A Multimedia Resume
- A music educator with over 25 years of experience in the NJ public schools.
- Certified in both Music and Elementary Education in the State of New Jersey.
- Experienced in Grant Writing having been awarded a half a million dollars in funding.
- Experienced Webmaster
I have been involved in musical theater since I went to high school. I have been involved in both amateur and semi-professional productions through 2014. My true love has been the creation of musical theater productions at the high school level. The 8 minute sample below is from a 2011 production of Into the Woods and represents the finale of the closing performance. What makes me proud here is that it is a perfect example of what kids can do when they are well prepared and well rehearsed. From the acting and the poignant moments on the stage to the final ending choreography and the lighting execution, all of the students worked to have maximum impact on their audience and did and incredible job.
Choral conducting, particularly at the high school level has many components and facets different from elementary or college. Some serious “purists” may object to this, but, I have come to believe that persons participating in the singing aspect of choir are not necessarily participating in a creative art. In popular musical theater medleys, there is always an option for more “theatrical” treatments of these pieces. In the example below, the Medley from A Chorus Line has many opportunities and the students themselves created and directed their choreography, thereby adding the creative component to their performance.
Traditional Choral Conducting
While some music allows for some liberties, the repertoire should always include a variety of music and styles that accurately represent the genre. A combination of spirituals, classical music, sacred and secular texts as well as music from other cultures should be a part of every choral program. In the performance of Danny Boy, the non-auditioned choir is allowed the opportunity to sing music that challenges their ability to interpret a familiar and sensitive text.
When it is called for, I have arranged and composed music for specific instances. In 2015 when the Senior Class Advisor asked that the choir sing a song for graduation, I suggested that it was high time that the school, which has been in existence since 1973 have a “school song” or Alma Mater. While it is not my place to designate this as a school song, the request by the Senior Advisor, and the subsequent acceptance by the Assistant Principal and the students themselves have given me the confidence that this will be the school’s official Alma Mater. The lyrics and premier performance are as follows.
Just beyond the trees, in a field of Friendship Road
Lies a place that stays inside our hearts with honor to be owed
For the bricks that form the walls of the building that stands so proud
bears the name of the school I know and love and for thee I sing aloud.
Hail Buena High, home of the blue and gold
your memories live inside the ones who’ve attended young and old
Wherever we may go in life whatever we may do
Our days are guided by a Chief of integrity and truth.
Fundraising can also be “fun” raising using the very skills that you bring to the table. Choirs are full of singers and singers love to sing solo. The students select their song and sing it in a recording and then learn the process for advertising locally to our school community through a private link. This is one of the more popular fundraisers and looked forward to year after year at Buena. On this CD I was allowed to perform using my new passion…my ukulele…customized by my daughter.
It’s worth a shot. In September of 2011 every school in the nation was sent a poster with a contest opportunity for schools to compete for a portion of a pool of 1 million dollars…with a top prize of $50,000. This required original music and a message as to why you needed the money and looked for creative impact much the same that the fictional cast of Glee did every week. What was interesting to note here is that our time frame was extremely short and there was all of 3 weeks from the approval process to the submission, yet, I had all the confidence in the world that we would prevail in delivering a grand prize message. While we fell short of the grand prize, we were one of four schools in NJ to win a second prize of $10,000. Arts paid for arts!! One of the coolest things ever. Enjoy our submission.