I am always amazed when I mention to the IB Grade 11 class that we are drawing “self portraits” that the students don’t run out the door. A self portrait is one of the hardest subjects to draw in art.
Last fall, our Recruitment Team approached me with the idea to produce a virtual reality tour of the campus which they could take on their recruitment trips. What ensued shortly after was a series of videos featuring various aspects of our campus and programmes; our Music Room being one of them. I was amazed at the technology of their expensive 3D camera but somewhat dubious of the endeavour itself. My IB Music class agreed to participate in the project, and the film crew arrived to the concert hall one morning and gave us instructions. I decided to set up our own video camera to record the process, for interest sake. If you've ever been involved in a recording process, you will know that whatever is trying to be achieved, is seldom done on the first attempt. We did our best and the crew left to assemble the various recordings into the virtual 3D tour hosted by select students. The end result is impressive, I admit, and perhaps someday you might have a chance to see it for yourself. I hope you enjoy the opportunity to witness some of the process with this video. Be advised that with exception of the actual shoot each time, the students are not acting but behaving normally and things are as they usually are in my classroom. With that in mind, I hope you will agree that school can be a lot of fun, even under pressure.
Click here to watch the video.
On Wednesday evening, the KES Pipe Band took to the streets of Falmouth for some celebratory "chanter caroling". Thirteen students played Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells on their practice chanter, an instrument that students learn to play before they take hold of the mighty highland bagpipes. If these students keep it up, this caroling tradition is due to get a bit louder each year. Congratulations to this wonderful crew!
Click here for a preview.
On arrival day to School last September, I met a wonderful couple, Mr. & Mrs. de la Peña from Cancun, Mexico. When they learned that I am the Music teacher, they told me that their son, Rodrigo Jr., loves to play the piano. I could tell that they were very proud of his talent and interested in making sure that he would have access and opportunity to play. The next day, classes began, and to my surprise, Rodrigo arrived to my IB Music class. Since that day, I have had the good fortune to teach this fine young man. He is both talented and a true gentleman. His piano playing impresses me, and he is motivated to improve his total musicianship. What also impressed me early on in the term was the fact that he willingly volunteered his free time in the greater community, helping strangers to clean up after tropical storm, Dorian. Last week, my IB music students had to perform for a jury of adjudicators. This process is helpful in receiving feedback for their full-on public recital next spring. Rodrigo selected Ocarina of Time Medley, by Konji Kondo. This medley has a broad scope of styles and dynamics and Rodrigo has it committed to memory. He seemed as comfortable playing this piece for a jury of four Music teachers and a panel of classmates as he looked wearing his Christmas-theme clothes during our dress-down day.
I hope you enjoy the performance.
Last weekend, our KES thespians and musicians made the trip to Chicago and only the girls got thrown into the slammer. That didn't get their spirits down; instead, they told a convincing story with their singing of Cell Block Tango that can be heard in this clip. I've also included some pictures of their imprisonment for your enjoyment at their expense!
Click here to listen to Cell Block Tango.
Adding to the Poetry in Music concept that I contributed to last week's Newsletter is this, another combination, created by Grade 9 student, Jada MacKinnon, from Clark's Harbour, NS. This time, I asked students to make a podcast of their poetry & music, identifying their artistic intentions and also conduct an interview to solicit comments from a classmate regarding their composition and execution.
We're excited to take our 2019 production of Chicago to the KES stage next weekend! We last mounted this show in November of 2004. Here are the yearbook pages from that year which include our now faculty member, Alyssa (Medina) Murphy (Class of 2006), among others. Kate Etienne (Head Girl 2005) played Roxie and now acts on the Mervish hit Stage production of Come From Away. Lots of hard work, preparation and fun go into producing a musical, and we look forward to creating memorable moments with next week's show; one that we can look back on in future years to come with pride and joy, just like today! Who knows where these thespains and musicians will end up in another 15 years!
Chicago is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Jazz-age Chicago, this musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal".
Our King’s-Edgehill cast and crew will be performing an adapted for high school version in the Fountain Performing Arts Centre on:
I have introduced a unit of study on music production to my Fine Arts Music course. There is a new, free, online, cloud-based music production program called BandLab (edu.bandlab.com) that works on all operating systems. It enables users to create multi-track recordings using pre-recorded loops or other sounds from musical instruments or a microphone. It also enables collaboration from any device connected to a network. It is very versatile and, don't forget, it's free!
We all respond to music and words differently. I've selected the William Wordsworth poem I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud and asked my Grade 10 Fine Arts class to set the poem to a soundscape reflecting the musical imagery of the poem with aural variations on every verse.