GOALS OF THE CHOIR DEPARTMENT
It is the goal of the WLHS Choir Department to establish and maintain a balanced program, which includes opportunities to:
1. Perform a variety of standard and non-standard repertory in several settings. These include choir concerts, music festivals, solo and ensemble and community events.
2. Study and analyze the music performed, including developing music literacy skills (vocabulary and sight reading).3. Be exposed to other performers.
4. Develop ensemble skills including improvisation, musicianship, interpretation, tone quality, intonation, blend and balance.
Learning will be assessed through observation, rehearsal, performance and festival opportunities.
Of all musicians, singers have something no other instruments have…words that can be shared at anytime and anyplace because singers always have their instrument with them. In choir, studying the fundamentals of singing and music bring life to language in a meaningful way. Students learn how to read a vocal score and interpret music in order to communicate thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a healthful way. This is accomplished through:
1. Developing proper posture
2. Breathing properly
3. Staying on pitch
4. Singing lightly
5. Singing on the vowels
6. Articulating all consonants
7. Blending voices
8. Starting and stopping together
A choir performance is a team effort where musicians translate notes and text on the page into musical expressions that are enjoyable to both performers and the audience. We look forward to sharing our work with you at our concerts!
The purpose of these expectations is to create the best possible rehearsal environment. In choir all of us sacrifice part of ourselves to achieve greatness together. These expectations will allow us to accomplish the common goal of being the best musical organization we can be.
1. Show respect to people, the music and the classroom.
2. Come to rehearsal ready to learn, when the bell rings.
3. No gum or food in the rehearsal. Water bottles are allowed and encouraged.
4. Be present in the moment – no cell phones needed or allowed.
5. Follow directions the first time they are given.
6. Use the best singing posture possible.
7. Always have your folder, and a pencil ready to mark difficult passages.
8. Practice your music outside of class, and be prepared for the next rehearsal.
9. Put your music away each day.
Be prepared, be prompt, be polite and be productive!
Vocal music classes are structured so that skills are presented contextually and systematically, giving students a framework for growth and understanding that can be demonstrated in performance. This curriculum is based on Common Core Anchor Standards that are reflected in National Standards for Music Education. Students are placed into choir sections based on their abilities and the group needs.
Concert Choir is open to all students, grades 9-12. This intermediate level choir focus is to develop the fundamentals of music reading, while fostering confidence and friendship with peers. They meet and/or exceed the national standards for music education at the intermediate level through performance of grade 3 & 4 literature in a variety of choral genres.
Women’s Choir is a select women’s ensemble open to grades 9-12, based on an audition. They meet and/or exceed the national standards for music education at the intermediate level through performance of grade 4 literature in a variety of choral genres, with a focus on contemporary music in the spring.
HONORS SYMPHONIC CHOIR is an advanced ensemble that focuses on choral and vocal development in a mixed group setting, with the objective of meeting/exceeding the national standards at the advanced level through preparing and performing grade 5 and 6 literature in a variety of choral genres. They represent WLHS at all OSAA District and State Festivals in addition to other large ensemble regional events.
HONORS JAZZ CHOIR is a select mixed jazz ensemble. Auditions are held each May for the following year. They perform jazz and contemporary literature at grade levels 5/6. They represent WLHS at a variety of regional jazz festivals, and community events.
As a member of the WLHS Choir program, you are expected to participate in your choir’s scheduled events. Please look carefully at the choir calendar, so you can work out any potential conflicts.
This year’s choir calendar is included in this handbook, is in the course syllabus, and can be found on the choir web page. Additional events may be scheduled, particularly around the holiday season. Every attempt will be made to set additional dates well in advance to allow you to let parents and employers know your choir obligations. If you have a job, please let your employer know your schedule well in advance, so they can make arrangements as needed.
· Choir is a co-curricular performance based class. Often there is only one major concert per grading period. The only excuses for a missed performance are illness, family emergency, a pre-excused absence through the school office, or another school related activity.
· Concert performances comprise nearly one-third of a student’s grade, so it is essential that a student with an excused absence earn concert points through another means. Students may meet with Mrs. Fontana to determine a suitable project and timeline for completion, or access the concert make-up assignment on the K: drive for their class.
Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory
This course is a college level music theory course covering both written theory and ear-training. Subject matter covered in this class includes fundamentals of music theory, part-writing, analysis, dictation, and sight-singing. In addition to the developing these skills, this course is designed to prepare the each student for successful completion of the Advanced Placement Exam in Music Theory.