Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Lower School Holiday Sing (Dec 2003)

[Milton Academy News Article]

Lower School Celebrates Season With Annual Holiday Sing

December 16, 2003 - Under the direction of Lower School music director Matthew Etherington (pictured at piano), third through sixth grade students presented an evening of seasonal music. Don Dregalla led the Lower School orchestra - known as the "LSO," he quipped. Gary Shrager, co-director of the Saturday Course, and Ted Whalen accompanied the chorus, which performed pieces such as "Over the River and Through the Woods, "Hava Nashira," "I Rise" ( a Maya Angelou poem set to music) and "Silent Night" in its original German and with American sign language.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Halloween Sing (Oct 2003)

[Milton Academy News Article]

Boo! Spooky Poetry and Halloween Sing Mark the Holiday

The annual Halloween parade and Lower School sing marked festivities this October 31. Students and teachers paraded from the Junior Building to Greenleaf to the new student-faculty center, transformed into characters such as Red Sox-almost-heroes, princesses, pirates, wizards, butterflies, crayons, clowns and more. Principal Annette Raphel was a die, accompanied by other dice.

Sporting electric guitars, Gary Shrager, co-director of the Saturday Course, and Matthew Etherington, music faculty member, led community members in song(see photo).

On the previous morning, fifth grade teachers Matt Reed and Scott Ford hosted parents and third graders at the 23rd annual Halloween poetry reading. Students—some dressing a ghoulish part—recited poetry about goblins, skeletons, monsters and witches by poets such as Ken Nesbitt, Jack Preletsky and others. A group of three student-witches recited the famous passage from Act IV of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which begins, “Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

On a set that featured a glowing jack o’ lantern, all fifth graders, either solo or ensemble, stepped up to deliver their chosen spooky verse.

Fifth grade curriculum has long emphasized poetry throughout the year, said Matt. Matt and Scott Ford, a 23-year Lower School veteran, introduce students to the poetic form and also Pam McArdle, Upper School performing arts faculty member, teaches drama once a week to the students and also helps them practice poetry recitation.

“I tell them that with poetry, it’s more than memorization. You still have to tell the story,” Pam says.

Friday, September 26, 2003

6th Grade Windsinger Compositions

[Milton Academy News Article]

The Windsinger Inspires Musical Compositions

The Sixth Grade summer reading book, The Wind Singer, by British author William Nicholson, centered on the lost sounds of the mystical instrument, the Wind Singer, and children's resolve to hear it once more.

In the book's Aramanth community, with its mantra of "Better today than yesterday. Better tomorrow than today," the hard-working citizens no longer enjoy the songs of The Wind Singer. But the sweet notes had become derelict: The Wind Singer's “voice” had been stolen by the enemy, the Morah.

Three youngsters set off to find and reclaim the voice and allow the Windsinger to sing again.With this first volume of a planned trilogy, author Nicholson illustrates values such as tolerance and the importance of individuality.

Led by Lower School music teacher Matthew Etherington, sixth graders aimed to create the sound of the Wind Singer – imagining how it might "sing." Working in small groups, they used a variety of instruments (percussion, keyboards, voices, recorders) to create a short composition, which was recorded on video and played at the summer reading assembly.