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					Dear Montford Chorus Parent,

Your child has elected to participate in the William J.Montford III Middle School chorus program
this year. Thank you for your encouragement in this decision. Statistics indicate that if your
child participates in music, he or she is likely to earn higher grades and score better on
standardized tests. Now there is powerful evidence of a cause and effect link between music
instruction and intelligence.

Within this packet is information that explains to you and your child his/her responsibilities and
opportunities as a Montford Chorus Member. We hope to start a world class choral program and
need your help and commitment in doing so! Please read this material since some of the
information requires time and effort on your part. Please mark the concert dates on your
calendar so that your child will not have any conflicts with these events. Choir is a performing
art. Therefore, performances and extra rehearsals do receive a grade. A note or a call from you
is required in the event of an emergency, and notification to me of any possible conflicts as
early as possible will help to avoid potential problems.

At various times during the year, I will need assistance with activities. If you are interested,
please note your availability on the handbook form. I will then contact you about specific
events. Your willingness to help is the key to maintaining an outstanding chorus program, and I
appreciate your help. Please fill out a volunteer form with the school early so we can use you
as soon as you are needed.

My goal is to provide your child with the best choral music education possible. If you have any
concerns or questions about your child or the chorus program, please contact me at 922-6011or
by email at drewj3@leon.k12.fl.us. Please note that I have a webpage that can be accessed at
our school home page www.montford.leon.k12.fl.us and will link you to my homepage which
will be updated at regular intervals. Finally, if you provide your email address on the form in
this packet, I will send you concert announcements and other important chorus information
throughout the school year.

Finally, please sign the handbook on the last page informing us of your commitment to your
child’s participation in the Montford Middle School Choir. Your child will begin the year by
receiving 50 extra credit points in this grading period if it is returned by August 28, 2008.

                                                          Sincerely,



                                                          Mrs. Drew
                                                          Montford Choral Director



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                        MMS Chorus Calendar 2008-2009

September 2-11                Uniform fitting and ordering for 7th graders

September 25, 2008            All State Chorus Musicianship Test
                              Lincoln High School
                              Select Students Only
                              5:15 PM check-in

September 29, 2008            Allstate Sight reading Test
                              Select students only
                              Leon High School
                              5:00 PM

October 5, 12, 19 and         Allstate Help Sessions
26, 2008                      St. Paul’s Methodist Church
                              2-4 PM next to Lake Ella (All Leon County Middle school participants)

October 23, 2008              Fall Highlight of Fine Arts (Band, Chorus, Strings combined)

October 30, 2008              All State Chorus Vocal Audition
                              Tallahassee United Methodist Church
                              Select Students Only
                              8:30 AM check-in-3PM

November 15, 2008             Florida Vocal Association District 3
                              Solo & Ensemble Music Performance Assessment
                              Raa Middle School
                              Tmes:TBA

December 10, 2008             Dress rehearsal if needed 8-9 AM Cafeteria

December 11, 2008             Chorus Fall Concert
                              Montford Stage
                              7:00 PM (Students arrive at 6:30)

January 7-10, 2009            Florida Music Educators Conference
                              Tampa, Fl.
                              Qualifying Allstate students attend with director

January 27, 2009              Male Honor choir, optional
                              Chiles High
                              10 AM-3 PM, Concert 7PM

March 19, 2009                Spring Fine Arts Highlight (Band, Chorus, Strings combined)

March 24-25, 2009             Florida Vocal Association District 3
                              Choral Music Performance Assessment
                              Chiles High School
                              TIMES:       TBA


May 12-14, 2009               8-9 AM Rehearsals for those needing before concert
                              Details of those needing to be there will come later

May 14, 2009                  Chorus Spring Concert
                              Montford Stage
                              7:00 PM (Students arrive at 6:30)

May 15, 2009                  Wild Adventures Fine Arts Trip




                                  Page   2/10
Mission Statement

It is our mission to provide an environment for the continuation of the learning of basic values,
opportunities for the enhancement of the skills of communication, creativity, and critique, and
to grow in the art of vocal music.


Goals for 2008-2009
   1. Full participation and attendance in our home concerts.
   2. Full participation and attendance in our local field trips.
   3. Community outreach to include our feeder schools
   4. Add at least 40 students to our program by 09-10

Course Description:

Chorus is open to all students at Montford 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. The
most successful chorus students strive for "excellence" both as individuals and as an ensemble.

The choirs   include:
             Chorus I- Prelude
             Chorus II- Dynamics
             Encore- Show choir/extra-curricula choir to be designed by late 09


Chorus Supplies & Materials

Students must bring to chorus:

    1. Approximately 25 sheets of loose-leaf wide-rule paper.
    2. A pencil to keep inside the folder.
    3. A 3 ring binder or duotang 2 pocket folder that they will bring to class each day.

Students will be held responsible for materials assigned to them, including sheet music and
their chorus folder. Sheet music is the most expensive part of the chorus curriculum. Students
who damage, lose or destroy a copy of music will be charged $5 to replace it. The following
guidelines will allow us to preserve the music so that funds can be used to purchase new music,
thereby expanding our music library.
     Chorus students will be issued music folders where all music will be kept
     All notes, study guides, worksheets, test will be kept in that personal folder that will
        be a part of the daily routine
     Comments written on the performance of music are to be written in pencil and erased
        when music is turned in. Any music damaged or destroyed will result in the $5 or
        more, depending on the replacement costs.

Everyone is expected to handle classroom materials and equipment with care. Students who
fail to do so may lose the privilege of using these items.




                                             Page   3/10
Field Trips:

Field trips are one of the most exciting parts of being in chorus. Remember that field trips are
a privilege. Students who do not meet chorus and/or school guidelines may lose that privilege.

    1. All students will be well supervised on trips. While traveling, chaperones will monitor
       student activities.
    2. All chaperones are to be treated with respect.
    3. All students must ride the designated bus to and from each event.
    4. No portable games or video players are permitted on bus trips. However, MP3 players,
       iPods, and portable CD players are acceptable with earphones. These items must be
       left on the bus when arriving at our destination and Montford chorus is not responsible
       for the loss or damage of these items. Bring them at your own risk!


Chorus Uniforms

All chorus students will be required to wear the designated chorus uniform to concerts and
other performances as directed. This year we will be ordering pre-made uniforms for Chorus II.
Indoor concerts will require the formal uniform, which will be rented by each student
individually. Please do not allow your child to wear any part of the uniform at times other
than performing events. If a student is not dressed appropriately for a performance and the
infraction can not be fixed before concert time he/she will not be permitted to perform. The
result will be a zero for the performance. Items marked with an * are provided by the chorus
with your fees.


Chorus I/boys -Prelude
Black dress pants (no jeans and no athletic shoes)
White long sleeved dress shirt
Black dress socks
Black dress shoes
Chorus T-shirt

Chorus I/girls-Prelude
Black dress pants or skirt that is knee length or longer
White long or short sleeved shirt with collar and no emblems
Black trouser socks or black opaque stockings


Chorus II/boys-Dynamics
Black dress pants
Black dress shoes
Black socks
Formal tux shirt, bow tie, cummerbund




                                           Page   4/10
Chorus II/girls-Dynamics
*black washable concert dress
Low heeled or flat black dress shoes, no open backs or slings
Black trouser socks or black opaque stockings

Encore (outside of school ensemble)
Black dress pants
     concert touring shirt with school emblem

Uniform and Fee information

Chorus I- Prelude -$35 to go towards music, accompanist fees, tunings, and purchases toward a successful choral
program.

Chorus II boys or girls-Dynamics- $30 for music program needs, $30 for uniform rental, $5 for
cleaning fee=total $65 per year

Concert attire is provided by the Montford choral department and is property of the school. Students will be held
responsible for missing or damaged articles according to the following replacement guidelines:

Replacement of dress is $80, replacement of boys 4 part ensemble is $60
Do not hem tape, or cut the fabric in any way. ANY STUDENT NEEDING FINANCIAL HELP SHOULD HAVE THEIR
PARENT/GAURDIAN CONTACT ME RIGHT AWAY. I WILL MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED!




CHORAL LITERATURE

Choral Literature is selected on the basis of musical and historical value, rather than the nature of the text.
Specific musical concepts are taught using music from different stylistic periods and cultures. Some patriotic and
seasonal music is used to increase musical and aesthetic awareness. A large majority of the world’s great art
music is of a religious nature. However, it should be noted that all music in the program is taught from the
standpoint of musical worth and not ethical, moral or religious significance. No student shall be forced to
participate in rehearsal or performance of music that conflicts with their personal beliefs. Every attempt will be
made to provide alternative musical experiences for those students. Please send a written statement with
parent/guardian signature if your choral student has any limitations regarding choral literature.

SKILLS Taught in Chorus I, II, III

      1) Correct singing posture
      2) Proper breath management
      3) Free, open, natural tone quality



                                            Page   5/10
     4) Intonation and pitch accuracy
     5) Clarity of consonants and purity of vowels
     6) Expressive characteristics
     7) Vocal and facial expression
     8) Stage presence
     9) Rhythmic and melodic sightreading
    10) Memorization of individual vocal parts(s)
    11) Knowledge of musical vocabulary, musical signs and symbols, and basic music theory
    as set forth in the Florida Sunshine State Standards


Participation
      1) Positive attitude
      2) Having correct daily materials (folder, pencil, paper, etc)
      3) Having prepared assignments (when assigned)
      4) Attendance at performances, festivals, and rehearsals
      5) Attendance at daily class rehearsals.


   Grading Policy


Unit Assessments and Unit Tests=50%
Other Assessments-Small Group Performance, Concert Performance, Self Evaluation,
Rubric/Checklist =50%




   Grading Scale

                   Academic                                    Citizenship Marks
                  90-100 A                                        0-2 marks 4
                   80-89 B                                        3-5 marks 3
                   70-79 C                                        6-8 marks 2
                   60-69 D                                    9-and above marks 1
               59 and below F
                                          **Important**
   Students must have an Academic Grade of a “C” or better and a Conduct Grade of a 4 or
   3 in Chorus in order to travel to performances during the school day or out of the county
   for that 9 week grading period only. Students who do not meet this criteria will be given
   an alternate assignment and remain at school.
   Citizenship Infractions and Penalties
   1st infraction: 1 citizenship mark deducted
   2nd infraction: 2 citizenship mark deducted, which will result in a lowered citizenship
   grade.
   3rd infraction: 2 citizenship mark deducted, which will result in a lowered citizenship
   grade, and parent notification.
   4th infraction: will result in a written detention appropriate for the action. This level
   will make the student ineligible to travel with the chorus during that grading period.



                                            Page   6/10
   5th infraction: will result in a referral to the office.
   Inappropriate Language
   It is challenge to encourage students at this age to perform freely for fear of ridicule by
   their peers. It is very important to create a safe environment. Therefore, as a sign of
   respect to others, students will receive 1 conduct cut any time they make disparaging
   comments to their fellow chorus members. This includes verbally abusing another
   student. Example- “You’re stupid”, “You’re ugly”, “Shut-up” etc. Parents will be
   notified if the conduct grade drops a numerical grade.
   Participation
   Students will receive 20 points per day for class participation. If a student is not actively
   participating in the warm-up and rehearsal process, they will lose points in increments
   of 5 points. This includes talking or disturbing rehearsals. You will be notified if your
   child’s academic or conduct grade falls a letter grade. We will be using a Conduct Sheet
   that the students will be responsible to bring home to be signed on the Bi-Weekly Grade
   Day. The sheet must be signed at that time. Conduct sheets may also be sent home on
   other days if a problem needs to be addressed immediately.
   Chorus Classroom Behavior Expectations

     1. Enter class quietly.
     2. Place your belongings in your assigned area.
     3. Check the board for Daily Agenda, make sure that you have all of the materials that
          you need.
     4. Go directly to your assigned seat. Be seated at the class start time!
     5. Put away your class materials. Gather your belongings and return to your seat.
     6. Check to make sure that your seat section is clean. If you see something on the
          floor…pick it up.
     7. Make sure your chairs are in the correct position.
     8. Sit in your assigned seat and quietly wait to be dismissed.
     9. The printed music that is provided is our version of a textbook. When a piece of music
          is assigned to student, the music must be returned in a usable condition or the
          student will be responsible for replacing the music. Each octavo part ranges from
          $3.00 and higher
     10. Students who disrupt the class or prevent others from learning will be taken through
          the appropriate stages of intervention. If the inappropriate behavior continues, the
          student will not be permitted to attend chorus field trips, and the make-up
          procedures will be followed.

   All chorus procedures will be explained to each student in detail during the first weeks
   of school. If any question or concern arises please feel free to contact me.


Required Performances:

Chorus is a performing arts program; therefore, students are expected to attend ALL
performances and rehearsals. Attending these events are a key component in every student’s
grade. Parents and students should take the time to note the dates in their calendars which is
included in this handbook and online.

A performance is any activity where the chorus performs in public. Before/after school
rehearsals are RARE but are necessary when several classes need to rehearse together.
Rehearsing together is necessary for a successful performance.




                                               Page   7/10
To receive full credit for concerts, each students must:
     Attend all scheduled performances
     Arrive on time
     Wear the proper uniform
     Follow our Code of Conduct
     Use proper concert etiquette while performing or watching others perform.

School and Community
The choral department will present a minimum of 2 school concerts this academic year. These
will be evening performances held in our Performance auditorium. In addition, one or more of
the choruses may perform in and around the community.

MPA - Music Performance Assessment
At this event, choirs are judged in the areas of performance and sightreading. This is a great
opportunity for the students to get positive feedback from other professional choral directors
and to hear other fine groups. The Florida Vocal Association sponsors this event each year.


Absences from concerts / performances:

All concert dates are provided early in the year so that families can avoid scheduling any
conflicting appointments or trips around those dates.

Excused absences: Illness; death in the family; other emergency situations; pre-arranged
absences (i.e. religious reasons) where parent note is received at least two weeks prior to the
concert. *In order to receive a passing grade for the concert, a student will be required to
complete a makeup assignment. Please see below for “How to earn missed points from a
concert.”

Unexcused absences: Students who have an unexcused absence from a concert will be awarded
no points and will not be given an opportunity to make up the work.

                           Unexcused absence from concert
                                   = ZERO POINTS

How to earn missed points from a concert:

A student must bring a note signed by a parent/guardian to the chorus director within TWO
days of his/her return to class. If a note is not received in time, the absence will be considered
unexcused and earn no points.

There is no way to make up the experience of a chorus concert if missed. To make up the
points, however, students who provide a parent note will be assigned a makeup assignment of
the director’s choosing. Upon completion of this assignment, the student will receive points
based on the quality of their work. Please note that both the assignment and a signed excuse
note must be received in order for ANY points to be awarded.


Hall Passes:

It is my responsibility to use the entire class period for instruction. Writing passes disrupts
activities; therefore students are expected to use the restroom, schedule guidance
appointments, etc. between classes.




                                            Page   8/10
Extracurricular Activities:

Participation in the activities listed here is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Before
school study sessions and/or rehearsals are required in most cases. Students must meet
academic requirements and are responsible for transportation and expenses associated with
these events including sheet music, accompanist tapes, accompanist fees, travel and lodging.

All State Chorus:
        All State Chorus is an audition-only chorus that practices and performs in Tampa over a
        period of three days in January. In order to participate, students must pass three
        challenging auditions. It is recommended only for students with solid musicianship
        skills. A parent chaperone is expected to accompany every student participant to
        Tampa.

Solo & Ensemble:
        This event is for students interested in being adjudicated as a soloist or as part of a
        small ensemble. Students must choose music from an approved list with their director.
        A piano performance category is also available.

All County Male Chorus:
        This Honors Choir is composed of students selected to represent each middle school in
        the county.




Fundraising:

All students are encouraged to participate in the chorus fundraiser because all fundraiser
money benefits chorus students. Students are not required to participate, but the funds we
raise are used to pay for things such as music, bus transportation, uniforms, accompanists,
awards, hospitality, MPA fees, clinician fees, and more…




                                           Page   9/10
                   Montford Middle School Chorus
        PA R E N T / S T U D E N T H A N D B O O K C O N F I R M AT I O N F O R M
                                     2008-2009
                                                                                                             This is worth
   Due                    To be signed by parent and student!                                                  50 extra
 Monday,                                                                                                     credit points!
                           PLEASE SIGN AND RETURN THIS PAGE ONLY
August 28th

      This signed and dated form will be kept in the student's file in the chorus office. The intent of this form is to
      verify that chorus parents and students understand and agree with what is involved with membership in the
      Montford Middle School Chorus Program.

              "I have read the MONTFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUS HANDBOOK including the grading policy
               with my child and we understand our responsibilities in developing a successful chorus program and in
               earning a positive grade in this class."
              “I understand that my child will be expected to perform in uniform and will eventually pay a $65 uniform
               rental fee when time.
              “I have taken the time to note the chorus concert dates. I understand that if there are any conflicts I must
               provide Mrs. Drew notice at least 2 weeks in advance.”
              Thank you for joining the Montford Middle School Chorus Program!

      __________________________________________                           _____________               _____________
      Student Name (Please Print)                                              Grade                     Chorus Period

                                                                             ___________________
                                                                                Student Home Phone
      Donation of supplies we use frequently in the chorus room that we would greatly appreciate are:
      9 volt and AAA batteries for sound, Kleenex, Music CD-R‘s for recording and reams of paper for
      instruction
      Volunteer opportunities: chaperones, copying, accompanists, music tutors, transportation etc.

Parent A:                                                        Parent B (if applicable)
Name: ___________________________________________                Name: ___________________________________________
Work Ph: _________________________________________               Work Ph: _________________________________________
Home Ph: ________________________________________                Home Ph: ________________________________________
Cell Ph: __________________________________________              Cell Ph: __________________________________________
Email for chorus messages: __________________________            Email for chorus messages: __________________________


I may be available to chaperone field trips or volunteer         I may be available to chaperone field trips or volunteer
at these times: (check all that apply)                           at these times: (check all that apply)
   Daytime     Evenings      Weekends       Anytime                  Daytime      Evenings      Weekends       Anytime



      X____________________________________                                    ____________________
      Parent Signature                                                         Date

      ____________________________________                                     ____________________
      Student Signature                                                           Date



                                                         Page   10/10

				
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