Pine Mountain Middle School Chorus Handbook

Document Sample
Pine Mountain Middle School Chorus Handbook Powered By Docstoc
					 Pine Mountain
 Middle School
Chorus Handbook

Pine Mountain Middle School
Chorus Handbook
Mrs. Stephanie Madsen, Director

Dear Mustang Chorus Members and parents,

Please sign the handbook contract on the last page informing us of your commitment to your
child’s participation in the Pine Mountain Middle School Chorus. Your child will begin the year by
receiving a quiz grade of 100% for returning the form at the back of this packet by Friday, August
21. Please note that the concert attendance policy has changed. Please read that section


                                                         Stephanie Madsen
                                                         Choral Music Director

PMMS Chorus Calendar 2009-2010                       December 17
September 15                                         Winter Group Performance Project
All State Registration deadline                      Pine Mountain Middle School
Select Students                                      All Chorus Students, 7pm
                                                     6:30 Arrival for Students
September 17
Honors Chorus Rehearsal                              January 8-9
Select Students                                      All State Chorus Final Auditions
After School until 5:30 pm                           Select Students
Every Thursday until November 5                      Date, Time, Location TBA

October 6                                            February 25-27
Fall Group Performance Project                       All State Chorus
Pine Mountain Middle School                          Select Students
All Chorus Students, 7pm
6:30 arrival for students                            March 2
                                                     Chorus and Orchestra Pre Festival Group
October 10                                           Performance Project
All State Chorus Region Auditions                    Pine Mountain Middle School
                                                      th      th
Select Students                                      7 and 8 Grade Chorus Students, 7pm
                                                     6:30 Arrival for Students
October 15
Chorus and Orchestra Fundraiser Begins               March 8-9
All Chorus Students                                  Large Group Performance Evaluation
                                                     Burnt Hickory Baptist Church
                                                      th      th
October 29                                           7 and 8 Grade Chorus Students
Chorus and Orchestra Fundraiser
Order Turn in                                        April 29
All chorus Students                                  8 Grade Spring Group Performance Project
                                                     8 Grade Chorus Students
November 5-6                                         6:30 Arrival for Students
All District Honors Chorus
Select Chorus Students                               May 13
All Day Rehearsal and Concert that Evening           Spring Group Performance Project
Location Later Released                              Pine Mountain Middle School
                                                     All Chorus Students, 7pm
November 16-20                                       6:30 arrival for students
Chorus and Orchestra Fundraiser
Order pick up will be this week

Class description
Chorus classes are open to all students at Pine Mountain Middle School. Students will focus on
healthy vocal technique, fundamentals of music theory, history, sight-singing, and the rehearsal of
music. Most importantly, students will develop self-discipline and learn to work cooperatively.

To help us have the most successful year possible, I would like to share several goals for the
choir program this year:
             To establish a means of self-fulfillment as well as a life-long recreational outlet
                through the development of the student’s musical and vocal ability.
             To provide a fundamental background in music appreciation, theory, choral
                thinking and vocal technique, skills and knowledge necessary for independent
             To promote responsibility and good citizenship through participation in a choral
             To encourage self-discipline as well as team cooperation through the mutual goal
                of musical achievement and excellence in performance.
             To give those students who may choose music as a career a positive,
                encouraging and successful early experience.

Chorus Uniforms

All chorus students will be required to wear their chorus uniform to performances as directed.
Students in each chorus have the same polo shirt. They are black polo shirts, with colorful
embroidery of music notes and PMMS in the corner. The shirts cost $15.00. Each student has an
order form and envelope to return sizes and money in. Students who can not afford a shirt need
simply bring back the order form with their information on it and they will be able to borrow a shirt
for each performance.

For the bottom portion of our uniforms, students should wear khaki pants. (No skirts, shorts, or
Capri pants) They should pair this with a pair of closed toe shoes. I would prefer they are NOT
dirty shoes. A belt can also be worn in black only.

ABSOLUTLY NOT ALLOWED: Perfumes, colognes, powders or aftershaves (may cause allergic
reaction, coughing, difficulty breathing, especially in close proximity on stage); large flashy
jewelry, big hair décor, open toe shoes.

Chorus Supplies & Materials

Students must bring to chorus:

       50 sheets of loose-leaf paper
       1 inch 3-ring binder with a clear plastic front
       A pencil to keep inside the folder

Students will be held responsible for materials assigned to them, including sheet music and their
chorus binder. Everyone is expected to handle classroom materials and equipment with care.
Students who fail to do so may lose the privilege of using them.

All supplies are to stay in the chorus room. They are only for chorus!!!!!

Donated Supplies

Throughout the school year, there are supplies we use regularly in the Chorus classroom. If you
and your student would please donate one of the following items for the classroom:

       Hand Sanitizer
       Disinfecting wipes
       Tissues
       Markers
       Pencils
       Colored Pencils
       CDR-W’s
       Jewel Cases

Chorus Grading rules and information

Chorus classes will meet for the entire school year. In class we will be working on vocal
production, both individually and in the ensemble, learning to sing scales and intervals, sight
reading and rehearsal for performance of choral literature.

Grades will be determined as follows:

40%- Participation- Participation in Chorus class is very important. Participation evaluation will
be completed by filling out a participation rubric, sometimes by the individual student, sometimes
by Ms. Benson. (See the rubric on the following page.) Rubrics will be used to determine
participation grades two times each grading period.

40%- Tests- These will include written tests and singing tests to determine sight-reading ability
and knowledge of the music. Occasionally students will have projects to complete in Chorus.
Those count as test grades as well. Group Performance Project also fall into this category.

20%- Written Class Work- Students will be completing written work during class each week.

Make-up Work- All tests/quizzes/projects and MOST written class work will need to be made up
within one week of the original date. Some written class work will not be able to be made up and
will not count toward the absent student’s grade.

The grade scale used is as follows:
                        90-100% = A               74-79% = C               0-69% = F
                        80-89% = B                70-73% = D

    Choral Participation Rubric
                                                           Rarely     Sometimes (5 Most of the Time (10   Consistently (15
                                                         (0 points)     points)          points)              points)
              Class Preparation

 Demonstrates independence by studying part

     Demonstrates correct body alignment

      Participates in warm-up exercises

    Participates in sight-reading exercises

        Participates in choral rehearsal

Contributes to class through verbal/written work

    Group Performance Projects

    Chorus is a performing arts program; therefore, students are expected to attend *ALL* group
    performances. The performance calendar is included with this handbook and is available online at
    my blog. Attendance of these events is a major part of the student’s grade
         A performance is any activity where the chorus performs in public, i.e. Group
            Performance Projects, Large Group Performance Evaluation, etc.

    Any absence from concerts will be grounds for reviewing the students commitment to chorus.
    Repeated absences result in disciplinary consequences including but not limited to being
    excluded from trips, solo’s, etc.

    To receive full credit for Group Performance Projects, each student must:
        1. Attend all scheduled performances!
        2. Arrive on time.
        3. Wear concert attire
        4. Follow the conduct code.
        5. Use proper concert etiquette when watching others perform.

    Points could be deducted for any of the previous issues.

    Request for Excuse Forms

    This form is available from the director for students to fill out if they have a conflict with a chorus
    event. This form must be in the director’s hands at least one week in advance. It is the student’s
    responsibility to check with the director to see if the request has been approved. It is best to

avoid scheduling family events, appointments, etc. during the time students are expected to be
with the chorus. A sample will be included in the back of the handbook.

If a student misses a performance unexpectedly due to illness, emergency, etc the Excuse Form
should be handed in after the concert explaining the situation should be sent to the director and
signed by the parent.

Reasons for Excused absences:
    Significant Illness
    Family Emergency
    Death in the family
    Other extenuating circumstances

Unexcused absences:
    Forgot
    Overslept
    Birthday Party
    Baby-sitting
    Other events (sports, dance, etc.)
    Homework
    Shopping

Make Up Assignments

After a missed performance, there is a make up assignment that must be completed.

For an unexcused absence, students will receive a written make up assignment for the
performance missed.

For an excused absence (after the excuse form has been approved) students simply sing their
portion of the concert on the micro recorder. I will grade them on effort and accuracy.

Performance Etiquette

Formal concert etiquette will be taught during class and expected during all concerts and
performances. Parents can help reinforce the following basic behaviors with your child.
     Arrive early and stay until the end. It is discourteous to arrive late, to still be settling once
       the program has begun, or to leave before the concert is over.
     If you must enter or leave during the program, do so discretely and in between
       performances, during the applause. We don’t want to do anything to distract the
       performers or the audience.
     Silence cell phones and watches.
     Sit still, quiet and be attentive: Avoid any noise-making or distracting behaviors, and
       especially during a performance: talking/whispering, unwrapping something, movie
       around in your seat, passing notes, texting, etc.
     Do not tap, snap, or clap along with the beat of a song unless invited to do so.
     Applaud enthusiastically! Applause is what affirms the performers that the audience is
       enjoying and appreciative of their efforts.
           o The conductor and any guest soloists are applauded when they walk onto the
           o Applause for the music is held until the end of each selection.
           o Applaud when the conductor turns toward the audience.
           o Standing ovations are acceptable for particularly moving performances.

       Catcalls, whistling, or other loud audible noise are best reserved for athletic events or
        other activities that solicit exuberant responses from audience members and are not
        considered appropriate.
       When young children attend concerts, they learn to be good audience participants.
        Crying and otherwise noisy children, however, should be removed from a performance
        immediately and should return only if such behavior will not reoccur.

Extracurricular Chorus Activities:
There will be additional opportunities for chorus students this year. None are required, but will
enrich the student’s musical experience.

GMEA (Georgia Music Educators’ Association) District 12 Honor Chorus
Students must audition with Mrs. Madsen, practice music for the event on their own, and attend
practices to learn music for this event. Participants will be the best and most enthusiastic singers
in the district. Practices will be on Thursdays after school until 5:30 beginning on September 18
through October 30 and will be required for students participating in Honor Chorus. The
beginning date for auditions will be announced in class and on the blog. The actual Honor Chorus
                            th       th
event will be November 6 and 7 at Piedmont Baptist Church in Marietta. The cost is $37 per
student. Parents will be responsible for transporting students.

All-State Chorus
This is an opportunity for the most advanced choral students to participate in a three-day chorus
event with the best singers in the state in Savannah, GA. To participate, students must first
audition with Mrs. Madsen, then pass two additional GMEA auditions. (Auditions include: scales,
tonal memory, sight reading and solo singing.) Practices for interested students will take place on
                                                               th                              th
most Tuesday and Thursday mornings, beginning August 19 at 8:15 AM through October 9 . Be
sure to check the attached calendar for dates we will NOT practice. Practices for the second
audition will be scheduled with individual students who make it through the first audition. See the
chorus calendar for specific audition and event dates.
The cost to audition for All-State Chorus is $15 per student. Students who make it into the chorus
will then have the cost of music as well as their transportation, meal and accommodations while
in Savannah.

Morning Chorus
This year, I am reinstating morning chorus. This will be a group of both chorus and non-chorus
students at Pine Mountain. We will meet on Tuesday mornings starting in September. All students
involved in this chorus will be expected to attend EVERY Tuesday morning. If the group is
smaller than 10, we will dissolve until the next semester. The students in this ensemble will get to
choose the type of music they would like to sing and will be expected to also purchase the PMMS
chorus shirts.

Other Opportunities

Chorus leadership is not to be taken lightly. Chorus leaders represent the chorus program as a
whole, not simply a single ensemble. Leaders who do not take the job seriously, or who only
work at it half heartedly, will undermine the excellence to which we are striving. All Chorus
leaders must be self-motivated, responsible, and dependable. They must be able to take the
initiative to lead their fellow students toward the success and betterment of the ensembles.

 President: Must have strong leadership qualities. Responsibilities include:

    -      Assist the Director in promotion and organization of Chorus activities.

    -      Participation in monthly officer meetings.

    -      Serve as liaison between the students and the Director.

    -      Oversee and organize Chorus assistants.

    -      Motivate fellow officers to take an active leadership role in the Chorus.

    -      Motivate and lead the Chorus by both words and by example.

    -      Lead physical warm ups daily.

 Vice President: Right hand of President. Responsibilities include:

    -      Collaborate with Secretary.

    -      Assists in the collection and organization for Chorus activities (such as field trips,
         Chorus shirts, concerts, etc.).

    -      Assist with attendance at performances and during class daily.

    -      Assists in the organization and execution of fund raising activities.

    -      Assist President and other officers in addition to regular duties.

 Secretary: This is a very important position and requires extreme diligence and organizational

Responsibilities include:

    -      Taking attendance on a daily basis. Must know everyone’s name, voice part, and
         assigned seat.

    -      Monitor Chorus rehearsal attendance by frequently reviewing attendance book and
         recording the total number of absences for each student.

    -      Take attendance at concerts.

Librarians: 3 per group

    -      Organization, distribution, collecting, and filing of all choral music.

    -      Keeping chorus folder rack neat and organized.

    -      Be sure each student has music.

    -      Organizing the choral library.

Selection of Leadership Team:

     Too often, leadership elections are often popularity contests resulting in people who run for
office, then do little or nothing once they are elected. Therefore, we will use the following
procedure: If you are interested in any of these positions, you must make that desire known to
the Director at the appropriate time. Candidates will present their credentials to members in the
form of a brief speech. Ensemble members will then vote.

Contact Information

Mrs. Madsen’s email address is It is checked often. Every
effort will be made to respond to your messages within 24 hours. Pine Mountain’s phone number
is 678-594-8252, although email is definitely the best way to contact Mrs. Madsen.
The blog will have upcoming tests, performances and other pertinent information posted. It can
be found at .

Basic classroom routines
    Entering the Room
           o Sign in with your secretary
           o Greet Mrs.Madsen upon entering the room.
           o Inform Mrs. Madsenof any medical conditions or special needs you have that
           o Check the “Take One – Bin” as you enter.
           o Put away unnecessary materials and get music folder, pencil, paper, and any
              other necessary materials (See whiteboard, overhead or PowerPoint for special
           o Sharpen pencil if needed
           o Give any notes to Mr. Chamberlain
           o Turn in any work that is due
           o Be in seat BEFORE the tardy bell rings
    Exiting room
           o Turn in any work due before you leave
           o Put music folder away
           o Get your back pack and/or other stored materials
           o Sit back down and wait to be dismissed (usually with the bell – but be in the habit
              of following my dismissal instruction)
    Materials to have every day
           o Music Folder (music)
           o Paper (in folder, too)
           o Pencil
           o Any assignments we are working on
    Attention Signal
           o Hissing – When you hear me hiss, hiss back at my hiss. More than 3 hisses in a
              row = a citation for students who continue to talk
    Turning in work and getting it back from me
           o “Take One” Bin
           o “In Bin”
           o Assignments that are intended to be handed back - I will hand back at this point.
    Care of music and folders
           o Keep music in folder when not in use.
           o Store music in correct folder slot.
           o You may take it home, but need to have it in class each day
           o Only helpful score markings IN PENCIL are allowed (phrasing, cues, etc.)
           o Do not write your name, or do drawings on your music or your folder or otherwise
              damage it.
    Heading paper
           o First AND Last name
           o Grade and
           o Date
    Assigned Seats
           o Stay in assigned seat unless
                    Instructed by Mrs. Madsen to do otherwise
                    Given permission – such as sharpening pencil, or using a hall pass.
    Warm ups, stretches
           o Everyone participates (unless excused from some or all of it by Mrs. Madsen –
              medical condition for example)

           o Student Leaders – change each week.
      Section work
           o When Mrs. Madsen is working with one section, the others are to be…
                    Following along with them, OR
                    Studying their own part
                    NOT talking or otherwise being off-task.
    General behavior expectations
           o Attentive
           o Follow directions the first time
           o No socializing
    Sectionals
           o Will teach in more detail
    Various Strategies: Think-Pair-Share; KWL, etc.
           o Will teach in more detail
    Marking the score
           o Will teach in more detail
    Riser decorum
           o Walk on
           o Walk off
           o Chorus position
           o Focal points
Missing class
    Tardy
           o Excused
                    A note/pass from a staff member excuses it
                    You are to make up any work missed – for full credit
                    If it becomes an ongoing issue, we will confer to find a solution
           o Unexcused
                    If there is no note from a staff member it is unexcused. Period.
                    More than 10 (could be 5) minutes late = truant/skipping and will result in
                       a referral
                    Daily Participation Grade will be lowered in amounts proportionate to the
                       interruption caused and learning lost.
    Absent
           o Excused
                    It is the student’s responsibility to find out (from another student or the
                       teacher before or after class) what was missed and to make up the work.
                    The student has the number of days absent plus one to turn in missing
                       work, unless student and Mrs. Madsen agree to other arrangements. In
                       other words, if a student misses 2 days, the work is due on the student’s
                       3 day back.
Handling specific needs
    Sharpening pencil
           o Before class begins
           o If during rehearsal and lead breaks, wait for an appropriate time and raise hand –
               ask permission.
           o If during a writing assignment or other independent work, avoid disrupting others,
               but sharpen as needed.
    Drink
           o Before class
           o Emergency, such as coughing fit.
    Rest room pass
           o Allowed 2 per quarter.
           o Unused passes can be sold back for extra credit (1% per pass per quarter grade)
    Medical conditions (ongoing, or temporary such as sore throat or sprained ankle)
           o Let Mrs. Madsen know when entering class

           o   You are expected to do everything you are capable of doing. Examples:
                     Laryngitis? Mouth words and do everything the class does – except use
                        your voice.
                     Sprained ankle? Sit up when we stand. Otherwise do the same as the
      Emergencies (such as a bloody nose, or feeling sick to the stomach)
           o If you are able, get a pass from Mrs. Madsen, then go. Otherwise, take care of
               the emergency first and we’ll deal with the pass as soon as we can.
      Called to office
           o Wait for a pass.
    This is covered in the handbook
Discipline – Will be covered during first few days of class
    Solving problems
    Processing forms
    Detentions
    Other school policies in place
Class/School emergencies – Will be covered during the first few days of class.
    Fire Drill
    Earth Quake Drill
    Intruder alert
    Other emergencies

Student Last Name:_____________________________
Grade Level:____________________________

My signature indicates that I have read and understand the responsibilities required of
me including but not limited to: chorus rules, concert attendance policy, uniforms, and
grading policy.

I understand that being a member of the Pine Mountain chorus is the commitment of a
full year.

PRINT Student Name________________________________Grade Level___________ Period_______
Student Signature X________________________________________________Date_________________

My signature indicates that I have read and understand the responsibilities required of
me including concert attendance, uniforms, and grading policy.

PRINT Parent Name_____________________________________________________________________

Parent Signature X_________________________________________________Date_________________

Work Phone:________________________________Home Phone________________________________

Cell Phone:_________________________________

Print Parent/Guardian (if another) Name ___________________________________________________

Work Phone:________________________________Home Phone_________________________________

Cell Phone:_________________________________

Email address(es) for chorus mailing list (spam free!)___________________________________________


Parent Volunteer Information:
Please check areas in which you are willing and able to assist.
____ Concert Chaperone (Help with supervising students before the concert.)
____ Piano Accompaniment for concerts
____ Fundraiser Help
____ Chaperoning other events
____ Other (indicate a way you think you could help)

Pine Mountain Chorus
Stephanie R. Madsen, Director of Chorus

Dear Parents and Students:

   Our chorus students have an opportunity this year to purchase Pine Mountain Chorus shirts.
This black, short-sleeved polo shirt is embroidered on the front left with Pine Mountain Chorus.
Available sizes range from youth Large to adult XX Large.

   This shirt is available for purchase by all Pine Mountain Chorus students. As outlined in the
Pine Mountain Chorus Handbook, this shirt paired with khaki pants will be the uniform for all Pine
Mountain Chorus performances during the 2009-20010 school year. These shirts may also be
used for fieldtrips in the future.

Please note that we make no profit from this sale. Should we fall short of this minimum; prices
will be raised one dollar.

 Return forms with cash or a check made payable to PINE MOUNTAIN MIDDLE SCHOOL. The
                  last day to place an order will be Monday, August 31, 2009 .

Detach and complete the order form below and deposit with proper payment in a money drop box


Student’s Name ______________________________________________________________

Home Phone _________________________________________ Class _____________

SIZE                  QUANTITY
Adult XS          _________  @                $15.00=$__________
Adult S           _________  @                $15.00=$__________
Adult M           ________   @                $15.00=$__________
Adult L           __________ @                $15.00=$__________
Adult XL          __________ @                $15.00=$__________
Adult XXL         _________  @                $15.00=$__________

       TOTAL AMOUNT TO BE PAID $__________

Sales tax is included in this price. No addition tax is required.

        Group Performance Project Excuse Request

Student Name:_____________________________________________

Grade Level:_______________________________________________

Date Given to Teacher: ______________________________________

Date of Performance:________________________________________

Brief explanation of why this absence should be excused:


Student Signature:____________________________________________

Parent Signature:_____________________________________________

                      To be filled out by Mrs. Madsen



Date Returned:______________________________

Teacher Signature:___________________________


Shared By: