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Karen Willis

Welcome to choir! 

Henryetta High/Middle School Choral Program Syllabus





“The mission of the Henryetta Choral Program is to develop students as musicians and a cooperative community as they sing in a choral setting.  Music is an integral part of a comprehensive education.  It enables all students to discover and develop their artistic potential through musical experiences in listening, performing, analyzing, moving, and creating.  Experiences enhance the student’s quality of life through heightened aesthetic awareness and leads to an improved self-concept, a broader cultural awareness, and a development of life-long skills.”




Mrs. Willis – Choral Director

Office Phone: 918-652-6571x7731





Students will need the following materials for all Choir rehearsals:

1)   Music folder (Provided by the school)

2)   Music (fines will be assessed for missing/damaged music)

3)   Pencil




Students take choir for a lot of different reasons, but those students all have one thing in common: they like the challenge and reward that comes from singing and making music.  Becoming a musician takes a lot of work, but in the end it is worth every bit of effort.  The Choral Program here at HHS and HMS is designed to give you all the necessary tools and opportunities to improve your skills, knowledge, and confidence as a singer.  The only requirement is that you show a sincere commitment to singing, a readiness to learn, and an attitude of tolerance, respect, and cooperation.  We know that the harder you work at becoming a musician, the more rewarding it gets and the more you achieve. 




Acquiring the musical skills you can use throughout your life takes daily individual effort.  In your choir class, you will learn the elements of musical language and will practice using that language independently through sight-singing with excellent phrasing, diction, pitch, and rhythm.  You will learn to sing with good breath support and create full, free, and open vocal tone.  You will practice the craft of ensemble singing through daily exercises and preparation for performance.

HHS and HMS choirs will learn all styles of choral literature.  The choirs perform publicly at concerts and other school events.  There are also opportunities offered to you for small ensemble singing (solos, duets, trios, etc.) throughout the year.



It is vital that each choir always sings at their highest level, and that each choir gains valuable experience in learning to work as a group.  Acquiring the ability to sing expressive, exciting, rewarding music demands the daily, combined group effort of the entire choir.  Therefore, musicianship, good citizenship, and positive group interaction are expected of every member.  Your attendance and on-time participation in class is essential for your success and for that of the entire class.  Consequences of poor attendance habits will result in a loss of daily participation points (see the “Grading Policy” section for more specifics).



Each class begins with essential voice-building exercises and other important activities.  Therefore, you must be in your seat with your folder and a pencil, ready to work when the tardy bell rings.  Being late or forgetting your folder or a pencil limits your ability to participate fully in class, and will result in a loss of daily participation points.

Friendships and fun times are two of the greatest rewards of being in a choir!  However, everyone must observe reasonable limits or the group begins to break down.  No student has the right to interrupt class or disrupt any member of the class with off-task behavior.  It is an infringement on other students’ learning, my ability to teach, and on the overall enjoyment of everyone in the room.  Disruptions will not be tolerated.  Readiness to learn starts with the right attitude, but it doesn’t happen automatically.  Everyone must be mentally prepared to learn and work every day.  



Besides being responsible for maintaining your “own” choir materials (binder, music, and concert apparel), you also share the responsibility for the choir room and all choir equipment, including the piano, dry erase boards, chairs, walls, and floors.  The choir room must be in TIP-TOP condition after every class.  Therefore, the following classroom rules and expectations will be strictly enforced.

1. Enter quietly, gather your materials (folder, music, pencil), be seated, and get ready for rehearsal.

2.  NO GUM, CANDY, FOOD, OR BEVERAGES (except water) ARE PERMITTED IN THE CHOIR ROOM! Food, candy, and gum interfere with good singing and are a choking hazard.

3. Pay close attention, even when the director is working with another group. Listening to another section will help develop musicianship. 

4. Check around your seat at the end of each class and pick up all papers (even if they are not yours) and belongings as you put your choir folder away in its proper location.

5.  CELL PHONES, HEADPHONES, AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE NOT TO BE USED DURING ANY CHOIR REHEARSAL unless instructed by the director.  If a student is caught using such a device without instructions from the director, it will be confiscated and turned in to the office.  They will retrieve their device at the end of the day, as per student handbook.




Each 7th -12th grade choir student will be issued a black choir robe with a gold stole to wear for choir performances throughout the school year.  It is your responsibility to take great care of your robe by ensuring that it is placed on the hanger properly after each use.  Any damages to these robes while in your care will become your financial responsibility.


CONCERT ATTIRE (continued)

All choir students will also be required to wear particular garments under their robes. This will also be the concert attire for 6th grade choir students. The basic idea is shoulder to toe is covered in solid black dress clothes. Men must wear a black collared button-up shirt, black dress pants, black socks, and black dress shoes. Ladies must wear a black blouse or top with sleeves, knee length or longer black skirt or black dress pants, black pantyhose or tights or black socks, black dress shoes. Ladies may also wear a solid black dress or jumpsuit with black pantyhose or tights and black dress shoes. Jewelry is to be small and minimalistic.




Each choir student has the opportunity to earn an “A” grade in choir.  This grade will be based on your daily class participation and performance attendance. The following is a breakdown of the grading structure: 

100 – 90%     A

  89 – 80%     B

  79 – 70%     C

  69 – 60%     D

  59 – 0%        F 

Your choir grade will consist of points earned from each of the categories listed below: 



Class Participation (50%): This portion of your grade is a daily assessment of how you are learning the music.  If you are learning the music, you will be participating.  If you have difficulty with a portion of the music, you are expected to ask questions for clarity and participate in the practices designed to improve the performance. This grade is directly tied to how YOU participate in the choral classroom.  It is based strictly on your presence, cooperation, and sincere effort to learn and grow.  Please note that all these elements have nothing to do with your natural “talent” or ability level.  All expectations regarding conduct, behavior, readiness, and treatment of equipment and materials (as stated previously) are taken into consideration. 

Tardiness to class without an excused note from the office will result in an automatic loss of half of the daily points.  If you are absent from class for any reason, you will receive ZERO points for the day.  However, students with school-excused absences can still receive their points for the day if they see me (within one week of the absence) to make up the exercises missed that day.

Listed below is a break down of the daily participation point system:

            10 points = PRESENT, actively participated, has all needed materials

              5 points = TARDY, or minimal participation, or missing materials

              0 points = ABSENT, no participation (Points can be made up if school-excused absence . It is the student’s responsibility to speak to the director in order to receive credit for that day.)


Singing Tests (10%): Occasionally, especially before a performance, we will have singing tests.  Students will be assessed based on accuracy of pitch, rhythm, dymanics, expressive qualities, etc.


Concert Attendance (40%):  Every choir performance is a mandatory performance.  When we perform, everyone is expected to be there at the stated time.  Grades will be divided in the following areas: Attendance, Concert Attire, Participation, and Behavior. For those students who have a medical or family emergency during a concert performance, a make-up assignment will be given.  Absences due to work, sporting events, babysitting, family vacations, college visits, etc., will not be tolerated.  If there is a transportation issue that suddenly arises on the day of a concert, it is your responsibility to ask a friend or another choir member to help give you a ride to the concert.  You may have many fellow choir members to choose from to help you out!  Missing a required performance due to a transportation issue is never a valid excuse and will result in an automatic zero.



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