Posts Tagged ‘choir’

Cover of "My Fair Lady"
Cover of My Fair Lady

I think I must be crazy. I have decided to pull off a musical for all 3 of the choirs that I teach this year. We are doing “Pirates! The musical” in my Jr. High Choir, “S’cool” the musical in my HS Honor Choir and “My Fair Lady”  for my audition choir is the only full-blown production of the three.

The jury is still out on whether this is a good idea or not.  Early on I actually think I like it. If nothing else my frame of mind gets to stay along the same line of thinking for all three groups.

Also, since 2 of the musicals are basically one-act plays and very simple costumes and sets it is actually a lot of fun. The students all want to be in the big musical but this is not possible so this gives everyone a shot to be a part of a musical.

Wish me luck 🙂

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HELP! Band Directors I need your best Easy Jr. High/Advanced Elementary Band Piece.

It’s no secret that I am first a choir director by choice and a band teacher by necessity. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy band it’s just not my strong suit so I am coming to you for help. I have a band of 7th and 8th graders who have played for between 2 and 3 years.

They are definitely beginners but eager to learn and will work hard for me but here comes the hard part.

There are only 10 of them. I have 4 trumpets, 1 Sax, 2 Clarinets, 1 Flute and 2 Drummers.

Help I need good literature that will keep them learning and yet still feeling successful.

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Composer Morten Lauridsen receiving the Nation...
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I love that I can hear the music of Morten Lauridsen and other great choral masters on Pandora Radio.

When I was in college my professor Dr. Glenn Bennett always told me that to really get how to direct a great choir you have to listen to great choirs.

The problem with this was CD‘s are not cheap and to tack that on top of college books it just didn’t happen as much as it should have. But now with Pandora Radio I can type in a composer or choir and listen to great choir music all day if I want.

Then I can even share what it is I am listening to, if it really strikes me, with others like this .


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This Saturday is our Regionals Auditions in Arizona. Here are some tips I gave my students.

As you finish your preparations remember these things:

Choir –

~ All of your measures must be numbered or you will loose points.

~ You must have the original copy of your song for your judge.

~ Make Eye Contact.

~ You are performing.

Sight Reading
~ As soon as we get there go and sign up for your sight reading. The sooner you get that done the better you will do.

~ Don’t be afraid to sing the Triad out loud after you hear it.

~ Start on solfege if you get off its ok then you can jump to La just don’t stop.

~ Play your etudes as slow as you need.

~ Keep the pattern in your scales and you’ll be fine.

~ Dress to impress. The judge will notice.

~ Relax its hard for everyone.

Feel free to comment ideas for each other. Especially you Regionals Veterans.


What would you advise your students to be prepared for a competitive audition?

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The Lion King at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 2003
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How did I not think of this idea earlier. In fact I was given the idea in college but didn’t try it myself until this year.

I am hooked this will become a yearly tradition. Our First Concert will be a Broadway/Pops Concert.

I found that the kids get more excited over this style of music. I can still have them work on solos or even small groups and contrary to some peoples beliefs their is some really quality literature in this genre.

If nothing else the kids seem to buy into the program a lot faster this way and are willing to work hard because they get to have input. Later through the year I have added in different styles of music but the kids are hooked now so they jump right into it as well.

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