Monday, December 19, 2016

District III Jazz Festival 2016

CMS was well-represented at the third annual District III Jazz Festival, which took place November 18th at Browns River Middle School. Local music educators, Becky Nowak and Dave Grippo, led students in a day-long rehearsal, introducing students to jazz soloing and performing techniques, while working through prepared concert repertoire. The day concluded with a free concert to the public. Congrats, everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

VYP Visits CHS

CMS Band and Chorus students had the opportunity to listen to the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association's orchestra, Vermont Youth Philharmonia (VYP) perform Monday, April 4th. This was a special event for us in two ways: 1) it was the first live orchestra performance for many of our students, and 2) the ensemble features several former CMS students, and one current student, Anna Kalfus! Dr. Kono not only lead the orchestra through four diverse pieces, but also discussed the history of some of the music, as well as the role of the conductor. Two of our students even had the chance to 'conduct' the orchestra! For information about upcoming auditions, click here, or email

Friday, January 29, 2016

District III Music Festival

Mrs. Tozzi and Mrs. Desautels are currently at Essex Middle School with 12 CMS students participating in the District III Music Festival! Students are spending the day rehearsing with other musicians  from surroundings schools and guest conductors (former CHS band director, Joshua Pauly, is conducting this year's festival Band). The festival will conclude tomorrow, Saturday, January 30th, with a concert featuring the festival Chorus, Band, and String Ensemble. It sounds great so far! Looking forward to hearing the performance! More photos to come as the festival progresses!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Luthier Day at CMS

Students in the 7/8th grade Harbor House and Mrs. Desautels's 7th grade Music classes had the opportunity to meet a local violin maker (also called a luthier) on October 6th. Mr. Gagne's student teacher, Ms. Taylor, works at the Burlington Violin Shop and invited Mr. Jacques to visit CMS to tell students about his process of making and playing string instruments. Students were able to learn about the history of string instruments, what it's like to be a luthier, and hear some live string music! Thanks, Ms. Taylor!

 Mr. Jacques brought the beginning stages of a violin he's building.

 Mr. Jacques gives students a close-up view of his materials.

 Full house in Mr. Gagne's room.

Ms. Taylor and Mr. Jacques perform a duet on viola and cello.

 Mr. Jacques plays his viol da gamba

Ms. Taylor shows the difference in instrument shape and size from violin, viola, cello, and viol da gamba.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Noteflight Composition Performance

Music-COMP Summer Institute Noteflight 'New Orleans jazz' composition for clarinet and tuba...with audience participation! It was fun to compose music digitally, hear it on the computer, and then hear the live performance! We're looking forward to having CMS students create and perform their own collaborative compositions in the '15-'16 school year!

(video may not play on mobile site platforms)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Learning!

This summer Mrs. Desautels and Mrs. Tozzi spent a week at the beautiful Champlain College in the Music-COMP Summer Institute! We are excited to bring back some newly learned technology into our classrooms in the fall. From online composition collaboration to flipped classroom techniques, we are looking forward to sharing new ideas with students at CMS in the fall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Performing Arts Trimester 3

Though this version of 7/8th grade Performing Arts is being taught for the first time this year, we are so excited and pleasantly surprised by how creative and motivated our students are! We started the trimester with a public speaking unit, where students wrote their own super hero story in first person and performed them in front of the class. We then worked on guitar skills, and students performed a song of their choice. We are now combining the performing and guitar skills we've learned. Students have researched the history of Broadway, and a specific musical of choice. They are turning their research into a rhyming song, and will add guitar chords to add to create background chords. I'm impressed with the variety of shows chosen: Grease, Wicked, Annie, The Lion King, Hairspray, The Black Crook (the first musical performed on Broadway), Phantom of the Opera, and more!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

CMS Band students practice partner rhythms - high five style!

Peter Pan, Jr! April 9th and 10th

Captain Hook and Mr. Smee plan their revenge on Peter Pan

"Never Smile at a Crocodile"

The Darling family play pretend while Nana sleeps