Sunday, January 3, 2016

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's January 3, 2016 Newsletter:

High School Music News from Mr. Halligan
Happy New Year!  Exams are almost here!  Students in the music department will spend the next few weeks preparing to demonstrate what they have learned this semester in a variety of ways.  Below you can find a summary of what they will be working on.  You can also read about the Senior Districts Festival, which will take place later this month at Umass Amherst.
Scott Halligan

Here is a summary of what Mohawk Music students will be doing during exams.
Students in Band and Chorus classes will have mock-auditions.  A mock-audition is a great way for students to demonstrate their level of mastery, and it’s also a great way for them to gain familiarity with the audition process.  This is important because so many opportunities in music are awarded on the basis of an audition (think Select Chorus, the Musical, the Pioneer Valley Youth Orchestra, Senior Districts, All-State, Colleges and Conservatories of Music, professional orchestras, Broadway, The Sing-Off…). The mock-audition is also great because the skills needed to audition successfully are similar to the skills needed to interview successfully for a job.  

Students in Rock Band will be working in small groups to demonstrate their ability to effectively select, rehearse, and perform music in an interdependent group of peers.  Students in Music Studio and Music Theory will be presenting a variety of final projects.
Senior District Festival – Saturday, January 16, 3:00pm, UMass Amherst, Fine Arts Center
Thirteen Mohawk High School students will have the honor of performing at the Fine Arts Center at Umass Amherst later this month.  They will be singing in the highly selective Senior Districts Festival Chorus.  
The Western District of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association hosts two annual music festivals at Umass: the Junior Districts Festival for students in grades 7-9, and the Senior Districts Festival for students in grades 9-12.  Each festival features an honor choir, honor band, honor orchestra, and honor jazz band made up of students from around the region who are accepted by audition.  Students in these ensembles have the opportunity to work with prestigious guest conductors and perform music that is more challenging than what can typically be done in high school music programs.  

Also of note: three of our students have been invited to audition for the All-State Chorus on January 23.  Zach Arfa, Adam Hallenbeck, and Matthew Taylor: BREAK A LEG!!
MMA Meeting – Tuesday, January 12, 6:30pm
The next meeting of the Mohawk Music Association is January 12 at 6:30pm in the Mohawk Library.  Be there!

Auditions for the spring musical “Urinetown” will be held on Monday, January 4th

[Mark you calendars for performances on March 4, 5, & 6, show times to be announced. Snow dates March 11, 12, 13.]

Audition schedule:
2:30 - 5 pm  Students who do not have an afternoon athletics conflict  (Meet in the auditorium at 2:30)

5 - 7 pm:  Students with an afternoon athletics conflict and students who were NOT able to attend the first round of auditions in December  (Meet in the auditorium at 5)

Audition format:
All students will sing "Happy Birthday" and a song of their choosing (a cappella), and tell a one minute story on any topic.  Students who did not audition in December will also be learning a student-choreographed dance sequence (Students who auditioned in December will not repeat the dance audition).

A note from Director Will MacAdams:
I'm excited to see you this week and to work together in the weeks and months ahead.    My hope is that this is a process of learning and discovery; not only for you, but for all of us working on the show.

If you have any questions, I invite you to email me at

To an inspired and inspiring beginning to 2016,