Waterloo Junior High Choruses
“Music brings people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit.” - Henry David Thoreau
Mrs. Carrie Munsell, WHS/WJHS Choral Director
939-3455 ext. 671/939-3457 ext. 555
Welcome to the Waterloo Junior High Choruses!
Dear Parents and Students
I hope you have had a wonderful summer break and are ready to begin a great year! I am so excited to be working with you and am looking forward to a very musically successful year!
Choral music is an incredible avenue toward building better musicians and better people. Through teamwork, performance, music literacy and creativity, students are able to develop their self-esteem and ability to express themselves. Through exposure to many different musical styles and periods, they are more aware of history and world cultures. They also begin to understand the impact that music can have in their lives and in the lives of others.
I believe that the most successful outcomes for everyone are derived from excellent communication. It is my goal to have good communication with all parents. If you have any questions regarding classes, grades or upcoming opportunities, do not hesitate to contact me. Email is the best way to get in touch with me - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read carefully through the chorus schedule and mark your calendars accordingly regarding graded concerts, events, etc.
The Purpose of the WJHS Choral Program
As a member of our singing ensembles, you will further develop your musicianship and total understanding of music in such a way that you can continue to enjoy, learn and perform music as an independent musician. Your WJHS Choral experience will not only prepare you for high school, but will help you enjoy music through your life as a performer, creator or consumer of music.
Your objectives for this year include:
VOCAL DEVELOPMENT - Tone, breath, care of the voice, pitch and intonation
DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICALITY - Expressing the written music through performance of varied styles and listening
MUSIC APPRECIATION AND HISTORY - Understanding of periods, composers, styles, genres and instruments
SIGHT READING - Reading music through the use of the solfege system and pitch letter names
MUSIC LITERACY - Following a vocal score with all pertinent markings, symbols and directions
MOVEMENT- Expressing music through choreography if the music calls for it
PERFORMANCE AND CONCERT ETIQUETTE - Presenting oneself in a formal and informal concert setting as well as showing the kind of demeanor and courtesy one should have as an audience member.
WJHS Chorus Students’ Expectations/Grading Policy
DAILY PARTICIPATION: (20 points per rehearsal)
* Coming to class on time with all materials (binder, music, pencil)
* Singing, moving and following directions to the best of your ability
* Raising your hand to answer/ask questions
* Standing/sitting in assigned riser place
* Assisting the teacher and fellow students when needed
* Taking part in all classroom activities, singing or otherwise
* Marking your music when appropriate
* Being attentive in all rehearsals
* Behaving in a manner that supports the learning environment
**First verbal warning given with no grade effect
**Second warning given with a 5 pt. grade deduction
**Third warning given with a 10 point deduction and private conference
**Fourth warning given with a 15 point deduction and parent contact
**Mrs. Munsell reserves the right employ office referrals dependent upon the severity of the incident.
* Concerts - 100 points
Perform to the best of your ability
Attend concert: on time, dressed in the proper attire
Stay for the entire concert
Appropriate behavior while peers are performing
* Combined Rehearsals - 30 points (7th/8th grades only)
Daily participation expectations apply
* Tests, Quizzes, Worksheets - varied point values
* Voice Testing - 30 points
1st quarter - done in groups (4-6 students)
2nd quarter - done in duets
3rd quarter - digital recordings done in class
4th quarter - digital recordings done outside of class
WJHS Chorus Rules
1. Be on time with what you need to be successful! (Binder, pencil, great attitude!)
2. Be respectful of others and our rehearsal time by raising your hand, etc. Disruptions of rehearsals may result in loss of points, conference, office referral and loss of eligibility for upcoming incentive trips.
3 No cell phones or gum! E-readers/books/other class assignments may only be out before or after rehearsals.
4. Give a positive contribution everyday. This is a participation class and each member is expected to work together to uphold his/her responsibility to the ensemble.
5. Come prepared to have the very best year ever! Never settle for anything but your very best. Being EXCELLENT is hard work, but the effort is worth it!
6. Have FUN!
As a music teacher, I am always looking for ways to assist students to earn grades that encourage them to be the best musicians they can be. I firmly believe that I am teaching life skills as well as musical skills. Music inspires, molds and helps create wonderful, responsible and passionate human beings.
It is important that every student understand that Chorus is a performance and participation class and that the major exams are the concerts. There are only FOUR required concerts (October, December, March, May). These are opportunities to show off your preparation and skills learned in class and are required and graded events.
If your student is ill, we do not want them at a concert. If your student stayed home from school, do not come to the concert unless permission is given from me or an administrator. Any excuse that is not based on an illness (Dr/parent note required) or an otherwise pre-approved absence will be considered unexcused. Unavoidable conflicts must be communicated to me by email 2 weeks before the scheduled concert date.
Excused absences can be made up for full credit by completing an alternate assignment that will be due 1 week after the performance. It is the responsibility of the student to ask for the assignment. One week late will result in 80% credit; two weeks late - 70% credit; three weeks late - 60%. At that point, a “zero” will be given.
***Club sport conflicts, transportation or attire problems are not valid excuses to miss a concert. We can make arrangements for transport and attire for a student, if I am notified 1 week in advance.***
Fall/Third Quarter/Spring Concert Attire:
White dress shirt, sweater, blouse (with NO writing)
Black pants/skirt (clean and neat clothing)
Black socks, shoes, belt, etc.
Hair pulled back from your face
If you do not have black dress shoes, black tennis shoes are fine as long as they are neat and clean. NO flip flops for safety concerns on the risers.
Winter Concert Attire:
Christmas colored nice “church” clothing
No large writing on clothing.
***WJHS Handbook Dress Code always applies!!***
All choruses are comprised of students enrolled in “Everyday Chorus,” “Band/Chorus” or “Chorus/Resource Study Hall.”
All 6th Gr. sections meet together on M,W and alternating Fridays
All 7th/8th Gr. sections meet together on T,Th and alternating Fridays
7th and 8th Gr. choruses will rehearse together during 9th hour study halls on alternating Tuesdays.
Parent and Student Acknowledgement
(Completion and return of this form by 8.27 counts as your first test grade for the year.)
I have read and understood all the guidelines, grading and attendance policies that are set out in the WJHS Choral Handbook. I promise to do my best to adhere to all rules, required performances, events and expectations.
Student’s Grade and Section: (circle)
Sixth Grade: 6B (band) 6C (chorus only)
Seventh Grade: 7B 7C
Eighth Grade: 8B 8C
Name Student’s Signature
Parents’ names and email Parent’s Signature
Date Rec. ________