David Benning, GBN class of 2004 and former choir student, met President Obama during the President’s visit to Ft. Campbell, where David is currently stationed. David and his twin brother, Mark, were both in choir at GBN for four years.
Both brothers are serving in the U.S. Army and have spent time in Afghanistan. Please join me in thanking Mark and David for their service!
As technology becomes woven into our society, no aspect of our lives seems to be untouched. Live performances carry so much power and weight, but it is interesting to think what sort of impact virtual performances can have on a listener. This CNN clip features Eric Whitacre and his virtual choir- what a cool concept! But it does get one thinking… how might music and fine arts be developed in a virtual world? How will this change our view of ‘art’?
I wanted to try something different in my classes that let every student express their thoughts on a variety of topics ranging from music to friendship. For the 4th quarter, students in Cecilian have been journaling for a timed portion of class (5 minutes) on a new prompt every day. As I created prompts (with the help of my lovely lab assistants), I wanted my students to have the chance to reflect, critically think, and explore their thoughts or ideas on paper. Certain prompts were as straightforward as “explain standing singing posture, from toes to head”, while others demand a more personal and thoughtful approach, “why do we sing?” Every class we have one or two students share a past entry.
Journal Example: Allie Handzel Entry #1
Prompt: Explain the phrase “It’s not funny to be bad”. Why is this important?
Mr. Wallace’s phrase, “it’s not funny to be bad”, means that when you do something wrong or it wasn’t your best effort, that it’s not a laughing matter. Mr. Wallace expects a lot of us and knows what we’re capable of. When we goof off or do something badly, it is disappointing to him and ourselves, and therefore should not be funny.
At the end of our process each student will take their journal home and complete a set of prompts with parents or guardians. This important extension not only holds the students responsible for their written work, but opens up our classroom for a more collaborative and enriching community experience.
“I like the journal exercise because we take time out of class to write down our thoughts. And in a lot of classes we don’t get to write our thoughts on personal ideas that aren’t solely academic.” – Kasey Ockerlund
It is very intriguing to me to read the spectrum of thoughts, perspectives, and dreams of every student. This process has been very easy to implement into my classroom and has been professionally very rewarding. I know students appreciate my class for its engaging, stimulating, and fun environment, but it is nice for me to break out of my choir director “mold” and explore different methods of teaching and assessment.
I am so happy to have a wonderful new interactive space for our choral department. This is an awesome forum for sharing information, dialoging about neat music happenings, and catching a glimpse of our unique and excellent program.
Share with us! Feel free to comment on blog posts or e-mail us pictures. As we continue to develop this website, we hope to use it as our main ‘hub’ for transporting and interacting with information, ideas, and our community.
I am very happy and privileged to be student teaching here at Glenbrook North. So far it has been a wonderful experience working with a great program full of such wonderfully talented students and choral directors. I would just like to take the opportunity to tell you a little information about me.
I am from Rolling Meadows, Illinois and a graduate of Rolling Meadows High School. During high school, I participated in many facets of the music program. Some notable moments include being Drum Major of the marching band, president of the Rolling Meadows competitive show choir “New Directions” (yes Glee stole the name), and playing the role of King in the RMHS Madrigal Dinners. I was also in several theatrical productions, with my favorite being Fiddler on the Roof.
After high school, I spent a year living and studying in Ecuador. It was in working with and serving local youth in the town of La Merced that I developed my passion to teach. After that year, I returned to Chicago and started attending North Park University. Besides singing in the University Choir and Gospel Choir at North Park, I also have been able to play trumpet, euphonium, and trombone in the Concert Band and Jazz Band. As a member of University Choir, I have been fortunate to perform locally as well across the Midwest, the west coast, and as a featured choir at the final MENC National Convention (Milwaukee, WI) in 2007.
When not teaching I enjoy carpentry, visiting Major League Baseball Stadiums across the U.S., and driving boats on the lakes of upstate New York. I am also a very avid theatre goer and had the opportunity to work for Broadway in Chicago during which time I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing Wicked over 95 times (trust me, it gets old).
This year’s Springfest will be held on May 20th and we have a great selection of musical events scheduled for the day. To begin, Ladies First and 4×4 will be performing in the CPA during block 4-5. Please talk to your teachers about bringing the entire class down to enjoy this performance.
Several performances will take place outside in the student mall during block 6-7. The GBN Jazz Band and Jazz Lab Band will kick off the lunch hour with performances at 11:00 and 11:30.
At noon, GBN alum Michael Aljadeff will be performing outside in the student mall. Click the following link to see Mike’s newest video. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HCk1vkFw7Y[/youtube]
To round out the day, join us again in the CPA for the 2011 Collage Concert, featuring several student performances and special guests, the Xtension Chords from the University of Illinois. See you there!