Chorus Handbook

Chorus Handbook

Introduction

Welcome to Chorus!! Commitment and dedication to excellence create the foundation that makes the RHS chorus the outstanding program that it is today. Chorus is a commitment to teamwork for the chorus members, director, and parents. If everyone upholds his or her part, we will have a great year. There is a difference between commitment and convenience. Knowing and understanding that difference will ensure 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, please 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 speak with me as soon as possible.
Sincerely:
Heather Bice
Chorus Director

Goals

  1. QUALITY MUSICIANSHIP:
    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-DISCIPLINE:
    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

35% Rehearsals/Performances


40% Classwork


25% Class Participation


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

  • Rehearsal and Performance Policy

    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 the music student'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 ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN ALL PERFORMANCES AND REQUIRED REHEARSALS.

    • REQUIRED REHEARSALS

      Special rehearsals (excludes 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 as performance. Be 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. 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 and canbe found on 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.) Only chorus students are permitted within the concert area prior to 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: it show what you have learned this quarter and you 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 set high expecations for students at all performances in both capacities (performer and audience). The student will extend “professional courtesy" to the audience as well as the performing group. Professional courtesy mean to “treat others as you would have them treat you OR perform as the chorus director expects. Any infraction of the professional courtesy rule lowers the grade for the concert as well as the conduct portion of the grade. Student cell phones and personal electronic devices will be OFF during all performances. Any student, who has their cell phone ON, texts 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.


    • MISSED REHEARSAL or PERFORMANCE:

    • 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!

    • Classwork

      Classwork 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.


    • Class Particpation Test Class Participation

      Classroom time is designated rehearsal time. For this reason you are expected to be in your seat and 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: Your name at the top of the page, The date you were absent from chorus, A well written paragraph describing what you missed in class (nothing less than 5 sentences, nothing more than 8), and your parent’s signature and date across the paragraph. You will do this for every class you missed. Each paragraph must be signed by your parents. You may use the same sheet of paper, though 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

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


    Tardy Policy

    Students will be considered tardy if they are not inside the chorus room(not to be confused with in the music building). Teacher will mark tardies in the computer. The ISS Assistant will track student tardiness and issue referrals. A referral is issued after 5 unexcused tardies.

Other Chorus Activities

While participating in the RHS Chorus program students will have the opportunity to audition or sign up for additional musical events. Unlike 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:

  • Assessment Activities.

    MPA: Choral Music Performance Assessment (in March)

    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. Information regarding MPA will come out in January. Choral Music Performance Assessment is a wonderful experience for our students. This is a REQUIRED event that is financed by the Chorus. Others off campus events will be financed by the individual students. Parents must be willing to chaperone on an "as needed" basis for the event that their child enters with the exception of Music Performance Assessment.

  • Additional Musical Activities


    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

    (If possible during 2020, Disney will decide) Disney Candlelight 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. Due to new Disney Candlelight audition regulations, only 75 students per high school can audition. Therefore, you must be a member of an auditioned Ridgeview group (Vocal Ensemble or Women’s Chorus) to be eligible to audition. In addition, students must have their Fair Share paid before or by September 22nd (which can be paid by participating in our fall fundraiser), they must be at the after school rehearsal/taping on September 24th. This will be a select group of the best RHS singers. Further selection criteria will be discussed in class. Students must adhere to all RHS rules and the travel guidelines outlined below.

    Field Trips and Overnight Travel

    (if possible in 2020) 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 or 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 based on the following 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 follow a different policy with extracurricular activities than make up grades for missed class . 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 we look for.

Senior 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 Tuesday, May 25th at 1:30 in the chorus room. All additional information for this special performance will be given at that time.

Financial Obligations

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 School Bucks system.

SCHOOL BUCKS INSTRUCTIONS

  1. go to the My School Bucks site and set up a profile
  2. Select the dropbox “School Store”
  3. Select “Browse All Items”
  4. Select “Chorus”

Uniforms

All chorus students are required to purchase a formal uniform.
There are two options:

  • Dress and Pearls

    This formal uniform is the long black chorus dress and pearls. Each student that chooses this option will be required to wear black hose and plain black pumps or plain black flats in addition to their dress and pearls. Students MAY NOT wear additional jewelry.

    Purchase Price:(MUST ORDER BY SEPTEMBER 29th)

    *Dress: $60.00

    Pearls: $ 10.00

  • Tuxedo

    This formal uniform is a full tuxedo. The full tuxedo or pieces of the tuxedo can be ordered from the chorus teacher. Each student that choses this option will be required to wear black socks and black dress shoes (NO SNEAKERS!) with this uniform. Students MAY NOT wear jewelry.

    Purchase Price(NEW):ORDER BY SEPTEMBER 29th

    * 5 piece Ensemble: $100.00

    * Tux pants

    * Jacket: $60.00

    * Shirt: $10.00

    * Bow Tie & Cummerbund: $10.00

    Purchase Price (Used--if available)

    * Tux pants: $15.00

    * Jacket: $20.00

    * Shirt: $10.00

    * Bow Tie : $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.

  • Fair Share Program

    Each chorus student will be encouraged to participate in the Fair Share Program for the 2020-2021 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 $60.00. It can be paid in one payment between August 25, 2020 and September 22, 2020; 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.

  • Fund Raisers

    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.

  • Textbooks

    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 are 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.

Additional Information

PERFORMANCE LOCATIONS

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.

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.

2020-2021 COVID-19 Addendum

In order to comply with the Clay County School Board recommendations outlined in the Smart Restart Reopening Plan, a few additions have been made for this school year.

Classroom Procedures:

  • ENTERING AND LEAVING

    Students will enter the chorus room from the music lobby and exit the side door of the classroom
  • FOOD AND DRINK

    Food and drinks will NOT be allowed in the music building. Students may have WATER ONLY in class. Students that choose to bring other food or drink items will be advised to throw them away. Students that bring lunch to school are encouraged to rent a locker.
  • STUDENT SEATING

    The seats in the chorus room are positioned at 5-feet apart. When possible, students will be positioned so that singing can be done safely without masks. Students will remain in their seat unless directed by the teacher.
  • BACKPACKS AND BELONGINGS

    Students must keep their backpacks and personal belongings UNDER their chair. There will not be a common area for student belongings this year.
  • Classroom Procedures:

    • FOLDERS AND MATERIALS

      Each student will be given a slot in class with a 5-ring binder with 5 dividers and a pencil. Music and other materials will be placed in this slot. At the beginning of class, the teacher will direct the students to retrieve their folder. Each student must get their own folder. Folders and music will stay in the classroom. Students must provide their own loose leaf paper (college or wide rule) and a pencil if they lose the one provided.
    • MASKS AND SINGING

      When possible, we will take off masks to sing. Students must have a mask on to move about the classroom. If we are able to effectively socially distance, then students may take their mask off at their assigned seat. We will keep our mask on for the first ten minutes of class and the last five minutes of class to allow proper air flow to recirculate between singing times.
    • MISSED CLASS TIME

      Under normal circumstances, a student must write one paragraph per day when they are absent to make up the class participation grade that is missed.
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