Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra rocks the stage with guitar legend, Daryl Stuermer of Genesis

See the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra like never before, as conductor Mike Kamenski joins guitar legend Daryl Stuermer of Genesis and the Phil Collins Band Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. for an unbelievable afternoon of music.

Virtuoso lead guitarist Daryl Stuermer of the super-group Genesis and Phil Collins has been touring the world to sold-out crowds since 1978, creating the signature guitar sound of the Phil Collins mega hits “In the Air Tonight” and “Easy Lover.” As co-writer of the Phil Collins’ 1989 Grammy winning, Billboard No. 4 single “Something Happened on the Way to Heaven,” Stuermer has continued to write music for eight solo albums of original music. He covers his favorite Genesis vocals and instrumentals along the way. The Daryl Stuermer Symphony Concert is an exciting fusion of Stuermer’s unique Genesis renditions performed by him and his band and accompanied by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra, creating an unforgettable afternoon that reinvents the Genesis experience. Reserved seating tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors (55 years and older) and $10 for students (17 years and younger).

Other exciting events to take place this season include:

 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with David Benoit and the Templeton Middle School Choir – Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

In a very special event for the 2011 holiday season, the five-time, Grammy-nominated musician, composer, arranger and pianist David Benoit and his quartet will play a show full of holiday favorites and Vince Guaraldi-penned Peanuts classics, such as the instantly recognizable “Linus and Lucy” made famous by the Christmas TV specials. The show features the voices of the Templeton Middle School choir, directed by Jaye Mier.

Benoit electrified the jazz world when he released a version of “The Peanuts Theme” which became a No. 1 hit on jazz radio. He has performed “The Peanuts Piano Concerto” with several orchestras as part of his tribute to Charles Schulz and the music of Vince Guaraldi. In 2000 he released his GRP tribute recording “Here’s To You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years.” In 2005, Benoit released “40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas,” featuring Toni Braxton, Norman Brown, Chaka Khan, Dave Koz, the Rippingtons, Vanessa Williams and others. Experience the magic of a beloved and timeless holiday classic, performed by an artist who through his passion keeps the music of Vince Guaraldi alive and ever evolving.

Reserved seating tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (55 years and older) and $10 for students (17 years and younger).

UW-Madison Varsity Band Show – March 2012 at 2 p.m.

From its Fifth Quarter performances at Camp Randall Stadium after a Badger football game to the Hamilton Fine Arts Center stage, the University of Wisconsin Varsity Band is well-known for pleasing fans with its high-energy performance of favorites like “On Wisconsin” and “Varsity.” Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (55 years and older) and $10 for students (17 years and younger).

Special guest performances

The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is pleased to announce special guest performances by the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra throughout the 2011-12 performing arts season.

Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents “An Andy Williams Christmas” Dec. 11 at 3 p.m.
The golden voice of the Crooning King has captured the ear of millions of fans spanning across the generations for more than 50 years. Join the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra and enter the sentimental nostalgic Americana this great performer inspires. His music has been and will forever be a part of the Christmas spirit. General seating tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (55 years and older) and $6 for students (17 years and younger).

Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra presents, “Vaughn Williams: Symphony No.5 in D Major” – May 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
One of England’s most revered composers, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ epic, powerful Symphony No.5 in D Major will lead us through the story of Pilgrim’s Progress. Also featuring MFSO Young Artist Competition 2011 winners, pianist Elorine Klochow and violinist Shannon O’Leary. Join us for the moving, lush and powerful sounds of Vaughn Williams. General seating tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (55 years and older) and $6 for students (17 years and younger).

Tickets may be purchased online at or by visiting the HFAC box office on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. The Hamilton Fine Arts Center is located at W220 N6151 Town Line Road, Sussex. No phone orders accepted, please.

Hamilton sophomores to take WKCE Nov. 1-3

Hamilton High School sophomores will take the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) the week of Oct. 31. School attendance is especially encouraged and all out-of-school appointments should be avoided during the test week.

A parent letter and brochure entitled “Student/Parent Pre-Test Information” will be sent home with students in the weeks preceding the test.  This brochure will provide parents and students with additional information about the purpose and format of the test.  The brochure also will identify a website with access to sample questions.  Parents are encouraged to go over the guide with their children and stress the importance of doing their best on the test.

Test results will allow students to better understand academic strengths and weaknesses and plan their remaining academic courses to strengthen these areas. In addition, the WKCE provides the district with valuable information regarding curricular adjustments and alignment with state standards.

For further information about the test, contact the Hamilton High School Guidance Department at (262) 246-6476.

4-year-old kindergartners participate in Harvest Fest

Students in the Hamilton School District’s four-year-old kindergarten program will celebrate fall as they participate in a hands-on experiences with nature Oct. 21 at Harvest Fest.

School staff members and families are working together to plan this event that will culminate the students’ study of the changing seasons. The event is sponsored by Willow Springs Learning Center and the Willow Springs 4K Parent Group. Many local businesses and families provided generous donations to make the event successful.

The students will experience fall at stations including:

  • hay riding;
  • navigating an autumn maze;
  • creating a harvest vest to wear in the all-school parade;
  • learning about animals in the fall; and
  • enjoying a pumpkin cookie for a snack.

The activities will begin at 9 a.m. for the morning kindergarten session and at 1 p.m. for the afternoon session.

The 4-year-old kindergarten program is housed at Willow Springs Learning Center, W220 N6660 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls.

Hamilton students recognized in NMSC competition

Two Hamilton High School seniors, Mathew Olkowski and Kathryn Le Claire, learned that they were named in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Eligibility for the distinction is based on results of the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test which was taken by more than 1.5 million students nationwide.

Olkowski was named Semifinalist. He is among approximately 16,000 Semifinalists nationwide and will continue in the 2012 competition for Merit Scholarship awards. The pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the students’ earlier test performance.

 Le Claire was named Commended Student and is among 34,000 students recognized for her exceptional academic promise. Although she will not continue in the 2012 competition, Le Claire was recognized for placing among the top five percent of  U.S. students who took the qualifying exam.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), established in 1955, is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 440 business organizations and higher education institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

October 4, 2011

AODA measures in place to help families

Student Assistance Program and AODA Coordinator Kristin Hasbrook presented an annual report to School Board members about efforts to keep students from getting involved in alcohol and other drugs. 2010-11 activities included providing initial screening and referral, helping families find appropriate community services and obtaining grant funds to support the program. Hasbrook also provided support to more than 100 students on a regular basis, worked with In-Health to train students who presented to secondary-level students on depression, facilitated student groups to address specific issues faced by students, presented to classes on the topics of drugs and alcohol, staying out of bad situations and depression, organized a pre-prom program on the consequences of drinking and driving, supported the middle school peer-mediation program, provided parenting columns for school newsletters and taught parenting classes.

District works to ensure seamless curriculum

Instructional Services Supervisor Katherine Little, Ph.D., reported on K-12 curriculum alignment, articulation and vertical teaming initiatives that are underway.

Ensuring that learning progresses seamlessly as students move from grade to grade and course to course is the purpose of curriculum alignment and articulation. Little noted the following will be addressed in the 2011-12 school year:

  • Identify essential learning targets and associated student “I can” statements for each unit of instruction;
  • Monitor the state’s progress in developing a statewide student information system that may include an electronic curriculum planning tool;
  • Provide instructional leaders with facilitator training for their roles in the March 16 district in-service which will be dedicated to vertical teaming and instructional articulation in all content areas.
  • Articulate content and skills through the curriculum revision process in which teachers can study standards and resources, develop scope and sequences and plan for revision implementation through a multi-grade level team approach;

In addition, the report noted that reading specialists and elementary math support teachers will provide workshops for teachers. Teacher collaboration time will be used to ensure curriculum articulation and smooth transitions as students move from each grade and course level.

Enrollment up by 84 students – more than expected

The district picked up an additional 84 students with the start of the school year. Enrollment districtwide is at 4,635 students – an all-time high. The increase is more than twice what administrators had predicted. School enrollments compared to last year were:

School          2010-11           2011-12

Willow               265                  295

Lannon             247                  249

Maple                491                  487

Marcy                 516                  525

Woodside         693                  673

Templeton        979                1,017

Hamilton        1,360                1,389

 Enrollment at Marcy, which had an enrollment of 461 students in 2007-08, has increased consistently over the past few years. As a result, the School Board approved increasing the guidance counselor contract from 3.5 to 4 days a week and hiring an additional half-time paraprofessional. The cost for the additional staffing was just under $20,000.

“Grandma Joanie” recognized for volunteer service

Joan Maier, affectionately known as “Grandma Joanie” among Maple Avenue students and staff, was recognized for contributing more than 4,000 hours as a Seniors & Students volunteer. Maier started her volunteer work after retirement upon the request of her daughter, Maple Avenue teacher Jeni Maier-Ortlieb. Since then she has touched the lives of hundreds of Maple Avenue students.


School Board President Gabe Kolesari presented Joan Maier with a certificate.


Maple Avenue staff members attended the meeting to honor Joan Maier’s recognition.