ISSUE NO. 22 | DECEMBER 2020
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
The group rehearsed and recorded two songs, “The Schuyler Sister” from Hamilton and “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. They also explored topics such as phrasing, dynamics, character, harmony, and body language. Vocal Coaches Connor Olney and Nicole Minielli led the ten students involved. The Winter session begins in January.
Nicole and Connor are no strangers to the stage. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from the Eastman School of Music and Connor earned a BFA in Music Theatre from Florida State University.
The pair have been in dozens of shows throughout their careers and their combined expertise made this session a huge success!
Last month, the curtain closed on Modern Day Music’s first-ever Musical Theater Program with a standing ovation from participants and parents. The group met on Saturdays for eight weeks as students learned foundational drama practices in acting, movement, and of course singing!
BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
"Nicole is an extremely patient and energetic coach - it’s infectious," Connor shared. "We really worked well together and could fill in the gaps - she would listen to tuning while I played piano, I would arrange while she assigned solos, etc.”
Nicole and Connor started each rehearsal with theater games. Games are a great way to break the ice, bond as an ensemble, and teach new skills. ”I liked the one where we had to express ourselves through how we walked," Elvita F. (17) shared. "I never thought about full body expression or how it tells people a lot about your personality. That’s something I'm going to take with me into my stage presence as a lead vocalist.”
During the first meeting, the group discussed what songs everyone was interested in learning. They chose ”This Is Me” and ”The Schuyler Sisters” with some great themes in mind. ”These songs have amazing messages of acceptance, tolerance, and women empowerment (for our all female group!),” explained Connor. The songs also have a ton of dense harmonies and vibrant characters.
One student, Katie B. (14), has a dream of being on Broadway and with fourteen musicals under her belt she’s well on her way! Katie told us, ”The program helped me learn more about group harmonies and working in a new environment due to the pandemic.” Many schools are unable to have their drama productions this year and we’re really happy our students have a place to keep their skills sharp. MDM has been fortunate to use the large room in the HealthPlex for group programs to ensure everyone has plenty of space. We’re so grateful to our friends at HealthPlex for helping us make our programs successful and safe for each and every student.
”It has been so long since my last show," Amy D. (13) said. Over a year ago now, so it was just really fun to get back into singing musical theater songs with other people.”
After eight weeks of hard work, the students were sounding great! Since performing on stage to a live audience is not in the cards right now, we have a fun, new way to end the program in style. In two additional meetings, students record in our professional recording studio and then get to see and hear MDM’s audio engineer, Ben Zoleski, mix the tracks!
Recording in the studio gives students valuable experience in a professional setting. The parts are recorded one by one and then come the solos. One really fun thing about the Musical Theater Program is that everybody gets a solo! Instead of casting one student as a character, each voice part splits a vocal line. This way everyone gets their moment to shine!
The next Musical Theater Program will run January-March on Saturdays and we would love to see you there! Reserve your spot now by contacting the office. The show must go on.
Kaitlyn L. (12) is a vocal student who loves all things musical theater! She was really grateful to be a part of the Theater Program this Fall which came at the perfect time. Kaitlyn was cast as Genie in Shen’s middle school production of ”Aladdin” this year! The feat marked a special time of growth and confidence for her. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. Kaitlyn heard about the new Musical Theater Program at MDM and she knew she wanted to give it a try. Now she's hooked! ”Doing the Theater Program cheered me up and gave me a chance to do what I love," Kaitlyn shared.
Kaitlyn is a total drama kid and has been loving doing musicals at camps and school for years. She initially came to MDM to improve her chances of getting lead roles and that soon started happening!
Her mom, Christie, explained, ”Kaitlyn enjoys her one on one lessons at the studio, but she also loved how during the Theater Program she could sing with other students. It was exciting and she thought they all sounded great! We can't wait to get the CD of the recording!”
Learning to sing with others is an essential skill in theater. Singing your own part while others sing harmonies is difficult and takes a lot of practice. Kaitlyn noted, ”One thing I learned was where my voice fits in a group and how the altos and sopranos sound different at different parts in the song and how to combine them together.” She says her favorite part was getting to know the other singers. With various ages and backgrounds, it was fun to be able to come together and share their talents.
Recording in the studio was a new and exciting experience for her and made her really excited about future programs.
We’re so glad we could offer you and your family a positive theater experience this Fall!
Keep up the great work Kaitlyn! And we’ll see you in January!
We are taking sign ups for group programs starting in January 2021! We're back with Rock School 101 Studio, Musical Theater and Acapella, Songwriting and our NEW class - Intro to Digital Music & Beatmaking!
2 - The Sea The Sea, The Linda WAMC, online concert, 8 PM
4 - Repertory Romantic Orchestra, recorded at Proctor’s, 7 PM
6 - Community Christmas Concert, Messiah Lutheran Church, Facebook Live, 6 PM
7 - The Jagaloons, The Linda WAMC, online concert, 8 PM
8 - Bodhi Day
10 - First Night of Hanukkah
11 - Free Music Friday's, American Folk Art Museum, Facebook Live, 6 PM
16 - Moriah Formica on CoverBand TV, Facebook Live, 7 PM
16 - First Day of Las Posadas
17 - Moriah Formica on CoverBand TV, Facebook Live, 8 PM
21 - Winter Solstice
23 - Troy T. Acoustic, Christmas Party and Concert, Facebook Live, 7:30 PM
25 - Christmas Day
26 - First Day of Kwanzaa
31 - 4th Annual JOHNCERT, (Chelsea, Laura, and the Johnsons), Facebook Live, 8 PM
31 - New Year’s Eve
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS in november!
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