Holiday Concert Rescheduled

Due to the schedule crisis created by inclement weather conditions, the Holiday Concert has been rescheduled to Thursday, December 15th at 7:30pm.  It will immediately follow the junior high choir concert which takes place at 6:30pm.  Both concerts will take place in the HHS Margaret Livensparger Theater.  High school choristers should arrive at the high school choir room in wardrobe no later than 6:45pm.

HHS’s “Beauty and the Beast” A Must-See

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Holt High School’s Beauty and the Beast is currently running at HHS’s Margaret Livensparger Theater.  It is filled with HHS choristers and is an absolute delight to watch!

Directors Seth Burk and Spencer Sullivan have worked their magic. The set is minimalistic in design and enchanting.  Susan Morgan’s tech crew and the cast join together to make sure the show moves seamlessly from scene to scene without the curtain closing, making for a show that moves smoothly and efficiently.  The show runs for a quick 130 minutes.

Showtimes are tonight and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, December 9th and 10th) at 7PM and Sunday, December 11th at 2pm.  Tickets are $10  and may be purchased at the door.

You don’t want to miss this!  See you there!

Holiday Concert Tuesday, December 13th


The Holt Choirs’ annual Holiday Concert will be held next Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm.  The concert will take place at Holt High School’s Margaret Livensparger Theater.  This is a required performance for all choristers. The concert is free and open to the public.

Student performers should arrive no later than 6:15pm and should meet in the Choir Room. Students should arrive in wardrobe, which may be checked out prior to the concert so that students may change at home, or students may check out wardrobe when they arrive Tuesday evening prior to the concert, and change at school.  Students desiring to change immediately prior to the concert should plan to arrive no later than 5:30pm.

The concert will feature all of Holt High School’s four performing groups and will last about 75 minutes.  The order of performance will be as follows: Belle Chanson; Men of Holt; Cantique; Chorale; Mass Chorus; Mass Chorus and alumni for performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah.”

Plan to attend and bring friends and neighbors.  The concert is sure to be excellent, and will be a wonderful way to usher in the Holidays!


Choir Family Loses Beloved Member

Jane Aylsworth Obituary

Janie Aylsworth was known to many as the “best teacher ever.”  She served the Holt district as teacher for 40 years.  She, her husband Chuck have avid supporters of the Holt Vocal Music Program since their daughter Elizabeth attended.  Janie served as Holt Vocal Music Boosters President and worked tirelessly on behalf of the Holt choristers and program.  The obituary tribute to her life is below.  Thanks, Janie Aylsworth, the choir family will remember, and miss you.

Beloved wife, mother, and teacher, Jane “Janie” Aylsworth, age 63, passed away on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.  Janie was born on June 11, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan, to Margaret and Marino “Gene” Scarpone and was the eldest of seven children.  Growing up, Janie had an innate talent for teaching and dreamed of one day becoming an elementary school teacher.  A voracious learner, Janie graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College and obtained her Master’s Degree from Michigan State University.  Janie, known best as “Mrs. A.,” spent the past 40 years as a teacher in the Holt Public School system, spending the majority of her career teaching and nurturing first graders until her retirement in June 2016.  An avid baker, Janie was renowned for her exquisite baked goods and sweet treats.  Janie also loved to spend time gardening, reading, attending musicals, operas, and symphony concerts, and exuberantly supported her daughter Elizabeth in all of her creative endeavors.  Janie married her soulmate Charles “Chuck” Aylsworth on August 13, 1976, and together they shared forty years of love, laughter, and joy.  Janie was an inspiration to many with her unlimited passion and talent for teaching, her unwavering faith in God, and her incredible spiritual strength throughout her cancer journey—a true “earthly angel,” Sempre Coraggio.

Janie was preceded in death by her father, Gene.  Surviving family members include her husband Chuck, daughter Elizabeth, her mother Margaret, her six brothers and sisters: Jim, Jeanne, John, Jerry, Joanne, and Janet, and her black lab Bella.

Visitation will be held from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 27, at Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel, located at 2121 N. Cedar Street in Holt, MI.  A funeral service will be held on Monday, November 28, at 11:00 a.m. at River Terrace Church, located at 1509 River Terrace Drive in East Lansing, MI.


Published in Lansing State Journal on Nov. 27, 2016– See more at:

District Solo and Ensemble Registrations Begin


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Holt Alumna Elizabeth Barry, MA Performing Arts

MSVMA District 8 High School Solo and Ensemble Festival 2017 registrations are now open.

Solo and Ensemble Festival is an event held at Parma Western High School near Jackson.  It will be held Friday and Saturday, January 13th and 14th. Students will prepare two pieces of contrasting nature to perform before a judge, and their performance will be critiqued with praise for accomplishment and constructive criticism from which to grow. Participation in this event is voluntary. The cost of participating is $18 for registration and $35 accompanist fee if students need a school-assigned accompanist. The Holt Vocal Music Boosters traditionally offers $18 scholarship to offset accompanist fees, making the total student investment $35.

Students who receive an overall evaluation of “Excellent” or “Superior” will qualify for State Solo and Ensemble which will be held March 24th and 25th at Portage Central High School March 24 and 25, 2017.  State festival requires students to choose one new piece to prepare, and to prepare for a sight reading test. Students who attend District festival and qualify for State are under no obligation to participate in State festival.

Students are encouraged to wear “dressy casual” wardrobe for the event.  Mr. Bishop will assist in coordinating rides when necessary to make sure that each student who desires to participate has the opportunity to do so without transportation issues.

Students may register and pay via this blog site if convenient (see PayPal option right column).

Holt Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

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The Holt Choirs are invited to perform at the Holt Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Wednesday, November 30th.

Students should arrive no later than 6:15; the ceremony begins in Holt Memorial Park behind the Holt Public Library and Fire Station at 6:30pm.  The ceremony will conclude no later than 7Ppm. Students will provide their own transportation to and from the event.  Singers should dress casually and warm (although the weather forecast is for mid 50s!)

This is not a required event! However, all students are strongly encouraged to attend.  it is a fun social time that you won’t want to miss!  The event is free to the public.


Regional Honors Choir Information

MSVMA Regional Honors Choir is just “around the corner”!  The event will be held at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center this Saturday, December 3rd.  Please peruse the following information and requests:

1. We will need to transport all eleven Holt students to Kalamazoo Saturday morning. We will need to meet in the South parking lot of Holt High School at 6am. We will carpool from there.  If possible I would like to solicit the help of parent drivers (at most 3).  Please let me know ASAP if you are available to drive students to Kalamazoo that morning.  The concert is at 4:30pm.  Sometimes folks spend the day Christmas shopping at the various area malls!

2.  I also need to know of any students who need a ride back to Holt after the concert.  I have a personal obligation that will require me to leave directly from Kalamazoo heading toward Grand Rapids.  Most students ride home with their parents who attend the concert.  If your child needs transportation from the event home, please let me know.  I can arrange for their transport with another student.

3. There is no additional expense for attending on Saturday.  All expenses have been covered via scholarship by Holt Vocal Music Boosters!  Thanks, Booster family!

4. The following information has been forwarded from MSVMA regarding the Regional Honors Choir activities:

A. What will happen at this event?: Each student is expected to arrive at WMU’s Dalton Center no later than 7:30AM, in order to allow each student to check in at the information table in the lobby, find their rooms, find their seat in the Recital Hall for rehearsal, and leave their things in the choir room (women) or band/orchestra room (men) without feeling pinched for time. Students should bring with them the following items:

1) A folder with their name on it

2) their music with their name on each octavo

3) pencils

4) their performance attire (more on that in a minute)

5) water (in a CLOSABLE container please).

It is especially important your students put their names on their folders and music – there will be 121 other folders and copies of music which look just like theirs.

B. Students will be asked to provide their name, but NOT their school affiliation, at the check-in table (the check-in lists will be arranged alphabetically by students’ last names, with school affiliation OMITTED). Upon check-in each of your students will be given a name tag which contains their name, event number, part for which they’re auditioning, and audition time (remember, NONE of those items can be changed on the audition site).

The schedule for the day will be as follows:

7:30AM – 8:00AM § Check-in at the Recital Hall lobby of Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center

8:00AM § Morning announcements in Recital Hall

8:15AM – 10:00AM § All student rehearse in auditorium with Tamara Grove-Williams, this year’s Region B High School Honors Choir Director

10:15AM § SSAA auditions begin

10:15AM – 11:00AM § SSAA Choir go to Choir Room for sectionals – Two SSAA Pieces (and two SATB) § TTBB remain in Dalton Center to rehearse SSAA selections with Mrs. Grove-Williams

11:00AM – 12:00

noon § SSAA move to the Choir room to rehearse SSAA selections with Director § TTBB move to Choir Room for sectionals

12:00 noon –

1:00PM § Lunch in campus cafeteria (the $40.00 per student fee covers lunch)

1:00PM § TTBB auditions begin

1:00PM – 2:30PM § SATB Rehearsal (All Students) in the Dalton Center

2:30PM – 3:00PM § SSAA Rehearsal – TTBB moves offstage into audience.

3:30PM – 3:55PM § All rehearse in auditorium with Master Grove Williams

3:55PM – 4:25PM § Change into performance attire – TTBB in band/orchestra room, SSAA in choir room

4:25PM § Students on stage in performance order (determined during rehearsals)

4:30PM § CONCERT TIME!!! in auditorium

5:00PM § Concert ends – audition results posted in lobby and surrounding areas

5:00PM – 5:30PM § Students change back into casual attire – TTBB in band/orchestra room, SSAA in choir room § Students selected for State Honors Choir pick up State Honors Choir folders in lobby and surrounding areas

3. Attire: Students are to dress in casual attire during the rehearsal until 3:55PM, when rehearsal ends. Please remind students of the following two items:

* Students ARE NOT to wear anything, or bring anything, which identifies their school affiliation. The adjudicators ARE NOT to know what school each student is from during their auditions. As mentioned earlier, I have also extended this to the check-in table outside of the auditorium. Students SHOULD NOT have to identify their school at any time while they are at Western Michigan University.

* While casual attire is fine for rehearsals, students should wear clothing appropriate for wearing to school during the week. Remember, the “casual” outfit your student wears will be the outfit he/she wears when auditioning for the adjudicator.

Students will be permitted to change into performance attire (their school choir outfit if they have one – OR a white dress shirt/black dress pants/black dress shoes/black socks/necktie (NOT a bow tie) for the TTBB students, white top/black dress pants/black dress shoes for the SSAA students) at the conclusion of the rehearsal (3:55PM). Women will change in the choir room while men change in the band/orchestra room. Students will also be permitted to change BACK INTO CASUAL ATTIRE at the conclusion of the concert.

4. Audition procedure: Each student will be expected to leave the auditorium or sectional room approximately 5 minutes prior to their audition time. (NOTE: Each student will be responsible for monitoring the time themselves – they probably should bring a timepiece with them that day in case there are any problems with clocks). There will be NO WARMUP ROOMS and NO WARMUP TIME prior to the auditions (they will have been singing already during rehearsal, so warm-up time should not be unnecessary). At the appropriate time, the guide will ask the student to proceed to the audition room. The student will then audition by singing sections from the following pieces:


* Sure on This Shining Night (Lauridsen)

o Peermusic Classical 62128-122

* Antiphon from Five Mystical Songs (Vaughn Williams)

o ESC Publishing 1.5028


* Universal Song (Daniel Hall)

o HL 08501722

* Maggie and Milly and Molly and May (Joan Szymko)

o Santa Barbara Music Pub SBMP 588


* Zion’s Walls (arr. Glenn Koponen)

o Boosey & Hawkes 48003922

* Shenandoah (arr. Jameson Marvin)

o Mark Foster MF1066

Your students will need to sing these pieces from memory, and a cappella, or points will be deducted. The adjudicator may ask that your students sing any or all of the songs in their entirety OR any portions of any or all of the songs on their voice part. STARTING PITCHES ONLY will be given for both the audition piece by the adjudicator with a small electronic keyboard. Adjudicators WILL NOT assist students by giving tempos, providing count-ins, singing portions of the audition pieces, or any other means OTHER than giving starting pitches.

Only the auditioning student will be allowed into the audition room. Directors, parents, and anyone else with the student WILL NOT be permitted to enter the audition room with the auditioning student.

Each audition slot is 5 minutes long (4 minutes to complete the audition, and 1 minute for the student to leave the audition room, and for the judge to complete scoring of the auditioner). Scoring will be on the following basis:

* Tone Quality – 25 points

* Memorization – 15 points

* Pitch Accuracy – 15 points

* Rhythm Accuracy – 15 points

* Diction – 10 points

* Interpretation (phrasing, dynamics) – 10 points

* Sight Reading Pitch Accuracy – 5 points

* Sight Reading Rhythmic Accuracy – 5 points

TOTAL – 100 points

A reminder – every student will be REQUIRED to sing for an adjudicator, regardless of whether or not they are auditioning for the State Honors Choirs and All-State Choir. This is to assure that every student has learned their voice parts. Students will also be expected to sing “Sure on this Shining Night” on the Regional Honors Choir Concert, but WILL NOT be expected to audition this piece again.

It is crucial each event be ON TIME – we have an extremely full schedule, and it is not fair to expect students who make the effort to be on time to accommodate other students who show up late. If the student is late for an AUDITION TIME, the student WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO AUDITION.

5. At no time is any director, student, parent, voice coach, or any other individual to talk with any adjudicator in regard to how he/she conducts auditions or about anything else. If there is a problem, please come find me.

6. PLEASE NOTE: Western Michigan University is a smoke-free zone. No smoking is allowed – either inside OR outside the building (smoking is completely prohibited on the property – including parking lots).

7. Please inform all individuals from your school attending this event that they are not to bring valuables of any kind. While the changing rooms will be locked and monitored during the day, neither MSVMA, nor Western Michigan University, will be responsible for anything lost or stolen at this event. Anything left at Western Michigan University at the end of the day will be left and disposed.

8. Students from WMU’s ACDA student chapter will assist in running the event. In spite of whatever performance anxiety individuals from your school may have, please let all individuals from your school attending the auditions know of the importance for them to be polite and considerate to all of these assistants. They have been instructed to be polite, but firm, in enforcing the schedule and guaranteeing the event will run smoothly. If there is a problem, please DO NOT complain to them or to other adult volunteers – please come see me.

9. Other behavioral expectations about which you and your students need to be aware:

· Students, parents, and directors are expected to conduct themselves in a pleasant and courteous manner at all times, demonstrating appropriate behavior which is a credit to them and their school at all times.

· Students will change clothes only in restrooms or designated areas, NOT in lobbies, hallways, women in men’s rooms, men in women’s rooms, etc.

· Students, parents, and directors are expected to refrain from making derogatory comments about students from their own as well as other schools regarding clothing, ability, looks, etc.

· Students, parents, and directors are expected to remain in designated areas and not roam the building.

· Students, parents, and directors will only have food and drink (including water) in designated areas, and NOT in audition rooms, sectional rooms, or the auditorium.

· Students, parents, and directors will quietly and politely leave an audition room if asked.

· Students and parents will inform their school director if they have any problem, who will then inform the Regional Honors Choir Supervisor.

· Socializing is to take place in designated common areas, not in audition rooms, hallways outside of audition rooms, or in rehearsal areas while rehearsal is in progress or while the choir is being addressed.

· Only workers authorized by the Regional Honors Choir Supervisor will be allowed in Headquarters. Please do not interfere with the workers performing their jobs.

10. Results: At the conclusion of the concert (5:00PM), the lists of students selected to participate in the State Honors Choirs will be posted in the auditorium lobby and surrounding areas. If any of your students are selected to participate in the State Honors Choirs, those students will need to pick up their State Honors Choir folder with their folder with music and information regarding the January rehearsals and concert IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CONCERT ON DECEMBER 3rd. ONLY THE STUDENT MAY PICK UP THE FOLDER – IN PERSON – directors, parents, voice coaches, friends, or anyone else MAY NOT GET A FOLDER FOR ANYONE ELSE! Failure to follow this procedure may subject your school to discipline from MSVMA as stipulated by the Honors Choir Attendance Policy.

FINALLY – for those students choosing to audition for the State Honors Choirs: If your students are chosen to sing with the State Honors Choirs, they are REQUIRED to participate in the State Honors Choirs Rehearsals in Grand Rapids on Thursday, January 19th (2:00PM to 6:00PM); Friday, January 20 (all day) and Saturday, January 21 (8:00 AM to early afternoon). They ALSO ARE REQUIRED to sing in the State Honors Choir Concert on Saturday, January 21 from 3:00PM to 4:30PM at the DeVos Ballroom in Grand Rapids. Your students will also be expected to have their parts learned and memorized for the additional selections they will need to sing. Each student will be tested individually or in quartets in the first hour of rehearsal for music memorization.Please refer to the MSVMA Website regarding the attendance policies for Honors Choir events and possible penalties for failure of students to attend required rehearsals and performances.


Century Resources Fundraiser Delivery Confirmation


Dear Parents,

The orders from our recent fundraiser will be delivered on 11/16/2016, so please make sure that your students are prepared to take their orders home on that day. Each student’s order comes in an individually packaged box with handles to make it easy to carry. Some boxes may be heavy though, and some students may have more than one box, so please make sure your student has a way to get their order home. Thank you!

MI/Ohio Concert Choir Holiday Concert Ushers Needed

We are in need of fifteen volunteer choristers to serve this event which will be held at Holt High School.  Ushers need report IN WARDROBE by 1:30pm on Sunday, November 13th.  They will have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular show for free!  They will be finished with their responsibilities at approximately 5:00pm.  Interested students may express interest via responding in comment to this post, or directly to Mr. Bishop at school.  Thanks in advance for all the support!

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