University of Utah A Cappella Choir
School of Music
Conductor: Dr. Brady R. Allred MUSC 4405/6405, Section 01
Office: Room 254, 801-587-9377 1-3 Credit Hours
Email: Brady.Allred@music.utah.edu MWF 12:55-1:45 pm TTH 2:00-2:50 pm
Office Hours: M-F 10:00-11:30am or by appointment Room: DGH 270
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
Discovery of choral literature and performance through study, analysis,
rehearsal, and performance.
Membership in the group is obtained through audition and by approval of the
conductor. A high level of proficiency in vocal skills, sight-reading, and
musicianship is expected but not required.
III. COURSE GOALS
A. Achieve the highest standards of excellence in choral singing
through disciplined training and education.
B. Teach and reinforce professional attitudes and values.
C. Teach skills and techniques that will develop the ―total‖ musician.
D. Teach aesthetic values and provide aesthetic growth.
E. Stimulate greater enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding
of choral music in the community.
IV. COURSE OBJECTIVES
(National Standards of Music Education are listed after each objective. For more
information on these Standards, please consult the MENC website.)
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
A. rehearse and perform choral literature in a variety of genres, styles, and
cultures and demonstrate an understanding of the stylistic
features of the works. (Standard 9)
B. demonstrate knowledge of compositional devices and techniques used in
choral music with the proper technical vocabulary. (Standard 6)
C. demonstrate proper posture, breath support and control, vocal production,
and diction in several different languages. (Standard 1)
D. refine sight-reading, aural skills, memorization, musicianship, and ensemble-
singing skills through disciplined rehearsal and performance. (Standard 5)
E. perform in concerts outside of regular class time to help develop the
performance skills of concentration, communication, and expressiveness.
F. observe conducting techniques, rehearsal procedures, and elements of
concert programming which may be incorporated into his/her future
teaching style. (Standard 8)
G. evaluate his or her own performance as well as the ensemble's performance
after each concert. (Standard 7)
V. COURSE POLICIES, PROCEDURES & EXPECTATIONS
A. Attendance/Class Participation
You are expected to attend every rehearsal—on time and ready to work. You need to
be in rehearsal. We need you and you need us and we all need the rehearsal! Excused
absences are only given in extreme emergencies and must be negotiated individually
with the instructor. All requests must be submitted in writing for approval by the
instructor. (E-mail is acceptable.)
1. Illness - Illness will constitute an excused absence only when you submit a
note specifying the illness or condition and the date of absence. Sudden illness is the
only possible reason for anyone to inform the instructor after the rehearsal has already
taken place. Extended absences for illness may not be excused and could require make-
up work. (Please see the information regarding the Choral Vocal Lab.)
2. Family Emergency/Death in Family - At the discretion of the instructor,
excused absences may be given to attend funerals or other such family emergencies.
However, the amount of time given off from rehearsal must be approved in advance;
open-ended leaves of absence will not be allowed.
3. University Events - Under no circumstance will absences or lateness be
excused for other university scheduled events of any kind, unless approved in advance
by the instructor by the end of the second week of classes each semester. (September 5,
2008 is the deadline for this semester).
4. Outside Performances, Non-University Related Events - All absence requests
for outside professional engagements must be approved in advance by the instructor.
Applied faculty, private instructors, and other university faculty are not responsible for
excusing absences from choral rehearsals and concerts. Requests for excused absences
will only be considered if the request is made in writing a minimum of 10 days before
the desired absence. No excused absences will be considered under most circumstances
for the last full rehearsal before any given concert, the dress rehearsal, or the concert
5. Miscellaneous – (Car would not start; traffic; dog ate music; leaving early for
the holidays, etc.) - All absences of this type will be considered completely unexcused.
Please allow enough time and plan ahead in such a way that these issues never arise.
6. Punctuality - Musicians will be considered late if they arrive at a rehearsal or
concert after the vocal warm-up has begun. Two unexcused tardies will constitute one
unexcused absence. Leaving a rehearsal or concert early is only allowed under the
previously mentioned conditions. Two unexcused early departures will result in an
7. Unexcused Absences - Each unexcused absence will lower the attendance
grade by half a letter grade. Unexcused absences totaling eight or more in any given
semester will automatically constitute a failing grade for attendance.
Whenever I think about how hard you work for a small amount of academic credit, it
seems so ludicrous talking about matters that will negatively affect your grade. No one
joins this choir for an easy grade, which is all the more reason for me to shift the
responsibility to you for your attendance. Remember, each one of us matters at each
B. Folder and Pencil
The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory. Use a pencil as often as
necessary during rehearsal as corrections are made and interpretive direction is given.
By so doing we will save great amounts of time in rehearsal and memorize our music
much more efficiently and quickly. I suggest that you keep a pencil in the folder you
have been assigned (for which you are responsible) so you are never without it in
rehearsal. It is simply taken for granted that you have your folder at every rehearsal.
C. Rehearsal Expectations and Etiquette
Please exhibit your best professional behavior in rehearsal. Do not talk but listen to the
instructions given and mark your scores. Do not use cell phones during rehearsal or
they may be confiscated. If you live far away from campus, please plan your travel
accordingly—especially during bad weather or bad traffic—so that you can arrive on
I will occasionally distribute assignment sheets that will outline specific requirements
for rehearsal preparation and memorization. You must treat these assignments
seriously, as you do for your academic classes, and be prepared for testing in rehearsal at
any time. If we really want to make rehearsal time more profitable and enjoyable, we
cannot spend the majority of our time learning pitches and rhythms! Please be
May I also ask you to use proper posture when you are singing in rehearsal. Poor
posture sends a message to me that you are not focused on the task at hand and that you
do not care enough to give the best that you can give. Good singing posture will
energize you, your singing, and the other members of the choir—especially those
around you. An important part of being a member of an excellent ensemble is to leave
your personal problems and frustrations at the door and ignore the urge to focus on
selfish desires. Personal sacrifice in a spirit of cooperation will raise the emotional and
musical level of our rehearsals and performances.
"Aspiration without contribution is of no consequence."
I plan for us to memorize some of the music we prepare for our concert programs. A
central focus of our performance goals in the A Cappella Choir is a high level of
aesthetic and spiritual communication. To realize this quality of communication
between choir and audience, we plainly must make the extra effort--sometimes no small
effort--to memorize our music. Your eyes are the windows of your soul! If your eyes
are down in the music, we do not communicate well with each other, let alone with our
audience. But when faces and eyes are up, alive, full of conviction and commitment, the
result is thrilling!
Please, always be up front with me. When you have criticisms or questions, avoid
agonizing over such issues with others, especially other choir members, which only
compounds the problem. Bring such criticisms or questions straight to my attention so
something concrete can be done as quickly as possible. I approach rehearsal in a very
strong, certain manner--simply because I desire to use our time as wisely as possible.
Never conclude that I am closed to your ideas, suggestions, criticisms, or needs. When
given in the right spirit and at an appropriate time, we will all be able to accept and
appreciate helpful suggestions from fellow singers.
If you see that the repertoire we rehearse includes solo passages for which you may be
interested in auditioning, please speak with me and arrange a personal audition. Many
times I will invite specific singers to audition for solos because I feel that their voices
are well-suited for them. This does not mean that the auditions are closed! As part of
the audition process I will ask those who have sung for me to sing in front of the choir
during rehearsal. I will not post the results of the auditions. I usually offer a verbal
invitation. Those who are the most prepared usually get the opportunities.
A section leader will be appointed for every section of the choir. It is the responsibility
of the section leader to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the
section. If the section leader or the conductor feel that additional work outside of class
is necessary, then the section will schedule a time to meet, as often as necessary, to work
out musical problems in the repertoire being rehearsed. Those who attend these
sectional rehearsals will be given extra credit toward their attendance grade.
H. Choral Vocal Lab
The Choral Vocal Lab is intended to help students gain greater understanding of vocal
production and how to teach those principles in a choral ensemble. Students may also
find help with issues of choral development such as teaching better musicianship,
intonation, rehearsal techniques and pacing, repertoire development and programming,
score preparation, and conducting skills. You are encouraged to visit the Lab as
frequently as possible especially if you are having issues with your vocal technique,
problems with the music we are rehearsing, etc. Productive time spent in the Choral
Vocal Lab may be used for extra credit.
Vocal production (both individual and ensemble)
The Lab will afford students the opportunity to have individual instruction to improve
vocal technique and musicianship in order to make a greater contribution to an
ensemble whether as a participant or conductor.
Choral music education students preparing to teach need to have greater understanding
of the mechanics of their instrument plus the skills to teach appropriate vocal production
to an ensemble. In the Choral/Vocal Lab prospective teachers can receive helpful
insights on rehearsal techniques designed to develop better singing in prospective
ensembles. Potential areas of focus are:
Children’s voice capabilities
Changing adolescent voices
Stylization differences (ex: classical, pop, theater)
The Choral/Vocal Lab will provide assistance to students in all phases of preparation
for entering the choral music profession. Potential areas of focus are:
Musicianship (ex: sight-reading, harmonization, ear-training)
Choral development (ex: tone color, blend, balance)
Effective rehearsal techniques
Score preparation (ex.: graphing, markings, IPA)
I. Calendar (subject to change)
Please remember that extra rehearsals are usually scheduled to 1) rehearse in the
performing space or 2) rehearse with another ensemble. They are unavoidable, so
please plan accordingly.
Regular rehearsal is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:55-1:45 pm and Tuesday,
Thursday from 2:00-2:50 pm in the choir room (DGH 270). Occasionally we may have
to extend Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals until 3:20 for combined rehearsals with the
orchestra. Please be in your seats at least five minutes prior to the starting time and
have your music in order so that you will be ready to begin rehearsal on time.
All concerts at 7:30 pm at Libby Gardner Concert Hall unless noted.
Information in italics is not required, just for your information.
Monday, September 1--Holiday, no classes
Week of September 15-19
Saturday, September 20
6:00 pm Warm-up
7:30 pm Choral Showcase
Wednesday, November 5
Virtuoso Series: Standford Olsen, Tenor
Saturday, November 15
Women’s Chorus Concert
Wednesday, November 19
11:50-1:45 pm, Rehearsal with A Cappella and Philharmonia in Libby
Thursday, November 20
2:00-2:45 pm- Rehearsal with Philharmonia in Libby
6:30 pm Call-time; 7:30 pm, School of Music Scholarship Concert
Gustav Holst ―The Planets‖ & Beethoven ―Choral Fantasy‖
Friday, November 21
6:30 pm Call-time; 7:30 pm, School of Music Scholarship Concert
Gustav Holst ―The Planets‖ & Beethoven ―Choral Fantasy‖
November 27 & 28—Holidays
Week of December 8-12
Final exam testing
Friday & Saturday, December 12 & 13
6:00 pm, Warm-up
7:30 pm, University Choirs Holiday Concerts
Spring 2009 Semester
Classes begin Monday, January 12
Wednesday, February 25
Vienna Boys Choir, Virtuoso Series
Saturday, February 28
6:00 pm, Warm-up
7:30 pm, University of Utah Singers & A Cappella Choir Concert
Friday, March 13
College of Fine Arts Celebration (no classes scheduled)
Evening concert at Kingsbury Hall
Wednesday, March 25
7:00-9:00 pm, Gala Rehearsal
Friday, March 27
7:30 pm, School of Music Gala
Wednesday, April 8
Thursday, April 9
7-10pm, Dress rehearsal
Friday & Saturday, April 10 & 11
University of Utah Singers & A Cappella Choir
Masterworks Concert-―Water Passion After St. Matthew‖ by Tan Dun
Monday, April 27
7:30 pm, University of Utah Singers & A Cappella Choir (Grad conductors)
Wednesday, April 29
7:30 pm, Leon Peterson Concert
J. Concert Attire:
Concert attire has been selected by the choir officers and wardrobe committee.
MEN: Black Tuxedo, winged-tip tux shirt, black bow tie and cummerbund, black socks
and black dress shoes. You can contact one of the following stores if necessary:
Gingiss Formal Wear: 322-0252, So. Temple between 200-300 East
The Ritz: 265-0288, 4700 S. 900 E. Murray
Tuxedo Junction: 467-8216, 1231 E. 3300 So.
WOMEN: Black dress purchased through a catalogue (approximately $100), full length
slip, appropriate hosiery, black closed toe shoes and matching jewelry (approximately
A. Attendance/Class Participation:
In order to enhance the unity and group effort required of a superior ensemble, each
member must contribute by attending all rehearsals and performances. Your final grade
will be determined by attendance and class participation. Each unexcused absence will
lower the attendance average by half a grade. (1=A-, 2=B, 3=B-, etc.) Two unexcused
tardy arrivals or two early departures from rehearsal will be counted as one unexcused
There will be no excused absences granted for missed dress rehearsals or performances
except in an emergency. The performance is really the ultimate test and experience for
each singer in the choir. Therefore, any student missing a performance, except in
extreme circumstances, may be given a failing grade.
If a student misses three or more rehearsals in preparation for a concert, they will be
required to attend a testing session to check their personal preparedness on the concert
repertoire before the concerts by singing for the conductor or graduate assistant in a
quartet/octet of choir members. The tests may be given outside of class time during the
week preceding the concerts.
If a student is required to participate in the testing, their attendance and class
participation grade will then become 50% of their final grade and the exam grade(s) will
count as the remaining 50%. This calculation can help or hurt your grade depending on
your level of preparation.
The following are guidelines for the regular examinations:
1. Student must communicate with the choir secretary to know whether they
should sign up for an examination. Please sign your name on the lists provided on the
choir bulletin board or Dr. Allred’s office door approximately one week before testing.
2. Examinations will last approximately 15 minutes and will consist of five
excerpts from the concert repertoire. Students will sing in quartets or octets (usually
without accompaniment) and will be graded on the following: Pitch Accuracy and
Intonation (5 points), Rhythmic Accuracy (5), Memorization (5), Musicality and Diction
(5). (This is subject to change.)
3. The grading scale will consist of one hundred total points, twenty points for
each excerpt, (see above), and is distributed as follows: A=95-100, A-=90-94, B+=85-
89, B=80-84, B-=75-79, C+=70-74, C=65-69, D=55-64, below 55=F.
4. Students who earn a D grade or below may request a retest, but it must be
scheduled before the concert. Any student who misses the scheduled exams must
schedule an individual test before the upcoming concert. If any student takes the exam
after the concert, for any reason, their test grade will be lowered one letter grade.
5. Grades will not be posted following the exams but will be given out
individually at the request of the student.
C. Bonus Points/Point Deductions
A 10% bonus may be added to your final grade based on your individual contribution to
the attitude and success of the choir, fulfillment of assignments, and the ability to work
in a large ensemble. This includes, but is not limited to, personal preparedness for
rehearsals and performances, improvement of vocal technique and sight-reading skills, a
positive approach to music making (attentiveness, concentration, enthusiasm, good
vocal habits, etc.), and a willingness to follow instructions. If the instructor feels that
you are not fully participating you will receive a private warning. If you receive
repeated warnings your final grade will have a 10% deduction of points.
D. Extra Credit
Rehearsal absences that are considered unexcused may be made up by spending a
commensurate amount of time in the Choral Vocal Lab. Please sign-up on the TA
Office door and keep your appointments. Your visits will be noted and the attendance
secretary will be notified.
A folder of music will be provided for each student in the ensemble. It is each student's
responsibility to care for his or her own music. Folders should be brought to every
rehearsal (no sharing) and returned at the end of each semester. Deadline for return of
music is December 15, 2008 by 5pm. Students will be required to cover the cost for lost
or damaged music.
Ensemble members will be charged $2.50 per piece for any missing music. This charge
covers the replacement cost of the octavo as well as shipping costs. If the cost of the
octavo is greater than $2.50, the singers will be charged whatever the replacement and
shipping costs would be. If the music is not returned or the fees are not paid by
December 19, 2008, the student may receive an incomplete until the bill is paid.
VIII. RELEASE FROM OBLIGATION
By enrolling in this class, students agree to grant permission without expectation for
remuneration to the School of Music and The University of Utah to broadcast, publish,
and/or display recordings, photos, and images of all rehearsals, performances, and
recording sessions. Release of these recordings will be at the discretion of the ensemble
director and the director of the School of Music.
IX. University Statements
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and
activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class,
reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162
Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to
make arrangements for accommodations.
All written information in the course can be made available in alternative format with
prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.
Faculty and Student Rights and Responsibilities
All students are expected to maintain professional behavior in the classroom setting,
according to the Student Code, spelled out in the Student Handbook. Students have
specific rights in the classroom as detailed in Article III of the Code. The Code also
specifies proscribed conduct (Article XI) that involves cheating on tests, plagiarism,
and/or collusion, as well as fraud, theft, etc. Students should read the Code carefully
and know they are responsible for the content. According to Faculty Rules and
Regulations, it is the faculty responsibility to enforce responsible classroom behaviors,
and I will do so, beginning with verbal warnings and progressing to dismissal from
class and a failing grade. Students have the right to appeal such action to the Student
Some of the writings, lectures, films, or presentations in this course may include
material that conflicts with the core beliefs of some students. Please review the syllabus
carefully to see if the course is one that you are committed to taking. If you have a
concern, please discuss it with me at your earliest convenience
X. The above schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event
of extenuating circumstances.
―The only disability in life is a bad attitude.‖ (Scott Hamilton)