READY OR NOT, here we go! It's almost back to school time, and here is a copy of the letter you should have received from the school with everything you need to know to log on to class on September 8. I'm eager to see and hear everyone, and as usual I have BIG plans! I'll be updating this website, but we'll be doing more work in Google Classroom than here. See you soon!
Hi students and parents! If you happen by the West Chorus site to practice a song or just check in, would you leave a comment and say 'hi?' Let me know something you're doing to stay busy and have fun this summer.
My summer has included rehearsing with my band (while wearing masks, of course!), practicing guitar and taking online drum lessons, riding bikes with my kids, occasionally finding an un-crowded part of a beach to enjoy, and watching lots of movies and tv series (mostly Science Fiction like Stargate SG-1 and comedy like Happy Gilmore).
I've written a bunch songs for church services, and there was a write-up in the local paper, the News-Herald. The songs are in a YouTube playlist on my channel.
I've also been taking an online classes to help me be a better teacher for you, online or in person. I have no answers about what next year will look like, as our district hasn't announced our plans yet. I can tell you I am eager to see and hear you again.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
I think it's Monday. In fact, I'm sure, because yesterday was Easter! Last week was our "Spring Break," and while our travel plans were cancelled before we made them, I am blessed to be home and safe with my family. I hope you are, too.
The decision by our Governor to close schools for the rest of the year means all of our plans for concerts and events won't happen, and I'm so sorry for this, but keeping healthy and alive means we can plan to make up for lost time in the future. Here are a few specific updates.
1. 8th graders WILL sign the wall - in the fall, once we've returned to school, I'll schedule a day for everyone to come and sign and sing. If you can't make that date, you can sign whenever you can come visit me.
2. If you paid out-of-pocket (ie, not fundraising) for the Cedar Point trip, I will find a way to refund your money. There has been no discussion of this yet, as everyone is working from home, even at the board office. I'll work on this as direction becomes clear from the board office. This will take some time, maybe months, but I will work to get it done.
3. If you fundraised for your Cedar Point trip, I will look into sending funds to the High School choir, although this has not been done before, so I can't make promises. I just want you to be able to use the money you earned, it's only fair. I'll share more on this as details are worked out.
Finally, I know teachers are meeting online this week to discuss plans moving forward with instruction for the next 2 months. It looks like a main center of instruction will be Google Classroom. I've set mine up, and I need you to join them and let your friends know also. I will always cross-post there and here when new assignments are made.
Please join your classes' group:
1st Hour 6th Grade Choir: xfqmmci
2nd Hour Men in Black: 7pzkzzy
3rd Hour Cadet Choir: cgiu6nc
5th Hour Cadet Choir: mwpnker
6th Hour Cardinal Singers: anvztmp
As an initial assignment, I'd love to see you make a choir-related meme for me! You know how I love them, but all of mine are pretty crusty. The best ones will be hung on the classroom walls next year!
I miss you all. Stay home, and stay safe.
I miss you guys a lot! I also wonder how many of you have read these updates, but didn't leave a message - it would mean so much to hear from you, so please do!
My family is doing lots of Netflix and... Netflix, every night is game night, and pajamas are the majority of clothes in our laundry. So far, we are healthy. I hope you and your family are also well!
Here's a few things to keep your mind occupied and get you singing again.
First, if you haven't ever checked out the Solo and Ensemble practice page, you should. Scroll down to the middle of the page, and you'll see dozens of songs with piano and voice recorded. These are songs like the ones sung at the last concert by Jesse, Theresa, Jeff, Cameron, Joseph, Autumn, Jillian, and Brooke. These songs are ones meant to be performed by yourself, meaning that if you learn it, there's no missing harmony. You could also listen and choose songs you can perform when you are an 8th grader. The songs are not in pop, Broadway, rock, or R & B styles, but are folk songs, spirituals, or classical art songs. Listen for one you like, and learn it. If the accompaniment isn't on the top of the page, drop me a note and I'll add it. If you can sing it with the accompaniment, you've learned a new song, all on your own! Most of them can be found on YouTube also, so look for other versions there.
Heres 2 more songs, shared by the author, with sheet music, guide vocal, and accompaniment recordings, free for you to use! Learn the tune and send me a link to your performance! https://emilycrockermusic.blogspot.com/2020/04/solo-music-for-young-singers-hello.html?m=1
Second, I'm always on the lookout for ideas for you to continue making music at home during the quarantine. Here's are some Google Chrome based music apps:
I hope you can find some fun with these. I wish we were making music together, the end of the year is always my favorite! Be safe, stay home, and stay well.
Hi everyone. I miss you guys a lot. It's hard to believe that we were just celebrating our awesome performances at Festival, and now here we are, social distancing to stay well with school closed. Personally, I've been taking care of my family, trying to keep my kids entertained and safe, and praying for all of us. Mrs. Martin works at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, so she is always on my mind, as she cares for patients every day - there's no days off for her! Please join me in keeping her and all the medical workers, delivery drivers, retail workers, post office workers, fast food employees, scientists, and first responders, as well as our local, state, and national leaders in your thoughts during this crisis.
I've gotten some questions from students and parents about West Chorus activities, so I'll try to answer what I can now.
So, like everything everywhere - it's all on hold or cancelled. I'm so sorry. So, what can you do in the mean time? I have a few music related activities you can do online during this time. I encourage you to check them out, and see how you can exercise the skills you've learned in class to prepare for when we sing again.
I'll keep you updated here whenever I find something important out. I am still working on your spring concert music - and if we get back in school, we WILL have a spring concert! When I post it, I will update the blog page as well as the home practice pages. Until then, here's our farewell song we will learn together. The 8th graders will perform this at our final concert.
Until We Sing Again, Be Safe!
ONE MORE THING - Ms. Chaparian and Ms. Moitozo have scheduled a Zoom group chat for West students on Tuesday, March 24. You'll likely have to download an app to your computer or device to participate. Click on this link to get the app and to participate when it goes live.
Hey chorus members and parents, I just wanted to say that over the next days I'll be working on creating and posting rehearsal tracks for our next concert, which is in May. As I add new music to the website, I'll post here and send out a Remind notice. Here's hoping we can stem some of your boredom by giving you music to work on. I'm thankful we attended District Choral Festival last weekend - many other districts had their festivals scheduled this weekend, and they won't get a chance to show off their hard work. State Festival is scheduled for the end of April or beginning of May, so while I don't know what the fate of that performance will be, I do know it's after the state-wide 3 week school closure.
Cedar Point plans are on until further notice, but of course, that is subject to school policy and best information from state and federal government, and we won't know for some time if we can go ahead with the trip. If we do cancel, cash payments will be refunded, of course. Hopefully, that won't be necessary!
Please comment below and say "hi" if you've read this, and spread the word, especially once new music is posted.
Because many were not enrolled in Chorus first semester, we began a spring fundraiser for 6th grade students to earn money for their Cedar Point trip. The fundraiser was also offered to all other students, if they choose to participate. You can get a copy of the fundraiser paperwork here.
We are partnering with Century Resources to help you raise money for your Cedar Point trip. Enter the fundraiser Web Store using class code 19718 to make online orders.
In order to raise money for YOUR Cedar Point trip, we are starting a fundraiser today. If you choose to participate, 40% of your sales will be your profit. Here are the details.
Here are the details from the brochure you received today:
Start date: 3/9/2020
Order forms and $ due on: 3/23/2020
Delivery date: the week of April 14-17
Collect money WHEN YOU TAKE THE ORDER - CASH ONLY
Checks made out to WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL, put student name in MEMO.
Student profit: 40% of your sales
Credit card orders are accepted - use the customer's smartphone to scan the QR code in the brochure, and they can pay online with their card. DO NOT write down credit card info.
Any funds raise over what you use for Cedar Point this year will be kept in the Choir account to be used for music, equipment, or fees.
The West Chorus traveled to Dexter on Saturday, March 7, leaving at the super early hour of 6:45am - and they gave some fantastic singing and sight reading performances! After all our work, it was great to finally get our sound on the stage. Each group performed well, and you can hear the results below - the tracks here are their recordings from the performance.
The judges read the music we were singing while we performed, and each rated us in 6 categories (Tone, Rhythm, Pitch, Diction, Presentation, and Interpretation) with a possible 5 points in each category. Added to the 3 singing judges were the scores from our sight reading judge, who listened to us read new music we'd never seen, testing our procedures and skills. When all the scores were added up, we received a final rating of either I (Excellent), II (Good), III (Fair) or IV (Poor).
Final results showed the Men in Black received a II rating for a good performance. The Cardinal Singers and Cadet Choir both received a I rating for an Excellent performance! This means the Cardinals and Cadets are both invited to perform at State Choral Festival, which will be on either on Wednesday April 28, Thursday April 29, or Friday May 1 at Holt High School in Holt, MI. More details will be available when we receive our assignment for State.
After our performances, we all enjoyed a meal at the South Quad dining facility at the University of Michigan, eating among the university students and seeing a bit of the campus. We will likely visit Michigan State University for a meal on our trip to State Festival.
Congratulations to all the West singers who performed - I am proud of you all!
DISTRICT CHORAL FESTIVAL 2020 DIRECTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
Dexter High School. 2200 N. Parker Rd, Dexter, MI 48130
Public is invited to attend, free. Please come and see your child perform!
Before you leave home in the morning
•Eat a good breakfast! There may be concessions available after we ALL perform, but not until.
•Have your uniform on, worn with pride. There is no place for you to change either on the bus or at the festival site. Remember that no undershirt should be visible under your uniform shirt. All shirt buttons should be done up except for the top one. Pants must be BLACK SLACKS – no grey or distressed, and NO JEANS. Tuck your shirt all the way in, and it is recommended that you wear a plain black belt. Socks should be black, as should your shoes and laces. Ladies wear hair back and out of your face, and there should be no “experimental” hairdos or excessive jewelry. Take off your jelly bracelets, etc! We need to look UNIFORM. Do not wear perfume or cologne. Collars must be down.
•You may want to bring a small backpack or purse to leave valuables on the bus. At festival, we may have a room assigned to hold our coats and other items, but it won’t be locked, so leaving things is at your own risk. Any valuables, including cell phones, game systems, and cameras must remain with a parent or be put in the room. They are not allowed in the auditorium and will be noticed by your judges as you watch the choirs perform. It is also not uniform to have a phone sticking out of your waistband or pocket.
Arrival at School and Departing
• All students using the bus need to be at West Saturday morning before 6:45am, wearing their uniform. We will leave at 6:45am SHARP. We cannot wait for latecomers – our schedule is very tight.
• We will leave the festival at about 11:45 and make our way to lunch.
• Bus riders will need a ride home from West at about 1:45pm. Please arrive on time to get your child.
• Students must respect chaperones, bus drivers, and teachers by remaining quiet and behaving your best. This includes using appropriate language, not bullying, intimidating or making fun of others, either from our school or from others, NO MATTER HOW THEY BEHAVE, YOU BE ABOVE IT! In short: be considerate, be nice, and represent your school with pride.
• Students given a request by any adult, on the bus or at festival, must comply without argument or attitude.
• Remember: all school rules apply for the entire trip. If you are found to be in violation of any rule, including insubordination, inappropriate language, etc., you will be punished according to the student code of conduct when we arrive home. NO GUM on the BUS or at FESTIVAL.
At the Festival
• When we arrive, follow Mr. Martin into the festival site. When we enter the building, you need to be on your best behavior, as you will all be representing our choir, our school, and Mr. Martin as well! We will enter the auditorium when it is appropriate and be seated.
• Areas outside of the auditorium are quiet zones. Control your voices so that performances are not disturbed.
• In the auditorium, any whispering is extremely distracting, and feet placed on the backs of seats and climbing over rows of seats is not permitted. Also – NO FOOD OR BEVERAGE OF ANY SORT AT ANY TIME is allowed in the auditorium.
• If you want to leave the auditorium to use the bathroom, you need to wait until the group on stage has left, and then you may exit quietly. You must return to the auditorium immediately. You are not to wander the halls. You must be in the auditorium for the 15 minutes before our warm up time, so that you are ready to go when Mr. Martin comes to get you. Be mindful of the time! Also – if you have to use the bathroom or get a drink, you must do so before we perform – you will not be allowed to go for one hour, from when we go to the warm up room until we are done sight singing.
• We are at the festival to sing as a group: not to dance-off, one-up other schools, or otherwise show off.
At Lunch And On The Way Home
• We are stopping at the University of Michigan for lunch at their South Quad dining hall. Cost is $12 each (including chaperones), and money should be turned in with the permission slip. Everyone is expected to bus their own plates, clean their own mess, only take food they will eat, and be polite and respectful to all diners and employees.
•Remember: you are still at a school event and all school rules apply. Students have been suspended for bad behavior on the way home from an excellent festival performance. Students have lost Cedar Point and even removed from the choir for inappropriate behavior at festival. BE GOOD!
• Any parents who would like to attend the festival while driving separately may bring their child, but this must be noted on the separate form. You may also leave after your child is done sight singing if you wish. Arrive at least 15 minutes before their warm up time listed below.
• Thanks to all chaperones for coming on the trip. In order to go, you must turn in the attached background check form completely filled in.
• Chaperones are needed to help kids make good behavior decisions both on the bus and at the festival site. Students are expected to follow your instructions. Students need to remain seated on the busses, and quiet enough for the drivers to accomplish their job with safety. DON’T HESITATE TO ASK A MISBEHAVING STUDENT TO BEHAVE, TAKE A PHOTO OR VIDEO TO SHOW MR. MARTIN IF THEY DON’T .
• Mr. Martin will not be in the auditorium for most of the performances, as he will be conducting the choirs. If you are in the auditorium with students, please help them comply with the above rules (NO food, feet on chairs, whispering, or PHONE USE.) These rules also apply to you as well, of course.
• Last year, videotaping was not allowed. I am unsure if you will be able to videotape the performances, or take SILENT, FLASH FREE digital pictures. If you do, share with me, please!
• After your child’s group performs, you are invited to accompany them to the clinic and sight-singing rooms. Watch the performance in the auditorium from your seat, and then when they leave the stage, you can accompany the choir to the other rooms.
• Please remember you are my eyes, ears, and voice when I am busy with kids who are performing. Thanks for being involved!
AM: SET YOUR ALARM! EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST! PUT ON FULL UNIFORM!
6:45: Busses leave West for Dexter High School (address below)
7:30: Busses arrive at Dexter HS. Cadets and Men join audience with chaperones.
7:45: Cardinal Singers warm up, perform at 8:00, attends clinic at 8:15, and sight sing at 8:30.
8:45: Cardinal Singers join audience.
9:00: Men in Black warms up, performs at 9:15, attends clinic at 9:30, and sight sings at 9:45.
10:00: Men in Black joins audience.
10:15: Cadet Choir warms up, performs at 10:30, attends clinic at 10:45, and sight sing at 11:00
11:45: All choirs board busses bound for University of Michigan
12:00: Busses arrive at University of Michigan South Quad (600 E. Madison, Ann Arbor 48109) for lunch
1:00: Busses depart U of M
1:45: Arrive at West Middle School. Parents bring students home.
Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRACTICE ONLINE at WESTCHORUS.COM
(This note went home on either February 24 or 25)
Dear Chorus Parents and Students,
We have some important concerts coming soon, here’s the information you need to know! As always, more information is available at WESTCHORUS.COM
THE UNIFORM (For 3/3, 3/4, & 3/7):
MONDAY, MARCH 2:
TUESDAY, MARCH 3:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4:
SATURDAY, MARCH 7:
TODAY. RIGHT NOW: Practice your music at WESTCHORUS.COM
Directions for drop off at Wayne County Community College Downriver
21000 Northline Rd. Taylor, MI 48180
West Middle School Chorus
The official page for members of the West Middle School Chorus in Taylor, MI.
Robert J. West Middle School Chorus