Monday, December 24, 2012

Successful Winter Program!!!

This year's program transported the family and friends of our K-2 students and 4th Grade Ensemble students to Santa's Workshop!  Some even traveled there from Texas!!! (More on that later)

For our program this year, we took at peak to see what happens when Santa gets really tired and happens to fall asleep just days before the big delivery date.  The program started with the Kindergarten students singing a song that announced the arrival of Santa himself.  Then, as he sat down in his favorite, comfy chair, three "elves" from the 4th Grade Ensemble brought him some cookies, hot cocoa and a blanket.  The 4th Grade Ensemble then sang him to sleep with a lullaby while some of the other "elves" held up signs to encourage the audience to be quiet.  This was followed by the entire K-2 ensemble singing about the fact that Santa was asleep and we shouldn't wake him up.

Now is when the fun and chaos began.  After falling asleep, all of the "toys" came to life and began singing songs.  They sang about Betty Beautiful coming to town, Toy Soldiers marching about and decorating with Trains and Engines as the Fantasy World came to life!

Once the toys demonstrate their fun and enjoyment for the season, and once the train had come through, the soldiers marched, the Betty Dolls danced and the Jack-in-the-box popped out, Santa woke up to know that something had been up.  He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and quickly fell back asleep.

It was an awesome show and all of your students performed awesomely!!!  I am proud of the hard work they put in and very proud of the music they presented.  Hug them all and tell them Thank You from Mr. G!!

Now for the other exciting news that came from the concert.  We have been working hard to find ways to involve the community and extended families more with our programs.  This year we took a step closer.  We still have some work to do to perfect the idea, but we are getting better.  Using the HD camera that was purchased for me by the Education Foundation last Spring, we attempted another live stream of the concert.  Last year we were able to do this, however the image was so jumpy that although the audio was pretty good, the video was unwatchable in my book.  We made some adjustments this year and things improved.

I have to first apologize for the fact that the live stream was about 30 minutes long, and about 15 minutes of it was the auditorium and the students filing in and taking the stage.  Once the show got underway, the video quality as well as the audio quality seem to be pretty good.  I was not able to watch it live (I was a little busy directing), so maybe the quality wasn't the same and I didn't know it, but then end quality is really pretty good.  If you wish to check out the live stream archive, please visit here to watch.  I have plans in place to improve on that portion for the next concert which I expect will be the High School Pops Concert.

What is even more exciting about the live stream is this...We estimated that there were from 600 - 700 people in attendance at the concert in person.  As soon as the concert was over, I checked the website with the live feed and saw that there were 216 views of the live stream.  Not all of those would be a single person, but instead, maybe a Grandma and a Grandpa.  So considering that, I would say that our concert touch somewhere between 900 and 1000 people!!!  We can't fit that many people in our auditorium and yet, they were able to see our students LIVE!!  I think that is very cool!

I was also told by some of the parents that they had people as far away as Texas who were logging in that night.  So not only did we have almost 1000 audience members, but we also had audience members from literally all the way across the United States!  We will be working hard to continue to improve this technology.  I sincerely hope that you will have patience as we grow into this new technology.  Also, if you happen to see anyone that you know is an Education Foundation board member, please thank them for providing technology to help make this happen.

Once again....Thank you for your students and your support.  I am extremely proud of the hard work they put forward and the program they performed.

May you all enjoy a special holiday season with your loved ones!

~Mr. G

Spreading Christmas Cheer


Earlier this month I was contacted to provide some holiday music for the residents at CALU Apartments in Fairfield, IA.  After talking with the students in the 4th Grade Ensemble at Washington Elementary, I had about 20 students volunteer to sing some of the music they were preparing for the Winter Program.

Right after school, these students were delivered by their parents to the apartment building where we gathered to sing the music we have worked on as well as some general carols to put everyone in the festive mood.  The residents were invited to sing along and we could definitely hear them joining in.

After the students sang, the residents were treated to a holiday feast that looked so good that the students began to drool over the pie.  :)

I was extremely proud of how well the students performed and everyone in attendance seemed very appreciative of their talents.

Thank you to all of the students who were able to make it to spread some Christmas Cheer!






Saturday, December 15, 2012

That special time has arrived once again!!!

That time that several students look forward to has once again arrived!!

Next week Tuesday, December 18th, is the Washington and Libertyville K-2 and 4th Grade Ensemble Winter Program.  The program will be presented at the High School Auditorium at 7:00 PM.  Please have your students arrive at the High School commons between 6:30 and 6:45.  This will give them time to gather by class and line up to begin the concert at 7:00.

At the conclusion of the concert, please allow a couple minutes for the students to exit the stage and hall, then please pick them up in the commons area from their teachers.  The only exception to this will be that the 4th Grade Ensemble students will stay in the auditorium and be dismissed with their parents from the auditorium when the younger students have left the area.

We are planning to try once again to LIVE STREAM our concert this year.  Last year was only a partial success.  We did get a live stream going, but I felt that it was so jumpy that it was unwatchable.  We have made some adjustments this year and hopefully we will have a much better experience for anyone who tries to watch our concert live on the web.  Having said that, it is still a work in progress, and even though we have taken steps to improve it, we will not know how well it will work until we try it.  So please have some patience with us as we try to bring this awesome experience to those who cannot come to our program.

To view the concert live, please go to the following address.  http://qik.com/familyplow  I will try to start the live feed a few minutes before 7:00 so that people have a chance to get set up before the program actually starts.  From my tests I have run recently, you might have to refresh a time or two if you don't see the video right away.  Once you do see the video, then you should be good to go.  I have posted more detailed instructions on a static page on my blog.  To see my instructions click here.

Thank you once again for your support and for the chance to work with your students.  They have worked hard putting this program together, and I hope you are excited to come to Santa's Workshop and see just what happens when an exhausted Santa falls asleep.

~Mr. G

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November Update


Well, it is almost the middle of November already and we just keep plugging along.  In just over a week we will have our Thanksgiving Break, and that means a break to recuperate if needed, and it means it is time for Mr. G to start to panic about the upcoming program.  No matter how much or little we have worked towards the program, it is always a time to panic for me.  Remember that the program is a K-2 Winter Program this year with help from the 4th Grade ensemble.  This will be held in the High School Auditorium on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:00 PM.  This will be a combined concert once again between Libertyville and Washington.  I appreciate everyone being willing to work together to create this combined concert, and I really feel it is great for the students in each building to have the chance to sing with their classmates in the other building.

We have been having some discussions about trying to webcast the concert again, however we are taking steps to improve on what we did last year.  It did work.....sort of...., but we are hoping to make it work a lot better this year.  I will keep you updated on that exciting project as we know more.

So now......What are we doing???

Kindergarten

We have slowed down a little on the alphabet songs and other music so that we have time to work on our program music.  A lot of the music in the program this year uses the familiar tunes from different seasonal songs, but changes many of the words to fit this year's story.  This helps some of the students learn the songs faster, however, right now there is one song that has been a real challenge for kindergarten this year.  We keep working on it and improve a little each time though.  This is what is important.  Even though we are prepping for the program, we still have time to sing about a Very Fine Turkey.

First Grade

Just like the Kindergarten students, the First Grade students are working feverishly on music for our program.  We currently have been working on three songs, but will be adding more shortly.  After earning a bonus day, the students did get to enjoy part of a movie called "Tubby The Tuba" where Tubby begins a search for a melody that he can call his own and play.  He gets a little tired of playing Oom Pahs all of the time.  As they earn more bonus days with their great behavior, we will continue to watch a little more of the movie throughout the year.

Second Grade

The Second Grade students are also working hard to learn music for the Winter Program.  However, we are still working pretty hard at learning the notes of the Treble Cleff Staff.  There are a couple songs that we sing that have videos they like to watch that help reinforce the notes of the Treble Clef.  Watch them below, and I am sure your student will sing right along if you have them with you.

Every Good Boy Does Fine


FACE


I have also purchased some other materials that will help the students learn and understand this concept.  We have some worksheets that help us spell words using the notes of the staff, and a game called Note Name Battleship.  Mrs. Keller and I have worked lately to find some apps to use with the iPods that the school has purchased for classroom use.  We have also worked on the idea of setting up centers in our rooms so that the students would be split into small groups and could then rotate through the different stations working on all types of activities related to the notes of the treble clef.  However, this will probably not take place until after we are done with the program.

Third Grade

Third grade students have been working on learning the different types of notes and rests, as well as their values.  We have been working to put them into rhythms and being able to count and clap them correctly.  This was all in preparation for the big Rhythm Baseball Game that we will be playing.  We started by singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", and discussing the history of the song.  Did you know that the person who wrote the song had never been to a professional baseball game until after the song had been published?

We also read and listened to the poem "Casey at the Bat".  I read it to the class, then we listened to it being read by the famous voice of James Earl Jones.  This was really interesting because his voice was backed up by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.  Many of the students recognized his voice from movies such as Star Wars and The Sandlot.  We also discussed the idea that James Earl Jones has a problem with stuttering and that if you work hard and a positive attitude, quite often you can overcome problems that you might have.  Then we also read through the poem "Casey Twenty Years Later".

Finally we started our game of Rhythm Baseball.  We have two teams in each class....Turkey....and ....Stuffing.  The students tell me how many rhythm cards they would like to clap and count.  One card is a single, two is a double and so forth.  If they clap and count them correctly, they move that many bases.  If they are incorrect, the other team has a chance to do it correctly and make the out.  We will play for about 3 innings or so depending on the class.  It usually is a pretty fun time.

Fourth Grade

The fourth grade students are starting to wrap up our discussions about the different instrument families.  We have already talked about the Brass Family, Woodwind Family and the String Family.  We have talked about the characteristics that make Brass instruments, brass instruments, and Woodwind instruments, Woodwind instruments.  We have also identified individual instruments and listened to what each sounded like.  Recently we began discussing the Percussion family.  One video the students enjoyed demonstrated all of the characteristics of the String family.  Watch the video below.
Resonant Chamber

Since discussing the Percussion family, the students watched part of a video of the musical group STOMP.  We will also be watching a video in class that will demonstrate many different percussion instruments.  Click below to watch the video they will be seeing.

Pipe Dream

The recorders have been ordered and as of today have come in.  I will be picking them up today and getting ready to hand them out.  We will be starting the recorder work right after returning from Thanksgiving Break.  You can send your $2.00 now.  Several sent their money early, however, if you waited, please start sending your money now.  We will be doing Recorder Karate again this year.  Please encourage your student to bring their recorder and packet home to practice, however, please have them remember to have them bring them back so that we can work in class.  We will be doing testing in class, and having individual practice time in class.

Fourth Grade Ensemble

I have been really excited about the progress of the Fourth Grade Ensemble.  I think this is one of the strongest ensembles I have had at Libertyville.  They may be small, but they sound great.  Washington picks up the music really quickly, and both groups are excited to learn the music this year.  They are currently working on three songs for the K-2 Winter Program.  I know that it is a K-2 program, but it is a great venue for the ensemble students to perform at and get some recognition for their hard work.  In past years I have had these students help out by doing speaking parts for the program.  This year I am scaling back a little.  They might have some choreography for a couple of the K-2 songs, but there really aren't any lines to the program this year.  We will see how this goes.  It is definitely less stressful for the fourth grade students.

Below is a brief clip from today's ensemble rehearsal at Libertyville where they were rehearsing "Old Toy Trains".

video

Fifth Grade

This week we started a new song in class that several of the students recognized and seem to enjoy.  for those of you that are familiar with the Kingston Trio or the Beach Boys, we started singing "John G. Sails".  My plan with this song is to learn it well enough that we can begin singing harmony in class.  It would be tough at times to sing two parts in smaller classes, but I feel the fifth grade classes are up to the challenge.  We could also add instruments such as bongos, maracas and the triangle to play along with the song.  This always seems to be harder to perfect than I usually expect.  Yet, we will work hard and be able to accomplish it.

We are also working more on vocabulary and symbols in class too.  Just this week we started working on dynamics and how to build them from the basic letters of P, F and M.

The students have also earned their first bonus day and we have begun watch the Disney Musical "Newsies".  The classes will continue to earn notes for positive behavior, and when they earn enough for a second bonus day, we will continue with the next part of the movie.  By the end of the year, they should have been able to see the entire movie.  This movie tends to be a 5th grade favorite.

The fifth grade also continues to work to learn about some background information on various composers and their music.  Thus far we have covered the life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.  We discuss odd things about their lives as well as the influences they had.  We listen to music they have written that still is popular today.  Even though most of the students don't listen to classical music on a regular basis, we listen to the music that is so popular that they have all heard them from ringtones to commercials.  The next composer we will study is Antonio Vivaldi.


5th Grade Ensemble

The ensemble has been working on two pieces currently and they are sounding awesome!  So many times they are a really uplifting part of my Wednesdays.  We are polishing "Touch The Sky" from the movie Brave, and a song titled "You Are The Light".  The second song takes the music to the Olympic Theme that everyone is so familiar with and adds inspirational text to that melody.  The students sing that song with an incredible amount of gusto.  It is really a joy to hear them each week on both of these songs.  We will hopefully be starting a third song shortly.  In the meantime, we have been contacted about possibly singing at a dinner in December.  It would be a night performance on a Friday night, and if we do it, it would be in conjunction with some of the other Middle School ensembles.  I will keep everyone updated as that gets closer as to whether or not we will be able to do that event.

8th Grade Choir

We had our first concert of the year last quarter and I was pretty pleased with how it went.  Sometimes this class just really amazes me.  They come into my room with some baggage (as we all have) and sometimes aren't the most focused or enthused, then they open their mouths and I can't say anything other than the fact that some days I am amazed.  We are currently working on five songs for our next concert which will be at the end of the quarter and is usually shortly after we get back in January from winter break.  One song in particular is from the movie soundtrack for "Amistad" and was written by John Williams.  We have discussed in class about the fact that you almost seem to be able to hear a little bit of "Star Wars" or "Pirates of the Caribbean" in the music.

Once a concert date is set, I will post it here to make you all aware.

******************************************************************************

Once again, I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to work with your children and the support you show for them and the Elementary Music Department.  I hear lots of positive comments from parents and that is awesome.  Please keep checking back for updates as the year continues.

~Mr. G

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Looking for something FUN(ny) and EXCITING this weekend?

Are you looking for something fun and exciting to do this weekend?  

Come to the FHS Production:

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

There is mystery, suspense and humor.  
Come and see if you can solve the mystery!!




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cool Story.....please watch

This is a link to what I feel is just a cool, feel-good story.  Check it out, enjoy, and pass it on!!!  Click on the blue "Mr. S"

Mr. S


Thanks,
~Mr. G

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Busy, busy, busy and.........busy

Greetings! I had decided that I wanted to try to do monthly updates for everyone on my blog.  As you can see, I failed at that so far, so I have a little catching up to do.

The start of school brought warm temps, early outs, Homecoming Preps and lots of work in my music classrooms.  I am all about school spirit, so at the beginning of the year we learn and review the school song in ALL of my classes. I stress to the students that learning the school fight song is a source of pride in ourselves and our school.  I know that many of the students take this to heart because I am always excited by parents that stop me to tell me that their Kindergarten student knows all the words of the school song.  I even have parents tell me that I cause fights between their kids about who knows the words the best!!  That always makes me proud of my students.

In my Elementary classes, we start the year off with a game or two right at the beginning of the year in each class.  My goal for all of my students is that they enjoy music and that they want to come to class and to sing and dance each and everyday.  I hope that by instilling the idea of fun at an early age, it will propel them into upper level music classes with a positive drive.  I had taken some video from a couple of these classes and will hopefully get them edited and posted at some point.

During the month of September we also discuss the importance of Sept. 14, 1814.  Many people are not aware of this date, but your students will hopefully have a little extra knowledge of this date.  This is the date that Francis Scott Key penned the words to a poem that would later become our National Anthem.  It was a poem based on his night that he spent on a British ship as they bombed Ft. McHenry during the war of 1812.

On to specific grade levels.......

Kindergarten

The kindergarten students have just been working on singing and having fun.  I have tried to pick fun songs that make them excited to come to music.  The songs we have been using still have educational impacts.  One of their favorites seems to be an echo song called "ABC Rock".  This just sings through the ABC's in more of a rock song type fashion.  Besides the School Song, this tends to be the most requested song among the students.  We are also sing in games that encourage the students to sing alone in front of the class and work on pitch matching.  This week we are beginning some Halloween songs, as well as beginning the preparations for our Winter Program.  So, if you have students coming home sing Christmas-type songs.....yep....we have to be prepared.  :)

First Grade

The first grade students are singing really well for the beginning of the year.  We have worked on songs and games that teach steady beat as well as working on singing by themselves in front of the class.  I am happy to announce that none of these students been injured singing alone in front of the class.  Sometimes they think they can't do this or that it will be a really negative situation.  However, through some of our games, it is a very low pressure situation and before long each student is singing alone.  It is really a neat thing to watch sometimes.  The first grade is also beginning some Halloween music this week and the music we are learning will be used to play some of the xylophones in the room too.  This is always exciting for the students.  Lastly, we have begun musical preparations for the Winter Concert that will be coming up in December.  If you think you hear Christmasy type music coming from their bedrooms, you might be right!

Second Grade

The second grade students have just completed learning a song that is a little scary for them at first, but in the end tends to be a highlight for the year.  They all learned a song that is sung in Japanese Elementary Schools about the coming of Spring.  They learned it easily enough in English, then we learned the entire song in Japanese.  We also added some movement to the song, and to really discuss their culture a little more, we talked about their spring festivals and folded origami swans.  We have also begun to learn the notes of the treble clef staff.  It is a focus for me this year to work hard to make sure all second grade students can identify the notes on the treble clef staff.  The second grade students will also be performing in the Winter Concert, so we have started working on music for that program.


Third Grade


The Third Grade students have been singing a large variety of songs from a rap about the food at the supermarket to Rockin' Robin.  A large emphasis for the Third Grade is always to learn and understand counting rhythms.  We start by identifying the notes and rests.  Next we start with some easy games of Rhythm Tic-Tac-Toe, and then we continue with a discussion about baseball, songs and poems about baseball, and finally ending that unit with a game of Rhythm Baseball.  Just around the corner is when we begin the baseball discussions.  We usually use flash cards on the board for Tic-Tac-Toe, but this year we are using a Mimio unit that was purchased by the parent groups in each of the buildings I am in.  When we use the Mimio, the students become a more interactive part in the activities I can present with the new unit.  It really is awesome and I want to thank my parent groups for that purchase!

Fourth Grade

The Fourth Grade students have been working almost exclusively on the instrument families.  We have discussed the individual characteristics that separate the individual instruments into families.  We have also been listening to recordings of each of the instruments for identification purposes.  Once we finish the instrument families, we should be just about ready to start our recorder unit.  We will again be using the "Recorder Karate" book.  The students begin by learning three notes.  These notes will get them through the first two songs or so.  With each song they successfully test out of, they receive a colored belt.  The goal is to get through all nine songs and earn their Black Belt.  I have sent home notes to be returned so that I know how many recorders to order.  Almost all of them have been returned.  The recorders will be ordered soon, however, be aware that they do not come with ear plugs for the parents.  :)


Fifth Grade


In Fifth Grade, the students have their first chance to join band.  We try to cover as much of the notes of the staff and rhythm counting prior to fifth grade as we can.  However, some of that information seems to fall into some pretty deep mental cracks.  It is there, but hard to find.  For this reason, we spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year reviewing musical symbols, notes and rhythms.  We have been working on that and playing a matching game with the new Mimio unit that was purchased by the parent groups in the three buildings I am in.  Besides reviewing the music basics to help them get a strong base in band, we have also been singing several songs just to keep the interest going there also.  We have song some songs with history to them and some purely for fun.  We also discuss several of the great composers throughout the year.  We got a late start on them, but we will catch up soon.  Usually one composer every month is covered.  We started with JS Bach last week.  We will be covering a new composer next week.  Towards the end of the year, we will be doing a computer project about these composers.


Fifth Grade Ensemble


The Fifth Grade students have a chance to voluntarily join the Fifth Grade Ensemble.  We have already begun rehearsals every Wednesday afternoons during the school day.  It isn't too late to join.  I have sent home permission slips for parents to sign, just so that I know you are aware that your student is interested in joining.  The ensemble sings on the MS concert in early January and again on the concert in May.  We also try to visit one of the senior residences in town each year towards the end of the year.


Fourth Grade Ensemble


The Fourth Grade Ensembles at Libertyville and Washington are in full swing.  They recently sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the last home volleyball game at the High School.  I was very proud of how they did and very pleased with the turn out considering there was some miscommunication that took place and several people ended up with very short notice.  As far as singing engagements for the Fourth Grade Ensemble, they will be helping with some songs at the K-2 Winter Program on Tuesday, December 18th at the High School Auditorium.  The concert will begin at 7:00 PM.  I will be sending notes home at a later time with more information on that performance.


8th Grade Choir


Last night was our first concert of the semester.  I felt that our students were well prepared, behaved well in their seats waiting for their turn, and then performed well on stage.  We will be watching the video of the concert and critiquing ourselves in class.  This week we will already be starting the music for our next concert.  The date is not set yet, but it has been shortly after we return from the Winter Break.  There will be more information to follow as it develops.


One final note to highlight!!!!

The students in grades K-2 and the Fourth Grade Ensemble will be presenting their Winter Concert at the High School Auditorium on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:00 PM.  More information will be sent home at a later time.  I just wanted to make sure everyone was notified early.  The concert should be less than an hour in length.  Come on out the the show that night and enjoy their hard work.


Thank you all for your support.....I enjoy working with each of your students.

~Mr. G

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Welcome Back...

Welcome Bach...
Bach
Bach
Bach

(Cue the Music...)

Welcome Back.....

No, you won't find Mr. Kotter, Horshack, Epstein or Barbarino, but you will find Mr. G.  You might have to look a little harder to find me if you are returning to Washington, I am in a new room.  Starting in a new room is kind of exciting because it is a fresh, new beginning.  The good memories from the last room will travel with us to the new room.  Now we can create even more good memories in a new space!

I will start back to school tomorrow and I am excited to see everyone next week.  New songs, new games and new technology are some of the things to look forward to this year.  The parent groups at the Middle School, Libertyville and Washington all chipped in to purchase a new Mimio machine for my classroom.  For those that are not familiar with this, it is technology that I can use with my computer, projector and whiteboard that allows for interactive games and activities with my students.  We might do races or play bingo or play Rhythm Tic-Tac-Toe or even do some matching games.  This puts the technology in the hands of the students and keeps them actively involved.

Concerts this year?  The 3rd and 4th Grade students will be having the Spring Concert this year and the K-2 students will be having a Winter Concert this year.  Each year the grade levels swap concerts, so this is where we are in the rotation.  In the last few years, the 3rd and 4th grade have performed at the Sondheim Center.  Again, we will look into this and discuss it at the school level.  It is a great place to perform, the only drawback is that we had "Standing Room Only" last year.  However, especially in the Spring when the temperatures are getting warmer, it sure is nice to have an air-conditioned facility to perform in and listen to.

The 4th Grade students will have the option to join me for 4th Grade Ensemble, and they usually perform at both concerts.  The 5th Grade students will also have the opportunity to sing in 5th Grade Ensemble, and they usually participate in the Winter Concert and Spring Concert with the MS Choirs.
In addition to those performing groups, I will be directing one section of the 8th Grade Choir each semester and expect that they will have 2 concerts per semester.

Last year my blog had some changes in what was posted and how often it was posted.  My goal is to return to what it was about 2 years ago where I will hopefully post monthly updates about what to expect for the following month.  I feel it keeps parents and students better informed, and it also helps me stay organized.

I hope all of your students are excited to come back and ready to sing and enjoy music this year.

See you all soon!!

Mr. G

Friday, May 11, 2012


Overture...Curtain.....Lights..... (action)

Come one, come all to a show you are really going to enjoy.  On Monday, May 22nd at 7:30 PM, the K-2 students and the 4th Grade Ensemble students, all from Libertyville and Washington Elementaries will be presenting their Spring Program.

The program will be presented at the High School Auditorium.  Please note the 7:30 PM start instead of the normal 7:00 PM start.  We have moved the time a half hour later to accommodate students and families that would also be involved with the Hershey Track Meet that night.

Please come, enjoy the concert and support your students and the elementary music programs at your individual schools.  The students have been working hard for the last couple months to prepare a show that they didn't understand at first, however, I know you will as their parents and friends.  I am sure many of you will know just what I am talking about when I say "Cartoon Day".  This is a concept these students didn't quite understand.  Times and TV have changed quite a bit from when we were all their ages.

Come to the High School Auditorium and enjoy a trip down Memory Lane to "Cartoon Day" in our childhoods.  Once again, the concert will be at 7:30 PM.

For any friends and family that might be out of town or even out of state or out of the country, we will be streaming the program live.  Please click on the text below to locate the site. 


Please pass that address on to friends and family that can't be here so that they could login and enjoy the concert live.  This is brand new technology for us, so please ask them to be patient if there are glitches.  We are really trying to include, through technology, many people who might not have been able to be included.

This technology was made possible by a grant through the Fairfield School Education Foundation.  Thank you to all of the members who helped to purchase this camera!!

On a similar note, I will be contacting some of our local Senior Housing and Assisted Living complexes as well as nursing homes to invite them to gather together to enjoy our concert live also.  This is very exciting and I hope that you share our anticipation.

Thanks for your support, and I hope to see you all on the 22nd of May.

Mr. G





Friday, April 20, 2012

A sneak peek into Munchkin Land...........

Four Big Shows!!!
Tickets still available!!!
Make Plans to Attend!!!
Enjoy the show!!!






*Photos provided with permission by Doug Martin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Don't Think We Are In Kansas Anymore Toto!!!!

Looking for some fund entertainment this coming weekend or next?

Blow in to the Fairfield High School Auditorium for this years Spring Musical....

The Wizard of Oz

This production will feature talent from Fairfield High School, Fairfield Middle School and elementary students from Libertyville and Washington 4th Grade Ensemble as well as the 5th Grade Ensemble.

Join Dorothy as she gets caught up in a twister and decends into Munchkin Land.  Here she will begin her journey home to Kansas, but it will not be easy.  With the help of the Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion and Glinda the Good Witch of the North, will they smite the efforts of revenge from the Wicked Witch of the West?  Only OZ knows for sure.

Come and enjoy your students, friends and neighbors!!!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Rockin' wih the Stars!!


Have you ever wanted to have a chance to sit down and ask questions of your favorite singer or band member? Did you want to ask them if they eat bologna sandwiches and mac ‘n cheese?  What do you have to do to have a chance to do this?  The answer to the last question is simple……be a 5th grade student at Fairfield Middle School!

Even though not everyone in each class will get to meet their favorite musician, they will have the chance to ask some of those questions of a famous musician that they have always wanted.  

 On Thursday, March 1st, the students in Mr. Grunwald’s music class will have a special guest in class.  Through the use of modern technology, the students will hear about the career of Tommy Farese, former member of “Trans-Siberian Orchestra” and now one of the founding members of “The Kings of Christmas”.  Through his career he has performed with many well-known musicians from many different genres.




The purpose of his “visit” is to talk about and answer questions about his career as a musician.  Through his touring, he has worked with managers and agents, record labels and their companies, concert promoters as well as other performers.  He can discuss many of these music careers with our students so that they can see how they can have careers in music even if they are not keen on performing.  Hopefully they will also see, through discussions of his childhood, that you don’t have to be born into greatness to be great.  You don’t have to be born in to fame to be famous.  All you need to do is find something you really enjoy doing and work positively towards that final goal.


I hope the students will have an awesome experience with Mr. Farese and be inspired to chase their dreams, no matter how far away they may seem.