Friday, November 29, 2013

The Arts at Mohawk

Mohawk's Rock Band  "Sonic Toast" will perform at the Winter Concert on December 12.
(More photos, video Pep Rally, and video Booster Day Game)

From Principal Lynn Dole's November 24, 2013 Newsletter:

The arts enrich us and this issue of News from Mohawk features information about a wide variety of music and theater activities.  In addition to this section, please see the afterschool enrichment offerings listed at the end of this issue of News.

Mohawk presents Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” on December 6 and 7

We’re pleased to announce that performances of “The Crucible” are fast-approaching! Our students have been working diligently and it has truly been an inspiration to watch them tackle such a complex dramatic text. It’s going to be a great show!

Our performances will take place on Friday, December 6th and Saturday, December 7th at 7:00 in the Mohawk auditorium. Adult tickets are $10, student tickets are $5, and Mohawk students are free! Tickets will be available for purchase on the night of the production. To reserve tickets in advance, call (413)-768-9979. Due to the mature themes of this show, we do not recommend that young children attend.  See you there!

The Mohawk High School Concert Chorus will be participating in performances of "The Crucible" on December 6 and 7 at 7:00 pm. They will be singing a haunting adaptation of one of the Psalms, connected to the action in the play.

Mohawk’s Winter Concert is Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 pm

The High School and Middle School music ensembles will be sharing their incredible work. This year's concert will include pop music, folk songs, classical masterpieces, Yiddish music, dancing, and songs to get us into the Holiday Spirit! Bands, Choirs, and the new high school Rock Band will be performing.

Congratulations to Zach Arfa, who has been accepted to the Western District Music Festival Chorus

Several Mohawk Music students auditioned at Westfield State University on November 9, which included singing a solo, two scales, and sight-singing. Asked why they took the audition, students said, "We came to the audition to gain professional auditioning experience, to become more comfortable performing for an audience, and to test our ability to perform under pressure." One student said, "It helped me be less afraid of formal auditions. It's a lot less scary and intimidating than it seems." 

This audition ended up being very competitive, but Zach's audition received an extremely high score. He will be performing with a group of advanced high school singers in the Festival Concert at UMass on January 11 at 3:00pm. Tickets are $7.00. Zach plans to audition for the All-State Honor Chorus in January, and is already practicing!

The Mohawk Music Association (MMA) has a new Facebook page

Please "Like" the MMA on Facebook! And then spread the word - ask your friends and family to "Like" the MMA on Facebook, too! This will be a place for updates, photos, videos, stories, and other Mohawk Music related items. The Facebook page will help friends and family near and far take part in the excitement of our Music program! So check it out, and spread the word! Your "Like" will help support the Music program at Mohawk!  Check out the Mohawk Music Association’s website which features an article about recent Mohawk graduate Francesca Maroney who is will be performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a member of the UMass Marching Band.  

The MMA website’s homepage is : and the article about Francesca is available through this link:

Mohawk’s Select Chorus performed in concert with Hilltown Harmony

On Saturday, November 23, the Mohawk High School Select Chorus performed in a joint concert with the multigenerational Hilltown Harmony Community Choir at Trinity Church.   The event was a benefit for the local food pantry and the concert featured pop music, folk music, classical selections, and songs from around the world.   Shelley Roberts, Choral Director for Hilltown Harmony, joins our staff as Director of our All-School Musical this year. Link to video of performances.

Join us for the public performance of "A Legacy of Rural Music, People, and Place”: Ashfield, Buckland, Hawley, Plainfield: 1800s - 1940s, on Monday, November 25, at 12:45 pm.

On Monday afternoon, November 25, a number of musicians will be sharing local music and storytelling traditions with our high school students.  The program, created and produced by local artist Jackie Cooper, focuses on the tradition of music and storytelling that has shaped our cultural heritage.  This performance of "A Legacy of Rural Music, People, and Place” reveals a piece of our local hill town life from the 1800 - 1940s.  

The program culminates a period of research followed by a weeklong workshop, where local amateur musicians with a variety of skill levels and seasoned musicians collaborated in developing the performance, and where the "passing it on" tradition inherent to music and storytelling was embraced. “Passing it on” is a colloquialism from old-time music practitioners; it makes reference to the act of “appreciating and ingesting the gift of the prior generation.”  As generations pass, face-to-face connection to descendants of our locale's first settlers is declining.  In each of our local communities, we are the bearers of the gift of cultural heritage - the link between the past and the future.  

One can read about the past, but participating in the music and storytelling infuses it with the uniqueness of individual expression, reflecting changing times, while keeping the connection going for the next generation.

This program is sponsored by County Dance and Song Society and is funded in part by Mass Humanities. The program was created and produced by Jackie Cooper.  This performance is free and open to the public.  The show begins at 12:45 pm.

Stay tuned for more information about our All-School Musical

In the coming weeks you can expect to hear lots more about the show, including information about auditions which will be held in December.  

Mohawk alumna Shelley Roberts will be directing this year’s show.  Ms. Roberts is an adjunct instructor of Voice and Theater at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Choral Director of the multigenerational Hilltown Harmony Community Choir.  In 2012 Ms. Roberts organized the Mohawk Music Association’s Alumni Concert, bringing together professional and amateur musicians from across the decades of the Mohawk music program.  

We are excited to have Ms. Roberts back at Mohawk, where she began her career as a musical performer appearing on stage in many a Mohawk musical during her high school years.