Welcome to the homepage for the Hastings choral program and Mr. Riss' Middle School General Music classes. For information on the 8th Grade Team, please visit the 8th Grade Team page
. For information on the musicals I direct, please visit my theatre page
It is such a joy to teach in Hastings. The sense of community here is something very special, and I look forward to coming to school every day. Here at HHS and FMS, I conduct seven choirs and also teach 5th and 8th grade music classes. There are endless superlatives to describe the privlege I have as a music teacher of getting to see students grow in musicianship and character from the time they come to FMS as wide-eyed 5th graders until the time they graduate HHS, having grown into young adults.
Out of the seven choirs I conduct, four of them are curricular - HHS Chorus, 7th/8th Grade Chorus, 6th Grade Chorus, and 5th Grade Chorus (the 5th and 6th graders rehearse separately but do sing together on the concerts). The Middle School has an extra-curricular auditioned choir which meets weekly after school, as does the High School - students must participate in their grade level curricular choir to be allowed to audition for the extra-curricular choir.
Outside of my work in Hastings, I am Director of Music & Organist at a local church and a very active adjudicator, particularly with the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). I came to Hastings from Long Island, where I used to direct a summer theater arts day camp at a local community theater and currently remain on staff as Artist-in-Residence. Shows that I have musically directed include the national non-equity premiere of Carrie and the Long Island premiere of Les Misérables and Dogfight. Previous onstage credits include Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and Mr. Sprtizer/Mr. Pinky/Principal in Hairspray.
Whether you are a new 5th grader, a 12th grader who has sung with me since 5th grade, somewhere in between, or a parent, I look forward to our work together! Below, you'll find links to my courses and extra-curricular choirs. These can also be found under the column with the header "Riss, Jonathan" on the left hand side of this page, as well as a link to my bio