Friday, September 27, 2013

Weekend Updates


Great work this week!  The music is coming along well.  Don't forget -- Sign Up For Coffeehouse!! 

ALTO Sectional at Lunch Tuesday October 1st

Next week we have Vocal Jazz Rehearsal Tuesday 3-4:30pm
All-District/All-Cape Prep: Wednesday 2-3:15pm
Rhythm Section Rehearsal: Thursday 2-3pm

Have a great weekend!!
-Mr. Raymond

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Great Rehearsal Today!

Vocal Jazz:

Great rehearsal today everyone!  Keep up the great work.  We've gotten through all the Berklee pieces, now we need to keep working to refine them.  My goal is in a few weeks to combine with the rhythm section and start rehearsing with mics so we get a feel for it.  Start practicing your parts at home!!  Those of you who didn't make it to rehearsal today...I want to see you all individually sometime after school within the next week.  Also we will be having sectionals during lunch every "Day 7" schedule.  Next up will be Altos on October 1st.  Spend the first ten minutes of your lunch eating (or bring your lunch to the choir room!) Then we will rehearse for the last ten minutes or so of lunch time.

Reminder: All-District/All-Cape audition practice tomorrow (Wednesday) after school.

Check out the video below.  If our group remains as large as it currently is, we will most likely be positioned in this way with two rows on risers with area mics.  (In the future, my plan will be to get the group down to individual microphones). 

The video is of the Fryeburg Academy Vocal Jazz Ensemble on one of the years that they won first at Berklee:

See you all at school!  Have a great rest of the week! -- Mr. Raymond

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Updates

Tuesday: Vocal Jazz Rehearsal 3-4:30pm  -- All Singers (if you can't make it to rehearsal, make sure you let me know and try to meet with me after school to go over what you missed)

Wednesday: No All-District/All-Cape Audition Practice This Week - we will resume next week

Thursday: VJ Rhythm Section Rehearsal 2:15-3:15pm

Remember to signup for coffeehouse!!  We need more acts!

Also, if you're on the National Anthem Roster and haven't sung it for me yet, come in right before or right after school to sing it through once.  Then I can check you off and get you assigned out to a game.

As always, see me if you want/need help with any of your music.
See you all in rehearsals...Have a great week!  -- Mr. Raymond

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vocal Jazz Videos

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!  I'm posting a few youtube videos of a few exceptionally awesome High School Jazz Choirs... Check these groups out!  The first video is of the Fryeburg Academy Jazz Choir from Maine performing at Berklee (they won first overall and this was their closing tune "Takin it To The Streets).  That year they were roughly the same size as our group too...their setup is very similar to what I envision for us this year. Their group blend and balance with the rhythm section is excellent.

The second and third videos are both high school jazz choirs from California.  I consider these two schools to be perhaps the best high school vocal jazz ensembles in the country.  They have a lot of videos on youtube that are very much worth checking out!  They are Folsom High School Vocal Jazz and Hamilton High School Vocal Jazz


Thursday, September 12, 2013

News and notes


It was a pleasure meeting many of your parents at the open house last night!  Hopefully we will have many of your parents out helping this year in all of our various events, performances, and festivals.

 Thanks to all of you who showed up to All-District/All-Cape Practice and Vocal Jazz this week.  We will have rehearsals next week at the same times (Vocal Jazz: Tues 3-4:30 .... All-Cape/District: Wed 2-3pm)

Sign up for Coffeehouse night and help me recruit performers.  This can be any kind of performance including: singing, guitar, piano, instruments, poetry reading, stand-up comedy... as long as it's appropriate!  Again...please sign the list and tell your friends!  

Those of you on the national anthem roster -- please stop by sometime and sing it once through for me, and then I'll begin assigning you out sporting events.  Alexis and Brynne - you sang it for me today so you're all set.  There is an event happening on Friday October 20th that I will need an upperclassman who drives to sing the national anthem at.  It will take place at 1:30 at a firehouse.  I will give more details in class.

Thanks for all your hard work in class...both choirs are starting to really come along!  If you ever want individual help on any of your music, please feel free to see me anytime.

--Mr. Raymond

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vocal Jazz

Vocal Jazz Students:

It was great seeing you all at the rehearsal today.  If you couldn't make it, see me and I will get you a folder.  I will post a final roster up on this site tomorrow.  If you want mp3 files, bring me a flash drive.

Once again, just to clarify about the schedule.  There is a full rehearsal every Tuesday from 3-4:30.  The sectional voice part that is listed on the sheet each week will meet separately.  We will plan out this sectional at each rehearsal.  These sectionals will be approx. 45 min long and will allow me to work with each voice part individually.  It works out so that each voice parts has a sectional about once a month.

I know this music may be challenging, but I hope you will all stick with it, practice, and work hard.  This style of music can be extremely fun and rewarding once we learn the music and get the microphones and rhythm section going.  I'm honored to work with you all.

Finally, I highly encourage each of you to meet with me individually at least once sometime either during lunch or right after school to go over your parts!!  Let me know if you need help, and I will always be there for you!

See you all tomorrow -- I'm looking forward to meeting many of your parents at open house!

--Mr. Raymond

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Week


Thanks for all your hard work this week.  I am honored to work with you all, and it looks like this school year is shaping up to be excellent.

A few quick items:

Vocal Jazz:  It looks like Tuesday 3:00-4:30pm will be our best time for the group rehearsal for now.  We'll adjust as we go along to accommodate everyone.  I am finishing up some arrangements this weekend and am really excited to get started.  We'll discuss festival/competition dates at the meeting.  I'll also be posting a roster soon.  There are still spots open for guys if you know of anyone who might be interested.

Coffeehouse:  Be thinking of musical "acts" that you might like to perform.  These can be covers or original songs and can be set as a solo acoustic performance or a small group.  As soon as you think of something, sign the list on the door!  The date is October 18th 5pm in the Cafeteria.  I'll also need parents to help bake items!

SE District/All-Cape:  We'll be starting audition practices next Wednesday after school for anyone interested.  It is not required that you attend these sessions, but I highly recommend that anyone planning to audition try to attend at least one of these.

Hope you all had a great first week of school...have a great weekend! 

-Mr. Raymond

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


First Vocal Jazz Meeting: Tuesday Sept 10, 3:00pm... let me know if you can't make it.  We will discuss rehearsal times, schedule, festivals/competitions, and I'll get you guys some music to start working on!

Coffeehouse night will be held on Friday October 18th at 5pm in the cafeteria.  Please see the door of the choir room to signup to participate.  Anyone is welcome to perform.  Acts may include solos, duos, trios, small groups, and can be acoustic covers, original songs, poetry reading, and more.  Please specify on the sheet if you need an accompanist.  This will be a really fun/relaxed event.  If you have any questions, please see me!  I will also need parent help with baking items.

The first practice for Senior SE District and All-Cape auditions will be held next Wednesday 9/11 right after school.  If you are interested in auditioning for these festivals, I highly recommend you attend as many of these practice sessions as you can.  I will work to make sure you are confident and prepared for auditions this fall. 

For those interested in joining the musical honor society, Tri-M, there will be a meeting next Thursday 9/12 right after school in the band room.

Again, please see me or signup on the list if you plan to audition for festivals or join vocal jazz ensemble!  Looking forward to it!

--Mr. Raymond

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



It was great to finally meet you all!  I hope you are as excited about this upcoming year as I am.  Please read the first post below and visit the various tabs on this website for more information about each individual choir and see me if you have questions.

Please sign up for vocal jazz and the festival auditions on the sheets in the hallway if you are at all interested!!

I am tentatively scheduling the first meeting for vocal jazz Tuesday 9/10 right after school.  Our normal rehearsal time will be figured out then -- however this ensemble will meet on Tuesdays!

First SE District and All-Cape Audition practice will be next Wednesday 9/11 after school. 

I will hopefully have more information regarding coffeehouse by the end of this week!

Thanks! -- Mr. Raymond