Vocal Jazz Ensembles

Overview 
Welcome to the Vocal Jazz Program at Foxboro High School!  Here at Foxboro High School we have two ensembles, the non-auditioned Lab Jazz Choir and the auditioned Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble.  Both ensembles will perform a variety of music ranging from jazz, funk, pop, R&B, and more.  You will get the chance to work with full microphones and rhythm section and experience performing in a variety of concerts and festivals.  You may elect to be involved in both ensembles if your schedule permits; however, you must pass the audition and be accepted into the honors vocal jazz ensemble.  You may also register for the "honors" section of either ensemble.  Honors section students will be held to a slightly higher standard of assessment/preparation and may be called upon to attempt solos.  All Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble students are automatically in Honors Section.  

Rehearsals
Aside from the general class day rehearsals, the Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble will rehearse every Tuesday evening from 6:30-8:00 (unless otherwise announced).  Lab Jazz Choir will have occasional evening rehearsals as well only close to concert date.  These evening rehearsals allow us to work with the rhythm section.

Auditions (only required for Honors VJE) 
Auditions for the upcoming Honors VJE will take place in June.  These auditions allow me to evaluate your voice range and part singing ability.   Audition materials are posted in the music wing and can be found on Dropbox.  Please note: all 8th grade (incoming Freshmen) are automatically enrolled in Lab Jazz Choir unless a specific audition is scheduled based on teacher recommendation.

Requirements
-  All students must register an email address with Dropbox for recordings/part tracks
-  Black binder for your music--bring to class along with a pencil for every rehearsal
-  Required Concert Dress--to be discussed in class
-  All students must be at every required concert and festival

Berklee High School Jazz Festival
-  Honors Vocal Jazz Students must be free on the Saturday of the Berklee Jazz Festival
- Lab Jazz Choir Students are strongly encouraged to come along (optional)

Solos
You are highly encouraged to attempt solos in rehearsals.  In order to a perform a solo, it is important that you practice and work on it regularly.  You should volunteer to sing it in rehearsals often and practice it on a microphone to get used to it. 

PERFORMANCE AND FESTIVAL DATES
(This list could change and performances could potentially be added)
November: Fall Jazz Concert (VJE & LJC)
January: VJE Performance At Ahern (VJE)
February: Berklee High School Jazz Festival (VJE) -- LJC welcome to come too
March: Performance At Linden Ponds (VJE)
April: MAJE State Jazz Festival (VJE & LJC)
April: Tour Dinner Dance (VJE)
May 10: Spring Jazz Concert (VJE & LJC)
May 6-7: POPS Night (VJE)

JAZZ CHOIR EXPECTATIONS 
- Be Prepared:  Come to class on time, plug in your microphone,  and be prepared for rehearsal with your music and a pencil.  Be focused and ready to work every rehearsal.  I move at a fairly quick rehearsal pace and it is important to pay close attention.

-  Practice:  This is very important.  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.  

-  Be EXPRESSIVE!: Singing Vocal Jazz Music in a smaller ensemble takes commitment and dedication to the visual performance.  You have to "sell" the music--dig in and be physical with the music!  Practice in front of a mirror whenever possible.

- Use The Microphone To Your Advantage: Don't over-sing!  Listen around you and make adjustments using your microphone distance.  Fade Outs (pull away).

- 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.  Proper vocal technique is essential in every singing situation

- Attend Rehearsals:  You are expected to attend all rehearsals. If there is an extenuating circumstance causing you to miss rehearsal, you must email me and you may be asked to make up the lost time in the form of an after school practice session. 

- Concert Attendance: You must be at every required performance in appropriate concert attire.  Dress code will be covered the first week.  Honors VJE are required to be free for Berklee Saturday.

- 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.

Grading System 
Performance Grade 60%
Practice, Preparation, Participation 30%
Vocal Assessments (Including Final): 10%

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