Sunday, April 27, 2014

In Honor of My Father

My Daddy passed away 14 years ago this month.  Although I am a chorus girl, he was a band guy.  He played the cymbals in the Andrew Jackson High School Marching Band and today a childhood dream was fulfilled in his honor.

My family has a long history with bands.  My dad's brother played the clarinet at Jackson, my aunt played the flute in the Fletcher High School band, my sister was first chair flute/piccolo during her tenure with the FHS band, my cousin's daughter performed with the Color Guard  and my baby sister was captain of the Color Guard (flag corps) at Fletcher High.

...And then there was me.  Singing Senator all the way....until today.

Today was the "Opening of the Beaches Parade" in Jacksonville Beach.  (I find that humorous, because the beach is never closed here.)  In honor of my father, I marched in the parade today while attempting to play the cymbals.

About a month ago, I asked my band director if I could chaperone and walk along the edge with the band parents.  I told him I had never marched in a parade and it was an item on my "bucket list" that I would like to check off.  He said he could do better than that.  He would let me come to rehearsal and learn to play the cymbals. He assigned a percussionist to me who taught me how to hold them, crash them, swizzle them and even injure myself with them!

Somehow, I pinched the inside of my forearm while trying to play them.
I told the band director I took a trophy home with me!

We practiced in the parking lot at school.  It was 85 degrees and we were doing "figure eights" in the parking lot so we could nail our turns during the parade.  I had no clue what I was doing, but the students were so helpful.  I didn't know any of the commands.  I had no idea what "parade rest" meant.  We practiced starting and stopping, rolling our feet, marking time, singing/dancing, hand signaling and chanting the words to "Cheeseburger in Paradise" - all while trying to march in formation.  I have a much higher regard for band students now.  They're an amazing bunch of kids!!

My heartfelt thanks go out to the Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School Marching Band!! Thanks for teaching me the basics and for giving up your playing time in the parade today so I could fulfill a dream.  I appreciate you!!

Until next time...

Choral State MPA 2014

Yesterday, I took 23 students, 3 chaperones and a flute player on a chartered bus to Tallahassee to perform at the Florida Vocal Association's Music Performance Assessment.  An overall "Superior" at District was our ticket into the festival yesterday.

I am blessed to have a great bunch of kids this year who show up (even when the odds are stacked against us) and give their best effort.  Although I was down 6 kids and most of my seniors had been up all night at Grad Bash the previous night, we made a strong showing.  Three of my students were also band members and had to march in the Opening of the Beaches Parade today.  My "combo kids" are the most dedicated kids I have ever met!!  Somehow they manage to balance their commitments between band and chorus and do it with a smile on their faces.  They have a strong work ethic that most kids these days just do not possess.

We held our own against some rather stiff competition.  The clinician that worked with the students after we performed was very complimentary.  He approved of my repertoire choices, loved the nuance and musicality in our performance, gave us some good pointers to make it even better and applauded my kids on how well they worked together.  There were no divas in the bunch yesterday!! It was truly a team-effort on everyone's part and I am extremely proud of my singers for what they accomplished as a group.

Our final rating was an overall "Excellent" which was a little less than we had hoped, but knowing what it took to get us there, I was grateful.  It was a pleasure to work with our accompanist as well.  Ms. Oberlin was so gracious to travel to Tallahassee and play for us.  It was my first time working with her and she is such an asset at the keyboard.  We will definitely make music together again!

Rock on, Singing Senators!!  I am so proud of you!!

As we move into the final stretch, I am grateful for the successes we have enjoyed this year.  This group of students will always hold a special place in my heart.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

The Drama department's Spring Musical - "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" was a smashing success!!

I saw the production Friday evening and our students did such a fine job.  Most of them were my chorus students (it's a musical, after all) which made it even more fun for me to watch! The casting director did a phenomenal job and the technical direction was outstanding as well.  A handful of band members played "in the pit" and were a lovely addition to the show.  It was really nice to get to sit in the audience for a change and relax.
Chorus Kids - Left to Right standing:  John Michael, Tylor, Maggie,
Phillip, Eve, Jacob, Jesse, Savannah, Samantha, Logan, Sarah S., Jeff.
Down in Front:  Rachel, Thea, Sarah D. and Sara G.
Not pictured:  Rebecca (she was handing out programs)

Seniors - AGAIN!

My son's handiwork.  He's in the stagecraft class.

Until next time...

Senior Picture During a Nor'easter

With end-of-year deadlines quickly approaching, I thought it best to schedule a Senior picture (which has traditionally been taken at the beach) on the last early dismissal day in April.  I put the word out two weeks prior and the day we were scheduled for the photo shoot, a cold front blew through Jacksonville along with Northeast winds that made your hair stand straight up!!  Not exactly ideal conditions for a photo op.

In the words of Winnie-the-Pooh, "It was a blustery, blustery day..."

This photo is usually taken with the ocean in the background,
but the wind was unmerciful that day.

We took one in the chorus room, just in case.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sweet Frog Fundraiser

Take a break from FCAT and tax prep on Tuesday, April 15th and refresh yourself with some Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt.  Sweet Frog is located behind Mellow Mushroom (10th Avenue North) in Jacksonville Beach.  Mention the FHS CHORUS and Sweet Frog will donate 20% of the day's receipts to the chorus.  

Hop in from NOON to NINE on Tuesday and help us get to State!!  Thanks!!

Cute little logo character - love the pink and green theme!

Keisha was awesome!!

Rebecca and Kenya - they were awesome too!!

Until next time...

Salut Salon Quartet

All I can say is "WOW!!!!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Zumba Fitness Fundraiser

We did it! The first-ever FHS Chorus Zumba Fitness Fundraiser!!  I am so grateful to the following people who made this event possible:

Jonathan Maerkl, Tom Ming, Kelly Salls, Martha Padgett, DuJuanna Samuels AND my favorite Zumba instructor - Paulette Waterman.  Paulette ROCKED-THE-HOUSE tonight and we had a ton of fun!!

Paulette working the crowd

DuJuanna and Martha - FHS Choral Boosters

Rock on, Ladies!!

Auntie Anne won a door prize!

Hydration required...

Chorus Girls

If you missed the Zumba fundraiser tonight, make sure you join us for Spirit Night at Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt on Tuesday, April 15th from "NOON to NINE" at the beach location (behind Mellow Mushroom).  20% of the day's receipts will be donated to the Singing Senators.  Please mention us and help us get to State!!

Until next time...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fletcher's Got Talent 2014

What do you get when you throw two ticket-takers, one policeman, 18 acts, a full tech crew, a fabulous technical director, a stage director and 3 emcees into a high school auditorium on a Thursday night?


That's what!!

In years' past, the annual school-wide talent show has showcased lots of singers.  Not this year.  We had such a diverse group of talent - and they were good too!  We enjoyed singers, dancers, instrumentalists, skits, slam poetry, hula - you name it.  The energy in the house was fabulous because our audience was so into it.  They were a great crowd and very supportive of our talented students.

The annual talent show is a 'labor of love' put on by the Student Officers of the Chorus.  They were responsible for setting audition dates, scheduling a technical rehearsal, scheduling the show, choosing the acts (under my watchful eye), designing the program, writing the script and making sure everything came off without a hitch.  My students did such an outstanding job, I could not have been more proud of them.  My principal attended the show he was quite impressed.  I could not have been more pleased.

A HUGE thank-you to Mr. Tom Ming, (Drama, Stagecraft and Technical Director).  This guy works harder than anyone in our building and it is a privilege to call him my colleague. Ming -- we could not have done this without your help and we greatly appreciate your talents and your willingness to share them with us!!

Emcees - Samantha, Sara and Phillip

Audra - My favorite Polynesian princess

Cast of 'Fletcher's Got Talent' - 2014
Big BRAVO to all!!

Until Next time...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel

Creating with technology is not one of my strengths, but I bet I could handle this.  If only I had an iPad...

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fundraising Season

You've heard of "Hunting Season?" "Open Season?" Vivaldi's "Four Seasons?" Well....Spring has arrived and it is "fundraising season" for the Duncan U. Fletcher High "Singing Senators!"

I am doing my best to make sure that we finish the year with money in the bank and all of our expenses paid for the 2013-14 school year.  We are currently fundraising so that everyone who made Superior ratings at District MPAs can compete at the state level this month.

North State Solo and Ensemble Music Performance Assessment will take place on Friday, April 11 at the University of North Florida. We have 6 soloists and one ensemble competing at this event.  On Saturday, April 26, my Vocal ensemble will head to Tallahassee to compete at the Choral Music Performance Assessment.  In order for us to compete, we must pay registration fees to the Florida Vocal Association and provide transportation to and from these events.  We must also pay for an accompanist to travel with us.

I hope you will join us for the following fundraisers this season.  Your contributions of time and financial support help us meet our performance goals for the year and we are grateful.

1.  "Fletcher's Got Talent" Talent Show - Thursday, April 3rd in the school's auditorium.  Tickets are $5.00 at the door.  Tickets will go on sale at 6:00 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show is at 7:00 p.m.

2.  "Zumba Fitness Fundraiser" - Wednesday, April 9th in the school's gymnasium.  $10 entry fee for each participant.  Class will be taught by Paulette Waterman, a Fletcher grad and certified Zumba instructor.  Each participant will receive a water bottle and a chance to win a door prize.  Come "move your groove" with us and bring a friend!!

3.  "Spirit Night at Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt" - Take a break from your tax preparations and join us on Tuesday, April 15th for Spirit Night at Sweet Frog located behind Mellow Mushroom in Jacksonville Beach.  20% of the day's receipts will be donated to the Fletcher High Choral Booster organization.  This is an easy way to be refreshed and support a worthy cause at the same time.  Noon to Nine.

4.  Attend our Spring Concert and celebrate our graduating seniors! The date of our Spring concert is Tuesday, May 13th in the school's auditorium.  Tickets are $5.00 at the door.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  All Chorus alumni are invited to join us on stage and sing John Rutter's "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" with the chorus.

5.  "Moe's in May" - Moe's Southwest Grille in south Jacksonville Beach is hosting a Spirit Night for the FHS Chorus on Thursday, May 15th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Bring the family and support the Chorus by dining at Moe's.

If you would like to make a donation to our organization, you may do so by writing a check payable to the Fletcher High Choral Boosters and mailing it to the following address:

Mrs. Dee Dee Tamburrino
Director of Choral Studies
Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School
700 Seagate Avenue
Neptune Beach, Florida 32266

Fundraising Season has gotten off to a great start! I would like to thank the Jacksonville Beach Woman's Club for their generous donation to our program this year.  We are extremely grateful for your continued support of our organization.

Jacksonville Beach Woman's Club Philanthropic Day
(That's me on the far right)
Until next time...