Concert Choir

Concert Choir Syllabus: General Information and Expectations
Vocal Music Director: Mr. Raymond
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Hello vocal music students!  For those of you returning--welcome back!  For those of you who are new, my name is Mr. Raymond, and I am your new high school choral music director.  I was a graduate of UMass Amherst and the University of New Hampshire, and I am thrilled and honored to be your vocal music director.  My goal is to help each and every one of you realize and surpass your singing goals, and I will work to provide you as many fun, memorable, and enriching performance experiences as possible through a wide range of music.  Through these performances, we can continue to grow and develop our choral music program. I highly encourage student leadership, and I always welcome your ideas.  You can speak with me either in person or via email if you ever need anything.  Welcome, and I wish you a wonderful school year!

Concert choir is the primary choral ensemble at Foxborough High School.  During our time together, we will sing a wide variety of music from different styles, time periods, languages, and composers both accompanied and acapella.  We will perform for a variety of audiences including community, peers, middle schoolers, as well as festivals.  Any student who has taken at least one year of Concert Choir may join the "Chamber Choir" section which performs in an additional two concerts.  Any student in Choir (regardless of grade/age), can also join Jazz Choir.  Lab Jazz Choir is non-auditioned, and Honors Vocal Jazz is auditioned and has an additional Tuesday evening reheasal.

CP vs Honors Section:
Any student may elect to be in either CP or Honors section of Concert Choir.  Honors section students will be held to a slightly higher standard of assessment overall versus CP level.  All Chamber Choir students are in "Honors".

Ensemble/Course Requirements:  
All students will register an email address with Dropbox in order to receive all practice tracks and audio files.  You can access Dropbox through Phone, Laptop, or PC.-  You are highly encouraged to "subscribe" your email address to the website.  Emails and website posts will be the primary means of communication.-  Always bring your music and a pen/pencil to every rehearsal-  Required Concert Dress Attire (covered on p.2).  Keep your outfit clean for all performances-  Maintaining proper Vocal Health to the best of your abilities-  All students will be provided access to “Sight Singing Factory”, our primary means of sight singing work   

Sectionals will take place bi-weekly during the first couple of weeks, and will gradually increase to weekly sessions.  Sectionals run from 2:15-3:00pm.  If you have a sports conflict--I am very flexible and will allow you to either come to a different sectional, setup a time to meet with me, or submit a vocal assessment as a last resort.  

Required Concert Attire: 
The concert attire listed here is required of all Choir Members to be worn at performances and festivals.There will be a group order at the beginning of each school year for the Women.  Students will bring in a check and your entire Concert Outfit (Blouse, Skirt and Necklace) will be ordered for you.  Female Section Leaders will assist new members in selecting the proper size.Once you have your Concert Outfit, you may use it throughout all 4 years of high school provided that you don't need a different size.

Women:Black Knit Blouse from Formal Fashions, Black Knit Skirt from Formal Fashions, Faux Pearl Necklace from Formal Fashions

Men: Black Suit with Jacket and White Dress ShirtBlack Shoes and Black SocksYearly Concert Tie (Section Leaders will select the tie and an order will be placed)

Choir T-Shirt: At the beginning of every school year, any student may opt to create a yearly T-Shirt design using the website: www.customink.comStudents will vote on a design and T-Shirts will be ordered for every choir member.T-Shirts are to be worn at less formal occasions including recruitment events and fundraisers.

Honors Festivals
Members of concert choir may audition for honors festivals.  The junior district festival is open to freshman and senior district festival is open to any students grade 9-12.  Only 6 singers per voice part may audition for Senior Districts.  Priority will be given to upperclassmen and honors students as well as those that are actively practicing and preparing for auditions.  Audition practice sessions will be held on Wednesdays throughout the Fall.  Additionally, I am available for individual and group practice sessions as well as mock auditions. 

In order to audition for All-State, students must audition for Senior Districts and achieve a score high enough to get a “recommendation” to audition for All-State.  All-State auditions are in January and the annual festival is in March in Boston.

Leadership 2017-2018
Leadership is an essential part of Choral Program!  Leadership positions in Concert Choir take the form of E-Board Members and Section Leaders.  While there are leadership "positions", we are all part of one big team and everyone's ideas and opinions matter regardless of position, grade, age, or section.  Same is true for the leadership team.  All leadership team members (Section leaders and E-Board) are required to attend weekly Friday morning leadership meetings.

Section Leaders
Section Leaders: upper classmen veteran choir members who were chosen and are available to assist anyone who needs it regardless of grade.  These leaders might call upon members of their section for various reasons including student-led sectionals and optional social gatherings.  They are also available for help on a small group or individual basis

Sopranos: Kelli McCarthy, Julia Metivier, Anya Doherty, Julia Perez      
Altos: Faith Perry, Sophia Prinos, Shannon Harding, Emily Kaeser, Anna Powers             
Bass/Tenor: Jake Parkman, James Kaeser                  

Chosen around the end of September.  Anyone may run for a position by doing three things:1) Submit a letter of intent to Mr. Raymond stating position(s) that you are interested in and why you feel you would be a great fit, 2)  Attend Friday morning leadership meetings, 3)  Demonstrate leadership both inside and outside of the rehearsal

Definite Positions include:President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian
Potential Positions may include:Freshmen Chair, Social Chair, Technology, (as well as other potential ideas you might have) 

Sight Singing Factory Assignments:
All Sight Singing Factory Assignments are due by the deadline
Each day late = (-3 Points)  Lowest Grade = 50

Completion of any assignment grants an automatic grade of 90. 
Completion with many mistakes = 90-93, Completion with some mistakes = 94-96, Completion with little to no mistakes = 97-99
Flawless Completion = 100

Concert Performance Grading:
As a contractual rule, I cannot academically "require" anyone to attend a performance
Being in a performing ensemble, you are highly "expected" to be at all of our performances as a demonstration of the curriculum we learned for that term
If you attend a performance and participate at a high level, you will receive academic credit (grade) for doing so
If you miss a performance for any reason, in lieu of that participation, I will require an extended paper (3 page minimum) to be typed regarding the musical and historic aspects of the curriculum so you can demonstrate competency of the repertoire of that particular term--this grade will be placed in that particular "Performance" category for that term.

Practice and Participation Grade:
Progress made on repertoire and vocal skills as demonstrated during active participation in rehearsals and sectionals.  It should be evident that you have practiced outside of class and are making progress in terms of the development of your vocal abilities, technique, and in the learning of the repertoire for the ensemble.

Assessment of this category is generated every other week.
Completely sitting out a rehearsal will require a 1 page paper to be submitted on the following rehearsal. Incomplete/Late assignments will result in a lowered grade in this category. 
Participation in sectionals (while not directly graded) is a key component in your progress and development 

Enthusiastic and highly engaged participation that demonstrates leadership aspects and exceptional progress on the musical literature = 98-100
Attending rehearsals, participating actively, demonstrating progress = 94-97
Attending rehearsals, participating, needing a bit more practice outside of rehearsals = 90-93
Demonstrating low competency and/or progress, and/or not routinely engaged in rehearsals = 80-89

Sitting out rehearsals without fulfilling the 1 page paper requirement (-5 points each day)

Grade Percentage Breakdown
50% Practice and Participation
30% Performance/Demonstration of Curriculum
20% Sight Singing Factory Assignments

Be Prepared:  Come to class on time and be prepared for rehearsal with your music and a pencil.  Be focused and ready to work every rehearsal.  Sometimes I move at a fairly quick rehearsal pace and it is important to pay close attention.-  
Listen:  Use the reference recordings to your advantage--listen often and seek out additional recordings-  
Practice:  Set up and maintain a consistent and effective practice routine.  Use the part tracks and audio files to your advantage.  Ask for help and seek me out if you are having difficulty.  Don’t forget to incorporate warm-ups and sight singing in your vocal work to improve your technique and musicality-  
Don’t lose your music: You are responsible for keeping track of your folder and music-  Concert Attendance: You must be at every required performance in appropriate concert attire.  -  
Take care of your voice:  Maintaining good vocal health is key to effective and tension-free singing.  Try not to strain your voice.  Take care of yourself by drinking lots of water throughout the day and getting proper rest at night.-  
Complete Assignments on time:  There will be occasional vocal assessments (typically about once per term).  These assessments will require you to privately record your singing of the assigned section and submit via email:  
Be Respectful:  I promise to treat all of you with utmost respect and expect the same from you and your peers.  Your opinions and ideas are valuable to me, and I will always consider them.  If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to meet with me outside of class.  The success of this group will be a team effort, and I expect all of you to collaborate together in a respectful and positive manner. -  
Use the points of balance/effective breathing:  Always strive for eliminating as much tension as possible.  Think about your breathing habits and using your air effectively throughout different musical passages

-  Have Fun:  I have purposely picked a variety of music to try to offer you the best opportunity to enjoy and learn at the same time.  Singing is a valuable skill that you can take with you everywhere you go.  It is my hope that you will greatly benefit from being in this ensemble, and that you will keep an open mind, work hard, and grow as a musician, student, and person throughout the school year.

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