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Choir Handbook

Welcome to the Wharton HS Choirs!

As a member of the Wharton High School Choir you are expected to be a credit to your choir, your school, and your community. 

Please find in the following pages information about our Choir and rules and regulations. You are responsible for the information provided, so make sure you read it along with you student.


A signature page is included at the end, along with a Booster Club registration form and Field Trip permission slip. Please return all three along with the supplies by Friday, September 2nd.


If you need to get a hold of me, please use the email address or phone number on the cover page.

We are going to have an amazing year!
Expectation of Choir Students

The members of the choir are ambassadors of the school it represents. Therefore, each and every choir member is expected to exemplify excellent behavior both at school and away from school, during rehearsals/class, in concerts and on trips.


During Class and All Rehearsals
Since we have a lot to accomplish, you are expected to: 
1. Be ready to get started and rehearse!
     A. Come to class every time and with a spirit of cooperation and respect, wanting to accomplish something more each day.
     B. Stand in your assigned places with your own choir binders and pencils within at least one minute after the tardy bell rings. 
     C. Do not have any foreign objects or chew gum in your mouth at any time in Choir. Do not eat candy, or food, or drink sodas during Choir Class. Since these interfere with singing, they are not allowed. You may bring plain bottled water to drink during Choir Class.
     D. Keep your choir binder handy and organized so it’s ready to show and use its contents. Turn in all paper work on time!! 
     E. Keep a sharpened pencil handy so you can make notes in your sheet music. Mark your music with pencil!
     F. All Cell Phones, iPods, or other electronic equipment are to be kept away at all times. Any device out in class for any reason will be taken up and given to the principal. 
2. Listen to the directions and the pitch the first time they are given.
     A. Listen to yourself and match all pitches correctly every time.
     B. Listen to your section and blend your voice with your section.
     C. Listen to how your part fits in with the other section/s while they are rehearsing their part. Silently memorize your part.
3. Ask questions.
     A. When you hear people around you struggling with a part, raise your hand and ask how the part should sound.
     B. It is not necessary to point out those who are singing incorrectly.
     C. Allow that person to correct him or himself.
4. Pay close attention to the instructions even when the director is working with another group.
     A. Many suggestions and corrections covered in one section will apply to everyone else.
     B. Also, try to follow your part to see how it fits with other sections.
     C. The choir is a team. It is not enough for you to know your part. It is the uniting of the parts that makes the song a work of art.
5. Stay quiet and still before, during and after every song.
     A. It is sometimes tempting in class to just sit and talk, or not participate while others do all the work.
     B. Every voice is necessary.
     C. Without every voice, the choir is not the best it can be. 
     D. Great choirs are great because of consistent good rehearsals.
     E. There is no room for talking during rehearsals.
6. Exercise self-control.
     A. The best disciplinarian in the choir is NOT the director, but each choir member who wants the choir to be the best it can be. It is important to be supportive to everyone in the choir who is giving their best efforts.
     B. Everyone will enjoy choir so much more if they can notice improvement, and move on to other material. The feeling of accomplishment is wonderful for all of us!!

Continuous disruptions in class will result in a request for a parent/teacher conference and possible removal from Choir.
Grading

Grades are based on:
participation/cooperation 
written and oral tests of singing and music reading skills,
attendance at required performances and practices,
and behavior/citizenship. 


Each required performance is a major part of the grading period in which it is performed. Required performances and rehearsals are notated in the Wharton HS Choir Calendar. Some before and/or after school rehearsals will occur in order to properly prepare for auditions for UIL District and Region auditions, school performances, and UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest. Any additional events will be announced in class and a note will be sent home.

Students earn grades in Choir based on the following criteria:
• Appropriate participation in class, rehearsals and performances 
• Posture
• Sight-reading
• Using Solfege Syllables and Hand Signs (Curwen Hand-Signs)
• Correct vowel sounds
• Any written and/or oral exams administered by the director.
• Organization (bringing complete, solid black, choir binder including music, and sharpened pencil to their seat every day, returning forms, being on time for class.)
Supplies
Supplies needed for Choir:

Black, hardback 1-inch 3 ring Binder with pockets

Notebook paper

Pencils

Box of tissues


Fines
Fines will be given for:

Music not returned or returned in poor condition = cost of replacing music

Uniforms not returned or returned in poor condition = cost of replacing uniform

Failure to attend auditions after the entry fees have already been paid = cost of entry fee.

Hopefully fines will not be necessary.
Attendance
Attendances at Performances are Mandatory. These concerts are the goal that we are working towards for the whole semester and will greatly count against the students experience if they are not present. 

In case of illness, please contact Mr. Cappa before the concert. 

Not having a ride or having to work is not an excuse to miss the concert. You are going to be held responsible to find transportation or to let your workplace know of your educational commitments. 

A concert is a one-time extremely important event and a project just cannot make up all that will be missed.
Fundraisers

Fundraisers are essential to help our Choir with necessities and some fun stuff too. All students are expected to participate in the fundraisers as much as possible…and lots of parents are needed too!

Dates for fundraisers will be on the Choir calendar or a note will be sent home with details and dates. Thanks for your help!!!

 

Uniforms

All students will need to purchase a choir polo and have black dress pants and will be responsible for it. Complete uniforms must be worn to all performances.

Shoes must be approved by Mr. Cappa. All shoes must have a back. No flip-flops.

Ladies: Black, 1-inch heel pumps
Men: Black dress shoes with black socks

Jewelry: No necklaces, watches, bracelets, or long earrings. Stud earrings only with one normal-sized ring.

 

Hair: Neatly combed, not distracting. No bows.

 

Varsity Choir will also be responsible for the formal choir outfit for UIL Large Group Contest:

 

Ladies will be wearing a black floor-length dress and jacket. Men will be wearing tuxedos

Our goal is to look “uniform” – not to have certain members stand out. Please abide by these rules. Failure to do so can result in not being allowed to perform.

Uniforms must be returned in the same condition in which they are issued. Students are responsible for reimbursing the Choir for a new uniform if they fail to return a uniform or return it in poor condition
Contests

Choir students participate in several contests throughout the year. I highly encourage everyone to attend auditions. 

All-State - The All-State process begins early in the school year. The process for both girls and boys starts with Region Choir Auditions eventually ending at Area auditions and possibly a place in the TMEA All-State Choir which will perform in San Antonio in February.


Solo & Ensemble - This contest in February has students sing solos and/or ensembles from a prescribed list in front of a judge. Students who receive a Superior rating are awarded medals. Students receiving a Superior Rating on a Class 1 solo will move on to State Solo & Ensemble in May.

Concert & Sight-reading – This is a contest where all members of the performing choir will prepare a concert of music off of a prescribed music list in front of a panel of judges. Also included in the process is a judged sight-reading section where we will have a set amount of time to learn and sing a brand new piece that none of us have ever of.

The Choir will take care of all registration fees for these contests, but the students must make the commitment to attend the auditions. Any student backing out of auditions for any reason will be required to reimburse the Choir for the entry fees. Please check your calendars before making this commitment. It is heart-breaking for a student to not attend the audition after working so hard on the music for weeks. 

Letter Jackets

Students are able to earn Choir Letter Jackets in several ways:

1. Be a member of Choir for 3 years or 6 semesters. (passing)
2. Participate in 2 District Auditions and 2 Solo & Ensemble contests
3. Be an All-State Choir member
4. Qualify for State Solo & Ensemble

Letter Jackets are ordered in March only. Choir will purchase the jacket and letter. All other patches are your responsibility.

Booster Club

Wharton HS Choir is very fortunate to be a part of the Performing Arts Booster Club. All Choir parents are expected to join the Booster Club, attend its meetings and assist with the concession stand at JV and Varsity Football games.

The PABC awards scholarships to Seniors, sends our students to Choir Camp and much more! In order to be eligible for a scholarship, parents must help out at the games and other fundraisers. 

Performing Arts Booster Club meetings are the 2nd Monday of every Month. A registration form is attached.

Please sign up to help at the Concession Stands. 

Our Mission
Wharton ISD will provide exceptional instruction to every student, every day, with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

Copyright © 2016 - Wharton Independent School District

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