Wednesday June 24, 2015


Here is the finalized list of all that went into creating the Ridge HS Choral Program this year.

I am finding the use of a punch list of this nature very helpful – not only in assuring that I maintain deadlines, but also when I am able to delegate to student officers.

If you find it valuable, please personalize it for your use.

Happy Summer!

Thanks for reading.


Thursday June 18, 2015 – Graduation!

Today is the last day of the 2014-2015 school year. Graduation is 6:30p tonight – rain or shine. (and right now, it’s a bit spitty outside). My end of the year list includes:

  • Placing my “Early Bird” music order with University Music with whom I have had a very successful 30+ year relationship. I have chosen repertoire for my Concert Choir and Chorale and have already distributed the repertoire in their first rehearsal last Monday to my A Cappella Choir, Voices of Ridge and Ridgemen.
  • Placing an order for tux shirts for the new tenors and basses of the A Cappella Choir.
  • Putting away well over 3000+ pieces of choral music.
  • Putting away Robes, stoles, dry-cleaned tuxes and gowns, cummerbunds, bow ties and suspenders.
  • Bringing home 50 white polo shirt to launder for next season.
  • Creating the attendance portion of my grade book for the A Cappella Choir.
  • Storing everything in my room in boxes over the summer – including dismantling my computers and printers.
  • Placing an order for Music Theory workbooks as I will have two sections of Theory next year – Fall and Spring. I use Benward Music in Theory and Practice
  • I have entered the spring concert repertoire in my EXCEL database which represents a complete listing, by year, of everything we have ever concertized in our Winter and Spring concerts.
  • I need to create QR codes for attendance for my three ensemble classes. They will go into the choir folders in the fall.
  • I have duplicated my lunch/study passes on card stock which permit my singers to come to my room from the cafeteria for daily Choir Sectionals.
  • I have replaced the dates on the classroom banner (created by VistaPrint) to reflect the concert dates for next school year. (See photo.)Banner
  • I will work on creating a new webpage in Google which will list all my handouts as attachments.
  • I need to create books for my accompanist.
  • I need to figure out how to repair three pairs of tux pants where the mechanism used to expand the waistband has broken. (I’ll probably sew Velcro onto the waistband as a quick fix!)
  • I have printed out clean uniform sign-out sheets for next year’s polo shirts, gowns, tux jackets and pants and robes & stoles.
  • I went through all my choral folders and replaced those that were beyond repair.
  • I will go through the “job description” pages that I have kept all year and update them with the notes I took. I found it to be a great help as I checked the monthly lists at the start and midway point of each month. I will post the complete 10-month job description here if you would like to model it for next year. I highly recommend it!

I am now looking forward to the World Drumming Class that I will take for one week in July. and attending the NJ-ACDA Summer Conference to spend two days with headliner Ysaye Barnwell.

It has been a wonderful year.

Thank you for reading and going along for the ride!

Happy Summer !


Saturday June 6, 2015

My Spring Concert is Tuesday June 9th. I am so excited about this concert because all of the repertoire seems to fit each group like a well-tailored suit. We’ve had the music concert ready for a while now…it will be great to share it with family and friends. Come and join us if you’re in the neighborhood!

Spring 2015-JPEGThis is my concert flier. I’ve submitted a short article advertising the concert for the local paper which was printed on Thursday. This flier was published in our “Friday Folder” which has all-district distribution. This flier was placed in the PTO newsletter. This flier and a PDF of the same was emailed to every singer in the department to use as their FaceBook status, to Instagram; to get the word out to family and friends that they are singing on Tuesday night.

That’s a lot of work.

I have already rented my helium tank with which I will inflate 41 Green Mylar Graduation balloons for my seniors. I will tape the balloons to the railings of my choral risers for the night of the concert. I have collected one dollar from each of my grade 9/10 Chorale girls which will help defray the cost of the red carnations each senior will wear on their white shirt in the concert. I have ordered 25 long stemmed red-roses in ribboned presentation tubes/boxes which will be given to the 25 seniors as a 4-year Rose to celebrate and acknowledge their choice in placing Choir in their schedule for eight consecutive semesters.

These are the long-standing traditions of the Ridge High School Spring Choral program.

Today I am working on the repertoire for my A Cappella Choir for December. I will audition new members on Thursday the 11th. I hire three colleagues to serve as adjudicators and we use the same material as was learned and used daily as a warm-up in both ensembles for the NJ All-State Chorus auditions in April, including Tonal Memory.  This takes me out of the loop of judging and permits me to remain completely impartial to the selection process.

The list of acceptances will be posted on Friday the 12th.   I will hold their first rehearsal on Monday June 15th at 7p at which time they will receive their music for the December caroling season (11 SATB, 2 SSA, 2 TTBB) and a part CD (I still distribute an actual CD because it is easier for them to download their specific parts from that CD than to have them go to DropBox for their music, which, because there is less repertoire, I do in the Spring) from which they will learn/practice over the summer. (Whew! – Long sentence!)  Section Leaders will run sectionals in August. The expectation is that they will have thoroughly learned this music in summer study for the first rehearsal in September. I have been doing this for many, many years and while it is time consuming on this end, it is hugely rewarding in the fall.

I have changed up the Sibelius process just a bit thanks to the FABULOUS suggestion of Dr. Christopher Russell.

Chris has been a huge help and resource for the last two years with tech and iPad issues and I finally had an opportunity on Friday to chat with him! He has suggested and I have invested in the app called NotateMe.  Notate Me has an in-app purchase called PhotoScore which allows you to take a picture of a score (iPhone 5 or later as you need the resolution provided by ios8), email it as an XML file and open in directly in Sibelius 7.5 – GENIUS!!!! I had previously scanned my enlarged and darkened photocopies with my HP All-in-One or asked my secretary friend to scan the same and send them to me as PDF files for importing but this new investment has been incredible to work with. It’s by no means perfect, but the scores come into Sibelius needing much less clean-up. I have put in about 4 hours today and am finished with five scores…unprecedented success in this process for me. I use these Sibelius recordings as learning tracks for the A Cappella Choir as well as their testing tracks (think Music-minus-One) in the fall. This technology is pretty nifty and for me, has been worth every penny I paid for it!

Okay, enough blogging…gotta’ get back to my input.

Here’s to the end of another school year!

One more Friday!

Thanks for reading…