“Those who wish to sing always find a song.”  ~ ProverbChoral Calendar of Events
    Participation in all RED UNDERLINED after school rehearsals & concerts is required.  Any additions to the calendar made a month in advance to the performance date will be held to this attendance policy.  Concert Notes:  Please notice that I have given you the after school rehearsal dates now.  When you sign up for sports, inform your coaches ahead of time of the rehearsals that will be required.  Your attendance will be graded as this is a co-curricular activity.  I ask for very little of your after/before school time all year, and I expect you to be committed to your classmates. 
    Course Descriptions
    Honors credit (4.5 GPA) is available in every choir information and app. available on the side bar. 
    Advanced Treble Choir   Grades 9-12           
    This is a high school entry-level ensemble for higher voice students to develop basic vocal skills and to negotiate thier changing voice.  An informal audition or interview is required for entrance.  You must be willing to sing and attend all after-school rehearsals and concerts.¯ Singers will learn a variety of music syles in English+other languages, in parts, and learn rehearsal and performance skills.¯ All students will learn to sight-sing using solfege syllables.  Basic musical fundamentals will also be introduced and/or developed.¯ May combine with the other choirs in occasional after school rehearsals and concerts.
     Bass Choir Grades 9-12
    This is a high school entry-level ensemble for lower voice students to develop basic vocal skills, and to negotiate thier changing voice.  An informal audition or interview is required for entrance.  You must be willing to sing and attend all after-school rehearsals and concerts.¯ Singers will learn a variety of music syles in English+other languages, in parts, and learn rehearsal and performance skills.¯ All students will learn to sight-sing using solfege syllables.  Basic musical fundamentals will also be introduced and/or developed.¯ May combine with the other choirs in occasional after school rehearsals and concerts.
    Small Vocal Ensemble  Grades 10-12              
    The class is intended for Advanced students who are able to read music, and have previous experience in choral or instrumental ensembles.¯   The director will consider your past performance, sight-reading ability, rehearsal discipline, and attendance record as criteria for your admission into this ensemble.  Rising 9th grade students may audition with the high school director, or gain entrance by their middle school director’s recommendation.  ¯ Singers will learn a variety of music in multiple languages, parts and styles.  Students will also perform choreography for popular and jazz standards.  Students will be singing in four part harmony by the end of the school year.¯ Students will continue to develop their performance skills and musical reading abilities, as well as their knowledge of music history and the impact of music on society.¯ May combine with the other choirs in occasional after school rehearsals and concerts.   
    Falcon Singers   Grades 9-12¯ 
    Entrance to this ensemble is by audition only.  This class is an SATB choir, intended for advanced level students. ¯ Students will learn music in three to eight parts, and sing in a variety of languages.  They will perform standard choral repertoire as well as contemporary choral works.  They will perform a variety of sacred and secular choral works within a diversity of cultures.¯  Students will combine with the orchestra and bands for departmental performances.¯ This Group may have A few extra performance dates to be considered as they come up for community outreach and recruitment in the middle schools. 
    Choral Program of Studies
    Philosophy: Music, through its inherent ability to develop intellectual and emotional communication skills, encourages cultural awareness, and enriches society.  The BWHS choral curriculum provides opportunities for students to attain the knowledge and skills necessary to become musically literate, well-rounded individuals.  Participation in the choral program engages the mind, raises self-esteem, improves self-confidence and is vital in developing the positive attitudes towards schooling and life-long learning.  Furthermore, singing in the choral program is important to the educational process because it develops students;· Intellectual skills required to comprehend the language of music, which will enable them to continue to learn new music independently throughout their lives· Coordination, contributing to the physical expression of musical sound· Interpersonal skills through participation in an ensemble· Ability to listen to many different kinds of music with understanding, and gain a broader cultural and historical perspective· Ability to recognize and pursuer excellence in musical experiences· Ability to express themselves creatively  
    Vocal Technique:· Diction: Pure vowels, diphthongs, voiced and invoiced consonants· Ranges and designations of the singing voice· Physiology of the vocal mechanism· Vocal Production:  posture, breathing, range, open throat, resonance· Accuracy of intonation. Depending on the style of choral work sung, standard choral vocal technique will be modified to create a more authentic performance.
    Choral Techniqu:· Rehearsal discipline; how to rehearse, how to mark scores, cooperation to improve oneself and the ensemble· Responding to conducting gestures· Thinking as a choir of one, not many· Active listening– being able to hear what is going on in all parts· Using movement and kinesthetic gestures to feel and see a musical concept· Using imagery to achieve a desired musical response· Exercises to develop good intonation, blend, balance and diction.
    Music Literacy: Pitch: Identifying notes in treble and bass clefs· Rhythm: Identifying rhythmic notation and duration, time signatures, simple and compound meter; accurately performing patterns by clapping, speaking and count singing· Ear-Training:  Aural Recognition of pitch and rhythmic intervals, recognizing dynamic levels and articulations; learning how your part fits into the ensemble· Solfege: A sequenced approach to sight-reading melodies using solfege syllables (do, re, mi…) will enable students to accurately sing 4-16 measure melodies; a harmonic immersion solfege system to help students sing accurately in multiple parts· Improvisation: Improvising melodies, harmonies, rhythmic patterns· Musical Vocabulary: Identification and use of proper musical terms· Theory: Identifying key signatures, scales, intervals, triads· Analysis: Analysis of choral literature being rehearsed, and identifying musical concepts introduced in class 
    Choral Literature· History:  Understanding the historical significance and cultural characteristics of sacred and secular selections, as well as composer biographies· Lyric Analysis:  Understand the meaning of words and phrases, and how the composer uses music to convey their message· Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between fine arts and disciplines outside the arts. 
    Performance Skills· Stage presence:  Proper dress and demeanor in performance· Memorization of music· Developing audition skills in preparation for college· Ensemble singing: Singing in small ensembles or one on a part, applying good vocal technique and facial expression.   
    Evaluation· Listen to, describe and apply elements of music found in choral literature: including melody, timbre, harmony, meter, style, form and texture· Develop, describe and apply criteria for evaluating choral performance· Monitor personal achievement in sight-singing, part-singing and vocal technique, as well as group performance· Analyze and apply feedback from adjudicated performances, such as Distric Assessment.  
    Concert Programming: The BWHS Choral Program is intended to provide students with a well-rounded musical experience.  The educational process of preparing a work for performance far outweighs any consideration given to the entertainment value of a selection.  Concerts are planned to present a diverse selection of music for study and performance throughout the year.  Music is selected with the following criteria in mind:· Educational value for both students and audience· Cultural and historical value· Level of difficulty and accompaniment· Relationship of a selection to the program theme· Availability—is it in print, and will it fit into the choral budget· Enjoyment for the singers, conductor and audience.    
    Grading Policy
     Each student’s grade is determined by rehearsal technique in their ensemble rehearsals and personal growth.  The ensemble depends on every singer to rehearse and perform to the best of his/her ability at all times.  It is important that the singer recognize that they are an integral part of the combined choral instrument, and part of a team that relies on the positive attitude and talent of each individual for its overall success.  Therefore, the choral grading policy places weight on both the process (in class) and the product (concert).  Students are allowed to resubmit class & home work that does not meet our standard of excellence at my discretion – when in doubt, ask.  I want to see you succeed.   
    Daily Rehearsal Activities: Students are assessed each day in class on a variety of performance aspects related to our SOL objectives.  This includes developing their vocal technique, rehearsal discipline and interpersonal skills through ensemble and solo evaluation.  Students are given constant formative assessment, as well as smaller daily grades included but not limited to the following:¯    Being engaged in active participation—good posture when singing, good rehearsal etiquette, positive attitude, marking scores, being attentive to the conductor and the musical needs of the ensemble, and refraining from talking while rehearsing a piece.¯  Short musical phrases tested in solo or small groups¯  Sight singing group quizzes, as well as singing individually parts in a quartet¯   Improvising and creating music  When you attend class but are ill and cannot sing, your participation is still valuable!  To receive your daily points, you will need to take a rehearsal observation form and observe rehearsal, following the music and marking your score.  Turn it in to the director at the end of class—often students are able to hear things they don’t notice while singing!   
    Homework, Quizzes, Papers and Tests Students will increase their comprehension levels as musicians and become musically literate through exercises and quizzes, including but not limited to:¯ Vocal and choral techniques and terminology, music theory knowledge, vocal pedagogy¯ Score marking checks, ‘student teaching’ opportunities, listening quizzes, self-evaluation¯ Music history and real world musical applications, relating music to other subject material 
    Rehearsal Techniques: Choir is a community based class – every singer matters to the ensemble, and will grow both as an individual and as a member of our singing family.  To achieve a high level of excellence, we need to be a singer driven chorus, not a director driven chorus.  It is expected that every singer bring the best they have to offer every day to our ensemble, and I will do no less – we do not settle for mediocrity.  I am not grading students on participation this year – however I will be in close contact with both students and parents if there are motivation problems.  
    Performances: The culminating event of rehearsals is the concert.  Choral students are required to attend ALL scheduled performances.   Students are expected to be on time in the proper concert attire, abiding by concert etiquette and actively participating with a positive attitude.                      Dress Rehearsals - 70 points each                  Concerts - 140 points eachStudents are required to attend all concerts and dress rehearsals.  They are graded on a variety of parameters as an ensemble;¯  Accuracy of Ensemble performance within voice parts¯  Level of Musicianship and Artistry appropriate for the class¯   Summative development on music selections from start to concert¯  Intensity and commitment to a high performance level¯  Arriving in a timely fashion in the appropriate uniform with the appropriate materials¯  Displays a maturity of concert etiquette and professionalism within your ensemble¯  Written review and self-assessment of video recorded performance  
    Attendance Policy               
    Briar Woods Choirs abide by all of the school’s attendance polices regarding tardiness and absences. Choir is not an “extra-curricular”, as in athletic team sports where no grade or credit is given.   All choirs are co-curricular activities, in which the student is required to attend both in-school and out-of-school rehearsals and concerts.  A grade and credit is given for completion of the requirements.  A student may not participate in an after-school rehearsal or performance if:  ¯ The absence from school that day is unexcused.¯ The student is serving an in– or out-of-school suspension.  
    The following are considered ‘unexcused’ absences for all required out-of-school dress rehearsals or concerts;  ¯ I had to work or baby-sit.¯ I had to finish my homework and study for a test.¯ I didn’t have a ride.¯ I had a family birthday, anniversary or trip.¯  I had sports (Let your coaches know of concert dates before the season starts).  
    Excused absences from a choral activity:¯ Illness which confines you at home¯ Death in the family¯ Religious Observance (please give a 2 weeks e-mail notice from parents so I can plan for you)¯ Other pre-arranged absences must be approved by the director in advance.  These are considered on a case-by-case basis.  PLEASE talk to me; I am willing to work with students who have extenuating circumstances.  Just remember that nothing can replace you being at a concert with your classmates, and the amount of work needed to make up a concert is often more time consuming than singing.All excused absences must be made up within a week after the concert or no credit will be given.  Please talk with the director ahead of time to get an alternate assignment.  It is your responsibility to seek out an alternate assignment in a timely manner. This will most likely include performing the concert music in a small quartet, evaluating the concert video, and a writing prompt that is related to your current music.  As a member of a performing ensemble, you are expected to attend all class sessions and after school rehearsals and performances.  A choral calendar of required and optional events is included within this handbook.   Students are expected to place all activities and assignments in their school planner and calendars.                                                                                        
    An absence from a dress rehearsal for any reason may exclude you from the concert!
    The director reserves the right to decide whether or not you will perform in the concert if you fail to attend a dress rehearsal.  If the director decides that it is not in your best interest, or that of the ensemble for you to perform, you will be given an alternate assignment.
    Classroom Policies
    ¯  Students need to be in the classroom when the bell rings, preparing for class.  Students should leave their belongings (including cell phones) on the side walls of the classroom, and only take their choir folder, music, pencil and water to their chairs.¯  There will be no food, drink or gum in class (other than water).  It is impossible to sing and breathe properly when chewing gum.  Students are expected to get rid of their gum on the way INTO the classroom.  A warning will be given to a student the first time each quarter I catch them with gum – I will write them up on a referral for any subsequent incidents.  Don’t do it.¯  You are responsible for knowing your music.  If you need extra help, I am available after school, as well as your section leaders.  ¯  Would you practice your choir music in Biology?  No?  Then do not try to do your biology homework in choir.  If I catch you doing other class work in my choir, you will first be given a warning, and I will write you up for any other offenses.  We are a team, and you can learn from your fellow singers even if your section is not singing.¯  Respect your section leaders and choir officers – they are here to help you and are my extra helpers.  Have a ‘can do’ attitude and we will soar above and beyond!¯   Take pride in everything you do – this is our classroom and it will only be as great as you want it to be. 
    Uniform & Dress Code Policy 
    Specific uniforms have been selected for each chorus to wear during scheduled performances.  The intent of the uniform is to provide a standard group appearance that will enhance the presentation and performance of the choir.            Every member of the choir is expected to fully comply with the dress code.  Students unable to meet the requirements by performance time due to their own fault will not be allowed to sing on stage, and must attend the concert as an audience member and write a concert review.   At this time BWHS is lucky enough to be able to provide uniforms to students for a small rental fee.  Students will be required to provide a few of their own uniform pieces that are particular to each individual (shoes, stockings, socks etc…).   
    Women A choral dress will be checked out to you.  You are required to provide your own black closed-toe dress shoes.  Heels should be kept conservative, as you will be standing on risers.  Hosiery should be sheer black.  Women will be allowed to wear small stud earrings in the ear lobe (two per ear) and one piece on each hand (either a ring or a bracelet).  Women may also wear a small necklace if it falls within the neckline of the dress.
    Men Men’s dress is all Black.  You are expected to provide your own Black Pants, Black Shirt, black dress socks and black dress shoes.  Men will be allowed to wear small stud earrings in the ear lobe (one per ear) and one piece on each hand (a ring, watch or bracelet).  Jacket, Vest and Tie will be provided
    Requirements for everyone¯ Do NOT wear cologne or perfume.  DO wear deodorant! J¯   Facial piercing jewelry in the mouth area should be removed prior to performance.  Tongue studs, lip rings, labret piercings and septum rings or retainers are NOT permitted in any performance, because they interfere with your diction, breathing and singing.¯ Hair must be well groomed and presentable for performance.  Hair must be pulled back so that it does not block your face and eyes, which help show expression.  ¯ Keep track of your uniform.  If a bowtie or cummerbund is lost, get in contact with the uniform coordinator immediately so a replacement can be ordered.  ¯ Arrive at concerts in complete performance attire on time.  Do not dress at school unless you are coming directly from another activity.  ¯ Students are required to maintain proper care of their uniform throughout the year.  If you break a zipper or pop a button off it is your responsibility to mend the item.  If you are receiving a new dress or pants, you may need to have the item hemmed to fit you.  Dresses should fall an inch above the floor in your heels.
    A warning on choir dresses:  The dresses have ‘invisible’ zippers – the fabric covers the zipper when the dress is closed.  Because of this, they have a tendency to get stuck at the ribbon, or when students quickly zip the dress.  This causes the fabric to get stuck in the zipper, and the zipper to rip fabric or become misaligned, rendering the dress broken.Zipper repairs can cost $25 to $30.  To avoid this, students need to slowly zip and unzip their dresses and treat them with care.  Singers should hold the fabric together with one hand and zip with the other – do not force the dress to zip.  If it will not zip up, do not sign for it when you are being issued a dress, we will find you a different dress.
    Parent and Student Contract Signature Form - Can be found on schoology and the Welcome Email.