Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Music Hath Charms

A look back at the early days of music education in one of our local schools as the month of March (Music In Our Schools Month) comes to an end. Also, a review of the current music classes available to students in the Mohawk District schools.

From the book titled History and Tradition of Shelburne Massachusetts, published in 1958, comes this article titled "Music Hath Charms."

Music instruction is first mentioned in a school report in 1845. It was 43 years later in 1888 that the first music teacher was employed by the district to teach singing, in part to "soften and subdue the harsh and unpleasant feelings which may, and often do, arise in the breasts of children."


What is the current status of music education in the Mohawk District schools?

Elementary Schools
Students in grades K-6 have a weekly music class. These music classes have become much more than singing, as instruction is now guided by the national standards. Students in grade 3 also take recorder lessons, and 4-6 graders are able to choose to take a band instrument as well. Chorus is also offered in most of the elementary schools for students in grade 4-6, again by choice. Every spring the Chorus and Band students fill Mohawk's auditorium with an enthusiastic audience of family and friends for their performance at Kids in Concert.

Middle School
Band and Chorus are offered as an elective for all Middle School students (grades 7-8), led by Middle School Music Director Gina Glover. Until recently this was the only offering for music for a middle school student, but now Music Director Scott Halligan is offering a Percussion Laboratory (which is a non-traditional percussion, composition, and improvisation class inspired by "STOMP".) It's in the 7th grade Related Arts rotation, meaning all 7th graders have the class. It's an elective for 8th Graders. The Middle School Band and Chorus has several public performances every year, including the Winter Concert, Spring Concert, Memorial Day Parade (Band), Springfield Indians hockey game (Chorus), Boston Statehouse (not this year due to scheduling conflicts). They also compete at the Music in the Parks Festival at Six Flags New England.
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 in October 2013

High School
Music classes are all electives (no required classes for graduation), with the following options taught by Music Director Scott Halligan listed in the High School Catalog 2013-2014:
  • String Orchestra (3 credits; this course meets every other day for a semester)
  • Rock Band/Guitar (3 credits; this course meets every other day)
  • Concert Band (6 credits; this course meets every other day for the year)
  • Concert Chorus (6 credits; every other day for the full year)
  • Select Chorus (6 credits; every other day for the full year)
  • Music Theory/Piano Lab (3 credits; this course meets every other day)
  • Electronic Music (3 credits; this course meets every other day)
  • Senior Capstone Seminar (6 credits; one semester in the fall) A music-based project is an option for a student to study.
  • Jazz Band may be offered in the Fall of 2014.
The High School music ensembles have a busy schedule of performances, field trips and workshops throughout the school year as seen here.
Mohawk Select Chorus at Keene State College in October, 2013.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Magic Flute at Memorial Hall

The Memorial Hall Association and the Local Cultural Councils of Buckland, Colrain, Conway, Gill, Leyden, Montague, and Shelburne invite your family to a FREE film presentation of The Magic Flute by Mozart. This is the Metropolitan Opera’s adaptation in English designed for children.

SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2014 AT 2:00 PM. 


Bring the family to this introduction to Opera. Doors open at 1:30. Seating is first come, first served. The Memorial Hall Theater is located at 51 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls.

Detailed information about the show is available on the Memorial Hall website:  http://shelburnefallsmemorialhall.org/free-show-the-magic-flute/


This program is supported in part by grants from the Local Cultural Councils of Buckland, Colrain, Conway, Gill, Leyden, Montague, and Shelburne,  local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

The Arts at Mohawk

From Principal Lynn Dole's March 16, 2014 Newsletter:


The Wizard of Oz

Greetings,

Thank you to all who helped support the Wizard of Oz! Thanks to everyone's help and the students’ hard work, the show was sold out for all three performances.  I'm grateful to area businesses who contributed to the success of the show, to Superintendent Michael Buoniconti, Principal Lynn Dole, Pam Dupree, Robin Pease and the elementary school principals for their constant support and help. I had a wonderful team of teachers, parents and community members - Gina Glover, Sean Conlon, Scott Halligan, Michelle Laroque, Barb Harris, Maryellen Abbatiello, Eva Otten, Jana Purington, Sherry Taylor, and the Mohawk Music Association, all of whom played a really big role throughout the entire process from start to finish. It was truly moving to see so much community support, not to mention everyone who helped to make the show possible for the students to shine. They deserved it! 

Many thanks again and again.

Best,

Shelley Roberts
Producer/Director All-School Musical


Mohawk’s 2014 Talent Show was a hit!       

Hello All,

My name is Tucker Jenkins; I was the chair of the 2013 and 2014 talent shows. I’m proud to say that this year was a great success even with the addition of a night showing to give the greater community an opportunity to see Mohawk’s talent! The discussion of having a night show was debated seriously, we were unsure if it would be a hit or a bust. I speak for the whole Student Council when I say that it was a hit, we had good attendance, and about seventy-five percent of our acts made it back for a night show.

I would like to give special thanks to a few people who made a huge difference in this year’s show. Drew Powell for taking care of the music, this is a task I would never want to do, and he did a wonderful job. Rowan Jones was my co- chair this year, I couldn’t have asked for a better co- chair, this man was with me the whole time. Together we worked for hours and hours and he never complained; he was always wiling to help. Javius Johnson stepped up to the plate during the night show, we were slightly understaffed and he volunteered to help out in any way he could. Ashley Fox and Valentina Wrisley for taking care of the curtains and backstage help; they handled the pressure with ease and made my job easier. Danny Miner, Lucas Obert and Nick Brown took care of the MC’ing this year; they did a wonderful job, and really made the transitions more exciting for the audience with their humor. I could keep naming names and go on for pages, but the amount of help we had and the amount of volunteers was wonderful.

There are five staff members I would like to thank also for their help along the way. The first two are Mr. KC and Ms. Dole, they took the time to meet with Rowan and myself to plan this year’s event, we met for over an hour one day to plan the three different shows, the timing, and logistics, they took time out of their busy schedule to make sure this event was a memorable one, I can not thank them enough. The next is Mrs. Rubinaccio, she was with me every step of the way, through setbacks, through planning, etc.  Without her I don’t think I could have done it, she keep me rolling and always thought of things I didn’t think of. The next is head custodian Jenna Day; she was always there to help, she was there to help clean, to get us materials we needed, and also was always willing to do last minute stuff with a smile. The last thank you is one that is dear to my heart, this man took a personal day last year so he could help with the talent show and be a judge. That is truly heart-warming to me, it was something he didn’t have to do, but he wanted to. This year he couldn’t make it to our day shows, so he made it a point to get to the night show and bring his family, he doesn’t live just down the road, he lives pretty far away. He took the time to thank us for including him, congratulating us on the job we did, he was a friendly face to see. This man is Nelson Clukey he is a custodian at Mohawk who is always involved with the students, and is always friendly, thank you Nelson.

To wrap this is up, it was a wonderful talent show all around, from acts like Jack Fuller with his amazing yo-yo act to David Rose’s balancing act or Tess Burdick’s original song, every single act was amazing, and I’m proud of their talent and courage.

Thank you to everyone who made it Friday evening,

Tucker Jenkins
Chair of the Talent Show


Music at Mohawk

Join the work bee to organize music on Saturday, March 22. 
Note this change in date.  The floor in the music closet is complete and that means we are ready to file our entire musical library! On Saturday, March 22nd Mr. Halligan and Ms. Glover will be holding a work bee to hopefully complete this project. Needed: parents and students to help move, organize, and file our 30 years of band and chorus music. We will supply: pizza, snacks, and peppy work music!! If you can help, we will be there from 10:00-2:00 on the 22nd. Come for all or come for part of the time. Even if you can only spare an hour we would love to have your help! If you can make it please let us know!

Save the date!  This year’s Spring Concert will be held on Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30 pm in the auditorium at Mohawk. This event will feature performances from both middle and high school ensembles.

Monday, March 10, 2014

MMA Meeting

The next Mohawk Music Association meeting is Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30 pm in the school library.

The Arts at Mohawk

From Principal Lynn Dole's March 9, 2014 Newsletter


Greetings Mohawk families,

What a wonderful turnout we’ve had at this weekend’s performances of The Wizard of Oz!  It has been exciting to see so much energy on stage, with scores of students from grades 5-12 participating in the show, and in the audience.  Thank you for your support for the arts at Mohawk!  This edition of News from Mohawk features information about upcoming music events as well as an opportunity for students to develop dramatic monologues that may be selected for inclusion in our next dramatic production, later this spring.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, March 11

Afterschool workshop for students interested in writing.  Do you like to write? Do you have a story to tell? Join us on Tuesday, March 11 from 2:30 - 4:00 in Room 173. Learn how to write a dramatic monologue. Your work could be featured in this year's Spring Show!

Mohawk Music Association meeting at 6:30 in the library.  All are welcome to attend. This organization is a great way to get involved with our music program.


Music at Mohawk

Save the date!  This year’s Spring Concert will be held on Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30 pm in the auditorium at Mohawk. This event will feature performances from both middle and high school ensembles.

March is "Music In Our Schools Month"! The month of March is dedicated to honoring music education. To celebrate, our music teachers and students will be hosting an in-school performance for middle school and high school students on Tuesday, March 25th. This performance will highlight middle and high school band and chorus ensembles, providing an opportunity for our school to celebrate with us!

Planning for the Six Flags Festival is well under way! The Music Association has given a generous donation of $1400.00 to cover the entrance fee to the performance site for every student! Thank you MMA!! This trip will be held on Saturday. May 3rd. Information and permission slips were sent home, but can also be found on Ms. Glover’s Class Pages.

Finally, on March 3rd the Middle School Chorus had an amazing workshop with several Native American community members. Windsong, Roseann, and Sue came dressed in Cherokee regalia, and introduced students to Cherokee customs and traditions, and gave a history of the song we are performing. Upon hearing our students sing, Windsong, Roseann and Sue were brought to tears, as were many of our students. It was an emotional, inspiring and uplifting day that students are still talking about!

Please join us for our next Music Association meeting this Tuesday March 11th in the library at 6:30 p.m.

Join the work bee to organize music on Saturday, March 15 22 .  The floor in the music closet is complete! That means we are ready to file our entire musical library! On Saturday, March 15th Mr. Halligan and Ms. Glover will be holding a work bee to hopefully complete this project. Needed:  parents and students to help move, organize, and file our 30 years of band and chorus music. We will supply: pizza, snacks, and peppy work music!! If you can help, we will be there from 10:00-2:00 on the 15th  22nd. Come for all or come for part of the time. Even if you can only spare an hour we would love to have your help! If you can make it please let us know.