Learwood Spring Choral Concert Tonight

Courage ColorWe are looking forward to our spring choir concert entitled Courage! The lion above was drawn by Jennifer Benedict, 8th grade student in Concert Choir and is our program cover.

Here are some last minute reminders and important information.

Students, for your reflection you will complete backstage or on your own at home, click here. This is due by the end of the school day Friday 5-26-2017.

Remember to report to the ALHS Performing Arts Center wearing your concert dress at 6:30 p.m. Concert starts at 7:00 p.m.

7th Grade Girls: HS Choir Room

7th Grade Boys: HS Band Room

Concert Choir: HS Orchestra Room

8th Grade Symphonic Choir Sopranos and Basses: Room 114

8th Grade Symphonic Choir Altos and Tenors: Room 113


After the concert, students will be dismissed to the PAC.

Please no flash photography and hold all applause until after the song is completed. Please do not applaud each solo separately or there will be a lot of clapping as there is a lot of soloists. I will acknowledge soloists at the end.

After the concert, Divine Scoops will be open late if you are looking for a sweet treat!

May Updates

Upcoming Spring Concert

I can’t believe it is May already and we have a few weeks to go! This year, our spring concert will be entitled “Courage” as many of our pieces talk about courage or are courage centered. Every choir has been working hard towards this concert and we are excited to share the concert with you. Below are the upcoming dates for rehearsals and concert information.

Monday, May 15, 2017-7th Grade Women’s Chorus Rehearsal 3:15-4:15 p.m. Learwood Auditorium

Tuesday, May 16, 2017-7th Grade Men’s Chorus Rehearsal 3:15-4:15 p.m. Learwood Auditorium

Monday, May 22, 2017 8th Grade Symphonic Choir and Concert Choir Rehearsal (Symphonic Choir 7:00-7:30 p.m. and Concert Choir 7:00-8:00 p.m.) HS PAC

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Learwood Spring Choral Concert 7:00 p.m. HS PAC Students report at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Students report to the following rooms

7th Grade Women: HS Choir Room, 7th Grade Men: HS Band Room, 8th Grade Concert Choir: HS Orchestra Room, 8th Grade Symphonic Choir Sopranos and Basses: Room 114, 8th Grade Symphonic Choir Altos and Tenors: Room 113, Learwood A Cappella: Stage Left

Divine Scoops will be open after the concert if you would like a nice treat!

Concert Choir On Tour to Cincinnati, OH

Our annual Concert Choir tour has begun! Follow our Instagram @learwoodchoirs for updates and pictures. We are currently heading to Xavier University for a choral clinic with Dr. Richard Schnipke, then off to the Cincinnati Zoo, dinner at Buca Di Beppo then downtown Cincinnati to see Shrek the Musical. Tomorrow, we will perform at Loveland HS for Music in the Parks Competition, then the students will enjoy a day at Kings Island.

OMEA Large Group Adjudication Results

Congratulations to the Learwood 7th Grade Women’s Chorus and the 8th Grade Concert Choirs for receiving overall excellent ratings (II) at the OMEA Large Group Adjudication. Both choirs had great performances and received critical feedback from their judges.

Voice Lessons over the Summer?

If your son/daughter would like to take voice/piano lessons over the summer, please email me at braden.pontoli@avonlakecityschools.org and we can discuss vocal instructors and piano instructors that would be a good fit.

Mr. Pontoli in Collaboration with Morrisondance

Typically I do not share other events or music groups that I am a part of, but I know many of my students dance and this will be a very unique performance. I have been commissioned to compose and perform music live with Morrisondance for a program entitled “In The Space of Dreams” which will take place at the Cleveland Public Theater June 1-3. For more information about the program, tickets for the show and the CPT DanceWorks series, Click here.

The Learwood Music Department Fundraiser has Arrived!

Items can be picked up going through the backstage door across from the cafeteria on the Learwood Stage starting today. Students can pick up their items throughout the day and after school until 4:30. We ask if parents would like to pick up items, please pick up items today during 8th grade lunch 11:45-12:30 p.m. or after school 3:00-4:30 p.m. Every student is listed on a roster taped to the table walking into the stage. Please cross off the students name and see their corresponding number. All items are numbered with a post it note and each box/bag is labeled with students names on it. If students have more then one box it will say box 1 out of how many total boxes. i.e. box 1 of 2. If there is just one box it will be box 1 of 1. If the item is in a bag, there is only one bag per student. There are signs on the stage to help you find your number.

PLEASE deliver your items ASAP. Any cold packaged cheeses and sausages need to be refrigerated in 24 hours. Please write out checks to Learwood Middle School and use the money envelope provided. Please have students fill out their first and last name on the envelope. Student Prizes will be distributed after students turn in all of the money. Students will drop envelopes into the fundraising box outside of the choir and band office. Parents, if you wish, you can have buyers write you a check or cash and parents may write one check for the total amount. That helps with our record keeping.

All money is due Tuesday, April 11th.

Thank you all for your support for the Learwood Music Department!

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Fundraiser Delivery Tuesday, April 4th!

The Learwood Music Department Fundraiser delivery is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 4 at approximately 8:15 AM. Items will be given to students during their rehearsal periods. If parents would like to pick up fundraiser items, please plan to pick up your child’s items between 11:45-12:15 or after school (3:00-4:00). If your child’s items contain the cold-packed cheese and/or sausage, keep in mind that those items will need to be refrigerated within 24 hours.

If you have any questions, please email me at your earliest convenience.

Have a great weekend!

Fundraiser Order Sheets Due Today

Please have students turn in their white and yellow fundraiser sheets today. There is a box by the music office in-between the choir and band room. Please be sure that students printed legibly on the forms and that all math is correct. If you cannot get the forms in today we will accept late forms through the week. Delivery will be the week of April 3rd. That is when the money is due. Thank you all for contributing to our music department fundraiser!

February Update

Congratulations to the Learwood Concert Choir on their performance at OMEA!

Saturday, February 4, 2017, the Learwood Concert Choir met at 6:00 a.m. and traveled to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland to perform at the Ohio Music Education Association’s Annual Professional Development Conference. Their performance was at 8:00 a.m. in the Jr. Ballroom in the Convention Center. The group was introduced by Mr. Frank Bianchi, director of the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus and after the performance we were awarded a plaque for an outstanding performance at the conference. We were one of 36 performing ensembles selected out of 150 audition tapes from around the state.

Although early in the morning, students were eager to perform. Over 100 music educators were present to watch the performance and everyone I talked to after the concert was moved by the students performance. The students performed a program centered around the theme “Fearless” where music was selected to fit this theme, one of our students read an essay “What Does Fearless Mean To Me” and we also had an artist painting on canvas during the concert. Following the concert, students had the opportunity to watch me perform with the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus. It was a great morning of music.

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Congratulations to the 7th Grade Men’s Chorus on their performance at the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus Festival!

Friday, February 10, 2017, the Learwood 7th Grade Men’s Chorus traveled to the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music to perform with other local high school choirs invited by the BW Men’s Chorus. The BW Men’s Chorus selected four fine school districts who have terrific Men’s Chorus’s. Learwood Middle School, Stow Munroe Falls, Firestone, and St. Ignatius Men’s Chorus’s performed three songs each, then the BW Men’s Chorus accompanied by the vocal ensemble Mr. Sun’s Echo performed. At the end, everyone sang the piece “He Never Failed Me Yet.” The boys represented Learwood very well and represented some of the finest middle school male singing out there.


Learwood Music Department Fundraiser Has Begun!

Please see announcement on my website below the February update regarding the fundraiser!

Mr. Pontoli Still Needs Tissue Boxes!

With the weather being up and down in temperature, student’s allergies have been crazy. I’m out of tissue boxes so if you could please have your students bring in tissue boxes to help us out.

Learwood Annual Music Department Fundraiser Has Begun!

Yesterday, we kicked off our Music Department Fundraiser. We are selling Chocolate, Salamis, Cheeses, Candles, Kitchen Items, Wrapping Paper and Gourmet Popcorn! Students will have a two weeks to sell their items. The order form attached inside the catalog is due on Monday, March 6. Please give us the white and yellow sheet. We will give a sheet back to your student during delivery. Products will be delivered the week of April 3rd.

We are asking students to COLLECT THE MONEY when they deliver the products. When delivering products, Please pay by check only to Learwood Middle School. Parents, I would ask that you collect all money and checks written to your name, then write us ONE CHECK to Learwood Middle School. Remember please write the check(s) after you have delivered the fundraiser items.

Students will receive prizes for their hard work. Any student who sells five items by tomorrow can bring in their order form and show it to me and they will receive a headphone splitter! So go sell your five items today! There are many prizes available if a student sells 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50+ items!

All students received hard copies of the catalog, order form, and an information sheet.

You are able to order online from any catalogue. Please follow the steps below.

  1. Go to newerafundraising.com
  2. Click on “Online Fundraising”
  3. Make Selection
  4. Type in Group Name Learwood Music Dept
  5. Type in students name when prompted and we will award students these online orders.
  6. Online orders will ship to any continental US state. No shipping to Alaska or Hawaii!

Any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email me.

Learwood Choirs January Updates

Congratulations on a Great Winter Concert!

Congratulations to our 400 students at their winter choral concert! Thank you for being a great audience and for those who purchased poinsettias and wreaths, we raised $260.00. Thank you! Feel free to share some photos below from the concert. Thank you Jantz Photography and Grace Mcc Photography for the awesome pictures!

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Learwood Concert Choir and A Cappella Ensemble Community Performance

Sunday, January 29, 2017 4:00 p.m. Avon Lake United Church of Christ. 32801 Electric Blvd. Avon Lake, OH. The Learwood Concert Choir and the Learwood A Cappella Ensemble present “Fearless” A concert of music reflecting on overcoming ones fears and their perservearence to move forward in life. The Learwood Concert Choir has the honor of performing at the Ohio Music Education Assocaition Professional Development Conference on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. You will get to preview their OMEA program here at this free concert! Concert Choir and A Cappella students report to the UCC at 2:30 p.m.


Learwood Concert Choir to Perform at the OMEA State Conference

Congratulations to the Learwood Middle School Concert Choir for being one of 36 selected ensembles to perform at the Ohio Music Education Association’s Annual Professional Development Conference located at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Thursday-Saturday February 2-4, 2017. Out of the 36 performing ensembles selected from around the state, the Learwood Middle School Concert Choir is one out of two middle school choirs selected, and is representing one of the two Lorain County ensembles selected to perform. This conference is expected to reach over 2,000 music educators and there are about 10,000 audience and students overall expected to attend. Parents of concert choir members, expect an email with details pertaining to the OMEA performance and remember that students must be at Learwood Middle School at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, February 4th


7th Grade Men’s Chorus to Perform in the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus Festival

Congratulations to the 7th Grade Men’s Chorus selected to perform in the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus Festival on Friday, February 10, 2017. We are the only middle school that has been invited to perform. The three other high schools invited to perform are Firestone, Stow, and St. Ignatius High School Men’s Choirs. The performance will feature each choir, then the BW Men’s Chorus will perform, then all will sing one combined piece at the end of the program. Permission slips were handed out to students but can be accessed by clicking here and are due back as soon as possible. Details for dates, times and the rehearsals are included on the permission slip. Also, an email will be sent home over the weekend with more details.

Learwood Choirs is now on Facebook!

Learwood Choirs is now on Facebook! The Facebook page will be used mainly to advertise our choirs, post videos and pictures of the choirs and to create events. Facebook will be another way to advertise to the community our special events. All important information and curricular information will always be on my website. Click here to like and to share our Facebook page!

Tissue Boxes and Box Tops

Mr. Pontoli is out of tissue boxes for the choir room. If you would like to donate tissue boxes, please have students bring them in as soon as possible to the choir room. We are collecting box tops and will be submitting soon so please send in box tops at your convenience.


Concert Tonight, Concert Reflection and Party Tomorrow

Break a leg to the Learwood Choirs tonight as they perform!

Remember to report to the ALHS Performing Arts Center wearing your concert dress at 6:30 p.m. Concert starts at 7:00 p.m.

7th Grade Girls: HS Choir Room

7th Grade Boys: HS Band Room

Concert Choir: HS Orchestra Room

8th Grade Symphonic Choir Sopranos and Basses: Room 114

8th Grade Symphonic Choir Altos and Tenors: Room 113

A Capella: Stage Left Wing

Here is the link to access the student reflection that students must complete during/after the concert by Thursday morning midnight. Students were emailed this.

Click here for the Learwood Winter Choral Concert Reflection

After the concert, students will be dismissed to the PAC. Please pick up any poinsettias or wreaths you ordered!

For tomorrows party, please bring in food or drink to share and label with student’s correct choir period.



Last Chance to Purchase Holiday Wreaths and Poinsettias!


As we are approaching the holiday season, most likely we are decorating our houses in preparation for some festive cheer. Why not add to the occasion with a fresh poinsettia or a real pine wreath? Learwood Choirs is partnering with Dean’s Greenhouse selling online and at their store. Here’s two ways you can help participate in this fundraiser.

  1. Order online by TOMORROW, Thursday, December 15th at https://app.myteamworks.org/learwood-choir Your orders will help decorate the HS PAC for the Learwood Winter Choral Concert (12/20/16). You may pick up your order after the concert. Items for sale online are: Poinsettias in multiple colors and sizes, Fresh Pine Wreathes, and Gift Certificates.
  2. Shop in person now through December 24th at Dean’s Greenhouse and they will give Learwood Choirs 20% of your purchase. You can purchase any item and you do not have to purchase anything to decorate the stage. Purchase whatever you like and take it home! Please click here to print the flier and take it to Dean’s Greenhouse. They need a hard copy of this flier to attach to the receipt.

Dean’s Greenhouse

3984 Porter Rd, Westlake, OH 44145
(440) 871-2050

Our goal is to raise $500.00 to go towards our operating budget to help purchase music, pay stipends for professional musicians and clinicians who come to work with our students, maintain instruments, equipment and much more. The Learwood Choirs thank you all for your continued support for the Learwood Choirs and we hope to see many poinsettias and wreaths fill the PAC at our concert on the 20th.

Learwood Winter Choir Concert a Month Away!

Hi everyone! I cannot believe how the time has flown and we are almost to Thanksgiving! The Learwood Choirs have been working very hard towards their Winter Concert. Below are all of the dates and the locations for the rehearsals and our concert and a few other events. I will be emailing specific information for each choir in early December. Rehearsals and the concert are mandatory.

  • Learwood Holiday Decorating Party Monday, November 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm LMS Choir Room. Not a mandatory event. Come help Mr. Pontoli decorate his room with lots of holiday cheer! Snack will be provided.
  • 7th Grade Women’s Choir Rehearsal Monday, December 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm LMS Auditorium
  • 7th Grade Men’s Choir Rehearsal Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm LMS Auditorium
  • 8th Grade Concert Choir and Symphonic Choir Rehearsal Monday, December 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ALHS PAC ***Arrive a little early so we can start at 7:00 p.m. Symphonic choir will be released at 7:30 p.m. Concert Choir will stay until 8:00 p.m.
  • Learwood Winter Choral Concert December 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Avon Lake High School PAC Students report at 6:30 p.m.
  • In Class Choir Holiday Parties! December 21, 2016. Please bring food or drink to share.

For dress code and attendance policy. Please refer to the Vocal Music Department handbook.

Welcome Back! Here’s Your First Assignment for Parents and Students

This assignment must be completed by ALL students AND parents enrolled in ALL choirs by Monday, 8/29/16

  1. If you have not already, please subscribe to my website so you will not miss any important announcements. You will see a follow button at the bottom right of your screen. Please click then insert your email, then click Sign Me Up!
  2. Please take the time to read the Learwood Vocal Music Department Handbook for the 2016-2017 school year. Please refer to the calendar in the handbook and be sure to have respected dates written into your personal calendars. If there any conflicts, email me ASAP.
  3. Please complete the online contact sheet/handbook online agreement. (I corrected the link here so this is the correct link.)

After you complete these three steps, you are done!

Learwood Eighth Grade Concert Choir to Perform at the OMEA Professional Development Conference!


I hope you are all having wonderful summers. I am pleased to announce that the Learwood Eighth Grade Concert Choir was selected to perform at the Ohio Music Education Association’s Annual State Professional Development Conference which will be held at the convention center in Cleveland, OH. The conference will run Thursday February 2 through Saturday February 4 and OMEA will assign us our performance time and date. As I receive more details from OMEA, I will notify parents and students of details.

There were over 150 applicants and few were selected to perform. It is a huge honor to perform at a conference such as this. Our audience will be mostly music educators from around the state and even other states. This is the same conference where OMEA features their high school all state ensembles. This performance will advocate to the music community our great music program Avon Lake has to offer students.

You will see an updated handbook and calendar posted to the website sometime next week.

A huge thank you to our 2015-2016 Concert Choir for their awesome recordings we used in our application!


Learwood Spring Choral Concert Wrap-up

Congratulations to all of our students who dedicated their time, energy, talents and performed their best in the Spring Choral Concert! Every choir’s performance brought great joy in my heart. I am especially proud of our 8th grader’s hard work they put into making Amour Vincet Omnia a piece to remember. Donna Widener would like me to share her gratitude to you all. Dr. Philip Silvey was in tears hearing his piece and hearing the audience’s reaction. Again, a huge thank you to Dr. Silvey and everything he brought to our students. A special thank you to our HS Teacher Assistant Mr. Ben McComas for making the end of the year special for students and a huge help in assisting me with details for the concert.

Below are some pictures taken at the concert. I will have videos uploaded from the concert in the next few weeks. Thanks to the Learwood PTA with my new iMac, I can edit videos and upload even faster then before!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy summer break! Parents, THANK YOU for everything you do to support the Learwood Choirs. If you wish to unsubscribe to my emails/posts, please press unsubscribe at the bottom of this message.


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Concert Tonight

Hi everyone,

Some last minute reminders for tonight’s concert!

  • Students arrive at 6:45 p.m. to the HS PAC
  • Rooms:
    • 7th Grade Girls: HS Choir Room
    • 7th Grade Boys: HS Band Room
    • 8th Grade Concert Choir: Orchestra Room
    • 8th Grade Mixed Soprano/Bass: Room 114
    • 8th Grade Mixed Alto/Tenor/Select Basses: Room 113
  • Program Order:
    • 7th Grade Women’s Choir
    • 7th Grade Men’s Choir
    • Learwood A Cappella Ensemble
    • 8th Grade Concert Choir
    • 8th Grade Mixed Choir
  • Please look at handbook for dress code policy.
  • Please review with your son/daughter the importance of being a professional musician on stage meaning NO TALKING, Staying focused and standing still at all times. Walk on and off the stage with class and maturity. Students cell phones must be turned OFF during performance.
  • Concert should be over around 8:45 p.m. All students are required to watch the concert backstage and parents please stay to watch the concert until the end. If you must leave early, please make your way backstage in between choirs moving and pick up your son/daughter in their designated room.
  • After the concert students will leave the stage and their rooms and meet in the PAC.
  • Divine Scoops is staying open late after the concert so go treat yourself on this hot day!

Looking forward to a great concert!

Learwood Concert Choir OMEA LGAE Results

 Congratulations to the Learwood 8th Grade Concert Choir for a beatiful performance at the Ohio Music Education Association District IV large group adjudication! The concert choir performed three selections for three clinicians. The concert choir received on a rating scale of I-V (I being superior and V being poor) straight Superior (I) ratings! Feedback from this event is used for our progress as a musical ensemble and for students individual growth as a musician. We will be listening for our comments as to help improve our performance before our spring concert.

Learwood A Cappella and Learwood Jazz Band will be on Channel 19 Action News!

19 News

Congratulations to the Learwood A Cappella Ensemble and the Jazz Band as they will be performing on the news this Monday morning, May 16th for Channel 19 Action News! Channel 19 is coming to do their weather portions of the news broadcast at Learwood. The A Cappella Ensemble and Jazz Band should be performing during the 7:00 news hour. We could perform as early as 6:45 a.m. Tune in!


Spring Choral Concert Information

Amour Vincet Omnia Concert.jpg

The Learwood Spring Choral Concert is approaching us rather quickly! The Concert is Wednesday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m. Students will report at 6:45 p.m. The students have been working hard since January preparing for this concert! I am proud to announce this year’s concert theme entitled “Amour Vincet Omnia, Love Conquers All.” This theme is centered around a piece that was commissioned for the Learwood 8th grade mixed choir entitled “Amour Vincet Omnia.” This piece was written by a dear friend and colleague Dr. Philip Silvey who currently teaches at the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Silvey will be our composer in residence at Learwood from Monday, May 23-Wednesday May 25.

I commissioned Dr. Silvey to write “Amour Vincet Omnia” based off of poetry of Rick Widener. Rick’s wife Donna Widener works on staff as an evening custodian. Donna cleans our music suite and I have become great friends with her. Two years ago, her husband Rick passed away. As I attended the viewing, I discovered that Rick was a poet and he had a book of his poems published “Amour Vincet Omnia Love Conquers All.” The poems were beautiful. A lot of the poems centered around love, but also talked about his childhood, nature, and the afterlife. I mailed the book to Dr. Silvey this past summer and he was able to create a beautiful piece that would sound great for the Learwood 8th Grade Mixed Choir. On Wednesday, May 25, Both Dr. Silvey and Mrs. Widener will be in attendance at the concert. In addition to “Amour Vincet Omnia” Each choir will perform a piece by Dr. Silvey.

Along with the pieces composed by Dr. Silvey, there will be many pieces performed that will focus on love, nature, and self motivation. Music from the 1600’s all the way to Adele’s Hello. Yes. I had to throw in a break-up song if a concert is themed around love.

Please refer to the Learwood Vocal Music Department Handbook to see what is considered an excused/unexcused absence, dress code, and other important information. Below I have listed all of the MANDATORY dates and times students need to be for their rehearsals.

  • 8th Grade Concert Choir OMEA District 4 Large Group Adjudicated Event Saturday May 14, 2016 Lorain High School 2270 E 42nd St Lorain OH 44055 Students report to Learwood at 7:30 a.m. 
  • 7th Grade Men’s Choir Rehearsal Tuesday May 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Learwood Middle School Auditorium
  • 7th Grade Women’s Choir Rehearsal Wednesday May 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Learwood Middle School Auditorium
  • 8th Grade Concert Choir and Mixed Choir Rehearsal Monday May 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Avon Lake High School PAC (Mixed Choir 7:00-7:45 Concert Choir will stay until 8:00 p.m.)
  • Learwood Spring Choral Concert Wednesday May 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm Students report at 6:45 p.m. Avon Lake High School PAC 

I hope you enjoy our uplifting spring choral concert! Thank you for your constant support for the Learwood Choirs.



8th Grade Concert Choir to Perform at OMEA Large Group, Saturday May 14th

If you do not have a student in the 8th grade concert choir, you can delete this message. More information will be coming soon in regards to the Learwood Spring Choral Concert

Parents I sent you an email in regards to OMEA District 4 Large Group Adjudicated Events where our Concert Choir will perform. Please read that email. Students will bring home a permission slip and information sheet but I have it available if you click here. All information is presented on the sheet. Rip off the bottom portion of the slip and students need to have it turned in on Monday, April 25th.