HS Spring Instrumental Concert Bake Sale

On April 18th (Fri.), the Tohoku team held a bake sale during the intermission, and before and after the HS Spring Instrumental Concert. In order to raise money for the people who were greatly affected by the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake, I made cupcakes. In total, I made ten cupcakes. Half were plain and the other half had small chocolate chips in it. In order to make the plain cupcakes, I had to make the base first.  I mixed flour, egg and milk with a whisk and mixed it for 10 minutes. Then, I made the creamy butter by melting the butter, mixing it with milk and putting a bit of sugar until it was sweet and creamy. Making the butter took  30 minutes. Then, I mixed the base and the butter and stirred it with the whisk for another 10 minutes. Then, pouring all of the mixture neatly in the cups took 1o minutes. While the plain cupcakes were baking in the oven, I made the chocolate cupcakes. I repeated the process again but added the small chocolate chips which took an additional 10 more minutes. When I put the cupcakes in the oven and they were just right, I packaged them neatly and stuck on cute, easter stickers which took 20 minutes. Therefore in total, I took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. I think the bake sale was a great way to raise money and support the Tohoku people and I felt really good to know that I was helping the people.

My cupcakes!!

My cupcakes!!

HS Spring Instrumental Concert

On April 18th (Fri.), the HS Spring Instrumental Concert was held and the HS Orchestra, Symphonic Winds/ Jazz Ensemble and the concert band performed several pieces.  I was able to play “Bacchanale” with the HS orchestra and it was a great privilige for me to be able to perform in the concert. Although it took a lot of effort and time, it really payed off and the performance was a great success! I really loved the piece as it was very energetic and powerful. As part of the ‘special guests’, Mr. Cook (french horn), a few MS students and Mr. Shirai (violin) played as well. When I first saw Mr. Shirai during rehearsal, I was wondering why he felt awfully similar. I was thinking to myself until I realized who he was. He was the cashier! I was so surprised that I almost fell off my chair! His wife, Mrs. Shirai played the harpsichord during the Allegro of Brandenburg Concerto No.3 (abridged) by Johann S. Bach. I also loved the piece “Nimrod” by Edward Elgar arranged  by M. Bender. It was a beautiful piece and the melody was very soothing.

HS Orchestra & 'Special Guests' playing Bacchanale

HS Orchestra & ‘Special Guests’ playing Bacchanale

Ms. Shirai playing the harpsichord

Ms. Shirai playing the harpsichord

My favourite piece which was played by the Jazz Ensemble was “Beyond The Sea” as I had heard it a lot of times and it was really jazzy! I also loved “Walkin’ the Dawg“. It was a really cool piece and I felt like dancing around!! Mr. O’Kane played the Electric Bass and he made the piece much more jazzier and it was very enjoyable!

Walkin' The Dawg

Walkin’ The Dawg

Finally to wrap up the concert, the HS orchestra played “Andromeda” which was absolutely wonderful. Andromeda is a name of a constellation and the piece reminded me of the wide universe.

Andromeda

Andromeda

Owing to Ms. Constantini and Mr. Vest and of course the musicians, it was a great success and congratulations to the seniors! I really think being able to play with HS orchestra was a great opportunity and again, I would like to thank Ms. Constantini. Thank you so much!!!

The Middle & High School Spring Vocal Concert

On April 4th, the middle and high school students from choir sang a lot of songs including slow, beautiful songs and rhythmic and fun songs. As an example of the exercise pieces we normally sing, the 6th grade choir sang “Waterspout” by Trad. Canon. “Waterspout” is a round song and we sang in different parts. And to make things super duper interesting, we sang in six parts! Although some melody lines were buried by the other strong melody lines, we tried to keep our melody line and it was a great success! 

Click here to see the video of the 6th Grade Choir singing “Waterspout”!

Myself singing!!

Myself singing!!

The next piece we sang was “Zum Gali Gali”, an Israeli Folk Song arranged by D. Shwartz. Ms. Matsuzawa accompanied us and I think the melody of the treble part really matched up with the alto and octave parts and created a great harmony.

Click here to see the video of the 6th Grade Choir singing “Zum Gali Gali”!

The third piece was “When I Close My Eyes” by Jim Papoulis, accompanied by Ms. Matsuzawa. “When I Close My Eyes” is a beautiful, soft song and I really love the lyrics. “When I close my eyes, then I can see. When I close my eyes, I’m alive….” There is also a rhythmic part in the middle which is very enjoyable to sing. “Now I am learning the magic within me and that is the reason I’m standing so tall…”

Click here to see the video of the 6th Grade Choir singing “When I Close My Eyes”!

The 6th Grade Choir Singing!

The 6th Grade Choir Singing!

The final piece that wrapped up the 6th Grade Choir performance was “My Favourite Things” by O. Hammerstein & R. Rodgers, arranged by C. Warnick. Ms. Fortier accompanied us and I really enjoyed singing the piece as it is one of my all-time favourite songs! It has a light, fun melody and it makes me smile to sing about my favourite things! “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….. Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes… These are a few of my favourite things… ”

 

Click here to see the video of the 6th Grade Choir singing “My Favourite Things”!

During the Middle School Choir Performance, I was able to accompany the choir during the piece “Fields of Gold” by G.M. Sumner, arranged by R. Emerson. It is an absolutely wonderful piece and I really loved how the solo part and alto part combined and created a splendid melody.

However what I want to say clearly is that the page-turner has a huge responsiblity as well as the player and that as the player’s hands are full, the page-turner has to concentrate even more and make sure that they are following precisely. Recognising that being a page-turner has a lot of responsiblity and that you are in a very important position in which if you make a mistake, the player will be greatly affected is extremely important. Being a page-turner and following precisely is as important as being a guide dog for the blind. If the dog mistakes and leads the blind person to a very busy road with a lot of cars, the blind person will die.

During the first part of the performance, my page-turner turned the page at about half of the 3-page sheet remaining and it was the same as having the whole piece being dropped onto the ground and I really suffered. During the “few minutes of absolute horror”, I panicked greatly. However, Mr. McHugh, the choir and I arranged it inside our heads without stopping and veered it on to the right course again. Although the page-turner was able to turn the page precisely during the practices, that did not happen at the real perfomance and it greatly affected Mr. McHugh, the choir and I. That might result in losing trust. Therefore, when being a page-turner it is essential to concentrate and recognise that you have a tremendously big responsibility.

However owing to Mr. McHugh and the choir, we were able to continue successfully and after the performance, we were given a loud applause and I felt very relieved and I think it was a very interesting experience!! It was a great privilige for me to be able to accompany the choir and I was overjoyed to be able to be part of the choir! Thank you so much Mr. McHugh!!!

Click here to see the video of the Middle School Choir singing “The Fields of Gold” with my accompaniment!

Middle School Choir Singing "The Fields of Gold"

Middle School Choir Singing “The Fields of Gold”

A piece the Middle School Choir sang which I absolutely loved was “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison, the lead guitarist of the internationally famous band, “The Beatles”!! The piece was arranged by A. Billingsley and accompanied by Ms. Fortier. It had a fun, nice melody and I really liked the bright lyrics. “Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo), Here comes the sun and I say it’s all right…”
Here Comes the Sun!!

MJsValentine via Fanpop          Here Comes the Sun!!

Owing to Mr. McHugh, the choir members and the accompanists, it was a great success and again, thank you so much!!!!!

 

Band Concert Bake Sale

On December 5th, there was a band concert and before, after the concert and during the mission, Mr. Smailes and other students held a bake sale. For the bake sale, I made jam cream cakes and I worked for approximately 2 hours. In order to make the cream, it took 30 minutes as I had to use the mixer, put ice in it, put the ingredients in and make it just right. Also in order to make the sponge cake, it took around 50 minutes to make the soft, fluffy sponge cake. After that, it took 20 minutes to put strawberry jam and the cream on the cakes neatly. Packaging, sticking stickers and decorating it took 20 minutes, therefore in total I worked for approximately 2 hours to make the jam cream cake for the bake sale. Also after the concert, I worked for about 20 minutes, selling the goods and packing up. Therefore in total, I worked for 2 hours and 20 minutes during the Bake Sale.

Making goods was a great way to raise money for the Thai Kids and it felt really good to know that we had helped a lot of students go to school.

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