Friday, December 13, 2013

Reminder: 3rd installment for Virginia Beach now due!

The installment for the Virginia Beach trip is due before the Winter Break. Please make checks payable to Bennett Student Travel.
The 3rd installment is $125.

Winter Concert Thursday December 19th 7pm

On Thursday December 19th, the GHS Music Dept. will present a winter concert. The evening will feature music from all of the high school performing ensembles. Grafton music boosters will be holding a holiday bake sale. The evening promises to be a fun-filled family event for all ages. If you have any questions or seek information about the event, contact Stephen Trombley-
The concert begins at 7pm in the auditorium. Tickets $2 per person $5 max. per family.

All proceeds support GHS Music.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Concert Bake Sale!

What would a Winter Concert be without the world-famous GHS Music Booster Bake Sale? 

Let's not find out.

If you can help out by bringing a baked good to be part of the sale, please click the link below...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fruit arrives tomorrow!

The truck from Florida will arrive tomorrow morning around 7am. Please plan on picking up your orders between 2-4pm. We are looking for student help to unload the truck. If you can help (and we need a lot of you) please meet in the band room before 7am.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

GHS Music Booster Private Lesson Scholarship Application

The GHS Music Boosters are once again offering a private lesson scholarship to 2 GHS music students.
Private lesson scholarships will be awarded for students wishing to pursue instrumental or vocal lessons. The scholarships will allow the students to receive a full semester (18 1/2hr. lessons) with Apple Tree Arts.
The application is due to by Dec. 20th.

Private Lesson Scholarship Application

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

3rd installment for Virginia Beach Due December 15th

The 3rd payment for Virginia Beach is due by December 15th. The 3rd payment is for $125. Checks are payable to Bennett Student Travel.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gold Fundraiser Results

This was the first year we tried the gold fundraiser. I wanted to share the results with you because I believe it has potential to be a fantastic fundraiser going forward with future trips and events.
We had only 15 families participate this year (not bad for the 1st time trying this out) but raised over $4,000.00. While the average comes out to about $270 per family, a number of those who participated raised enough to pay for the trip and then some. The highest total was just under $900! Keep in mind people were bringing in old, unused and broken items.

The Fruit is Coming!!!

We have been given a tentative date for the delivery of our fruit. At this moment it looks like our order will be coming in on Tuesday December 10th. I want to stress that this is a tentative date and that it is subject to change, but I wanted to give people a heads-up that we will be sending out information about pick-up, etc.

Congratulations to our Central District Musicians!

On Saturday Nov. 16th over 1000 student musicians from all over Central MA auditioned for the opportunity to perform at Mechanics Hall with one of the district ensembles. We were thrilled at the opportunity to again host these auditions right here at GHS.
Grafton was fortunate to have ten very talented students selected to perform.
(Back Row, L-R: Nick Lawrence, Claudia Cruz, Austin Bailey, Jake Sandakly, Eric Webster
Front Row, L-R: Bailey Conkey, Kristyn Wooldridge, Kristen Turgeon.
Not Pictured: Leah Kydd, Danielle Pratt)

These students will be performing in January at Mechanics Hall.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GarageBand now Free for iOS7 devices!

Run! don't walk to your nearest App store and download GarageBand. It is now available for free with iOS7 devices. That iPad in your hands is about to become a musical playground. When I first got this app for iPad I was completely amazed that it could do what it did and only cost me $4.99. Now you will not have to suffer the loss of nearly $5 to have this app for your very own.

This post will not go through all the features of GarageBand, suffice to say that once you download it just start playing and exploring. I think you will be impressed.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2nd Installment payment for Virginia Beach Due Friday the 15th!

The second Virginia Beach installment of $100 is due this Friday (11/15). This week I will be posting a link to the spreadsheet that outlines all payments and credits for students attending the trip.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Music Boosters Seek Volunteers and Donations for Central Districts!

On Saturday Nov. 16th, we will be hosting the Central District music auditions right here at Grafton High School. Throughout the course of the day over 1,000 students from all over central Mass. will be passing through the school. The music boosters are seeking volunteers and/or donations to help make the day a success. Boosters help at registration, sell concessions, provide breakfast and lunch for the adjudicators, and provide hospitality to visiting music directors. Please consider volunteering or donating food items for this event.

You can offer assistance by clicking this link.

Thank You!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Final Home Football Game Scheduled for Friday the 15th!!!

Our final home football game has been scheduled for Friday 11/15. GHS PEP will arrive at 6pm for the 7pm game.
Please be sure to mark your calendars!

Thank You

GHS Music for November

There are some important dates in November so watch that calendar!

  • Wed. Nov 6th GHS PEP Rehearsal 2-3pm
  • Thursday Nov. 7th All payments and order forms for citrus sales are due!!!
  • Wed. Nov 13th GHS PEP Rehearsal 2-3pm
  • Friday Nov. 15th Final Home Football Game 7pm!!!
  • Friday Nov. 15th 2nd installment payment for Virginia Beach Trip $100
  • Saturday Nov 16th Central District Auditions at GHS!
  • Wed. Nov. 20th GHS PEP Rehearsal 2-3pm
  • Fri-Sun Nov. 22-24 Fall Play The Crucible: Fri-Sat 7pm, Sun. 2pm Matinee
  • Thursday Nov. 28th Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are a student and would like to volunteer to help out at Central Districts, please check out our volunteer sign-up form HERE

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Important Information Regarding Citrus Sales ***Update***

Due to the fact that students will not be in school on Nov. 8th, I have amended the deadline for fruit orders.  See below!!

The Citrus sale is now in full swing both online and in the hands of the student sellers. The deadline for all orders is THURSDAY November 7th. We will be placing our overall order to Florida Indian River Groves at that time. If we do not have the order forms and payment by that date, your sales will not be added to our order and you will have some very disappointed citrus lovers.

Please be sure you have completed the order forms and have collected payment at the time of the order.
You are responsible for turning in the orders AND the payments by November 7th. If you do not bring in the payments, the order will not be placed.

Please see Mr. Trombley or Mrs. Renner if you have any questions.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Offline Citrus Sales Begin On Monday!

On Monday the 28th, students will begin to receive order forms for Citrus. The online sales have been going strong for the past couple of weeks. A number of students have been actively making sales online and are putting quite a dent in the cost of their trip. Please take advantage of this wonderful fundraising opportunity. Please see myself or Mrs. Renner for order forms and price lists.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Central District Audition Time 1PM

GHS student auditions for Central Districts are scheduled for 1pm. on Saturday Nov. 16th.
Students scheduled to audition will meet at the registration area at 12:30pm.
Please see Mr. Trombley or Mrs. Renner for more details.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Central District Volunteer Sign-up Form Now Up!

For those of you eager to sign-up as a volunteer for Central Districts, the form is now available.
You can find the link HERE.
The link can also be found in the important links section on the right hand side of the page.

Thank You!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Costume Concert at GHS

On Wednesday October 30th, the GHS music program will be presenting a Halloween Costume Concert. There will be music and costumes and special treats for all the youngsters who come to the concert. The audience is invited to come in their costumes for this fun and none too spooky evening. The bands and choruses at the high school will provide a showcase of music. GHS Music Boosters will be hosting a bake sale, so you can stock up on some goodies. We look forward to seeing you at this family friendly event. Tickets are $2 per person and the concert begins at 7pm in the GHS auditorium.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Online Citrus Sales Available Now!

You may have noticed the banner above the blog posts and the one embedded in this post. This portal will allow you to begin ordering citrus for your music student immediately!
We will begin the 1:1 sales on the 28th of October but the website is up and running and can accept orders from friends and relatives across the country.

When ordering online, you have two options:
  1. Have your fruit shipped to GHS
  2. Have your fruit shipped to your door.
Most orders will come via option 1. Once the fruit is delivered to the school, families will collect the order and distribute it themselves to friends and relatives. This option gives the maximum profit for the students as it cuts down on additional shipping and handling costs.
For friends and relatives who want to lend support from far off lands, then option 2 will ship the fruit directly to their door with additional shipping and handling costs.

The fruit is expected to be delivered during the first 2 weeks of December. As we get closer to the delivery window we will receive more specific delivery information.

More info to come as we gear up for the big sale!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One for the Percussionists!

If you are a percussionist, then you have some familiarity with the name Vic Firth. His company has been the leader in making stick and mallets for percussionists for decades. His company also has one of the best educational websites for musicians that I have ever come across.

Percussionists, we are going to be focusing in on the Essential Rudiments as outlined by the Percussive Arts Society. Over the years, the number of rudiments have grown to the current list of 40. Rudiments are to percussionists what scales are to wind players. They are the building blocks of technique. The Vic Firth site has a tremendous rudiment section that includes video of the rudiments being played, play-along tracks at ever increasing tempos, as well as applications of the rudiments in exercises. I encourage you to check out this site and enjoy spending time with these technique builders.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gold Collection Night This Thursday!

Our Gold Collection Fundraiser will be this Thursday night Oct. 17th from 6-8pm in the Chorus Room.

Please review the packet that was distributed at our meeting and to the students. Keep in mind that only parents will be able to turn in packets with gold.

Please bring your driver's license for identification!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Virginia Beach Deposit and Permission slip due by Oct 15th!

Please be reminded that the $100 Deposit and permission slip are due by Tuesday Oct. 15th. Students planning to attend the Virginia Beach trip can turn in their deposit and permission forms to either Mr. Trombley or Mrs. Renner.

Thank You!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cool Student Project

Senior Peter Nolin has been involved with an independent study related to audio recording this year. I asked him to share one of the projects he has been working on. With this project Peter re-imagined a saxophone quartet piece for acoustic guitar. The piece, "The Diamond State Rag" was written for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone. Peter transposed all of the parts and recorded each part through the iPad Garageband app. The results are pretty impressive. Les Paul would have been very proud.

The Diamond State Rag for acoustic guitar- performed by Peter Nolin

A Friday Visit to the Middle School

I had the great pleasure of conducting the 7th grade band today over at the middle school. Approximately 20 members of the high school band came along to work with and play along side the 7th graders. All the students were (no surprise) fantastic. I am always grateful for the opportunity to make music and to hear these young people make music together today was just awesome. Thank you to Mr. Singley for inviting us to work with the students.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thank you for 10,000 views!

In just under 9 months graftonmusic has broken the 10,000 view plateau. I hope you continue to find the site informative, entertaining, and absolutely essential to your daily life.
Let's celebrate with a video of GHS Pep playing Nick's arrangement of "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.

A New Look at 1:1 technology

So what does a 70 piece iPad band look like when the lights are dimmed? See for yourself...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Virginia Beach Permission Form

Here is a link to the Permission form for the Virginia Beach trip. Students planning to attend the trip must turn in this signed form along with their deposit by October 15th. The medical form needs to be turned in by Wed. April, 30th.

Virginia Beach Permission Form

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What's Coming up in October?

As we head into the month of October, I wanted to post information about what the month has to offer for the music dept.

  • Wednesday 10/2 2-3pm: GHS PEP rehearsal
  • Thursday 10/3 7pm: Parent Information meeting for Virginia Beach- GHS Auditorium
  • Friday 10/4 7pm: Football for GHS PEP. Please report at 6pm
  • Wednesday 10/9 2-3pm: GHS PEP rehearsal
  • Friday 10/11 Final day for students planning to audition for Central Districts to submit $7 audition fee
  • Friday 10/11 7pm: Homecoming Football for GHS PEP. Please report at 6pm
  • Tuesday 10/15: Virginia Beach Deposit Payment is due!
  • Wednesday 10/16 2-3pm: GHS PEP rehearsal
  • Thursday 10/17 6-8pm: Gold Fundraiser collection night
  • Wednesday 10/23 2-3pm: GHS PEP rehearsal
  • Monday 10/28-11/8: Citrus Fundraiser
  • Wednesday 10/30 7pm: Costume Concert!

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the posted events.

Thank You!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I was visiting with the 8th grade band this afternoon and thought I would share this photo. It brings back memories of rehearsing on the stage and wonderful theater productions throughout the years.

I like where we are now. Just saying...

Virginia Beach Trip Information

I am posting general information for our proposed trip to Virginia Beach in the spring. You will see in this document the overall cost of the trip, the proposed payment schedule, itinerary and information about cancellation penalties and optional cancellation insurance.

Virginia Beach Student and Parent Information

Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions and receive additional information at the Oct. 3rd meeting in the GHS Auditorium at 7pm.
During this meeting we will also discuss the planned fundraisers for this trip.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Playing Evaluations

This week I would like to begin some quick playing evaluations by section. 

Wednesday: Flutes and Clarinets
Friday: Trumpets, Saxophone
Monday: Low Brass/Woodwinds, Percussion

Be prepared to play Concert Bb, Eb, and F scales
Music excerpts from Bravura, House of Horrors, Kentucky 1800 (by section)

These will be quick overviews of your playing alone and with your section. Just your section will be in the band room during the playing evaluation.
Percussion will be play the sticking exercises that follow the above scales from Foundations for Superior Performance.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

GHS PEP Rescheduled Rehearsal

Due to a NEASC conflict on Wednesday, I would like to meet on Tues. AND Thurs. from 2-3pm this week. We have many good things happening with the group, but there are some areas that some extra reinforcement will help us clean up. Please let me know if you have a conflict with either of theses days. Remember, there is NO game this Friday but there is a game NEXT Friday.

Grafton High School Music: Virginia Beach Trip Informational Meeting

Grafton High School Music: Virginia Beach Trip Informational Meeting: On Thursday October 3rd at 7pm we will be holding an informational meeting in the auditorium at GHS. The purpose of the meeting is to make s...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Welcome 7th Graders!

We had a nice visit with about 55 7th grade band members today. The students and Mr. Singley stopped by the school for a tour of the music facilities and auditorium. It was great to see so many enthusiastic and inquisitive young musicians. They had great questions about the programs we offer and the performing and rehearsal spaces. These numbers of young musicians point to a coming explosion in enrollment for our high school band program. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creating a student or teacher YouTube Channel

I am linking a past blog posting into this forum to help direct students and teachers to information about creating a YouTube channel from our existing Gmail/Google accounts. Every student and faculty member has a Google account. Creating a YouTube channel allows you the opportunity to upload your own videos, subscribe to other channels, like videos, etc. For some classes, we will be using YouTube videos as a means of self-evaluation and formative assessment.

Creating a YouTube Channel

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pep Rehearsal moves to Thursday

Due to a number of meetings this week, I need to move our PEP rehearsal to Thursday 2-3pm. We do have a game this week on Friday night at 7pm.
Please communicate with me if you have conflicts with the rehearsal or game this week.
Thank You!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thank You to GHS Music Boosters!

A special thank you to GHS Music Booster volunteers who helped out both organizing and staffing the concession stand at our first home football game on Friday night. They were busy all night with big
crowds of hungry and thirsty patrons.

If you would like to offer a little bit of your time to help out at an event or two throughout the school year, please let me know. Parent and community support of the arts is a vital part of our continued growth and success.

Great First Game For GHS PEP!

It was a beautiful night for football and PEP! on Friday the 13th. Grafton won 6-0 and PEP was in good early season form. If you are interested in getting involved with GHS PEP! we are happy to have you just let me know.

Quick game...
Name that tune!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Virginia Beach Trip Informational Meeting

On Thursday October 3rd at 7pm we will be holding an informational meeting in the auditorium at GHS. The purpose of the meeting is to make sure parents and students understand all aspects of the proposed trip to Virginia Beach from May 8-11th. A representative of Bennet Student Travel will be present at the meeting to help answer any questions or concerns about the trip.
In addition, we will be discussing possible fundraisers that students may participate in to help offset the cost of the trip. We encourage parents to attend this meeting so you have a clear picture of our plans and to have any of your questions answered. The meeting is expected to last 45 min. or so.

Performing & Visual Arts College Fair in Boston

On behalf of college admissions professionals in Boston, I am pleased to inform you of an upcoming event for any of your students who are considering studies in the performing or visual arts.  On Tuesday, September 24th, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will present its annual Performing & Visual Arts College Fair in Boston.

More than 130 of the nation’s premier arts institutions will be represented at the fair, which offers prospective students a first-hand opportunity to ask questions and collect relevant information from schools of interest. This is the only college fair of its size in New England that is specifically geared toward arts students, and it only takes place once per year.

Boston Performing & Visual Arts College Fair
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Boston University, Fuller Building
808 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Free and open to the public

This event will be valuable for high school or college students who are considering undergraduate or graduate studies in the arts. Teachers, guidance counselors, family and friends are welcome. Schools from across the country offering programs in music, dance, theater, graphic and visual arts will be represented.

In addition to the college fair, we will host a pre-fair workshop from 6:10 - 6:50 pm just before the fair on the topic of "Navigating the Audition/Portfolio Process at Performing and Visual Arts Schools." This workshop will take place in the BU College of Fine Arts, Room 500, 855 Commonwealth Avenue.
We would be most grateful if you would announce this event to students and parents, and we encourage you to forward this email to any interested parties. A poster can be downloaded for hard-copy distribution as well.

Students should pre-register to attend this fair at Complete information, including a list of attending schools, is available online.

Thank you for your help in getting the word out about this special event. We look forward to welcoming attendees to the fair later this month!


Shaun Ramsay
Assistant Director of the School of Music
Admissions & Student Affairs
Boston University
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Music Apps Show and Tell

Social networking may have some redeeming qualities. The ability to share information quickly amongst dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people can be both scary and tremendously empowering. We will attempt to use this power for good whenever possible. I thought I might just put out the question, "What apps are we using to write, listen to, create, or perform music these days?"

I am not being completely benevolent by asking this question. Sure, if you find some cool new apps by what is shared here then, by all means, more power to you. I see it as a means to shave a few hours out of my week searching for potentially applicable apps.
If you share them, I will compile them in a future post to share with others.

Please feel free to comment below with your app, why you love it and how you use it.

Thanks for sharing!

Central District Auditions

Grafton High School is pleased to once again be hosting the Central District Auditions. Auditions will take place on Saturday November 16th. This year, all students auditioning for chorus, band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble will have their auditions on the 16th. Any student who is a member in good standing with a performing ensemble at GHS is eligible to audition. Students selected to perform with a central district ensemble, will be part of a concert at Mechanics Hall in January.

Students electing to audition for central districts must submit a $7 audition fee no later than Friday October 11th. Checks may be payable to Grafton High School.

The Central District Festival is a great opportunity for students to gain experience in preparing audition materials, performing in an adjudicated audition and (for those accepted) rehearsing and performing with many incredible fellow musicians.

I certainly encourage all students to review audition materials and challenge yourself by auditioning.

The Central District audition list and required scales are posted in the important links section.

Please see me if you have any questions.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thank You Pep Band!

Thanks again to members of GHS PEP! for helping to welcome everyone back at the pep rally on Friday. I am looking forward to a great year working and playing with you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Course Expectations

Here are links to the course expectations in my classes:

Please review the Course Expectations and see me with any questions or concerns.
The Course Expectations are also linked to the right of this post under the Pages heading.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Two Upcoming Events for GHS Performing Ensembles

The year has yet to officially begin, but GHS performing ensembles are already in demand. The PEP band has been asked to perform for the welcome back rally on Friday the 6th at 1pm. We will play for the first 10 minutes or so of the rally as classes are filing in. Members of PEP will be dismissed @12:20 to set up in the gym. We do have a scheduled PEP rehearsal on Wednesday afternoon from 2-3pm.

The Jazz Workshop has been asked to represent the school for the NEASC reception on Sunday Sept. 22nd at 3pm. The group will perform a couple of songs to welcome the visiting NEASC delegation, faculty, and members of the community attending the reception.

You can stay up to date by checking out the music calendar found to the right of this posting.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of School Schedule Wednesday, September 4th , 2013

(All times are approximate)
DAY 12345
7:00a.m.- 7:25a.m.- Students must report to school-wide advisory classroom.  
7:25a.m.- 8:45a.m.-  School-Wide Advisory Rooms

Period 1 - 8:00a.m. - 9:00a.m.
- Students report to period 1
- Seniors report to the Auditorium

Period 2 - 9:04a.m. - 10:04a.m.
- Students report to period 2
- Juniors report to the Auditorium

Period 3 - 10:08a.m. - 11:08a.m.
- Students report to period 3
- Sophomores report to the Auditorium

Period 4 - 11:08a.m. - 12:50p.m.
  • 1st lunch - 11:08a.m. -11:32a.m.
  • 2nd lunch - 11:47p.m. -12:11p.m.
  • 3rd  lunch - 12:26p.m. -12:50p.m.
Period 5 - 12:50p.m. - 1:55 p.m.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Some of you may have gathered that I am a fan of blogging. As a matter of fact, this blog is the home base of communication with our GHS Music Community. On this page you will find links to music, recordings, assignments, calendar, etc. I don't send home pieces of paper, or limit communication to verbal requests during class time. I do my best to be as open and transparent in communicating expectations and information throughout the school year as I can possibly be. My hope is that students and parents will also feel free to communicate with me throughout the school year to address any concerns or issues that might arise.
In addition to this blog, I also maintain a twitter account and an email mailing list. I want to get the message to where you are. I am always interested in exploring new ways to get the message out so feel free to pass along ideas.

I encourage you to subscribe to the blog to receive email updates, follow on twitter (@GraftonBAND) to get messages on the go and always feel free to contact me with any questions.

School Committee Gives Preliminary Approval for Trip

We can start moving forward with our plans for Virginia Beach after last night's school committee meeting. The committee voted 5-0 to grant approval for the trip. We will make one more presentation for the trip when the itinerary and all protocols are fully in place, but for now things look good.

We have set aside the dates of May 8-11 for our trip to the Music in the Parks festival. All students who are members in good standing of the concert band, chorus, and chamber choir will be eligible to participate in the trip. The trip is not a required component of any of these courses, but we encourage students to participate in what is sure to be a memorable high school experience.

As the school year gets under way, we will present more detailed information about the trip (payment info, fundraising opportunities, medical contingencies, etc) and continue to shape the itinerary. We will also be making a call for parent chaperones. If you are a parent and think you might be interested, please let me know. (you would not be making a commitment at this time, I just want to get a sense of interest)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Welcome Back!!

I know this post might seem a bit premature, but you'll get over it. We are just about to get underway with the 2013-2014 school year. Many of you are probably just checking out what your summer reading list looks like. A number of you are protectively nestling your iPad as you recover from the long separation of summer. Others are looking in closets for the location of the carefully stowed instrument you will need on day 1 when you return. Yes, that is right, you will need your instrument the first day we meet in band. Over the next few days and into next week, you will also notice some new links and posts on the blog about helping you to get off on the right foot this year. By this coming weekend there should be links to much of the music we will be studying and performing this year.

Other things to consider:

  • Pep Band will meet on Wednesday afternoons until 3pm. The first meeting will be on Wednesday the 4th.
  • Jazz Ensemble will get up and running within the first few weeks of school. Watch for announcements and posts with more information.
  • The music calendar can be found adjacent to this posting in the right column. Dates for music activities are already up, please check them out.
  • Subscribe to this blog. You will get all of these informative posts sent right to your door (if your door was the email account you subscribed with)
  • Follow Grafton music on Twitter @GraftonBAND I often tweet out links to blog posts as well as reminders, musical musings and some favorite quotes.
  • Guest blogging: This year I would love to post your thoughts within this forum. If you are interested in authoring a music oriented blog post, please let me know.
I am looking forward to seeing you all in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, June 14, 2013

iPad Withdrawal

As iPads get returned for their summer check-up, I am hearing of students suffering from iPad withdrawal. You will get through this. 
Here are a few suggestions for dealing with this scary affliction:
  • Talk to your family- they are the people you've been largely ignoring while staring at your iPad screen.
  • Go outside- It is a large space with often fun activities.
  • practice your instrument- For the most part, these do not have to be plugged in, charged up, or returned during the summer for upgrades.
  • meditate
  • singing the blues- This truly American art form was custom-made for dealing with separation anxiety. for example...
Returned my iPad and I'm feeling lowdown
I said I returned my iPad and I'm felling lowdown
Perhaps I'll meditate to reverse my frown
On the bright side, I have been told that by mid-July, you may be able to reconnect with your iPad friend. Watch for updates...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer PEP coming in August!

For those looking for the ultimate music experience, the wait is over! (At least it will be once the dates I am about to mention get here.)

Summer PEP will meet August 13-15 from 9am-12noon. That is Tuesday August 13th, Wednesday August 14th and Thursday August 15th.

We will be meeting in the band room at GHS.

GHS PEP! is a unique performance opportunity for students in grades 7-12. We seek instrumentalists of all types and abilities to help make our group an enthusiastic and energetic ensemble. If you play bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, this is your opportunity to integrate with more traditional band instruments to form a group that plays original arrangements of current hits, classic songs, and novelty songs that will make you laugh. It is always a good time and always a good time to join.

Be sure to get in touch with me if you are interested in getting involved.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grafton Music: The Week That Was

I had the good fortune of seeing and hearing all of the grade 4-8 student musicians throughout the district this past week. For the first time, Grafton High School hosted all of the district Spring Concerts. The students were thrilled to perform in the state-of-the-art facility at GHS. The sound was wonderful and the lighting added just the right touch, giving each young performer the proper setting to showcase their talents. It was also a treat to see the wonderful music directors throughout the district each guiding their students and our program in a positive direction.
We now have approximately 400 students participating in our band program district-wide. I repeat, almost 400 students! It speaks to the tremendous responsibility of the high school program to be the leader in this continued growth. We must continue to inspire so others will aspire to bigger and better things.
Last week was a week that inspired me. Let's continue to be our best.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thank you Graduation Band!

Thanks again to the band students who provided a polished, elegant, air to the wonderful graduation proceedings this past Friday at the Hanover Theater. The opportunity to perform at this world-class hall has been a tremendous experience over the years. I will attempt to add some photos and video to this post in future updates.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Thoughts on Practice

I recently came across this quote by the violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin:
"There is no such thing as a difficult piece of music. A piece is either impossible or easy. The process whereby it migrates from one category to the other is known as PRACTICING." ~ Sir Yehudi Menuhin
I like this quote. But, I like a lot of quotes. The process of encapsulating an idea into a rather short, memorable series of words is appealing to me. I think that is why I enjoy Twitter as well (@GraftonBAND)

Back to the quote...

What Sir Yehudi is trying to say is pretty self-explanatory. That being said, next year we will play some music that will be impossible for some of you when we begin the year. I am not going to sugar-coat it. Many of you will struggle. The group will struggle. But...

What we will accomplish as a group is not doing the impossible but rather changing the impossible. That is what practice is all about. We will accomplish this together. I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Central District Audition List now Available!

For those looking to get a jump-start on your audition preparations, the CD audition list is now available. A link has also been posted to the right of these postings. Auditions will be held in Grafton on Saturday November 16th.

Grafton to Host Central District Auditions in 2013

Grafton High School has again been chosen to host the Central District Music auditions on November 16th 2013. Citing the great location, facilities, and supportive students and parents, the district was eager to come back to Grafton for the annual event. Next year, the day will also include the jazz ensemble auditions which have usually occurred at another site prior to the general auditions. We are looking forward to hosting this large event.
Look for updates and postings related to the auditions in the coming days.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grafton High School Music: Graduation Information for Band Students

Grafton High School Music: Graduation Information for Band Students: Graduation is fast approaching and the band is an integral part of the ceremony. Band students will be performing at the Hanover Theatre as ...

Memorial Day to Remember

We had a spectacular day for the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday. In the nearly 2 decades of marching for the town of Grafton, it has to go down as one of the most picturesque parade days I can recall. This year, students from GMS met up with the GHS band at Norcross park and we completed the parade as one unified band.

The students performed the service songs from each of the 5 branches of the armed forces. These arrangements were written specifically for the band for our Memorial Day parade.
As we begin to wind down our band activities for the school year it is always great to have the parade as a way to honor those who have served in the armed services, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

GMS Concert at GHS Tuesday June 4th

The future stars of GHS (and current stars of GMS) will take the high school stage on Tuesday June 4th at 6pm for the Spring Concert. The band, chorus and jazz band will be featured during the performance. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

MetYSO to become Claflin Hill Youth Symphonies

My son and I had the good fortune of attending a recent MetYSO performance. The groups were wonderful. I was particularly impressed with the quality of literature performed by the ensembles and the level of achievement of the individual student musicians.
I would encourage interested students to audition for the group. Auditions will be held on June 2nd and  August 25th I am attaching a flyer with contact info, etc.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lions Club All-State Band

The GHS Band was honored to have 5 students chosen (1 student had to decline the invitation) to perform with the Lions All-State Band this year. During the week of April vacation the students rehearsed and performed with the group as part of the Lions State Convention. It was a grueling rehearsal and performance schedule for the students but the students were thankful to the sponsoring Lions Clubs and the GHS music boosters for supporting them.

Pictured L to R Martin Wyatt, Robbert Haskins, Nick Lawrence, Austin Boyle
Not pictured Marissa Barton

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Memorial Day Parade

On Monday May 27th the students of the GHS Band have been given the honor of marching in the annual Memorial Day Parade. Students will meet at the high school at 8:30am. The schedule is as follows:
9:45am: North Grafton – Start at St. Mary’s Church School to Quinsigamond Corner, with stop at bridge
10:30am: South Grafton – Start at Library to Soldiers Memorial,
11:15am: Grafton Center – Start at Norcross Park to a stop at the Common, to J.F. Kennedy School (via Oak Street)
12:00pm: J.F. Kennedy School Flag Raising

Students will wear khaki pants/ shorts with a green top. 
We will be boarding the busses at 9am to go to the staging area at North Grafton.

It is important that band students have their music memorized or have printed copies and a lyre to hold their music.

The trumpeters for taps will meet at the American Legion Delisle Goulet Post 92 at 7:15am. They will rejoin the band at North Grafton.

The Memorial Day Parade is a required performance as per our course expectations.

Grafton High School Students will be able to: Understand and demonstrate the duties and responsibilities that come with citizenship

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Great Day at Great East

We had a wonderful day of music and fun at the Great East Festival on Friday May 17th. The Band, Concert Choir and Chamber Choir each performed for adjudicators in the morning at Westfield North Middle School. The Band and Concert Choir received gold medal ratings while the Chamber Choir received a prestigious platinum rating. The adjudicators where highly complimentary of the ensembles' performance. They spoke of the high quality of literature and the student's exceptional musicianship.

We had a terrific day at Six Flags following the adjudication. The weather was fantastic and the students where awesome. Special thanks to Mr. Roix, Mr. Graves, and Mrs. Thurber for helping to chaperone the trip.

Mr. Roix captured a great video of Chris, Mary and MaryTheresa on the Scream ride. The sun was in the perfect spot for a really cool "launch" of the ride. You'll see what I mean when you watch the video.

You can see more photos and highlights of the trip from our Twitter feed @GraftonBAND

Friday, May 10, 2013

The physics of music

Mr. Eschelbacher's physics classes recently built homemade musical instruments as part of the study of the physics of sound. Here is Doug A. demonstrating during band class.

Thank you for making a success!

Thanks to those of you who keep up-to-date on the goings-on of GHS music by visiting this blog, we are fast approaching our 5000 view. Please keep visiting and we will keep the news from GHS music flowing. You can also follow GHS music on twitter @GraftonBAND.

Boosters seeking baked goods for Arts Night Bake Sale!

The Music Boosters are seeking donations for their bake sale at Arts Night next Thursday, May 16th.  We are looking for a variety of donations, including brownies, cookies, cupcakes, breads, pies, fudge, etc.  All item should be wrapped.  Thank you for helping support the Grafton Music Boosters. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Night of the Arts at GHS

On Thursday May 16th, Grafton High School will be filled with the sights and sounds of the arts. The annual Arts Night and Spring Concert will bring together the visual and performing arts as well as many projects and interactive displays from various academic departments. The doors will open at 6pm and give visitors a chance to browse the displays and visit with the student artists and presenters. At 7pm the music department will present the Spring Concert which will feature various ensembles performing an eclectic blend of musical styles. Groups scheduled to perform include the Chamber Choir, Chorus, the jazz workshop and the Concert Band. Please join us in celebrating the artistic achievement of these talented GHS students. Admission is free and all are welcome.