Project Blog

Sheboygan Falls Premier

posted May 30, 2016, 7:38 PM by Carrie Winkler

The Sheboygan Falls Middle School Bands Spring Concert was held on Monday, May 16, 2016 in the HS Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. This performance featured the 6th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, MS Jazz Ensemble, and 8th Grade Band. Mr. Cole met with the 8th Grade Band students prior to start of the concert to answer questions and share final thoughts. 
We saved the premier for the final selection of the program. Mr. Cole introduced "Analog Dreams of an 8-bit World" to the audience. Each of the melodic ideas contributed by both C.S. Porter and Sheboygan Falls MS 8th Grade Band students was performed by an individual member of the 8th Grade Band. After the presentation of the melodies, we all took a deep breath and began the dream journey.  It was incredible.  I know that each and every one of us on stage had a truly remarkable, once in a lifetime experience. It really is difficult to put into words what it feels like to be performing a piece of music for the very first time, especially a piece of music that our students helped write. Thank you to Mr. Cole, Mr. Dochnahl, and the C.S Porter MS 8th Grade Band students for being our partners in this incredible experience.
After the premier we celebrated in the HS Cafeteria.  The students as well as their families had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Cole and many pictures were taken.  We also enjoyed cake and ice cream. 
An unexpected surprise for the evening was having Asha Srinivasan,  2015-2016 Mission to Commission composer, in attendance for the premier. 

Composer in Residence

posted May 30, 2016, 6:11 PM by Carrie Winkler   [ updated May 30, 2016, 7:57 PM ]

Composer Andrew Seager Cole visited Sheboygan Falls Middle School on Thursday, May 5, 2016.  Mr. Cole answered many questions as well as  explained why he chose the title "Analog Dreams of an 8-bit World" for our piece. He also listened to us rehearse and gave us suggestions on how we could better interpret the music. 

Below is a picture of Mr. Cole with the SFMS 8th Grade Band students who contributed melodic ideas to "Analog Dreams of an 8-bit World". 

Hot off the press!

posted Apr 11, 2016, 5:38 PM by Jesse Dochnahl

Check it out!

Eighth Grade Band students received their new music for their Mission to Commission Project. Composer Andrew Seager Cole, from Lawrence University, used ten melodies written by students from CS Porter and Sheboygan Falls Middle Schools to create "Analog Dreams of an 8-Bit World". Nice title, right!

We look forward to our study of this new work for young band and our world-premier performance at our Spring Concerts on Monday, May 16 (SFMS) and Tuesday, May 24 (CSPMS). I couldn't be more excited to share this new music, the product of meaningful collaborations and student-led creativity.
-Jesse Dochnahl

SFMS Update

posted Dec 29, 2015, 3:04 AM by Carrie Winkler   [ updated Dec 29, 2015, 4:09 AM ]

The Sheboygan Falls MS 8th Grade Band has had an exciting start to the 2015-2016 school-year. We are very excited to have the opportunity to participate in the Mission to Commission Project with C.S. Porter MS and composer Andrew Seager Cole. We are also extremely thankful for the financial support from the Kohler Foundation

We have 37 students in our 8th Grade Band with the following instrumentation: 10 flutes, 4 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, 7 alto saxophones, 1 tenor saxophone, 4 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 trombones, 1 tuba, and 4 percussion.  We meet as a class during 1st hour for 44 minutes on alternate days (40 on Wednesdays) and students are scheduled for one individual 10 minute band lab on alternate weeks. Here we are pictured in front of our school. 

We spent time during class learning about Mr. Cole. We enjoyed listening to recordings of his compositions and analyzing/describing what we heard. We collected questions for Mr. Cole via a Google Form and sent Mr. Cole  the questions so he could prepare for his visit to Sheboygan Falls Middle School. We met MtC 2 composer Andrew Seager Cole in person on October 13, 2015. 

Using past knowledge as well as our inspiration from Andrew Seager Cole we began to write our melodies.  It was extremely helpful to work with a peer to complete Peer Assessments of our melody prior to submitting them for consideration as one of the Top 10. I recorded all of the melodies on trumpet which is my main instrument. The students listened to the melodies and used a rubric to score the Tuneful-Beatful- Artful aspects of each melody as well as write comments. Each student was then asked to submit their top 5 melodies. I entered the top 10 melodies into a music notation software program called Finale PrintMusic which allowed me to create a score and individual parts for each student.  The melodies were sent to Andrew Seager Cole and now we anxiously wait to see how he will incorporate our ideas into a new work for young band. 

In addition to the Mission to Commission Project...

Our 8th Grade Band and Choir provide music for our annual Veteran's Day Program. This year the 8th Grade Band performed John Kinyon's arrangement of the "Star Spangled Banner" and James Swearingen's "Land of Liberty". The 8th Grade Band Flute section performed a four-part arrangement of " America" and two of our trumpeters performed Echo Taps. 

Our annual Winter Concert performance features the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Bands as well as the HS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. This year the 8th Grade Band performed "Chorale #17" from Bach and Before for Band by David Newell and "Christmas Time With Charlie Brown" arranged by John Moss. Nearly 300 band students joined together for our finale, a James Swearingen arrangement of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas".  

We are very excited to be working on Pep Band arrangements for our annual performance with the Sheboygan Falls High School Pep Band  in January. 

-Carrie Winkler

Porter: The Melodies Are In!

posted Nov 23, 2015, 10:59 AM by Jesse Dochnahl   [ updated Nov 23, 2015, 3:51 PM ]

CS Porter Students' Select Melodies 2015

Congratulations to all CS Porter and Sheboygan Falls students for successfully completing a significant chapter in this year-long project--composing our own melody! It took a lot of brainstorming, problem solving, teamwork, and editing, but I think we learned a great deal about the creative process and what it takes to compose a melody. We can't wait to hear what Andrew Seager Cole puts together with these select ingredients! We wish him luck.

CS Porter worked diligently this Fall to compose and refine their individual melodies. We used peer evaluations to help each other in the final days. You can view the peer rubric below.

Every melody was performed and viewed during class in early October.  The assessment rubric was used to evaluate and vote for ten winning melodies, which were sent to Andrew. They're in his creative hands now!

I arranged the winning melodies for the entire band so that we could perform them either solo or in band-unison at our October concert. You can hear the Porter band share the melodies as a team in the video above. You may also view the melodies HERE.

-Jesse Dochnahl

MtC Peer Assessment - Porter

Meet the Composer - Porter

posted Sep 18, 2015, 3:32 PM by Jesse Dochnahl

The CS Porter 8th Grade bands spoke with composer Andrew Seager Cole on September 17 via Skype chat. Even though he's our MtC project partner, Andrew is located at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Consequently, it's a unique face-to-face opportunity to ask questions about c
omposition and his profession in real-time. The students created and asked thoughtful questions (the assignment is listed below). Andrew's responses were immensely helpful and engaging. The students have been turning in very observant and meaningful reflections since the online chat. According to their written responses, the band was able to develop a deeper understanding and connection through our meeting. 

Now it's time for more practice and experimentation with writing melodies. And the UM Homecoming parade (Red Wave Band) is next weekend, too. Here we go!

Meet the Composer

Getting to know Andrew Seager Cole, composer and our MtC Project partner

Learning Targets:

  1. I can research Andrew Cole’s background and music.

  2. I can create two questions for Andrew.

  3. I can Skype chat with a professional musician.

  4. I can get a glimpse into Andrew’s musical ideas and motivations in composing.

  5. I can respond to Andrew’s answers to better prepare for my own composition (the melody).

The Plan:

  1. Read, view, and listen to Andrew’s biography, music, and mixed media works online.

  2. Create two questions that spark your curiosity about composing music, performing, musical motivations, ideas.

  3. Select the top ten questions from our class and share them with Andrew before-hand.

  4. Prepare for a respectful, safe, and responsible Skype Chat with Andrew (Sept 17).

  5. Skype with Andrew to hear his answers in person. Write down answers that strike you as interesting and useful.

  6. Complete the Reflection questions below after the Skype chat.

    1. List three interesting statements that you heard Andrew make during the Skype Chat? Why did they catch your attention?
    2. What did you learn from Andrew that might help you as you develop a melody?

Gearing up for MtC2 at CS Porter

posted Sep 4, 2015, 7:51 AM by Jesse Dochnahl   [ updated Sep 8, 2015, 3:42 PM ]

Welcome to a new year of classes, creativity, and collaboration through the Mission to Commission Project! Classes are back in session at CS Porter Middle School in Missoula, MT. The 8th graders are gearing up for their turn to co-create brand new music with Sheboygan Falls Middle School and acclaimed composer Andrew Seager Cole. I can't wait to see and hear the fruits of our partnership throughout the year.

Students at Porter start off the year with a challenging balancing act. We are busy preparing for the Awesome Red Wave Marching Band performance at the University of Montana's Homecoming Parade on September 26. Not only are we memorizing several great tunes from the Motown catalog, but we are also practicing our marching steps between thick forest-fire smoke and today's much needed rain. Meanwhile, we dedicate a few minutes in each class to learning about the MtC Project goals. Students will begin crafting their individual melodies early next week. We also hope to schedule a Skype visit with SFMS and Andrew.
Please check back often for more news and music.
Good luck to everyone!

-Mr. Dochnahl (CS Porter Middle School band teacher)

Pictures of the 8th Grade Band students (we meet in two different class periods)

4th Period

5th Period

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