Category Archives: Events

Special events (other than regularly-scheduled classes).

We, Montana! Advanced Choral Groups to Sing Under the “Sing, Montana!” Banner

The first concert of our first choral group. December 2018. 7 of these singers are in the Freedom Choir picture below!

We, Montana! has grown a lot since we started with a simple homeschool chorus in the Fall of 2018–to the point where it gets a little complicated talking about everything that’s going on–and to the point that our website at wemontana.org is quite crowded! So we’re splitting off our two most advanced vocal ensembles, Freedom Choir and Women’s Chorus under the Sing, Montana! banner, and we’ve given them their own website at SingMontana.org.

Sing, Montana! also has its own YouTube page here. And we have a Facebook page here.

But we’re not going anywhere! We’ll still be rehearsing in the We, Montana! Great Room as follows:

  • Freedom Choir (mixed). Monday nights from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, starting September 13
  • Women’s Chorus. Every other Saturday or so, from 3-5pm, starting September 25
Freedom Choir’s most recent concert (17 May 2021)–including about 7 members who were in the original homeschool chorus pictured above!

In fact, we’re having an Open House for Freedom Choir so that we can meet some more good singers with which to build our ensemble from last semester’s 27 members to 50 (we hope!) by January 2022.

Would you please help us spread the word? You can read about the Open House events on our website here. And you can find the Facebook “Event” we started for this Open House here.

We’re building something really great here. Please consider sharing to as many as you can so that we can get off to a great start in our second season!

SKITS PERFORMANCE: May 6 & 7, 2021

At the We, Montana! Great Room. 5055 Jellison Road, Unit 7 C.

TICKETS ARE $7 IN ADVANCE OR $10 AT THE DOOR–AND SEATING IS LIMITED.
BUY YOUR TICKETS BELOW!

↓ ↓ ↓

We’ve been getting ready all semester, and now it’s almost show time! This semester’s final Skits performance is a witty joyride of a show, with something for everyone. Take a look at our program–which you can download (PDF) with a simple click just below!

Here are some fun shots from our shows over the last three years.

ADMISSION / SEATING
The Great Room seats 65 in general admission ($7 in advance, or $10 at the door), auditorium-styled seating (chairs and pews). Or you can reserve our exclusive booth for your party (of 1-4 people) for $50.

TARGET AUDIENCE
We think our family-friendly show is best suited for teens and adults, though kids as young as 6 or 7 would probably have a pretty good time!

SCHEDULE
We’re running the same show, two nights in a row. (Thursday, May 6, and Friday, May 7.) The house opens at 6:30 p.m., and the show’s at 7:00 p.m. It’ll be done by about 8:30.

PAYPAL
When you purchase your tickets through PayPal below, please know that you don’t have to have a PayPal account. You can use your debit or credit card as you would for any other online purchase.

Tickets for Thursday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m.

USD



Tickets for Friday, May 7th at 7:00 p.m.

USD

Website Updated for Fall 2020!

Our Skits Workshop Summer Day Camp included a little painting time!

We’ve been very busy getting ready for the Fall, and there are many new things going on. I’ll start posting registration announcements all over social media today—and we sure could use your help to spread the word.

These are difficult times, to be sure, but we have high hopes that we can keep things going at the Great Room.  With all this in mind, then, a successful Summer recruiting push is crucial!

Meanwhile, here are some brief bullet points about what’s new this year:

Continue reading Website Updated for Fall 2020!

Great Room Meeting. 26 April

Here’s an audio recording of today’s meeting about the future of the Great Room classes. You’ll have to sign up for a free account at buzzsprout to hear it. Sorry about that, but the file is too large to host at our website or on Facebook.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1044103/episodes/3518002

Important Meeting: Sunday 4/26 at 3:00

In these difficult social/political/economic times, the future of the Great Room is in doubt. I’m calling a meeting, therefore, for all parents and students who would like to discuss what it will take to move forward. If there is a way to keep going, it’ll likely be figured out on Sunday, so if you’d like to be involved, please find a way to attend. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of playing wait-and-see through the summer, so now is the time to be proactive.

The meeting is at 3:00 p.m. in the Great Room, this coming Sunday, April 26.

I have sent out a notice about this post through the Remind app. Please do let me know in advance if you plan to come.

Thanks!

Jack

Movie Night: THE MUPPET MOVIE

*THE* HANDS-DOWN BEST VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY!

Movie & Games Night
This Friday, February 14th!
7:00 p.m.

Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day.  I know this movie night is really exciting, but if you have a big date planned already, don’t forget about it and come to this movie and games night instead.  That would be bad, and we accept no responsibility for you standing up your date—although it IS The Muppet Movie, and there IS Foosball (and other games), and there will be snacks.  And yes, there is a romantic thread throughout this movie.

SPECIAL OFFER TO PARENTS OF CURRENTLY-ENROLLED STUDENTS.
You’re totally welcome to join us for the movie, but if you want to drop off your We-Montana-registered students for our movie/game night and go have a quiet dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’d be happy to keep them occupied while you’re gone. (Just be back no later than 10:00 p.m.)
Sorry, this offer doesn’t apply to anyone who is not already enrolled in our classes.

Film starts at 7:00 p.m. sharp!  House opens at 6:30.

We’ll supply (microwave) popcorn and bottled water. 
You bring some snacks.
(“You can eat your fill of all the food you bring yourself!”  Who knows what I’m talking about?)
You can also sit in any comfortable chair you bring, because we’re cool like that!

Here’s the “Event” on Facebook. It would be really swell if you were to mark yourself as “Going”—if indeed you intend to come. Thanks!

Chorus Concert Scheduled for May 17

We’ve scheduled our semester-ending chorus concert at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings. We had a fantastic rehearsal there last week to try it out, and the church has enthusiastically responded to our request to have our show there. We’ll announce more as the date approaches. Further, we’ll be heavily marketing this event to try to fill the hall—and particularly to fill it with those who may be interested in joining our chorus for Fall 2020.

A huge thanks to Bethany Elkin for spearheading the exploration and booking for this event!

FYI, here’s a link to the “Event” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/638345856966709/

Skits Lite Night: Monday, February 17th

I’m excited to announce that our Skits Workshop cast & crew need a guinea pig audience—-and you’re it! We’re working toward a semester-ending big show, but we need some time in front of a live audience to get some experience with that’s like. So we’re putting on a sampler show, showing three of our skits early as a preview of our final show. In return, you provide normal audience-like behaviors, so we get to learn how to pause for laughter when it happens, how to keep going when expected laughter doesn’t happen, and so forth.

Continue reading Skits Lite Night: Monday, February 17th

Talent Show & Christmas Party–16 December!

It’s time for our second mostly-monthly Homeschool Talent Show! This is not an auditioned show; see below for how to sign up an act. Several members of our Skits Workshop will be emceeing the event. We have a few acts signed up so far and will take as many as 20. Here are some examples of what we hope to see:

  • Singing (with or without accompaniment)
  • Instrumental music (with or without accompaniment)
  • Skits
  • Jokes
  • Readings
  • Demonstrations (such as martial arts, for example)
  • Juggling or similar feats of skill
  • Parent acts (because parents can be cool like that, too!)

This is a “Little Show”, which means it will be held in our Great Room, and will not require an audition. If you’d like to enter an act, contact us quickly as we have room for 20 total acts, and many of the slots are taken already.

DETAILS

Date
Monday 16 December 2019

Time
7:00-9:00 p.m.
(Those in an act should arrive at 6:30 for a brief orientation.)

Location
The event will be held in the We, Montana! Great Room. If this is your first time coming, please plan to be a little early, as we will start the orientation promptly at 6:30 and the show promptly at 7:00.

Who may do an act?
Homeschool students and/or family members are eligible to participate. While we expect lots of students in solo acts, parents are also encouraged to get involved, whether doing a solo act or one with your family.



Dress
If you’ll be in an act, we ask that you dress a little fancier than you probably do ordinarily.

Seating
We have seating for 76 people and room for about 24 more than that. It would be a good idea to bring your own camp chairs or folding chairs in case we run out.

Technical
We have for your use:

  • A small stage, 12′ wide by 8′ deep.
  • A digital piano with keyboard amp.
  • An 8-channel PA system with three mics, a straight stand, and one boom stand.
  • One monitor speaker and two mains.

PARTY
We’ll provide bottled water and paper goods. You bring whatever snacks you’d like to share after the show. Also bring whatever games you might like to play. And, of course, there will be Foosball. Stay as long as you like; the party’s over when the good conversations run out!

No, We’re not Crazy!
We know it’s Christmas time, and we’re sure that not everybody can make it, but we thought we’d put together an event for whomever happens to be available that night and is interested in having some fun. If you can’t come, we hope you have fun doing whatever it is you do instead of coming to our event!

CONTACT
To submit an act, please contact Jack Pelham.

Upcoming Performances: Band, Chorus, Skits, (& General Music?)

Our semester-ending performances are quickly approaching. All events are in our Great Room. Here’s the schedule. And please note the invitation to the General Music class to sing three numbers for our Chorus concert!

Bands Family Night
Monday, 2 December, 2019. 7:00 PM
(Students arrive by 6:45 at the latest.)

This fun night will not be a typical “concert”, but a “family night” where the students’ families are invited to come see us in action in a rehearsal that’s quite close (in many ways) to our weekly routine. We want you to come see what the band experience is like so that you can better understand the process and the needs of the program. In particular, so that you can see what skills are needed to do well in band, and how crucial at-home practice is for keeping up in band class. We also want you to see just how much humor goes on, and how well we’re able to keep the rehearsals disciplined and orderly at the same time. Further, your younger kids—if they haven’t seen it already—can see what goes on, and can ponder whether they’d like to be in band someday, too.

Band members are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes early to find their places and to warm up. We’ll have seating for about 50 (in addition to the band members, who get dibs on the blue chairs). Please put some camp chairs in the car in case the crowd exceeds the available seating equipment!

Dress Code: While we had originally envisioned a typical concert with an all-black dress code, please note that this event calls for normal, everyday wear, such as students wear to class on a typical Monday.

SNACKS! Please bring snacks. (Paper goods and bottled water will be provided.) We’ll have snacks and visit afterward, and the foosball table will be open for play.

Chorus Concert (With a segment by the General Music Class?)
Tuesday, 3 December, 2019. 7:00 PM

(Chorus students arrive at 5:30, GM students at 6:30. House opens to the public at 6:30.)

General Music Segment. While it was not part of our original semester plan, we’d like to invite as many of the General Music Class students as are willing and available to take part in our chorus concert. You’ll open the show, singing three or four numbers that we’ve been singing in class, and maybe showing off some of your Solfege skills (Do-Re-Mi). We want your families to see what all you do in class, but we also want to give you the performance experience. So, parents, please let Mr. Pelham know in class on Monday whether your students are available to participate. GM students should arrive when the house opens to the public at 6:30. Dress is casual—whatever you would normally wear to GM class.

Chorus Segment. The chorus will perform a concert of some of the pieces we are preparing for a grand event next Spring. Chorus members should arrive at 5:30 for a warmup and final run-through. The house opens to the public at 6:30, and the concert begins promptly at 7:00.

SEATING. We’ll have about 75 seats available to the audience. Please toss a camp chair or two in the car in case that’s not enough!

CHORUS DRESS CODE
As of Fall 2019, we have a dress code for our concerts, because we are cool like that! All chorus members are expected to dress in all black as follows:
Boys/Men: Black slacks. Black belt and black shoes. Black long-sleeve, button-down shirts.
Girls/Women: Black bottoms of modest length, whether slacks, skirts, or dresses. Modest black tops, long or short sleeve. Sequins or other sparklies are OK, provided they do not change the color from the basic black look. NOTE: Ballroom gowns are too fancy for this event, and would stick out. Meanwhile, cowboy boots and hats with all black are too un-fancy, and would stick out in the opposite way!

SNACKS! Please bring snacks. (Paper goods and bottled water will be provided.) We’ll have snacks and visit afterward, and the foosball table will be open for play.

Skits Night! Monday, 9 December 2019, 7:30-9:00 PM.
(Cast and Crew to arrive at 6:00 PM. House opens to the public at 7:00.)

This could quite possibly be the funnest teen performance you’ve ever seen. We have a troupe of 11, counting, cast, crew, director, and stage manager. We’re running lots of original material, with some moments borrowed from classic show biz. So prepare yourselves for a witty and hilarious experience as we make our debut performance!

SEATING. We’ll have seating for about 75, with room for another 30-or-so camp chairs. So please put a couple of camp chairs in your car in case we run out of seats.

SNACKS! Please bring snacks. (Paper goods and bottled water will be provided.) We’ll have snacks and visit afterward, and the foosball table will be open for play.

CAST DRESS CODE
For this event, the entire cast will dress in all black as follows:
Men: Black slacks. Black belt and black shoes. Black long-sleeve, button-down shirts.
Women: Black slacks. Modest black tops, with long sleeves being preferable to short. Please avoid sequins or other sparklies.

We Have a New Web Host!

Please send us an email to let us know you got the notification for this post! jackpelham@wemontana.org

I apologize for all the email troubles of late—and the website being up and down. Can you say “Cheap hosting company?”

Well, I’m glad to report that wemontana.org is now hosted by Zee Creative of Billings, MT, where we know by experience that the site will run with high reliability—as will the emails.

For those who are subscribed to our various post categories, we hope you’ll start getting emails that were previously being blocked by your email or Internet providers—but it remains to be seen just how it will work in each case.

Would you please take a moment and send an email confirming that you received the email notification for this post? That will help us to know how well it’s working.

Thanks!

Jack

Movie Night: Sergeant York

This Friday—15 November, 2019, in honor of Veteran’s Day week.

Here’s the event on Facebook, in case you want to mark yourself as “Going”.

Our second Movie Night is in honor of Veteran’s Day week (though delayed, to show it on a Friday.) This is one of Jack’s favorite films–and for several reasons. It’s one of the most heartsy and thoughtful stories you’ll ever see about military service, and it’s great filmcraft, too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant_York_(film)

Gary Cooper snagged an Academy Award for his portrayal of Sgt. Alvin York, and Walter Brennan won for best supporting actor. The film is also widely considered to have been one of the best mixes of musical score and picture ever. This is a film your kids are not ever likely to see on TV, so it’s worth it to come watch it on purpose. It’s a captivating story that makes it a worthy example of a classic film.

Here’s the parental advisory blurb from imdb.com for this film, so you can determine whether it’s a good film for them to see. (My opinion is that it’s probably fine for most.):

“Depictions of WWI. Much shooting; men fall onto the ground. No blood is seen except for one scene where a man is shot in the face and a small trail of blood oozes from his mouth. A couple scenes of men fighting in a bar, punching each other in the face, and pushing each other into tables. “

—————————————-
Afterward, everyone is welcome to stay and play Foosball or any other games that you bring yourself, or simply to visit. Stay as late as you like. We mean it. Good friends. Good company.

Bring whatever snacks and non-alcoholic beverages you like. We’ll provide bottled water, coffee, tea (hot), and paper goods. We have a microwave for popcorn.

The movie starts promptly at 7:00. Don’t be late. The Great Room will be open at 6:30. We have school chairs and pews for 76 people. If you want to bring something more comfortable to sit in, do it! Also bring a blanket or throw–or some manner of pad if your kids would like to sprawl out on the floor.

(FYI, we’re hoping to have a movie night once a month or so. We’ll pick from Jack’s favorites, and you can count on our movies always being totally suitable for the family—although some may be better suited for younger ones than others. Please do plan, however, to keep any toddlers you bring well in-hand and orderly as we can’t have them running about during the evening.)

Here’s our location. Please read it carefully: http://wemontana.org/location/

Talent Show: October 11th!

We’re finally ready to have our first talent show! Several members of our Skits Workshop will be emceeing the event. We have several acts signed up so far and could use a few more. Here are some examples of what we hope to see:

  • Singing (with or without accompaniment)
  • Instrumental music (with or without accompaniment)
  • Skits
  • Jokes
  • Readings
  • Demonstrations (such as martial arts, for example)
  • Juggling or similar feats of skill

This is a “Little Show”, which means it will be held in our Great Room, and will not require an audition. If you’d like to enter an act, contact us quickly as we have room for 20 total acts, and many of the slots are taken already.

DETAILS

Date
Friday, October 11, 2019

Time
7:00-9:00 p.m.
(Those in an act should arrive at 6:30 for a brief orientation.)

Location
The event will be held in the We, Montana! Great Room. If this is your first time coming, please plan to be a little early, as we will start the orientation promptly at 6:30 and the show promptly at 7:00.

Who may do an act?
Homeschool students and/or family members are eligible to participate. While we expect lots of students in solo acts, parents are also encouraged to get involved, whether doing a solo act or one with your family.

Snacks
We’ll provide bottled water. You bring whatever snacks you’d like to eat after the show.

Dress
If you’ll be in an act, we ask that you dress a little fancier than you probably do ordinarily.

Seating
We have seating for 76 people and room for about 24 more than that. It would be a good idea to bring your own camp chairs or folding chairs in case we run out.

Technical
We have for your use:

  • A small stage
  • A digital piano
  • A PA system with one microphone and a mic stand with a boom.

CONTACT
To submit an act, please contact Jack Pelham.

Website and Email Troubles

For the past couple of weeks, our web services have been intermittent. It’s up and running at the moment, but may well crash shortly, so I thought I’d send out this email while I can.

As soon as it seems to have been (really) resolved, I’ll send out another email to let you know.

Meanwhile, be advised that I have received several registrations through email in these past days, but I can’t respond to those emails when the system is down. No worries, though; I expect it to be resolved perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.

Jack

PARENTS: Need Your Help!

Hey, We, Montana! parents—-I need your help! As you know, we are taking an aggressive step forward for the Fall, so it’s forcing me to work both harder and smarter–as they say. If you’re willing, you can help make this easier for me in what may be a surprisingly simple way. It’s about communication. Please take a few minutes to read the following.

Continue reading PARENTS: Need Your Help!