Congratulations Candlelight 2018

The children did a great job at our Candlelight performances on Dec.18th and 19th. The students from grades 1, 3, and 5 sang on Tuesday, Dec. 18th, and the students from grades 2, 4 ,6, and 7 sang on Wednesday, Dec. 19th.  Everyone did such a great job! The students illustrated pieces in melody, 2-part harmony, and the Latin language. I am always so impressed how our students at Saint James present and perform such challenging music. Congratulations!

Melanie’s Melodies perform at the Mall

The children from the piano/vocal studio at Saint James (also known as Melanie’s Melodies) performed at the Mall on Saturday Dec. 15th.  The children played and sang Christmas carols, Folk songs, and Sacred pieces.

Aristocats Auditions Tuesday January 22nd

Students from grades 3rd-5th will be able to audition for speaking parts for the Spring Musical. Students must sing one piece and read lines from a script. Rehearsals will be Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:00am.

Grandparents Day Friday, February 15th

Several of our students will be performing on Grandparents day.  Grade 6th and 7th will be playing drums. Grade 5th will be performing the bells, and 3rd grade will be playing the recorders.  All the students from First through Seventh will be singing as a choir to finish the program. I know the Grandparents will be very excited to see and hear all the music from our fabulous students!

Katelyn Gunter


Melanie’s Melodies hosted its annual Fall Recital on Saturday Nov.10th.  All the students that participated were St. James students or graduates of St. James. We had 15 participants in the program.  It was a beautiful afternoon of music.



The first through sixth grade students will be performing our annual Candlelight services onTuesday, Dec. 18th and Wednesday, Dec. 19th.  Students should arrive at the church by 5:30 p.m.  The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. All students are expected to participate.  Grades 1, 3, and 5 will perform on Tuesday night. Grades 2, 4,6, and 7 will perform on Wednesday night. Soloists should be at both nights.

Dress: Girls- should wear Sunday best dresses with dress shoes.

Boys-should wear suit and tie or sports jacket and tie.


The children are sounding great in rehearsal, so I know they will have beautiful performances.

Katelyn Gunter

Yes, It is that time again! We are getting ready for our many Christmas programs at St. James.  The children have been singing up a storm!

Pre-K students have been practicing for the Pre-K Christmas pageant.  Characters have been assigned, and students are singing in various ensembles to create kings, flocks, angels, and farm animals.  Their pieces include “Joy to the World”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, and “Silent NIght”. The challenge is for the little children is to wrap their mouths around such poetic words.  Phrases such as “Why your joyous strains prolong” and “Let men their songs employ” create a demanding task for four year old children. I am very impressed at their talent and determination to learn the Christmas carols.  These are pieces that will last a lifetime!

Kindergarten has been preparing for the Christmas Chapel program.  Their pieces include “Away in the Manger”, “Go Tell it on the Mountain’, and “ We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  They have been playing the rhythms on percussion instruments, singing the pitches, and practicing the words. They are very excited to show their parents the Christmas carols they are practicing.

Candlelight 2018!  We are splitting the children up into grades to perform the Candlelight services. On Tuesday 12/18 grades 1, 3 and 5 will perform. On Wednesday 12/19 grades 2,4,6, and 7 will perform.  Soloists must perform on both evenings. Students have been singing beautifully in rehearsals. They are singing Advent pieces such as “Once in Royal David’s City”, “Ave Maria”, and ”Soon and Very Soon”.


Katelyn Gunter

Dear Parents,

The choir students from the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades have been invited to sing at St. James Church on Sunday, November 4, 2018.  This is in honor of the 70th anniversary celebration of St. James Day school. Students should wear their chapel uniform with dress shoes. The children should arrive at 9:30am for a quick rehearsal with the church accompanist, Andrew Clark.  The service starts at 10:00am, and it will last about an hour.

I hope you will make every effort to be there.  This is such an amazing honor to sing at such a blessed event.

Thanks again,

Melanie Tipton


The children have been singing up a storm in Choir and General Music classes.  The children are practicing for the upcoming 7th anniversary of the school. They are also practicing for Candlelight and Veterans Day services.

The primary-second grade classes have been analyzing music terms such as note values, repeat and clef signs.  The children are clapping rhythms in class and playing a favorite game “Music Cake-Walk”. When the music stops, the children have to identify and define the music symbol they land on in the game.  What fun!

Third and fourth grade students are practicing the recorders.  They are playing such songs as “Old MacDonald”, “It’s Raining”, “Merrily We Roll Along”.  The children are recognizing the notes on the staff, illustrating rhythms, and fingerings.

Fifth grade should complete their unit on the Orchestra this week.  They are completing some puzzle pages that examine the families of the orchestra in great detail.  They are also playing drums.

Sixth and seventh grade students finished the Baroque Era last week.  They did a great job reporting, reading and analyzing the music from the period.  They will begin the Classical Era this week. They are also playing the ukuleles.


Katelyn Gunter

The Primary through Second grade classes have been practicing Folk songs, Fun songs, Church songs, and Halloween songs. They are also learning the names of the instruments in the orchestra. So far, they have studied the String instruments and the Woodwind instruments. This month, they will identify the instruments of the Brass and and Percussion instruments.


Third and Fourth grade students are practicing the recorders. They are illustrating the fingerings, notes and rhythms to the given pieces. So far, students of the Third grade can play notes “B”, “A”, and “G” on the recorder. The Fourth grade students are already up to their green belt in the Recorder Karate curriculum.

Fifth grade students are doing and extensive study of the orchestra. They are classifying instruments into families, creating orchestra charts, and recognizing the instruments by sound and picture. They are also playing the drums, and they can play ensembles 1 and 2 from the World Music Drumming curriculum.


Sixth grade students just finished a unit on the Baroque era. This included listening to the stories of the composers and their pieces. They studied Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and Couperin. The Seventh grade students helped by creating reports for the composers and presenting them in class. They are also playing the ukuleles. They can illustrate notes on the strings and frets, and have played pieces such as “Ode to Joy” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhodie”.


Important Dates: Candlelight Auditions Oct.16th; 70th Anniversary performance at St. James Church Nov. 4th

Katelyn Gunter

Our Fifth grade students are studying the orchestra instruments.  They are learning about the different families of the orchestra, and they are learning to recognize the instruments by sight and sound.  They are also playing the drums. They are practicing Ensembles 1-4 from the World Music drumming curriculum. They are demonstrating different rhythms on various percussion instruments simultaneously.

The Sixth grade students are learning about the Baroque era.  They are studying Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, and Couperin. They are analyzing the compositions from each composer using music terms.  The Seventh grade students are helping teach the Sixth graders about the composers by writing a report and presenting it to the class. Sixth and Seventh grades are also practicing the ukulele.  They are reading notes on the staff as well as tabulator for the strings.

Third and Fourth grade students are practicing the recorders.  They are demonstrating notes in the treble clef, fingering and rhythm.  The Fourth grade students are testing for the Recorder Karate curriculum.  Most of the Fourth grade students have achieved the white and yellow belts.  They are singing fun pieces such as "Puff the Magic Dragon" and "Henry the Octopus".  They have created crafts to go along with the songs.

Primary-Second grade students are singing songs, playing percussion instruments, playing music games, and creating movement to songs.  Some of their favorite pieces are "On Top of Spaghetti", "Doe a Deer", and " How Much is That Doggie in the Window".


Katelyn Gunter
Spring Recital 2018
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Melanie's Melodies hosted its annual Spring Recital on Saturday May 19th at Saint James Church. All the members of the studio are students at Saint James Day school.  We had 13 participants in the recital.  Pianists from kindergarten through the sixth grade performed.  We also had two graduates from Saint James Day School perform.  One of our graduates sang Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from the Phantom of the Opera. Pieces such as "Run, Mouse Run", "Feline Dreams", and Pacelbel's "Canon" were performed on the piano.  It was a wonderful afternoon of music. The children enjoyed a much earned reception of cake balls, cookies, and Cokes.

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Melanie Tipton
Spring Songs

          We are singing some of our favorite songs to finish up the school year.  "Camptown Races", "Pop Goes the Weasel", "Old Dan Tucker", and "Puff the Magic Dragon" have been studied and dramatized.   It has been a great year of music, and it is fun to sing some folk songs and pop songs.  The Pre-K through second grade classes are working and singing until the last day of school.

      The Third through Sixth grade classes will be participating in  Sixth Grade graduation.  It is scheduled for Thursday May 24th.  All students in these grades are expected to participate and perform.  The choir will be singing "Be Strong in The Lord", "The Summons", and "Gaudeamus Igitur".  It will be a nice ceremony to send our Sixth graders off into Middle School.


Melanie Tipton
April 30th: Congratulations to the "Jungle Book" cast and crew! What a show!

The students in first through sixth grade put on the production, "The Jungle Book" on  Friday April 13th at the Sullivan Center.  The children did a great job.  Our students really stepped up and performed a a beautiful show.  We had recorders, drums, and bells perform too. I think it was the best show I have ever been a part of since I have been teaching.  Thank you to the wonderful cast and crew of "Jungle Book" 2018!

The students are wrapping up the school year with instruments, music theory, sight-reading and sacred songs.  We will continue to work and practice until the last day of school. 

Melanie Tipton
Jungle Book Dress Rehearsal

The time is approaching for our annual spring musical.  This years musical is the "Jungle Book".  It will be held at the Sullivan Center at Texas High.  The performance is scheduled for Friday 13th at 6:30pm.  Students should arrive no later than 6:00pm for the performance.  We are having a dress rehearsal in the morning so the students can run the show on the stage with the set, lights, and sound.  The rehearsal is scheduled for 8:15am and they will need to be picked up by 12:00 noon. The children have been working and practicing hard for this presentation.  I am so excited to show you all the music and dance they have studied over the last two months.  We are looking forward to a fabulous show!

Melanie Tipton
Volunteers Needed

Dear Parents,

The First through Sixth grade students will be performing "The Jungle Book" on Friday, April 13th. As with any production, there are a lot of behind the scenes prep work and tear down at the end of the show.  I am asking if there are any parents that would consider staying after the production to tear down the set and scene.  We will be loading trucks and cars with scenery and instruments. Please let me know if you would be willing to help.  We are looking forward to a fabulous show!

Thank you,

Mrs. Tipton

Melanie Tipton

The Fifth and Fourth grade students have begun their keyboard unit.  They will be learning keys, fingerings, hand positions, rhythms, and notes in this unit.  Each student is encouraged to play their piece as a solo.  They should play at least two pieces a week.  This week, they demonstrated "Low and High" and "First March".  The children are having a great time learning and are enjoying playing on the keyboards. (pics. included)

"Jungle Book" rehearsals are going well.  We are concentrating on the choreography, and the children have illustrated "Jungle Prologue", "The Bear Necessities", and "The Monkey Song".  Our snake, Kaa,  had a great rehearsal last week too. The children are singing, dancing, and creating their characters.

Lent Pieces:  We are in the season of Lent.  Our students are practicing songs for Lent to sing at chapel.  "Forty Days and Forty Nights", "Just As I Am', and "From all that Dwell Below the Skies" are a few favorites.  The younger students are exhibiting how to sing out of the hymnals. The children are also discussing the meaning of the pieces and why Lent is such an important part of the Liturgical year.

Melanie Tipton
Music Class 2/7/18

The Music classes are very busy during this time of year.  We have Grandparent's Day performances, "Jungle Book" rehearsals, and music curriculum being taught.

Primary-Kindergarten classes are exploring instruments.  The students have played the Mexican instruments such as Maracas, Castanets, and Guiros.  They have also played the percussion instruments such as the cymbals, hand drums, and xylophones. (pics. included.)

The Elementary students are singing Disney songs for our upcoming Grandparent's day performance.  They are practicing, "The Second Star to the Right", "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah", and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". They are also practicing some "Jungle Book" songs.

THe Middle school students are having 8 week units on their instruments. Sixth grade is playing drums,  Fifth grade is playing bells, Fourth grade is playing drums and recorders, and Third grade is playing recorders and singing. The Sixth grade is also studying the Romantic era, and the Fifth grade is studying a unit on Music Theory.

Melanie Tipton
Jungle Book Cast 2018

Bagheera- Catherine Joyce, Baloo-Jett Mayo, Mowgli-David Mayo, Shere Khan-Carter Shuffield, King Louie-Dawson Palmer, Shanti-Katie McKinney, Kaa-Carolina Womack, Coils-Emma Burks, Ella Crouch, Victoria Langley, Staten Crossland, Abby York, Colonel Hathi-Jon Chatelain, Baby Elephant-Rosie Jordan, Dizzy Vulture-Heath Wood, Ziggy Vulture-Ayres Fuqua, Silly Monkey-Annabelle Harp, Sassy Monkey-Amy Womack, Grumpy Monkey-Kate Hindman, Old Monkey-Molly Lippin, Jungle Thistle-Elle Floyd, Jungle Banyan-Hannah Brown, Jungle Lotus-Maddie Smallwood, Wolves- John O'Donnell, Olivia Kimmel, Cooper Kimmel, James Moore, Anna Clare Novasad, Adler Lemley Bees-Keenley O'Rorke, Addison Bobo, Morgan Yost, Mary Black, Birdie Roberts Dance Captains- Norah Jordan and Amy Womack

Pictures Enclosed- Sixth Grade Drums class.  They will be performing on Grandparent's Day Friday, February 16th.

Pictures Enclosed- Sixth Grade Drums class.  They will be performing on Grandparent's Day Friday, February 16th.

Melanie Tipton
The Jungle Book-Costumes and More

Dear Parents, 

Our Spring Musical this year is "The Jungle Book".  It is scheduled for Friday, April 13th.  Each student in 1st-6th grade is expected to participate.  Students will need a costume for their particular character in the show.  Please return your form with your correct size.  You should have received a letter from your classroom teacher regarding costumes. Please sign and return your forms by Friday, January 12th.



A musical is a great way to explore several different art forms at the same time. This encourages students to develop their mind and body.  

Singing:  I believe singing is a great way to express yourself.  It is one of the few art forms that actually uses words to communicate.  Students learn pitch, rhythm, vowel, breathing, and tone. Our students as Saint James seem to enjoy singing.  

Dancing:  Students learn choreography in a musical.  They exhibit steps, movement, and gestures.  All of this motion helps create the characters.  Students learn how to work together as a team to create a dance scene.  Dance encourages the whole body and mind.

Acting:  Acting is a great art form because students formulate characters.  They do not have to be themselves.  Sometimes, it is tough being yourself.  When you are acting, you can become the character.  Students pretend and play "Make-believe".  This uses great imagination.  They learn to speak clearly to be understood by the audience.  They learn blocking, timing, and memorization.

Art:  Several of our Middle school students create our back drops.  Ms. Denise guides them in a certain direction, but the children paint the scenes.  This takes great skill, patience, imagination, and creativity.

At Saint James, we encourage developing the whole child: mental, physical and spiritual. Putting on productions integrates all these aspects.  I hope your child will enjoy being a part of the Saint James production, "The Jungle Book".

Melanie Tipton
Congratulations Candlelight 2017!

The students of Saint James Day school performed their annual Candlelight performances on Tuesday December 19th and Wednesday December 20th. Both services were beautiful.  The Tuesday night performance included 1, 3, and 5 grades while the Wednesday night performance included 2, 4, and 6 grades. At each concert, the students performed 10 pieces which included 2 pieces in harmony, one in Latin, and an antiphonal song.  This repertoire is very challenging, and the students are new at singing in harmony.  All of the children did a fabulous job.

I believe the best way a musician can serve through their talent is in the church. We are teaching music ministry through this concert. The Lord tells us to sing "praises, hymns, and spiritual songs".  (Ephesians 5:19) Our students sing these pieces because they love the Lord, and they want to be obedient to Him. Saint James allow students to explore their faith and to sing to God. That is what makes Candlelight to special.

Thank you to our soloists, duets, and trios. Thank you to our fabulous accompanists, Andrew Clark. Thank you to Father Doug, Father David, Ms. Cheryl, and Ms. Traci for all the organizing that goes on behind the scenes. I am very thankful to have such a fantastic support team.

Enclosed are some pictures from the Great Room before the services began.

Melanie Tipton
Melanie's Melodies Makes Music at Mall

Melanie's Melodies performed a "mini" recital at the Central mall on Saturday, December 16th. The performers included Zachary Bobo, Addison Bobo, Heath Wood, and Rosie Jordan.  Each student performed a piece by memory. Zachary Bobo played "Ode to Joy". Addison Bobo played "Santa's Sleigh", Heath Wood played "Kum by Yah", and Rosie Jordan played "Jingle Bells". The students performed beautifully, and I am so proud of the work they have accomplished in the short time they have been studying the piano.

Performance is such an important part of music study.  It builds self-esteem, confidence, character, and determination.  These are all life-building skills too. I am very thankful that Saint James encourages our students to perform.

Melanie Tipton
7 Important Benefits of Music in our schools-Nafmc

The National Association for Music Education has put an article out about the importance to teaching music.  It it titled "20 Important Benefits of Music in our Schools".  Here is the top 7.

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1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning.  The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on your minds. At Saint James, we begin singing in the Primary 2 class.  The students sing folksongs, nursery rhymes, Bible songs, and Christmas pieces.

2.  A mastery of memorization.  Even when performing with sheet music, students musicians are constantly using their memory to perform.  The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.  Our Candlelight performance this year (2017) includes 10 memorized anthems.

3. Students learn to improve their work.  Learning music promotes craftsmanship and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work.  This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.  Students practice weeks in advance for all their performances.  This encourages constant improvement.  Our students put on a Spring musical that enables them to create character and movement.

4.  Increased coordination. Students who practice musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination.  Children can develop motor skills when playing music.  At Saint James, our students play recorders, keyboards, drums, ukuleles, bells, and numerous other percussion instruments.

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5.  A sense of achievement.  Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Our students perform instruments at Chapel, Grandparent's day, and Spring Musical.

6.  Kids stay engaged in school.  An enjoyable subject like music can keep kids interested and engaged in school.  Students musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.  Our students practice many instruments which gives our class a hands-on approach to music.

7.  Success in society. Music is the fabric of our society and music can shape abilities and character.  Music education can greatly contribute to children's intellectual development. Our drum circles incorporate team work with question and answer rhythms. They are complimentary rhythms. So, each independent rhythm, when played together, creates an ensemble.

National Association for Music Education article July 21, 2014

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Melanie Tipton
Merry Christmas!

The students have been performing over the December weeks.  They have had a lot of success. The Pre-K program was a beautiful service.  The students created the Nativity story.  They sang 4 Christmas carols and finished with "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"! The Kindergarten Chapel was today, December 12th.  It was a very nice service as well.  The students quoted scripture, sang Christmas pieces, and recited Christmas poems.  They did a great job!

Candlelight is scheduled for Tuesday Dec. 19th and Wednesday Dec. 20th.  Please read my previous blog to get all the detailed information. We rehearsed with our accompanist this morning, Mr. Andrew Clark.  The children did very well, and the solos, duets and trios are and added treat. I am expecting a fabulous Candlelight.

The students continue to study their instruments throughout the month of December. Fifth and Sixth grades are practicing bells, Fourth grade is learning the drums, and Third grade continues with the recorders.  I am very proud at how enthusiastic the children are about Music Class.

We will begin our Grandparent's Day pieces when we return from Christmas Break.  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Melanie Tipton
Candlelight Information 11/30/17

 The Fifth grade students finished their unit on the drums.  They played a drum ensemble for the prelude at Chapel on November 28th. (Pictures enclosed.)

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Candlelight Dates and Times:

Candlelight is scheduled for Tuesday, December 19th at 6:00pm for 1,3,and 5 grades.  Their rehearsal time is at 8:30am-11:00am at Saint James Church. Arrival time for the evening concert is at 5:30pm. We will meet in the Great Hall. The concert will also be at Saint James Church. It will last about an hour.

Candlelight is scheduled for Wednesday, December 20th at 6:00 pm for 2,4 and 6 grades.  Their rehearsal time is scheduled at 8:30am-11:00am at Saint James Church.  Arrival time for the evening concert is at 5:30pm.  We will meet in the Great Hall. The concert will also be at Saint James Church. It will last about an hour. 

Dress:  Girls- Sunday dresses with dress shoes. Boys- Suit and tie or sports jacket and tie. (NO JEANS) Dress socks. (No Sports Socks).

Soloists: Must be at both concerts!

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Melanie Tipton