Sunday, April 5, 2015

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's April 5, 2015 Newsletter:

High School Music News from Mr. Halligan

Happy Spring!  Below you can find a summary of what students are learning in high school music classes.  You can also read about our upcoming Competition Trip, Tri-M activities with elementary and middle school music students, our spring events schedule, and registration info for Summer Band Camp!  Info on special workshops for Chorus and Select Chorus and Concert Band’s recent participation in the MICCA Festival can also be found below.
Scott Halligan

What’s Happening in the Music Room?

Here is a summary of what Mohawk Music students are currently working on:

Concert Band students are reflecting on their recent experience at the MICCA Festival, listening to their performance recording and studying written comments provided by adjudicators.  Based on this feedback, students will make adjustments to their playing in preparation for the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Festival and Competition in Williamsburg, Virginia (details below). 

Both Concert Chorus and Select Chorus are going through a similar process, reviewing judges’ comments from performances last year and making adjustments to prepare for the upcoming competition.  Next week, all singers in both groups will have vocal workshops with Shelley Roberts (more info below). 

Students in Strings Class are developing music literacy skills, sight-reading classical music in traditional notation and rock and pop music from lead sheets.  

Jazz Band students are transferring their knowledge about jazz improvisation from their primary instruments to their secondary instruments.  They are also making fantastic progress on A Night in Tunisia.” 

Music Theory students are working on their midterm project, using Musescore to create a lead sheet for John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” They are transcribing the melody, lyrics, chords, and rhythm of the song.

Please feel free to visit High School Music class pages!

Virginia Trip!
Mohawk Music’s trip to Williamsburg, Virginia for the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Competition is right around the corner!  The Mohawk High School Concert Band, Concert Chorus, and Select Chorus are all poised to have very strong performances. 

Please note: Students participating in the trip will be bringing home a packet of information next week.  The packet will include an itinerary, contact information, a code of conduct, a packing list, a medical form, and a permission slip.  All information will also be posted on my class pages early next week.  Please review these items carefully and contact me immediately with any concerns.

Spring Events – mark your calendars!
Mohawk Music students are bringing home information about Mohawk Music events for the remainder of the year.  The info is also available here.  Parents, please read the information carefully, note the requirements for attire, mark your calendars, sign and return asap!

Mohawk Warriors Band Camp – August 10-14, 8:00 am-noon
This summer, concert band students entering grades 9-12 are welcome to sign up for a week of Band Camp!  Students will receive registration forms next week.  The registration form and additional information is also available here.
Who: Mohawk Band Members entering grades 9-12
What: Band Camp!
When: August 10-14, 8:00 am-noon
Where: Mohawk High School
Why: To develop musicianship, basic marching skills, and esprit de corps!
Details:  At this camp, Students will focus on building instrumental music skills, marching band basics, and developing esprit de corps.  The week will be structured around team-building activities, Marching Band practice, and a series of workshops and activities on specific skills: Marching Basics; Musicianship; Jazz Improvisation; Battery Percussion; and Performance.  Open to novices and experienced instrumentalists entering grades 9-12.
Day 1 – Welcome, Team Building, Marching Basics
Day 2 – Team Building, Marching Practice, Musicianship 101
Day 3 – Team Building, Marching Practice, Jazz Improvisation
Day 4 – Team Building, Marching Practice, Battery Percussion
Day 5 – Team Building, Informal Performance, Picnic Lunch
Cost:  $100 per student
Students who qualify for reduced lunch: $50
Students who qualify for free lunch: $0

Tri-M Activities
Tri-M members will be volunteering in next week’s Kids in Concert band rehearsal at Mohawk High School.  The following week, Tri-M will be hosting a step-up day for 8th grade singers and instrumentalists, inviting them into High School Band and Chorus classes and leading a variety of activities to connect Middle School Music and High School Music!

Mary Lyon Foundation Mini-Grant: Vocal Workshops
Thanks to a Mary Lyon Foundation Mini-Grant, members of both Concert Chorus and Select Chorus will be working with soprano Shelley Roberts next week in a series of vocal workshops!  Singers are studying “With Drooping Wings,” the haunting and tragic conclusion to Henry Purcell’s 1688 opera Dido and Aeneas.  In order to meet the challenges in this piece, our singers will learn special vocal techniques and performances practices with Ms. Roberts – the same Shelley Roberts who directed last year’s “Wizard of Oz” and this year’s “Seussical”!  Incidentally, Ms. Roberts is a Mohawk alumni and a graduate of Westminster Choir College. 

Concert Band at the MICCA Festival – March 28
Last weekend, Concert Band participated for the first time in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Festival.   The MICCA Festival has very high standards, and our band received a very respectable Bronze Award!  At the festival, which took place at Belchertown High School on Saturday, March 28, the band’s performance was followed by an informative 30 minute clinic with one of the judges.  Students in Concert Band will be listening to a recording of their performance and read the adjudicators’ comments and suggestions for improvement.  This is a very important formative assessment for Concert Band, and we look forward to the opportunity to receive critical feedback as we aspire to higher levels of performance. 

Middle School Music News from Ms. Glover

Upcoming Performances Information:
Hello – we have quite a busy spring ahead of us! The following is an overview of all of the remaining performances for the year including dates, times, and what your child will need for each performance.

Saturday May 2nd: Music in the Parks 6Flags NewEngland: Band and Chorus
6:30a.m. - meet at Mohawk
7:00 – depart
8:00 – warm up & performances Holyoke HS
12:00 – 6 Flags arrival
5:00 – dinner together & awards
9:00 – depart 6 Flags
10:00p.m. – arrive at Mohawk
Students will need: Permission slip, instrument, music, concert dress, money for one meal (or they may bring a lunch to eat on the bus), money for drinks or souvenirs.
(Information has gone home already, permission slip is attached. $45 due: checks made out to Mohawk)

Sunday May 3rd: Mary Lyon “Lyonnaise” performance: Chorus and 8th grade Band only
3:30p.m. – arrival at Shelburne/Buckland Community center
4:00 - 4:30 – performance
Students will need: Instrument, music and concert dress
**we will be meeting at the community center 53 Main st. Shelburne Falls, Ma

Thursday May 14th: Spring Concert: Mohawk auditorium: Band and Chorus
5:30p.m. – arrival and rehearsal with 6th grade students
6:30p.m. – concert begins
Students will need: instrument, music and concert dress

Monday May 25th: Memorial Day Parade: West Branch Cemetery: Colrain: Band only
9:00a.m. – arrival at West Branch
9:30 a.m. – parade and ceremony
10:30.m. – pick up at cemetery
Students will need: a ride to West Branch, instrument, music
**Dress is as follows: Black pants/shoes, white polo shirt

Monday June 8th & Thursday June 11th: Elementary School Performances: Band and Chorus

Monday June 8th:
8:00a.m. departure from Mohawk
performances in Rowe, Hawlemont, & BSE – Lunch at Mohawk

Thursday June 11th:
8:00a.m. – departure from Mohawk
performances in Heath & Sanderson – lunch at Mohawk
 **for both trips students will need: permission slip, music, instrument. (dress TBA)

***If you have any questions about any of these events please contact me at 413-512-0042 or at

Please see “Permission Slips” on my class pages to access permission slips: