Friday, September 26, 2008

Grace, Waupun

Traveling Choir sings Sunday, September 28, 2008 at Grace Lutheran Church, Waupun, WI. Service time is 9:00 AM, Warmups will begin at 8:00 AM. The bus leaves WLA at 7:30 AM.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good Shepherd, FDL

Traveling Choir sings tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:30 AM at Good Shepherd, Fond du Lac. This is out first Sunday performance of the school and about three weeks earlier than we normally go out. The kids have been working very hard for the past four weeks and have four songs ready to go tomorrow:
  1. Alleluia (Ralph Manuel)
  2. He is Not Here! (Russel Nagy)
  3. Lord, Let at Last Thine Angels Come (Hans Leo Hassler)
  4. Precious Lord, Take My Hand (arr. Jack Schrader)
I'll post recordings to this article tomorrow after the service. Students should be to Good Shepherd by 7:00 AM for warmups. We will be singing in two places before the sermon in both services, and leave after we are done in the second service. There should be a snack provided in between by the congregation.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WLA Theme Song 2008-2009

"I Watch in Hope for the Lord" (MP3, Sheet Music)
recorded live in chapel, 9/17/08 by the WLA student body

I didn't intend to write this song. It just happened.

It was the Friday before the school year was about to begin and I was reading Ps. 32. I was preparing the choir devotions for the year and read Ps. 32:7 ("You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble") and a melody immediately popped into my head. As is typical for me, I wondered if I had ever heard it before. I hummed/sang it for a couple people that night. Only one person said it sounded somewhat familiar, but when they sang back to me what they thought it sounded like, I knew what I was hearing in my head was different enough to be unique.

So the next day, the Saturday before the school year, I sat down at school and started singing it, playing it, and writing it down. The verses came first, but the refrain was more like a descant, with long notes and octave leaps. It didn't sound at all like a vocal meloday for a refrain. So I played the chord changes on the piano under the descant and, slowly, a vocal refrain emerged. It wasn't until this point that I realized that I could set this year's theme, Micah 7:7, to that melody. Then I knew a new song was born.

Thank you, God, for letting me hear it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Bonnie Blue Flag

Can a song incite a riot or get you thrown in jail?

The Bonnie Blue Flag was such a song for the South during the early years of the Civil War. It made Confederate hearts burst with pride for their newly formed "Confederate States of America", but it was so powerful that it was banned by the Union generals towards the end of the Civil War . Anyone caught singing it could be fined or even thrown in jail (even though John Wilkes Booth got away with singing it)!

"The Bonnie Blue Flag" from Wikipedia
"Harry Macarthy: The Bob Hope of the Confederacy" from Civil War Times, 6/12/2006
YouTube video of Bonnie Blue Flag as sung in the Warner Bros. movie "Gods and Generals"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Civil War Concert Posters

Need more posters to put up at your school for the WLA Fall Choral Concert "His Truth is Marching On – The Civil War in Story and Song"? Click below to download PDF files of your favorite posters. Watch this article for more posters every week showing different historical figures from the Civil War. Collect the entire set!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michael Stowe (1967-2008)

Students and Faculty from WLA will form a choir to sing In Christ Alone on Saturday, Sep. 13, 2008 for the 11:00 AM Christian funeral of Michael Stowe at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, WI. The choir will meet at Immanuel at 10:30 AM on Saturday to warm up. Students in need of a ride should call Mr. Witte at 920-251-4490.

We are all saddened by this sudden loss of the Stowe family's father, but we rejoice with them that Michael is now enjoying the place that Jesus has prepared for him in heaven. We all watch in hope for the second coming of Jesus and wait for God, our Savior, to take us to be with Him.

Obituary / Directions to Immanuel Lutheran Church

(Updated 9/13/08: Mrs. Stowe talked to me briefly after the service today and wanted me to be sure to tell all of the singers, both students and faculty, how marvelously they sang in the service today. Your service to her family and the guests was very much appreciated by both the Stowe family and Pastor Pagel -- Thank you. D.W.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In Tune's Best Music Schools 2009

(Jon Koepsell, this article is for you, and for all my music students at WLA, and their parents, and my kids, and for anyone else who needs to know how to start selecting a music school.)

More than 1,200 schools in the US and Canada offer some form of music education. In Tune Monthly picked the best of them in their October 2008 issue. You can view their college list here. The article acknowledges that many "traditional" music schools are now updating their technology and contemporary music offerings because the way music is created, composed, performed, recorded, and produced is constantly changing.

One nearby music school was mentioned in this article:
McNally Smith, in St. Paul, MN is a contemporary music school that offers degrees in Music Performance, Music Business, Recording Technology, and Composition. The school is beginning a new Bachelor of Science in Music Production program for music producers this fall. Students oversee and album production form start to finish and are required to study music theory, composition, arranging and performance, technology and business, and general liberal arts subjects designed to round out their educations.
Sites with links to music schools
Bridge to Music - THIS IS AN AMAZING SITE!
Do Something
College Bound

Other Resources:
Great Jobs for Music Majors by Jan Goldberg
Schools that Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide by Jenny Eliscu
The Student's Guide to College Music Programs by Hal Leonard Corp.
Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward Fiske

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oops! I forgot to tell you...

Freshman Choir students need to bring black pants and white dress shirts (guys need a tie) to school tomorrow (Thursday, Sep. 4, 2008) for Picture Day. I forgot to mention this in choir today. My apologies!!!

WSMA 2008-2009 Festival Music List

View the 2008-2009 Festival Music List

The Wisconsin School Music Association offers a music list of more than 5,000 carefully selected titles to promote musical growth through practice, performance, and evaluation at WSMA-sanctioned music festivals. Each year, more than 220,000 students take the initiative to participate in WSMA festivals, and use the music from the WSMA Music Festival List. Wisconsin teachers annually volunteer many hours to review and select music for this list.

WLA Music Students (choir, band, piano, and handbells)Use this list to select music for you to perform at this year's Flyway District Solo Ensemble Festivals:

March 7, 2009 – Instrumental & Piano @ Laconia High School
March 14, 2008 – Vocal & Piano @ Laconia High School