Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BHS Improv Class featured in The Oakland Press

We were very excited to have reporter Sharon MacDonell visit the Berkley High School improv class a few weeks ago. She wrote a piece that appeared in today's Oakland Press. Here's a link to the electronic version of the article (with video):

Berkley Students Learn Jazz Improv Technique from New Artist in Residence

Thanks, Sharon!

Friday, December 18, 2009

BHS Winter Concert 2009

The BHS Bands did very well at their concert last night! I hope everyone is proud of their hard work and ready to move ahead toward festival season. Here is a sampling of pictures from before the concert and during, thanks to Chris Germaine.

Monday, December 14, 2009

6th Grade Arranging Project

This is a link for the 8th grade arranging project:

Mr. Shaw's "Chester"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Video of Norup 6th Grade Band

Here are some short snippets from the Norup International School Winter Band Concert.

Frosty the Snowman

Gates of Freedom

Thanks to Jackie Stuart!

Congratulations to Norup Solo and Ensemble Performers

On Saturday, December 5, Norup International Bands were represented by 12 talented 7th and 8th grade students. These musicians traveled to Brighton, MI to take part in MSBOA District IV Solo and Ensemble festival. All students earned a first or second division rating and should be proud of their hard work in preparation.

8th Graders
Audrey Pittman -- Flute Solo (I rating)
Max Smith -- Piano Solo (II rating)

7th Graders
Brendan Batcheller -- Trumpet Trio (I rating)
Annie Beaubien -- Clarinet Solo and Woodwind Trio (II ratings)
Austin Chase -- Trumpet Duet (II rating)
DJ Desmond -- Trumpet Duet (II rating)
Rebecca Enerson -- Woodwind Trio (II rating)
Max Gillis -- Trombone Solo (I rating)
Erin Maroney -- Woodwind Trio (II rating)
Dominic Smarjesse -- Trumpet Trio (I rating)
Samantha Taub -- Trombone Solo (II rating)
Emily Zonder -- Trumpet Trio (I rating)

Great job to all who participated!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Middle School Solo and Ensemble

This is a post of reminders and tips about the upcoming solo and ensemble festival on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Scranton Middle School in Brighton. There are some very specific rules for this performance:

1) You must bring an original copy of the music with you (not a photocopy). If you are unsure of whether or not you have this, please see Mr. Shaw. The original copy will be given to the judge on Saturday. It must also have every measure numbered.

2) Your piece (or pieces if you're playing more than one) must add up to at least 1 1/2 minutes. You must time yourself to make sure of this. If you are under the time minimum, you'll be disqualified from receiving a rating.

3) Make sure you figure out your travel arrangements in advance. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Scranton MS, and you'll want to arrive about 3o minutes before your scheduled performance time.

4) Dress nicely--jeans and tennis shoes are not acceptable for this festival.

5) When you arrive at the school, go to the information table and find out where your warm-up room is. Once there, check in with the warm-up room judge. They'll help you know when it's time to play.

6) You need to meet with Mr. Shaw twice this week to make sure you are ready to perform. You should also play the piece for your family and friends. The more you perform, the less nervous you'll be.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Shaw at (248) 837-8319.

Here are directions to the site:
Directions to Scranton MS

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Artist in Residence!

I am very excited to announce a new partnership between Berkley High School and acclaimed jazz musician Kris Johnson. Kris is now co-teaching the new BHS after-school class focused on improvisation skills. The class meets at 4:00 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Here are a few photos from today's class:

Here is Kris's bio:

"A native of Detroit, MI, Kris’s education began with Damien Crutcher’s music program at Southfield-Lathrup High School (2001), Harold McKinney’s jazz workshop, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Marcus Belgrave. The trumpeter, composer, arranger, and educator has a diverse musical background, and holds a Master’s (2007) and Bachelor’s (2005) degree in Jazz Studies from Michigan State University.

Kris has performed with many jazz greats including Tony Bennett, Patti Austin, Wess Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Jon Hendricks, Monty Alexander, Rodney Whitaker & the MSU Professors of Jazz, and many others. PBS viewers may have seen Kris in the documentary “Inside Jazz: Everybody’s Welcome,” where Kris was a featured soloist in a master class with jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

Currently Kris is proud to be touring with the world famous Count Basie Orchestra.

Kris has performed at the Idlewild, Lansing, and East Lansing Jazz Festivals. He also performed with the Marcus Belgrave Trumpet Summit at the 2003 Detroit Ford International Jazz Festival, and with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra at the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Detroit Jazz Festivals. Kris was also a member of the Jonathon Dixon Quintet, which won the Heineken Star Quest Jazz Competition and performed at the Detroit Jazz Fest in 2005.

Kris recently received first place in the 8th Annual Great American Song Contest (instrumental category) for his composition “My Apologies.” “My Apologies” and several of his other compositions are featured on his first CD release, “Exodus” (2008). His writing can also be heard on the track “My Favorite Things,” from Yolanda Adams’s 2007 release, “What a Wonderful Day,” on which he played trumpet and arranged the horns. Kris has also composed a jazz oratorio "Jim Crow's Tears" which is influenced by the history of minstrelsy and blackface. In July of 2008 Kris will premiere "Un Voyage dans les RĂªves", a piece commissioned by the Arts League of Michigan in Detroit.

Kris served as the Assistant Director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Ensembles from 2005 - 2008. This job entailed directing weekly rehearsals with the Civic Jazz Band II and writing custom arrangements for the Civic Jazz Orchestra and Civic Jazz Band II. While pursuing his Master’s Degree at Michigan State, Kris served as a Graduate Assistant teaching Beginning Jazz Improvisation I & II, and conducting the MSU Jazz Octet III.

Kris is also a prominent private instructor who consistently produces high quality students. Many of his students have received scholarships to music programs and colleges including Manhattan School of Music, Michigan State University, Interlochen Fine Arts Academy & Camp, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Kris has written three music theory books including “Anthology of Scales,” “Anthology of Chords,” and “Anthology of Intervals and Sequences.” He is also the co-author of a series of jazz piano method books with Rick Roe (Associate Professor of Jazz Piano, Michigan State University)."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thriller Video from Indoor Marching Concert

The indoor marching concert last night was a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy this video, courtesy of Michael Levy...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tag Days 2009

We had a successful tag days fundraiser this year due to the support of many band and orchestra students and parents. A special thanks goes to Robertta Goffeney, tag days chairperson, who spent countless hours organizing this event. Here are a number of photos from the weekend: