LDMS Choir Handbook
This handbook is designed for the students (and their parents) involved in the Lake Dallas Choral Music Program as an informational tool.
Choir Member’s CODE OF CONDUCT
Unlike other academic classes, it is impossible to “make-up” activities that occur in a choir rehearsal. Unexcused absences from class will not be tolerated.
Extra rehearsals will be few, but when they are scheduled, attendance is REQUIRED. These rehearsals are vital to the success of the choral program.
In the event of a conflict with another school activity, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the sponsors of both activities. Once notificaiton has been given, it will be the responsibility of the sponsors to determine the student's obligation.
Attendance at concerts is REQUIRED. Concert performances are the ultimate evaluation of many weeks of preparation and classwork. The entire choir suffers when any one member is absent. An unexcused absence will affect the choir grade. In the event of an unexcused absence, an alternate assignment will be discussed.
Excused absence or tardy parameters: Death in the family, medical, or other emergencies will be marked as excused when the director is notified, in writing, no later than the school day following the event. Please notify the director in advance when possible.
Please be aware than many choir activities fall under the Texas “no pass, no play” law. Choir students may not participate in any Region 2 auditions and/or Region 2 concerts or UIL contests (solo and ensemble and Concert, Sight Reading) if they are not passing all their classes with a grade of 70 or above. LDMS scheduled concerts are considered part of the curriculum and, therefore, not affected.
The work that a choir accomplishes in its rehearsals is the single most important factor in the overall success of the choir. There are certain factors that will contribute to good rehearsals on a daily basis:
- PDSITIVE ATTITUDE: Since rehearsals occur during the school day, it is important to enter the rehearsal with the purpose of accomplishing a musical goal every day. This means leaving other classes and problems outside the choir room door and concentrating on the rehearsal at hand.
- A PENCIL IN HAND: Please mark your music as necessary. It allows you to be a responsible choir member by keeping up with the progress of the music. NEVER MARK MUSIC WITH ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PENCIL.
- GOOD POSTURE: Every choir member is responsible for maintaining a good singing posture. Proper posture allows the singer to produce the best tone through good body and breath support and gives a sense of professionalism to the group. This should become a subconscious routine; whenever the student is singing, good posture should be automatic.
- CONCENTRATION: The best choir rehearsals move quickly. To accomplish this, each choir member must be concentrating on the rehearsal and be ready to perform as directed. Obviously, this involves constant listening to instructions and keeping track of what other sections are doing so that each student can be completely involved in the total output of the choir. When the director is addressing a specific section, the remainder of the choir is asked to remain quiet and listen so everyone will be ready to join in at the appropriate moment.
- RESPECT: When many people work closely on a musical project, it is important to maintain respect for each other – not only the director, but also towards all other choir members. Choral music requires the focus of musicianship as well as the emotions. Be sensitive to the feelings of all others in the group. Treat each other as you would want to be treated.
- Leave all books, purses, and non-choir materials on the tables.
- Move to your seat with folders as quickly as possible.
- Do not talk while the director is talking.
- Do not chew gum or bring any kind of food or drink into the choir room. NO EXCEPTIONS!
- Be an attentive and courteous choir member.
- One person at a time (one time per class period) may go to the restroom or water fountain – if the director is working with another section and movement doesn’t disrupt the rehearsal. Abuse of this may result in the loss of this privilege!
- Students will follow the rules and instructions of the director, guest director, or substitute teacher without comment or argument. Legitimate questions will be answered in class. Private conferences will be held outside of class time to discuss problems or disagreements.
- The offices, telephone, piano, keyboards, and audio-visual equipment are totally off-limits. Students may only be in the practice rooms with the director’s permission.
- The director dismisses class – not the bell!
*** Be aware that repeated infractions will result in detention, parental conferences, disciplinary referrals, and possible removal from the Choir Program. These decisions will be made at the discretion of the director.
Choir grades are based on the following criteria:
- Promptness to class, extra rehearsals, and concerts
- Class effort
- Participation in rehearsals and performances
- Skill evaluation in oral and written work
Misbehavior wastes valuable time, affects the entire choir, and will be reflected in the choir’s performance as well as the student’s grade.