"Could We Start Again, Please"
Those are the words to a song in the show Jesus Christ Superstar, which I had the fortune to perform in as a junior at Woodland Hills in the spring of 1995. At this moment on August 13th, knowing that we have NH Singers choir camp on Sunday, that teachers start on Monday, and after seeing Cinderella at the CLO last night (which is our musical this year), I feel like the school world is asking "could we start again, please," but my relaxed self is asking summer (and that 3-week period of unending rain): "could WE start again, please?!"
I can't really complain this year, though. I got 2 little trips in to reconnect with old friends (spent the 4th in Charlotte, NC and 5 days in San Francisco), saw several movies and shows, met up with choral director friends at our annual summer conference at Elizabethtown College, and generally took a mental break from school.
Summer does always seems to end so quickly, however we have another exciting year ahead for the music department at North Hills High School. I'm looking forward to seeing the renovated library/media center, which includes a fully-functional sound recording studio. I'm excited to try this space out and to use it as a lab with the music technology students as well.
On tap for the choral program this year are some of our standard events: the Madrigal Dinner in December and Cabaret Night in February. The Symphonic Choir will perform the Faure Requiem in their fall concert this October, and I just sent out email invitations to our alumni to join us on the piece if they are available, adding to our numbers. We will have a chamber orchestra accompanying us on this beloved and well-known work.
Women's Choir will return to the choral festival at my church in Edgewood this November. Our freshmen singers will participate in the Mucho Macho and Sweet Harmony festivals; I'm hopeful that we will have good representation at the PMEA Honors and District Chorus festivals as well.
We'll join in a collaboration day with the Westminster College Chamber Choir on October 16th. We're still working out the details, but most likely, Dr. Barbara will spend some time working with our groups, and we'll sing for each other! I'm also working on bringing in a few other college/university directors to give a fresh perspective in class - the more musicians we get to work with, the better our ensembles will be!
The "big event" for 2015-16 is our first ever (or in recent memory) entire high school music department trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia on April 28 - May 1, 2016. Each of our department's performing ensembles will participate in the Music in the Parks competition: marching band, jazz band, concert band, symphonic band, wind symphony, wind ensemble, orchestra, women's choir, symphonic choir, and North Hills Singers. Lots of fundraising and details will be coming soon, but I'm thrilled to be able to collaborate and include all of our choral and instrumental students on this experience.
One big change for me personally this year is that I've stepped away from the middle school winter musical. Now that I'm in my 3rd year of being strictly at the high school, it seemed natural for Mrs. Triscila to take over working with the students she sees every day. I don't know what the show is yet, so I can't announce anything - but I know the middle school drama is in great hands!
And finally, the spring musical...before last night I had never seen the stage production of Cinderella and wasn't sure what to expect. It's a great show! Quirky, funny, colorful, lots of good music, and I'm anxious to see what Mr. Richey comes up with for the sets because there were quite a few scene changes! This will be a fun show to put together and showcase our students' talents on stage.
So it looks like we're shaping up to have a full and fun year. When it's all over, we'll look back fondly and ask "could we start again, please?"
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