Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dress Rehearsals and Holiday Musicals

Dress Rehearsal for "Once on a Housetop"

'Tis the Season for dress rehearsals and holiday musical performances!

Our second graders will be showcasing their talents this week in a production entitled "Once on a Housetop" by Roger Emerson. They have been working on the music since the school year began and using the lyrics to the songs for memorization purposes in their classrooms during Reader's Workshop. They are very excited about the production, and for most of them, this will be their first time on stage.

Student learning is impacted in several ways while preparing for this production. Shy students come to life on stage. They sing, dance and interact with the audience. They learn to follow me as I conduct the music. They sing with expression. Various genres of music are presented. Various styles of singing are taught. The elements of music are explored as we rehearse each song. Students are exposed to the beauty of harmony and so on. I use the rehearsal setting to teach good vocal technique, ear-training, ensemble singing, part-singing and stage presence. I have had numerous parents tell me that their child is shy and will never be able do this. On many occasions, the parents come to me after the show and say things like, "I never dreamed my child was capable of such a thing." It is a very sweet moment for me as their music teacher.

Producing a quality musical production is a monumental task. The process is a collaborative effort between parents, teachers, students, the music department and the art department. Parents assist with costume construction and set design. Teachers build confidence in their students by rehearsing on the stage and creating the visual experience for the audience. I help the students find their voice and teach them to use it properly. I also conduct each performance which will include three dress rehearsals and three evening performances this week. Mrs. Snead designs, paints and installs the set each year. Even our Security Officer is moonlighting as our sound technician!

During the week, every student in the building will be invited to attend one of our dress rehearsals and practice their "good audience behaviors." My principal lends her unwavering support and attends each evening performance throughout the week. It is truly a labor of love for our learning community and creates a life-long memory for all of our students.

On December 8th at 6:00 p.m. - Ross/Russell/Timmons/Lipsky will perform.

On December 10th at 6:00 p.m. - Chant/Wallace/Morris/Metzger will perform.

On December 10th at 7:30 p.m. - Ruark/VanAlstyne/Walag/Shaffer/Nelson/Rossignol will perform.

All performances will be held in the Chets Creek cafeteria.

As a service to our second graders, the Chets Creek Recorder Club will perform pre-show holiday favorites in the lobby 30 minutes prior to each production.

I hope you will be able to join us!

Until next time....