Thursday, December 25, 2008

Williston Times Write-Up

While I think the title caption is overstated, I thought this would be nice to share!
Yay us.
Hope your holidays are great! Have a Happy New Year

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cast List!

Hi everyone!
Earlier today I posted the cast list.  It is on the stage door of the high school.  Please initial next to your name to acknowledge your acceptance of the part to which you are assigned.  A few words on auditions and the cast list...
On Auditions:
Congratulations to everyone for being so well prepared for auditions! In the past seven years, I have seen many, many students audition for parts.  It was really great to watch almost everyone go up on stage memorized, you have put a lot of effort and care into getting your audition ready.  What was especially heartwarming was to see how supportive you were for each other.  Everyone auditioned in front of an audience of their peers who listened, cared and cheered for them.  This is certainly a good sign of things to come.  Congratulations to those of you who had "break-out" auditions (some of you even surprised yourselves, I'm sure).  To those of you who felt you weren't at your best, please do not give up - the only way to get better at performing is to keep doing it.
On the Cast list:
Creating a cast list is like putting together a big puzzle.  As usual, there were some difficult decisions that had to be made, but I am confident that we have put everyone in the best place, given the limitations of the script.  Of course there are always more qualified actors than there are parts, this show is no exception; in fact, this show is more difficult than shows past, due to the relatively small amount of sub-leads.  Any student with a named character should be very proud of themselves.  Each and every student in the ensemble should also be proud of themselves, for being a part of (what is shaping up to be) the best ensemble in (at least) my history at Mineola.  Don't ever forget that each person's voice is tremendously valuable to our show.
As I have explained in the past, please feel free to ask for feedback about your audition.
Full cast read/sing through on Monday after school!  I can't wait to start working on this show with all of you.

Find the cast list posted to the right.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

100 Music Education Blogs

Hey Everyone!
Just got an email today from Dr. Joe Pisano of: informing me that this blog is now a part of the "100 Music Education Blogs"  Its purpose is to connect music teachers and students from all over the world to globalize the conversation of improving music education.  Go to the above website, and go check out some of the other things that people are doing online, as hopefully now all of the great things we're doing will begin to reach far beyond our hometown.

The following image and text is from Dr. Pisano's blog:

So without any further “a-do”, I present … drum roll please!…

The (Quite possibly!) final of the 100 ME Bloggers:

Jeane Goforth - Scrollworks and Metropolitian Youth Orchestras
Dr. Robert Phillips - The Opinionated Arpgeggist
Cynthia Wunsch  - The Unlikely Entrepreneur (Click the Blog Tab)
Joe Owens - MHS Theater
Andy Zweibel - Music Musings and Other Randoms…
Stephen Robb - Music Schools BC
Paul Bailey - Paul Bailey’s Blog

Please stop by and say hello to all these great new ME bloggers! and…


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Audition Forms

Hi Everyone!

Please find the newly updated audition forms on the right hand side.
The Car-wash fundraiser is ready to go... there is a form for it in the audition forms.

Audition sign up sheets will go up on Thursday. Remember auditions should be a time where you get to show us your best work. Make sure you have some fun up on the stage during your audition.

Dance workshop will be tomorrow (Wednesday) after school, and Mrs. Messina will hold a song teach on Friday December 12th (the Friday before auditions).

Click on the "Audition Forms" on the right hand side of the page to download your audition form. This way you can have your contract signed and returned without having to worry about it.

Please try to sell some of these car-wash tickets... They make a great stocking stuffer, and it is a VERY beneficial fundraiser to us.

See you soon!

P.S. The Set is IN! It looks great and I can't wait to start practicing with it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Audition Pieces...

Hi Everyone...
To the right you'll see some .pdf files to download - it is the sheet music to what you will be asked to sing in the auditions. It'd be a good idea to buy the album so you have an idea of what this stuff sounds like.

Here is a brief synopsis of voice parts:

Millie - Mezzo/Belter. Must belt a C
Dorothy - Soprano. Should have some "legit" tone quality, as well as light jazz
Meers - Alto, must be able to speak in a charicature Chinese accent
Muzzy - Mezzo/Belter. Need a heavy/dirty jazz belt. Lower voice part than Millie

Jimmy - Tenor. High G, light tone, light on his feet
Graydon - Baritone. Mid-range male part (interested in Ching Ho or Bun Foo.. sing this part)

Starting after Thanksgiving, I will put up a sign-up sheet for 20 minute slots to coach anyone interested. See the stage door. Please understand "coaching" is not "teaching parts." Please come prepared.

There will be a general song teach for all parts at some point before auditions. Please check this site, as well as the stage door regularly for any updates. (Also, here's another plug for an RSS feed reader).

I have a feeling that the dance audition will be competitive - we are limited to slots - so be prepared. Come to the first dance workshop, next Wednesday December 3rd.

See you soon, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crew Interviews and Cast auditions

Hi Everyone,
On Monday November 24th, we will get together and talk about audition specifics. I will have everything laid out by then. Also at that time, you will get a copy of:
  1. Contract to be signed/returned at your audition
  2. Copy of audition song (sheet music)
  3. T-Shirt order form,
  4. Car-wash fundraiser order form
  5. DVD order form
  6. Showbill advertisement ordering information
Please note, all files that I have for you will be available on the right hand side of this page.
Right now I'm putting up the Crew List without any names in it. I will just put names in after interviews.
A little bit later (maybe tomorrow), I will be putting a cast list up (without your names in it, yet) So that you can see what is available.
I'm making these available now, but please realize they could change after auditions/interviews.

Dates to Remember:
  • Friday, December 12 - Crew Interview
  • Monday, December 15 - Dance Auditions
  • Tues/Weds., December 16, 17 - Singing Auditions - Don't forget contract
  • Thursday, December 18 - Call backs if necessary
  • Friday, December 19 - Post Cast list, leads pick up script copies.
Take a look at the side bar documents!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

That was a lot of driving...

So... we arrived in Pittsburgh on Saturday around 10am, after spending the night in Harrisburgh. We were happy to meet Mr. Craig Cannon from Fox Chapel High School. He showed us all of the pieces that we were going to be getting, and everything looks great. We will need to do a bit of touch up on some of the pieces, and the entire set is disassembled to make transportation easy. That means, however, that we will have work to do, in terms of putting it back together - shouldn't be a problem, as everything is conveniently labeled. You can see pictures below in the picasaweb, or you can see them full-size at
They everything looks good, but we will still have work to do. Our stage crew will be busy for this show.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Road Trip!

Can't wait... on Friday, Fil and I are going to Pittsburgh to go see the set, take pictures so that we can see what we're going to need to do to take it home.
Also, our new lights should show up sometime this week!

I'll post pictures when I get them!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Few Words on Getting the Part

Auditioning and Casting:
We (the staff) work very hard to place you in the best part for you based largely upon your audition. Creating a cast list is a lot like putting together a puzzle. We take a look at your audition and what we know about you and start the process of putting people with parts. Since this isn't an individual activity, often times if one person gets one part, it will affect the part that someone else might get. There are so many things that go into the details of casting a show, that it would be difficult to list them. Choosing one person for a part over another person is by far the most difficult part about directing a show, please understand that it is not something that we take lightly.

You either got the part or didn't:
You should be excited to get a part that you wanted, and it's also okay to be upset if you didn't. Learning to be graceful in either situation is very important and a lesson to take with you throughout life. If you are assigned to a part that you think is good, be a good sport. If you are assigned to a part that you are not happy with, remember these few things. Each part is important, and I don't say that just to make you feel better! Additionally, it is okay to be upset, and it's okay to wonder why. My advice is this, most importantly, cool off for a few days, keep in mind that this is a learning environment, so asking "what could I have done differently?" or "What prevented me from getting this part?" is much more appropriate than "why didn't you give me that part." Additionally, do NOT post anything online, (facebook, aim, myspace) that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying out loud to your teachers, principals, parents, etc. Be professional

My experience has shown:
There have been a lot of people that I have seen over the years deal with the frustration with their part. People either went 1 of 2 ways: They were either 1, miserable and brought others down with them, or 2,they dealt with the frustration, and worked hard at their part and then learned that it was, in fact, the perfect spot for them in the show - and as a result gave a great performance and were tremendously proud of themselves for overcoming frustration and finding success.

Learning to deal with both positive and negative experiences will make you a better person, and a better team member. Take each opportunity that you can to learn to be a better member of your team.

Singing Auditions

I will not spend time working on audition material with students involved in the Crucible until that show is completed! That show is where your priorities must be, stay focused.
Singing Auditions will be held on December 16th and December 17th (Tuesday and Wednesday).
Here are the guidelines:
  1. You will sign up for a 1 hour slot with 11 other people (12 total, 5 minutes each)
  2. Come prepared with your song, (more details on which one) you'll sing one at a time.
  3. Anybody is welcome to sit in at any time, As long as you are willing to sit in for the hour (in other words, no walking in and out just to see 1 friend)
  4. Be supportive of each other
  5. Remember, preparedness erases nervousness!

Auditions should be a chance for us (Mr. Owens, Mr. Stelmach, Mrs. Messina, Mr. Carreras, etc..) to see your best work. With that thought, of course you can have a part in your mind that you might want to do, but make sure to sing something that shows off your best abilities. Always sing to have fun, like noone is watching; if you belt it out at home or with friends, do that for us, don't be afriad to show everyone the talents you have. After the fall show is over, I will be available after school (after Middle School, 2:45 or so) to work with you!

Once we get some time, I will work with Mrs. Messina to pick the songs that we will do in the song teach, and I will post that info here. Questions? E-mail me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

How to Use This Blog

Hi Everyone,
This is going to be my main method of giving you all of the information that you might need to know what's going on with the spring musical. On the side-bar I will be posting all relevant documents (cast list, any order forms, scene/character breakdown). The calendar is posted at the bottom of the page. Comments to postings are welcome, but all comments must be school appropriate. Let me know what you think, of ways that I can improve this to make it more clear. As always, email me at

Check out google reader, and learn a little bit about rss, see the video below.

P.S. If I find other videos I like, I'll post them at the bottom of the page.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

So this year's show is Thoroughly Modern Millie! It's going to be great!
Here is a main character breakdown, I took this right from wikipedia, and find it to be accurate:

  • Millie Dillmount - belter , mezzo-soprano A young, "modern" woman from Kansas.

  • Jimmy Smith - tenor or high baritone An attractive young paperclip salesman.

  • Trevor Graydon - bass-baritone Sincere Trust Insurance Co. head boss.

  • Miss Dorothy Brown - soprano A new actress in town, Millie's best friend.

  • Mrs. Meers - alto Evil owner of the Hotel Priscilla.

  • Ching Ho - tenor or baritone Chinese henchman, falls in love with Miss Dorothy.

  • Bun Foo - tenor or baritone Chinese henchman, focused more on the task at hand.

  • Muzzy van Hossmere - mezzo-soprano / alto Singer and bon vivant, an old acquaintance of Jimmy.

  • Miss Flannery - belter - Head stenographer at Sincere Trust.

  • Lucille, Rita, Alice, Cora, Gloria, Ruth. Ethel - Millie's Friends

There are a few other smaller roles that aren't listed here...yet.
Go to iTunes and search for Thoroughly Modern Millie, click on this logo: