Sunday, February 22, 2015

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's February 22, 2015 Newsletter:

We hope that everyone will come see Seussical the Musical during the weekend of March 6, 7, and 8.  The cast includes students from all of our elementary schools and highlights the many ways that students get involved with the arts and theater at Mohawk.  Students will be performing on stage, in the pit orchestra, behind the scenes with set design and lighting and sound production, and a number of students have been working on the digital art used in this year’s show.  This is a great show for all ages!

Seussical the Musical

It’s hard to believe but opening night for Seussical is only two weeks away! Everyone is diligently working to pull this show together.  There are a few students who have taken advantage of working with Jake Mazanec to create digital art backdrops and I must say they’re quite stunning!  Michelle Laroque and her set crew are continually working to transform the auditorium into the ultimate Seussical landscape. Scott Halligan is preparing his band students to play in the pit band and Sean Conlon is busily working with his crew to make sure the lights and sound system are ready to go!

This week there will be full cast rehearsals everyday so the cast can focus on running the show and adapting to the set, their props and costumes! The costumes are going to fabulous thanks to Jana Purington!  Additionally, on Friday, February 27, 2015 the entire cast will be visit the surrounding elementary schools to perform excerpts from the show.  So many things to look forward to!

I’m constantly impressed and inspired by the students’ commitment and enthusiasm regarding the show. Everyone involved has worked very hard and I hope we will have a wonderful showing of support for each performance. It’s going to be a fun show!

Performances are on March 6 & 7 at 7:00pm and March 8 at 2:00pm.  Reservations can be made by calling 625-9811  x1364.  If you are interested in helping with the show feel free to send me an email.  Otherwise, I hope to see you at the show!
Shelley Roberts
All-School Musical Director/Producer

High School Music News from Mr. Halligan

Below you can find a summary of what students are learning in high school music classes.  You can also read about Concert Band members’ involvement in “Seussical”, and important information about final payments for the Virginia Trip.  I would also like to invite you to the next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association on March 3, 6:30pm in the Mohawk Library.
Scott Halligan

What’s Happening in the Music Room?
Here is a summary of what Mohawk Music students are currently working on:
Concert Band is preparing for the MICCA Festival in March, where the ensemble will be adjudicated and coached by renowned music educators.  Several Concert Band members are also preparing to play in the pit orchestra for “Seussical” at Mohawk on March 6, 7, and 8 (more details below).  In Concert Chorus, students are continuing their study of triads through sight-reading, ear training, and solfeggio, and they are also completing their first new piece of the semester, “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie.”  We also held solo auditions for this piece, and I would like to congratulate Adam Hallenbeck, Sam Harris-Fried, and Sara Paige for winning solos!  Select Chorus has completed another great season of Song Grams, and they are moving forward with their study of “With Drooping Wings,” the haunting and tragic conclusion to Henry Purcell’s 1688 opera Dido and Aeneas.  Students in Strings class are learning the fundamentals of left hand technique on cello and upright bass, and have started putting together a shredding arrangement of “Crazy Train”.  Jazz band students are in the midst of a detailed study of the blues: its history, theory, and practice.  Music Theory students have completed their first unit, and are moving on to Melodic Dictation (hearing a melody and writing it down), syncopation, minor scales, and the basics of Musescore music notation software.
Please feel free to visit my class pages!

Concert Band Members in “Seussical”!
Seussical the Musical is coming to Mohawk, and students in Concert Band will be participating in the performances!  Some Concert Band members are already involved in the production and have roles to play on stage or behind the scenes, but others will be playing in the pit orchestra.
Specific skills are required to successfully play in a Broadway-style show, ie: sight reading in a variety of keys and time signatures.  Concert Band members will gain first-hand experience with these skills in a rich, authentic learning experience.  (By the way, I played bass guitar in my high school’s production of “Les Misérables” when I was a freshman – those shows were my very first public performances!)  
I hope to see you at “Suessical”!

Virginia Trip – Final Payments due March 6
Students participating in the trip will need to submit final payments by March 6.
Before February Vacation, students received an info sheet to take home which includes their current balance due.  
Please contact me with any questions ASAP:

On a related note, I’m happy to announce that we have reached our fundraising goal of $5251!  This will be used to cover the cost of transportation to Virginia for the Heritage Music Festival and Competition in April.  
We were able to reach this goal thanks to the generous support of our community, the Mohawk Music Association.  This program is supported in part by grants from the Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Colrain, Heath, Plainfield, and Rowe Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

MMA Meeting, Tuesday March 3 6:30pm
The next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association will be on March 3 at 6:30pm in the Mohawk Library.  The agenda will include preparations for “Seussical”.
Get involved!  Be there!

Middle School Music News from Ms. Glover

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 17th: Mary Lyon “Lyonnaisse” Chorus ONLY - please note the change in date!
May 14th: Spring Concert @ Mohawk 6:30p.m.: Band and Chorus
May 25th: Memorial Day Parade in Colrain; 9:00 arrival: Band ONLY
June: TBA: Elementary School concerts: in-school performances

Springfield Falcon’s Hockey Game
Tickets for the Middle School Band and Chorus performance at the Springfield Falcons hockey game are NOW ON SALE! Tickets are IN and can be purchased through a Mohawk middle school music student, or through me. Tickets are $18, with $5 from each ticket donated back to the music department. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket please contact me at, or by contacting a music student. Checks should be made out to Mohawk. Please come and support our hard working music students and have a blast watching the Falcons game!

Mohawk student Sequoia LeBreux Finalist in Poetry Contest
Student Sequoia LeBreux has been selected as a finalist for the 8th annual Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize.  Narrowed down from 72 submissions, LeBreux is one of eight finalists who will perform before the judges on Monday, February 23rd in the Acton Memorial Library between 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Started in 2007, the Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize honors one or two Massachusetts public or private high school students each year.  The Helen Creeley Prize winners receive not only a monetary prize, but also the honor to open for the winner of the Robert Creeley Award at both the renowned poet's evening, public audience, and also the poet's morning presentation to their fellow high school students. 

[UPDATE 3/9/2015: Sequoia LeBreux (photo) was one of the two winners of the 2015 Helen Creeley Student Poetry Prize.]