Students all have a paper copy of this handbook in their Choristers folder and a digital copy on Schoology.
Their handbooks will have all of the information on this website plus more specific details, order forms, and deadlines timely with the current year.
- Course Description & Attire
- Choristers Expectations
- Sectional Information
- Additional Opportunities Available
- NYS Learning Standards for Music
- Concert Make-up Assignments
(as stated in the IHS Course Catalog)
Duration/Credit: Year – 1 unit
Prerequisite: Placement by performance assessment
Chamber Singers and Choristers perform 3, 4 and 5 part music. Members will perform a variety of moderate and challenging music in various styles ranging from pop to classical, and from all time periods. Correct vocal techniques and music reading skills are stress at daily rehearsals. Each student participates in a sectional once per cycle on a rotating basis (a different period each six-day cycle). Members must perform at all scheduled concerts to receive credit, including evenings. Evaluation is based on attendance, participation and performance in rehearsals, sectionals and concerts.
Placement in these groups takes place in the spring based on assessment. Both groups are mixed and are open to anyone grades 9-12.
Concert Attire & Appearance:
You have two formal concert outfit choices:
1) Pants outfit
Black slacks, black socks, black dress shoes, dress shirt: long-sleeved, white or black**, button-down, tucked into pants; ties are optional, but if you wear a black dress shirt with a tie, wear a black tie.
2) Skirt outfit
Floor length black skirt* (must touch top of back of shoe), long-sleeved white or black dress shirt** with collar - tucked into skirt, black hose, black dress shoes (flats or heels, no flip flops and no open-toed shoes)
- Minimal jewelry (not distracting)
- Hair pulled away from face (your facial expression is part of the performance)
- Dress shirts:if you wear an undershirt or camisole, it should be the same color as your dress shirt.
These requirements must be met by the December concert.
*The floor length black skirts can be any fabric or cut; the only requirements are color and length. For your convenience, I place a group order for skirts each October. You may buy a skirt through my order or you may purchase one on your own.
1. Be on time, prepared for class and sectionals with all materials. Folder, music and pencil every day
2. Always do your best. Focus on rehearsal 100% of the time. Always work to improve your voice.
3. Attend all rehearsals and required performances
1. Only positive comments in this room
2. Throw gum away before rehearsal starts
3. Do not use your phone during class
4. Bathroom passes are available. Always ask permission to use a pass before taking it.
5. Follow all rules and policies in the student handbook.
Your grades are determined by the above expectations and policies within two categories.
20% of your grade: Academic Behavior
- Preparation for class, timeliness, lesson and rehearsal attendance, effort, etc.
- Homework/practice completion
80% of your grade: Learning Tasks and Assessments
- Musicianship and assignments: rehearsal and vocal technique, posture, group and individual part checks, sight reading skills, written assignments and sectional work, quizzes and tests, etc.
- Concert performances
* Extra credit at any time: Attend a concert as an audience member, write a review of the concert and turn in review with program.
- What is a Sectional?
A sectional is a small group lesson of students of the same voice type. Everyone in Choristers and Chorale is required to attend sectionals. Sectionals occur during classes. You must see your teacher before missing their class for a sectional. You are responsible for any work missed.
Attendance at sectionals is mandatory and part of your grade. You are allowed to miss one sectional per marking period, but you are still responsible for any work given in that sectional. If you miss more than one sectional you must make them up. If you play in band or orchestra, you are required to come to half of the sectionals for each ensemble.
- Make ups
Sectionals must be made up within a week of the missed sectional. You can come to another group’s sectional (of the same choir), to a during or after school make up time (I usually have at least one per week – see me to set it up), or you can make a separate appointment with me.
- Solo Festivals
Twice each year students have the opportunity to participate in solo festivals. Singers prepare a piece and sing their solo in front of a judge. Festivals are hosted at area high schools, and the judges are voice teachers and choir directors from around the state. This is an opportunity to sing for a person other than your choir director to get another perspective and fresh ideas on improving your voice. Students can choose to participate as a festival participant or a graded participant. Festival participants receive comments from their judge. Graded participants perform a solo and a sight reading passage and receive both comments and a grade.
Small ensembles, such as duets and trios, can also participate at solo festivals.
The solo festival sponsored by Monroe County is held every January. Some years, students have the opportunity to audition for All-County Chorus at this festival. The A-C Chorus audition is a separate audition from any judged solos.
The solo festival sponsored by NYS is held in the spring, usually April or May. At this festival students grades 10 & 11 have the opportunity to use their solo as an audition for the All-State Choir (held the following fall). Students who wish to audition for All-State need to sing a specific All-State solo and declare their intention to audition while registering for the solo festival.
Students in grades 9-11 who sing a spring solo have the opportunity to apply for Area All-State Chorus that takes place the following fall. Applications for Area All-State chorus are done in June.
- Honor Choirs
All All-County ensembles perform in March (Music In Our Schools Month) and are chosen the previous January. These students represent the best musicians in Monroe County.
Junior High All-County Chorus (grade 7-8): members are chosen by teacher recommendation. The rehearsals and performances take place at a host school
Senior High All-County Chorus (grade 9-12): members are chosen by teacher recommendation or audition. This ensemble performs at the Eastman Theatre.
Area All-State Choir
All Area All-State ensembles perform in November and are chosen the previous June. These students represent the best musicians in an 8 county area (Monroe, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne).
Both Junior High (7-9) and Senior High (10-12) choirs are chosen by application. The requirements to apply are the previous spring's solo festival score and teacher recommendation. Anyone interested in the Area All-State Choirs needs to have sung a solo at festival the spring before.
Students in grades 10 &11 are eligible to audition for all-State ensembles. These students represent the best musicians in New York State. The audition takes place at the spring solo festival. Anyone interested in auditioning needs to sign up for the solo festival as an all-state applicant and fill out an all-state application. These students then sing their solo in an all-state room for their voice part. Students are chosen during the summer and are notified during the first weeks of school. All-State ensembles perform at the NYSSMA Convention in November.
- Voice lessons
Voice lessons are not part of our program but are always available in the community. Individual teachers teach out of their homes and major schools (Eastman, Hochstein, Roberts Wesleyan) offer community lessons. Sometimes voice teachers share their contact information with our department; see Mrs. Graham if you would like help finding a teacher.
Anchor Standards: Creating
1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
3. Refine and complete artistic ideas and work.
Anchor Standards: Performing
4. Analyze, interpret and select artistic work for presentation.
5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation. 6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Anchor Standards: Responding
7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Anchor Standards: Connecting
10. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
11. Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
Anyone who missed a concert for an excused reason has the opportunity to make it up and not lose those points on their average.
Write an essay comparing and contrasting two pieces from the missed concert.
Analyze, compare and contrast:
Use of accompaniment (or lack thereof)
Purpose of songs
Arrangers (if any)
Articulations used (legato, staccato, marcato)
Suggestion: start with a chart, listing the characteristics of each piece comparatively.
Ex: Piece #1 Piece #2
The paper should be approximately 2 full pages long, typed, double spaced, with side margins at 1.25” and top and bottom margins at 1.00”. Font size should be no bigger than 12 point.
You should include introductory and concluding paragraphs.
The paper is due before the end of the marking period of the missed concert. If the concert was near the end of the marking period, you can set an appropriate due date with Mrs. Graham.
See me if you need help or alternative resources. Good luck!