Monday, February 2, 2015

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's February 2, 2015 Newsletter:

Seussical the Musical
It's hard to believe that opening night is one month away! The students are working diligently to memorize their songs, blocking and dances. I'm amazed at how creative and committed the students are. For example, one of the dances in the show has been completely choreographed by a couple of the students and it looks great! If you are interested in a sneak preview of the show, come to Open House on Thursday, February 5th! 

As always, we are looking for brightly colored paints for the set. The Mohawk Music Association has generously offered to handle refreshments again this year. If you are interested in volunteering to assist them during the performances please feel free to contact Sherry Taylor staylor@mohawkmusicassociation.orgJana Purington has again volunteered to help with costumes this year and is it wonderful to have her on board! If you are interested in helping out with the show, please feel free to contact me directly. The more the merrier!

Shelley Roberts

Technical theater meetings will be held on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 2:30- 4:30. Tuesdays will be with Mr. Conlon and school nurse Michelle Larocque working on set and lights, Friday afternoons working with Jake Mazanec on digital artwork for the backgrounds.  Come help out, no experience necessary!

High School Music News from Mr. Halligan
Welcome to Semester II! Students in the music department are diving into new music, beginning new instruments, singing and playing in new combinations, and beginning a detailed study of music theory. It’s an exciting time! Below you can find a summary of what each class is working on. You can also read about Open House, Song Grams, Select Chorus members participating in a special workshop at the Rowe Conference Center, and about how music students can apply to join Tri-M, the National Music Honors Society. Also included below is a link to view our recent Winter Concert online! I would also like to invite you to the next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association on Feb. 10, 6:30pm in the Mohawk Library.
Scott Halligan

New Semester!
Here is a summary of what Mohawk Music students are currently working on.
Concert Band has been sight-reading several pieces of music in preparation for the MICCA Festival in March, where the ensemble will be adjudicated and coached by renowned music educators. In Concert Chorus, students are beginning to study new repertoire, including a spirited version of the American folk song “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie.” They are also studying triads in detail through sight-reading, ear training, and solfeggio. Select Chorus has begun learning “With Drooping Wings,” the haunting and tragic conclusion to Henry Purcell’s 1688 opera Dido and Aeneas. Select Chorus is also hard at work preparing original small-group a cappella arrangements of love songs for Song Grams (more on that below!). Students in strings class are learning the basics of tone production on cello and upright bass. Jazz band students are already improvising over 12-bar blues, and have begun studying two challenging tunes: “A Night in Tunisia,” as recorded by Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, and “Teen Town” by Weather Report. They are also viewing the first two installments of Ken Burns’ monumental 10-part documentary, “Jazz.” Music Theory students are learning the basics of the organization of pitch, including identifying notes on the piano with letter names, identifying whole steps and half steps (the most fundamental components of melody), and playing all 12 major scales on the piano. They are also beginning to study music notation in bass and treble clefs.
Please also visit my class pages!

Wednesday Evening Music: Evening Band, Chorus, Select Chorus
Wednesday Evening Music is back! We took a short hiatus in January so that students could focus on preparing for final exams. Now that we are in Semester II, our evening rehearsals are in full swing.  On Wednesday evenings, high school students can participate in special evening classes of Band and Chorus. If your student can't fit band or chorus into their schedule, this is for them! If your student has wanted to try band or chorus, this is a great opportunity for them to get their feet wet! Anyone can come to try it on and see if it's for them. Mr. Halligan is hoping for as much student participation in music as possible! This is a friendly environment where students all learn to make music together.
Wednesday Evening Band and Chorus classes are scheduled in the evening on Professional Learning Days to give students ample time for homework, athletics, and downtime. Here is the schedule for evening music classes:

Wednesday Evening Band: 5:00-5:45pm
Wednesday Evening Chorus: 5:45-6:30pm
Select Chorus: 6:30-7:30pm

Open House, Thursday, February 5 
Select Chorus members will be previewing their Song Grams at Open House next Thursday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 in the lobby. They have worked in small groups to create impressive, original a cappella arrangements of love songs, and they sound wonderful! Come hear what they have accomplished together, and consider purchasing Song Grams for your loved ones!

Song Grams!
The popular annual fundraiser for Select Chorus is back! Purchase Song Grams for your friends and loved ones, and members of Select Chorus will serenade your lucky someone with a personal a cappella performance at school or over the phone! Song Grams are the perfect way for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Song Grams can be purchased at Open House, during lunches at Mohawk, or by special arrangement with Mr. Halligan (you can email me here: Song Grams are only $2 for a song at Mohawk, and only $3 for song over the phone. Get yours before Valentine’s Day!

Select Chorus members sing with Dr. Kathy Bullock at the Rowe Conference Center
Members of Select Chorus will be participating in a special workshop this weekend (Sat., Jan. 31) at the Rowe Conference Center. Dr. Kathy Bullock, who gave an unforgettable presentation at Mohawk in October 2013, will be presenting a weekend-long workshop: “Singing in the Spirit: Rejoicing in African-American Gospel Music.” By special arrangement with Dr. Kathy Bullock and Rowe Conference Center Director of Programming Arthur Samuelson, our singers will be participating in the workshop on Saturday afternoon and evening. We are delighted to have this opportunity, and it is sure to be a very special event!

Tri-M Applications accepted February 2-6
Applications are being accepted from February 2-6 for Tri-M, the national music honors society. To be eligible, students need to be actively participating in the music program at Mohawk, have at least a B average in music classes, at least a C average in other classes, and must demonstrate leadership, service, and character. Students interested in becoming members should submit a 2-3 paragraph statement to Mr. Halligan describing why they would like to be considered for membership, and what they can contribute to the group.

Tri-M is an organization founded 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. Mohawk’s Tri-M chapter organizes events, fundraisers, and community outreach for the music department.

Winter Concert Video is Online!
Thanks to Falls Cable, our entire recent Winter Concert is now available to view online! And it’s in HD! Click here to see our 2014 Winter Concert. Please feel free to forward the link to friends and family near and far who might appreciate the musicianship of our students. Thank you, Falls Cable!

MMA Meeting, Tuesday, February 10 at 6:30pm
The next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association will be on February 10, 6:30pm in the Mohawk Library. Be there!

Middle School Music News from Ms. Glover:

All 7th and 8th grade band and chorus students have just completed a mid-year evaluation (“mid-term”). This exam consisted of a written exam, and a performance evaluation, where students performed one-on-one (band) or with a partner (chorus). Students in band performed a scale and a section of a piece we are currently working on. Chorus students also performed a scale (solo) and then performed a section of a piece with a partner, where each student performed a melody or harmony part. It was great to see the incredible growth students have made since the beginning of the year and I look forward to seeing their progress as the year continues!

With the beginning of the 2nd semester comes a very busy spring! Between now and the end of the year, students will not only be involved in Seussical, but also performances at: Springfield Falcon’s Hockey game, Junior District Festival, Spring Concert, Music in the Parks at Six Flags, Memorial Day Parade, Mary Lyon “Lyonnaisse”, and elementary school visits.

Please visit my class pages for more detailed information:

Here is a quick overview of our upcoming schedule! Times will be announced as we get closer, and information will be sent home. Please mark these dates on your calendar!

March 6,7,8: Seussical performances: please see “Seussical” information
March 7th: Junior District rehearsal @ Belchertown HS (for 4 students who auditioned)
March 14th: Junior District performance (UMASS)
March 27th: Springfield Falcon’s Hockey: Band and Chorus
May 2nd: Music in the Parks @ Six Flags: Band and Chorus
May 14th: Spring Concert @ Mohawk 6:30p.m.: Band and Chorus
May 17th: Mary Lyon “Lyonnaisse” Chorus ONLY
May 25th: Memorial Day Parade in Colrain; 9:00 arrival: Band ONLY
June: TBA: Elementary School concerts: in-school performances