Vocal Music Handbook

  • WELCOME to Choral Music at Como Park Senior High School.

    Carole Whitney, Director of Choirs and Theatre • carole.whitney@spps.org

    COURSE GOALS

    During this year-long class, choir members will be working on the Minnesota Standards for Music. To gain the knowledge in the standards listed below, we will learn to read music notation, sing from music written for choirs and for soloists, learn about vocal health and how to sing with good vocal technique, learn about the composers of our music and perform in public. Concert dates can be found on the last page of this handbook and each student’s family will receive a copy to keep at home.

    The BRIEF Version:

             Mastery of pitches, rhythms, dynamics, articulation, diction, harmony, tone color

             Understanding of text, context, symbolism, style

             Soul makes the music believable through investment and intentional, sincere integrity

             Internalization of test and rhythm

             Communication of the musical message and the composer’s intentions

    The EXTENDED Version:

    Strand I: Artistic Foundations:

    Standard 1: Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of music. Analyze how the characteristics of a variety of genres and styles contribute to the creation of, performance of or response to music.

    Standard 2: Demonstrate knowledge and use of the technical skills of the art form, integrating

    technology when applicable

    1. Read and notate music using the standard notation system such as complex meters, extended ranges and expressive symbols with and without the use of notation software in a variety of styles and contexts.
    2. Sing a variety of music alone and in small groups and large groups (multi-part) using characteristic tone, technique and expression.

    Standard 3: Demonstrate understanding of the personal, social, cultural, historical contexts that influence music.

    Analyze how the personal, social, cultural and historical contexts influence the creation, interpretation or performance of music including the contributions of MN American Indian tribes communities.

    Strand II: Artistic Process: Create or Make: Standard 1: Create or make in a variety of contexts in music using the artistic foundations. Improvise, compose or arrange new musical compositions in a variety of styles and contexts using available technology to preserve the creations.

    Strand III: Artistic Process: Perform or Present: Standard 1: Perform or present in a variety of contexts in the arts area using the artistic foundations. Rehearse and perform an existing single, complex work, or multiple works of music from a variety of contexts and styles alone and within groups.

    Strand IV: Artistic Process: Respond or Critique: Standard 1: Respond to or critique a variety of creations and performances using the artistic foundations. Analyze, interpret and evaluate a variety of musical works or performances applying self-selected criteria with the traditions of the art form.

    IN THIS CLASSROOM

    You Are Expected to Learn

    MUSIC

    Maintain a positive attitude. Participate in all activities.

    Understand practice is required to achieve success.

    Show respect for all: people, materials, instruments.

    Interruptions and rudeness are unacceptable.

    Come to class on time, ready to learn with everything needed.
    GRADING

    Rehearsal Points and Written Assignments

    (Strand I, Standards 2a, 2b; Strand III) :        

                                                                                                    20% of the grade (equal to 2 letters)

    Standards Assessments (All listed Strands and Standards throughout the year:)                                                                                                                                  39% of the grade (equal to 3 ½ letters)

    Required Evening Concert (Strand III):                                     41% of the grade

                                                                                                    (equal to 4 letters, automatic “No Credit”)

     

    DAILY EVALUATION POINTS

     

    Daily evaluations will be part of the grade for each singer. Singers will receive up to 3 points per day from Ms. Whitney. These points are divided equally into the number of minutes in the period.

     

    This is work on Strand I, Standards 2a, 2b and Strand III.

     

    WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS

    These assignments will be both paper and pencil and iPad assignments. They are to assist the singer in learning to read music and to evaluate music both of their own making and that of others by learning vocabulary specifically to music.

     

    STANDARD ASSESSMENTS

    Standards Assessments will be given in a variety of ways: singing tests – both live and recorded, iPad quizzes and projects, and paper and pencil quizzes.

     

    EVENING CONCERT

    There is an evening concert in Como Park Senior High School’s Auditorium quarter 2, 3 and 4 for all choirs. First quarter only Concert Choir (Mixed Choir, Advanced) and Chamber Singers perform the annual musical. Please see the Performance Calendar for dates and times. These performances are required to pass the class.

     

    Examples of the Assignments and Assessments:

    Week 2 (Sept. 14)-Compare Choir rules to Como Park Sr. rules

    Week 3 (Sept 21) – Alignment Visual Assessment (Musical Athletes)

    Week 4 (Sept 28)– know and be able to use solfege and the appropriate hand signs - visual

    Week 5 (Oct 5)- be able to sing a 9 note Do-Re-Mi scale, ascending and descending, and The Star Spangled Banner independently – Schoology on the iPad

    Week 6 (Oct 13)– Sight-singing check - Schoology on the iPad

    Week 7/8 (Wed. Oct 17 & Fri. 26)- practice report - Schoology on the iPad

    Week 9 (Nov 2)– practice report - Schoology on the iPad

    Week 10 (Nov 9 end of qtr)– parts check – small groups

    Week 11 (Thurs. Nov 15)- Sight-singing check – Schoology on the iPad

    Week 12/13 (Nov 26)- practice report - Schoology on the iPad

    Week 14 (Dec 3)- parts check –small groups

    Week 15 (Dec 10)- mid-quarter, riser check – visual

    Week 16 (Dec 17)- Concert on Dec. 17

    Week 16 (Dec 17)-Day Tour to feeder elementary schools

     

     

    Singer’s Responsibilities

    1. Show up ON TIME – to class and to performances – with any materials you need.
    2. Be HEALTHY – choose healthy foods and behaviors.
    3. Be ATTENTIVE and PATIENT.

    Put away your CELL PHONE and iPAD when the class is working.

    1. Be INTELLIGENT. Always strive to improve and grow – do your personal best.

    Put away your CELL PHONE and iPAD when the class is working.

    1. Be and excellent TEAM MEMBER by being RESPECTFUL, COURTEOUS, KIND, ENCOURAGING, and SUPPORTIVE to all.      Put away your CELL PHONE and iPAD when the class is working.
    2. Take personal RESPONSIBILITY and CONTRIBUTE your BEST.

              -If you need to use the restroom during class, you need to leave your cell phone with Ms. Whitney. Plan ahead.

    1. Put away your CELL PHONE and iPAD when the class is working

    because you can’t really contribute your best when you are distracted by electronics.

    ­­

     

    REQUIRED iPAD APPLICATION

    • Schoology

     

     

     

     

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR

    CHAMBER ENSEMBLE, HONORS (Chamber Singers)

    This class earns a weighted grade and so has additional expectations to those listed above.

     

    Numerous performances are given by this ensemble. Attendance at all performances is expected. Some performances are during the school day but most are outside school hours. Both the “Evening Concert” and “Standards Assessments” categories will be graded during these performances. Singing tests and music theory tests will also aid in achieving these standards.

     

    Daily Evaluations Points are earned at the Monday evening required rehearsal. This has been from 6:00 – 8:00 but is subject to change if the entire group chooses a different day and/or time. These points can be made up after school in sectional practice if absences are approved in advance and arrangements made within one week of the missed rehearsal.

     

     

     

     

    You may receive EXTRA CREDIT for any of the following:

    • coordinate the distribution of robes
    • section leader
    • accompany a piece for the concert or contest
    • help decorate for our concert
    • make posters for our concert, find other ways of publicizing our event
    • other concert attendance with a written review/reaction paper and program or ticket stub:

                            – a Como instrumental music concert,

                            – another school’s choral concert

    – our Solo and Ensemble Recital

    – any serious music concert (symphony, opera, etc.) or music theatre

    • help coordinate fundraising activities
    • act as stage crew for the musical, play, coronations, pep fests, etc.

     

    See the “Performance and Rehearsal Dates” page for specific dates and times.

     

    CONTEST, HONOR CHOIR AND LETTERING INFORMATION

     

    To Letter in choir you must:

    1. successfully complete 4 semesters in any choir; and
    2. attend all concerts and competitions; and
    3. participate in at least one Solo and Ensemble contest;
    4. OR, be in any choir for four full years without missing any required events.

    To participate in Solo and Ensemble Contest you must:

    1. Be eligible to participate in Minnesota State High School League activities and events;
    2. Choose appropriate repertoire (songs) with Ms. Whitney;
    3. Learn and practice the piece(s) independently (Ms. Whitney will put the accompaniment on a

    link on a web-site for you to download or on a CD provided by you)

    1. Sign-up for and attend at least 4 coaching sessions, more if for an ensemble.
    2. Be available for contest, a joint rehearsal after school and a recital at Como in the evening. (There is a $20.00 accompanist fee. Singers may use their fundraising account.) See the yellow “Calendar Page for specific dates and times.

    To participate in Ordway Honor Choir you must:

    1. Be in Mixed Choir, Advanced or Chamber Singers, Honors.
    2. Have all assignments current;
    3. Pass a basic music theory test;
    4. Conduct a live audition with an adjudicator in February;
    5. Be in good standing with other classes;
    6. Be available to attend ALL rehearsals - One in each of the two weeks preceding the concert ALL

    DAY during school, and the dress rehearsal as well as the concert at the Ordway. (Singers will report to Como at approximately 5:15 PM that evening to leave by bus to the Ordway.) See the brightly colored “Calendar Page for specific dates and times.

    1. Be eligible to participate in Minnesota State High School League activities and events;

    To audition for All-State Choir you must:

    1. be selected to audition by Ms. Whitney;
    2. be eligible to participate in Minnesota State High School League activities and events;
    3. be available for both the camp in early August and the performance in mid-February;
    4. be a junior or sophomore.

     

     

     

     

    CONCERT DRESS

    How a choir looks affects the way it performs. People listen differently to a smart looking ensemble.

    In all choirs, we each buy a matching shirt that we use at various times during the year. The cost has been less than $15.00. We also wear these shirts for some performances. Fundraising opportunities will be available to pay for the shirt.

     

    The following dress is required for all evening performances:

     

    Pops Concert:

    In all choirs, the choir shirt and tan or grey pants that are not jeans or sweat pants.

    Contest and formal concerts:

     

    Beginning Choirs: Singers will wear black tops and bottoms that are dressy. No jeans or casual t-shirts. Black closed toe shoes are a MUST!! along with either black socks or neutral color nylons. Robes will be assigned for graduation. See below for appropriate dress under robes.

    Don’t wait to discuss this with your family until the day before the concert!!!

    Sop/Alto Choir, Intermediate will dress in matching dresses provided by the choir and black, closed toe shoes provided by the singer. Robes will be assigned for graduation. See below for appropriate dress under robes.

    Mixed Choir, Advanced will wear robes. Singers should look dressed up anywhere the robe doesn’t cover. Black closed toe shoes are required, flats are strongly recommended, along with either black socks or neutral color nylons. The pants worn must be black (no jeans). Speak to Ms. Whitney immediately if these requirements present any difficulties.   Robes will be assigned individually. Each member is responsible for his or her own robe. After each use, it must be hung on its hanger and placed in the appropriate location in the robe closet. Singers failing to do this will receive detention with Ms. Whitney during which they will clean out the robe closet. Lost robes cost $100 and the student will be charged the full amount.

    Chamber Singers will have a variety of uniforms including robes, black slacks and black shoes and socks with a button style, long or three-quarter length sleeve shirt and colorful tie.

     

    Spring Concert:

    All singers wear the choir shirt and jeans. Shorts may be allowed if they come to the knee. Shoes must surround the heel but can be sandals, athletic shoes or dress shoes as the singer wishes.

     

    Graduation:

    All singers wear choir robes. Singers should look dressed up anywhere the robe doesn’t cover. Black closed toe shoes are required, flats are strongly recommended, along with either black socks or neutral color nylons. The pants worn must be black (no jeans). Speak to Ms. Whitney immediately if these requirements present any difficulties.   Robes will be assigned individually. Each member is responsible for their own robe. After each use, it must be hung on its hanger and placed in the appropriate location in the robe closet. Singers failing to do this will receive detention with Ms. Whitney during which they will clean out the robe closet. Lost robes cost $100 and the student will be charged the full amount.


    Music Department and Theater Performance Dates 2018-2019

    September 11, 2:30 PM           Tri M Induction Ice Cream Social & Meeting, Auditorium

     

    November 7                            Musical Dress Rehearsal during school hours, auditorium

    November 8 & 9, 7:00 PM     The Tempest, (Fall Musical) auditorium (Chambers Singers-all performances;

                                                    Concert Choir-choose one performance [must divide evenly])

                                                    Cast rehearsals daily 2:15 – 5:30, 10/8 – 11/9 (except 10/17-18)

                                                    Required rehearsals: 11/5 2:05-7:00 and 11/6 2:05 – 5:00

     

    December 12                           Advisory rehearsal all choirs, auditorium

    December 17, 7:00 PM           Choir Concert, auditorium. (all choirs)

                                                    Auditorium rehearsals during choir hours 12/10-17

    December 20, all day               all choirs elementary tour, meet in auditorium at 7:30 AM

     

    January 7, 7:00 PM                 Jazz band, auditorium

    January 22, 7:00 PM               Band and Orchestra Concert, auditorium

     

    February 27, 7:00 PM             Vocal Solo Recital, auditorium (Chamber Singers/selected Concert Choir)

     

    March 7, after school               Vocal Solo & Ensemble Contest at North St. Paul High School

    March 19, school hours           Region 4AA Choir Contest at No. St. Paul: Concert Choir, Donna di Cantare

    March 14 & 15, 7:00 PM        Spring play, auditorium (auditions week of Jan 28)

     

    April 16, school hours            Region 4AA Choir Contest at Stillwater High School: S/A Choir, T/B Choir

    April 23, 6:30                          Ordway Honors Concert, rehearsal 4/11, 4/17 (auditioned singers from

                                                   Chamber Singers and Concert Choir)

     

    May 1                                      Advisory rehearsal all choirs, auditorium

    May 6, 7:00 PM                      Choir Concert, auditorium (all choirs)

     

    May 20, 7:00 PM                    Faure Requiem concert, choir and orchestra plus Vocal Jazz and the Jazz Band

    May 23, 7:00 PM                    Band and Orchestra Concert, auditorium

    May 24-28                              Choir tour to Carnegie Hall

    May 29                                    Band and Orchestra Awards Banquet 5:30, cafeteria

     

    June 3, 1:30-9:00 PM              Valleyfair: Band, Choir, Orchestra, Link Crew – voluntary, cost approx. $33

    June __,                                   Graduation at Roy Wilkins Auditorium (all choirs)

     

    Call times (the time the singers arrive) are usually 1 ½ hours before an event.

    Please join the Remind Text communication program. To receive messages via text, text the appropriate choir code to 81010. You can opt-out of messages at anytime by replying, 'unsubscribe the appropriate code. Trouble using 81010? Try texting the code to (520) 314-3934 instead.

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    Soprano/Alto Choir, Beginning: @4cdf4

    Tenor/Bass Choir, Beginning: @8dfdf

    Soprano/Alto, Intermediate: @767d7

    Mixed Choir, Advanced (Concert Choir): @5f8e8. FB page Como Park Senior High Concert Choir

    Chamber Ensemble, Honors (Chamber Singers): @62ef8. FB page Como Park Senior High Honors

    Please “like” us on Facebook to see announcements and videos of previous concerts: Como Park Senior High School Choirs.