Falmouth High School Choir Handbook
Paige Taylor, Director
I am thrilled that your student has chosen to participate in the choral program at Falmouth High School. I believe that these choral groups help to foster the Falmouth High School values of rigor, respect, and responsibility, in addition to collegiality and community. I approach each class with extreme enthusiasm and dedication to creating an optimal environment for student musical learning.
Please return the signature page of this packet by Friday, September 15th. More information will be forthcoming regarding uniform cleaning fees and fundraising events that will be taking place throughout the year. I look forward to a productive and fulfilling musical year!
The Falmouth High School Choral Department consists of two curricular ensembles—the FHS Chorus and the Repertory Singers. The Chorus is a non-auditioned group open to students in any grade. The Repertory Singers are an advanced, mixed-voice singing ensemble. Students currently audition in November to secure a spot in the group for the following year. Students can also audition for Soulfege, a mixed-voice, extra-curricular a cappella group, which performs arrangements of popular songs from a variety of genres. The group rehearses roughly three hours a week year-round.
There are four major performances that take place over the school year: the Winter Concert in December, All-Choral Night in March, the Spring Concert (a joint concert with the instrumental ensembles) in May, and Graduation in June. These four events are required for all students - please put them in your calendars now! Students can also participate in the Choral Cabaret, an informal concert featuring popular music that will take place in January. Students will also be asked to join our Google Classroom for updates and assignments throughout the school year.
By the end of the year, it is my hope that your student will:
- Perform a variety of high-quality music from different time periods, cultures, and genres
- Learn the principles of basic vocal technique, including proper posture, breathing, relaxation, tone production, and vowel formation
- Engage deeply with the cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts of the music being studied
- Develop skills essential to ensemble singing, including blend, balance, and performance behavior
- Learn basic elements of music theory, including dynamics, tempo, articulations, and harmonic and rhythmic concepts
- Develop musical independence, including the ability to sight-sing using the movable-do solfege system
- Connect to a community of people who are working toward common goals and positive experiences
Classroom Routines and Expectations
In order for a choral group to function efficiently and harmoniously, each member of the ensemble must agree to behave in a respectful, responsible manner. Failure to abide by classroom expectations will result in deductions from the daily rehearsal grade and teacher warnings and/ or detentions.
Materials Needed For Rehearsal:
Sheet Music in folder
- Water Bottle is encouraged
-Be respectful at all times—to the teacher and to other students in the room. This means that students should not talk while the director is working with another section of the choir. They may use this time to study their own part in the music or listen critically to the other section(s).
-Students need to be in their proper sections with their folders and a pencil when the bell rings. At the end of the class period, students need to return their folders to their proper spot. Students are expected to practice their music at home. Please make sure to return your folder, or you will be charged a replacement fee at the end of the school year.
-Any phones, iPods, or other electronic devices are prohibited unless otherwise mentioned. If used, the student will receive a teacher warning. For the second offense, a notification will be sent home. A third offense will result in teacher detention.
-No food, soda, candy, or gum will be allowed in the choir room at any time, though water is allowed. No coffee is allowed. Teacher detentions will be assigned after one warning.
-In accordance with the student handbook, students will receive a teacher detention for every third unexcused tardy to class.
-Students must request a pass in order to use the restroom and must always sign in and out on the destination sheet. Only one student is allowed to be out of the classroom at a time. Students should try to use the restroom before class begins.
-Students are expected to be active participants in the group. If a student feels ill and cannot fully participate in classroom activities, he/she will be given an excused absence for the class. Long-term requests to sit during rehearsal will require a note from a parent or guardian.
- 10% -- Attendance. Attendance and participation at required performances, after school rehearsals, and sectionals is required. Students must arrive on time to all required events. See the attached calendar.
- 30% -- Daily rehearsal grade. Students will begin each day with 5 points and one point will be deducted for violating classroom expectations as outlined above. All students will be given a copy of the points expectations to keep in their folder at school.
- 40% -- Assessments. Students will be required to submit periodic “part checks” and sight-singing tests every three weeks to the director. Students ARE NOT REQUIRED to purchase SmartMusic. Any student can stay after school or use Clipper Time to complete these assignments using the practice rooms at the school, as long as a teacher is present. Written theory quizzes will also count towards this percentage.
- 20% -- Written work. This may include theory, reflections, and listening evaluations.
**PLEASE NOTE: ALL STUDENTS IN REPERTORY SINGERS ARE REQUIRED TO AUDITION FOR ALL CAPE, SOUTHEAST DISTRICTS, OR ALL CAPE JAZZ AS PART OF THEIR HONORS CREDIT**
LATE WORK: Students will lose five points a school day past the due date. After five school days have passed, the work will not be accepted.
EXTRA CREDIT: Students may increase their grade through various means, including attending other musical performances (and writing a review), taking private lessons outside of the school day, filing music in the music library, or other independent projects. All extra credit opportunities must be approved by the director beforehand.
Because students must actively participate in class in order to grow as a musician, classroom attendance is a key component of students’ overall grade. Unexcused absences from class will result in zero points for that day. Students are allowed three excused absences per quarter before they will begin to receive zero points for their absence. Students can make up excused absences through after school work at the director’s convenience.
Attendance at after school sectionals, rehearsals, and concerts is mandatory. Absences will be excused for the following reasons:
- -Medical emergencies or personal injury
- -Death in the family
- -Student absence from school due to illness or other reason through the main office - if you are absent, you cannot participate in after school concerts or activities!
If a student misses a rehearsal or a performance for one of these reasons, he or she must bring a parental note to the director, who will then determine the validity of the absence. Even if the absence was excused, the student must still make up the event by singing his/her part on the concert repertoire in front of the choir director.
Uniforms are provided by the Falmouth High School Music Department and Choral Boosters for the choral students to wear at concerts throughout the year. All students must supply their own closed-toe black shoes and socks or nylons. Students may wear whichever uniform they feel most comfortable in. Dresses, tuxedos, shirts, cummerbunds, and ties are provided. The uniforms are professionally cleaned at the beginning of the school year and as needed. Failure to comply with the dress policy will result in point deductions from the concert grade.
Each student is responsible for returning every piece of the uniform to the choir room following the performances. These need to be hung and placed on the rack, as they were found prior to the concert. Each student is responsible for loss or unreasonable damage to the uniform while in his or her possession and will be charged accordingly. Please let the choral director know if your uniform is in need of repair.
Absolutely no personal jewelry may be worn at our concerts, festivals, and contests, including studs or earrings, rings, bracelets, facial piercings, tongue piercings, and necklaces. The choir provides any necessary jewelry in order to create a uniform appearance.
FHS Choral Boosters
The FHS Choral Boosters is an organization that exists to lend moral and financial support to the Choral Department at Falmouth High School. The support comes in many forms: managing several fundraising events throughout the year, assisting at concerts and chaperoning on trips, and promoting interest in the community for the choral programs. The Choral Boosters meet in the choir room on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 P.M. We encourage you to attend!
A devoted group of parent and student officers help to keep the organization running smoothly. Elections for these positions are held in May.
FHS Choir Calendar of Performances 2018-2019
Items in bold are required.
Veteran’s Day Performance: Monday, November 12th, FHS Library Green, Time TBA *Required for Repertory Singers*
All Cape Auditions: Wednesday, November 14th, 3:00 PM, Falmouth High School
Senior SE District Auditions: Saturday, November 17th, Location and Time TBA
Holiday Wreath Fundraiser Pick-up: Friday, December 7th, 6-8 PM, Falmouth High School
Main Street Stroll: Saturday, December 8th, 5:00-7:00 PM - Soulfege - Meet at Mullen Hall School
Junior SE District Auditions: Saturday, December 8th, Location and Time TBA (Open to 9th graders only)
Winter Choral Concert: Thursday, December 13th, 7:00 PM, FHS Auditorium (Snow Date: Thursday, December 20th, 7:00 PM)
Senior SE District Festival: Friday, January 11th – Saturday, January 12th, Location and Times TBA
Tuesday, January 22nd: Auditions for Repertory Singers for 2019-2020 School Year (Sign up for an audition time during the school day)
All-State Auditions: Saturday, January 26th, Shrewsbury High School, Time TBA
All Cape Music Festival: Thursday, January 31st - Saturday, February 2nd, Barnstable High School, Time TBA
Tri-M Honor Society Induction: Thursday, February 7th, 7:00 PM, FHS Auditorium
Choral Cabaret: Friday, February 8th, 7:00 P.M. FHS Cafeteria A
MMEA All State Festival: Thursday, February 28-Saturday, March 2nd, Seaport Hotel and Conference Center, Boston, MA
Junior SE District Festival: Friday, March 8thth and Saturday March 9th, Location and Time TBA
All-Choral Night: Monday, March 18th, 7:00 PM Lawrence School
A Cappella Fest: Friday, April 5th, 7:00 PM - Falmouth High School
Spring Concert: Thursday, May 16th, 7:00 PM, FHS Auditorium
Memorial Garden Performance: Friday, May 17th, 3:30 PM, FHS Courtyard *Required for Repertory Singers*
Choir Banquet: Wednesday, May 22nd, 6:00 PM, FHS Cafeteria A
Awards Night Performance: Thursday, May 30th, 7:00 PM, FHS Auditorium *Required for Repertory Singers*
Graduation Performance: Saturday, June 1st, 10:30 AM, FHS Field House