Dear Choir Parents,
We are off to a wonderful semester in the choir department! Our next major event is one we work towards all year long; UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest. This is where all the choirs of our region come together and present their very best work and demonstrate all of their abilities. It is our time to shine! This contest includes a concert portion where choirs sing three song selections, and a sight-reading portion where choirs must sight-read a newly composed piece of music with the utmost precision. This is an exciting time of year, and also a busy time of year. Being a UIL event, this contest requires students to focus and for all members to be committed to success. Students will also have to meet UIL eligibility requirements so passing the next six-week grading period is critical to participation. Additional rehearsals are also necessary and absolutely required to ensure success. Please understand the importance of these rehearsals. These rehearsals are only beneficial if all choir members are in attendance as we work to become one cohesive, solid unit. These rehearsals are not intended to learn notes, or review parts your student already knows. There is no “make-up” rehearsal as that experience can not be recreated. It is about the ensemble sound and polishing up the details that make a performance special and memorable. Every voice counts and truly matters. Students who miss rehearsal may be excused from participating in UIL at the director's discretion and given an alternative assignment. There are no make-up rehearsals.
The rehearsal calendar is posted on my teacher webpage. Our pre-UIL concert is April 2 at 7:00pm at DSHS in conjunction with DSHS choirs. This concert will feature not only our DSMS varsity advanced choir but also the DSHS choirs. Students are required to stay for the entire concert.
UIL contest will take place on either April 6 or 7th, with the schedule released typically two weeks prior. Being that DSMS is a CCC school (large, with over 650 students) and this is a Varsity Choir, we will likely be placed towards end of the contest. Depending on our assigned time, students may have an opportunity to be an audience for other choirs as well. The concert is open to the public and you are welcome to observe as an audience member. Below is some more detailed information regarding UIL. Thank you again, and I look forward to presenting our work to you in April.
What is UIL Concert and Sight-Reading?
Choir UIL Concert and Sight-Reading is a contest where choirs all over the state are graded against a very rigorous standard of excellence where they demonstrate their skill in concert, performance, and music literacy. Every spring, seventh and eighth grade choir members partake in this event as a cumulative presentation of their skills as an ensemble. This year, we will be participating on April 6th, 2016.
There are two portions of the contest, the concert portion, and the sight-reading portion. For the concert portion, each group presents three song selections. Two selections must come from a prescribed list of music meeting specific criteria and level of difficulty, and one selection must be a cappella (without accompaniment). Performance is graded by a panel of three prestigious judges with a history of earning superior ratings with their own choirs. Judges must consider the choir’s vocal tone, choral technique, ensemble performance, and musicianship. Each judge gives the choir a score of I, II, III, IV, or V with division I being “superior”, or the best, and division V being “poor”. The coveted division I, or “superior” rating is a very high honor with an extremely high standard only a few choirs meet.
For the sight-reading portion of the contest, students must sight-read a newly composed piece of music. This portion of the contest not only holds high standards for music literacy and musicianship, but also follows a specific procedure which if not followed properly can lead to a choir being disqualified on a technicality. No one, including the director, has ever seen or heard this selection of music prior to the reading. This selection of music contains particular musical elements and meets requirements based on the classification of the school, and the choir (varsity, non-varsity, CCC, CC). Choirs are given six minutes to study the selection without singing before we actually sing it for a new panel of three judges for a rating. We then have two minutes to quickly discuss and clean any mistakes, and have a second reading.
The process we rehearse in class and will use is:
2 min- study in section
2 min- chant as a group
2 min- audiate (sing in your head) as group
Once the timekeeper calls “time,” there must be silence until we sing.
In order to receive a “superior” rating in sight-reading, choirs have to be “near perfect” throughout the entire sight-reading selection. If a choir receives straight division I (superior) ratings from all six judges in both concert and sight-reading, they are awarded “Sweepstakes”.
Once we are finished sight-reading, we take our picture and receive our scores.
Region 18 MS Choir Clinic & Concert Saturday, February 4, 2017 AISD PAC 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd. Austin, TX 78723
Congratulations!!! Your child was selected for the 2017 TMEA Region 18 Middle School Choir. Students were chosen for this elite honor from more than 30 Austin area middle schools. Only 210 students were selected to perform in the 7th Treble, 8th Treble, & TTB Region Choirs from approximately 500 students that auditioned. If your child is a 7th or 8th grade girl, this means they placed in the top 26 in their auditioned room. If your child is a boy, this means they placed in the top 18 in their auditioned room. Now that your child has been selected, they will be asked to perform in a special concert that will be held on Saturday, February 4 at 4:00PM for their family & friends.
1. Students will meet at DSMS 7:00 AM. A bus will be provided to take students to the AISD PAC.
2. Students need to wear their comfortably in dress code for the day.
3. Students should also bring their own snacks / water bottle & their formal choir uniform, including dress shoes for the concert (tip: LABEL EVERYTHING with you your name).
4. Students must arrive at the AISD PAC no later than 8:00A (should you miss the bus). Upon arrival, students will be instructed where to leave their formal choir uniforms & other belongings for the day, and proceed to their rehearsal room to rehearse with a guest conductor.
5. Students will practice until about 11:15AM, and we will then walk to an nearby eating establishment for lunch. If you child has very specific tastes, requires special dietary needs or food allergies they should bring their own meal. Local restaurant options include Torchey’s Tacos, Subway, Verts Kabobs, Starbucks, HEB Mueller Cafe, and Mod Pizza. ($10-15 depending on how much you eat; 1 taco, 2 tacos, 3 tacos, water or fountain drink etc). All of these places are right next door to each other and are walkable from the PAC.
6. Students will change into concert attire (their formal choir uniform) at 12:45- 1:00PM.
7. This concert will be professionally recorded, & students / parents can purchase the CD before concert. Please inquire with the region director prior to videotaping (setting up tri-pods). Personalized Region Choir t-shirts & plaques will also be available for students/parents to purchase at that time.
8. Students will perform for parents at 4:00PM.
9. Parents are to take students home after the concert. A bus will not be provided back to DSMS.
An updated permission slip is required.
Enjoy a recording here
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