...creating lifelong purveyors of music

Friday, November 12, 2021

Musical Arts Extravaganza Final Wrap Up

Please see the following note from our Unit 5 Music Parents regarding the wrap up of the U5MAE fundraiser.  As always, thank you for your support of the NCHS orchestra program!

Dear parents,

    Thank you so much for your support of music in Unit 5!  I hope that you were able to attend and enjoy the recent performance. Thank you so much to those who have donated as part of this fundraising event!!  If you meant to donate, but it got lost in the shuffle, the site (link below) will be remaining open until this coming Monday, 11/15.
Thank you, and have a wonderful upcoming holiday season!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Musical Arts Extravaganza Update

A correction was just made to the last blog post - the Musical Arts Extravaganza is November 8th, NOT the 15th.  Sorry for the confusion!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Thank You!!!

Deepest and most sincere thank-yous for everything you did to make the 27th annual Hauntcert! There's just no way to put on such a big production without the help of a fantastic group of parents, and the NCHS orchestra parents were absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for sharing your time and talents with us!!!

U5 Musical Arts Extravaganza (formerly known as the Spaghetti Supper)

Due to COVID restrictions, the annual U5 Music Parents' Spaghetti Supper has changed, and has now become the U5 Musical Arts Extravaganza.  It will be run very much like the Spaghetti Supper, just without the meal. In lieu of purchasing food tickets, we are simply asking for donations this year.  What follows is all pertinent information for the evening:

Date:  Monday, Nov. 8th
Location:  NCHS Auditorium
Time:  5:30 performance (students will have rehearsal after school and should plan on staying after school until the performance)
Dress:  New grey orchestra t-shirt and jeans
Personnel:  Required event for all orchestras

Volunteers:  Even though we aren't serving food, we still need a number of volunteers throughout the evening.  We would be extremely grateful if you could help us out and work a shift.  Click here for the SignUpGenius.

Donations:  All proceeds that you donate and ear-mark for our group come directly to us.  We use funds like these to purchase new music, instruments, supplies, etc. for the ensemble.  Click here to donate to the NCHS Orchestra program.  Feel free to share this link with friends and relatives who might also be interested in donating.  Your generosity greatly appreciated - thank you!!!

Trip Fundraiser - Bagging for Tips

There are still a number of slots available for Nov. 7th trip fundraiser bagging for tips at Hy-Vee.  Click here for the SignUpGenius and instructions.  

Friday, October 22, 2021

Hauntcert Update & Volunteer Instructions


Please see below for some final information regarding next week:

Poinsettia Fundraiser $ and Order Forms Due

Don't forget that all poinsettia orders are due on Monday, Oct 25.  Please make sure that you have followed all instructions from the previous post and that everything is contained in an envelope with your student's name.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Upcoming Schedule

Please see the information below for details regarding the schedule for the upcoming two weeks:

Mon, Oct 18 - Combined Rehearsal (3:30-6:00)

Mon, Oct 25 - Combined Rehearsal w/ Percussion (3rd-6th hours)

Tues, Oct 26 - Dress Rehearsal (6:00-9:00 pm) **street clothes - no uniforms

Thurs, Oct 28 - 27th Annual Hauntcert (shows at 6:00 & 7:30 pm - CALL TIME 5 PM) **dress code is full uniform**

**Cellos please continue to bring instruments to events**

Batteries, Power Strips, & Extension Cords

As we bring all of our stand lights out of storage for the Hauntcert, we would appreciate any battery donations (AA, AAA, and C) that you could send to school for our battery powered lights and are looking to borrow power strips and extension cords for our electric lights.  Please make sure to label the power strips and extension cords so that we can get them back to you.  Items can be brought to school this week.  Thank you!

Hauntcert Fliers

We'd love to share our return to live music with as many people as possible!  All Unit 5 elementary students will be receiving a flier this week, but the Hauntcert is fun for all ages.  NCHS Orchestra students have access to the same paper fliers that they can bring home to be distributed.  So if you know of places around Bloomington-Normal that would be appropriate to hang them, please feel free to have your student grab some.  Also attached is a PDF of the flier if you have any electronic community bulletin boards you'd like to post it to.

We still have a few spots left on our volunteer list and a number of opportunities left for helpers to distribute candy to trick or treaters and candy donations for the activity.  Won't you please consider helping us as we strive to bring back the Hauntcert to the community for the first time since 2019?

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Hauntcert Trick or Treat Project

 COVID has caused us to to abandon our usual refreshment table at the end of this year's Hauntcert, so we have decided to replace it with another "food" option for the kids and are trying to set up an indoor "trunk or treat" for them.  In lieu of the massive numbers of cookies we usually need, we are asking for candy donations this year.  We'll need lots of candy to hand out to the little ones!  Please consider helping us out, use the link below to sign up, and send some candy into school with your student by the 26th.

We are also in need of people to pass out the candy.  Creativity is up to you, and volunteers could do everything from simply handing out candy, to being as creative as wearing a kid friendly costume or even setting up a small themed display.  The trick or treating will take place outside of the classrooms along junior and senior hallway.  Our volunteers would need to be available for both shows, reporting at 4:45 to meet with our coordinator (trick or treating would begin at 5:15 for the first show).  We'll have COVID friendly gloves for our volunteers and also reserve you some seats for the performance.  So join us for some family friendly fun and ooh and ah over the awesome costumes of our future little NCHS orchestra stars.  This would be a GREAT activity for your entire family and we could set up several people in spaces next to one another :-)  So feel free to sign up for more than one slot...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Poinsettia Fundraiser


Our next fundraiser for our Choir/Orchestra trip will begin October 13.  Order forms are available at school and students should make sure to put their name and phone number on the order brochure and collect the money at the time of the order. Checks should be made out to Unit 5 Music Parents.  Orders must be returned to the directors no later than October 25.

The fundraiser offers an excellent assortment of various colored poinsettias and amaryllis bulbs, plus a Christmas cactus and snowflake pots, for the winter season.  Poinsettias range from $16 – 17, Amaryllis $18. Christmas Cactus $13, and snowflake pots $8/$10. 
Students earn $5.50-$6 for each poinsettia ($6-red, pink, cream/$5.50-purple, chameleon, or blue), $6 for each Amaryllis and Cactus, and $4.75-6 per snowflake pot. So, this is a great fundraiser to make lots of money for your trip account! Make sure to ask everyone you know if they’d like to buy something. These also make great gifts for family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
The plants will be delivered to the school sometime between 11/29 and 12/12, for distribution by the students to those who ordered.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Hauntcert Volunteer List Reminder

Just a reminder that we still need volunteers to fill a number of jobs for this year's Hauntcert.  We're hoping to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for "fastest filling of a Hauntcert volunteer list" this year ;-)  Won't you consider clicking here and helping us go down in the history books?

NOLA Trip Update & Trip Fundraiser Opportunity

Given current circumstances such as the recent hurricane and the fact that New Orleans is now requiring all visitors to either provide proof of vaccination or undergo a mandatory 2 week quarantine, the choir and orchestra are shifting gears.  New Orleans is no longer an option for our destination, but discussions and plans are in the works to offer a shorter trip (possibly just two nights) to a closer destination (ie. Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, etc.).  We want to offer our students a trip that is both fun and educational, while also being safe and affordable.  Look for the announcement of our new destination soon!!!

As a trip is still on the agenda for this year, we have another fundraising opportunity bagging for tips at Hy-Vee.  Our first date is this weekend, so please sign up for those slots first if available.  But there are also opportunities on Nov 7th and Dec 11th.  Click here for the SignUpGenius with more information and the available dates.

The orchestra is still in need of a few parents who would be willing to be a part of the choir/orchestra fundraising team.  Please send an email if you could help us out with this!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Hauntcert Volunteer List

The Hauntcert volunteer list is now available and ready for some eager helpers to sign up!  Please consider being a part of this momentous occasion as we bring Hauntcert back to the community after two years - we need many hands to make the show not only successful, but safe for everyone involved.  NCHS orchestra parents are always an integral part of our success each year and are even more critical as we negotiate this important recruiting concert during COVID.  Click here to volunteer and become a part of our team!!!

Don't forget about our 2nd combined rehearsal AND our next NOPA meeting this Tuesday (Oct. 5).  We are also still very much in need of decorations to borrow that fit our animals/zoo theme.  Please send items to school with your student by Tuesday (or send a picture) if you have anything that we might be able to use.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Rehearsal Reminder

Don't forget about our combined rehearsal this Wednesday, September 29th, from 3:30-6:00 pm.  Personnel required at this rehearsal include Chamber, Intermezzo, and Sinfonia orchestra members.  We will be done promptly at 6:00 pm and all students should plan to have their ride waiting for them in the parking lot at that time.  Please pick students up in the bus lane NOT in the main lot.

Hauntcert Decorations Needed!

The orchestra is seeking to borrow as many decorations this year as possible for the Hauntcert.  Due to the tenuous nature of the pandemic, we will be working on a "shoestring" budget and are hoping that there are many items lurking in your homes that would fit the bill this year.  Our theme is animals, so anything we could borrow (ie large stuffed animals, posters, etc) fitting that theme or anything zoo related would be greatly appreciated.  We ask that you send these items to school this week (or email a picture) so that everything is here for our NOPA meeting on the 5th.  Even if we aren't able to use it, having as many options available as we can is so greatly appreciated!


Our next NCHS Orchestra Parents meeting will be on Tuesday, October 5th @ 7 pm in the orchestra room (rm 50).  Doors J around the back will be open.  Please consider joining us as we continue to plow through Hauntcert needs and organize decorations.  All NCHS Orchestra parents are welcome to attend!


Students who were fitted for uniforms should now have them at home and should have tried them on for a parent.  Missing items were ordered on Friday and will be sent home as soon as they arrive.  Please make sure that you have seen the items on your student and have made arrangements to get any hemming needs taken care of (all new pants and dresses will come completely unhemmed!).  Don't forget to check the syllabus for uniform policies regarding uniform care, hemming, etc.

Fundraising Volunteers Needed

We are in need of 1-2 volunteers to assist the choir's fundraising team on our ensembles' joint efforts.  Many hands make light work, and the choir team is an experienced, well-oiled machine.  Please thoughtfully consider volunteering for this opportunity!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Orchestra Calendar Update


There was a discrepency between the calendar on the syllabus and the orchestra Google Calendar.  Our first Hauntcert rehearsal will be Wednesday September 29th, NOT the 22nd.  We had a last minute change at the beginning of the year due to homecoming.  Thanks for your flexibility!



The NCHS Orchestra Parent's Association will hold its first meeting this coming Tuesday, Sept. 7th at 7:00 pm in the orchestra room (50). Doors J around the back of the building will be unlocked.  This organization is open to all orchestra parents and is dedicated to helping provide all of those "extras" to our music students.  We'll be focusing on brainstorming Hauntcert ideas and possibly any needs we have for Spaghetti Supper.  We have most executive officer positions open, and are looking forward to new volunteers!

Orchestra & Choir Concession Stand Fundraiser


The orchestra and choir will kick off our first fundraiser of the year in one week and will be working the concession stand at the September 10th varsity football game.  This will be a general fundraiser (not for the trip), and we will need both students and parents alike to make it a success.  Please click here to volunteer for a shift.  Fundraisers like these help us continue to supplement supply budgets and purchase music, instruments, etc.  Thanks in advance for getting involved!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Welcome Back!

What an absolute joy to see students in a much more "normal" setting than we left things last year!  This is our first blog post of the year and hopefully it will serve to make sure that those of you who signed up in previous years are still getting the updates.  Keep your eyes peeled in the next day or so for an email from Infinite Campus to parents with syllabus information that parents will need to sign off on.  And don't forget about the NCHS Open House this Thursday night beginning at 6:30 pm.  Welcome back - we are truly blessed to be making music together this year!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Orchestra Uniform Return


The NCHS Music Department is collecting the following uniforms: ALL tuxedos (including jacket, pants, shirt, bow tie) and dresses from anyone not returning to the program next year (seniors, those not rostered next year, etc.).  Please place the uniform on a hanger and return to school no later than Wednesday, April 21st.  There will be a rack in the orchestra room and materials to label the uniform upon its return.  Students should label the uniform and add their name to the list on the rack.  Bow ties should be hung around the top of the hanger (not left in a pocket).  Please email if there are any questions.

BNYS Scholarship Opportunity

Another scholarship opportunity for private lessons has just come across my desk.  The Bloomington-Normal Youth Symphony is offering 12 scholarships of $750 each (6 for those who have taken private lessons before, and 6 for students who have never taken lessons before).  Students receiving scholarships perform as a member of BNYS for that season, with the participation fee waived as well.  These scholarships are available regardless of financial need.  Application deadline is May 10th.  Don't forget about the other scholarship opportunities available - deadlines are rapidly approaching!

BNYS Scholarship Application & Information

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Orchestra T-Shirt Reminder


Just a reminder for fully remote students - please do your best to grab your orchestra t-shirt out of the IMC by Friday.  All remote students have a shirt waiting for them labeled with their name - they're bright orange, you can't miss them!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Scholarship Opportunities for Private Lessons


Private lessons are a tremendous boost to every student, regardless of their ability level and all NCHS orchestra members are highly encouraged to connect with a teacher.  Here are two options for students wishing to take advantage of lessons but may need some financial assistance to do so.  The Pratt Scholarship program is one that has been around for many years in this community and is a wonderful program that covers the cost of lessons and supplies.  The ISO one is a relatively new one on the scene.  Simply contact me if you have questions!

Pratt Scholarship

ISO Scholarship

ISO Application