I cannot believe how wonderful last night’s concert was! I am still not sure my feet are touching the ground! Everyone sounded so amazing, but the outpouring of love was overwhelming. There are no words to express my thanks.
I hope some of you will send me pictures and/or video from last night. Those are memories I will treasure the rest of my life. I want to all to know that I will miss each and every one of you. But I also know that those of you in sixth and seventh grade will be in good hands with Ms. Morton. She has made me promise to come back and help, so you haven’t seen the end of me! And, in two weeks, when I’m no longer your music teacher at school, if you are interested in taking private voice lessons, I can take you as a student. I’m not allowed to do that while you are in my class.
And I will keep this blog going as long as the school district lets me. Since this site is supported by the school district, I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue. If not, I’ll start blogging somewhere else, to let you know what I’m doing and for you to keep me updated on what is happening in your lives. And, in the meantime, we have two more weeks!
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Well, not the news exactly. There is an article in the current issue of Wellington–The Magazine about our 25th anniversary celebration here at school. There is a picture of Concert Chorus singing the national anthem. You can see the picture here. I wasn’t able to copy the picture to use it as part of the post. Somebody needs to help me with my tech skills!
There are only 19 days of school left. And my daughter’s wedding is three weeks from tomorrow. You are all charged with helping keep Mrs. P. from going absolutely crazy!
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It isn’t often that we have the time to really polish the bells. We had that luxury last Friday, with the block schedule. I allowed some people to take pictures of the bells after Jamie did such a fantastic job of arranging them in order. Thanks to Megan, Katelan, and Alexa for sending me great pictures. It really was worth all the effort.
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I’m not sure why I have gone so long without blogging. It may have been because, with Ms. Morton teaching, we didn’t have some of the class discussions that tend to trigger blog posts. It may be that I’ve been a bit distracted, since a lot of my spare time has been taken up with the arrangements for my daughter’s wedding, which will take place before the end of school. Whatever the reason, it’s time to write again.
The last day of school for all of you is June 6th, which is six weeks from yesterday. That’s not that far off, is it? And the last day of school for me, forever, is June 7th. I am looking forward to retiring, but I will definitely miss all of you. But I know that it’s the right time for me to do this, and now that Ms. Bennett has hired Ms. Morton to be your teacher next year, I know that I am leaving you in good hands. And I will be around. I told Ms. Morton that I’m not going to be here looking over her shoulder, but if she has questions or needs help with anything, I will be glad to help.
Between now and the end of the year, however, we have a lot of work to do. Here is a list of upcoming performances:
National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony: May 8th. This is a handbell performance.
Fifth grade articulation (when next year’s sixth graders visit): May 16th. Handbells and Concert Chorus.
Spring Concert: May 23rd. Beginning and Concert Choruses and Handbells. This is the biggie! And, since it’s my last spring concert, it will be very special.
8th grade awards: June 3rd, at Wellington High School. Concert Chorus.
6th and 7th grade awards assemblies: June 5th, during the day at WLMS. Handbells.
Boy, that’s a lot to squeeze into the next five weeks. Are you ready?
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This is just something fun that I thought you’d enjoy. I know that I have shared the site for the Tone Deaf online comic before. This is a comic strip about a high school music program–mostly about the band, but the chorus teacher gets in there sometimes. The man who draws the strip is from Orlando, and he’s the one who designed some of the posters that I have up in the chorus room: the choir room rules and the one that compares music directors and Jedi masters. He has a new one that is made up of lots of music notation symbols, and made to look like the periodic table of elements. Enjoy!
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Although I’m sure that you would prefer that the title of this post was Superiority, never be ashamed to be excellent. Both Ms. Morton and I are very happy with the job that both choruses did at MPA. We talked in class about the fact that judging has an element of subjectivity. The results are the results.
We have lots to look forward to in the less than three months left of school. Our priorities right now are to prepare for the 25th anniversary celebration (Concert Chorus) on April 13th, and our Spring Concert (both Beginning and Concert Choruses, as well as Handbells) on May 23rd.
Unfortunately, the audio files are too large to add to the blog. I will try to put them on Edline.
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The music that we are ringing in the handbells segment of music appreciation is called “Fanfare.” Actually it is based on a section of a work for orchestra called “Pictures at an Exhibition.” This is a series of shorter sections, or movements, which is each supposed to represent a picture. ”Fanfare” is based on the section titled “The Great Gate of Kiev.” Kiev is a city in Ukraine, near Russia. The music was written by a Russian composer, Modest Moussorgsky. You may see his name spelled different ways, because Russian is written in a different alphabet, called the Cyrillic alphabet, which has different characters. When we try to write Russian words in English, sometimes they come out with different spellings.
Here is a link for you to listen to the orchestral version of Great Gate of Kiev. Also, I thought you might like to see the picture that inspired the music. This gate exists only in this picture. There is an old city gate in the town of Kiev, which is called the Golden Gate. At one time, it was on the edge of the city, but as Kiev has grown, it is now in the center of the town. The gate was originally built in 1037, but largely destroyed by the Mongols in 1240. In 1982, it was restored, and the lower picture is how it looks today.
I know that you all know about the Grammy awards, the awards given by the music recording industry to performers. Did you know that the Grammy Foundation is now also honoring a music educator of the year? You can nominate your favorite music teacher–and who would that be Seriously, think about the things that you have learned by studying music. It’s more than just music skills, isn’t it? So, if you want to make a nomination, follow this link.
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I love to play with Wordles. They are word clouds that you can create online. I made one today with the titles of some of our handbell songs. I haven’t figured out how to save it in a larger size, but you can see the full size one here.
Wordles are fun to create. You can make your own at www.wordle.net
Concert Chorus is going to be singing “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” for spring concert, despite the fact that the language arts department frowns on the grammar I don’t have a recording to play for you in class. I didn’t buy the accompaniment CD for this song, because the little band that accompanies us each year at spring concert plays it so well, the recorded accompaniment is kind of a disappointment. But I know that most of you like to hear the songs we’re singing, especially if it’s something you don’t know.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother was originally recorded by the British rock band, The Hollies, in 1969. You might be interested to know that Elton John played piano on the recording. That was before he was famous on his own. But the link I have for you here is a recording that was done by the Justice Collective and released last year. The Justice Collective is a group of well-known musicians and celebrities who came together to record this song for a group of British charities related to the Hillsborough Disaster, when 96 people were killed and almost 800 injured in an accident at a soccer match. I think I like this recording as much as the original. I hope you enjoy it, too.
The Justice Collective, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
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