Chamber Singers Syllabus
Instructor: Mrs. Carolyn Smith
Office: “the Lair under the Stair”
Course Description and Goals:
The Providence Academy Chamber Singers is a graded, elective course open to any High School student at the Logic & Rhetoric School who likes to sing and is willing to commit to a group performance effort. During rehearsal, students are expected to concentrate on refining their choral skills, including diction, articulation, dynamics, music reading and producing a beautiful tone. There will be emphasis on part-singing and sight-reading in this class. A variety of music in multiple languages and styles will be performed at the director’s discretion.
The Easy Rhythm Sight-Singing Series, SA(T)B by Hank Beebe
Various octavos as selected by the director
Class Participation (40%): The following behaviors are expected at every rehearsal to receive the maximum number of points per class.
- All Chamber Singers must be present at Exordium at 7:30 to be marked present for class.
- Students will be in their assigned seat with their folder and a pencil by the time Mrs. Smith gets to the piano after Exordium. Tardiness will result in the loss of one participation point. Because we use some of our rehearsal time for Exordium, it is extremely important students be in their seats and ready to sing right away.
- Having no folder or no pencil will result in losing a participation point.
- Use appropriate singing technique (posture, breathing, diction, phrasing, etc.)
- Sing when it’s time to sing; mark your music as directed.
- Talking is disruptive to our effort. Talking and/or other disruptive behavior in class will result in lowered participation points.
Singing Quizzes (10%): Singing quizzes over the music we are currently studying will occur at least once each trimester. These quizzes will happen in large groups, small groups, or may be given individually. Quizzes will be graded based on:
- Correct posture – 2 pts.
- Correct pitches – 4 pts.
- Correct words and rhythms – 4 pts.
Occasionally “spot checks” may be given. A “spot check” is a short phrase that is sung individually to check for personal preparation. These checks will be scored by the criteria listed above.
Written Work (10%): Students will be asked to answer various questions in Google Classroom 2-3 times per trimester. These questions will be in regards to a classroom discussion we have had, or on specific elements in the music we are studying. Answers are to be written according to standard Providence Academy writing guidelines.
Concert Attendance (30%): Concert attendance is MANDATORY. If a concert is missed due to an unavoidable situation you must notify Mrs. Smith in writing at least two weeks ahead of time unless it is an emergency. In that case, notice in writing must be submitted by the next rehearsal. An unexcused absence is like a zero on a test.
Mandatory (graded) concerts/events for this year include:
- Friday, November 9th, 7:00 p.m.—TRIMESTER I CONCERT
- Thursday, February 14th, 7:00 p.m.—TRIMESTER II CONCERT
- Wednesday, May 2nd, TBD—DISTRICT CHOIR FESTIVAL
- Thursday, May 2nd, 7:00 p.m.—TRIMESTER III CONCERT
- Thursday, May 23rd, 7:00 p.m.—8th GRADE & HS GRADUATION CEREMONY
There are more singing events during the year available to students that are not mandatory (see Extra Singing Opportunities section at the end of this document).
Evaluations (10%): Written self-evaluations of each student’s progress will be assigned each trimester (usually after a major concert event). On these evaluations, each student will answer 5-7 questions. Grading on answers is largely dependent on the completeness and thoughtfulness of the student’s answers; a minimum of 3-4 sentences per answer will be required for the question to be considered for the maximum number of points.
All assignments must be submitted by the beginning of the appointed hour (unless there is an illness or other significant concern cleared with Mrs. Smith). Late assignments are marked down by 10% for every day they are late.
This course will follow the standard Providence Academy Grading Scale.
The Providence Academy Concert Choir seeks to be an example of truth, goodness, and beauty in both the music that we create and also in our appearance. The audience will “hear” us with their eyes first, and form a judgment on our performance from the time we step out on stage. We have a performance uniform that is expected for every formal performance unless Mrs. Smith states otherwise. The performance uniform is as follows:
- Formal dress (ordered through school)
- Black, closed toe dress shoes. Shoes with heels should take in to account safety on the risers (don’t wear higher heels than you can walk in)
- Small jewelry (small necklaces, earrings) may be worn.
- Hair should be styled away from the face.
- Black dress pants and suit jacket (or tuxedo)
- White oxford or dress shirt
- Purple tie (purchased through the school)
- Black socks and dress shoes
- Black belt
If anyone has difficulty securing the above items for the performance uniform, they should privately inform Mrs. Smith as soon as possible. It is not our goal to create hardship for anyone with this uniform, but to present a unified look and turn the focus of our performance on God and not on ourselves.
Extra Singing Opportunities:
There are many extra singing events that you are welcome to participate in over the course of the school year; these opportunities are completely optional and will not help or hurt your classroom grade if you choose to participate—however, students that go above and beyond may earn additional House Points for their excellent work. Please note that some of these extra events have additional costs; please discuss with your parents before committing to audition or participate in any of these events (more information will be detailed on this website on the "Solo-Ensemble Festival" page).
- Chapel Worship
- Students that wish to participate in leading singing at chapel should sign up with Mrs. Smith at the beginning of the year. Students will be placed on a rotating schedule for when they lead.
- District Solo & Ensemble Festival
- Open to students in grades 6-12.
- Grades 6-12 will perform the last Saturday of February; exact dates and times will be available after Christmas break.
- There is a $10 fee per performance to help cover the cost of entry fees and accompanist fees.
- Students that choose to do Class A material may be eligible to attend the State Festival.
- Twelve Peers (Vocal pop/jazz ensemble)
- This group rehearses 1-2 times a week during the lunch period
- This is an auditioned group—please see Mrs. Smith for details on audition requirements.
- ACCS Honor Choir
Details coming soon! You can check www.music.nsa.edu/2019-honor-choir for more!