WHS Choral Update - March 2020
March 31, 2020
I hope this update finds you safe and healthy. Typically, I use my monthly updates to share upcoming events and celebrate our work in the classroom and on the stage. As you know, many events that we were working hard for and looking forward to were cancelled. Now, as we have transitioned to an extended Learn Anywhere, WHS Choral students are still making and experiencing music (albeit in very different ways), and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the joys from this past month.
MMEA All-State Festival
Five singers from the WHS Choral Department to attend the All-State Festival at the beginning of the month. They spent two days rehearsing a challenging and rewarding program at the World Trade Center, and then the performed at Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 4. The conductor this year was Jonathan Palant, Associated Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Texas at Dallas. He also does incredibly important work with the Dallas Street Choir. Congratulations to CJ Hagen, Casey MacGibbon, Tommy Mulcahy, Elisabeth Nordeen, and Bianca Zani.
In difficult times, we can use music as a way to experience joy or to distract us from our worries. For the first two weeks of this extended Learn Anywhere, I asked students to find ways to experience music that brings them joy. Here are some ways they found joy: making a playlist of new music, singing our repertoire at home, learning guitar, having a dance party, composing a piece for piano, arranging on Noteflight, watching videos of past performances. Currently, the choral students are researching some old and new choral music to find their personal winner to a March Madness WHS Choral Department bracket. They can also practice vocalizing with several warm-up videos that I posted on Classroom.
A Cappella Groups
On March 10, She Major had the honor of performing at the International Women’s Day Celebration, sponsored by the Wakefield Human Rights Foundation on March 10th. (Photo credit: Elizabeth Lowry).
Although the 4th Grade Concert was cancelled, the Woodville 4th Graders had a Zoom meeting on the evening of the concert, and several Voices of Steel members were able to attend the virtual “performance.”
One of the greatest joys of the last two weeks came from sharing our music with Sofia, who turned four on Saturday. Sofia, who has Pitt Hopkins syndrome, loves music, and her mother put out a call for birthday videos to help make her birthday special. Members of She Major and Voices of Steel sent me videos of themselves singing Happy Birthday, then I used audio and video editing software to put the videos together. You can read more about Sofia’s story and watch the video we created at: https://www.facebook.com/Sofias-Story-766914376825426/.
At this point, we have cancelled all events up until May 4. As we get more information, we’ll continue to update you.
Ms. McLeod published a plan for grading Term 3 in her email dated March 31.
Please stay safe and healthy! Thanks for reading!