Spring Lake Park High School Choir Student and Parent Handbook
2015 - 2016
Welcome to the Spring Lake Park High School Choir Program! It is exciting to teach choir and
work with a great group of students. I hope this year will be the best year yet for you in school
and your participation in choir.
This handbook is to communicate to students and parents the Spring Lake Park High School
Choir Programs information, goals, and expectations. Please take time to review the infor-
mation so that all is clearly understood. It is my goal that this years choirs will be the best
choirs ever at Panther High.
Along with reading the handbook, every choir student and parent will need to sign the
Choir Handbook and Participation Agreement, and also sign the Music Loan Agreement.
These documents are to help insure that all students and parents in all choirs understand costs
and expectations and will make every effort to attend performances and activities.
Because it includes a parent signature, it also serves as a good reminder to the parent that they
will need to make arrangements to insure their child will successfully participate at all
performances. When one student is absent the choirs sound suffers. It is difficult for the
director and the other choir members to adjust to their absence. We all depend on each other.
It is my sincere and heartfelt hope that your childs experience in the Spring Lake Park High
School Choir Program will prove to be fun and educational.
Have a great year!
Please feel free to call or e-mail with any questions.
Office - 763-600-5289 / Cell - 763-458-3848
Email - email@example.com
Choir Program Mission
The Mission of the Spring Lake Park High School Choir Program is to guide each student in reaching their
full singing and musical potential with high expectations and no excuses.
Choir Program Culture
We seek to accomplish our mission through providing a safe, healthy, and respectful learning environment
that encourages success in high musical standards, exploration, appropriate risk taking, openness, and
creativity. We fully support and align ourselves with District #16s mission, which is: High Expectations,
High Achievement for All. No Excuses.
The Choir Process
The SLPHS Choir Program seeks to implement its mission by guiding each student to:
Develop a healthy and skilled solo and ensemble singing voice to enable the student to sing
with confidence in varied solo and ensemble settings including improvisation as a life long participant.
Gain an understanding of the music elements, fundamentals, history, and cultures that are needed
to perform music with confidence, authority and authenticity.
Develop healthy and respectful relationships with the director and other students so to develop mature
work habits with a deep understanding of leadership, personal discipline, teamwork and unity.
Develop an appreciation for and a basic understanding of how choral music gains meaning through its
beauty and truth with considerations to the culture it is created in.
The best classroom is one where mistakes are acceptable and people feel safe and free from negative
sarcasm, ridicule, belittling, condescension and bullying. We will make every effort to create a safe and
respectful learning environment that encourages exploration, appropriate risk taking, openness, and creativity.
Classroom Supplies Needed
Classroom supplies needed: 2 (soft lead) No. 2 pencils and a re-closable water bottle.
Maintaining Vocal Health
The voice is a complex mechanism made up of a delicate and intricate system of muscle and tissue. This
delicate system is subject to many influences. These influences may be internal such as allergies, other physi-
cal ailments or disabilities, or they may be external such as overuse or abuse.
The SLPHS choir program is committed to promote the healthy use and development of the voice.
Proper warm-up, care in teaching healthy singing techniques, hydration (drinking water frequently), avoid-
ance of undue vocal stress and living a healthy lifestyle with sufficient sleep are the foundations of
Sacred Music Policy
The SLPHS choirs sing selected music with both sacred and secular texts. In choosing music we select the
best music based on its musical and educational content and value. Our aim is to show sensitivity to the
traditions of different cultures. The choir program neither promotes or inhibits religious views as we select
music from a variety of cultures and genres.
Minnesota State High School League Eligibility
All students in choir are required to abide by the State High School League Fine Arts Eligibility Rules.
This means that for a student to be eligible to participate in concerts, tours etc. Students are to refrain from
any use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.
Performance Wardrobe / Polo or Tee Shirt
It is important for choirs to present themselves properly in concert. For our major concerts the choirs wear
formal wear; each student is responsible for their concert wardrobe. Women wear formal dresses and men
wear tuxedos. Women are responsible to provide flesh colored nylons and modest and practical black dress
shoes with no tall heals, men are required to have dark socks and black shoes. Prior to the concert perfor-
mances the wardrobe will be on hangers and organized and it is expected that when the concert is completed
students will again hang up the wardrobe and it will be organized.
For less formal performances we have choir students purchase polo or tee shirts. The cost ranges from $15 -
$20. All choir members who do not already have one are required to purchase the polo or tee shirts.
If students have financial issues we can confidentially help.
Choir Boosters / Fundraising
The Spring Lake Park High School Choir Boosters is an organization of parents that gives support to the
SLPHS Choral Program. Booster meetings are open to all choir parents. Booster meeting dates and times
are published in September. Each year the choir fund-raises to help support tours, concert and contest accom-
panists, program needs, and other miscellaneous expenses
Soloist Selection Policy
As a part of concert programming there will occasionally be musical selections programmed that will
require a male or female soloist. This provides a great opportunity to showcase an individuals vocal
talents and abilities.
As a rule the solo opportunity will be announced and an audition criteria will be established. The
audition will be held and a person and an alternate will be selected. The nature of a solo (meaning one voice)
is that one person is ultimately selected to sing it in the concert. As one person is selected others are not.
Students are encouraged to accept directorial decisions with maturity and grace and support whoever is
If there are two or more soloists that sound equally as good, then other criteria may be used to make the
selection. This criteria would include (but not be limited to): years in choir, service to the choir,
contest participation, year in school etc.
Singing the National Anthem at Athletic Events
Students wishing to the sing the National Anthem at SLPHS sporting events are required to pass an
audition. Details and steps to sing an anthem at an SLPHS athletic event are as follows:
Step 1 - Qualify by singing for Mr. Wressell (after School or 4th Hour Academic Time)
Requirements: 1. Words Correct and Clear 2. Notes accurate 3. Sung with dynamics and drama 4. Some
stylization is allowed but care should be taken in not overdoing it 5. An all ages audience should be considered.
Step 2 Sing for your Choir (This may be waved in certain instances)
Select an Athletic Event
1) Select a date and game that works in your schedule.
2) Sign up (write your name) for the game on the sign-up sheet posted, on the choir room door, and check the
pending column. (When you return the form signed we will check the confirmed column)
3) Inform Mr. Wressell
4) Fill out Anthem Request Form and turn in to Mr. Wressell / With Parent Signature
2 days prior to the event/game you intend to sing at. We will then check confirmed.
5) Sing Anthem It should be understood that Mr. Wressell will not be there to help.
1) Secure/get a pitch pipe from Mr Wressell (if needed)
2) Arrive between 15-20 minutes early.
3) Inform the announcer that you have arrived.
4) Make sure that the announcer has your name correct and can pronounce it correctly.
5) Make sure how you will receive the Microphone and that the power will be on (mic is live)
6) Be ready to go when your name is announced
Solo / Ensemble Contest Participation
One opportunity that choir students have is to participate in the Minnesota State High School League State Vo-
cal Solo/Ensemble Contest. You may check the calendar for this years date, time, and place.
Students prepare for contest by selecting a solo, duet, trio, or small group to perform. All selections are subject
to the directors approval. Selections should be art song repertoire and not popular songs or hymns (sacred art
songs are acceptable).
Once the student prepares a piece they are assigned a 10 minute time slot in an assigned room to be judged.
Judges are qualified experienced voice teachers who have attended State High School League training. Their
job is to be critical but fair and supportive.
There is an accompanists fee of $25 for those who decide to use the accompanist we arrange for. You are
also welcome to use someone of your choice, provided they are qualified. Small ensembles may equally split
the fee accordingly. This fee includes rehearsals.
Some may view this fee as high but it is actually a bargain considering the qualifications of our accompa-
nists and the amount of time spent with the students. Because of the need to track the history of costs and
what accompanists we use the fee should be paid to Mr. Wressell and a check for the total of all the students
will be given to the accompanist.
Contests are open to the public and many parents come to watch their children. Ratings are Superior, Excellent,
Good, and Fair. Video taping a contest performance is allowed. Awards are given for Superior and
Excellent rated performances.
The Concert Chorale Tour
The Concert Chorale has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada. On tour The Chorale
performs concerts, has master classes with well known conductors, participates in choir exchanges with high
schools and colleges and competes in choral festivals and competitions. The cost range of tour is $250-$1200
depending on location and transportation. Students raise tour funds through part-time jobs, fundraising activi-
ties and parental support. The Chorale travels with strict discipline, security and competent chaperones.
Rules and protocols are well established prior to the tour
The SLP choirs on occasion will also go on day tours to local colleges and high schools. Minnesota is
known throughout the world for great choirs. We are within driving distance of the worlds most prestigious
choirs at colleges and high schools. We have had many choir exchange concerts with neighboring schools.
Choir Course Synopsis
The following synopsis applies generally to all choirs. Specific learning targets are aligned with the National
Music Standards and are posted and communicated to students and are available to parents.
Course: All SLPHS Choirs
Learning Targets: The SLPHS music department has adopted curriculum that aligns with the
National Music Standards set by the state and federal Departments of Education.
Learning experiences are centered around the following areas -
1. I can read and perform music in compound and some mixed meter with choir course specific difficulty.
2. I can read and perform music with rhythms with choir course specific difficulty.
3. I can use a key signature to determine tone center (do) in major modes.
4. I can perform with appropriate balance and blend in a standard 4 (SATB) to 5 part ensemble.
5. I can perform with appropriate vocal tone appropriate to the style of music.
6. I can sight read major and minor melodies with specific choir and age appropriate skill level difficulty.
7. I can utilize appropriate rehearsal skills, conventions, and etiquette to prepare for a performance.
8. I can compose, notate, and perform an original melody using a given text, in a major mode
based on given criteria.
9. I can develop an artistic intent including how audience and occasion affect my artistic choices and explain
choices based on intent.
10. I can improvise using the notes of a major scale for 8 measures, without playing any notes outside of the
key using Solfege (Do, Re, Mi etc.) or a given text.
Responding to Music 11. I can analyze and critique musical performances, including my own, using the grading rubric provided.
12. I can use music terminology that my teacher uses and that appears in my music.
13. I can communicate the impact that music has on me.
14. I can analyze how the personal, social, cultural and historical contexts of 20th Century, American
popular, classical, opera, Folk music of multiple continents, and jazz music influence the creation, interpre-
tation, and/or performance of the music.
15. I can analyze how elements of music including melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, tone color, texture,
form and their related concepts are combined to communicate meaning in the creation of, performance of,
or response to music.
16. I can synthesize and express an individual view of the meaning and functions of music.
Texts and Resources: Printed music is provided. Curricular assignments are handed out collected in class
by paper copy or digitally
Instructional Methods: The Instructor selects music that fits and challenges the choir that they will enjoy
singing, it is written and/or arranged well.
Course Synopsis (cont.)
Performances: The choirs perform concerts during the school year. Please be advised that there is
an admission/donation charge to the choir concerts at the high school. Funds go to support the choir pro-
gram. All students and parents will receive a calendar of choir events at the beginning of the school year. Stu-
dents are expected to arrange their schedule to attend all performances scheduled for the choir. All perfor-
mances are mandatory unless prior arrangements are made or in the case of an emergency. Any unex-
cused absence from a performance will lower a grade one full letter.
The students will be graded in two specific areas: (1) Academic...