Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Listening Log #2 2013/2014

A Tisket A Tasket by Nikki Yanofsky
October 27-29
1. When there are held notes (not very often), she has a little bit of vibrato but she doesn't really use very much.
2. She has a very bright and quite focused tone for this song and it certainly fits!
3. This performance has a very fun attitude and she was definitely into it and dancing around the stage just really enjoying herself.
4. She did a lot of stylizing and it's difficult to pick specific places. She spoke a few parts and tried to give herself a rough tone in a few places. There were some well-placed melodic leaps and even a little bit of melisma. I could keep going for a while but I think that those are the prominent techniques she used in this particular performance.
5. This song is naturally fast-paced and Nikki's version was no different. It's a very fast and enjoyable swing tune.
6. There was definitely interaction. She was talking to the band at one point and when she wound sing something, they would have an answer ready that fit with it. As much as she stuck to the idea of the melody, she seemed to be improvising the whole time and played off of the band.
7. Nikki definitely has a very creative interpretation of this melody. I love this song and I've listened to it many times but I have never heard two singers sing it the same way. I've heard people try to copy others but it's never the same. She is very creative and I loved the way she changed it to make it her own and to fit with that particular band.
8. This is just very fun text that explains itself. She had a letter in a basket for her mom but she lost the basket and some girl picked it up and naturally, she wanted to get her basket back.
9. In this performance, there is not only the piano, drums and bass but also saxaphones and flutes and a few trumpets.
10. I did believe her in this performance and I think that was because she was having so much fun. You can't be having that much fun onstage if you don't believe what you're singing.
11. I have to say, I love this song and this singer and this is definitely one of my favourite versions, if not my absolute favorite version of a well-known song.

Listening Log #1 2013/2014

For my first listening log, I listened to "One Fine Thing" performed by Harry Connick Jr.
I wrote this response yesterday (Monday, October 28th)
1. He doesn't use a lot of vibrato in this piece but it is present at the end of the phrases, especially very subtly at the end of some of the longer notes.
2. Harry Connick's tone is very difficult to describe. The best way I can think is to say that it is Warm and rough.It has the warm qualities to it but there's a certain "scratchiness" for lack of a better word that gives it a beautifully rough sound.
3. I think that this song has a certain mood of awe and apprehension. With the sound he gives, even before I looked at the lyrics, I could tell that it was about him falling in love just from the way he sang it. He seems to be in awe of someone and it's amazing how muich of a message he can convey with just his voice.
4.  He uses a lot of inflection, especially when there are repeated notes. Of course he also uses subtle vibrato at the end of his phrases but there isn't very much else.
5. One Fine Thing definitely has a strong swing groove and it's a fairly slow tune. It's not super slow but it's definitely a bit slower.
6. From what I could tell on the recording, he doesn't seem to be interacting with the rhythm section very much. The rhythm section follows him quite well but they don't really interact at all.
7. He sings the song as written with a little bit of vibrato to finish phrases but I would expect this because it's one of his tunes that he didn't just learn, he wrote it and was the first to sing it.
8. The text of this song can be found at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/harryconnickjr/onefinething.html and is all about how much he loves this woman and he wants to marry her. He says how much he thinks about her and how wonderful she is. In the last part, the lyrics are "I'm thinking the single line is overrated So I'll loiter and I'll linger And I'll try to get a ring around your finger" He is just saying how much he wants to marry her.
9. The accompaniment in this song starts with the drums (on one of the toms) and throughout the piece you can hear a piano and a bass.
10. I think this performance sounds very honest and he seems to really mean it. I'm not sure what more I can say at this point.
11. Personally, I love this song and his voice. I will definitely continue to listen to more things by Harry Connick Jr. 

Listening Log

Another year, another listening log.
Hi again! So, just like last year, I am typing this singlehandedly so please ecxuse any spelling mistakes I don't catch. This time, I was almost in a car accident about 4 hours ago and may have hyper-extended my shoulder once again plus I have a sprained wrist. Anyways, as always I am enjoying choir(s) and all my other music so once again, I will be writing listening logs for jazz choir.
Here is this year's form:
Name of Tune:
Date: (I guess when I wrote the report. That will probably be a different day than when I post it because I'm not usually at home and on my blog when I'm doing this.)
Artist/ Group:
1. Did the singer use much vibrato?
2. Describe the singer's vocal tone:
3. What was the overall modd/emotion/attitude of the performance?
4. Did the singer stylize much, and if so, in what ways?
5.What was the tempo and rhythmic groover of the song?
6. Did there seem to be much interaction between the singer and the players?
7. Did it seem that the singer had a creative interpretation of the melody of did they primarily sing it as written?
8. Explain what the text is about.
9. What was the instrumentation of the accompaniment?
10. Did you "believ" the singer? Did it sound honest?
11. Personal comment about the song/ performance. What did you think of it?

Sunday, 22 September 2013


Hi again everyone! How are you all doing?
I'll start. So, I love my classes and they seem like a lot of fun but I think I would enjoy them more if I could keep up. No, it's not that they're hard classes, for the most part it's concepts that I understand, pretty easy to grasp. The problem is; I can't see. You're probably wondering how I can finish writing this whole thing if I can't see but I just can't read very well up close. Everything goes blurry and just doesn't work. So yeah, to write this post, I have the font sent to largest. I'll set it back before I post it though. Anyways, I've got that issue plus I missed three days of school because I had choir camp which, by the way, was absolutely awesome! I always love choir camp but this really was the best year ever!
So yeah. School is great and I'm sure it will get even better once I go to the eye doctor's on Tuesday and hopefully end up getting glasses. Otherwise, I don't know what to do. Either way, it's going to mean a LOT of catching up.
Another small issue: It's allergy season. I have a lot of allergies and right now, I also have a really bad cold because some people came to choir camp with colds and it spread. There is actually a fair group of us who are sneezing now. So, not the greatest September in history but, I'll live.
Either way, I'm still managing to have some fun in my very tight schedule of doing what I love.
I hope you're all having a great school year!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Hi again everyone!
So, school starts for me tomorrow. I'm actually pretty excited and everyone else I've been talking to is too! After an entire summer with my friends, at camps and on and off crutches, I'm still on crutches and I can't wait to go back to school. I've got friends, great teachers, fun classes and great choirs. I wish everyone could be this happy with their life. I may still be on crutches and wearing a wrist brace but this is going to be a great year either way.
Have a great September everyone!

Saturday, 24 August 2013


I just felt that I had to say thanks to everyone. I know that not a lot of people read my blog, pay attention to my google feed or actually bother to see my figment profile and group. When people do though, they're very nice people and sometimes I take that for granted. Not today. I recently looked at the group I created for my book Music or Words on figment.com and found that one of the poets had started a new conversation. This is what it said:

Just wanted to say thanks for creating this idea and the haiku book for us, Coral. 
I don't know you personally but you seem like a lovely individual and quite productive. 
Well, I really appreciated reading that. I wouldn't have even thought of doing this if it hadn't been for all the great poetry I was reading for a contest about loneliness. Almost none of the people working on this project have actually met me but most of them have said that they are proud to be working with me and they're happy we're all getting this chance to be published together. When people join us on this project, I do ask that when we go to publish it, they try and give 5$. If everyone involved put in 5$, we could be published for very little cost to each person. 
I wouldn't usually mention something like this but I looked at the discussion prepared to just say thanks and move on but I realized that the reason this project instead of my other so-called outrageous projects is going to happen is because people believe. It sounds cheesy but it's the truth. I always try to do somewhat strange projects just to prove that I can but I can't. The reason I can't is that someone will lose hope and I won't have the help I so greatly need. Or everyone will say "you'll never be able to do that." and they end up being right.
Not this time. This time, anyone who says we can't do this because the project is led by a teenager or because it's too far-fetched or any other reason, I can say that it will happen. I can say this with such certainty because for once, a lot of people really believe in me. The musicians and the editors and my friends and the poets and the writers. They all think it's a great idea and they're almost as excited as I am. This will happen because we believe.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

It's almost school

So jazz camp was absolutely amazing and I had so much fun! It was just great. With theory classes and solo recitals and all the great music and fun people, I can't imagine a better way to have spent my week! Then of course, last week I had some time to relax and I took a class at the library and we made purses out of old books! They're actually really cute and i had a lot of fun.

On another note, It's almost time for school and I've been listening to the soundtrack from Shrek: The Musical a lot. I'm noticing just how many references there are. There are a lot! I'm not even going to name them all because there are just to many. I can tell you though, we've got a Narnia reference that I just noticed a few minutes ago and so many more! It's pretty funny. Listen to the soundtrack and see if you can find them yourself.

Monday, 5 August 2013


So, some people may have already heard but since my last post I've managed to sprain my ankle and wrist. I now have two braces and a hard time typing but i'm making do. can't really get this book done if I don't. So even with all my clumsiness I had a great weekend and I hope you did too. Now, since it's Monday I can't wait to start jazz camp tonight! I love the music and it's going to be so much fun. I'll see if I can remember to post when it's over!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Music or Words

So I think I've already said that I'm writing a book but now I've actually started to put something together. It's not based on earthlings this time but it's a collection of short stories and poems by a bunch of different teen authors. I'm also working with some artists to make a cool cover and some drawings of a couple of the characters from a few of the stories. It's going to be a great collaboration and I can't wait to get everyone working! Once everything's done, we're even going to publish the book. It's going to take a lot of hard work and a fair bit of money (about 300$ right now) but it's going to be worth it.
Here's the website for the book: http://mitska32.wix.com/music-or-words

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hi again

So, I'm really not doing very good at the whole posting more often. Again. I'm really not very good at it at all. So I've been kind of busy lately. I had an amazing 2 week rock band camp at the beginning of July. We played the final countdown, an arrangement of bad moon risin' and Each step I take, a song we wrote ourselves. It was a lot of fun! As a collective group, the mass number was the Sound of Silence. It was a great camp and a wonderful concert. I may have had a crutch, sprained ankle and some issues with the heat but I wouldn't give that experience for anything. I learned a lot and I had fun with my amazing band. New friends, music and I improved my singing. What could be better?
Since PlayLoud, I've been writing stories and learning some music for a jazz camp I'm going to next week. It looks like a lot of fun and I can't wait to work on a different style. Today, I've got a meeting for the volunteer group at the library (YAC) that's always something to look forward to. Then tomorrow I get to go to a movie class kind of thing. I don't know what it'll be like yet but I'm sure I'll love it. It's going to be an interesting week, that's for sure.
I'll try to remember to post again soon!
Bye :)

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Canada day

Hey everyone! It's Canada day!
I wonder how i'll continue my weird tradition this year? See, every year I do something really strange. One year, I spent all morning sitting in a hospital because I fell off my scooter and got road rash all up my leg.  Of course it's not quite like that every year. Usually it's just a little bit strange. Something that wouldn't normally happen.  Anyways, happy Canada day everyone!

Friday, 28 June 2013


Hey everyone!
My life is still busy in the summer. A lot less busy though. I'm finally free of grade nine!! I passed all of my courses and got pretty good marks in most of them too. I'm already thinking ahead though. In July, I'll be entering a few online writing contests through figment.com you should go check it out! Aside from that, I've got a few programs to go to at the library and a few more to volunteer for. I'm planning a party with some friends and family and I'm even (hopefully) going to the same rock band camp I was at last year!
Okay, it's official, not only can I not stay on topic today but summer in Winnipeg means wacky weather. 10 minutes ago, The sun was shining. I turned around for two seconds and it was pouring rain. Now the suns out again! What the heck!?
Besides my normal summer plans, I have a new blog right now. http://mamabearmilitere.blogspot.ca/
That's for next year's school musical; Shrek. I get to play mama bear and we have a blogging assignment. Over the summer we have to post at least 3 blog posts talking about our character. This should be fun!
See ya later!

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Hey everyone! Long week. We got some great performances though. Instead of telling you that though, I'm going to try something a little different.

I didn't know what was wrong. I couldn't breathe the air anymore. It was like I was allergic. I could barely breathe from the lack of oxygen so I decided to take a bath. I layed down and suddenly I could breathe better. I decided to try something. The moment my head went under I could breathe perfectly fine. I got out of the bath and looked in the mirror. Were those- gills!? I was shocked and having trouble thinking. It was so late There was only one thing I could do. I ran. My house is huge. Not like mansion huge but pretty big still. It was also right beside the lake. I ran out the front door what seemed like an hour later but was probably only about 20 seconds. I jumped in the lake and then realized that there was no way I could swim, I still had my clothes on!! I kicked off my shoes as fast as I could and the current seemed to help me with the rest. As soon as they were gone My body started- changing. all at once. Like those kids you see in movies who are like half dolphin or whatever.

Should I continue? Do you have any ideas?
See you guys later!

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Hey everyone!
So I am a total klutz. And a musical klutz at that. I managed to skin my knee, scrape my hand and sprain my ankle just by opening a door. Yep you read that right! I opened a door and missed the step. Then I set my pile of stuff down and my phone flew across that room. After that, I took a few busses and in each one, we got out the middle and the doors closed on my arms. Since then, I took my aunts dog for a walk and managed to trip in a pothole taking a layer of skin off the side of my foot and hurting my ankle even more. I am a certified klutz and I don't know what to do anymore!! Choir is fun as always and im sad because divisional choir is over for the year and the final school choirs concert is this week! and our musical has the performances next week. Everything is coming up so fast. and then theres exams... I have 9 or 10 exams all together this semester. 4 of them are music though so I guess it wont be too bad. I do have more than most people my age but that's just because I love my music so much!
Have a great week everyone,

Friday, 3 May 2013


So I've been thinking about a lot of different things and recently I was inspired to write a book. This book was inspired by an assignment in a class i've been taking, Peace & Conflict in the 20th Century. It's a great class and I have a lot of fun in it. So one of the assignments we got a while ago, the teacher found was kind of funny and I talked to a published author who said it was an interesting idea. People have been so encouraging lately that I decided to try it and this is what I wrote for the assignment that started it all:

Dear Boss,
I have, as you know, been situated on planet earth for some time now. Six months. I have been learning alot about these earthlings or humans as they call themselves. Man is a very interesting creature. They value themselves over all others but they seem to work for it, for the most part. It scared me at first, how powerful they are even though they share this planet with many others. They have this delightful source of entertainment called movies. They are a series of pictures rapidly set in motion! we may have advanced technology but it is nothing like this! They do not just use their technology for entertainment though. Quite often they do not seek utopia like us, they seek only the victory of dominating each other. It pains me to see the amounts of destruction these creatures willingly cause to their own planet. They do know what they’re doing though and they make an effort to fix it. But for all their efforts they do not seem to realize that if they just stop fighting with each other and start treating each creature fairly, they could overcome these issues quite easily. They have these things called War that seem to occur quite often, and according to the internet (another great invention) from what I can tell it seems to be a way of celebrating that almost never ends but creates many casualties. Many humans realize how horrible this is but think that more wars are the solution! Of course they also have other means of celebrating as well. They have many holidays with exquisite names such as: hallows eve or Christmas. They seem to enjoy these holidays very much and spend much time with family, friends and people they love all the while not always appreciating everything they should. This wonderful family has been letting me follow them around and it’s quite informative and entertaining. They have a mother and a father and a two small children. The children are David and Coral, ages 14 & 16. Coral and David go to this building 5 days out of every 7. This is called a school. They learn skills and for the first 18 years of your life, the education is free! Wouldn’t this be beneficial? You can learn whatever you want besides the basics too. Coral is learning French and music. did you know that On this planet most of their music is themed so that it’s about something in this world? I should bring some back for you so that you may learn from them. Some of the cultures they have here on planet earth are interesting too. They all have different beliefs and they believe that they are always right until someone proves otherwise. They are a very curious society. I think that in some ways we could stand to be more like them even if we don’t migrate here. They honor their dead by laying them in a ground with a beautiful ceremony called a funeral. It is very sad and people use this time to mourn their loss but also to celebrate the persons life. There is often singing or beautiful music and many many people come out to remember the life that was lost. They also do the complete opposite. It is called a wedding. I say it is the opposite because everyone is very happy and this celebration is used to join 2 people for the rest of their lives. there is cake and there seems to be quite a bit of white. It is a lot of fun, I went to a wedding when the kids’ aunt got married and I went to a funeral when Coral’s music friend’s father died of something called Cancer. On a happier note, we were discussing the world as a whole the other day, David and Coral and I. Did you know that on this planet I am considered to be 15 years old? anyways, we were discussing travel for quite some time. It turns out that one of the groups they make music with is planning a trip to some other city in this country. They apparently hold great honor in their people’s music and traditions. Oh, David just told me that they are going to a very large mall. (A mall is a very big place that in the case of the place they’re going (Edmonton) has stores, water parks, amusement parks and much more) I find that human society is quite enjoyable for these tiny friends of mine. Along with planning this large trip to Edmonton Coral and David are still very busy. They let me follow them around school sometimes! There was a week where I followed them around and it’s amazing how much time they spend together! they say they don’t get along very well and I’m starting to see why. War isn’t the only conflict in this world. These two siblings argue quite often and can never seem to agree except in music. When they finally do agree with each other it’s quite wonderful and everything around seems to relax and take a deep breath. By the way, Coral is in grade 9 and David is in grade 10. Today I followed Coral to her different classes. It was very informative and taught me a lot about the world. Her first class of the day (most days she tells me) is called Gym. today they ran and apparently this class teaches you the skills of being healthy and active. She says that tomorrow she’s starting health class. After that class she goes to geography. I think that this would be extremely helpful and if we come here it should be the first thing we enroll for. They teach you how to identify different places on the globe and what coordinates are and about the different environments of the planet. Third, she goes to french class (or band on every second day) and today she says they learned about grammar and verbs. This class teaches how to speak and write in french and it confused me until Coral explained that learning a different language allows you to communicate with more humans. After that we went to a choir room which was a bit intimidating at first but I think I’ll get used to it, going there almost every day. There, we ate lunch and talked with David and two of their friends, Sophie and Alix. They talked about many things but one I think you should know about is their Military. David explained this to me as he knows many representatives of the military (soldiers) and he is a cadet. He explained many things and I didn’t understand a lot of it but I will tell you what I did. Their military is very sophisticated and has many smaller divisions that each have individual tasks such as rescuing people or disarming bombs or helping people or flying places or fighting. Once they were finished talking I followed Coral to her next class which also took place during the much hour. Today it was jazz choir. They started with an interesting technique where they composed a song in a matter of minutes. It was quite interesting and seemed almost magical. After that they started singing their music and I learned some of the technicalities behind it. Did you know that there is math and science involved in just about everything? They explained it quite well to me and there are subdivisions within each part of the music and in those subdivisions, the sounds they make can vary greatly and they all sounded very different. They said that parts clashed and those parts hurt my ears. After that we all went to English and they were reading this curious thing out loud. It was called “Shakespeare” now David tells me that it is not called shakespeare but he wrote it. Either way it was confusing, almost like learning another language but Coral explained it to me and tells me that I will learn in time. After English class, Coral took me to peace and conflict where she taught me more about the earthlings and what they do by showing me some things they’ve done. Apparently there are people who do their best to make conflicts go away and there are people who create conflict. Either way, there is always conflict in the world. I won’t go into much detail of the rest of the things they do but David goes to Cadets and Coral is in a musical and they both have choir almost every day. On Wednesday of this week they have a concert that i’m told is a very big deal. It seems that almost anyone can gain an elected status of some kind. The childrens’ choirs are both going to this concert after being voted as two of the best choirs in the city. So they lead very busy lives plus socializing and on any given night they “text” quite often as well. They each text a large number of people and currently text most often about their trips. It seems that everything in this world has to be about something and that everything is instantaneous and if people  don’t get things right away they get annoyed. It is not good and it seems that these humans are ending lives before they even start. That is what I have learned in the past 6 months talking to Coral and David and going to school. Decide for yourself whether we should migrate here or not.

Yours truly,
Ceilidh. (With some notes from Coral and David)
David & Coral: Hello alien community. Human life is quite enjoyable and we understand that you’re planet ( a former Utopia) is now turning to a horrible Dystopia. We are very glad that Ceilidh has come to stay with us and can guarantee her a home for quite a while if you do come live here. Since you are seeking a better place to live we think that it would be beneficial for everyone if you were to come here. We know that may be hard for you to get used to being surrounded by species other than your own but you could teach us a lot and we could teach you.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Music in context

Only some of our mark in choir is based on singing. We have our 3rd written assignment for the year i think, not really sure so I'm going to work on that. We are currently working on 5 songs in choir and for each song there are 5 questions. 2 questions that apply directly to the song and 3 general questions for all of them.

The 3 general questions are: Name of composer/ arranger, Genre/ country of origin, Year or composition OR if it is an arrangement, year of original and year of arrangement. These 5 songs for the assignment are:
Sally Gardens, Tebje Palom, Seasons of love, Come Sweet Death & Amavolovolo.
The songs with questions are in order below.

Sally Gardens:
Traditional Irish folksong, arranged by Sean Carter
1. A member of our own choir, Sean, created the arrangement we are singing. Name 2 composers who have created arrangements of Sally Gardens, and tell me something noteworthy about their arrangement.
Tony Hogan arranged a version of Sally Gardens for guitar. In his version, there are a few spots where the melody part has a few added eight notes instead of just having the regular melody.
Peter Dyson also wrote an arrangement of Sally Gardens for a choir. In his version, the male parts start with the females singing mm and aah for a few mesures until the melody starts and then they have a slightly different part, leaving out a few words and changing rhythms. It is also different for this tune to begin with the mm and aah instead of just the traditional melody.

2. What are "Weirs"? What are "the Sally (Salley) Gardens"?
Weirs are basically dams built to stop or divert the flow of water.
Salley means a willow tree so the salley gardens are gardens of willow trees.

Tebje Pajom:
Tebje Pajom was written by Dmitri Bortnianski and is Russian church orthodox music.
1. Tell me 3 fun facts about Dmitri Bortnianski.
He was born on October 28 1751 and is well known for being one of the golden three in his era. He also composed 7 operas in his lifetime.
2. What does the text of this piece mean? A general translation is acceptable.
Tebje Pajom is about praying to god "we pray thee, bless you, thank you, god."

Seasons of Love:
1. Jonathan Larson based Rent on the plotline of a famous Opera. what was the name of the opera? Who composed it?
Rent was based on La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini.
2. Please provide a brief synopsis of the musical, Given what is happening in the musical, what is the mood and meaning of this song? Think, in particular, about the text.

Its about a group of friends living bohemian style in New York city. It deals with HIV/AIDS, drugs and love. I think the mood of the song is sad, powerful and quite hopeful. You shouldn't take life for granted, anything could happen. We assume our life will be without tragedy and grief so just live your life to the fullest and do as much as you can. Don't waste 525, 600 minutes!

come sweet death

Johann Sebastian Bach was the original composer and the style would be classical hymn.
2. In what genre/style would you classify Rhonda Sandberg's arrangement of this piece? Is this different from the original composition? Why?
I would classify this arrangement as a church hymn which isn't really different from the original. There aren't a lot of huge noticeable differences and that's why I would classify them both as hymns and also because it is clearly meant to sing in a church.

A traditional Zulu Dowry song arranged for a choir by Rudolf de Beer.
1. The word Amavolovolo is taken from what English word? How is this word related to the songs original meaning/ use?
The word amavolovolo is taken from the english word revolver. This relates to the songs original meaning because the original meaning of the song was: we won't go to KwaMashu, we're scared of the guns. This was because there was a war going on.
2. In what situations might people sing Amavolovolo now?
Amavolovolo could be sung in many situations now but is often sung at celebrations such as weddings.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


The third listening log of the batch is Walkin' by Miles Davis performed by LACHSA Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

1) This is an unaccompanied piece (acapella) so It's just the singers supporting each other.
3) It is a group singing in 4 parts with a few solos and there are at least 15 singers. I'm not sure about exactly how many.
4) Part of the music is English words but a lot is also just syllables, imitating instruments. The seemingly random syllables are written though. They are very good at sounding like the instruments.
6)I find it very impressive that a group so young could sound so professional and also be completely engaged and active in the song. They all seem to be enjoying it and the energy is remarkable.
7)There are 4 solos and they are very good, confident solos. Some are improvised and some are written. The improvised are very well done and I have to say that for a group of high school students They had great confidence and didn't think for a minute they would sing a "bad" note The girl who did an improvised solo was a little softer but it didn't matter. She was still heard and great. The 2nd improvised soloist was very creative and I liked the use of different syllables. The two girls who had written solos were also very proud in their singing and had very full voices for the melody.
8) The group was very together. Their vowels were almost identical and the cutoffs were crisp and clear throughout.
9) Their swells and little stylistic choices were all group decisions and in all the right places. Their dynamic contrast was great and I liked where they were putting little swells where you might not expect them.
11) I loved the layering and back and forth between the girls in 1:47-1:54. It really added something for me. I loved that even if you weren't watching their performance you had this idea that they were singing back and forth at each other. I think they could have done a little more with their bodies there as a group but as an overall performance I loved this group and their energy and commitment!
12) This group is a wonderful example that the size of your group doesn't matter. If it's a group of 6 or a group of 80 you can still sound like 4 voices. I thought it was also a great representation of the lesson: individual stylistic decisions within a group are fine in moderation and just add a more layered sound. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I've been in choir a lot lately and a few things got me thinking. I never found a chance to say this so I decided to post it here. I hope you all enjoy it!

I've been in divisional choir since grade 5 and i've always known I was coming to sturgeon. So when I heard Mrs. McLeod was retiring I had no idea who was going to replace her and it honestly worried me a bit. I shouldn't have been worried because just like the kids who were already in one of the choirs I got the nice surprise of finding out that Mrs Armstrong was going to be the choir teacher here. So, when she won her award it came as no surprise to anyone but her. The night she was presented with that award someone recognized that I was in her choirs and asked me who had changed my life the most, in the last 5 years. I was quite prepared to say I don't know! but the more I think about it the more I know: that wouldn't have been true. My life, as a lot of people know is mostly dedicated to music. Its what I love! I haven't always been this dedicated to music. I actually wasn't going to join choir in grade 6 but I did. If I hadn't i definitely wouldn't be doing as much as I am today and if I hadn't walked into the jazz choir practicing somewhere over the rainbow one day I don't think I would be the musical person I am today. Mrs. Armstrong has taught me music for almost 4 years now and she has to put up with me for another 3. Shes always so nice, energetic and fun to be around. Between her 2 schools she directs 6 choirs: golden gate jazz, boys and concerts choirs, sturgeon jazz and concert and the divisional choir. She is more than just a teacher to most of her students, she is a friend and the leader, i guess, of our big musical family. I can't think of anyone better to do all that.

April and snowing

Hi everyone! I've been working mostly on homework lately so it's been about a week since my last post. I hope everyone's had a good week, more relaxing than mine anyway! Somehow it's already April 16th and I've had 5 musical practices, a speech at the staff meeting, 2 divisional choir practices, 6 jazz practices, 6 concert choir practices, 1 party and a concert. The speech was honestly a little bit scary but it was also really fun and all my teachers were really supportive. The musical seems to be going along well but we only have about 6 more weeks before the show. That's 12 practices! Divisional choir is fun as always!! Right now we're really working on Cabaret which is a big night to showcase the 3 choirs and some solos, duets and trios. The senior choir is going to be singing Dancing in the street, summertime, let the river run and the girls are singing "new girl in town" from hairspray and the boys are singing "every little thing she does is magic" by sting. It's going to be really fun and just amazing. Our jazz concert last week was so much fun I couldn't believe it! It took about 4 hours of setup and 1 hour of tear down because we had a little trouble setting up lighting and sound but once all that was out of the way we were really grateful to have an evening to just sing as a little group and some solos with our friends there. It was really an amazing night with some phenomenal singing. I'm really grateful to be part of such a great group of singers and friends. Since then, I've been sick and I had a migraine but now all I have left from that is a head cold. Not ideal for singing but i'll live. Today, after class I had a meeting of the teen group at the library and we got significantly farther planning an event. On Thursday May the 16th we will be having a program called Music Mayhem where there will be games and music and snacks and it's basically a music party at the library! really hope people come and enjoy it. So that's what I've been up to lately, I hope everyone has a good rest of their week. Bye!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Musical Theatre

Hi! Aside from all the choirs I am also in the grade 9 musical and This is our first assignment.

1. summarize the plots of 2 musicals from which we are taking music for our production. Be sure to include the name of the musical and the song, key characters in the musical and the beginning, middle and end points of the story.
The two musicals I chose are:
Miss Liberty (we are performing falling out of love can be fun)
Miss Liberty starts with Maisie Dell (writer for the police gazette) and Horace Miller from the Herald discussing journalism and photography at a ceremony where the mayor of New York is to receive money for the base of the statue of liberty. Horace ends up taking the wrong pictures and commodore Bennett fires him. To get his job back, Maisie convinces Horace to go to Paris to find the model for the statue and get his job back. Once in Paris, Horace finds the sculptor who is holding interviews with new models and Horace sees a dancer posing like the statue of liberty and thinks she is the original. Horace takes a pictures of her and sends it to Maisie who tells Bennett who agrees to pay for lady liberty's american tour. Bennett also offers Maisie a job but she declines. Monique (the dancer) takes Horace to her home under a bridge and then invites him on a tour of France. Monique is dancing and Horace tells her he is taking her to America. She doesn't know this is a case of mistaken identity and is very happy! Horace then tells Monique that he loves her and the first act ends. In the second act; Harold, Monique and her grandmother (the countess) come to New York and Monique is horrified that she is supposedly Lady Liberty but pretends she is to protect Horace. Maisie doesn't like that Horace and Monique are in love and when Monique gets back from a tour Maisie gets into her hotel room to talk to her. They are both pleasently surprised by the others honesty. At this time, the sculptor has come to the U.S. and tells Bennett that he has been tricked. Running from Bennett, Horace and Monique pass the policeman's ball where Maisie is selling tickets. By this time she has realized that she has no chance at love with Harold and tells them to hide inside. Once inside, Monique shows everyone her dancing skills and amazes her audience but the ball ends and when Bennett arrives she is arrested. Horace and the countess are also placed under arrest and, once alone, Maisie sings about losing her love. The next day Monique and the countess wait to be deported when Horace comes back saying that they have been released and he has been given a job. Monique is then inspired to sing the final song.
Bye Bye Birdie (we are performing put on a happy face)
Bye Bye Birdie
Rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie has been drafted into the army, putting agent and songwriter Albert Peterson in trouble. Rose Alvarez (Albert's secretary and sweetheart) come sup with one last publicity stunt, making Albert promise that after this he will give up music and become an English teacher. Birdie is going to sing Albert's new song "One last kiss" and give a girl from his fan club a last kiss before he goes to the army. The lucky girl is Kim MacAfee from Sweet Apple, Ohio. All the teenagers in this small town are catching up on the gossip about Kim dating Hugo Peabody. Kim is very exited to have a boyfriend and is happy with her maturity. Conrad, Albert and Rosie go to Sweet Apple to get ready for the big show and all the teenage girls are extied to meet Conrad. One girl is sad because once Conrad gets out of the army she thinks she'll be too old for him. Albert tells her to be optimistic by singing put on a happy face. Reporters come to ask Conrad questions but Conrad, Rosie and the girls are worried about tabloids and answer for him. In Sweet Apple, everyone looks to Conrad as a hero and Hugo thinks that maybe Kim likes Conrad more than him but Kim tells Hugo he's the only one she loves. Conrad shocks and amazes everyone by performing "Honestly Sincere". Conrad stays with the MacAfee's and Kim's father Harry is annoyed by the guests rude and selfish manner. Harry doesn't want Kim and Conrad to kiss until he's told that they will all be on Tv, including Kim's parents and brother. Hugo notices how much Kim likes Conrad and starts getting jealous. Albert's mother comes to break up him and Rosie, introducing Albert to a blond woman she met on the bus named Gloria. Rosie then becomes jealous and Rosie and Hugo plot to ruin the show. Conrad goes to kiss Kim and Hugo punches him in the face so Conrad collapses. Rosie breaks up with Albert and not knowing what to do Albert starts singing.
In act 2, Plans are made to refilm the broadcast and Rosie and KIm decide to leave Albert and Hugo, mourn about how stupid they were to love the men. Conrad decides to have fun on his last night and convinces the teens to party. All the teenagers except Hugo go to the ice house to party without adults. Hugo heads instead to a bar, wanting to get drunk but the owner can tell he's underage. Mr. MacAffe realizes Kim ran away and Kim's parents mourn about how disobedient kids are. Rosie ends up at the same bar as Hugo but Albert calls her, begging for her to come back. Rosie just wants to forget and interupts a meeting in the private dining room which breaks out in a wild dance. Hugo and Albert rescue her and Albert tells his mother to go home. Hugo tells the parents where the other kids are amd they all say that they have no idea what's wrong with kids. Kim's brother joins in by saying his sister and her friends are ridiculous and immature. The adults and Police find them and Conrad is arrested though he's done no wrong and Kim comes back to Hugo saying Conrad scared her. Rosie then tells Albert's mother that she will marry Albert no matter what his racist mother says and just to annoy her, says that she's spanish, exaggerating a lot. Albert bails Conrad out of jail and finds a way for him to report to the army as scheduled. Albert also convinces his mother to leave at the same time. He then tells Rosie that they're not going to New York. They're moving to Pumpkin Falls where he will be a happily married English teacher.
2. select one of the characters you are playing in the show and comment on:
a) how, if at all, can you relate to the character you are playing?
Kim, expecting tears.
I think that something Kim and I have in common is having good friends. This guy is trying to make her feel better! Also, like me, she seems to go on and keep talking no matter what is going on. I've also had that same feeling of expecting to cry and just not. She also seems to appreciate her friends as much as I appreciate mine.
b) what challenges do you have in playing the character?
a challenge I face in playing Kim is that I have no idea how she feels in some aspects. I have never dated or wanted to date anyone so I wouldn't no what the whole being dumped feels like. Another challenge is her sudden changes of attitude. She can go from so sad to really hopeful in just one line!
c) how do you try and get into character?
Getting into character I try to think how I would feel if one of my friends decided to be really mean to me and I imagine another one of my friends trying to cheer me up and I would start out wanting to be happy for my friend and then end up actually being happy to spend time with my friend.
3. comment on your involvement in the musical theatre course this far.
a) time on task during rehearsals
I think that just about all of my time in rehearsals is spent on task because I realize how valuable that time is when we have such a limited aount.
b) what you are enjoying about this experience
I'm really enjoying musical because it's a chance to sing and act with some friends and I cam have the fun while getting used to high school before getting into a full published musical you can't change a whole lot with a lot more people.
c) specific strengths that you are bringing to the course
I think that I am a strong and flexible singer being able to learn any part and switch if needed and I am also willing to learn these different skills. And it isn't as hard as it used to be because I've been doing this for a coup0le years and I'm used to memorizing things, between other plays and choirs.
d) areas you feel you want to continue working on
One thing I really want to work on is movement. I don't move a lot on my own but it adds so much to any performance and I constantly feel like I need more movement and to a lesser extent, facial expression, although I'm doing a lot better with my facial expression but it could always be improved.
e) time you have put in rehearsing outside of class time
I spend a fair amount of time practicing. Every night I set aside about an hour to talk or look over my scripts and go through all the music I want to/ need to work on that night.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Under Pressure

Hi again!
I want to get some homework out of the way. So I have some more cool jazz logbooks and I've been listening to one of them for a while now and I figured I'd get it done.

Under Pressure- Rajaton with David Bowie (Rajaton's cover of Queen's famous song)
1) The song is unaccompanied (they use their voices as all the instruments they need) like all of Rajaton's music.
2) The song is very similar to the original in many ways and the two are both in a rock style.
3) It is a group of 6 people singing in 6 parts. There are 3 women and 3 men each singing their own parts. Sometimes the words or syllables will match up for a particular part and they will be singing the same thing but with harmonies (different notes)
4) The melody is generally sung in English language but the rest is a random collection of syllables.
6) The part from 3:09-3:18 really stood out to me. It by itself wasn't all that impressive but everything was so perfectly balanced and I could hear the girls parts going up and down like a wave almost and I'm not sure why but that part really stood out for me.
7) the soloing in this song was done by passing the melody throughout the group. Usually there was a soloist wherever the melody was. They were all really well done
8) The group's unity was amazing. Even from the beginning, their snaps and claps sounded like they came from one person. The cut-offs were very well placed and without even looking at each other they were clear.  Their vowels all somehow managed to sound like one person was singing the whole chord sometimes and others you could just really tell they knew exactly what everyone else was doing.
9) The lines built together very well so that you were always hearing what they wanted you to. The dynamic swells were all placed to keep an audience intrigued and, I must say, it worked. There were little smears all over the place in individual parts. They weren't to obvious but they were there enough so that it added a little more color to the whole thing.
11) I loved how they really showed that even a simple movement like the claps and snaps can look really proffessional and well done (even if you're not proffessional) if it's together.
13) I really liked the soprano's big dramatic smear from 2:16-2:26. It was very interesting and helped really emphasize that that was the climax. I'm pretty sure that of all the very interesting arrangements of this song, Rajaton is my favourite. I loved the part from 3:22-3:33 when the bass really sounded like a trumpet in the background.
So that was Under pressure by Rajaton- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NixhQFSJkmU

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


I'm still alive, I promise!
Well my music is, as usual taking a fair amount of my time but that's okay because what's more fun than music? So Edmonton was amazing!!! We had soo much fun!! and now we're as busy as ever. This week alone I have practice every day as usual plus musical practice twice a week (it's going pretty well so far) and band every second day. tomorrow I have my normal day of get up at 6:20 and have a bigger breakfast than i'm used to, get everything ready and head to jazz choir rehearsal at 7:30 so that we can have fun as always rehearsing and running through everything one last time. then it's off to gym where I'm learning circus skills. anyone want to help me learn how to fall off a unicycle? oops I already know how to do that. I need to learn how to ride! After that, we head to geography to learn about Food and the earth i believe. Then band to have fun playing my amazing instrument- French horn! And just like after every band practice I eat really quickly and go sing in concert choir. Then I head over to English with the most energetic teacher alive to learn more about writing an essay. After English it's Peace & Conflict in the 20th century. That's actually a really fun course and I get really interesting assignments.  I think, i'll post some of them. After that, since it's Wednesday i'll go to Divisional choir after eating a snack and we'll practice some awesome tunes for Cabaret! Then I come home, finish homework and sleep. Of course Thursday... I get to go to gym, geography, french, jazz, English, peace & conflict and then take stuff out of the band room so that we can fill it with more stuff (lighting, staging, sound system, tables, chairs, etc.) and then I go home and eat and shower and change and possibly do some homework. Then I go and have fun and sing my little heart out!! Then we have to take everything back down... So it's going to be a long but fun and musical 2 days. Of course after that I have a test and some more homework... Let's not go there and just look forward to the music.
By the way, Sleep happens to be a foreign concept to me. Usually I get just enough and then I'm really hyper all day (side effect of being tired) so I hope I sleep well tonight.
Goodnight everyone, have a good week! and please come to our concert if you can.
(poster and details on G+)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

I have a life?

Hey everyone!
It's Thursday and I'm blogging because I'm just kinda blogging whenever I can. Of course I won't blog two weeks from now but, whatever. So my life has been absolutely insane lately! I'm just gonna post most of the e-mail I sent people because I send my family and friends a monthly (sometimes more) e-mail just to say what's up with my music. I've even started getting reactions from them such as: "It's great that you found something you love and are good at" or, "I know how great it feels to be successful with music congrats!" or "hey isn't your name funny? Coral's choral endeavors! however did your parents know?" Usually the responses are more along the lines of: "when do you breath kid!?" So this is my life:
The concert choir performed at music festival earlier and got a gold medal. We also had more fun than a runaway horse! The choreography went better than planned and last night we performed at a choral excellency concert to sing Son De Camaguey and Earth Song. Now we are working on new repertoire for the endish of the year. We started seasons of love (third time i’ve sung it!) and Come Sweet Death, doesn’t that sound pleasant? It’s going to be a fun month after spring break and we are continuing to work very hard.
The divisional choir also performed at music festival. We won 2 gold medals, 2 trophies and a standing ovation. Again, this group also got invited to the choral excellency concert. The choral excellency concert features the 6 best choirs from music festival, 2 at the elementary school level, 2 middle school groups and 2 high schools. Right now everyone is really frazzled in anticipation for Edmonton. (Only 7 more days!!!) We are singing at the University, west Edmonton mall, a church service and a nursing home. Tonight we will be singing our two best songs: Wade in de Water and Ka Hia Manu. We have performed Ka Hia Manu 3 times now but it seems like more since we started it back in september. People are starting to a better job of controlling the poles although it’s really hard when you’re in such a tight space and you have to draw your arm back without hitting anyone (someone always gets hit in the face, please let tonight show that there’s a first time for everything!) In Edmonton we are thinking of singing Let everything that hath breath, come away sweet love ka hia manu, wade in de water, bright morning stars and basically whatever we can have ready by then. In practice we have been attempting to get build me up buttercup ready for Edmonton and the general ruling is: any new people can suck it up and just figure it out. We’ve been having lot’s of fun and we are also getting ready for Cabaret. My friend and I are determined to win a spot in cabaret and are working very hard on anything you can do ( I can do better) from Annie get your gun and so far it’s going pretty well. As a group, we don’t know what we’re singing yet, other than Dancing in the street and it’s still in the beginning stages. Divisional choir is definitely a lot of fun and i can’t wait to go to Edmonton with my friends.

Now we know that Our director (Mrs. Avonlea Armstrong) has won a well deserved award for being such a dedicated conductor and we don't know anyone who could be more deserving.
Yay Mrs. A!!!!!

Ok I'm kinda busy right now so see ya next time I blog!
Bye :)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

So busy!!

It's March. and I remembered to blog! wow.
So anyway, he everyone! It's the busiest month of the year. some of my friends say that I say that every month but It's only really true for March. It's actually so busy I have 4 calendars so that no matter where I am I can see one of them and I can add to it. I have one in my phone, google, a paper copy in my binder and one on my wall. Just to give you an idea of what I do I have, Musical practice every Sunday and Monday, choir once almost every day, choir 3 times on Wednesdays, i'm singing at 2 concerts, listening to one, going to a musical, sitting at a talking circle, talking at the school's staff meeting, I have 2 tests that I know of, book club, a Youth Advisory Council, some volunteering, a doctor's appointment somewhere in there and a trip to Edmonton with the choir. Oh yeah and I go to school every day. Last week I had one concert and we won a gold medal!!! This week I have one concert with divisional choir and we are going to sing awesomely! and another concert with jazz choir. :)
I hope everyone had a great week and I'll write again soon. Bye!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Life is crazy

Hi Everyone!!!!
I did not realize that I have been blogging for over a year. not much blogging actually got done but I have been posting once in a while for over a year. Wow. how did I not notice that? oh well. So I realize it's been almost a month since my last post but I've been really busy between music and a new semester (15.1% over!) and just life in general. So I figured I should probably post while I had some time to myself. right now it's the end of the day at school so I took advantage of the last 10 minutes of Peace & Conflict to start a new post. So lately I've settled into semester 2 last week and it's pretty great. I have gym, grade 10 geography, French/Band, Choir/Jazz, English, Peace & Conflict. It's been lots of fun! In gym I just finished playing floor ball which was a lot of fun. I wasn't very good at it but who cares? and I wasn't That bad. in french we finished our book (finally!) and in band we're working on some very cool songs and that's lots of fun. Of course choir is amazing! Right now we're very busy getting ready for festival and that's been a blast. We're going to sing earth song by Frank Tichelli and Son De Camaguey by Stephen Hatfield. (curse you Stephen Hatfield!) Stephen Hatfield is this really awesome composer who writes some crazy songs that we love to sing. It's now Sunday night and i'm sitting at home doing pretty much nothing. So i'm going to continue. in English we just started Midsummer night's dream. I love Shakespeare and i'm having so much fun!! and then Conflict and peace is really interesting so far. We're finished our first unit about defining peace and we're starting a new one tomorrow. i think it might be my favourite non-musical class. So this week I have an hour of volunteering, a concert, a bunch of choir practices and who knows what else. It'll be fun, it always is. Only difference: I managed to sprain my wrist before all this. So as of today I have to keep it wrapped for however long. Whopdeedoo. Have a great week guys!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Exams, oh joy!

Hi everyone!
Don't we all know that exams make people totally stressed? Well, don't be so stressed! you might not have an amazing exam. I don't think I will! but you should have confidence that you'll do fine! Exams are only as scary as you make them seem. If you studied then you will probably do really well. If you payed attention in class and studied a lot, then you have nothing to worry about. It can be kind of hard to remember things right away, but that's why they tell you when your exams are a month ahead of time and you get lot's of time. If you remember to get lots of sleep, eat well and study (not the night before) then that's awesome. Make sure you get there about 15 minutes early, find your seat, don't stress yourself out before it starts and go to the washroom before, it's only a matter of how well you know the info. Trust me, I've never taken an exam before but I've taken a lot of contests that are at least as complicated as exams. (stupid math contest!) and i know a lot of other people who HAVE taken exams. everyone says the same things so that's what I've been saying to anyone who wants to know. (Now if only I could take my own advice...) Also, If your teacher gives you a chance to review, take it! I just came home from a math review i guess an hour and a half ago and since it's a sunday night we were tired and made weird mistakes (since when does 20-8=14?) but we remembered everything and it was worth it. It was actually surprisingly fun. but other than going crazy studying I've had a life too (sort of) or at least as much a life as I ever have. I was at my cousin's birthday party this weekend and I'm drowning in music. I love babysitting my baby cousin whenever that happens and my 3 choirs are going great! We're getting ready for festival so we're working really really hard but it's a lot of fun and I'm doing what I love so I don't mind so much. Music is something that as much as you love it, you can't forget how hard you're working, you just don't remember that you have to be there. We get to sing some beautiful song and some fun rhythmic songs too. We're singing things like, Wade in de water, Son de camaguey (Cuban folk song), earth song, let the river run and some others. My friend is telling me to stop rambling so much and get to the ending already. So, I hope everyone has a great week, i'll probably post when I'm done exams (wednesday or thursday) and, yeah. 
Have a great week guys!