Ridgeview High School Chorus

Why Do We Teach Music?

Not because we expect you to major in music...
Not only because we expect you to play or sing all your life...
Not only so you can relax...
Not just so you can have fun...

so you will be more human
so you will recognize beauty
so you will be sensitive
so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
so you will have something to cling to
so you will have more compassion,
more gentleness, more good, in short, ...more life...

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live? 

-Unknown Author

RHS Chorus Handbook



Welcome to Chorus!! Commitment and dedication to excellence are what have made the RHS chorus program the outstanding program that it is today.  Chorus is a commitment of teamwork among the chorus member, the director, and the parents.  If everyone upholds his or her part of the commitment, we will have a great year.  There is a difference between commitment and convenience… knowing and understanding that difference will insure that everyone has a successful year.        


This handbook should provide you with all the important information necessary to have a successful and productive year.  If you have any questions or problems refer to this guide.  If you cannot find the answer here, be sure to ask!  Naturally, not all circumstances can be foreseen.  If you find yourself, or your child, in a situation that concerns you, please talk to me as early as possible. 





Heather Bice

Chorus Director


Phone #:                        904-336-8975

E-mail address: heather.bice@myoneclay.net

Website:                        www.ridgeviewchorus.com




  1. QUALITY MUSICIANSHIP:  To become the best musician you can as an individual and as a member of the chorus. (MU.912.S.1,  MU.912.S.2,  MU.912.S.3, MU.912.C.1)
  2. SELF- DISIPLINE:  The ability to act in a mature fashion in and out of the classroom.  (MU.912.C.2, MU.912.C.3, MU.912.H.3)
  3. STUDENT COMMITMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY: Being informed and keeping your parents and those involved, informed of choral activities. (MU.912.F.2, MU.912.F.3, MU.912.S.2)
  4. STUDENT EFFORT:To do your best as an individual and as a member of a group at all times. (MU.912.H.1, MU.912.H.2, MU.912.F.3)


Grades are designed so every student should do well by simply applying themselves both in the classroom and in performances.  Students in the International Baccalaureate Music program (10th-12th grade) will receive additional information regarding their IB Music grading procedures.


                          40% rehearsals/performances          

                    35% written work                            

                    25% class participation                   


Chorus is a performance based class and therefore, the largest portion of a student’s grade is reflected in this area.  What we hope to accomplish is measured through our concerts.  For this reason concerts and the required rehearsal are as important as any other part of your child's choral experience.  Concerts are to chorus what a written evaluation is to any other class.  Not only will we measure the success of nine weeks’ worth of work at a concert, but we also hope to have a finished product that will be enjoyable to our audience as well.  ALL STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL PERFORMANCES AND REQUIRED REHEARSALS.



Chorus is a performance based class and therefore, the largest portion of a student’s grade is reflected in this area.  What we hope to accomplish is measured through our concerts.  For this reason concerts and the required rehearsal are as important as any other part of your child's choral experience.  Concerts are to chorus what a written evaluation is to any other class.  Not only will we measure the success of nine weeks’ worth of work at a concert, but we also hope to have a finished product that will be enjoyable to our audience as well.  ALL STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL PERFORMANCES AND REQUIRED REHEARSALS.

 REQUIRED REHEARSALS: Special rehearsals (this does not include scheduled Vocal Ensemble rehearsals) are scheduled before a concert or District Music Performance Assessment and will take place after school.  These rehearsals are required and will be handled just the same as the performance…that is, in your place, on time, and ready to work.  For these rehearsals, students must make prior arrangements for transportation.  

 PERFORMANCES: Each quarter there will be at least one major performance of rehearsed music. Performances are the "major project" for all choral students each quarter, so EVERYONE will be expected to successfully perform their music and show audience skills for the choral director to receive their grade. All performances and rehearsals will be announced at least fifteen school days in advance or will be found on the at www.ridgeviewchorus.com.  Students are required to be at the entire concert in full uniform for all performances; failure to show up in proper attire will mean a loss of points and in some cases loss of performance with the group.  (This would count as an unexcused absence.)  In order to get our act together before our audience arrives, only chorus students are permitted within the concert area before 6:45 PM.   Concerts usually last about an hour to an hour and a half; you are expected to attend the entire performance...not just your part.  The concert serves two functions, to show what you have learned this quarter and to learn from what others have learned this quarter!!  Everyone is required to attend the entire concert.  If you leave early for any reason, your grade will be adjusted accordingly.


Students have two roles at performances:

  (1) As a performer

  (2) As a member of the audience. 

I will expect the highest standards of all students at all performances in both capacities.  The student will extend “professional courtesy" to the audience as well as the performing group.  Professional courtesy will be defined as “treat others as you would have them treat you OR perform as the chorus director would expect you to".  Any infraction of the professional courtesy rule will be treated with a lowering of the grade for the concert as well as a lowered conduct grade. Student cell phones and personal electronic devices will be OFF during all performances. Any student, who has their cell phone ON, is texting or uses their phone for any reason during a performance will receive a lowered grade for that performance.  Remember, your performance off the risers can often be more impressive than your performance on the risers. 



If you do not attend a required rehearsal or performance, a Choral Activity Conflict Form is to be filled out and turned into the Director (a sample of this form is found on the website and others are available in the chorus room…they are bright pink so you cannot miss them) ONLY the conflict form will be accepted, no notes on scraps of paper!  Anytime a concert or extra rehearsal is missed  a choral conflict form must be filled out …ten school days prior to the event if you are aware of a conflict or two days after you return to school if it was an emergency, accident or severe illness.  Transportation, jobs, other school activities are never an acceptable excuse.  In either case you must make an appointment to sing your music for the director (50% of your grade).  For the second part of your grade you will be required to review the concert or required rehearsal.  Everything MUST be completed prior to the end of the quarter.


Using school board criteria, the absence will be "excused" or "unexcused".  If the student's absence is "excused", the student's grade will not be affected PROVIDED that the student makes up BOTH PARTS of the event for the chorus teacher in the prescribed amount of time.  The student could still be eligible for special awards and activities.  However, if the student's absence is "unexcused" and he/she does not attend or make up BOTH PARTS of that performance or rehearsal for the chorus teacher in the prescribed amount of time, two things will happen: (1) the student fails that performance and (2) he/she becomes ineligible for any special awards or activities.  Naturally, an emergency, illness, or accident, cannot be planned.  These absences (with a Choral Activity Conflict Form signed from the parent, submitted within two school days of the student’s return to school) are usually excused, and the grade will not be affected PROVIDED that the make-up work is completed for the chorus teacher upon the student's return.  The student may remain eligible for special awards and activities.  Although the time to sing may not occur for several days the student MUST talk to the Director about setting up the appointment RIGHT AWAY!!  THIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT!!!!  If the student is present at school and misses a performance, the student will fill out a Choral Activity Conflict Form signed by the parent upon his/her return to school in order for that absence to follow the procedure outlined above.  TIMING IS EVERYTHING!


2. WRITTEN WORK (35%):

This includes notebooks/notes, music theory assignments, quizzes, reviews, listening trees, and other writing assignments.  Written work is NOT accepted late (it is due when you come to class on the day it is due.) Work will not be accepted if the absence is unexcused by Ridgeview High School criteria.



Classroom time is designated rehearsal time.  For this reason you are expected to be in your seat, prepared to work to avoid disruption of class. You are required to have your music folder, chorus three ring binder and a pencil every day. If you are absent from class at any time, for any reason (excused, unexcused, field trip, tardy hall, ISS, whatever) you will do a writing assignment to make up the grade. The only reason that a student would not need to make up a missed class is if they are at required state testing.  


The assignment will be done on a full sheet of notebook paper.  The assignment must include:

  1. Your name at the top of the page,
  2. The date you were absent from chorus,
  3. A well written paragraph describing what you missed in class (nothing less than 5 sentences, nothing more than 8) and,
  4. Your parent’s signature and date across the paragraph.   


You will do this for every class that you missed and each paragraph must be signed by your parents.  You may use the same sheet of paper but each missed assignment must be entered separately.  The assignment must be turned into “the box” within two days after you return to school. This is your responsibility and it is how you will receive the class participation grades for your absences.  Failure to follow directions completely will result in a zero for the day/s you were absent.  School policy will decide if the absence is excused or not, but regardless failure to do the make-up work in a timely fashion will result in a zero for the missed work. 


Cell Phones during class time: Cell phones are not to be used during school hours unless directed by the teacher. Students that use their cell phones without teacher directive will be written on a referral to an administrator.



1. FVA  Activities

While participating in the RHS Chorus program students will have the opportunity to audition or sign up for additional musical events. With the exception of District Choral MPA, these activities are not required, but once you sign up to participate, there will be a grade attached. These activities include, but are not limited to:

The Florida Vocal Association sponsors three annual events that we participate in…. All-State Chorus, Solo-Ensemble MPA, and District Choral MPA.  You must have a 2.0 GPA for the end of the 2018 school year to audition for All State and a 2.0 GPA at the end of 1st semester to participate in or District MPA, Solo-Ensemble MPA or State MPA.  It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all rules governing FVA events.

All-State Chorus is handled only on individual interest.  The auditioning process begins when school starts and information is available at an after school meeting on August 17, 2018 at 2:00 PM. This meeting is required if you are planning to audition for All-State. This event takes place in January in Tampa.


District Choral Music Performance Assessment (MPA), held in the Jacksonville area March 9, 2019. All Chorus students are required to take part in this event, as it is the stepping-stone to many other choral opportunities that await you during the year.  Info on District MPA will come out in January.


Solo-Ensemble Music Performance Assessment (MPA) is opened to many more students.  Solo-Ensemble Festival takes place on February 8-9, 2019 and involves vocal solos as well as vocal ensembles. This activity is opened to all interested students that are members of the CPO, on a first come, first served basis. This event DOES involve extra rehearsals.  You must participate in MPA in order to participate in Solo-Ensemble.


State Music Performance Assessment (MPA) takes place in April and is opened to choruses and Solo and Ensemble participants that have received superiors at the district MPA/S-E.  Solo/Ensembles must have participated in District Choral MPA in order to be eligible for Sate MPA. There are many things that we consider before we would attend State MPA.  For solos, duets, etc., those involved must assume financial responsibilities, and make arrangements for accompanist.


All of the FVA activities are wonderful experiences for our students.  The REQUIRED events are financed by the Chorus; others will be financed by the individual students.  All three events also have certain requirements that students must be aware of.  Parents must be willing to chaperon on an "as needed" basis for the event that their child enters with the exception of Music Performance Assessmet.  All-State and Solo-Ensemble are only required performances once YOU decided to participate.


Every year, students are given the opportunity to audition for the Clay County Honor Chorus.  This is a WONDERFUL opportunity for the choral students from all over the county to work together with an outstanding clinician and the final results are astounding.  This event is not required BUT if you try out and are selected, it is treated like any other graded event.  Do not audition and get a spot in the chorus if you do not intend to follow through.  Specific information about this event will go out in the fall.  Check rehearsal/performance dates before you audition.  To audition, there will be an audition fee and if you are chosen there will also be a participation fee. No student is required to participate in this event.  However, once you commit, it does become a part of your grade.  Vocal Ensemble and Women’s Chorus members are strongly encouraged to participate in this event.


Disney Candlelight Processional is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students to perform in a professional setting with a mass choir, full orchestra and celebrity narrator. Each year, RHS auditions to be part of this amazing event. To be eligible to audition, students must have their Fair Share paid by September 7th (which can be paid by participating in our fall fundraiser), they must be at the after school rehearsal on September 11th and audition taping on September 13th. To be eligible to participate in the Candlelight Processional, students must be at the audition taping (this is mandated by Disney Candlelight) and adhere to the travel guidelines outlined below.

 FIELD TRIPS AND OVERNIGHT TRAVEL:Field trips are used as an extension of the classroom and the same display of discipline will be expected of all students.  Whenever we leave the campus, we are representing all of RHS and our entire school will be measured by us!!!!! Remember, a few people can curtail the field trip for everyone.  Whenever we leave the campus as a group, a permission slip from the parent will be required.  Discipline problems that arise off campus will be dealt with in the form of a referral to the Assistant Principal as soon as we return along with an automatic lowering of your grade.  You will also fail the audience skills portion of your grade for that particular performance.  Also, from that moment on you will not be allowed to attend any other extra-curricular choral activities without the direct supervision of your parent or guardian.  Chorus field trips fall under all school guidelines and policies for school wide field trips as well as criteria set up by the chorus. Students that have excessive absence from school of discipline issues on campus will not be invited to travel with the chorus.


From time to time, the Ridgeview Chorus has the opportunity to travel overnight to participate in a special performance. These trips are planned for musical growth and fellowship for those students who have worked hard consistently throughout their time in the Ridgeview High School Chorus. These trips are not required and have no grade attached to them.  Invitations to participate in a special planned overnight trip are issued at the DISCRETION of the director after reviewing certain criteria.  Students will be invited to attend using the following only as guidelines:

  1. Level of class performance/participation

            2. Any student with a discipline “problem” will not be invited to attend.

                     3. Students will not be eligible to travel with the chorus if they have an unexcused* absence from any type of performance, required rehearsal or Music Performance Assessment. 

                                   4. For those performances that are considered competitive or involve evaluation, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA for the semester prior to the event. 

                      5. You must be able to successfully perform music individually and as a part of the ensemble where a performance is required.

                       6.If you plan to participate in a special overnight travel activity, although they have no grade attached to them, once you have made the commitment to perform, special planned rehearsals will count for a grade. 

 *      Please note that the terms Excused and Unexcused are different from making up a grade.


I look forward to traveling with you.  Every trip has specific requirements but this will give you a very good idea of the types of things that we look for. 


Seniors Graduation Performance- Every year the seniors sing the Star Spangled Banner at Graduation. To be eligible for that performance, seniors must be at the required rehearsal on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 1:30 in the chorus room. All additional information for this special performance will be given at that time.



In order to have a successful chorus program that we can be proud of, there are a few financial obligations that parents must partake in. All financial obligations can be eradicated by participating in the fall fundraiser. Ridgeview High School will accept cash or credit cards, using the RevTrak system.

RevTrak Instructions:           

    1. go to https://oneclay.revtrak.net/

    2. click on High Schools

    3. choose Ridgeview High School

    4. select Chorus

    5. from there you can choose to pay for various items, there is a 3.62% service fee

LADIES: Each female in chorus will be required to purchase the formal uniform and pearls.  The formal uniform is the long black chorus dress.  Each young lady will be required to wear black hose and plain black pumps or plain black flats.  Ladies MAY NOT wear jewelry except for chorus uniform pearls.


  Purchase Price:

  Dress:              $60.00             MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th

  Pearls:              $10.00             MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th


GENTLEMEN: Each male in chorus will be required to purchase a tuxedo.  The full tuxedo or pieces of the tuxedo can be ordered from the chorus teacher.  Each male will be required to wear black socks and black shoes.  (NO SNEAKERS!)

  Purchase Price (NEW)

  5 piece Ensemble        $100.00           MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th

  Tux pants:                   $25.00             MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th

  Jacket:                         $60.00             MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th 

  Shirt:                           $15.00             MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th

  Bow Tie & Cummerbund  $10.00      MUST BE ORDERED BY SEPTEMBER 13th


Purchase  Price (Used- if there are any)


Tux pants:  $15.00

Jacket:     $20.00

Shirt:       $10.00

Bow Tie:  $  5.00

Cummerbund:  $  5.00



When you are wearing your uniform, you are representing Ridgeview High.  You will remain in COMPLETE UNIFORM the entire time.  That means shirts tucked in, ties on, and shoes on. Just because your performance may be over, it does not mean that you are not “still on”.  You are in the public eye and will represent Ridgeview as well as yourself with dignity and class. Failure to perform in the entire and correct uniform will result in a loss of points for that event.

Each chorus student will be encouraged to participate in the Fair Share Program for the 2018-2019 school year.  This means simply what it says...every member of the group pays their fair share of the expenses generated by the group.  It does include expenses such as, registration fees, audition fees, bulk mailing, awards, accompanist fee, transportation for required events, and certain classroom needs (such as music and supplies.) If the fair share is paid on time, fair share does include a chorus t-shirt.  


Fair Share does NOT include uniform or travel expenses.


The Fair Share is $75.00. It can be paid in one payment between August 14, 2018 and September 7, 2018; or it can be raised through the fall fundraiser (no other fund-raiser can be used to pay fair share).  Lack of participation in the Fair Share program would prevent you from participating in certain optional events unless you make financial contribution to the events. The Fair Share is non-refundable and is not prorated. Students that enter the program late will be assessed the full amount.  


The RHS Chorus provides opportunities throughout the year to raise money. Money earned through the current years fundraising can be used to pay for fair share, uniform,  sweatshirts, and travel. Money earned during this school year cannot be carried over to the next school year.


In the chorus classroom we do not have regular textbooks. Each student is given a black 3-ring binder, with dividers        and each quarter individual pieces of music will be put in this folder. The folder and music is the responsibility of the student. If it is misplaced, it is the responsibility of the student to pay for it, just like they would for a lost textbook.




1. Performance Location

The majority of our major performances take place at First Baptist of Orange Park.  The church is located on Kingsley Ave. Parents are encouraged to attend concerts with their children, chorus is a family affair.  However, if you do not attend an event with your child, please be prompt in picking your child up.  Concerts are usually over by 8:15 PM. Please be prompt with transportation home. 



 2. Awards:

The following is an outline of the chorus awards presented at the end of the year banquet.


  Director’s award- Presented by the choral director to the one choral student that has

  served the chorus in a most outstanding manner.


  Outstanding Senior Plaque -   Presented to seniors that have been a member of the chorus for all four of their RHS years and have NO unexcused absences from performances or rehearsal, all A’s and B’s in all of their chorus classes, and conduct grades of S or O.


Senior Award (Pin)- Presented to seniors that have been in chorus all 4 of their RHS years, all A’s and B’s in chorus, and conduct grades of S or O.


Third Year Award (Letter)- Presented to students that have been in chorus 3 of their RHS years, have NO unexcused absences from performances or rehearsal, all A’s and B’s in chorus, and conduct grades of  S or O.


Second Year Award (Pin)- Presented to students that have been in chorus 2 of their RHS years, have NO unexcused absences from performances or rehearsal, all A’s and B’s in chorus, and conduct grades of  S or O.


First Year Award (Certificate)-  Presented to students that have been in chorus 1 of their RHS years, have NO unexcused absences from performances or rehearsal, all A’s and B’s in chorus, and conduct grades of  S or O.


Outstanding Member Award- Students in each chorus will vote on one member in their class that they consider the most outstanding.


Senior Cords- Students must be an active member of the chorus or the band in their senior year to receive a cord for graduation.