Welcome to the 2019-2020 PVPHS Choir! I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of our students to our choir family, and extend a special welcome to our new students and parents. Your involvement in our program is very important to our success, so please do not hesitate to ask questions and get involved. I am very excited about our adventures during this upcoming school year. Please see the dates listed below and mark your calendars early for these programs. All of the events are MANDATORY, except for the Choir Retreat. The current concert dates are tentative but will be solidified by the fall. Please pencil them in your calendar. There will be festival dates added to the schedule. You will be notified of those dates as soon as possible.
September 20-22 2019 Choir Retreat (Booster Member $200, Non-Booster $240) October 22 & 23, 2019 Pen Café Concerts November 1, 2019 Biola Festival (Varsity Voices) November 14, 2019 Redlands Festival (Women’s Treble Choir) December 3 & 4, 2019 Sounds of the Season Rehearsal December 6 & 7, 2019 Sounds of the Season Concerts March 20, 2020 Spring Concert March 26-31, 2020 Possible Choir trip June 2, 2020 Pops Concert Practice June 5 & 6, 2020 Pops Concerts
As the Fall Semester approaches, I wanted to take this time to encourage you to consider becoming members of the Choir Booster. We currently have two levels of membership to our boosters: Mezzo Forte- a $200 donation or Forte- $350 donation. We hope that each family will make a special effort to donate this year. You may not be aware, but the Choir receives zero dollars from the PVP School District. This means that our entire program is funded by your generous donations, and we need every dollar to keep the program operating at the basic level.
In addition to becoming a booster member, PVPHS will ask for a suggested participation donation to be paid to the Student Store. Although this amount has not been determined for the 2019-2020 school year, we do know that the participation donation money is used to pay for buses to events off-campus.
I encourage you to get involved with your student’s participation in choir! We all have a lot of fun! Parent volunteers are needed to assist with concerts and other events. I am excited for the opportunity to make lifelong memories with your students through music.
Thank you for your time,
Mr. Daniel Doctor
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Varsity Voices Handbook
Philosophy The PVPHS choirs are devoted to the study of music, vocal techniques, and ensemble skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of music literature, including many different styles and cultures. The goals of our choral ensembles, through rehearsal and performance, are to achieve a high degree of musical learning and performance excellence, explore a variety of cultural and historical traditions, to develop a passion for music, to gain a better understanding and appreciation for music, and to learn the skills and concepts necessary to successfully participate in a vocal ensemble. It is the responsibility of both the director and the ensemble members to be prepared for each rehearsal and to put forth their best effort at all times.
Classroom Expectations If you’ve sung in a choir before you know that it’s a lot like being a member of a team. We must work together for our team to be successful and accomplish our goals. Teamwork takes cooperation, courtesy and commitment. Everyone is important to the team and everyone has responsibilities to the team. These responsibilities affect your grade and include (but are not limited to):
• Put forth your best effort every day with a positive attitude. • Show respect for the director, other members of the ensemble and yourself. • Show respect for the choir room, the equipment and the music. • Gum, food, and drinks (excluding water) are not allowed during rehearsal. • Do not use cell phones unless otherwise instructed to do so. • Singers should NEVER work on other work/homework during rehearsal. • Be on time to all rehearsals and performances. • Be prepared and ready to sing when it is time for class to begin. • Students are expected to uphold all PVPHS policies, both on and off campus. • Never forget to “Make the family proud”.
Care of Music It is the student’s responsibility to look after the music they receive. Any necessary markings should be written in pencil only. Any damage to the music will result in a replacement fee to the student of $3.00 per copy ($5.00 for sight reading and theory books). Music should be kept in the student’s folder and in a safe place at all times. The replacement fee for losing a choir folder is $15.00. Please keep track of your folder at all times and let Mr. Doctor know if your folder is missing.
WOMEN Your generous choir booster donation covers the cost of a formal performance dress. However, if you are currently unable to join our boosters we ask for a suggested donation of $75.00 to cover the rental of the uniform for the entire school year. Measuring and fitting the women for their dresses will take place over the next couple of weeks during your class period. We ask that the women provide their own footwear. I ask that all ladies wear black formal heels or flats (no exposed toes, please). Please do not wear any sandals, tennis shoes, or any other informal footwear. Students are responsible for any damages or losses associated with the uniform. Please do not alter or hem the dresses on your own- we prefer to use our own tailor to ensure a uniform look among the dresses.
MEN Your generous choir booster donation covers the cost of a tuxedo supplied by Friar Tux. However, if you are currently unable to join our boosters we ask for a suggested donation of $75.00 to cover the rental of the uniform for the entire school year. The men will be fitted for their tuxedos over the next couple of weeks during their class period. All men are required to provide their own footwear. Gentlemen must wear black formal dress shoes with black socks. Please do not attempt to wear tennis shoes or any type of informal shoe. And please…Black socks!!! Students are responsible for any damages or losses associated with the uniform.
ALL Every year our student board designs a sweatshirt for the entire choir program. These are very convenient to wear at events or just for showing off your class spirit on colder days. The student board will have more information in class about this. The sweatshirts usually cost around $30.00.
Grading Policy 1. The grading policy for the choir department is based on percentage (no curve) 90-100 A 80-89.9 B 70-79.9 C 60-69.9 D 0-59.9 F 2. 20% of semester grade based on class participation 30% of semester grade based on homework and singing quizzes 50% of semester grade based on performance/dress rehearsal attendance
Participation Congratulations! Every choir member currently has an A+ for participation– it is now up to each student to maintain that grade. Each quarter students are given 50 points for their participation grade. Students will lose 5 points every time they are not following the classroom expectations listed above. Be advised, points can be lost during normal class time rehearsal and at performances off site.
Performances Attendance is required at all performances! A list of performance dates will be provided as a supplement to this handbook and families will receive an updated performance schedule as other dates become confirmed. Some of the dates are tentative because I am waiting for final clearance from the performance venues. It is important to stress that a musical ensemble depends on all of its members to be successful. All students are expected to fulfill their responsibilities to their ensemble. Performances are the culmination of the classroom learning. They are an important assessment and a significant part of your grade. It is unlikely that you will earn an A in choir if you miss a concert.
Students are expected to be fully dressed in the required choral uniform in order to participate in performances and concerts. You must let Mr. Doctor know with as much advance notice as possible if you will not be able to participate in a performance. Excused absences are rare, but extenuating circumstances do happen and will be considered on an individual basis. DO NOT wait until the day or even week before the concert to communicate a conflict! “Other school obligations”, other performances, work, family vacations, birthdays, visiting relatives, too much homework, upcoming tests, a common cold, and “I don’t have a ride” are not valid excuses for missing performances. Please plan ahead! We need your full commitment to the group to maintain a high standard of musicality. Many people have gone through a great deal of effort to secure performance dates. Therefore, we ask that parents and students put these dates in their calendars and fully commit to them.
Homework This year I am trying something new! Each quarter the students will have ten homework assignments each worth 10 points. Examples of possible assignments are completing music theory homework, preparing a short section of selected repertoire to be performed in class and music listening. Additional homework assignments may be added at the discretion of the director.
Fundraising Throughout the school year, the choral department will sponsor fundraisers to help offset the cost of trips or other expenses. All students are urged to participate in the fundraisers to help support the program. We thank you in advance for your support of our program.
Parent Communication It is important that the director, the students, and the parents work together as a team to achieve our goals. Communication, understanding, and commitment are essential for this team to be a success. Our choir boosters will periodically send out a publication called “Choir Notes”. We ask that you please read this update as it will keep you informed of the happenings in the choir department. Our first publication was sent out last Saturday. If you did not receive this from us please check your spam folders or be sure to update us with your current email address.