DIRECTOR S PODIUM JUNE 2015 (VOL. 135 of 135)

DIRECTOR S PODIUM JUNE 2015 (VOL. 135 of 135)

DIRECTOR’S PODIUM JUNE 2015 (VOL. 135 of 135)

Dear choir parents and students,

This past year has been quite rewarding and meaningful and as this is our last newsletter of the 2014-15 school year, I want to thank our seniors and their parents for their contributions to the choral program at MCHS the past four years. We also thank those of you who will not be returning for next year for your dedication the past few years. You will all be missed! So to look ahead to fall, I want to give a big welcome to our new choir students and their parents, either as incoming freshman or our new additions from within our high school ranks! I am looking forward to the upcoming school year and the many exciting and memorable choral experiences we will have together! Below are a few items of information and notable dates to know:

1. 2015-2016 CHORAL CALENDAR-Enclosed in this newsletter is next year’s calendar. Please check in the newsletter for upcoming choir dates and fundraising for next year. Events marked with a * are required for all choir students. A + is required for Concert Choir and a # are required for Madrigals or Vocal Jazz. Some of the event dates have changed so make a note of it!

2. 2015-2016 CHOIR SCHEDULE

Next year choirs will meet during the following periods of the day: Concert Choir 3A, Women’s Chorale 4A, Treble Choir 3B and Mixed Choir 4B (change from last newsletter!). All choirs will meet and rehearse at the Central Campus (11/12 grade). Mixed, Treble and Chorale 9th and 10th graders will be bused over to Central for choir. More information will come out in August through e-mail on specific times and dates for the start up of the year. Sizings for choir performance attire will take place right after school starts up in August and a schedule for sign-ups will go out in the Aug. newsletter. Possible fitting days could include the 8/15picture day or 8/18 during our evening parent meetings or even during their Choir class.


Congratulations to the following students who were selected for the following extra-curricular groups for next school year:

Varsity Madrigals/EssenceJV Madrigals/Jazz Transit

Kelli AndersonHannah Babyak

Devin Baxter-HawkinsMadelyn Cichon

Hannah CichonDakota Coffman

Ben DowAiden Cordon

Kayla FeiglMcKenzie Frost

Chris GarciaKenzie Harman

Nate GarnerDJ Hilt

Christian JacksonMaddy Holloway

Jon-Carlo ManzoMcGwire Holman

Kayla McCombSarah Hughes

Lizzy MurrayChristian Jasso

Kathy PatinoEmily Maruszak

Skye PinnickNoah Marvo

Francesca RaddatzTori Miller

Tyler RichartAngel Mirkov

Amy TondiniAbbey Pursell

Gabrielle VazquezJoseph Rhoades

Nate ZurawskiHope Smith Alana Wagoner


1)A commitment letter for these groups is attached in this newsletter in case your student did not return it to Central Campus. Please mail, scan or drop it off to Mr. Benware as soon as possible.


2) Rehearsals for Varsity Madrigals:

-Start on Wed. Aug. 12th from 1:20-3:30pm Choir Room (pizza will be served for lunch).

-Also Thurs. and Fri. Aug. 13-14th from 3:05-4:30pm.

-From Mid-Aug. to mid-Dec.. Varsity Madrigals will meet each week on Tues., Thurs. and Fridays from 3:05-4:15 or 4:30pm (some Thurs. off in Sept. and Oct.) from Aug.–January.

3) On those same times and days, Essencewill meet from January–May.

4) Rehearsals for JV Madrigals & Jazz Transit:

-Starts on Wed. Aug. 12th from 1:20-3:15pm Choir Room (pizza will be served for lunch).

-JV Madrigals will meet from Aug. to Dec. on Mon., Wed., or Fri. from 3:05-4:15pm and Jazz Transitwill meet the same days and times from January-May.

5) Full schedules will be sent out in July or August via email and at our Madrigal ParentMeeting, which will be on Tues. Aug. 18 at 6:30pm in the Career Center at Central Campus.

6) Madrigal costumes-There are 3 ways your student can be placed in a madrigal costume for this year:

1. You can buy, borrow or useone you already own. If you choose to buy one you can purchase it with your own funds (to keep outfit), or use your students choir account to purchase their costume (and the choir will keep the costume when your student is done with the outfit).

2. We will find one in our stock to size. Sizing ofcostumes for JV and Varsity Madrigalswillstartshortly after school gets started in August.

3. Have someone make a costume for your student to wear and it would be handled financially the same as choice #1 above. If you are looking to have a costume made for your student, we will try to have a short video again this year on how to go about doing that at the first Madrigal meeting of the year and how to do this on a low budget. Contact me if you have any questions.

7) All 4 groups will be getting Polo shirts again this year with their group names on them!


Attention new MCHS Choir parents! You are now MCHS CHOIR BOOSTERS! There will be a meeting for all new parents who have students entering choir this year for the first time on Tues. Aug. 18th at 6:00pm in the Career Center at Central Campus. Covered at this meeting will be grading procedures in choir, student’s choir accounts, choral calendar, Booster involvement, voice lessons, fundraising, and Q & A time. Please make every effort to attend!

Our Madrigal ParentMeeting for JV and Varsity parents, will be on Tues. Aug. 18th at 6:30pm in the Career Center at Central Campus. Covered at this meeting will be rules, expectations, outfits, performance calendar, and basics of the Madrigal Dinner. See you then!

Our first MCHS Choir Booster meeting for ALL parents will be Tues. Aug. 18h at 7:00pmin the Career Center at Central Campus. Choir Boosters meet every 3rdTuesday (March we meet on 4th Tuesday and do not meet in Dec.). Come make a difference in your student’s choir experience and get to know some of the other choir parents!

6.ANNUAL ALL-CHOIR BLAST-OFF-FRI. AUG. 28 from 6:00-9:00pm Students (required!) and parents come and eat, as the students perform for their parents. After eating the potluck meal, there will be important yearly information given out and then students will have time for competitions, social time and activities while the parents will have a their own time to interact! This has become a wonderful tradition for the MCHS Choirs! Mark your calendars and don’t miss it!


Congratulations to the Varsity Madrigals who have been selected again this year to sing at the Augustana Chamber Festival on Sun. Oct. 11-Mon. Oct. 12. Please have your student save the date to attend, as we will be performing as a group with other select groups, receive clinics, and also sing a couple mass numbers with the other choirs in concert. This is an overnight event, and pending school approval, will require a couple other chaperones, so if you would like to see a beautiful campus and help out that weekend, we would love to have you. The cost for students will include hotel & a couple of other meals. More details to come after school starts! Congrats to our Varsity Mads! Second straight year!!

8. CHOIR POLO SHIRTS-As we do each summer, we are putting in this newsletter the form to order your official MCHS Choir Polo shirt. These black polo shirts are used every year by students for performances, official pictures, tour, and for working at fundraisers. Any new student to choir this year will need to order the Choir Polo shirt. We also offer to any new member of Varsity Madrigals/Essence or JV Madrigals/Jazz Transit the option of ordering this Polo shirt for their group as well. Per the new Booster policy, your student has the option of fundraising for their shirt to pay it off this year. To order a style and size, use the attached form to choose which shirt and size. If you wish to pay for it instead, turn in a check for $20.00 made out to: MCHS CHOIR BOOSTERS. Orders should be turned in by Mon. July 27thto Central Campus or scanned back to Mr. Benware at .

Choir Activity pictures will be held the morning of Sat. Aug. 15th at 9:30am and students ordering shirts will receive their polo shirt in class that first week of school so they have their polo for the picture. Choir students are to wear their black Choir polo shirts and blue jeans for the picture, so don’t forget to get your order in. Thanks so much!

9.IMEA SR. CHORUS AUDITIONS-TUES. OCT. 13th-We have had some incredible singing moments for our students at IMEA District and All-State the past years. This year, auditions will be held at Carl Sandburg HS. We will travel after school that day to the school via bus. The IMEA music for Sr. Chorus has begun to be handed out already with music being able to be picked up during or after summer. Practice mp3’s will be available starting in August when students return. Students in grades 10-12 may audition.If you are interested in auditioning and have not received music yet, e-mail me back at . Practices will occur in class and on various afternoons after school.Senior Honor Choir membersare encouraged to work on their music over the summer. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to sing with the best in your state!

10. CHOIR BOOSTER CRAFT FAIR 2015-Sat. November 14th 9am-3pm-South Campus

Student and Parent helpers are needed, as this our most “successful fundraiser” every year! The set-up takes place Fri. evening, Nov. 13th, with parents and students working on either day. It is a great money maker for your student and a lot of fun to be involved with! Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Craft Fair to put money in their student accounts. Contact

Brenda Cichon at r Johana Richart at f you can help. Go for it!

11. A NIGHT OF ENTERTAINMENT–Fri. Apr 29th 6:30pm. This fun and relaxing musical event includes dessert and has become a favorite over the past eleven years. The night includes our vocal jazz groups and students and parents who audition singing their vocal performance, and can include any Solo and Ensemble participant who would like to perform their piece for the audience. It will start at 6:30pm in the Cafetorium so invite your friends for a night out of fun!

12. 198hANNUAL MADRIGAL DINNERS-Sat. Dec. 12th 6:30pm & Sun. Dec. 13th1:00pm. This has become a special holiday event at MCHS, as our audience feasts and sits back and enjoy Varsity, JV Madrigals and our own MCHS Choir students perform carols and Madrigal selections, actors and players putting on a humorous play, and our Varsity Madrigals closing our feast with various carols that are a poignant and reflective mood to the reason for our season. ALL CHOIR members will be singing and participating again in the Madrigal Dinner this year! AChair and Co-Chair are needed for this event so contact Mr. Benware at:

rbenware this summer if you are interested. Please mark your calendars and invite your family and friends to the event of the holiday season! Don’t miss it!


It is never too early to start thinking about Voice lessons and songs to start preparing for the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest (Sat. Mar. 5th), or Talent Show (Oct. 1), or to help you prepare for IMEA or College auditions. Best of all, lessons are valuable one on one sessions to improve

your vocal technique and to improve your individual singing and better your choir!

More to come on lessons in August!


President-TBA (To be elected at August 2015 Choir Booster meeting)

Vice-President-Brenda Cichon

Secretary-Johana Richart

Treasurer-Neena Hilt

Thanks again to our “retiring officers” Sheila Nance, Rachel Deluga and Nancy Rodriguez!!


President-Christian Jackson

Vice-President-Nate Zurawski

Secretary-Kayla Feigl

Treasurer-Nate Garner

Librarian-Ben Dow

Social Chairs-Lizzy Murray, Devin Baxter-Hawkins

Section Leaders-Kelli Anderson, Francsca Raddatz, Kayla McComb, Gabriella Vazquez, Nate Zurawski, Jon-Carlo Manzo, Christian Jackson, Devin Baxter-Hawkins

Congratulations to Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale and Essence for their fabulous performances on our Los Angeles/Disneyland Choir Tour at the end of May! Many thanks to Mrs. Frost, Mrs. Engel, Mrs. Babic and our chaperones (Mrs. Nance, Mrs. Richart, Mrs. Hargreave, Mrs. Rogge, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Wesolowski) for providing a safe and enjoyable tour for our students! Much thanks to all of you! We could not have done it with out you!

Congratulations to Ben Dow for being one of our state finalists for the Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards as he competed on Monday June 1st in Chicago! Great job Ben!

If you need to get a hold of me this summer, please email me at . Thanks!

Have a wonderful summer and we will see you in August!


Mr. Benware

Director of Choral Activities