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!

 

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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.

OMEA D4 Junior High Solo and Ensemble Results!

Congratulations to the 30 Learwood Students who participated in either a solo or participated in the Learwood A Capella Ensemble for the Ohio Music Education Association District IV Jr. High Solo and Ensemble! At this event, students perform either a solo piece or sing in an ensemble and is critiqued by a judge. The judge gives students ratings of I-V. A I being the highest (Superior.) Learwood MS received all Superior (I) and Excellent (II) ratings! A special congratulations goes to the Learwood A Capella Ensemble who received a Superior (I) Rating for their performance.

The students who performed on Saturday were,

Reagan Bushok, Carter Cowles, Dylan Eckenrode, Abby Golden, Daniel Gray, Maya Gonzalez, Jackie Grissinger, Maxwell Hallett, Kelly Hershey, Caity Hill, Tomi Johnson, Keith Kreeger, Clayton Ledbetter, Rebecca Lisi, Leah Mangano, Mikayla Mitchell, Isabella Molina, Dresden Moss, Brett Nicolette, Emma Okuma, Clara Orr, Creed Peters, Lauren Rish, Ella Rudkin, James Rokas, Aidan Shoop, Chris Stevens, Seth Wanner, Allison Wetzler, and Haleigh Whitt.

 

Concert Choir Tour Highlights Day 1!

Early Friday Morning, the Learwood Concert Choir left on their annual trip to Columbus, OH! The students were excited from the start when they found out they were riding on a brand new tour bus! We had a wonderful bus! Our first stop was to Ohio State University where we had the privilege to work with Dr. Kristina MacMullen, associate choral director at OSU. The students learned a lot in their short hour with Dr. M. From there we headed to the Ohio State House and performed for local Columbus residents and family who travelled to see our choir. We performed in the Crypt underneath the main dome and which the space provided a wonderful echo sound for the choir. The choir sounded Beautiful and I could not be more proud of their performance.

After our performance we toured the Ohio State House, had some shopping time at the OSU student union and then had a lovely Italian dinner at Bucca De Beppo. Our night ended seeing Beauty and the Beast Broadway Production live from the palace theater.

Today we head to the Columbus Zoo and the Ohio Weslyan University Observatory. Can’t wait for a fun filled day with some awesome students 🙂 

    
    
    
    
    
   

Fundraiser Pick Up Scheduled for Tomorrow 3-17-16

If you are anticipating picking up fundraiser items from the Learwood Fundraiser, they will be available for pick up tomorrow after 10:30 a.m. on the stage in the Learwood Auditorium. Items will be in alphabetical order and each student is assigned a number. Please look at the sheet right outside the auditorium to find your student’s number. The number will correspond with a post it note next to the box. Students can take their items directly to their lockers during their choir class then take them home, parents can pick up items during the day stopping by the main office, or students/parents can pick up items after school. A copy of the student’s order sheet will be given back to them and who they sold to.

Money will be due on Monday April 4th. Mr. Ewald and I are requesting that parents have all sellers pay parents and if parents could write ONE CHECK to Learwood Middle School, that would help out our book keeping tremendously. Please have the check in a sealed envelope with student’s name clearly printed on the envelope. After student returns to us all of the money, students will receive their prizes!

Thank you all for helping support the Learwood Music Department!

Learwood Choirs March Update

Hi everyone! As spring break is quickly approaching, I would like to update you all on our busy season the Learwood Choirs has had this past month!

First, Congratulations to the 8th Grade Concert Choir on a wonderful performance at the ALHS Winter Choral Concert! The Concert Choir combined with Da Cantari to perform a selection of Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C. Congratulations to our quartet soloists, Reagan Bushok, Daniel Gray, Rebecca Lisi, and Brett Nickolette for a beautiful performance!

Second, Congratulations to the Learwood A Cappella Ensemble and their performance at the AL Elementary Children’s Choir Festival. The A Cappella Ensemble was the guest ensemble for this festival. It was an honor to perform our program “SOUNDSCAPES” for the parents and community. At the end we had over 400 elementary students on stage with our A Cappella Ensemble for three closing pieces.

Third, Congratulations to our Honor’s Choir Members who participated in the OMEA District IV Jr. High Honor’s Festival this past Saturday 3-12-16 hosted by Avon Lake. These 10 students were selected to perform in the choir that was composed of the top middle school students from area west side schools. These students got to work with conductor and my dear friend, Mr. Frank Bianchi, director of the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus. These students were Reagan Bushok, Rebecca Lisi, Esmerelda Melgoza, Emma Okuma, Brett Nickolette, Aidan Shoop, Connor Gallagher, Clay Ledbetter, Daniel Gray and Mitch Wargo.

This week, the Learwood Concert Choir heads on tour to Columbus, OH where students will get to visit main attractions and colleges in the Columbus area. Highlights of this tour include a workshop with Dr. Kristina MacMullen, performance at the Ohio State House, Tour of the city, seeing Beauty and the Beast at the Palace Theater, and going to the Columbus Zoo! Wish us safe travels!

Last, expect another post soon in regards to the fundraiser delivery that will take place tomorrow!

 

Learwood Music Department Annual Fundraiser has Begun!

Parents and Students,

This past Friday, we kicked off our Music Department Fundraiser. We are selling chocolate fudge, and gourmet popcorn. Students will have a week and a half to sell their items. The order form attached inside the catalog is due on Tuesday February 16th. Please give us all of the sheets. We will give a sheet back to your student during delivery. Products will be delivered the week of March 14th.

We are asking students to COLLECT THE MONEY when they deliver the products. When delivering products in the future, 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 cell phone gooseneck stand! 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 www.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.

Winter Update

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I have posted. There are many wonderful things going on with the choirs that I would like to share.

We started off the year revoicing all of the choirs and now we are starting to read all our new music for our spring concert. I have begun to post YouTube videos on each choir’s page so be sure to have students take a look at these and parents feel free to preview the music as well! 

8th grade students registering for their choir next year, please only register for Men’s Chorus or Women’s Chorus. No one should register for Da Cantari. That is an error on the sheet. I must sign the paper copy of the sheet after you select your choir. Please bring that to me during class to sign.

The Concert Choir has two big events coming up. On Thursday March 3rd 7:30 p.m. Concert Choir will be singing a combined concert with Da Cantari, one of our Avon Lake HS choirs and they will be performing selections from Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C. This will feature a chamber orchestra and will be apart of the high school choral concert. Concert Choir will also be touring to Columbus, OH March 18-19 where they will have a choir clinic at OSU, perform at the Ohio State House, tour the city of Columbus, see Beauty and The Beast at the Palace Theater, go to the Columbus Zoo and the Olentangy Indian Caverns. If you would like to see a full itinerary of the trip, please go to the Concert Choir Page on this website.

Congratulations the the Learwood A Capella Ensemble as they were selected to be the Guest Ensemble for the Avon Lake Elementary Choir Festival. The A Capella Ensemble just gave a great performance at the Winter Pep Rally singing the Star Spangled Banner and the Alma Mater.

The 8th Grade Mixed Choir and I are very excited that we have commissioned Dr. Philip Silvey to compose a piece of music for our 8th grade mixed choir. The piece is entitled Amour Vincet Omnia and the text comes from a staff member’s husband from Learwood MS who is a poet. Donna Widener’s husband Rick Widener passed away two years ago and when I went to the viewing in support of Donna, I fell in love with his poetry. Donna is thrilled and our students are loving all aspects of the commission. Dr. Silvey will be our composer in residence May 23-25 and the work will be premiered at our spring choral concert Wednesday May 25th at 7:30 pm! All of our choirs will be performing one of his pieces and will get a chance to work with this fine conductor and composer.

Finally, you will see me post real soon in regards to our music department Fundraiser which officially kicked off yesterday! Stay tuned! 

 New quote above the music department hallway!

Holiday Parties Tomorrow

Hi everyone! Tomorrow in students choir classes, we will have our annual holiday party. Both ladies and gentlemen will come to choir that day. Please bring either food, or beverage to share. Please refrain from allergens such as nuts etc. Please have food or beverage marked clearly with students name and choir period. In class, students will have the chance to sing some Carol-oke and will get a little holiday concert by Mr. Pontoli singing and playing some holiday favorites including some Trans-Siberian Orchestra tunes!

Congratulations to all for a wonderful Winter Choral Concert! I am proud of ALL of our students for their hard work! I will be posting videos soon.

If I do not see you before break, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday 🙂

To 8th Grade Parents

8th Grade parents, Please be sure to ask your student what side of the stage they will be singing on. The ladies in 8th grade sing at the tail ends of the risers and the men are in the middle. That means if your child is singing on the far right of the stage looking from the audience, you should sit on the left side of the auditorium to get a good view. Same if your child is on the way left, sit to the right facing the stage.

7th grade parents, students are relatively in the middle so you should be able to see everyone!

Hope you enjoy the concert!

Concert Tomorrow! Some Final Reminders

Hi everyone! I am looking forward to our concert tomorrow night! Here are some final reminders, parking recommendations and a word about audience etiquette:

  • 8th Grade Rehearsal TONIGHT December 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Avon Lake High School PAC (8th Grade Mixed Choir will be dismissed at 7:30 p.m. Concert Choir will stay until 8:00 p.m.)
  • Learwood Winter Choral Concert December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Avon Lake High School PAC Students report at 6:45 p.m.
  • In-Class Holiday Party December 18, 2015 during students choir periods. Both Ladies and Gentlemen will have choir that day. Please bring in food or drink to share. Please avoid allergens such as nuts etc.

At the concert, students report to these rooms:

  • 7th Grade Girls: HS Choir Room
  • 7th Grade Boys: HS Band Room
  • 8th Grade Concert Choir: HS Orchestra Room
  • 8th Grade Mixed Choir Altos and Tenors: Room 113
  • 8th Grade Mixed Choir Sopranos and Basses: Room 114

Dress Code: Found in Handbook

Boys:
• White dress shirt with collar
• Dark dress pants
• Dark dress socks
• Dark dress shoes
• Dark tie
Girls:
• White blouse
• No spaghetti straps
• No cleavage
• Dark pants. (NO SKIRTS)
• Dark dress shoes

No Excess Perfume or Cologne, Please wear Deodorant!!!

Please refer to the handbook for what is considered an excused and unexcused absence. If there is an absence from a concert/after school rehearsal, I need to hear from a either via email braden.pontoli@avonlakecityschools.org or office phone 440-933-8142 x2103 as soon as you can to notify me. Rehearsals are worth the equivalence to two weeks of classroom participation points and the concert is worth approximately 40% of student’s grades.

There are home Freshmen, JV, and Varsity Home Men’s Basketball Games Tuesday Night along with the concert. Please avoid the South parking lot as it will be full from basketball players. Use the north lot. Doors will open for parents at 6:45 p.m. to select their seats. We ask for students and parents to stay for the duration of the concert. After the 8th grade sings Carol of the Bells, we will release ALL students to the PAC where parents will meet their students. If you need to leave after your student’s performance, please give a note to their supervising room monitor.

Audience, Please remember the following:

  1. Please refrain from using your cell phones, please keep phones on silent or turned off. Be sure to turn off any alarms you may have set on your phone.
  2. If you need to leave the auditorium, please try to do so in between pieces or when choirs are moving.
  3. Please applaud once the piece of music is over. Please refrain from clapping for each soloist singing. We will all applaud once the piece is over.
  4. No flash photography. You are welcome to take pictures as long as the flash is turned off.

For parents who ordered holiday poinsettias and wreathes you may pick up your order after the concert ends on Tuesday or wait to pick up your order at the HS Winter Choir Concert (This Thursday)

Also, Divine Scoops is staying open later for students/parents to attend after the concert, so get some ice cream! We have the great weather for it!

Hope you all enjoy the concert and I will see a lot of you tomorrow night!

Only Two Days Left to Order Poinsettias and Wreathes Online!

  1. Order online by Wednesday, December 9th at http://www.myteamworks.org/learwood Your orders will help decorate the HS PAC for the Learwood Winter Choral Concert (12/15/15) or the high school concert (12/17/15). You may pick up your order after the concert. Items for sale online are: Red and White Poinsettias available in 6.5 round ($10.00 each) and 8 round ($20.00 each) both in red and white. Wreathes are available 24′ round and are $30.00 each
  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 print out this email for Deans to see so they can honor your purchase.

Order now and help out the Learwood Choirs!

Holiday Poinsetta and Wreath Fundraiser

As we are rapidly 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 Wednesday, December 9th at http://www.myteamworks.org/learwood Your orders will help decorate the HS PAC for the Learwood Winter Choral Concert (12/15/15). You may pick up your order after the concert. Items for sale online are: Red and White Poinsettias available in 6.5 round ($10.00 each) and 8 round ($20.00 each) both in red and white. Wreathes are available 24′ round and are $30.00 each
  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 print out this email for Deans to see so they can honor your purchase.

Dean’s Greenhouse

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

Our goal is to raise $1000.00. We have many expenses including a new commission for a piece of music that the 8th grade mixed choir will give the world premiere at our spring concert. I thank you all for your continued support for the Learwood Choirs and I hope to see many Poinsettias and wreaths fill the PAC at our concert on the 15th.

Red-Poinsettias.jpg

Important Upcoming Dates!

Hi everyone! I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break. I was able to travel back to see my family in Pittsburgh, PA. I am back, energized and ready to enter our concert season! There are many important dates to keep track of this month. The dates are all in the handbook and are on the right hand side of the newsletter. I will highlight them here as well.

Holiday Decorating Party (Students stay after school to decorate Mr. Pontoli’s room): TODAY Monday, November 30th: 3:00-4:30 p.m. Learwood MS Choir Room  *Not Mandatory*

 

  • 7th Grade Women’s Choir Rehearsal December 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Learwood Middle School Auditorium
  • 7th Grade Men’s Choir Rehearsal December 8, 2015 at 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Learwood Middle School Auditorium
  • 8th Grade Rehearsal December 14, 2015 at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Avon Lake High School PAC (8th Grade Mixed Choir will be dismissed at 7:30 p.m. Concert Choir will stay until 8:00 p.m.)
  • Learwood Winter Choral Concert December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Avon Lake High School PAC Students report at 6:45 p.m.
  • In-Class Holiday Party December 18, 2015 during students choir periods. Both Ladies and Gentlemen will have choir that day. Please bring in food or drink to share. Please avoid allergens such as nuts etc.

At the concert, students report to these rooms:

  • 7th Grade Girls: HS Choir Room
  • 7th Grade Boys: HS Band Room
  • 8th Grade Concert Choir: HS Orchestra Room
  • 8th Grade Mixed Choir Altos and Tenors: Room 113
  • 8th Grade Mixed Choir Sopranos and Basses: Room 114

Dress Code: Found in Handbook

Boys:
• White dress shirt with collar
• Dark dress pants
• Dark dress socks
• Dark dress shoes
• Dark tie
Girls:
• White blouse
• No spaghetti straps
• No cleavage
• Dark pants. (NO SKIRTS)
• Dark dress shoes

No Excess Perfume or Cologne, Please Wear Deodorant!!!

Please refer to the handbook for what is considered an excused and unexcused absence. If there is an absence from a concert/after school rehearsal, I need to hear from a either via email braden.pontoli@avonlakecityschools.org or office phone 440-933-8142 x2103 as soon as you can to notify me. Rehearsals are worth the equivalence to two weeks of classroom participation points and the concert is worth approximately 40% of student’s grades.

We are also running a fundraiser selling poinsettias and wreathes that you will hear about in my next post!

 

8th Gr. Concert Choir Veterans Day Performance Tomorrow!

Parents, if your son/daughter is not in 8th grade concert choir, you may disregard this message.

Tomorrow, students will perform for over 100 Veterans Day for the Learwood Veterans Day Ceremony! Here are the details.

-Students wear their concert dress to school tomorrow. Ladies, black dress pants and white tops. Men, black dress pants, white dress shirt. Dark tie. DRESS SHOES! No tennis shoes or sandals. and…WEAR DEODERANT! Please review my handbook for specific information for the dress code. 8th Grade Concert Band members will wear their ALL BLACK.

-Students in choir will report to the choir room after homeroom and attendance is taken. Those playing in the orchestra, report to the cafeteria. Those playing in the band, report to band. The orchestra students will meet us in the auditorium and we will save them a seat. Band students will walk down from stage during the ceremony and will join us in the risers for God Bless the USA only. Band members will play the National Anthem with Mr. Ewald. Concert choir sings the National Anthem with the band.

-After the performance, students may change into their school clothes if they wish. Use the locker rooms.

-Parents are invited to attend the ceremony. Please sit to the sides so Veteran’s can sit in the center section. If you are bringing a Veteran, your family may sit in the middle.

THIS IS A MANDATORY CONCERT WORTH 20% of student’s grade. Please see what is an acceptable excused absence in the handbook. If a student is sick, or there is a family emergency, I need a phone call to 440-933-8142 x2103. Our email is still down so I will not receive an email.