato Sale at Ashfield Fall Festival
     e. Booster Day
     f. T-shirts/Sweatshirts proposal
     g. Attire
5. New Business
     a. Tri-M
     b. Heritage Festival Competition
     c. Kathy Bullock Program
     d. Alumni Concert
6. Other Business

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Music Practice Tips

From National Public Radio's deceptive cadence blog:

10 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Music Practice 

  1. Find somewhere quiet. 
  2. Have your supplies nearby.
  3. Technology can be an amazing aid.
  4. Begin with the end in mind: Have a goal for each practice session before you start playing.
  5. Map a practice session out like a workout. 
  6. Practice smarter, not necessarily longer. 
  7. Don't always start at the beginning every time. 
  8. Challenge yourself — physically.
  9. Practice away from your instrument.
  10. Reward hard work — in positive ways — to help your brain automate good habits.
Read the blog post for the details about each tip, and also take a look at a series they published in June of 2012 called The Young Person's Guide To Making Music: