Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Next MMA Meeting

Reminder that our next MMA meeting will be this coming Tuesday, November 5th, at 6:30 pm in the school library.  

NOTE: This date is a change from our usual schedule as the Mary Lyon Foundation will be holding their Community Spelling Bee on the second Tuesday.

If you have anything for the agenda, please email it to me.

Thank you and we hope to see you at the meeting on Tuesday night.

     Sherry Taylor

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mohawk Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's October 27 newsletter:

On Friday, October 18, Dr. Kathy Bullock gave an inspiring presentation to our high school students.  She had everyone in the auditorium singing and dancing in a presentation that wove together musical performance with historical context as she recounted elements of African-American history and the evolution of musical forms and traditions.  Dr. Bullock, her sister Dr. Dee (Diane White-Clayton), and her brother-in-law Joe Clayton met with students in Scott Halligan’s chorus course before the event, and the presentation began and ended with our high school chorus students performing on stage with our honored guests.  It was a powerful experience for everyone involved.  Dr. Bullock’s presentation to Mohawk students was made possible through the generous support of the Mohawk Music Association and MAEC (Mohawk Arts and Education Council).

The Arts at Mohawk

Members of the High School Concert Band, Concert Chorus, and Select Chorus will be traveling to NYC this April to participate in the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Festival! A $100 deposit is due November 1. More information about this trip can be found on Mr. Halligan's Class Pages:

Save the date: Select Chorus will be performing in a joint concert with Hilltown Harmony on SaturdayNovember 23, 3:00pm at Trinity Church in Shelburne Falls.  

Save the date: Several Mohawk Music Students will be performing in "The Crucible" on December 6-8 (snow dates: Dec. 13-15).

Save the date: The Winter Concert will be on Thursday, December 12, at 6:30pm (snow date: Dec. 19). This is also Valley Gives Day - a day of philanthropy throughout Western Massachusetts. Support Music at Mohawk by donating to the Mohawk Music Association on 12-12-13! For more information, go to:

Drum Line in Booster Day Parade
The Music Department has had a very busy month! We were involved in three events on Booster Day: Rock Band students made their performance debut with strong performances at the Pep Rally and the high school football game! The Marching Band played their own original street-beats in the Booster Day Parade, which they also had the honor of leading!

A week after Booster Day, we hosted musician and educator Dr. Kathy Bullock at Mohawk. Dr. Bullock gave an inspiring presentation to the high school on African American Music that had the whole school moving, singing, and laughing together! She also worked with our High School Concert Chorus in an impromptu rehearsal that was simply unforgettable!

The Select Chorus performed in the Cantate High School Choral Festival at Keene State College on October 25, where they earned a very positive adjudication from college faculty. They also heard performances by high school choirs from NH and VT, as well as Keene State College's excellent vocal ensembles.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mohawk Music – NYC – April 2014

From Mr. Halligan's Class Pages post:

I am pleased to announce that the Mohawk High School Concert Band, Concert Chorus, and Select Chorus will be traveling to New York City this spring! We will be participating in the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Festival and Competition during Spring Break: April 24-27.

Worldstrides Heritage Performance is renowned for their high quality festivals, which are held each year in major American cities (as well as some destinations in Europe). New York City is their most popular destination, and schools from all over the country will be coming to participate. We will be competing with schools that have fewer than 500 students, and we will hear the work of many others.

On the day of the festival, each of our groups will have warm-up and performance time. Performances will be assessed by professional adjudicators (faculty members of Universities and Conservatories of Music). Directly after the performance, groups will receive coaching from adjudicators on stage. Performances will also be recorded, and we will receive copies of the recording with adjudicators' comments.

Here is our tentative itinerary:  

Thursday, April 24 we depart from Mohawk and travel via coach bus to our hotel in New Jersey. After checking at the hotel, we’ll have dinner and rest to prepare for competition.

Friday, April 25 is the festival. After breakfast at the hotel, we will bus to Riverside Church in Manhattan. The day will include hearing performances by other schools, performing ourselves, and receiving coaching on stage from the festival adjudicators. In the evening, we will go out to dinner as a group to celebrate our achievements. After dinner we will attend a performance of “Les Misérables” on Broadway!

Saturday, April 26 will be a day of sight-seeing and activities. At 10:00am we will attend a workshop on Broadway with professional actors and musicians. Following the workshop, there will be time for sight-seeing in Manhattan. In the evening we attend an Awards Ceremony at Riverside Church, followed by a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan with dinner and a semi-formal dance.

Sunday, April 27 we will check out of the hotel and return home.

The total cost per student is currently $560 plus breakfasts and lunches. Please note that this number may fluctuate: the cost of the coach bus will be divided among the total number of participants. Contributions from the Mohawk Music Association and fundraising efforts by Tri-M will help to defray costs.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cantate! High School Choral Festival

This Friday, October 25, the Mohawk Select Chorus will be participating in the Cantate! High School Choral Festival at Keene State College. This was a very successful event last year, and we are looking forward to going back!

About the event 
This is a non-competitive music festival, and schools from Massachusetts and New Hampshire will showcase their best work in a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. Each school will perform a few selections on stage, and then receive coaching from a member of the Keene State College Music Department Faculty. There will also be an “All-Sing,” in which all participants in the festival perform a song together. This will be followed by performances by Keene State’s own vocal ensembles. It’s sure to be an inspiring day!

This event is free and open to the public. Details and map on the Keene State website.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yiddish Music

Mr. Kurland singing a Modzitzer song called "Hodu"
From Mr. Halligan's post on his Concert Chorus Class Pages dated 10/18/2013:

We had Joe Kurland with us this week to teach us about Yiddish Music!

Later that day, there was an amazing coincidence: NPR aired a remarkable story about the Modzitzer music that we are learning about from Mr. Kurland! The story profiles the life and work of Ben Zion Shenker, the man who has made the greatest contribution to Modzitzer music. He is also the lead singer on the recording we were listening to in class!

Here is a link where you can listen to the story:

Here is video of Mr. Kurland singing a Modzitzer song called "Hodu" in our class:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dr. Kathy Bullock at high school on October 18

From Principal Lynn Dole's October 12 newsletter:

Dr. Kathy Bullock
On Friday, October 18, Dr. Kathy Bullock, Professor of Music at Berea College, will be making a presentation to all our high school students.

Dr. Bullock directs the Black Music Ensemble, a 70-voice choir that specializes in performance of African-American sacred music. She performs, lectures, and leads workshops in the United States, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Jamaica on music and culture of the African diaspora. She is also involved in ongoing research in African music and culture, as well as African-Caribbean musical culture in Jamaica.

Born in Washington, D.C., of a Baptist minister and wife who were active community, civil rights and religious leaders, Dr. Bullock shares a deep appreciation of music’s beauty, power and spiritual possibilities and an infectious excitement in the performing and sharing of it with others.

Dr. Bullock’s presentation to Mohawk students is made possible through the generous support of the Mohawk Music Association and MAEC (Mohawk Arts and Education Council). Dr. Bullock will make her presentation at 9:00 on Friday morning. 

Dr. Bullock’s presentation is entitled "Singing in the Spirit: Roots of African American Sacred Music Tradition". As a part of the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau she has been providing this presentation for years to schools, community centers, libraries, churches, other community organizations in KY and around the US and Europe.

Dr. Kathy Bullock

 Singing in the Spirit: Roots of African American Sacred Music Tradition 

Spirituals and gospel music are much more than pleasing songs to listen to — they are powerful representations of the triumphant spirit and faith that have defined African-American music and people. Dr. Bullock takes the audience on a musical journey from West Africa, through the middle passage, to the North American shores where the African-American culture was forged. Through songs, stories, and performance, this participatory program lets the audience experience the beauty, joy, and power of this music and culture.

A 2 minute YouTube video:  "Gospel Prague 2011 - Dr. Kathy Bullock at Workshop Roots of Afroamerican music tradition"

The public is invited to Dr. Bullock's presentation in the Mohawk auditorium on Friday, October18 at 9:00 am.

Support Mohawk Arts: T-shirts and Hoodie Sweatshirts For Sale

[August 2014 update:  Orders are no longer being accepted for the T-shirts and Hoodie Sweatshirts, but check out our new TOTE BAGS!]

 $3 each. Proceeds will support the Williamsburg Trip. Available at the Trailer Park Concert (Nov 7), and the Winter Concert (Dec 9). They are also in the Local Goods catalog of Sanderson Academy. Great gifts! Contact us if you want to buy a Tote Bag:



Hoodie Sweatshirts $28 or $31, T-shirts $15 or $17

Detailed view of the design on the front of the Hoodie or T-shirt.

Ordering information: 

First Option:  Print out the order form (download 1.0 MB PDF file) and submit it with payment (make checks out to: Mohawk Music Association)
                -  in person (leave it at the Mohawk front desk in the office or give it to Scott or Gina - who will put it in the MMA mailbox at Mohawk)
                - or mail (Mohawk Music Association, c/o Emily Robertson

Second Option:  Order Online and pay with Paypal
                use dropdown boxes (below) and "Add to Cart" buttons to choose style and size
                "View Cart" to adjust quantity per item
                click "continue shopping" to add more styles and sizes
                checkout and pay online with a credit card using Paypal
               [Aug. 2014 update: Online ordering links removed.]

Wear your new Hoodie or T-shirt proudly

and show your support for 

Mohawk Arts!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Please join us tomorrow (Tuesday) night!

We will be meeting at 5:30 in the cafeteria to get potatoes for the Ashfield Festival ready for pick up.

Our regular MMA meeting will begin at 6:30 and will be held in the far end of the cafeteria so we can be available for those picking up potatoes.

For those who have agreed to bake potatoes, please come between 7 - 8 pm to the cafeteria door on the right side of the building.  For those who have not yet signed up to bake potatoes, you can contact Sherry Taylor (, or just show up tomorrow night between 7 - 8 and we can give you potatoes and a time slot!

If anyone has anything for the agenda, they should email Sherry Taylor (

Thank you for your support, we hope to see you there!

Nikki Miller

Middle School Chorus Performs In Front of 5528 People

The Middle School Chorus sang "God Bless America" to a crowd of 5528 hockey fans before the start of the Springfield Falcons 20th season home opener on Saturday night. They got a brief mention in the Sunday edition of the Springfield Republican newspaper article about the game.

When was the last time a group from Mohawk performed before an audience of more than 5500 people?!

[Closing paragraph of the newspaper article.]
NEST EGGS: Falcons president and general manager Bruce Landon and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno teamed up for the ceremonial puck drop ... A pregame video montage honoring the Birds’ 20th season mixed highlights from last season with photos of past Falcons greats like current Montreal Canadiens forward Danny Briere ... Choirs from Mohawk Trail Regional High School and Amherst Regional Middle School sang “God Bless America” and the “Star Spangled Banner,” respectively.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pies and Baked Potatoes

The two biggest fundraisers for the Mohawk Music Association are coming up on Columbus Day weekend. Usually they are on separate weekends, but this year they will be on the same weekend.

We need your help.

Apple pie
Friday, October 11th is the Pie Sale at the Booster Day football game at Mohawk. We are in need of folks to bake and donate pies for this Pie Sale. We also need a few people who can help at the table cutting pies and waiting on customers. If your students are available, they are welcome to help, too. Those students who have helped in the past have enjoyed taking slices of pie into the stands and selling them. Plan to drop your pies off and stay to watch the parade floats arrive and hang around for the football game (7:00 pm vs. Franklin County Technical School Eagles) and support Mohawk Athletics at the same time. Mohawk Warriors Band will be performing in the Parade, and Rock Band will be performing at the Booster Day Game. If you can help in any way with this Pie Sale, please contact Cathy Purington. [Download Pie Sale flyer.]

MMA's Baked Potato Booth
Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th is the Baked Potato Booth at the Ashfield Fall Festival. We are in need of folks to bake potatoes and bring them to Ashfield at the time you sign up for and we also need folks to sign up to work a 2 or 3 hour shift at the booth. Come a little before your shift or stay a little after and enjoy the festival's crafts and music, too. Mohawk's Select Chorus will perform at 4:30 pm on Sunday. If you can help in any way with this Baked Potato Both, please contact me, Sherry Taylor - or 834-3112. [Download Potato Bakers Needed poster.]

Watch your student's backpack for a flyer with additional information about both of these events. We hope we will hear from you.

Come meet other MMA members, help out and have some fun in the mix. Evey pie, every pie server, every baked potato baker and every baked potato server helps to make it a little easier to make these events a success. Won't you give us a little of your time or talent to help this worthy cause? Thank you for your consideration.


p.s.  The next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association is scheduled for Tuesday, October 8 at 6:30 pm in the Mohawk school library. We hope to see you there!