By Guest Blogger: Kylie Nash '20
Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well and staying safe over this long break. If you don't already know me my name is Kylie! I'm a senior here at DHS and I'm thrilled to be one of the guest bloggers this week! Today i’m going to be sharing with you guys my top 5 favorite musicals!
Starting off the list we have Waitress! Waitress is a beautiful musical that tells the story of Jenna Hunterson, a waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl. The music and lyrics are written by the one and only Sara Barielles who wrote hits such as Love Song and Brave and a book by Jessie Nelson. The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.
I had the privilege of seeing this musical when it came to Boston on tour. What strikes me most about this musical is it's beautiful and striking storyline. It portrays such a wide range of emotions, you go back and forth between laughing like crazy and crying like a baby. The music in this musical is very different stylistically from others. It's absolutely beautiful and I highly suggest listening to the cast recording!
Below you will find a link to the 2016 Tony Performance of Waitress including songs Opening Up and She Used to be Mine. This performance includes the original company of Waitress, Jessie Mueller who played Jenna and a special appearance by Sara Bareilles.
This musical is very near and dear to my heart. Anastasia is a musical with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, and a book by Terrence McNally. Anastasia is based on the 1997 animated film of the same name. It's an incredible adaptation of the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, who was speculated to have escaped the execution of her family.
I could be a little biased with this one since it's based on one of my favorite childhood films, but this production is absolutely gorgeous. The music hits straight into the feels, contrasting with intense solos to a bubbly chorus. I was lucky enough to be able to see the premiere of this musical when it premiered in Hartford, CT. It left me speechless and teary eyed. It's driving performance definitely earned itself a spot on my list.
Below is a small clip with the original Broadway cast singing “Once Upon A December”, which includes Christy Altomare playing Anya (Anastasia). Though it is a short clip I highly recommend watching it!
3. Moulin Rouge! The Musical
I absolutely adore this one! Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a jukebox musical based off of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film. Moulin Rouge tells the fictional story of a lovesick writer named Christian and chanteuse Satine whose lives collide at the club, Moulin Rouge.
This is a very unique musical in my opinion. For one it's a jukebox musical, it takes hit songs and forms a storyline with them. Many jukebox musicals are typically centered around one group or artist, for example Mamma Mia and The Cher Show. Moulin Rouge though takes a wide array of songs by multiple artists and puts them all into one storyline. Not only that but includes some incredible mashups.
Something I also feel that is worth sharing with this musical is the INCREDIBLE set and scenic design. Below is a picture!
The minute you walk into the theater you are transported straight into the setting of the musical! This set is the most immersive set i’ve ever seen!
I’ve linked below the official video of Aaron Tveit (who plays Christian) singing “Come What May”, one of my favorites from the show!
I’m sure most of you know this one. Hamilton is a hit musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hamilton is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow. Hamilton tells the story of the American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and his ascent out of poverty and to power during the American Revolutionary War.
What stands out most in this musical is its unique approach. The musical combines hip-hop, rap, jazz, and R&B. All the scores are very innovative and catchy. I was lucky enough to see this show when it came to Boston and it definitely lived up to my high expectations. Not only was the music incredible, but the choreography was unlike anything I've ever seen in other musicals. The show was absolutely mindblowing.
Below I've linked Hamilton’s 2016 Tony Awards performance with the original cast. This performance includes songs “History Has Its Eyes on You” and “Battle of Yorktown”. I highly suggest watching it if you haven't! It gives me chills everytime I watch it.
Finally, we have Hadestown. Hadestown is my personal favorite. Hadestown’s music, lyrics and book are all by Anaïs Mitchell. It tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus goes to the underworld to rescue his fiancée Eurydice.
Hadestown ranges vastly in music styles from American folk to New Orleans jazz to rock. This musical strikes me so much with its unique style, powerful music and an incredible concept. As someone who loves greek myths I fell in love with this musical very quickly. I could listen to the cast recording for hours straight. Though I have not seen this musical, I really hope someday in the future I will. For now though, I will be listening to the beautiful cast recording on repeat.
Below is Hadestown’s 2019 Tony Awards performance where the orginal cast performs “Wait For Me”. One of my favorite Tony Awards performances ever!
That's it for my list! I’m very interested in hearing your favorite musicals! If you’d like to, leave a comment below with your favorite musical(s). Once again, I hope you all stay safe and healthy during this break and I hope to see you all again at school soon!
By Guest Blogger: Michael Filip '20
A very essential part in contemporary a cappella today is vocal percussion, specifically the groove or beat of a song. Vocal percussion, along with the bass, create the rhythm section of a group, and are the battery that keeps tempo in our music. I’ve been one of the vocal percussionists for Falconize for almost a year. I started teaching myself vocal percussion for the past three or four years, and that’s what I’ve found to be the best way to learn vocal percussion: experimenting with your own sounds to find stuff that works. Of course, this process takes time, as it took months to create a strong bass drum, and almost a year to figure out to perform an inward snare. It also takes time to create a good mix of all of your sounds, and that comes with more experimentation. You can take from your own ideas, as well as ideas from a groove in another song and create something original to you. That’s how I typically form a groove myself. I listen to the song we are singing, both the original cover and the arrangement, and I think about what works, and how I can personalize it. As I said before, this all comes from experimentation and testing out new ideas, as that’s how many vocal percussionists start their careers.
Vocal percussion for competition sets has the same method to it, but adds more musicality and complexity to the battery. First off, the group performs three straight songs in twelve minutes, and a vocal percussionist has to beatbox for almost the entirety of it. The best way to build stamina and keep performing is by doing a little more each day, and soon, twelve straight minutes of vocal percussion seems like almost nothing.
Another important part of performing throughout these three songs is being able to breathe, both for air, as well as to keep calm. First off, all vocal percussionists need to breathe in order to make sound, so they need to find ways to sneak in air without disrupting the beat. I’ve found that the best ways for me to breathe are by sneaking in small breaths by sort-of stagger breathing, using the inward snare to bring in air and still make sound, as well as find moments where I can drop out and highlight the voices more. However, breathing is also just as important for keeping calm. When performing in front of a group of judges, it’s exciting and nerve-racking, and it can start to energize you. This feeling often leads to vocal percussionists speeding up and losing the tempo of the song. Allowing yourself to keep your cool can in turn keep the beat of the song steady.
The last major part of performing in competitions, as well as beatboxing anywhere, is personalization and experimentation. This is where you get to stand out and be more than just the drum kit. Fills are a great way to give yourself a unique sound by giving yourself a small drum solo between phrases in a song, and these fills can also help your group transition into another section or phrase. Another form of personalization is trying to think outside-the -box. If you have an idea that you are unsure of, but want to see how it sounds, try it. There’s nothing to lose, and if you take a risk and you pull it off, then you can take it and add it to your personalized sound. As for me, I’ve been working around incorporating better dynamics in my beatboxing by changing up the strength of my breath, shape of my mouth, or placement of sound. This way, I can really follow along with the musicality of the voices by being able to grow and decay in sound with them.
Anyone can be a vocal percussionist. It just takes time to figure out what works for you. Practicing on your skills makes you better, even if you don’t notice it at first, and only by experimentation can you add your own personal flare to it. No two percussionists are the same, and everyone has their own unique style to beatboxing. It’s like saying there’s no right or wrong in determining a beat. If you create a groove for one song, someone might have a completely different idea, but it depends on how you want to perform the music. Overall, vocal percussion is all about putting your own style into a groove, and using it to enhance your group’s sound.
By Guest Blogger: Mr. Daniels
Hello everyone! My name is Mr. Daniels (or apparently the man, the myth the legend himself, Mr. Daniels) and I am thrilled to be a guest blogger on the DHS Chorus Blog! It has been an amazing first year for me at DHS and I couldn’t be happier that I have had the opportunity to spend time with the wonderful students in our programs making great music.
I have the distinct pleasure of talking about the 2020 MMEA All-State Conference. The MMEA All-State conference is a massive conference that takes place annually sponsored by MMEA, the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. The conference is held at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in the Seaport district of Boston. Each year the conference has two main events happening at the same time. First, there is the professional development for teachers. Second is the All-State ensembles (Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra and Chorus) that are made up of the best high school students from across the state.
In order to qualify for All-State, students had to audition and make their respective Senior District festival as one of the top scores then audition again for All-State. It is a rigorous process and this year Danvers High was fortunate enough to get one student, Victor Stiles ‘22, into the All-State Chorus. Victor arrived at the Seaport on Thursday, March 5th and spent two full days rehearsing with the chorus. A sample day looked something like this:
8:00am - Breakfast
8:30am - Rehearsal
10:00am - Break
10:15am - Rehearsal
11:45am - Lunch
12:30pm - Rehearsal
3:00pm - Break
3:20pm - Rehearsal
5:00pm - Dinner
6:15pm - Rehearsal
7:30pm - Activity
On Saturday, Victor and the All-State Chorus got to perform at Symphony Hall in Boston. This year’s conductor was Dr. Jonathan Palant from the University of Texas at Dallas. My personal favorite piece the chorus performed was “Even When He Is Silent” composed by Kim Andre Arnesen. A wonderful video of this piece in the atrium of the World Trade center can be seen below!
I know that Mr. Grover and I look forward to more students auditioning for this event in the future. I wish everyone safety and health during this time and I hope to see you all in person again real soon. Until then, stay musical!
By Guest Blogger: Haley Murphy '21
Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this time off (It has been lots of hand-washing and sanitizing for me!). My name is Haley and I am a junior here at DHS. I’m so grateful to have been invited to be a guest blogger this week! I’m excited to tell you guys all about physical warm-ups.
Every day in chorus class Mr. Grover starts off with vocal warm-ups, but on Mondays and Fridays he follows up with a highly anticipated physical warm-up. In simple terms, a physical warm-up is a dance- choreographed by Mr. Grover himself- done to a song suggested by a student. They aren’t extremely intricate dances, as they are just designed to get everyone moving and awake (especially effective in Monday morning classes), so simple steps like clapping and stepping side to side are primarily what makes up a physical warm-up.
So, every Monday/Friday after vocal warm-ups, Mr. Grover will call out “Okay! Everyone find a spot for physical warm-up!”. Everyone will spread out in the chorus room, and then proceed to mirror Mr. Grover’s movements throughout the song until just after the bridge, when you can then freestyle until the end!
Personally, physical warm-ups are definitely one of my favorite parts of chorus class. I am very passionate about retaining a high quality of physical warm-ups throughout the year, and I do this by grading each one that we do in class (much to Mr. Grover’s dismay I think). So far this year the worst physical warm-up (just in my opinion, of course) was to the song Cruel Summer by Taylor Swift, and scored a 92/100. The best were Uptown Funk coming in at a 99/100, and Classic at 98/100.
When I grade physical warm-ups, I use a very similar scale as is used on our physical warm-up projects. Yes, you heard that right, OUR physical warm-up projects! At the end of every year students get to create their own physical warm-ups and present them to class. This assignment is a fan favorite and many students are very enthusiastic about it. Get ready, it’s almost here!
If you get bored, or need a fun way to stay active over this break, try making your own physical warm-up. Have fun with it! Staying entertained and moving will keep you from going stir crazy. Again, I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. I’ll see you all back at school!
By Guest Blogger: Megan Moriarty '20
Hello! If you don’t know me already, my name is Megan and I’m a senior this year at DHS. I hope you all are staying safe as we continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing over this long break. For many it can be hard to stay inside. But something that has helped me to avoid complete boredom during this period of self-quarantine is jamming out to Deception, Ingrid Sound and Falconize’s newest album, “Focus,” which was released on all streaming platforms March 3rd. (Go check it out!)
While listening to the album it is easy to assume that the recording process was a simple feat. But in reality, the album took 2 years to make. (Crazy, right?) It all began in the spring of 2018. Everyone received a schedule with a time and the song they would be singing for. When they arrived at the school they met with Mr.Grover and the Vocal Company who brought in all their equipment to record. After introducing ourselves we would then begin recording. The whole recording process took 3 days in total to complete. Until the process was repeated again the following spring with next year's groups. But it didn’t stop there. It would be another several months before we would be able to hear the final product because the tracks needed to be edited, mixed and mastered.
With all this extra time I have, I thought it would be fun to do a full album review! I’m going to review each song in the order that it is on the album, but feel free to bounce around on shuffle or listen in this order as you read along!
Name a better way to open an album, I’ll wait. This song, covered by Falconize (originally by The Killers), features stunning vocals by Kali Sheppard ‘19, a sick beat by Jared Casey ‘19 and an outstanding arrangement by Bella Burrell ‘18. This is a track that really gets you in the mood to dance and belt your heart out with it’s upbeat feel and fast tempo.
The first of Ingrid Sound’s songs to be featured on the album. The song, originally by Katy Perry, starts with a bang and takes you on a journey of highs and lows. It was expertly arranged by Abbi Foglietta ‘18 who translated the feeling of vulnerability and acceptance perfectly through the perfect contrast of soft vs. powerful moments. It’s also a great song to sing along to!
GAME OF WAITING
This is the first of Falconize’s original songs to appear on the album and my absolute favorite to jam out to. It was written and arranged by Hannah Kelsey ‘19 and features killer lead vocals by EJ Baracewicz. It’s about a budding romance that just can’t move quick enough. It’s upbeat chorus and light versus do a great job of portraying exactly what it feels like to be young and in love!
This cute tune was written by Jamie Boghosian '18 and Ingrid Sound’s one original song to be featured on the album. It’s a more mellow song if you’re in the mood to listen to something on the softer side. It’s about not feeling a sense of belonging and the tiring chase of trying to find your “homeless heart a home.”
The second original song by Falconize, which was also written and arranged by Hannah Kelsey, who is also featured as the soloist. The song tells a perfect story of what it feels like to completely fall head over heels for someone. With a great build and a catchy chorus, you could say it’s a “Masterpiece” (I’m sorry I had too!).
A light and airy tune with a very contrasting and diverse sounding background. Originally by Maggie Rogers, the Ingrid Sound cover was arranged by the brilliant Ivy O'Connell '19 and happens to be the only song on the album to feature body percussion. Normally, we would sing the song without this, but this kind of percussion does a great job at giving the song a little extra bounce for the album track!
Another original written collectively by Falconize. This arrangement by Kali Sheppard is a ballad that talks about the realization of being in a one sided relationship, but still not having the strength to completely let go. Chasing Tides emulates this message with the sounds of waves crashing on a shore, a powerful progression and beautiful imagery in the lyrics.
This upbeat tune, originally sung by Little Mix, is one that you’ll never get tired of listening to. Be sure to listen out for this song’s killer drums (Courtesy of Beck Ritter) and a quartet featuring Abby Golladay, Allie Kasperzak, Jayden Lapointe, and myself. I love this song for it's cool harmonies and sassy attitude.
Deception’s cover of a Beatles’ classic. This song is light and a little reminiscent of a barbershop quartet at times, intricately arranged by DHS Class of 2015 member, Billy Carleton Jr. It’s cheery harmonies and kind lyrics make it the perfect springtime song. Not to mention it’s super catchy. (I’ve been singing it all day!)
Another all time favorite of mine. There’s just so much happening in this song! Crazy-amazing dynamics, a fast-tempo, dueling soloists (Kali Sheppard and myself) and a Bass solo, what more could you want? Also-- a fun fact about this song is that each of Deception’s six members were given two or even three different parts to learn and record for it to be the full jazzy jam that it is! Thanks to Billy Carleton again for the arrangement!
The third DHS A Cappella Album, Focus, was recorded by the groups from 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. It was recorded, edited, and mixed by The Vocal Company, and mastered by Vocal Mastering. Three tracks from the album (Human, Unconditionally, and Chasing Tides) were selected to Varsity Vocals "Best of High School A Cappella" albums, and three tracks were nominated for "Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards" for Best High School Arrangement (Unconditionally, Masterpiece, and Chasing Tides). Focus is available on all major streaming platforms.
Falconize 2017 - 2019: EJ Baracewicz, Bella Burrell, Lyndsey Caouette, Jared Casey
Michael Filip, Joey Foglietta, Cait Gagnon, Trevor Hathaway, Lauren Hyde, Hannah Kelsey, Maddie Montanari, Mike Mahoney, Kailee Rees, Kali Sheppard, João Luis Xavier Marques Ferreira, Anna Krisko, Amanda Larson, Sam Patterson, Jazmine Wallimann
Ingrid Sound 2017 - 2019: Jamie Boghosian, Abbi Foglietta, Abby Golladay, Sarah Gobiel, Clea Matt, Maddie Mercurio, Kylie Nash, Ivy O'Connell, Megan Moriarty, Ann Nguyen, Miranda Napolitano, Beck Ritter-Theriault, Brianna Rivera, Ashley Wiklund, Lily Albiero, Cynthia Boyd, Caitlin Emery, Allie Kasprzak, Jayden Lapointe, Katie Miraglia, Haley Murphy, Natalie Onofri, Lilli Peluso
Deception 2017 - 2019: Jared Casey, Cait Gagnon, Trevor Hathaway, Hannah Kelsey, Mike Mahoney, Brianna Rivera, Megan Moriarty, Kali Sheppard
Blog Post #17 - "It's About The Journey, Not The Destination" A Falconize Member Recounts The Shortened ICHSA Season
By Guest Blogger: Mike Mahoney '20
Hey guys, my name is Mike Mahoney and I’m very excited to share a blog post with the chorus community! I’ll be writing about Falconize’s experience in the International Championship of High School A cappella (ICHSA) this year. I’ll discuss our creative process, what happened at quarterfinals, and what happened to semifinals and finals.
ICHSA calls for a set of songs which does not exceed 12 minutes. Since this is roughly enough time for 3 songs, Falconize works day and night to produce the strongest possible 3-song set that the group is capable of. We work tirelessly to tighten harmonies, build dynamic contrast, and unify choreography. During this 12-minute performance we give everything we have.
The ICHSA quarterfinal was the first competitive opportunity for the group this year. We had the privilege of competing against so many talented groups, and this year falconize scored first place (see full results below). It was an incredible feeling - all of our hard work had paid off. Falconize’s bond had never felt so tight, and that really shined through on that stage. ICHSA gave this year’s falconize the opportunity to grow closer than we ever had before (at least in my 4 years here). Falconize had transitioned from a group of friends to a family.
We came back strong in the following weeks trying to perfect our set. Although a quarterfinal victory felt good, we were thirsty for more. Through a vigorous daily rehearsal grind we had really started to polish things up. In addition to meeting every day during G block, during competition season, Falconize rehearses on Thursday nights from 7:00-9:00 and occasionally gets together on the weekend. We prepared in every way we could for the upcoming semifinal. Because of the coronavirus, we had to treat every rehearsal like it was our last.
A day last week, Mr. Grover received an email from Varsity Vocals, the company who runs ICHSA. This email announced that (due to the coronavirus) all semifinal rounds for the competition would be virtual. This meant that instead of performing live at the semifinal venues, each group would submit a video of their set. Luckily, Falconize had already planned on filming a video for our wildcard submission during class the next day. During this class period we ran through and filmed our set three times. We planned on filming again at our 7:00-9:00 rehearsal that night, but by the end of the day, school was cancelled for a full week, so we could not have rehearsal.
We were so thankful to have filmed when we did because the group would not have another chance to rehearse until long past the submission deadline, but we soon found out that this would not matter. I can still vividly remember my heartbreak when my mom read me Varsity Vocals’ update: “In keeping with shutdowns of Broadway, NCAA, and the NBA, it is with great sadness that Varsity Vocals is cancelling ICCA and ICHSA Finals in April.” We had been working toward this since school started, and now it was just ripped away. It was really hard to keep our heads up after this - hard, but not impossible. Mr. Grover had told us that it’s not the end result that’s important, but the process. Not the destination, but the journey. It’s great that we had ICHSA semifinals to work toward, for it pushed us every single day. However, the semifinal event wasn’t what was actually valuable; it was all the hard work we put in to get there. While working on our ICHSA set, Falconize developed stronger musicality, fiercer stage presence, cleaner choreography, and a tighter bond. I am beyond proud to call myself a member of this group. Falconize, you guys are my family.
Mike Mahoney is a senior at Danvers High School. He has been a member of Falconize for four years, and has served as student music director of the group for three years. Mike sits on the Chorus Executive Committee, is Drum Major of the Marching Band, and President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He has also sung with the MMEA Northeast District and All-State Choirs.
Jayden Lapointe is a senior at Danvers High School and member of Falconize this year. As the Recording Secretary of the Chorus Executive Committee, she takes minutes at all of the meetings and writes the monthly Chorus Newsletters.
By Guest Blogger: Jayden Lapointe '20
Hi everyone! Hopefully you’re all staying safe and healthy during these unexpected three weeks off. Some of you may or may not know me already, but my name is Jayden and I am a senior here at DHS. I am thrilled to have been invited to be a guest blogger this week! I’m going to take this opportunity to fill you guys in on what the Chorus Executive Committee (CEC) has been up to this year.
Last Spring, the CEC planned and coordinated the first annual Open Mic Night for chorus students. With this being such a huge success, we decided to bring it back in December as a cozy winter get-together. Putting this event together not only once, but twice a year will give students something to look forward to and build an even stronger chorus community!
As the year moved forward, even more creative ideas started flowing. We all know that chorus class is very enjoyable, and for me, the most exciting class throughout the school day. But with exciting classes like these, there is direction in order to stay on task and keep things moving. The Criteria for Success was created to do just that. This year, the CEC came up with an idea to make these guidelines more prevalent to show what it means to do a good job in chorus. Each member of the CEC took on a different section of the criteria, and bulleted down the most important suggestions. From there, I had the role of creating a poster for each. Stay tuned; these will be hung up in the chorus room soon!
In 2016, the Chorus Program Student Handbook was created, “by students, for students”. At one of our meetings, Mr. Grover made the suggestion of revising it to make the content more up to date. We were each given a different task, and edited anything as needed.
At our most recent meeting on March 10th, we decided it would be a great idea to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! As fun as CEC Meetings are in themselves, turning it into a festivity definitely made people even more excited. The plan was to wear green, bring snacks, and a green gift to be included in our St. Patty’s Day version of a Yankee Swap. There was even an Irished themed music playlist that we listened to throughout the party (Thanks, Juliet!).
The Chorus Executive Committee primarily works to represent each and every person in chorus, and to maintain a cohesive and interesting program. I’ve been a member of the CEC for two years; one being a representative of Ingrid Sound, and this year I was appointed as the Recording Secretary (very exciting). Throughout my time here, I’ve learned that this committee is great for people who want to be actively involved in the chorus program. This is exactly why I love being a part of it. Each meeting brings along new tasks or ideas, and being able to participate in everything unfolding is very rewarding.
At the beginning of each meeting, we all put together a newsletter to keep students informed and up to date about any happenings in the committee or chorus as a whole (see the latest newsletter below!). These are then read to chorus classes by a member of the CEC so that everyone is in the loop. I am looking forward to what the remainder of the year will bring!
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
Hello all you lovely chorus members and fans of the DHS Chorus Program! With everything going on in this crazy world lately, we thought it would be nice to create a little blog series, featuring several guest bloggers, about some interesting events, groups, and weekly activities we do in chorus class that I’m already missing dearly. This way, we can all stay connected until things are back on track.
First up on the agenda, we have a blog by Jayden Lapointe with a post about the Chorus Executive Committee, including what we’ve been doing recently to make positive changes in the chorus program, and what went down at our most recent meeting (all good things, I promise).
Next is Mike Mahoney, with an update about Falconize and ICHSA, the competition they participated in last month. Falconize placed first at Quarterfinals, and Mike will explain the process of preparing for semifinals, and how the group persevered through the changes made in the competition due to the virus outbreak.
After Mike is Megan Moriarty, with a blog about FOCUS, the album created by our very own A Cappella groups which is now streaming on all platforms, so if you get bored over this unprecedented break I suggest you give it a listen :)!
Then we have Haley Murphy, who will be writing about one of my favorite chorus traditions, Physical Warm-Ups! Haley will explain the whole process to you, but my personal favorite one we do is to the song “Classic” by MKTO.
Next up is Gabby Sherrick writing about TRI-M, an music honor society that has essentially always existed in the chorus program, but which was taken to the next level this year. Actually, taken more like five levels up. It’s pretty cool.
Stay tuned at the end of the week for a blog by the man, the myth, the legend himself, MR. JEFFREY DANIELS. Mr. Daniels recently took one of our very own chorus students to perform with the Massachusetts All-State Chorus. I don’t know much about this myself, so I’m really excited to read about it!
Keep an eye out this week for blogs by these awesome people, and don’t forget to wash your hands. See you all soon!
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
Hello everyone, and happy Super Tuesday! Since we don’t have school today, I thought I’d take this time to tell you all about something new the A Cappella groups did for Valentine’s Day, even though it’s now March and I think I’ve eaten all of my Valentine’s Day candy by this point.
If you’ve watched To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You which came out on Netflix a couple of weeks ago, you probably saw the scene where the school’s A Cappella group went around to unsuspecting victims to sing love songs sent by other students. That’s exactly what we did this year!
Organized by Ms. Rescott (a queen) and the Class of ‘22 Officers, singing grams started being sold during the lunches about a week or so before Valentine’s Day. Students (and staff) were able to choose from a variety of different songs, and could pay a couple of extra dollars to have candy sent to the person they wanted to woo (or embarrass). Ingrid Sound sang Electric Love, Just The Way You Are, I Want It That Way, and Unwritten. Falconize sang Youth, My Girl, I Want It That Way, and Perfect. Altogether, it was a pretty successful event, and the Class of ‘22 was able to raise a lot of money from it!
Personally, I really enjoyed this experience. It felt really good to see teachers’ faces light up when we told them we were here to sing, or see the students get excited knowing they were going to have a brief break from class. There were some kinks that need to be worked out, since this was the first time, but I hope the groups continue to do it. I can’t wait to see how it expands in the future!
Blog Post #13 - The Chorus Corner
By: Juliet Giangregorio '20
Hey everyone, I hope you all had a great summer! I know starting a new school year can be scary, and a little sad (I’m a senior this year, so my feelings are all over the place), but whether you’re going into your first, second, third, or last year of high school, it’s going to be a great year. How do I know this? Well other than our school musical being The Addams Family (how iconic is that?) we have a really cool, exciting change to the chorus room that’s available for everyone to use, whether you do chorus, or just want to stop in for a minute to relax.
You may have already heard, but if you haven’t, I’ll explain. Last year, seniors Kali Sheppard, Beck Ritter-Theriault, and Hannah Kelsey created a space in the corner of the chorus room (called the Chorus Corner) for students based on the concept of social and emotional learning.
What’s social and emotional learning, you may ask?
According to www.casel.org, “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” The five core competencies of SEL, which are promoted by the Chorus Corner are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. You can learn more about SEL and the core values from the posters hung up on the windows around the Chorus Corner.
The Chorus Corner is equipped with comfortable chairs, desks to do homework at, a charging station, coloring pages, games, cute plants, and even a television screen and stereo that students can connect their chromebook to in order to watch videos from YouTube.
The guidelines for the corner are pretty simple. As long as you are respectful of the area, respectful of the people inside the area (and outside the area, meaning to be inclusive of everyone), aren’t disrupting anyone’s class time, and if you return the Chorus Corner to its original state after you’re done with it, you are free to use it. And the great thing is, anyone can use it. The Chorus Corner isn’t just meant for chorus kids. Whether you need to get some homework done, you want to hang out with some friends, or you just want to relax and watch videos, the Chorus Corner is available for you to use (just remember to be respectful!).
So don’t be afraid to stop in (as long as it’s not interrupting any class time) and relax! The three recently graduated seniors really worked hard to create a comfortable space for all students to use. The Chorus Corner is an amazing addition to our chorus room, and I’m so excited for everyone to get the opportunity to use it!
Katie Miraglia, class of 2022, is a member of Falconize and Deception at DHS and can be frequently seen in the school's theater productions. She is also Drum Major of the Marching Band and plays bass clarinet. She took over the Danvers High Chorus Blog for the 2021-22 school year.