Unfortunately we didn't get to perform our March concert for you all. However, I feel it's important for you to see what we have been working on the past few months. So here are recordings we made the day of the concert. No concert black, no audience, no shells-just us doing our thing! Enjoy!

5th Grade:

12 the Clock Strikes-Grice 
This song is a take on the tune you hear from the grandfather clocks. We got to practice playing staccato-or short/light and dynamics-loud and soft.

They loved this song! They would start practicing it during warmups before I stepped on to the podium. We talked a lot about balance-who's part is more important?

Junior High

Ash Lawn Echoes-Robert W. Smith
Ash Lawn is the presidential home of James Monroe in Virginia. Doesn't it sound like a song you'd play for a president or queen??

Jupiter-Holst arr Williams
Jupiter is from a larger work by Holst called "The Planets". Our sixth graders were lucky enough to see the MN Orchestra perform this piece last year. It's beautiful. It's also a challenge to get Junior High to play in this style but they did great. 

The best part of the piece is about half way through-you may not see them dancing the video, but it should make you move!

Beauty and the Beast-Lavender
Pop music can be a great teaching tool-changing key signatures, time signatures, tempos are all great things to practice using familiar tunes. 

Senior High:

Washington Post March-Sousa arr Balent

I love teaching marches! This was our opener for large group contest. Typically we get to pull an audience member to conduct this but they had to deal with boring Mrs. Helland ;)

This was our contest piece that I chose from the MSHSL approved list. It's a play on the word "matrix". It changes time signatures often (5/4, 4/4, 2/4, even 3/2!) but it's also very fun. 

Great Steamboat Race-Robert W. Smith
What the heck are they doing with milk jugs and plungers?! You see, this all creates the effect of the steamboats racing down the Mississippi during the late 1800's. So fun. 

Once again, I view pop tunes as great teaching tools. Transitions, HARD key signatures (5 flats for the flutes!), but in a familiar setting so they still enjoyed it. And yes, I had to buy 14 plungers.....:)

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