Vocal Music Handbook
Tony Gonzalez & Darin Chapin
Norman North High School
Vocal Music Department
1809 Stubbeman Avenue
Norman, OK 73069
366-5954 ext. 246
Dear Choir Member/Parent,
The new school year is launched and we are experiencing the joy of making music. Thank you for
your support, and particularly for encouraging (name of student) to continue (his/her) study of
music. This investment of time, effort and energy will produce lifelong dividends.
Throughout the year you will be receiving communications from our Music Department concerning
upcoming concerts and other pertinent information. I also will be sending you compelling research
data about the importance of music study in the development of your child. The world of education
is in a constant evolution and you, as a responsible and concerned parent, must be apprised of the
latest information gleaned from research studies. This information will aid you in helping (name of
student) make wise choices that are certain to benefit (his/her) future.
Evidence continues to focus on the arts (music) as a vital component in the positive growth of every
child. For years we have pointed to the music students as those who have demonstrated a special
talent. However, based on extended studies, we now know it is the very process of learning music
that develops the artistic mind and brings forth the creative potential in all young people. For this
reason, continued membership in our musical family is strongly encouraged.
It is a privilege to have (name of student) as a valued musician in our organization. Thank you for
your support of music education at (name of school). You play an important role in everything we
do. Welcome to our new school year!
Vocal Music Handbook Purpose
Because of the many extra details involved in a performing arts class, this handbook is
designed to keep you and your child informed of class requirements and expectations. A schedule
of performances appears at the back of this handbook. A copy has been provided for parents to
keep at home. We have included exact dates and times of events, however, some may still be
The yellow pages must be returned to us by
Norman North High School Vocal Music Department
Statement of Purposes
To help students learn the basic techniques of good singing and demonstrate those techniques in
a performance setting.
To help students become independent music readers.
To help develop a lifelong appreciation of many types and styles of music.
To help students become successful in all that they do.
Our choirs prepare, study, and perform a variety of musical styles. These styles include, but
are not limited to, sacred, secular, patriotic, jazz, folk, and ethnic music in a number of foreign
languages. Your child is expected to participate in our performances. Please communicate in
writing any concerns you may have regarding the literature.
Choir concert attendance is not an option. They are mandatory and cannot be made up.
Concerts are a joint effort by the entire choir and every member needs to be present for them to be
successful. Because so many people are affected by a choir member’s absence, there is no
acceptable excuse to miss a concert short of a serious illness of the member or a family emergency.
Concerts are the equivalent of a major exam because they are the culmination of our work in
class. As such, students choosing to enroll in this class are responsible for the additional
commitment needed to succeed in a performing class. Please refer to the calendar and plan your
year accordingly regarding work schedules, visitation, appointments, transportation, etc. YOUR
JOB WILL NOT EXCUSE YOU FROM A PERFORMANCE. Please note also that lack of
transportation is NOT an excuse for missing a concert, contest, or extra rehearsal. If you are
aware of transportation problems before a performance, inform Mr. G, Mr. Chapin, a section leader
or class officer. We will be glad to help!
In the event of another student activity conflict, the director, principal and other activity
sponsor will meet and decide which event has priority.
An unexcused performance absence will result in a zero for the performance portion of your
grade and is grounds for dismissal.
10th-12th Grade Men and Women. Present enrollment: 65. Director: Mr. G
Chorale performs a varied repertoire, ranging from Renaissance to 20th Century. They will split
and form the Chorale Men and the Chorale Women, making a total of three choirs. These
ensembles prepare and perform their own literature. Members will have the opportunity to audition
for OMEA and OCDA honor choirs, as well as perform at state and national contests.
10th-12th Grade Men/Women. Present enrollment: 68. Director: Mr. Chapin
The Concert Choir performs a varied repertoire, ranging from Renaissance to 20th Century. They
will split and form the Concert Choir Men and the Concert Choir Women, making a total of three
choirs. These ensembles prepare and perform their own literature. Members will have the
opportunity to audition for OMEA and OCDA honor choirs, as well as perform at state and national
Mixed Choir (Freshman Women)
9th Grade Women. Present enrollment: 35. Director: Mr. Chapin
This choir also splits like the Concert Choir to form three ensembles that enjoy their own sets of
literature. They may audition for COCDA and OCDA honor choirs. Members will also have the
opportunity to perform at state and national contests
10th-12th Grade Men and Women. Present enrollment: 21. Director: Mr. Chapin
Chamber choir performs pieces designed for smaller choral ensembles. They will perform concerts
by themselves, including a Dessert Review and performances for other organizations. Members
must audition and be enrolled in one of the other choirs.
9th-12th Grade Men and Women. Present enrollment: 16. Director: Mr. G
A very popular and active ensemble, “A Touch of Jazz,” performs regularly for area civic, social
and educational events as well as Norman’s annual “Jazz in June” Music Festival. Members must
participate in one of the other choirs.
Music is discipline. It requires discipline from those involved. You must demonstrate:
Respect for teacher and classmates
A cooperative attitude conducive to learning
Always a Team Player
Vocal Music Grading System
Includes concerts, related rehearsals and contest participation.
Excused absences will be given only for emergencies and serious illness.
Absences will be excused for the above reasons only if you bring a note from your parent
the first day you are back at school after the performance.
Please note that participation in scheduled performances is mandatory. Students with excused
absences may make up the grade by writing a Composer Report. Please read “Performance
Requirements” on the previous page for more information.
Daily Participation (30%)
Arrives on time to class.
Uses singing voice appropriately.
Sits or stands in proper singing position.
Follows along quietly with music when other sections are rehearsing.
Has all necessary materials with them at their seat (Pencil, notebook, music folder, etc.)
Each class period is worth 10 points. Points are deducted for failure to comply with participation
expectations listed above. Students will either receive all participation points for that day or none.
Daily participation grades are averaged and weekly grade will be entered in the grade book.
Nine-weeks Test (20%)
The test will cover any written work that has been done in class and will also include sight-reading
and ear training material.
Written Work (10%)
Weekly music worksheets and sight reading assignments
Written work will be recorded as a composite completion grade. All assigned paperwork will be
checked for completion as it’s given out and recorded in the grade book. All assignments must be
completed to receive the 10% credit toward your overall grade. Failure to do any one of the
assignments will lower your final grade by 10%.
Choir Uniform Information
The philosophy of a uniform is to enhance the performance of our ensemble. Care is taken
to avoid any and all distractions from the overall group appearance, and includes, but is not limited
to: Black socks for the men and no jewelry for the women. It is mandatory to have the proper
attire. Much planning has gone into the selection process to ensure that the choirs look professional
and attractive. The uniform fee is the student’s responsibility and is payable to Norman North
Choir. Require uniforms are as follows:
Women (All Choirs)
DRESS: Chorale/Concert Women – Floor length black velvet and chiffon formal
Usage Fee: $30
Freshmen Women – Floor length black satin dress with stretch bodice and
Usage Fee: $30
SHOES: Black character shoes. $20 to order
HOSE: Black Mist
JEWELRY: NONE, including body piercings
We will size you for the uniform at school. Dresses may need to be hemmed, so consider leaving
material at the bottom rather than cutting it off.
SHIRT: White tux shirt with vest
PANTS: Black Tuxedo
SHOES: Black patent leather
SOCKS: Black (provided by student)
The entire outfit, including shoes, is distributed at school through Mr. G. Yearly usage fee: $50.00
Jazz Choir Men:
(Shirt, pants, and shoes from Chorale)
Yearly rental fee: $20.00
Fundraisers are held throughout the year to help students raise money for the national trip
and other miscellaneous expenses. Money raised is deposited into the choir activity account
balance. While fundraisers are voluntary, those students who choose to participate are responsible
for the value of the product, regardless of loss, theft, or consumption. Parents may choose to pay
for all or part of the trip by check or money order. In some cases, fundraisers will assist the student
in paying for his/her uniform or other obligations.
Absence from class during the regular school day will be handled in the same manner as set
for all classes. The student will be excused if his/her absence was excused by the school. They will
be expected to make up any work missed during overtime. Eight unexcused absences from class
will result in an “F” for the quarter. This is school policy.
Tardy Policy: The school policy requires that lunch detention be assigned on the third tardy
and an automatic referral on the fourth. The student will be assigned Saturday school by a principal
for the fourth tardy and every tardy following. This is in addition to any participation points lost for
missing rehearsal time.
Extra Rehearsals: The success of our program is due to the sacrifice and hard work of our
members. Extra time and effort is essential. Additional choir rehearsals will be called as needed
during overtime and attendance is required. Dates will be announced well in advance so individual
plans can be made accordingly. Excellence requires sacrifice.
Absences from called rehearsals outside of school hours – e.g., Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir,
Mostly Mozart, will not be excused. Requests for excused absences will be considered by Mr. G. or
Mr. Chapin on an individual basis.
EACH UNEXCUSED ABSENCE WILL LOWER YOUR GRADE BY ONE
In addition, the member risks the possibility of losing travel and performance privileges, or
even dismissal from the ensemble.
Please be advised that non-passing grades received in other classes can keep a student from
participating in choir activities. The eligibility requirements are the same as those dictated by the
school district, i.e., no “F’s”. Refer to the school handbook for more details. Activities that subject
to eligibility rules include: COCDA, OCDA, OMEA, and all OSSAA sanctioned events. One
week prior to contest, students on the ineligibility list will be excused from singing in class so
that the choir can rehearse in the same manner it will be judged on.
Please don’t ask for a hall-pass unless it is an emergency. Trips to your locker to retrieve
schoolwork, your purse, books, etc., are not emergencies.
In-School Sick Days Policy
It is understood that there are instances when a student may be well enough to attend school,
but not be able to sing. The following guidelines will address
Students have one free sick day per quarter
After the free day, students must bring a note from a parent stating why they cannot sing and
for how many days the condition is expected to last (this can be amended by the parent as
necessary). A student has one week from the first day of not singing to remember to bring
the note. After that, the student receives no participation points for the days not sung.
When taking a legitimate sick day, the student must sit in his/her chair. He/she may not do
homework from another class. The student must have the music out and be ACTIVELY
following along while the class is rehearsing and learning.
Guidelines for turning in paperwork:
NEAT and legible
In pencil only – definitely not metallic green gel pens, pink highlighters, etc.
Not torn out of binder (holes intact)
Not folded into little squares or crumpled from being crammed into crazy places
No artwork (as fabulous as it may be!)
First and last name on front
Will not be accepted without notebook
COCDA Honor Choir
Every 9th grade student is encouraged to audition for the Central Oklahoma Choral Directors
Association Honor Choir. The Choir is formed expressly for students in grades 7, 8, and 9, to help
prepare them for the high school All-State Choir and to provide them with a chance to perform with
the more talented and committed singers in the area. Just the experience of the audition itself is a
great opportunity in your development as a musician. There is a $15.00 fee to participate in the
audition and an additional $15.00 if selected. Fees cover the audition, music, member t-shirt and
OCDA Jr. High All-State Choir
This is patterned after the High School All-State events but will include grades 7-9. It is strongly
recommended that 9th graders audition. This is a very prestigious choir to be chosen for as students
from the entire state will be auditioning and will require a great deal of work outside of class.
Because of the level of commitment and technical proficiency required, only students who audition
for and are chosen for the COCDA honor choir will be given the option of auditioning. Auditions
will be held Tuesday, November 13th, with rehearsals and performances in OKC January 10-12,
2008. If selected, lodging expenses at the Renaissance Hotel will range from $75.00 - $120.00 and
are the responsibility of the student.
OMEA High School All-State Choir
The All-Oklahoma Music Education Association Choir is highly recommended for 10-12 grade
singers. Auditions are October 27th and November 10th, with rehearsals and performance taking
place at the annual OMEA convention in Tulsa on January 16th-19th, 2008. Entry and music fee is
$20.00. It is an honor to be selected and is an invaluable and memorable musical experience.
Students who are selected will receive additional music to learn and will be responsible for lodging
expenses. These will range from $75.00-120.00 at the Adams Mark.
Solo and Ensemble Contest
Students are encouraged to participate in solo and ensemble contest. It’s a wonderful chance to
constructively judge while gaining performing experience. If you do not have a private voice
teacher, you will be helped with music selection by Mr. G. or Mr. Chapin. The deadline for entry is
And includes an entry fee of $8.00 for soloists, or $8-$12 for ensembles depending on size. The
contest date is March 25th and will be held at Norman North High School.
Class officers are elected yearly by their peers to assist in the running of a large program. Every
class period will hold an election for six officer positions, each assigned with specific duties to
benefit the class. In addition, they will be required to attend officer meetings held monthly (or
whenever necessary) for individual classes, as well as monthly combined officer meetings from all
classes. Students may choose to run for a position or be nominated by another student. Positions
include: President, Vice President, Secretary, Librarian, Wardrobian, and Historian.