Conference Pass $100
1st Year Teacher $65
For more information, visit http://www.msvma.org/summerconference.
Kelvin Moon Loh currently stars on Broadway in Beetlejuice the musical as Otho. Also on Broadway, he’s been in SpongeBob Squarepants, The King and I, and the revival of Side Show. Off Broadway he’s been in Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Co.) and Here Lies Love (The Public). He was in the first national tour of Green Day’s American Idiot. Kelvin grew up on Long Island, NY and studied vocal performance at New York University.
Interviewer: Ryan Dawley
Legislation and Advocacy Update
This past week brought some great new resources for music educators, as well as some more insight for returning to school in the fall.
ACDA made it’s report available, “COVID-19 Response Committee Report (June 15, 2020). It outlines Instructional Models for choral professionals in secondary, post-secondary, collegiate, community choirs, and music in worship. While it is a comprehensive report that may feel a bit overwhelming at first, it contains excellent information to use when communicating with your district leadership.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), in association with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), released its “Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education” document to provide guidance for PreK-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is an excellent complement to the ACDA report and can be a great resource for district leaders planning for the fall.
Michigan legislators unveiled a plan to “Return to Learn”, which proposes securing federal funding to aid schools and teachers. Governor Whitmer also announced next steps for school reopening in the fall. There is a planned announcement for Tuesday, June 30 that details “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” to provide details on what will be required and recommended for schools. Governor Whitmer has pledged to continue working closely with the Return to Learn Advisory Council and leaders in health care for ensuring safe practices.
MSVMA’s Community Well committee regularly collects up to date resources pertinent to vocal music education. You are invited to visit MSVMA’s “A Community Well” page, as well as advocacy resources page for use in communicating with your district leaders.
Please direct any questions or concerns about MSVMA’s Community Well to Adam Wurst: WurstAda@APSFalcons.net.
Choral Student Leadership Online Opportunity July 29-30, 2020
As we are aware, the MSVMA Choral Student Leadership Conference was unfortunately canceled for the summer of 2020. We are planning to have an exciting conference in the summer of 2021 led by Dr. Matthew Arau, who was to be our headliner for 2020.
If you are looking for an opportunity to inspire your student leaders for this upcoming 20-21 school year, Dr. Arau is providing an online Upbeat! Virtual Leadership Academy (July 29-30, 2020) to reach students during this uncertain time. More details are available at Dr. Arau’s website: www.upbeatglobal.com
Dates for the 2021 MSVMA Student Leadership Conference are: July 27 - 28 in Port Huron.
Supervisor for State Choral Festivals
Host and Host schools for April 23-24 South State S&E
Host and Host schools for April 28, 29, 30 South State Choral Festival
Hosts and Host schools for May 10, 11 Central State Choral Festival
Ben Henri Wins Jeopardy Teachers Tournament
Ben Henri earned the title of Champion of the Jeopardy Teachers Tournament competing against two music teachers and taking home a check for $100,000. After taping the finale in February, he had to keep the outcome a secret--no easy feat with his inquisitive choir students. His middle school singers kept trying to trip him up with questions like “Did they give you a room to change your clothes in between games?” but Ben held his ground. It made it easier when the stay-at-home order was issued. And the Jeopardy staff provided him suggested responses to those trying to find out the results of the game. Read more...
Congratulations, Ben! You made us all proud! We will look forward to watching you in the Tournament of Champions!
Submitted by Member Emeritus Wendy Treacher
MSVMA Member Participates in Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament
Ben Henri, choir director at Grosse Pointe North High School, faces two contestants on June 4 and 5, for the Teachers Tournament Finals. The total dollar winnings are added together for each contestant from the two days and then the winner is named. Ben will compete with another music teacher (band and choir) and a drama teacher.
Wendy Treacher conducted an interview with Ben about his Jeopardy game experience. Read more...
Lisa Helmi Johanson grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. studying musical instruments. Community theater and one year of choir in high school led her to pursuing a double major in college, a BM in Vocal Performance and a BA in Musical Theater at Christopher Newport University, VA. She immediately moved to NYC and made her Off-Broadway debut one month later as an actor/musician in a classical play called Women Beware Women with Red Bull Theater. It led to her next Off-Broadway show with the Classical Theater of Harlem's production of Three Sisters, also as an actor/musician. These opportunities allowed for her to watch the rehearsal technique of seasoned Broadway actors, some of which have gone on to win Tony awards. She then booked the non-union National Tour of Avenue Q as Christmas Eve which she toured with for almost two years. Upon returning to NYC, she auditioned to be a vacation swing for the then Off-Broadway company of Avenue Q which got her into the Actor's Equity Association. She then went on to do The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Marcy Park at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and her first play, 4,000 Miles at St. Louis Repertory in the role of Amanda. While there, Lisa was offered the full-time position of Female Ensemble and understudy for Christmas Eve, Kate Monster/Lucy, and Mrs. T/Girl Bear in Avenue Q Off-Broadway and gratefully had that job for two years. During her time there her violin skills came back to use in a John Doyle workshop of a new musical, August Rush and her newly developed puppetry led to multiple productions of another puppet-led musical, Rescue Rue. Lisa left Avenue Q to do a gender-swapped actor-musician version of Taming of the Shrew at Virginia Stage Company and the co-production of a new Maltby and Shire musical, Waterfall, out at Pasadena Playhouse and 5th Avenue Theater, her first fully original production. Another co-production followed of Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Gateway Playhouse and Ogunquit Playhouse where she was dual-cast as a Diva and the role of Cynthia. Lisa then went back out on tour with Fiasco Theater Company's adaptation of Into the Woods as Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel for which she learned trumpet during callbacks. She then did a production of Rent with the National Theater of Aruba as Alexi Darling and booked her first episode of TV on Law and Order: SVU. Things shifted a bit for her into a more dramatic theater direction as she went on to book her first lead role in a play called Vietgone at the Denver Center in the role of Tong, followed by Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes at Arena Stage in Washington D.C., and straight to Milwaukee Repertory theater to tackle a two-person play and another lead role in The Chinese Lady for which she won a local award for best actor in a lead role. Violin came back into the game for a production of Once as the role of Reza at the Cape Playhouse followed by finally working back in NYC again in the Off-Broadway premiere of the new musical Einstein's Dreams based on the best-selling book. Leading up to the present, she did a production of the play The Drowning Girls in the role of Alice with The Drama League this January and went straight up to Syracuse Stage in the role of Constanze in Amadeus. She is now grateful to reminisce her career thus far while hunkered down in NYC and self/co-producing digital projects for online consumption. Diverse representation in casting and telling American stories as an American is a huge soapbox for Lisa as is incorporating grace into all interactions, beginning with herself.
Interviewer: Nancy Lewis
Congratulations to 2020 Leep Scholars James Pecar and Jamie Steinman!
The 2020 Carolyn F. Leep Scholarship has been awarded each of whom will receive $1,000.00 to support their pursuit of advanced degrees.
“On behalf of the MSVMA Board, I'd like to offer congratulations to our recipients of the Carolyn Leep Scholarship, James Pecar and Jamie Steinman! I hope this award helps fuel the fire of your passion for choral music education!” Mark Krempski, Past President and Leep Scholarship Committee Chair.
Chippewa Valley High School and Macomb Community College Children’s Chorus
James is the director of choirs and vocal/music director of his school’s musicals. He also directs two choirs in the Macomb Community College Macomb Children’s Chorus program. In his 7th year at CVHS, James collaborates with professional groups, directors and musicians to provide his students with unique learning opportunities that inspire them. A graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, he has completed one summer of the Michigan State University Summer Masters in Choral Conduction program and is completing online classes through Stephen F. Austin State University. James will use his Leep Scholarship for tuition as he pursues master’s degrees in choral conducting and music education.
“My philosophy in education is to inspire young people to be whole people; this involves building cultural sensitivity and awareness of others, exploring the skills to think critically, modeling and expecting professionalism, developing an effective work ethic, getting involved in our community, and practicing simply being kind. We use music to do this.” James Pecar
Holland Public Schools
Jamie began her teaching career at Holland Public schools four years ago. She has been the middle school choir director for the past two years. For the first time, the Holland Middle School 8th Grade Choir participated in District and State Choral Festivals where they received the highest ratings. This successful middle school experience is resulting in an increase in singer retention rates and more students continuing their study of vocal music in her school’s high school program. Jamie graduated from Hope College and will use her Leep Scholarship as she attends Liberty University in pursuit of a Master of Music Education degree.
“I already have seen how my increased knowledge from my first classes has improved, impacted and enhanced my teaching. My instruction of music theory concepts, as well as my approach to preparation for teaching repertoire, has become more efficient and predictable for my learners.” Jamie Steinman
Telly Leung is New York City native. His Broadway & national touring credits include Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin, In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei & Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in RENT at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee", as well as his guest star appearances on "Instinct", “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Tellyis featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums - I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on The Yellow Sound Label. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Website: www.tellyleung.com. Twitter / Instagram: @tellyleung
Interviewer: Kathy Cunningham
Adrianna Hicks is a Texas native with a B.F.A. degree in Musical Theatre from The University of Oklahoma’s Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. Throughout her career, Adrianna has had the honor of working with so many talented and inspiring artists such as Jerry Mitchell, Michael Bublé, and Heather Headley. Her Broadway debut was the revival of The Color Purple, working alongside Jennifer Hudson and rising star, Cynthia Erivo. Her previous Broadway credits include playing the role of the Fortune Teller in Aladdin and she is currently cast as Catherine of Aragon in the Broadway production of SIX. Adrianna is tremendously grateful for the love that Musical Theatre brings and she hopes to keep spreading that love to the world.
Interviewer: Jessica Nieuwkoop
MMC Choral Hour Performance Application
Event Date: January 29-30, 2020
Deadline: June 15, 2020
MMC 'Specialized' Choral Hour Performance Application
Event Date: January 29, 2020
Deadline: June 15, 2020
*Open to 'non-traditional' choral performances, including but not limited to Jazz, Pop, A Cappella, Gospel, Show Choir, Musical Theater, Barbershop, Non-Western traditional, and other alternative genres.
Malcolm Armwood is a native of Rocky Mount NC. He began his theatre career at the age 15, where he played the role of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz in the local community theatre. Malcolm received a BFA in musical theatre from East Carolina University and traveled the Mediterranean on Norwegian Cruise Lines afterwards. He booked his first broadway show last year in the 2019 Tony Award winning Hadestownand has had the ride of a lifetime. Before broadway Malcolm has performed in multiple regional houses and national tours like Hairspray, Motown the Musical, Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime and The Black Clown.
Interviewer: Phil Johnson
"My name is Ilda Mason. I was born and raised in Panamá city, Panamá. I learned ballet when I was about 5 years of age and studied it on and off throughout the years while I learned other skills. My love for Musical Theatre began when I did my first ever musical in High School: Grease. I knew I wanted to study theatre abroad and do acting for a living but studied Structural Architecture as a plan B just in case such a competitive career in New York City didn’t turn out as planned.
During my 4 years of University I was in professional musical productions such as The Beauty and the Beast, A Chorus Line, Legally Blonde, Hello Dolly, Cinderella and Peter Pan, in which I played Peter Pan. I was also a professional dancer on the Panamá production of Dancing with the Stars on their first two seasons and was awarded with the Mirror Ball trophy as season two’s champion.
In 2013 I moved to New York City to study Musical Theatre and Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy. After graduating in 2015 from their conservatory program and obtaining the O-1 Visa (AKA Artist Visa) I was able to audition and legally work in the U.S. I’ve worked on two regional theatres as a Shark Girl in West Side Story: at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA and at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. I’ve travelled the country on two national tours: the Cinderella Non-Equity First National Tour and the Broadway First National Tour of On Your Feet as Assistant Dance Captain and Swing. I’ve also toured China with the Legally Blonde International Tour. Throughout my years working professionally in the U.S I’ve also worked to apply for the Green Card which is a requirement for any foreign artist to be able to become Equity/be on Broadway. I mention it because this has been a huge chapter of my (and any immigrant’s) career. In 2019 I was cast in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story as Luz and filmed it that summer. It is set to premier on December 18th, 2020. It was the truest form of a dream come true. Working with Steven Spielberg and doing a movie musical was the goal that drove my ambition to leave my country to study and do acting for a living. On that summer I also auditioned and was cast for the Broadway Revival of West Side Story which opened on February 20, 2020.
West Side Story is a huge part of my story of my life and as an immigrant. It was my first ever professional job in this country, my feature film debut and my Broadway debut story.
Thank you for letting me share the journey of this Panamanian living in New York City!"
Interviewer: Zachary Nash
Calling for 2021 MSVMA/MMC Choral Hour Submissions!
The MSVMA/MMC 2021 committee is not only planning interest sessions to invigorate your teaching but we are also looking for performances of inspiration as well.
***IMPORTANT CHANGE FOR 2021 ONLY***
Because many choirs lost the chance for quality recordings during the spring of 2020, directors can submit three recordings from ANY of the following school years 2019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018 as long as ALL recordings are under the direction of the submitting director and from the school for which they are applying for consideration.
There are two choral hours - Friday, Jan. 29 at 3:00 pm and Saturday, Jan. 30 at 1:00 pm. These two choral hours will feature up to 7 traditional choirs or vocal ensembles. Details can be found on the MSVMA website under Professional Development - Michigan Music Conference.
Online submission deadline is May 15, 2020
Submitted by Gail Worden
Erin Mackey was born and raised in Fullerton, CA. Her Broadway credits include In Transit as Ali, Amazing Grace as Mary, Chaplin as Oona, Anything Goes as Hope, Sondheim on Sondheim and Wicked as Glinda. She performed the role of Glinda in the Chicago, Los Angeles and National Tour companies of Wicked. She played Johanna in the New York Philharmonic’s production of Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center, which was also broadcast on PBS. Regionally, she has worked at the Guthrie Theater in South Pacific as Nellie and Sunday in the Park with George as Dot/Marie, Encores! In Lady Be Good as Shirley, South Coast Repertory in She Loves Me as Amalia and The Light in the Piazza as Clara, Bristol Riverside Theater in The Rivals as Lydia, Papermill Playhouse in South Pacific as Nellieand Annie as Grace, and Pittsburgh CLO in Phantom as Christine, among others. She can be heard on the original cast albums of In Transit, Amazing Grace, Chaplin, Sondheim on Sondheim and Lady Be Good. Film and TV credits include The Intern, Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl and The Parent Trap.
Interviewer: Amanda Lenze
April 30 is the last day to submit your video for the "Stay Safe, Stay Home, Stay Singing!" virtual concerts. Registration is available to the following:
- Choirs who had their District Festivals cancelled and recorded their performance before the shutdown
- Soloists planning on participating in State S&E
- All-State Choir Participants
- Singers that were part of the MYAF Musical Theatre Ensemble
District Choirs and State S&E Participants will have the option to have their videos adjudicated by an MSVMA adjudicator and receive a rating that will qualify them for medals, plaques, etc.
If you are the director of a student participating in State S&E, All-State, or MYAF, please help to make them aware of this opportunity.
For detailed instructions and registration, please click the link below:
Jordan Dobson made his Broadway debut as "Tony" in the most recent revival of West Side Story directed by Ivo Van Hove. He is currently the standby for "Tony" after taking over the role for several weeks. Some of his favorite regional credits are playing "Charles Bingley" in Austen's Pride at ACT of Connecticut, playing "Adam" in The Color Purple at Theatre Horizon, playing "Victor" in Cabaret at the Arden Theatre, and playing "Paul" in Kiss Me Kate at Act II Playhouse. Jordan graduated from Temple University's musical theatre program in 2018 in Philadelphia, PA. He performed at many professional Philadelphia theaters before pursuing a career in New York. In addition to being a performer on Broadway, Jordan is an instrumental musician, teaching artist, and writer.
Interviewer: Barbara Wiltsie
Michigan School Vocal Music Association
P.O. Box 1131
Big Rapids, MI 49307-1131
(231) 592 - 9344
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