Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! I want to take this opportunity to welcome our new students and parents to our choir family. Your involvement in our program is very important to us— please don’t hesitate to ask questions and get involved. I am very excited for our many adventures this year. I look forward to our annual choir retreat, successful performances and festivals, recruiting days, and an exciting tour during spring break!
The following pages contain the PVPHS choral handbook and a schedule of events and performances. It is very important that all of this information is read thoroughly, all of the dates are written down, and that your student returns the signature page to me by Wednesday, August 29th. This is the student’s first graded assignment for my class!
Every year we kindly ask parents to become members of our choir boosters. We currently have two levels of membership: Mezzo Forte ($200.00) and Forte ($350.00). Both membership levels come with great benefits we know you will enjoy. Unfortunately, we receive zero funding from PVPUSD which means your contributions are vital to our continued operation. All checks should be addressed to “PVPHS choir boosters”. The following list is an example of some of the important items your donations cover: • Choral Accompanist for rehearsals and performances • Sheet music for students • Uniforms • Choir folders • Festival entrance fees • Concert expenses • Scholarships • Water delivery
In addition to becoming a booster member we ask that all choir students complete the yellow card clearance for choir. This clearance must be completed to participate in our events off campus. The suggested participation donation for choir is $100. This money will be solely used to pay for buses to events off campus.
I encourage you to get involved with your student’s participation in choir. We are always looking for parent volunteers to help at concerts and other events. I am so excited for the opportunity to make lifelong memories with your students through music. Thank you for your time, as well as the opportunity to make beautiful music and create memories with your child!
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.