Sing Big! 2018 Musical Revue

Looking for a fun day camp for your older children? We’re holding our first annual Sing Big! Musical Revue. Here is some important information about the camp!

Sing Big! is a 2-week “camp-style” experience for kids aged 10-16. The camp will be held daily Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Camp will be through the weeks of July 23rd – 27th and July 30th – August 3rd. Sing Big! will be located at the Ice House in Berkeley Springs, adjacent from BlackCat Music Shop. The cost for the 2-week camp is $50 with lunch provided. At the end of the camp, students will perform what they’ve learned.

Sing Big is limited to the first 20 kids, so act fast. To register a student (or students!) to the camp, you can download this form and fill it out. You can email your completed form or you can bring it in to us. Be sure to drop off your deposit for the camp at BlackCat Music Shop. For more information, call BlackCat Music Cooperative at 304-258-4440 or email us at blackcatmusiccooperative@gmail.com

Morgan County Has Talent Recap

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since you’ve heard from us – we’ve been pretty busy behind the scenes. Here’s what’s been going on!

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Back in September, we began our journey of creating our biggest fundraiser, and we did so in collaboration with Morgan County Partnership. This community event/fundraiser hybrid was going to be called “Morgan County Has Talent”, a vision inspired by the ideas of Pat and Larry Springer. Since September, we have been slowly planning and shaping the talent show into what many of you saw on April 14th. Now that we finally have caught up and can breathe, we can give you all an update on how things went and what we did leading up to the big day. We are including some photos of the night. To see more photos you can visit the Morgan County Has Talent FB page here.

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After the meticulous planning and community fundraising we did over the course of several months, we had set up the perfect booklet for the event. We would like to thank our sponsors and ad holders for making this possible. We would also like to thank Julie Stotler and the Morgan Messenger, who put the book together and printed them out, respectively.

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On April 13th, we had a run through of the show for all of the contestants selected to perform. This is when we worked out all of the directions the stagehands would use, and advised the performers how to get on and off the stage for things to run as smoothly as they did on Saturday night. We are very grateful to our stagehands who volunteered to help us, as well as the volunteers who helped get the performers to and from the stage.

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Finally, the night of the show had arrived. Our silent auction had been set up wonderfully, ticket sales were running smoothly, the Community Cougars and some Positive Action Kids from Morgan County Partnership’s Positive Actions were there to support the event, and the Settlers 4-H Club were providing light refreshments to raise money for their upcoming trip. The event that we put months of preparation into was going smoothly. Thank you, Cougars and Settlers 4-H!

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We had over 30 volunteers help us make the show as great as it was. From our stagehands and behind the scenes crew to our sound, lighting, and recording crews. We may not have had the opportunity to really thank each of you for your help leading up to the big show, but we really appreciate all of work you did to help us make this show so successful! Thank you so much!

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But most importantly, we could not have had a show without the community’s support. By the start of the show, tickets had been completely sold out and it was standing room only in the house. The amount of support we received was amazing for a first year event. Everyone in Morgan County supports each other, and you don’t see that often in other places.

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Thank you once again to everyone who made this event possible. We could not have done it without Morgan County Partnership, Berkeley Springs High School for the use of their auditorium, cafeteria, and a couple of classrooms, our volunteers, and our wonderful community and those who live in and support it. We hope to see you next year!

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Teacher Workshop – 1/14

With all of the ukuleles in the schools now, we felt it was necessary to have a workshop where any teacher from Morgan County could come in for a couple hours and learn some basics so they can be prepared to use them in their classrooms. On January 14th, we held a two-hour ukulele workshop, led by none other than Mike Kligerman.

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As you can see from the photo above, the turnout was great. Remember those ukuleles we brought to Warm Springs Intermediate School a few months ago for the teachers? If you look closely, you can see a few teachers who brought theirs to learn on. As always, Mike did a fantastic job teaching some basics. Who knows, maybe another workshop is in the future for teachers who weren’t able to make it last Sunday! Keep up with us for other updates on what we have going on! Enjoy another picture of Mike and some of those in the ukulele orchestra in action.

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Warm Springs Intermediate School Ukuleles

On Friday, January 12th, we had the pleasure of delivering 28 ukuleles in assorted rainbow colors and 14 tuners to Warm Springs Intermediate School.

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The 150+ 4th grade class was told they were having a surprise concert and to report to the gymnasium at 1:00 p.m. Little did they know they were getting a class set of the trendiest instrument to play today! After a short concert by the Tri-State Ukeclectics Orchestra, ukuleles were handed out to the kids and they were taught a few basic chords.

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Music teacher Kathy Seager was so excited to finally get these ukuleles, and we were just as excited to give them to her. We’d like to thank her for the teaching she will be doing for these kids. Even though 28 ukuleles were donated, at least 150 students will have access to these instruments and learn basic chords and strums.

Some of the benefits of music instruction for children include learning cooperation skills, learning to share, having improved creativity and concentration and developing good social skills. These are skills which will help a child be more successful with new situations and challenges throughout their life. Here’s to the coming years for WSIS students!

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Ukuleles in Paw Paw

December 19th was the Paw Paw Schools Christmas program, and it was a good one. The elementary kids sang Christmas songs with their classes. Each grade did a wonderful job with their songs. After their performance, a quick setup was done for the band students. The high school drumline marched into the gym to a catchy cadence, with both the high school and middle school band members behind them. Unfortunately, this portion of the program had to be cut short due to it being the end of the day. However, it was a wonderful performance from all the kids who participated.

IMG_0895Then, the surprise! The fourth graders had no idea what they were about to receive. Robert Wallace,  the band director at Paw Paw, presented a ukulele to each of them! Before school starts back up for the new year, the 19 ukuleles will be tuned and ready to be part of the fourth grade music class instruction!  More photos and updates to follow!

BlackCat Music Cooperative is honored to have helped bring more music opportunities to Paw Paw. These ukuleles would not be possible without Robert Wallace. He was one of 17 teachers in Morgan County who secured a small mini-grant from Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. With those funds, the ukuleles were purchased from BlackCat Music Shop. BCMC picked up the remaining costs, supplied hangers for safe storage, and even gave Robert Wallace his own special skull-shaped ukulele in honor of Paw Paw Schools’ mascot – a pirate!  His hard work and dedication has impacted these students and you can tell that they are thriving! So, from us to him, thank you for fostering the love of music in kids of all ages at Paw Paw!

This community of people are often our forgotten Morgan County residents and we want to change that. We are striving to find more opportunities to provide music for these wonderful children and their families.