September 22, 2015 – Choir Elections

Every September, we run elections for three positions in Choir;

  • SECRETARY-transfers scanned attendance from the iPad and bathroom sign-outs into the grade book.
  • VICE PRESIDENT(S)-primarily responsible for the alumni connection via newsletter.
  • PRESIDENT(S)-a mini-me; leads by example, demonstrates positive morale, assists wherever needed.

We run a parliamentary election by asking for nominations, confirming that the nominee accepts the nomination and then I ask for the nomination to be seconded.  Nominees can and have declined nominations.  Any full-time member of the Concert Choir can run; the position of PRESIDENT is seniors only.

Students can then campaign in the Choir Room.  Given the space we have, (see previous post), the room becomes papered with banners and signs and sweet treats are distributed at the end of rehearsal to “encourage” votes!  Speeches are given; the voting is done via a Google form on the class iPad so the results are instantly determined and a new set of officers can then take over the Choir.

This year, the creative campaigning is off the charts…and the baking has been exceptional!  Here’s what I mean..

image image

Yes, that is a Rice Krispie treat piano, complete with Kit-Kat chocolate pedals and keys, which fed both ensemble classes and then some and the “notes” are Hershey chocolate squares!

It has been a ton of fun watching the collaboration and healthy competition between candidates!

Voting and results on Friday!

Thanks for reading!


September 16, 2015…My Teaching Space

Here is the link to an 8 minute video of my teaching space.

Choir Room

The Choir Room was opened seven years ago and the resources I have really represent an accumulation of thirty-five years of teaching in one district as well as learning how to raise money (we collect a donation of $3 at the door of the Winter and Spring Choral Concerts, we present a Broadway CABARET, the A Cappella Choir Honors carols in December and our audiences are quite generous with their donations.) as well as using generous budget money from year to year.

I am well aware of how fortunate I am and am grateful every day!



Sunday September 6, 2015


As we are about to embark on the First Day of School, I thought I would begin by recapping my extraordinary summer vacation!  My husband Rick and I have adopted the motto, “Work Hard and Play Hard”, which, for us, means that we try to financially reward ourselves for the hours we spend at our respective jobs by spending quality time doing interesting things during Rick’s three-week  vacation time during the summer.

I started the summer by taking a week-long Level 1 World Music Drumming workshop in Middletown, PA.  Ever curious about this type of music-making, I was equally nervous about having never participated in an instrumental ensemble in my life!

If you are not familiar with the curriculum, there are seven ensembles in Level 1, each of which represent a combination of rhythm patterns played, predominantly on low, medium and high drums.  Add to that shakere, cowbell and gankogui and you’ve got yourself a whole bunch of fun!

By the end of the week, I was hooked!  So much so that I purchased 18 tubano drums and various add’l instruments for my choir and I plan on running  ensembles for my classes and workshops for my colleagues.  Here is a picture of my new “toys”! Tubano set

Back to the Summer Vacation.  Rick and I always feel so lucky because we have had experiences in travel and with friends that are very unique.  We’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower; we’ve slept in the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, (Yes, the bed is ice, the table is ice, the bar is ice, the chapel is ice, the movie theater is ice and yes….it’s cold!

Ice Hotelwe’ve taken a 12-night Baltic Cruise and spent two days exploring St. Petersburg, Russia and now we can add this summer’s adventures – a Trip to Churchill Canada on a six-night outing called “Belugas, Bears and Blooms”.  We saw beluga whales by the hundreds in the Hudson Bay;

DSCF0225 bears Bears Purple

I was about six feet away from this mama and her cubs – photographing from the back observation deck of a Tundra Buggy; we went for a dog-cart ride and, BONUS(!) saw the Northern Lights!  What a week!

And now, we’l l start another school year – #36/7 for me.  I had my A Cappella Choir retreat on Friday night and the group spent the evening doing icebreakers and bonding activities so we can all start the year on the same page.  They sang a little bit and have great potential.

I am going to attempt to create a Google webpage for school.  We currently use OnCourse, which is clunky at best.  We’ll see.

Here’s to a safe and happy start to 2015-2016!

Thanks for reading!