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Originally delivered on 11/22/2021 6:16 pm

SUBJECT: Music Monday 11.22.21

Nov 22, 2021
Message from the Reps

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are so grateful for all the support and participation in meetings, volunteer opportunities, events, and concerts. We are particularly thankful for in-person events and hope to see everyone there over the course of the school year!

The next general LaGuardia PA meeting date is set for December 7th. The Music Studio PA has not set a December meeting date, so please check back next week. Minutes from our last meeting are posted on the website and also available to view below.

Music Studio Nov meeting minutes

The upcoming concert dates and times are listed below, and they are also on the calendar.

LaGuardia PA Calendar

Volunteer needs for the upcoming concerts are not known yet, but please make sure your MTK profile is up-to-date, as that is where volunteer coordinators will be reaching out to fill needs. The link to sign up opportunities is toward the bottom of the newsletter.

Principal Vasconcelos sent an email on Friday outlining the ticket policy. About 550 tickets will be available for each show. For the lotteries, if your student receives a ticket but does not want to attend in person, it is ok for them to give that ticket to a friend, or swap tickets with a friend for another show. There will be no reselling/scalping tickets. If you end up with a ticket that you will not be able to use, please alert Ben Schott as soon as you can.

All tickets for all shows are free of charge, but the PA will be asking for donations for those that can give. 

Don't Forget!

December 1:  Senior Jazz & Senior Band Concert 7-9:30pm

December 7: Winter Musicale #1 Junior Band, Intermediate Orchestra, Junior Jazz, and Treble Chorus 6-8pm

December 9: Winter Musicale #2 Percussion Ensemble, Intermediate Band, Junior Orchestra, Cantare 6-8pm

December 14: Winter Musicale #3  Elementary Orchestra, Elementary Chorus, Mixed Chorus, Opera Workshop 6-8pm

December 17-18: Winter Semi-Annual Concert (Senior Orchestra and Senior Choir) 7-9:30pm

December 21: Winter Gospel Concert 7-9:30pm

Hill Country Student Showcase

We'll be hosting an online watch party of the recording of our first Hill Country Showcase. This event will be on "Giving Tuesday," November 30th at 7:30 pm. More info to follow.

Due to an overwhelming response, the PA Music Studio will be partnering again with Hill Country Barbecue. The next Showcase will feature the LaGuardia Senior Jazz Band, directed by Kevin Blancq, on Sunday, December 19th at 2pm. Tickets will be $20 each, and with each ticket purchase you will receive a $10 meal voucher. Doors will open at 1pm for dining before the show starts.

Blurb from Ben

Dear LaGuardia Community,

We are thrilled that a recent update to NYCDOE COVID-19 guidelines now allows LaGuardia students to return to the stage and perform live to in-person audiences, as well as streamed live! In 2021-2022, we have a robust calendar of live performances that exceed the number of performances we had pre-COVID, and we look forward to sharing these performances with as many members of our community as possible.

Access to Live Streaming
To ensure that our students’ progress is accessible and celebrated, we will live stream each event. For productions that have multiple performance dates, we will live stream multiple performances if the performers are different (for example, if a play is double-casted with a different ensemble of students performing on different performance dates). Live streaming is available, free of charge, and free of restrictions, on our website at the time of the performance only. We invite all members of our community to join our live performances via live streaming.

Eligibility to Attend Live Performances
In order to be admitted into the building to attend a live performance, all audience members must

  • Wear a face covering

  • Complete the DOE Daily Health Screening questionnaire

  • Show proof of vaccination if age-eligible to receive the vaccine, OR proof the attendee is a New York City Department of Education public school student

Social Distancing and Capacity
In order to comply with NYCDOE social distancing requirements, audience members will be seated at least three (3) feet away from each other. Therefore, performance spaces will not be seated to capacity.

Tickets to Live Performances
One week prior to the performance, a limited number of in-person tickets are made available. Students, and families of students who are involved in the performance, are prioritized in accessing these tickets. 

  1. Production Team. All students who are involved in the performance, including actors, dancers, musicians, theatrical technicians, and designers, will receive two (2) tickets from the supervising teacher. When this is not possible due to the venue capacity, they will receive one (1) ticket. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the tickets to their family. The student involved in the production does not require a ticket. 

  2. Curricular Requirement. For performances that students are required to attend as part of a class, students will receive one (1) ticket from the classroom teacher.

  3. Lottery. All remaining available tickets will be entered into a lottery. 50% of the lottery will be reserved for students from the studio, 50% of the lottery will be reserved for students from remaining studios. Each winner of the lottery receives two (2) tickets.

Recognizing that many members of our community face financial hardship, we will not be charging an entrance fee. Families who are able, are welcome to contribute a donation to offset the cost of live performance and live streaming. We thank our partner at the Parent Association for their generous contributions to make live performances and live streaming possible.
Donations can be contributed at

As concerts are quickly approaching, please review the concert attire and make sure your student is prepared.

We look forward to kicking off our live performance season!

Teacher Spotlight

We are highlighting vocal department teacher Ms. Swerdfeger this week. She grew up in Ottawa, Canada (so she is fluent in French) and is in her 19th year teaching at LaGuardia. Not only does she sing, but she also plays the piano and flute. She enjoys teaching Voice (currently 3 and 5, but has taught all levels), Opera Workshop, and Music History. Ms. Swerdfeger studied Music at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto and at the New England Conservatory. Before coming to teach at LaGuardia, she performed in opera and musical theater productions in Canada, the United States and Japan. She also performed frequently on CBC Radio Canada! She comes from a family of teachers and educators, so becoming a NYC Teaching Fellow was a natural transition. She loves teaching her creative and talented students at LaGuardia and can't think of a better school fit for herself. 

Ms. Swerdfeger owns something very few New Yorkers do - a horse (named Blossom)!

Your MTK Account

The Music Studio Board would like to provide information simultaneously to parents and students, so you will always be aware when we are e-mailing your child about something of potential interest. 

To help in this effort, please

  • Complete Step 2--Student Information of the Family Information portion of Membership Toolkit (Step 2 follows the Parent/Guardian information). All we need is your child’s name and e-mail address, graduation year, and Music major: Vocal or Instrumental.

As we know, teenagers would prefer to handle their own lives rather than having us tell them about things they can do … so thank you for providing your student’s contact information!

Reoccurring Donation Now Possible!

We are happy to announce recurring monthly donations to the Music Studio (and the PA) are now possible through PayPal. To set it up, click the Direct Donation link below or follow these instructions:

 Log into your MTK account, click on Ways to Give under the Donate & Volunteer drop-down menu, then on the underlined red link Donate to a specific studio (2 places on the page allow you to do that). The PayPal page that shows up is auto-filled to make a donation to the General PA, but there is a drop-down menu that allows you to designate the Music Studio. Below that box is the option to make your donation on monthly-recurring basis or, by leaving that box unchecked, the donation will be a one-time donation. 

You can select any amount you like to donate; all contributions gratefully received! 

Direct Donation

Help Keep LaGuardia Great!

The upcoming Music Studio events--the Senior Jazz and Band Concert, Winter Musicales, Semi-Annual Concert, and Winter Gospel Concert--will need volunteers. Become a volunteer today to support our students and staff all year long, not just at performances. Please make sure you have filled out your volunteer questionnaire on your Membership Toolkit profile. 

Sign up opportunities
Upcoming Events on the LaG School Calendar
Wednesday, November 24
12:08p Senior Showcase
4:15p Building Closes
Thursday, November 25
Thanksgiving Recess - Schools Closed
Thanksgiving Day
Friday, November 26
Thanksgiving Recess - Schools Closed
Native American Heritage Day
Tuesday, November 30
7:00p PA Academic Forum Talk
Wednesday, December 1
12:08p Senior Showcase
7:00p Senior Jazz & Senior Band Concert
7:00p Senior Jazz and Senior Band Concert
Thursday, December 2
6:00p Planning for College: Grade 12, Introduction to NYS Aid Walkthrough
Friday, December 3
Blackout: Senior One Acts (Lobenhofer)
7:45a Fiorello Friday
5:00p Senior One Acts (Lobenhofer)
Monday, December 6
Professional Development Bell Schedule
Blackout: Junior Scenes (Evans)
Music Studio Board Members

General contact:

Instrumental Co-reps: 

Anne Gregorio

Nan Hawley

Vocal co-reps: 

Michael Capasso

Marcee Smith

Corresponding Secretaries: Rebecca Rent and Rebecca Sherman

Recording Secretary: Joy Levinson

Treasurer: Barbette Leonard

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