Spring Concerts April 24, May 3

The NHS Music Department would like to invite you to our two Spring Concerts!  The Spring Bands Concert, featuring our Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, will be on Tuesday, April 24th at 7pm, and the Spring Choral and Jazz Concert, featuring the NHS Chorus, Jazz Workshop and Jazz Ensemble, will be on Thursday, May 3rd at 7pm.  Both performances are free of charge, open to the public and in the NHS Auditorium.

NHS Wind Ensemble, Fall 2011

Our young musicians have worked incredibly hard this year, and the degree to which they’ve evolved and improved as musicians is pretty remarkable.  If you’ve been to performances earlier this year, we hope you’ll come out and see how they’ve grown.  If you haven’t been to a performance, we hope you’ll make this season your first, and we know you’ll be impressed by our students!  In addition to great music, you’ll get to see one of our great traditions–talking a bit about our graduating seniors, what they’ve accomplished, what they’ve meant to us as a program and what they’ll be going on to do after they leave NHS.

NHS Winter Concerts December 8, 15

The Norwell High School Music Department invites you to its two Winter Concerts, on Thursday, 12/8 and 12/15, at 7pm in the NHS Auditorium!  As always, admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Thursday, December 8 (7pm): Winter Bands Concert, with the NHS Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.

Thursday, December 15 (7pm): Fall Choral and Jazz Concert, with the NHS Chorus, Jazz Workshop and Jazz Ensemble.

On December 8, the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will be performing a range of works, from orchestral arrangements of music by Antonin Dvorak and Sir Edward Elgar, to wind band originals by Robert Sheldon and Jared Spears, the famous Ukrainian Bell Carol of Mykola Leontovych and a wonderful take on the music of Gilbert and Sullivan.

On December 15, the Chorus and Jazz Ensembles will be taking the stage.  The Chorus will be performing a broad range of repertoire, from holiday favorites to Quebecois folk songs and Broadway show tunes.  The Jazz Ensembles will be performing everything from samba and swing to funk and shuffle, including pieces from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Essentially Ellington” library, and a vocal feature with NHS Jazz newcomer Katy Mahar.

We hope to see you there!

NHS Fall Concerts October 20, 27

Chris O'Hara, guest artist

For the first time, the Norwell High School Music Department would like to invite you to *both* of its annual Fall Concerts!  The founding of the NHS Wind Ensemble means that NHS now has five large performing groups, and as a result, the school has split its traditional Fall Concert into two separate, shorter performances!

  • Thursday, October 20 (7pm): Fall Bands Concert, with the NHS Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band (featuring Chris O’Hara, trumpet)
  • Thursday, October 27 (7pm): Fall Choral and Jazz Concert, with the NHS Chorus, Jazz Workshop and Jazz Ensemble

Both performances feature a host of talented, hardworking and passionate high school students.  Both performances take place in the NHS Auditorium, and both performances are free of charge and open to the public.

However, they feature very different performing groups and repertoire.

The Bands Concert will feature NHS’ new and advanced Wind Ensemble, performing works by Holst, Boysen and Goedicke.  It also features the revamped NHS Symphonic Band, performing works by Tchaikovsky, Zdechlik and Teichler.  NHS is also excited to welcome for this performance internationally renowned guest trumpet artist Christopher O’Hara, whose playing has been described by the Chicago Music Examiner as “virtuosic and impressive in every way,” who will be performing works for trumpet and band with both ensembles.

The Choral and Jazz Concert is a week later, and will feature the NHS Chorus, our mixed vocal ensemble, under the direction of Amy Cortright, as well as the NHS Jazz Ensemble, the NHS Jazz Combo, and the NHS Jazz Workshop, our developmental group, for an evening of exciting vocal and instrumental music.

NHS Music Alum Performs at Newport Jazz Festival

Already well-traveled NHS Music and Berklee alum David Neves performed last week at the 57th annual Newport Jazz Festival, with the Mario Castro Quintet.  Newport has hosted nearly all of the most famous names in jazz over the last half century, while launching the careers of countless others.  Enjoy the performance, courtesy of NPR Music!

Image Erik Jacobs for NPR Music

Get Involved with NHS Music

Just as the NHS Music program has made a commitment to enriching the artistic life of our community, the Norwell Public Schools have made a commitment to supporting its arts programs in return.  But in these times of high energy costs, a sagging economy and ever-tightening budgets, finding the resources to provide artistic opportunities and services to our young people can still be a big challenge.  If you would like to help support the growing arts community at NHS, there are many things you can do:

Volunteer! The Norwell Scholastic Arts Society is an organization of parents, students and friends of the arts, who advocate, work to raise funds and create new opportunities for students in grades K-12 in all of the visual and performing arts in the Norwell Public Schools.  If you would like to become involved even on a small level with this exciting organization, please send us an email!

Attend performances! There are few things that affect students more positively than a large, enthusiastic, music-loving crowd.  Please see our Calendar tab at the top of the page for month-by-month listings of our performances and events.

Advertise with us! If you’d like information on placing an advertisement for your business in NSAS playbills that are distributed at all NHS concerts, art exhibitions and theatrical performances, please contact the Norwell Scholastic Arts Society.

Donate! If you have unused instruments, amplifiers, sheet music or other musical equipment, feel free to bring them by.  If it’s something we already have at the high school, it will immediately be donated to the other Norwell schools.  If you’d like to make a monetary donation to the NHS Music Student Activities Fund, please make your check out to NHS Music and send it to Norwell High School, 18 South St., Norwell, MA 02061.  Donations to the NHS Music Department can be tax-deductible–if you wish to do so, please indicate as much with your donation and we will provide you with a receipt.
Part of a larger-scale update to the “Get Involved!” Section of the NHS Music website.  Check out the other pages for more info!

TED Talks: Your brain on improv

There has been a whole host of research done over the decades that has found that the creative processes inherent in arts education are beneficial to the human brain and help people grow in wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways.  With the growth of MRI technology, scientists (notably Oliver Sacks’ studies on listening to music and brain activity) have been able to get a close look at specifically what areas of the brain are affected by engagement with music.

Charles Limb, at Johns Hopkins (and the NIH), recently presented a talk at TED regarding what happens in your brain when you improvise.  He and his team have been looking specifically at jazz musicians and rappers, to measure the differences in brain activity between when you prepare a creative activity (memorize a piece of music or verse and then perform it) versus when you spontaneously generate your creative material (improvisation in jazz, freestyle in rap).  The results obviously bring up a lot of further questions, but they’re fascinating all the same.  I’ve long believed in the benefits of musical improvisation on students, which is a major reason why we spend so much time doing it in our jazz classes–and while the students enjoy it a great deal, I’m sure they’d be surprised at how much it impacts their brains!