Monday, March 23, 2015

Music News

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

 Upcoming Events


Friday, March 27 Mohawk Middle School students perform at the Springfield Falcons Hockey Game. 

Saturday, March 28 Concert Band at the MICCA Festival at Belchertown High School at 3:00 pm.  Mohawk’s Concert Band will be participating for the first time in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Festival. 

 Tuesday, April 14 Mohawk Music Association meeting at 6:30 pm in the library.

 
The Arts at Mohawk

Spring Drama
Forty-nine students auditioned for our spring theatrical productions!  Senior Laura Purington will be directing “The Breakfast Club” and middle school English teacher Leanne Blaszak is producing “All Talk”, a series of monologues and short plays.  Rehearsals for “All Talk” begin this Monday afternoon, March 23.



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 special workshops for Select Chorus, Concert Band’s participation in the MICCA Festival, and Tri-M’s upcoming activities with elementary and middle school music students.  

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 rehearsing music for the MICCA Festival in March, where the ensemble will perform for a panel of adjudicators and receive coaching by distinguished music educators.  In Concert Chorus, students are beginning two new pieces: a slow, lyrical song called “The Nightingale,” and an energetic folk song called “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel.”  Select Chorus is returning to a song we studied last year but never performed because of its rhythmic complexity: “Thulele Mama Ya.”  Select is also refining their interpretation of “Run To You,” and moving forward with their study of “With Drooping Wings” (more details below).  Students in strings class are focusing on intonation, and are progressing with their work on original arrangements of rock songs.  Jazz band students finished up their unit on the Blues and recently completed an improvisation quiz on Duke Ellington’s “C-Jam Blues.”  They are now studying “A Night in Tunisia.”  Music Theory students are working on how to notate syncopated rhythms and have successfully notated the bass line for “Don’t Stop Believing” in Musescore music notation software.  Next week they will begin their midterm project: they will create a lead sheet in Musescore.  
Please feel free to visit High School Music class pages!

Select Chorus receives Mary Lyon Foundation Mini-Grant
Thanks to a Mary Lyon Foundation Mini-Grant, members of Select Chorus will be working with soprano Shelley Roberts in the coming weeks in a series of vocal workshops!  Select is 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”! She is also a Mohawk alumni and a graduate of Westminster Choir College.

Concert Band at the MICCA Festival – March 28
Concert Band will be participating for the first time in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Festival.  The festival will take place at Belchertown High School on Saturday, March 28.  We are performing at 3:00pm.  Our performance will be adjudicated by a panel of distinguished music educators, and we will receive a 30 minute clinic with one of the judges.  We will also be able to hear other schools’ performances, and we will stay for an awards ceremony.  The week following the festival, students in Concert Band will be able to hear 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.

Tri-M Activities
Mohawk’s chapter of Tri-M, the National Music Honors Society, is working to connect the high school’s performing arts program with middle school and the elementary schools.  Tri-M recently led a successful acting workshop for middle school students, and they are hoping to continue to mentor middle school cast members in the spring production of Monologues.  Tri-M members are also arranging to host members of the 8th grade band and chorus in high school band and chorus classes in mid-April.  Possible outreach with elementary school music students is also in the works, and Tri-M may be coordinating high school volunteers to assist with Kids in Concert.  More details to follow! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seussical featured in The BSE Flow newspaper

The BSE Flow, Vol. 2 No. 2, page B1

A great article about Mohawk's Seussical production, an interview with Gina Glover, and lots of Seussical photos are featured in the current edition of The BSE Flow, the student-run newspaper of the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School community.

The BSE Flow, Vol. 2 No. 2, page A1

Editor John Snyder said: "Many thanks to Gina Glover, Amar Abbatiello, and David Fried for their great contributions to issue six of The BSE Flow. Seussical was a delight, and we appreciated learning so much more about what families district-wide can look forward to in the world of Mohawk music."

Be sure to pick up a free copy locally, or download a pdf copy and enjoy! Link to The BSE Flow Vol. 2 No. 2 : http://mohawkschools.org/bse/pdfs/THE%20BSE%20FLOW%20v2n2.pdf


The BSE Flow, Vol. 2 No. 2, page B1


The BSE Flow, Vol. 2 No. 2, page B2

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Junior District Music Festival

This past weekend (March 14th) Mohawk 8th grade students Mae Rice Lesure, Guy Rice Lesure, and Lily Wickland Shearer took part in this year's Western Massachusetts Junior District Music Festival.

This audition-based festival combines students in grades 6-9 from all over western Massachusetts. Students performed in either the treble chorus, male chorus, jazz ensemble, concert band, or orchestra. Students attended two all day rehearsals. The festival culminated in a concert featuring all ensembles, which took place at the Fine Arts Center at UMASS.

Here are brief video clips of the treble chorus and male chorus during Saturday's dress rehearsal.

video
Treble Chorus


video
Male Chorus

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musical Petting Zoo coming to Heath Elmentary School


The Springfield Symphony Orchestra will hold a Musical Petting Zoo at Heath Elementary School on Thursday, March 19.

According to music teacher Gina Glover's Heath Elementary Music Program website, students will…
  • receive a brief instrument demonstration on various instruments 
  • receive a hands on opportunity to try each instrument 
  • create sounds on musical instruments 
Heath Elementary School

This event is funded by a mini-grant awarded to Heath Elementary School from the Mary Lyon Foundation.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's March 8, 2015 Newsletter:


Greetings Mohawk families,

This weekend our community is on stage with our annual all-school musical production featuring student performers from all our elementary schools as well as Mohawk students in grades 7-12. This year’s show Seussical the Musical is a delight for all ages, and there are still tickets left for this afternoon’s 2:00 pm performance! A big shout-out to all the students who are involved in this production: performing onstage, playing in the pit band, behind the scenes working the lights and sound, those who designed the digital backgrounds and prepared the whimsical sets, and everyone who is putting the show together. Many thanks to the staff who are involved with this production, and the crew of parents and community members who have been instrumental throughout the process. We appreciate all the support of the Mohawk Music Association.


Seussical! 
Only one more show to go! We've already reserved over 300 seats for Sunday but we still have room for more! The cast and crew of Seussical have done a fabulous job! All of their hard work paid off! There is still time to call for reservations! Call (413) 625-9811 x1364  Hope to see you at the show!


High School Music News from Mr. Halligan
Congratulations to all of the students involved in “Seussical” this weekend!  Students have been delivering fantastic performances on stage and off!  I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has come to see the show, and a special thank you to everyone who has helped with the performances!  We have had a great crew of parents, alumni, and MMA members volunteering their time to help with everything from tickets and programs to hair and make-up.  Thank you!!
Below you can find a summary of what students are learning in high school music classes.  You can also read about Tri-M’s upcoming activities and the Concert Band’s participation in the MICCA Festival.  
Scott Halligan

What’s Happening in the Music Room?
Here is a summary of what Mohawk Music students are currently working on:
Several members of Concert Band have been participating in “Seussical” performances this weekend, where they have been playing side by side with professionals!  Next week, Concert Band will resume rehearsing music for the MICCA Festival in March, where the ensemble will be adjudicated and coached by distinguished music educators.  In Concert Chorus, students are continuing their study of triads, and they have completed their first new piece of the semester, “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie.”  Concert Chorus has begun working on “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You,” a setting of a traditional Gaelic blessing.  Select Chorus is moving forward with their study of “With Drooping Wings.”  They are also working to refine their interpretation of “Run To You.”  Students in strings class are building their left-hand and right-hand technique on cello and upright bass, and are progressing with their work on original arrangements of songs by Ozzy Osbourne and Nirvana.  Jazz band students are wrapping up a unit on the Blues and are preparing for an improvisation quiz: they will each solo for three choruses over Duke Ellington’s “C-Jam Blues.”  Music Theory students have created their first score using Musescore music notation software, and have begun transcribing familiar melodies by ear.  
Please feel free to visit High School Music class pages!

Tri-M Activities
Mohawk’s chapter of Tri-M, the National Music Honors Society, is planning some exciting activities for March and April.  Students involved in Tri-M will be presenting an acting workshop for middle and high school students on Friday, March 13, from 2:30-4:00pm in the Mohawk Auditorium.  Students interested in auditioning for Mohawk’s upcoming spring theater productions – Monologues and The Breakfast Club – are strongly encouraged to attend!  Tri-M members will also be conducting outreach with elementary and middle school music students.  More details to follow. 

Concert Band at the MICCA Festival – March 28 
Concert Band will be participating for the first time in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Festival.  The festival will take place at Belchertown High School on Saturday, March 28.  We are performing at 3:00pm.  Our performance will be adjudicated by a panel of distinguished music educators, and we will receive a 30 minute clinic with one of the judges.  We will also be able to hear other schools’ performances, and we will stay for an awards ceremony.  Following the festival, students in Concert Band will be able to hear a recording of the 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
Falcon’s Game Fundraiser
Tickets are now on sale for the March 27th Springfield Falcon’s hockey game! This year the Middle School band will be performing before the game, and the Middle School chorus will perform “God Bless America” on the ice as they have done in the past. Tickets are $18, and can be purchased by emailing me at gglover@mohawkschools.org, or you can see a middle school music student.
**Please note - students and chaperones will also need to purchase a ticket.
As you may know, this is also a fundraiser with $5 per ticket earned from each purchase. Our goal is to sell at least 100 tickets. The funds will be used to pay our buses for the Falcon’s game and for the bus for our Six Flags performance trip in May, which will decrease the amount per student for the day.  We have had MANY families purchase tickets already. Please help us achieve our goal!!

Junior District Music Festival
This past Saturday, March 7th, 8th grade music students Guy Rice-Lesure, Mae Rice-Lesure, and Lily Wickland-Shearer spent the day at Belchertown High School for their first rehearsal in the Junior District Festival Chorus’. This audition-based festival includes musicians from all over Western Massachusetts! Our Mohawk students spent the day singing with many talented students throughout the area. They will also spend next Saturday rehearsing at UMASS, and then perform in a concert including the female chorus, male chorus, jazz band, concert band, and string orchestra.

Seussical
I would like to send out a special thank you to the many middle school music students who performed in Seussical the Musical! It was inspiring for me to see the level of dedication these students have for the music program, and I look forward to continuing to work with you, and watching you perform in future shows!

Upcoming Performances
Sunday March 8th: 2:00p.m.  “Seussical the Musical” final performance
Friday March 27th: Springfield Falcon’s Hockey Game (meet at Mohawk @4:30p.m.)
Saturday May 2nd: Six Flags Music in the Parks Festival
Sunday May 3rd: Mary Lyon “Lyonaisse” (Chorus only!!)
Thursday May 14th: Mohawk Music Department Spring Concert 6:30p.m.
Monday May 25th: Memorial Day celebration: Colrain (Band only!!)
Saturday June 20th: Charlemont 250th celebration TBA

For the most current and updated information including upcoming performances please go to:

Auditions for Spring Monologues and production of The Breakfast Club
A senior at Mohawk, Laura Purington, is directing a stage adaption of the 80’s cultural icon, The Breakfast Club. Auditions will be in room 173 at 2:30 on March 10th and March 12th. No prior experience is needed, and students are not expected to have anything memorized before the audition. Auditions will last as long as it takes to get everyone through, but students can request to go towards the beginning in case of any time restraints.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Seussical at Mohawk this Weekend!

[UPDATE Sunday 3/8/15, 10:30 am: Only one more show to go! We've already reserved over 300 seats for the Sunday matinee performance at 2 pm, but we still have room for more! The cast and crew of Seussical have done a fabulous job! All of their hard work paid off! There is still time to call for reservations! Call (413) 625-9811 x1364 Hope to see you at the show!]

Now a beloved staple in the world of musical theater, Seussical the Musical will be transforming the stage of Mohawk Trail Regional High School. The musical is based on the works of Dr. Seuss whose stories are creatively woven together to create the ultimate musical extravaganza! Come see The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch and many more characters brought to life through a series of foot-tapping songs, lively dances and colorful sets!

Suessical is a great show for all ages, which is why the surrounding elementary school’s 5/6th graders will be performing with the middle school and high school students. Whether it’s on stage or off stage, here are over 85 students involved who have worked diligently to prepare this show!

Performance dates are Friday and Saturday, March 6 & 7, 2015 at 7:00pm and Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $10/Adults, $5/students & seniors, and FREE for children two years old or younger (share an adult's seat.)

For reservations please call (413) 625-9811 x1364.

All shows will be held in the Mohawk auditorium. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Tickets may be purchased on the day of the show if seats are available. Reserving tickets is HIGHLY recommended.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

MMA March Meeting


[UPDATE 3/3/2015 4:40 pm:  meeting cancelled due to weather]
The next Mohawk Music Association meeting is Tuesday, March 3, at 6:30 pm in the school library.

This is a week earlier than usual due to Suessical being next weekend - we really needed to have an early meeting to finalize our plans.






1875 - The Georges Bizet opera Carmen premiered in Paris.
"Carmen - illustration by Luc for Journal Amusant 1875"
1931 - The "Star Spangled Banner" was adopted as the American national anthem. The song was originally known as "Defense of Fort McHenry."

1931 - The first jazz album to sell a million copies was recorded. It was "Minnie The Moocher" by Cab Calloway.