Col. John Wheeler Middle School Choirs
2020 – 2021
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM!
Dear Parents and Students,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Colonel John Wheeler Middle School choir program! This year is going to be filled with many exciting opportunities for you and your student. Your participation in this group will keep us working as a team toward excellence. I know we can make this another extraordinary and successful year! I would like to share my philosophy about the importance of choir in the life of your middle school student.
I believe that a quality music education is beneficial to all students. I believe that every child is musically expressive and deserves an outlet to explore that capability. The choral program at “The Colonel” offers a non-auditioned choir for students in all grade levels, as well as challenges for the highly-skilled or gifted choral musician.
Each of our choirs provides students the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills learned in the elementary music curriculum. They provide group and solo activities and are designed to develop students’ musicianship including vocal production, technical skills, and intonation. Students also participate in performance opportunities outside of the school day that support and extend the learning in the classroom.
Why is it important for students to be in choir? Choral music can:
- Provide a unique way of thinking
- Act as a link between the past and the present; various world cultures
- Lift the self-esteem of participants
- Bring joy to both the singer and the audience
- Provide a means of expressing thoughts, values and emotions through singing that may otherwise be difficult to express through speaking.
I’m so excited to get started this year. It is going to be a great year of learning and making music together. I look forward to working with each of you as we make this year at The Colonel the best one yet! Thank you for allowing me to share my love of music with your child.
Mr. Stephen Dean
Director of Choirs
Colonel John Wheeler Middle School
Handbook adapted from Highland Hills Middle School Choir Department 2017 – 2018
Mr. David G. Stone, Director
SINGING DURING COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives; singing is no exception. Singing can still happen safely, but we must take many extra precautions. Many of these precautions are keeping the physical space and ventilation of our rooms in mind. Each music room and group is different. All directors, in cooperation with building administration, will continue to follow science and data when making changes to daily activities. The following are a list of precautions students can expect to be implemented during choir class.
- Students will be spaced out slightly farther than six feet in all directions, and will sit facing the same direction.
- Outdoor singing will be utilized as much as possible while weather permits. Otherwise, the auditeria may be used to provide spaced out singing when weather does not permit. For all rehearsals, a limited number of students will sing at a time.
- Students will wear their masks for the duration of class.
- Students will enter wearing masks through a set of double doors. At the end of class, a single door will be used as the exit for every class. In this way, one-way traffic will be maintained for entering and exiting students.
- Folder storage is not available in the room. The water fountain is not available. Music and materials will be provided on Buzz as much as possible. Students should provide their own water bottles.
- Doors to the learning area will be open so students will not have to touch them. Touchpoints around the classroom will be disinfected after each class.
WHY WE SING?
In choosing to become part of a music ensemble you have chosen to improve your life and gain useful skills for your future. You will have fun, work with a team, set goals in group and individual settings, learn to be accountable, listen better, gain confidence and performance skills, and become a better citizen and student.
Our ultimate goal is to affect our audiences. As performers, we have the power to make people feel things they didn’t feel before, to impart emotion to our listeners, and to help people cope with things in their personal life, through our music – ourselves included. That is our ultimate goal – and the true reason we sing.
Through this, we better ourselves and are provided with unique aesthetic experiences that give us a desire to continue making music and affecting audiences.
CHOIRS AT THE COLONEL
- 8th Grade Treble Choir (non-auditioned, 7th Grade Treble Choir, director permission)
- 7th Grade Treble Choir (non-auditioned, no prerequisites)
- 7th/8th Grade Tenor-Bass Choir (non-auditioned, no prerequisites)
- 6th Grade Choir (non-auditioned, no prerequisites)
- Minor Details (extra-curricular auditioned – generally for 7th/8th graders,
must be enrolled in choir class)
There are several opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular ensembles throughout the year, via audition (including Circle the State with Song, and ISSMA Solo & Ensemble.)
Students are expected to have a charged chromebook, and something to write with each day. Any paper handouts should be kept in a folder provided by the student. There will be no folder storage available in the room this year. Most materials will be provided on Buzz. Students should also bring their own water bottle.
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT POLICY
We are all here because we have something in common; we enjoy singing. How we sound as a group has a lot to do with how we work together. If you follow the classroom procedures listed below every day of the year, the result will be a choral group that truly makes beautiful music. The success of our group rests upon your individual self-discipline. Singing in harmony can only be accomplished by working in harmony.
- Students are to proceed directly to their assigned seat and follow proper sanitation procedures. Students should expect to stay in their assigned seat for the duration of class.
- No gum, food, or drink are permitted in the choir room. When we have gum, candy, or food in our mouths, our tonal production and diction are affected. Water is permitted in a clear, plastic bottle.
- Cell phones are to be off and in students lockers during the school day. Cell phones will be confiscated and turned in to the office on the first offense. Remaining offences will result in further disciplinary action.
- Students should demonstrate good posture during rehearsal.
- Talking during a rehearsal will not be tolerated. Rehearse in a professional manner and we will have a professional sound.
- Sometimes in the course of rehearsal, only one section will be singing. The members of the sections not singing at the time should be carefully following the musical part that is being rehearsed so that total knowledge of the song is achieved.
- Verbal warning
- Lunch detention
- Phone call home
- After-school detention
- Removal from choir class (3 strike policy for major infractions.)
PERFORMANCE ATTIRE (if necessary)
Ladies: – black dress pants, black dress shirt, black tights/socks and black closed-toed
shoes, official red choir scarf
Gentlemen: – black dress pants, black button-down dress shirt, black socks, black dress
shoes, official red choir tie
Leggings, jeans, tennis shoes, combat-style boots, sandals, flip flops are not acceptable.
Wearing correct and appropriately cared-for performance attire is a factor in the “Performance Engagement/Professionalism” category. Students who do not wear appropriate performance attire will receive a lowered grade for the specific performance.
COL. WHEELER MUSIC DEPT. GRADING POLICY
The majority of our learning objectives are based on authentic performance, so grading is structured in a way that is different from non-performing classes:
Rehearsal Engagement/Professionalism (10 points daily) 40%
- active and productive rehearsal contribution such as:
- demonstrating proper singing posture
- demonstrating conscious effort and attempt to improve in skill areas
- cooperating with other singers
- not having food, gum, or drink
- not causing classroom disruption
- punctuality/bringing required materials
Performance Engagement/Professionalism 30%
- attendance/punctuality for all performances
- correct concert attire
- following instructions
- performing to the best of one’s ability
- respectful on-stage and audience behavior
- staying for the entire concert
- attendance for after-school rehearsals (25 points each)
Written Work/PracticeFirst/Assessments 30%
- essays written in reflection of recent performances
- boardwork/folder checks
- other miscellaneous written evaluations
- PracticeFirst assignments serve as Individual Assessments
- concert music
- sight-reading exercises
Grading Standard (as in the Student Handbook)
A+ 96.5 – 100% A 92.5 – 96.49% A- 89.5 – 92.49%
B+ 86.5 – 89.49% B 82.5 – 86.49% B- 79.5 – 82.49%
C+ 76.5 – 79.49% C 72.5 – 76.49% C- 69.5 – 72.49%
D+ 66.5 – 69.49% D 62.5 – 66.49% D- 59.5 – 62.49%
F 59.49% >
Policy on Late Assignments: Late assignments will be accepted with a penalty of 10% off per school day late for up to 5 days. After the fifth day, students may submit work for up to 50% credit. Work will be accepted up to 5 school days before the end of the quarter.
Choir is an elective, year-long, co-curricular, performance-based class.
“If part of a student’s grade is based on in-class participation and/or performance, a teacher may reduce that portion of the student’s grade for unexcused absences (see McCarthy, Martha M. et al (1998). Public School Law: Teacher’s and Student’s Rights. (4th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. p. 214).”
Music organizations are expensive. Each year, the Crown Point Music Department spends around $40,000 in sheet music, equipment, accompanist fees, contest registration fees, private teachers, and other supplies. The fee assessed to choir students only accounts for uniform cleaning/rental, folder rental, and the Spring Concert t-shirt. We must do some fundraising to make up the difference. The following fundraisers have been scheduled: spirit wear, popcorn, wreaths, mattresses, and flowers. Crown Point Schools boast one of the largest and most successful 6-12 music programs in the state, due in no small part to the dedication of our parents, students, community members to our fundraising efforts.
MUSIC BOOSTER ORGANIZATION
This support organization exists to promote further interest in the music programs of the Crown Point Community School Corporation; aid in funding for equipment and expenses not met by the Board of Education; and to assist the directors in the maintenance of the music program of the Crown Point Schools. All parents of middle school music students are members of the organization and are urged to become involved in the Booster activities by attending monthly meetings, volunteering for committees and chaperoning duties, and cooperating with fundraising activities. We urge you to become a Music Booster Patron! Music Booster meetings are at 7:00 p.m. in the Crown Point High School Music Suite. Meeting dates are usually the second Tuesday of each month.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP
- Show an interest in the music study of your student.
- Discuss the value of music for its own sake with your student – even without the framework of performance.
- Teach your student to be respectful, and flexible during a very unusual year.
- See that your student keeps up with assignments, and classroom studies.
- Discuss with Mr. Dean anything that will help him understand your student.
We have several ways to stay informed with what is going on with the CJWMS Choral Department.
A monthly informational “newsletter” is emailed to all students and parents.
Visit and keep up to date with the Col. Wheeler Music Department website. On this website you can see concert schedules, handbooks, forms, videos, etc. http://www.wheelerbco.com Also – the Col. Wheeler Choirs facebook page will have useful information.
Stay on top of your student’s Buzz Agenda/To-Do List. Assignments will be posted here with turn-in dates, etc.
You may call or email Mr. Dean any time at (219)-663-2173 ext. 13108 or firstname.lastname@example.org