Wednesday, 17 April 2013


The third listening log of the batch is Walkin' by Miles Davis performed by LACHSA Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

1) This is an unaccompanied piece (acapella) so It's just the singers supporting each other.
3) It is a group singing in 4 parts with a few solos and there are at least 15 singers. I'm not sure about exactly how many.
4) Part of the music is English words but a lot is also just syllables, imitating instruments. The seemingly random syllables are written though. They are very good at sounding like the instruments.
6)I find it very impressive that a group so young could sound so professional and also be completely engaged and active in the song. They all seem to be enjoying it and the energy is remarkable.
7)There are 4 solos and they are very good, confident solos. Some are improvised and some are written. The improvised are very well done and I have to say that for a group of high school students They had great confidence and didn't think for a minute they would sing a "bad" note The girl who did an improvised solo was a little softer but it didn't matter. She was still heard and great. The 2nd improvised soloist was very creative and I liked the use of different syllables. The two girls who had written solos were also very proud in their singing and had very full voices for the melody.
8) The group was very together. Their vowels were almost identical and the cutoffs were crisp and clear throughout.
9) Their swells and little stylistic choices were all group decisions and in all the right places. Their dynamic contrast was great and I liked where they were putting little swells where you might not expect them.
11) I loved the layering and back and forth between the girls in 1:47-1:54. It really added something for me. I loved that even if you weren't watching their performance you had this idea that they were singing back and forth at each other. I think they could have done a little more with their bodies there as a group but as an overall performance I loved this group and their energy and commitment!
12) This group is a wonderful example that the size of your group doesn't matter. If it's a group of 6 or a group of 80 you can still sound like 4 voices. I thought it was also a great representation of the lesson: individual stylistic decisions within a group are fine in moderation and just add a more layered sound. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I've been in choir a lot lately and a few things got me thinking. I never found a chance to say this so I decided to post it here. I hope you all enjoy it!

I've been in divisional choir since grade 5 and i've always known I was coming to sturgeon. So when I heard Mrs. McLeod was retiring I had no idea who was going to replace her and it honestly worried me a bit. I shouldn't have been worried because just like the kids who were already in one of the choirs I got the nice surprise of finding out that Mrs Armstrong was going to be the choir teacher here. So, when she won her award it came as no surprise to anyone but her. The night she was presented with that award someone recognized that I was in her choirs and asked me who had changed my life the most, in the last 5 years. I was quite prepared to say I don't know! but the more I think about it the more I know: that wouldn't have been true. My life, as a lot of people know is mostly dedicated to music. Its what I love! I haven't always been this dedicated to music. I actually wasn't going to join choir in grade 6 but I did. If I hadn't i definitely wouldn't be doing as much as I am today and if I hadn't walked into the jazz choir practicing somewhere over the rainbow one day I don't think I would be the musical person I am today. Mrs. Armstrong has taught me music for almost 4 years now and she has to put up with me for another 3. Shes always so nice, energetic and fun to be around. Between her 2 schools she directs 6 choirs: golden gate jazz, boys and concerts choirs, sturgeon jazz and concert and the divisional choir. She is more than just a teacher to most of her students, she is a friend and the leader, i guess, of our big musical family. I can't think of anyone better to do all that.

April and snowing

Hi everyone! I've been working mostly on homework lately so it's been about a week since my last post. I hope everyone's had a good week, more relaxing than mine anyway! Somehow it's already April 16th and I've had 5 musical practices, a speech at the staff meeting, 2 divisional choir practices, 6 jazz practices, 6 concert choir practices, 1 party and a concert. The speech was honestly a little bit scary but it was also really fun and all my teachers were really supportive. The musical seems to be going along well but we only have about 6 more weeks before the show. That's 12 practices! Divisional choir is fun as always!! Right now we're really working on Cabaret which is a big night to showcase the 3 choirs and some solos, duets and trios. The senior choir is going to be singing Dancing in the street, summertime, let the river run and the girls are singing "new girl in town" from hairspray and the boys are singing "every little thing she does is magic" by sting. It's going to be really fun and just amazing. Our jazz concert last week was so much fun I couldn't believe it! It took about 4 hours of setup and 1 hour of tear down because we had a little trouble setting up lighting and sound but once all that was out of the way we were really grateful to have an evening to just sing as a little group and some solos with our friends there. It was really an amazing night with some phenomenal singing. I'm really grateful to be part of such a great group of singers and friends. Since then, I've been sick and I had a migraine but now all I have left from that is a head cold. Not ideal for singing but i'll live. Today, after class I had a meeting of the teen group at the library and we got significantly farther planning an event. On Thursday May the 16th we will be having a program called Music Mayhem where there will be games and music and snacks and it's basically a music party at the library! really hope people come and enjoy it. So that's what I've been up to lately, I hope everyone has a good rest of their week. Bye!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Musical Theatre

Hi! Aside from all the choirs I am also in the grade 9 musical and This is our first assignment.

1. summarize the plots of 2 musicals from which we are taking music for our production. Be sure to include the name of the musical and the song, key characters in the musical and the beginning, middle and end points of the story.
The two musicals I chose are:
Miss Liberty (we are performing falling out of love can be fun)
Miss Liberty starts with Maisie Dell (writer for the police gazette) and Horace Miller from the Herald discussing journalism and photography at a ceremony where the mayor of New York is to receive money for the base of the statue of liberty. Horace ends up taking the wrong pictures and commodore Bennett fires him. To get his job back, Maisie convinces Horace to go to Paris to find the model for the statue and get his job back. Once in Paris, Horace finds the sculptor who is holding interviews with new models and Horace sees a dancer posing like the statue of liberty and thinks she is the original. Horace takes a pictures of her and sends it to Maisie who tells Bennett who agrees to pay for lady liberty's american tour. Bennett also offers Maisie a job but she declines. Monique (the dancer) takes Horace to her home under a bridge and then invites him on a tour of France. Monique is dancing and Horace tells her he is taking her to America. She doesn't know this is a case of mistaken identity and is very happy! Horace then tells Monique that he loves her and the first act ends. In the second act; Harold, Monique and her grandmother (the countess) come to New York and Monique is horrified that she is supposedly Lady Liberty but pretends she is to protect Horace. Maisie doesn't like that Horace and Monique are in love and when Monique gets back from a tour Maisie gets into her hotel room to talk to her. They are both pleasently surprised by the others honesty. At this time, the sculptor has come to the U.S. and tells Bennett that he has been tricked. Running from Bennett, Horace and Monique pass the policeman's ball where Maisie is selling tickets. By this time she has realized that she has no chance at love with Harold and tells them to hide inside. Once inside, Monique shows everyone her dancing skills and amazes her audience but the ball ends and when Bennett arrives she is arrested. Horace and the countess are also placed under arrest and, once alone, Maisie sings about losing her love. The next day Monique and the countess wait to be deported when Horace comes back saying that they have been released and he has been given a job. Monique is then inspired to sing the final song.
Bye Bye Birdie (we are performing put on a happy face)
Bye Bye Birdie
Rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie has been drafted into the army, putting agent and songwriter Albert Peterson in trouble. Rose Alvarez (Albert's secretary and sweetheart) come sup with one last publicity stunt, making Albert promise that after this he will give up music and become an English teacher. Birdie is going to sing Albert's new song "One last kiss" and give a girl from his fan club a last kiss before he goes to the army. The lucky girl is Kim MacAfee from Sweet Apple, Ohio. All the teenagers in this small town are catching up on the gossip about Kim dating Hugo Peabody. Kim is very exited to have a boyfriend and is happy with her maturity. Conrad, Albert and Rosie go to Sweet Apple to get ready for the big show and all the teenage girls are extied to meet Conrad. One girl is sad because once Conrad gets out of the army she thinks she'll be too old for him. Albert tells her to be optimistic by singing put on a happy face. Reporters come to ask Conrad questions but Conrad, Rosie and the girls are worried about tabloids and answer for him. In Sweet Apple, everyone looks to Conrad as a hero and Hugo thinks that maybe Kim likes Conrad more than him but Kim tells Hugo he's the only one she loves. Conrad shocks and amazes everyone by performing "Honestly Sincere". Conrad stays with the MacAfee's and Kim's father Harry is annoyed by the guests rude and selfish manner. Harry doesn't want Kim and Conrad to kiss until he's told that they will all be on Tv, including Kim's parents and brother. Hugo notices how much Kim likes Conrad and starts getting jealous. Albert's mother comes to break up him and Rosie, introducing Albert to a blond woman she met on the bus named Gloria. Rosie then becomes jealous and Rosie and Hugo plot to ruin the show. Conrad goes to kiss Kim and Hugo punches him in the face so Conrad collapses. Rosie breaks up with Albert and not knowing what to do Albert starts singing.
In act 2, Plans are made to refilm the broadcast and Rosie and KIm decide to leave Albert and Hugo, mourn about how stupid they were to love the men. Conrad decides to have fun on his last night and convinces the teens to party. All the teenagers except Hugo go to the ice house to party without adults. Hugo heads instead to a bar, wanting to get drunk but the owner can tell he's underage. Mr. MacAffe realizes Kim ran away and Kim's parents mourn about how disobedient kids are. Rosie ends up at the same bar as Hugo but Albert calls her, begging for her to come back. Rosie just wants to forget and interupts a meeting in the private dining room which breaks out in a wild dance. Hugo and Albert rescue her and Albert tells his mother to go home. Hugo tells the parents where the other kids are amd they all say that they have no idea what's wrong with kids. Kim's brother joins in by saying his sister and her friends are ridiculous and immature. The adults and Police find them and Conrad is arrested though he's done no wrong and Kim comes back to Hugo saying Conrad scared her. Rosie then tells Albert's mother that she will marry Albert no matter what his racist mother says and just to annoy her, says that she's spanish, exaggerating a lot. Albert bails Conrad out of jail and finds a way for him to report to the army as scheduled. Albert also convinces his mother to leave at the same time. He then tells Rosie that they're not going to New York. They're moving to Pumpkin Falls where he will be a happily married English teacher.
2. select one of the characters you are playing in the show and comment on:
a) how, if at all, can you relate to the character you are playing?
Kim, expecting tears.
I think that something Kim and I have in common is having good friends. This guy is trying to make her feel better! Also, like me, she seems to go on and keep talking no matter what is going on. I've also had that same feeling of expecting to cry and just not. She also seems to appreciate her friends as much as I appreciate mine.
b) what challenges do you have in playing the character?
a challenge I face in playing Kim is that I have no idea how she feels in some aspects. I have never dated or wanted to date anyone so I wouldn't no what the whole being dumped feels like. Another challenge is her sudden changes of attitude. She can go from so sad to really hopeful in just one line!
c) how do you try and get into character?
Getting into character I try to think how I would feel if one of my friends decided to be really mean to me and I imagine another one of my friends trying to cheer me up and I would start out wanting to be happy for my friend and then end up actually being happy to spend time with my friend.
3. comment on your involvement in the musical theatre course this far.
a) time on task during rehearsals
I think that just about all of my time in rehearsals is spent on task because I realize how valuable that time is when we have such a limited aount.
b) what you are enjoying about this experience
I'm really enjoying musical because it's a chance to sing and act with some friends and I cam have the fun while getting used to high school before getting into a full published musical you can't change a whole lot with a lot more people.
c) specific strengths that you are bringing to the course
I think that I am a strong and flexible singer being able to learn any part and switch if needed and I am also willing to learn these different skills. And it isn't as hard as it used to be because I've been doing this for a coup0le years and I'm used to memorizing things, between other plays and choirs.
d) areas you feel you want to continue working on
One thing I really want to work on is movement. I don't move a lot on my own but it adds so much to any performance and I constantly feel like I need more movement and to a lesser extent, facial expression, although I'm doing a lot better with my facial expression but it could always be improved.
e) time you have put in rehearsing outside of class time
I spend a fair amount of time practicing. Every night I set aside about an hour to talk or look over my scripts and go through all the music I want to/ need to work on that night.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Under Pressure

Hi again!
I want to get some homework out of the way. So I have some more cool jazz logbooks and I've been listening to one of them for a while now and I figured I'd get it done.

Under Pressure- Rajaton with David Bowie (Rajaton's cover of Queen's famous song)
1) The song is unaccompanied (they use their voices as all the instruments they need) like all of Rajaton's music.
2) The song is very similar to the original in many ways and the two are both in a rock style.
3) It is a group of 6 people singing in 6 parts. There are 3 women and 3 men each singing their own parts. Sometimes the words or syllables will match up for a particular part and they will be singing the same thing but with harmonies (different notes)
4) The melody is generally sung in English language but the rest is a random collection of syllables.
6) The part from 3:09-3:18 really stood out to me. It by itself wasn't all that impressive but everything was so perfectly balanced and I could hear the girls parts going up and down like a wave almost and I'm not sure why but that part really stood out for me.
7) the soloing in this song was done by passing the melody throughout the group. Usually there was a soloist wherever the melody was. They were all really well done
8) The group's unity was amazing. Even from the beginning, their snaps and claps sounded like they came from one person. The cut-offs were very well placed and without even looking at each other they were clear.  Their vowels all somehow managed to sound like one person was singing the whole chord sometimes and others you could just really tell they knew exactly what everyone else was doing.
9) The lines built together very well so that you were always hearing what they wanted you to. The dynamic swells were all placed to keep an audience intrigued and, I must say, it worked. There were little smears all over the place in individual parts. They weren't to obvious but they were there enough so that it added a little more color to the whole thing.
11) I loved how they really showed that even a simple movement like the claps and snaps can look really proffessional and well done (even if you're not proffessional) if it's together.
13) I really liked the soprano's big dramatic smear from 2:16-2:26. It was very interesting and helped really emphasize that that was the climax. I'm pretty sure that of all the very interesting arrangements of this song, Rajaton is my favourite. I loved the part from 3:22-3:33 when the bass really sounded like a trumpet in the background.
So that was Under pressure by Rajaton-

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


I'm still alive, I promise!
Well my music is, as usual taking a fair amount of my time but that's okay because what's more fun than music? So Edmonton was amazing!!! We had soo much fun!! and now we're as busy as ever. This week alone I have practice every day as usual plus musical practice twice a week (it's going pretty well so far) and band every second day. tomorrow I have my normal day of get up at 6:20 and have a bigger breakfast than i'm used to, get everything ready and head to jazz choir rehearsal at 7:30 so that we can have fun as always rehearsing and running through everything one last time. then it's off to gym where I'm learning circus skills. anyone want to help me learn how to fall off a unicycle? oops I already know how to do that. I need to learn how to ride! After that, we head to geography to learn about Food and the earth i believe. Then band to have fun playing my amazing instrument- French horn! And just like after every band practice I eat really quickly and go sing in concert choir. Then I head over to English with the most energetic teacher alive to learn more about writing an essay. After English it's Peace & Conflict in the 20th century. That's actually a really fun course and I get really interesting assignments.  I think, i'll post some of them. After that, since it's Wednesday i'll go to Divisional choir after eating a snack and we'll practice some awesome tunes for Cabaret! Then I come home, finish homework and sleep. Of course Thursday... I get to go to gym, geography, french, jazz, English, peace & conflict and then take stuff out of the band room so that we can fill it with more stuff (lighting, staging, sound system, tables, chairs, etc.) and then I go home and eat and shower and change and possibly do some homework. Then I go and have fun and sing my little heart out!! Then we have to take everything back down... So it's going to be a long but fun and musical 2 days. Of course after that I have a test and some more homework... Let's not go there and just look forward to the music.
By the way, Sleep happens to be a foreign concept to me. Usually I get just enough and then I'm really hyper all day (side effect of being tired) so I hope I sleep well tonight.
Goodnight everyone, have a good week! and please come to our concert if you can.
(poster and details on G+)