This week is all about our Winter Concert piece, Amadeus! by Hoffman. It is a version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 25. To achieve a superior performance, our orchestra must learn how to perform with an authentically classical style.
There are many identifying characteristics of Classical Era music including homophonic texture with memorable melodies, simple yet driving rhythms, subtle, narrow vibrato, and light, clean spiccato.
There are some great resources out there to help us reach our goals!! I have included some links below of things we will look at in class and some other websites and videos for extra help. My favorite video is the masterclass with Henning Kraggerud. While he is giving a masterclass on Mozart's violin concertos and not his symphonies, his insights are still applicable. I love how he challenges the students to treat the music like voices of opera characters and portray different emotions while the phrases converse. I can't wait for us to try it too!! Happy practicing!!!
We need volunteers!! We are running a selfie booth and taking donations on Saturday, October 22nd from 3-9pm. If you can come and work the booth, you can earn money towards your fair share fees. Please see me to volunteer!! The back drops are being painted by Crockett Art Club students and are looking GREAT!! It should be a frightfully fun evening, so invite your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone who might want to support all of the wonderful orchestras performing there.
Below is the schedule for the day's performances. It is the same as the schedule handed out in class. Happy Practicing!!!
We will have chair tests next week to decide the seating and violin sections of students for the upcoming Monster Concert at Austin High on October 22nd. The excerpt selections are as follows:
Recital, Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Philharmonic Orchestra, Rey's Theme
Freshman Orchestra, Conquistador
Our first concert is coming up quickly! Here are some recordings to study!!!
Orchestra I--Air and Dance
Philharmonic Orchestra- The Gift
Recital Orchestra--American Symphony
Please listen and practice these songs. The concert is about 3 weeks away and we have a lot on our plate!!! Please see the attached flyer to find out what you and your family need to bring to the Potluck Dinner after the concert. Our wonderful Parent Booster club will be there, and hopefully we will add a bushel of new members!!!
Can't wait to see you there! Happy Practicing!!!
Spring Finals are right around the corner!! Seniors have completed senior projects throughout the year as their final, so only Juniors, Sophomores and Freshman need to study for the test.
I am giving you the test document ahead of time. The following file is your spring final. Please read through the questions and write sample answers to practice for the final. Anyone who submits sample answers by Thursday will have the opportunity to get my feedback before the final. The answer to some of questions will require outside research since we only briefly discussed these items in class, so get started quickly!!! Happy studying!!!
This summer, I will be giving FREE lessons at Crockett on Thursdays. Students must sign up using volunteerspot for the lesson days/times they would like.
Our Spring Concert is right around the corner on May 17th in the Crockett PAC at 7pm. It is a very busy time of year, so instead of having extra rehearsals to combine orchestras, I decided to keep the classes separate and not take too much time outside of class to learn the music.
We will be performing three pieces. The first, Moonlight Tango by Richard Meyer, is one you might remember from middle school. I chose this piece purposefully because so many students already know the tune. We will be performing this piece entirely in 3rd position (and 4th for cello/bass). Knowing the piece helps with intonation and position fluency.
The second piece, Night Shift also by Meyer, has many position changes on each instrument of the orchestra. This will help students practice smooth shifting. The last piece is Pony Polka.
The Recital orchestra students are playing Black and White Rag, Float On, and Concerto Barocco for Guitar and string quartet.
For our next fundraiser, we will be performing pop songs that have lyrics for live karaoke during lunch at Crockett. Any student, staff member, or teacher can rent the mic for $2 per song and sing along! We have made posters and put them out all over campus, and I have spread the word amongst the teachers! Orchestra members must sign up for a time slot to play for a grade!! Each day will have two slots, one from 12-12:30 and one from 12:30-1pm. We need at least 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 celli, and 1 bass per shift, per day. We are using volunteerspot to stay organized:
There are quite a few songs on our list, and several golden oldies! Here are some recordings below to help you understand the style and tempo for the songs you might not have heard before.
Prospective Orchestra Members:
Below you will find the required materials for placement auditions to be performed at an audition in order to determine the orchestra you will be best suited for during the following school year.
Please have the materials prepared by MAY 11th.
The audition will take place MAY 11th AT CROCKETT HIGH SCHOOL STARTING AT 4:30 PM. Video recording auditions must be submitted by MAY 11TH AT MIDNIGHT to: email@example.com in order for your submission to be viable. Any students not auditioning will be automatically placed in the Philharmonic orchestra.
Pre-Registration must be submitted via google forms by MAY 8TH:
Thank you and Happy Practicing!
Vibrato is a wonderful tool that takes years of practice to develop and changes with the individual over time. Listeners can identify a performer from their vibrato style. Vibrato adds flavor and spice to music. Musical eras have different performance practices when it comes to vibrato. You can accent with it, crescendo, decrescendo, and show phrasing. Developing vibrato and adding it to your playing gives your music a level of maturity and a depth of emotion. Of course, it is only one piece of the puzzle. If your intonation and bow control aren't what they need to be, adding vibrato won't help anything. The following videos talk about vibrato and its uses, and I made a vibrato mastery checklist based on the information.
Upon introducing the first video in class, I asked students if they had heard of Itzak Perlman. After almost a unanimous "no," they requested a video of him performing. I showed one of my absolute favorite solo videos, Dance of the Goblins by A. Bazzini. This is one of my favorites because of all of the cool techniques that are used: ricochet bowing, sautille bowing, double-stop trills, and left hand pizzicato.
Needless to say, they were amazed!! They started asking me all kinds of questions, "How old is he now?" "Where is he from?" "Does he still perform at concerts?" At this, everyone got out their phones and were engaged in their own research! They found that Itzak Perlman was coming to Dallas to the Winspere Opera House on May 19th. I think this may be our field trip for the year!! It will take a bit of research and planning, and definitely some fundraising, but I think we can manage a trip to Dallas!
I'll leave parents and students with one last video of Mr. Perlman. Happy Practicing!!!