Sunday, March 20, 2016

Music News

From Principal Lynn Dole's March 20, 2016 Newsletter:


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 student participation in the All State Music Festival and Franklin County Honor Band, Concert Band’s participation in the MICCA Festival, and the upcoming Annapolis Trip!
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 April, where the ensemble will perform for a panel of adjudicators and receive coaching by distinguished music educators.  In Concert Chorus and Select Chorus, students are polishing up several pieces for the Annapolis Music Festival.  Students in strings class are progressing with their work on an original arrangement of “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay.  Rock Band students are playing in small groups and taking turns being the guitarist, bassist, and drummer.  Beginners are working on “Free Fallin” by Tom Petty, and experienced rockers are working on “Float On” by Modest Mouse.  Music Technology students have been using Mixcraft digital audio software to create original compositions, add effects, and mixdown to MP3 files.  They are also recording and programming MIDI drum beats.
Please feel free to visit High School Music class pages!

Boston's Symphony Hall
All State
Two Mohawk students participated in the All State Music Festival last weekend!  Zach Arfa and Matthew Taylor performed in the All State Chorus, and spent the weekend of March 10-12 in Boston.  Zach and Matthew are the first Mohawk students to win an All State audition in over a decade!
The All State Music Festival is organized by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.  The weekend culminated in a concert featuring the All State Chorus, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Concert Band.  The concert took place at Symphony Hall in Boston, a National Historic Landmark and one of the finest concert halls in the world.
The All State Chorus was directed by Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Conducting at the University of Toronto.
CLICK HERE for videos of their performance at Symphony Hall in Boston!
Congratulations Zach and Matthew!
Special Thanks to the Mohawk Music Association for paying the All State fees for these students!

Franklin County Honor Band – Free Concert, TFHS, 3pm on April 2
Several students in Concert Band are participating in the Franklin County Honor Band!  Jennifer Boyle, Zach Arfa, Mahalia Dean, Morgan Young, Cassie Kudlay, and Julia Ussailis will be representing Mohawk!  Our students will perform in a large ensemble side by side with students from Greenfield, Turners Falls, Frontier, Pioneer, and Mahar.
Students will rehearse at Turners Falls High School on Wednesday evening, March 30, from 5-8pm, and Saturday morning, April 2, from 11-2pm.
The Franklin County Honor Band will perform a free concert at Turners Falls High School at 3:00pm on Saturday, April 2.
Special Thanks to the Mohawk Music Association for paying the participation fee for the Franklin County Honor Band!
Concert Band at the MICCA Festival – April 2
Concert Band will be participating in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Festival.  The festival will take place at Belchertown High School on Saturday, April 2.  We are performing at 8:30am.  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 Awards Ceremony, we will attend the Franklin County Honor Band performance at Turners Falls High School at 3:00pm.
Following the festival, Concert Band students will be able to hear a recording of their performance and read the adjudicators’ comments and suggestions for improvement.  This is a very important assessment for Concert Band, and we look forward to the opportunity to receive critical feedback as we aspire to higher levels of performance.
Annapolis Trip – April 7-10
This year’s music trip is coming up in just over two weeks!  38 students in Concert Band, Concert Chorus, and Select Chorus will be participating in the Annapolis Music Festival. Our ensembles will be adjudicated by a panel of distinguished music educators, and will each receive a 30 minute clinic with one of the judges.  Additionally, students will attend a National Symphony Orchestra concert at the Kennedy Center, a Women’s Glee Club concert at the US Naval Academy, visit the Smithsonian Museums, and attend concerts by other schools from across the country.  
Please find details about the trip, a packing list, itinerary, departure procedure, rules of travel, and a permission slip HERE.
Thanks to donations, scholarships, community support, and fundraising, the per-student cost for this trip has come down from the September estimate of $365. It is now $284!  

The school district transportation budget, the Mohawk Music Association, Local Cultural Councils, and the Mary Lyon Foundation have all made significant contributions.  The Mary Lyon Foundation has provided scholarships for over a dozen students.  We also received a significant donation from a community member.  Several local businesses have sponsored our students, and we have received valuable contributions from the Shelburne Falls Women's Club, the Shelburne Grange, and the Charlemont Senior Center.  Dozens of individuals supported our students by purchasing our fundraising items, Florida citrus and Western Mass coupon books - and of course several parents and members of the MMA have offered vital support in terms of planning and logistics.
Thanks to this support, we will be taking 100% of eligible students who want to participate!

Mass Cultural Council logo.jpg
The Annapolis trip is supported in part by grants from the Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont-Hawley, Colrain, Cummington, Heath, Plainfield, Rowe, and Shelburne Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.