Hallelujah chorus parts online

Students in both 10th and 11th grade are expecting to perform the magnificent “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah

To help you learn your part, go here to find your own part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) emphasized in audio recordings. 

The parts are on the Music Downloads tab. 

Cantilena Concert 9/29/18

I received the following message from Mrs. Marlynn Rey, former Cantamus director and member of Arizona Cantilena:

I wanted to make sure you know about the Arizona Cantilena Chorale … concert coming up on Sept. 29th in Scottsdale at the Taliesin West Pavilion.  This is going to be a magnificent concert featuring Paul Phoenix (former King Singer from the UK) in conjunction with the Chorale.  Dr. David Thye (principal conductor at Carnegie Hall for MidAmerica Productions, NY) is now our Cantilena director and has turned up the heat in terms of musical excellence for us. 

Performances are 5pm and 7pm.  Tickets are available through Eventbrite here

This concert, while not on the concert review agreement list, is acceptable for review. 

ASU Concert Discount Tickets

Because many of my students go to concerts at ASU, I want to pass on to you this notice about discounts.  Please recall that many of the ASU concerts do not have an admission price, although many of them do. 

Also remember: only concerts on the Concert Review Agreement are automatically approved for review.  Any concerts not on this list must receive advanced teacher approval.

Through Saturday, Sept. 15

Time is running out to save 25 percent on your season tickets! Select at least three performance dates and receive 25 percent off the total price when you purchase by Sept. 15. To receive the discount, tickets must be purchased through the Create Your Own Season ticket package at season.asu.edu.


Why concert reviews?

Occasionally I get questions from parents or students about our concert review requirement in music classes.  Why are students required to review concerts?  Why two?  Why college-level performers or above?  Why not recordings; why do they have to be live performances?  Why classical (art) music and not pop or folk music?  Why do we have to spend so much money to attend an expensive concert?

While we’ve refined some of these requirements (including introducing a form to complete rather than a two-page review to write), the basic requirement has remained the same for my entire 15-year tenure at TPA, including the three criteria for concerts that qualify for review. 

The 81 concerts on the Concert Review Agreement all meet the following criteria, qualifying them for review:

  1. Live
  2. Classical (art music, not jazz, pop, or folk)
  3. College-level performers or above

As regards the last question above, why do we have to spend so much money to attend an expensive concert, the answer is you don’t.  There are plenty of free concerts, but not at the end of the semester.  Be sure to plan ahead so you don’t get stuck choosing between going to an expensive concert or not meeting the requirement at all. 

For a rationale for the concert review requirement, click here

Some students tell me that the concert review requirement is one of their favorite parts of the class. 

Both concert reviews are due Friday, December 7, 2018 at 3pm. 

Hayden’s Ferry: world-class chamber music

While I haven’t yet posted a complete list of concerts acceptable for review, I can guarantee that the Hayden’s Ferry series will be on it. 

Organized and produced by former TPA mom, Catherine Hayden, the Sunday-afternoon series features world-class performers in the intimate surroundings of the TCA Gallery.   Every concert in the series, which begins on October 21, is acceptable for review. 

Tickets are $10 for students and $30 for adults.  A reception follows where everyone can meet the artists. 

Mrs. Hayden recently contacted me with free bookmarks for our music class students and a note, which said in part:

This series is a great way to introduce kids to concerts and give them a chance to fall in love with chamber music. 

The following other concerts (which are not a part of the Hayden’s Ferry series) are coming up very soon and probably will happen before I have the list of acceptable concerts available. See if there’s something you’d like to hear:

September 1: Claudio Soares, Piano; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 9: Shuang Zhu, Clarinet; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 9: Michael Kirkendoll, Piano; ASU Katzin (music.asu.edu/events/)
September 14-15: Phoenix Symphony; Symphony Hall (www.phoenixsymphony.org/) Get tickets now; they often sell out of this one

All of these concerts also are acceptable for review. Write your review on the form. (blog.wolfemusiced.com/wp-content/files/Concert_Review_Form_2018.pdf)

AZ state song sung at McCain funeral

Rex Allen Jr.

According to AZ Central, a song from Music Theory for Choral Singers was sung at the funeral for Senator John McCain. 

The 1982 song, “Arizona” (or “I Love You, Arizona”) was performed as a tribute to the long-time senator and Vietnamese war veteran. 

The song by Rex Allen, Junior, is one of the few copyrighted pieces in my book and is used by permission.  It is found on page 315. 

“Arizona” is one of two official state songs, the other being “The Arizona March Song,” written by Maurice Blumenthal in 1915.  This song also appears in my book, on page 312. 

A few years back, one the 11th grade classes performed Rex Allen’s song in a curricular choir concert with improvised harmony. 

Music literacy declines in US

According to some sources, only 5% of Americans can read music.  Others estimate it as high as 11%.  Still, the decline of piano or other private instruction in music and budget cutbacks in schools mean that students and parents find it harder to get an education in the basics of music reading. 

According to “The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy,” published in Intellectual Takeout, a smaller population of the people in our country are able to read and understand music now than just a few years ago.   According to the author, who is the president of an investment-oriented firm, the decline in music literacy is responsible for the rise in popularity of lower quality (meaning less varied) popular music, which he claims has been proven scientifically.  In other words, the author contends that the quality of popular music is declining along with the music literacy rate.  (Thanks to Mr. Clay Sanderson for drawing my attention to this article.) 

At Tempe Prep, we are determined to offer every student the opportunity to learn to read and understand music.  In 6th grade, students are exposed to American folk songs from the colonial period onward.  In 7th and 8th grades, students learn to play a musical instrument (the recorder) and also learn

  1. Playing by Ear
  2. Sight-reading
  3. Improvising
  4. Transposing
  5. Technique
  6. Ensemble Performing

In High School, students learn to sight-sing and perform in a choir, as well as the basics of vocal technique, music theory such as the scales and modes and harmony, as well as some of the great choral literature in western music. 

In each of the four, one-semester courses students are required to hear live, classical-music concerts at a professional or near-professional level.  Each of our one-semester courses also includes a unit on “music appreciation,” listening to some of the great masterworks of western music. 

Our hope is that every one of our students will leave TPA musically literate.