Friday, December 19, 2014

In the Mood- GHS Jazz Workshop

In the coming days and weeks we will have highlights from the Winter Concert posted online. Here is the Jazz Workshop performing In The Mood.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Citrus is Coming! The Citrus is Coming!

I received a call on Friday from our orange growing friends in Florida to tell us our truck was loaded and would be headed north. Our expected delivery is Monday around noon time. Students can plan to take fruit home after school on Monday. In addition we will have a 2 hour pickup window between 6-8pm Monday evening. Please make arrangements to pickup your fruit after school or between 6 and 8pm.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

GHS Music Winter Concert-Wednesday Dec. 17th 7PM

On Wednesday December 17th, 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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jazz Workshop says Goodbye to Mrs. Cembrola (Video)

The Jazz Workshop performed a "farewell" engagement for our amazing librarian, Mrs. Cembrola. Mrs. Cembrola was serenaded on her last day before beginning her retirement. We wish her all the best!


Thank You For 30,000 Views!

Just a year ago I posted about passing 10,000 views on our graftonmusic.blogspot site. Are you sitting down? The GHS Music blog just surpassed 30,000 views! I hope you continue to find the blog useful and informative as we continue to grow as a musical and web presence.

Thank You!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

GHS Music Students shine at district auditions.

On Saturday November 15th Grafton High School hosted the Central District MA Music Educators festival auditions. Nearly 1200 students from across Central Ma visited the school and auditioned for spots in the district band, chorus, jazz ensemble and orchestra. Sixteen students from Grafton were chosen to participate in the festival and perform at Mechanics Hall in January.

GHS District Musicians: Leah Kydd, Eric Webster, Jillian Gosselin, Samantha Jacobson, Emily Stratton, Bailey Conkey, Jessica Guertin, Jackson Briggs, Jake Sandakly, Claudia Cruz, Teddy Kiritsy, Austin Bailey, Danielle Pratt, Izzy Edwards, Ashley Scarlett, Elizabeth Wagner

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Here is a short video that highlights some of the wonderful benefits playing an instrument offers your brain.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GHS Music Booster Private Lesson Scholarship

Once again the GHS Music Boosters are offering scholarships for private music lessons. This is a great opportunity for students looking to advance their playing and/or singing. Information about the scholarship can be found on the application. The deadline to submit a scholarship application is Friday December 12th.

Scholarship Application

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Music boosters seek donations for Central District auditions on Saturday

The GHS Music Boosters are seeking donations of food for the upcoming Central District auditions at GHS. The boosters are responsible for feeding our adjudicators and offering concessions for the nearly 1200 students who will walk through our doors. If you are able to help with a food donation, please let them know by filling out this sign-up form.

Thank You!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sign-up to be a Central District Student Volunteer!

To volunteer to help at Central District auditions.

Date: Saturday November 15th
Time(s): Between 7:30am and 5pm (see sign-up form to choose availability)
Place: GHS

Sign-up Here!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Costume Concert at GHS!

On Wednesday October 29th, 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.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Music Booster Bake Sale Needs Your Support!

The GHS Music boosters will be holding the annual Costume Concert Bake Sale on Wednesday Oct. 29th during the Costume Concert. The boosters are an incredibly important part of what we do as a music program. The advocacy and financial support they offer the program and the students is invaluable. Please consider supporting this bake sale by offering up a baked good. You can volunteer your goodies by signing-up HERE.

Thank You for your support!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Purchase Your Citrus Online 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 27th 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 8, 2014

Great East Festival!

The GHS Music program will again be participating in the Great East Festival this year. The festival is a great experience for our performing ensembles and a wonderful end-of-the-year bonding opportunity. Students prepare and perform for excellent clinicians, receive feedback, and earn awards for their accomplishments. The day is capped off by an extended stay at Six Flags in Agawam.
We encourage all of our students to participate, however the Great East Festival is not a required performance.

  • The cost of the festival is $50. 
  • A $10 deposit is due along with a permission slip by Friday October 24th
  • The school nurse will be accompanying the trip along with additional faculty chaperones
  • A citrus fundraiser will be held between Oct. 27th and Nov. 7th

Friday, October 3, 2014

Food Bank Shelves Nearly Empty

The GHS Fine Arts Dept. will be helping the local Grafton Food Bank by holding a food drive the week of Oct. 6-10. Canned goods and non-perishable items can be dropped off in any of the Music or Art classrooms throughout the week. This drive is a response to the call for community service and the situation facing the Grafton Food Bank.

(From the Grafton News)

The Grafton Food Bank is looking for food donations as its shelves are almost
empty. With donations diminishing recently, the Food Bank has been forced to
purchase much of the food it distributes to the families it serves. Canned goods
and non-perishables of all kinds are needed. They may be dropped off at the
open shelves outside the Town Clerk’s office at the Grafton Municipal Center.

Thank You!


We talked about turning this into an inspirational poster...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Note from the GHS Music Boosters

Hello Fellow Music Numbers,

A note to introduce the Grafton High School Music Boosters. We are a group of
parents who raise money for the music department at Grafton High School by selling
concessions at the home football games and at the Central District Auditions. We
also have a bake sale at each of the concerts. The funds we raise help to support the
following programs:

-Two music scholarships to deserving seniors
-Two scholarships for private music lessons at Apple Tree Arts for the spring semester
-Subsidize the cost of bussing the GHS Band and Chorus to their annual spring music
-Subsidize the application free for the student’s nominated for the Lions Club All State
Band (2 students each year)
-Financial support for 8th grade band day
-Paying the cost for the professional band that performs at Jazz Night each spring.

We would love to have you sign up to help us by working at the concession stands for
the football games or Central Districts. We have a great time. If you are interested
in helping please send an email to Mr Trombley who will get the information to us or
contact Cyndie Webster directly at

The football schedule:
Friday Sept 26 at 7 PM
Friday October 17 at 7 PM
Friday October 24 at 7 PM
Thursday November 27 at 10 AM

Thank you for your support.!

The Grafton Music Boosters:

Cyndie Webster
Janet Rivard
Laura Chevalier
Michelle Debatis
Carrie Peacock

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sibelius: Music Notation Workshops on Wednesdays

All of our workstation computers have the wonderful music notation program Sibelius installed. This is an industry standard program that is used by composers and arrangers throughout the world. If you are interested in exploring how to use Sibelius or have some background but want to learn more, then this post is for you. On Wednesdays from 2-2:45 we will run Sibelius workshops to get familiar with the program and start composing and arranging. If you are interested, please let me know. The first Sibelius workshop day will be next Wednesday 9/17.

Great East Festival: Save the Date!

The GHS Music Program is planning to attend the Great East Festival on Friday May 15th, 2015. This date is already part of the GHS Music calendar. The groups scheduled to travel and perform this year are the Band, Chorus, Chamber Choir and Jazz Ensemble. While this is not a required performance for students, we want to encourage as much participation as possible to ensure complete and polished sounding ensembles during the adjudication. More details will be forthcoming in future postings!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Claflin Hill Youth Symphonies Auditions

We have had GHS Band students participate in past years. Wonderful organization. I wanted to pass this information along...

Upcoming Schedule for GHS PEP!

We are going to be running GHS PEP! rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3pm starting next week. Our first scheduled game is on Friday Sept. 26th at 7pm.
All are welcome to be a part of this group. If you are interested, please see me or come by next Tuesday at 2pm and see what we are about.

Current Fall Pep Schedule:

  • Rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday 2-3pm beginning Sept. 9th.
  • Game: Friday Sept 26th 7pm
  • Game: Friday October 17th 7pm
  • Game: Friday October 24th 7pm
  • Game Thursday November 27 (Thanksgiving game) 10:15am 
I would expect at least 1 (perhaps 2) additional game to be added to the schedule. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9th Grade Opening Day!

I know I had about 5 minutes to see you today, and I am sure you absorbed every detail I shared.
In case you missed some of those pearls of wisdom, here is a recap of the communication tools we should be taking advantage of...
  • This blog: If you are reading this it is likely you are familiar with this blog. The address is and you can subscribe by email (in the right hand column) to get daily email updates.
  • Twitter: The Grafton music program can be followed on Twitter. @GraftonBAND. I use Twitter quite a bit and most blog postings are also found linked in Twitter.
  • Remind: Text alert system that is just wonderful. You can sign on to Remind by clicking this link. Once you have entered your #, you will get any updates that are sent by text. This service is anonymous and secure. It is designed for school to home/student communication.
  • GHS MUSIC Calendar: There is a link to the music calendar in the upper right hand corner of the blog. I also posted a step by step guide to subscribing to the calendar on your iPad. Once subscribed you will see events in your iCAL.
The Arts are about communication. When we make music we are communicating with our audience and each other. Make communication a priority this year. If you ever have any questions, concerns, ideas, or even good jokes, please be sure to communicate them to me. One Band One Voice!

Subscribe to the GHS Music Calendar on your iPad!

Make sure you don't miss any of the activities we have scheduled for the upcoming school year!
Subscribe to the GHS Music Calendar. (instructions for iPad subscribing)

  1. Tap settings icon on homescreen
  2. Choose Mail, Contacts, Calendars from the left hand column of settings
  3. Under Accounts choose Add Account
  4. Next choose other from the list
  5. Under Calendars choose Add Subscribed Calendar
  6. Paste in this URL-
  7. You should be all set!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GHS Music Update 8/21/14

The school year is upon us.
To reiterate from my last post, it is important that band students are set to go with a working instrument and any necessary accessories (reeds, valve oil, etc.).
Band students are also encouraged to begin previewing the music we will be playing throughout the coming school year. Some of the parts are already available by following this link.
In particular, the piece Toccata for Band will be used as a playing assessment to help assign students into appropriate parts and chairs within the band.

I wanted to also point out some more of the features of the blog tools that will help in communication throughout the school year.

  • I can be reached via email at:
  • Additionally, you may opt to subscribe to this blog (see subscribe bar to the right of this post). Once you are subscribed you will receive updates when a new post goes up.
  • You can follow GHS Music on twitter @GraftonBAND (I use and follow twitter on a regular basis)
  • The GHS Music Calendar can be found in the pages section of the blog (upper right corner)
  • Another valuable communication tool is the Remind (formerly Remind101) texting service. This is explained in more detail in a previous post but you can sign-up to receive text messages here.
In coming posts, I will discuss concert protocol, and our planned trip for the spring.

See you soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gearing up for the coming school year

As you review your back-to-school needs, don't forget your musical needs. Instruments need to be in good working order for the start of school. Students in band need to be ready to go from day one. Use these remaining summer weeks to get any cleanings or minor repairs taken care of.
Start checking out the links section of the blog to get familiar with music for the 14-15 school year. The GHS Pep library continues to grow. If you are planning to play or interested in joining, take a look at what we are playing. 
I will be posting a good deal of information over the next couple of weeks so stay tuned. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Receive Text Alerts from GHS Music!

If you would like to receive text alerts and reminders from GHS Music you can do so by following this link to the Remind service.

Phone numbers are always kept private so that teacher-student-parent communication is 100% safe and
I also like this service, because I never need to see your phone number and you don't have to see mine.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grafton High School Music: GHS PEP Means Summer Fun!

Grafton High School Music: GHS PEP Means Summer Fun!: GHS PEP will have a summer session that run August 12-14th from 9am to noon. This summer session helps us to prepare for the upcoming fall f...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Exploring new music over the summer

I am always excited to hear new music. It's important to keep our ears open to new sounds and musical ideas. A pianist friend of mine suggested I listen to a young musician from London named Jacob Collier. I have been spellbound by what I have heard. What he does is pure genius.

Two other groups that I have been fascinated by so far this summer...

Dirty Loops

...and Snarky Puppy

Keep listening!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Looking for a French Horn player

A French Horn has become available and it is looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated student musician looking to try a double. Please see me if you are interested in trying it out for the summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer is Coming: Don't forget your instruments!

Students are asked to take their instruments home for the summer. This is the ideal time to get them cleaned and evaluated for any repairs. Also, the summer is a great time to explore step-up or intermediate instruments if your student has outgrown their beginner instrument. Students often will find the ease of play and improved tone on an intermediate instrument to be a spark as they they continue with their music.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

GHS Music Calendar for 2014-2015

Events are being planned and dates are being set for the 2014-2015 school year calendar. Be sure to check out the calendar located in the top right corner of our band blog. You will find the dates for plays, musicals, concerts, Great East Trip and more.

GHS PEP Means Summer Fun!

GHS PEP will have a summer session that run August 12-14th from 9am to noon. This summer session helps us to prepare for the upcoming fall football season, refresh our classic tunes and introduce new material to our repertoire.

GHS PEP is an eclectic and energetic group of musicians looking to have some fun. The music we play is ever changing based on talents and interests of the group. We play at all home football games during the fall and select basketball games in the winter.

All are invited to participate with GHS PEP. If you are interested in becoming part of this group, please fill out the linked form.

Thank You,

GHS PEP Sign-up Form

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014-2015 Central District Audition List

The list of audition pieces for the Central District Music Festival is now available. Please see me if you are planning to audition for Central Districts in November.

Audition List

District Audition Pieces by Instrument

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Guest Artist: Megan Elsier

We were pleased to have Megan Elsier (class of 2012) stop in and present a mini workshop on songwriting, guitar and perceptions of the music business. Megan is currently a student of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She is a tremendously talented artist and we are proud to call her a GHS Alum. Be sure to catch the end of the video for a full performance of her original song "Waiter".

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grafton High School Music: Graduation Info for Band!

Grafton High School Music: Graduation Info for Band!: Graduation will be held at the DCU center this year. That means we are all going (save for the graduates) to play at the ceremony. Here ...

Grafton High School Music: Memorial Day Parade Information

Grafton High School Music: Memorial Day Parade Information: On Monday May 26th the students of the GHS Band have been given the honor of marching in the annual Memorial Day Parade. Students will meet ...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Full Virginia Beach Video Montage

Please enjoy this little compilation video from our trip to Virginia Beach. We made a lot of great memories and hopefully this video will help them last just a bit longer.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Student Piano Workshop

Would you like to gain exposure to the world of music?
Come to a free piano workshop for children of all ages, designed to introduce youth to the musical world.
Students will learn basic music theory and simple arrangements of classic songs in a group workshop environment.
Sponsored by the Grafton Chapter of the National Honor Society.
Wednesday, May 21nd, 2014 at Grafton High School

Workshop hosted by Sydney Davis, 16 years old, 10 years piano experience.
E-mail to RSVP or for more information.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Arts Night/ Spring Concert

The annual Arts Night/ Spring Concert will take place on Thursday. Doors will open at 6pm and visitors are asked to peruse the student displays throughout the commons and surrounding hallways. The Spring Concert will begin at 7pm and feature the jazz workshop, band, chorus and chamber choir. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you can donate a baked good for the boosters bake sale, please let them know by signing- up at this link.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Virginia Beach Video Trailer

In order to build anticipation (and buy additional editing time) for the soon to be released video of our trip to Virginia Beach, I am releasing this sneak peek trailer.
Hope you enjoy. Watch for the the upcoming full-length feature.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Trip Update 6: The voyage home

The trip has been such a great experience. The students performed tremendously. Each group received excellent ratings. Grafton High School was awarded the Esprit de Corps trophy for being the school that best exemplified the spirit of the festival. I will post a link to results in the final update.
Though a bit of rain dampened some of the fun at Busch Gardens, the students made up for it with extra time at the hotel pools and beach. We are currently en route to Grafton. At the moment we are at a lunch stop in Delaware.
Look for more updates. You can follow the progress of our return journey on twitter. @grafton BAND

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Trip Update 5: Day 2 Recap and a Look at Day 3

Each day is a blur of activity in Virginia Beach. The itinerary is packed which keeps kids the active (and very tired by room check in the evening). Day 2 was performance day which meant traveling between 2 different school in 2 different towns. The groups did a fantastic job! We will receive results on day 3 at the awards ceremony in the park. The tour of Norfolk naval base was quite impressive. A number of ships where docked including a massive aircraft carrier!
Today we will be taking a tour of Colonial Williamsburg in the morning before heading over to Busch Gardens Amusement Park. It looks like another long, but fun, day. Wi-fi has been spotty so blogging has been slow-going. Tweeting has been the main source of updates. You can follow the trip @graftonBAND on twitter and the trip hashtag is #ghsmusictrip.
We did have some early risers this morning and we got a treat when a pod of dolphins swam by the hotel!
One noticeable trend is the increasing difficulty in getting the kids awake each morning. Today's wake-up call was 6:30am. I got the impression that a number of them where not happy with that...

I will try to add some photos when I update this post.

Thanks for reading!

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Trip Update 4: Day 2

After a big breakfast buffet at the hotel, we are on the buses heading to the Norfolk Naval Base. We plan to have some free time at the hotel for lunch before our performances in Williamsburg. The weather is beautiful and the students are having a blast.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Trip Update 3: Day 1 Recap

A long day of traveling was topped off by a big buffet in Virginia Beach and a couple of hours by the pools and beach. We get started bright and early tomorrow with 7am wake up calls before breakfast. We travel to Norfolk Naval Base and perform for adjudication tomorrow. Another full day! It is 12:10am so I will sign off until tomorrow.

Check back for more updates!

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trip Update 2

After a lunch stop in New Jersey, the nourished and reenergized band of merry music makers continue their journey toward Virginia Beach. Our advanced scout has told us that it is 87 sunny and clear at our destination. Our ETA in VA is just after 6pm. We will get some dinner and head to the hotel for some time at the pools before lights out.

Keep you posted.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Trip Update 1

The buses rolled at 6:45 am. The skies became angy by the time we reached Milford Ct. to swap our drivers. Under a light rain we continued south and by 9:30 we were passing through Bridgeport. Everybody seems to be in good spirits, however spotty wi-fi threatens to greatly inconvienience two busloads of folks with expectations of ubiquitous internet access...

Keep you posted.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Final Itinerary for Virginia Beach Trip

Here is a copy of the itinerary for our trip. This was handed out at the parent meeting on the 29th.

    "This program was supported in part by a grant from the Grafton cultural council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."

Suggested Virginia Beach Packing List

As you pack your bags, here are some things to keep in mind...

Suggested Packing List

One note about this packing list...

You don't need to have your performance clothes (black and white) as part of your carry-on. We are not traveling and performing on the same day. We will get dressed at the hotel on Friday prior to leaving for the performances.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Memorial Day Parade Information

On Monday May 26th 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 7:00am. 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

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Virginia Beach: Info about Travel and Accommodations

I wanted to post links to both the bus company we will be traveling with and the hotel in which we will be staying.

Academy Bus
I have been told that the buses will be wi-fi enabled.
From the company...
"All the buses in our fleet do have outlets, except for one of them. As the trip gets closer and buses are assigned, I will check to see which buses are booked to be on this trip."

Holiday Inn North Beach
Students will have oceanfront suites.

Emergency Forms Needed for Virginia Beach

It is important that we have medical/ emergency forms from all students planning to attend the trip to Virginia Beach next week. Here is the list of students who still have outstanding forms. Please submit these forms ASAP.

Arnold, Connor

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Virginia Beach Pre-Trip Info: Luggage and Medication Drop-Off

Luggage drop-off will take place on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm. During those hours, the nurse will be on-site to accept medications and consult with parents with questions, instructions or concerns.
Luggage will be inspected and tagged. It will be locked in the chorus room over night for departure on Thursday morning.
Band instruments will tagged and stored in the band room for departure Thursday morning.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Graduation Info for Band!

Graduation will be held at the DCU center this year. That means we are all going (save for the graduates) to play at the ceremony.

Here is the schedule for the upcoming festivities...
  • Wednesday June 4th- Graduation rehearsal in the gym 8:30am
  • Thursday June 5th- Graduation rehearsal at DCU Center in the morning
    • Band students will load the busses at 8am to go to DCU
  • Thursday June 5th - Graduation Ceremony at DCU Center
    • Band students will load the busses at GHS at 4:30pm
    • Ceremony will run from 6-7:30pm(or so)
    • Busses will return the band students to GHS after the ceremony
Concert attire for the ceremony is black and white!

Any student who is not returning to GHS on the bus must bring a note stating that fact.

Music for Graduation will be posted on the site.
It will include...
  • Pomp and Circumstance
  • Star Spangled Banner 
  • Alma Mater
  • Stars and Stripes Forever

Remind 101: Your alert center at Virginia Beach

Students planning to attend the Virginia Beach trip are strongly encouraged to sign up for the Remind 101 text service. We will be using text alerts to keep you informed throughout the trip. If you are bringing a phone with you on the trip, please sign-on for Remind 101 right now!

Remind 101

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Music Events at GHS

Here are the dates for the remaining music events for GHS Band Students:

  • May 8-11 Virginia Beach Trip
  • May 15 Spring Concert 7pm
  • May 26 Memorial Day Parade 8:30-noon
  • June 5 Graduation (+DCU Center) More details to come...
Music for Memorial Day is posted in the links section of the blog.
Music for Graduation is starting to go up. You can find the Alma Mater already posted.

What Kurt Vonnegut wrote to a high school in 2006

The author, Kurt Vonnegut, (along with a number of other authors) was invited to this school in 2006. He was the only one to respond to the invitation. What I love about this letter is that he doesn't speak of education in terms of grades or tests. He speaks of the intrinsic reward of creating art, any art.

"Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:
I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don't make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.
What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow.
Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're Count Dracula.
Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?
Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have made your soul grow."
His final two paragraphs speak to the question I like to ask, "If you learn something and no one is there to test you, does it count?" It sounds like Kurt Vonnegut knew the answer.

Virginia Beach Parent Meeting Tuesday April 29th 7pm

The final informational meeting for the Virginia Beach music trip will take place on Tuesday April 29th at 7pm. The meeting will be held in the band room at GHS.
During this meeting we will go over the final itinerary, trip protocol, medical information, and answer any questions or concerns from parents/ guardians.
If you have a music student going on the trip, please plan on attending this meeting.
Doug Bennett from Bennett Student Travel will be in attendance at the meeting to help answer any questions or address any concerns. Our school nurse, Ceil Thurber also plans to be in attendance to answer any medical questions or address any concerns. Mrs. Thurber will be with us on the trip to Virginia Beach.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lion's Club All-State Band: Congratulations to Sam and Bailey!

Congratulations to Bailey Conkey '17 and Samantha Jacobson '16 for being selected to perform with the Lion's Club All-State Band.
Each year, a handful of GHS band students receive nominations for the Lion's All-State Band. 
Sam on trombone and Bailey on tenor sax will be making their first appearance with the Lion's Band in May.
Thank you to the Grafton Lion's and the GHS Music boosters for sponsoring our two talented musicians.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

GHS Band Assignment: Friday March 28th.

I apologize for not being with you today. In my absence, Nick Lawrence will be working with you on the march, Punchinello. Please give him your utmost attention and respect. Thank you.

Additionally, You have a short writing assignment within Noteflight.

  • Follow the instructions in the prompt above the staff.
  • You will be changing the instrument to match what you play (using the option within the "staff" drop down menu)
  • You must choose your key: Bb, Eb or F (using the same "staff" drop down menu)
  • Your completed etude will include examples of 16th notes and dotted rhythms.
  • It can extend beyond 8-measures
  • The completed etude should be playable by yourself or someone in your section. Think about the practical playability of your instrument.
  • Be sure to save your work as you go.
  • If you have questions, we have a team of Noteflight experts on hand: Emma, Bailey, Sam, Austin and Tyler
Prior to the end of class, please stack all chairs and stands on the racks.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Music apps I enjoy...

Apps seem to number like the grains of sand on a beach. I don't feel as though I have any qualifications to properly review apps, but I wanted to share a couple that I am having a good deal of fun with.

I can't stop playing with Loopy HD. If you have not experienced the joy of creating your own loops then you need to get your hands on this app and start looping. This app was brought to my attention when a colleague showed me a clip of Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel singing multi-layered doo-wop parts into this app on the Tonight Show. The app has a unique interface that is both visually appealing and oddly intuitive. 

Another app that I often find indispensable is called Anytune Pro+. This app is somewhat pricey in comparison to others (free ones in particular). This app has the ability to slow down any music without changing the pitch. For anyone who has tried to transcribe music you will understand how important this is. I spent a good deal of time transcribing guitar work that moves faster than my ear will allow me to efficiently reproduce. With this app you can bring it to a crawl and not affect the pitch at all. Amazing.

I will try and keep you updated on the apps I enjoy. If you share some of your favorites with me, perhaps I can enjoy those as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Recognition of GHS Student Excellence in the Visual Arts

The Visual Arts Department is very pleased to announce that Freshman Art Foundations student Julia Gaudette's mixed media self-portrait was selected by the Massachusetts Art Education Association to represent Grade 9 from our state in an exhibition of student work at the upcoming National Art Education Association convention in San Diego on March 29-31.  The MAEA chose artwork from each grade K - 12 from the 644 pieces now on display at the Youth Art Month exhibit at the Massachusetts Transportation Building in Boston.  Julia and the 12 other young artists whose work will travel to the national convention will be recognized at a reception at the Youth Art Month Family Celebration on Sunday, March 23.  Congratulations Julia! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

GHS Music Student Chosen for All-State

Congratulations to GHS Junior Jake Sandakly for being selected to perform with the All-State Chorus.
Jake is currently in Boston rehearsing with members of the All-State Chorus in preparation for a concert at Symphony Hall on Saturday March 22nd.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Final Payments for Virginia Beach Due by Friday!!!

The final balance payment for all students planning to attend the Virginia Beach trip is due by this Friday, March 14th.

All checks are to be made payable to:  Bennett Student Travel.

Please refer to the Virginia Beach Payment Records to check the remaining balance.

Thank You!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Noteflight for Band!


Today I wanted to introduce you to Noteflight. Noteflight is an online music notation program that we have been piloting in Harmony and Theory and Guitar class. With Noteflight you will be able to compose music, collaborate with other writers and share your music.

You have all been invited to be part of Noteflight. For Log-in purposes, you will follow this link and enter your first and last name (as it appears on school records) for your user name. You will then be prompted to create a password.

Once in you will browse the scores and find one called Band Composition.

Follow the prompts to begin composing. There are a handful of students who will be available to help if you have questions. There is a bit of a learning curve with this program, but I believe in you!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Jazz Night Bake Sale

The GHS Music Boosters will be holding a bake sale on Monday March 10th, the evening of the Jazz Night concert. The boosters are looking for your help in supplying baked goods for the event.
Your help is very much appreciated. If you can offer an item or two, please sign-up at this link.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Receive Text Message Updates from Grafton Music

Grafton Music will now be offering text message reminders with the Remind 101 service.
Currently, the Concert Band is accepting subscribers. Please follow this link to learn more and subscribe for you text message notifications.
Subscribers can receive messages either by text or email.

Remind 101

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jazz Night Concert Monday March 10th

Grafton High School will once again host the annual Jazz Night Concert on Monday March 10th at 7pm.
The music boosters will be selling tickets for the Jazz Night Concert at the door.
Tickets are $5 each with a family cap of $15.

We are once again excited to announce that the Hot Cat Jazz Band will be our guest artists for Jazz Night. The Connecticut based band will perform a set of traditional and big band style jazz. Along with the Hot Cats, there will be performances by the Jazz Workshop, Chamber Choir and perhaps a surprise or two.

We are grateful to the GHS Music Boosters for once again sponsoring our Jazz Night concert.

Balance Payment for Virginia Beach Due by March 14th!

The final payment of the of the outstanding balance for Virginia Beach is due by Friday March 14th. You can review your balance by checking the payment spreadsheet.
All checks are payable to Bennett Student Travel.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Virginia Beach Trip: Remaining Payments

The final payments are coming due for the Virginia Beach trip. Here is the complete payment schedule as posted in the link section of to the right of this posting. It is important to review the information that is posted in our links section.

Payment #1 $125.00 per person Due on October 15, 2013 
Payment #2 $100.00 per person Due on November 15, 2013 
Payment #3 $125.00 per person Due on December 15, 2013 
Payment #4 $125.00 per person Due on January 15, 2014 
Payment #5 $125.00 per person Due on February 15, 2014 
Payment #6 Balance Due Due on March 15, 2014 

We have scheduled our final parent/guardian meeting for Tuesday April 29th at 7pm in the GHS Auditorium. We are requiring parents/guardians to attend this meeting as we will review final itinerary, student expectations, and emergency protocols and precautions.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Virginia Beach Payment #4 Due January 15

The 4th payment for our Virginia Beach Trip is due by January 15th. The scheduled payment is $125 and all checks should be made payable to Bennett Student Travel.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Information about Central District rehearsals and concert

The students participating in the Central District concert will be having rehearsal at Watchusett HS on Wednesday January 15th and Friday January 17th from 3-9pm. Dress rehearsal begins at 10am on Saturday the 18th at Mechanics Hall in Worcester with the concert following at 4pm. Please refer to the materials you received along with your music for more specific details. Please contact me or Mrs. Renner with any questions.