Director: Ryan FellmanFebruary 2019

Dear 8th Grade Student and Parent/Guardian,

Excitement and anticipation are building as we look to the 2019-2020 school year at Oñate High School! We encourage your son and/or daughter to take advantage of all the fine opportunities in activities and programs while they are attending OHS. As they plan their course selections though next step, we would like them to consider joining the choral program at Oñate High School. Our choirs are growing each year in so many ways and our music department is the largest full time music department in the district both in terms of staff and students. We have traditionally attracted many fine and talented students - and we have a place for your son and/or daughter!

Please refer to the OHS course description guide for classes offered in the Choral Music Department for 2019-2020. Ninth grade students are eligible for two classes - Vocal Music (Ritterchor Knight Choir) for the male students and Treble Choir (Castle Chorale) for the female students. There are also select ensembles for singers who audition that may meet during or outside of the school day depending on the ensemble. We also have an award winning a Cappella choir that can act as a show choir or jazz choir.

To become a member of the OHS Choir, all a student has to do is register! Do not list choir as an ¨alternate¨ but make sure it is listed on the first set of classes you register for Choir will also fulfill your graduation requirement of an elective arts credit! We have many students who also do other electives such as Band or sports such as Cross Country. There is always a way to make choir work into your schedule. Please do not hesitate to send questions regarding scheduling to my email

Many students know that choir is a tremendous contrast to other classes taken during the school day at OHS. This must be the case as we have over one hundred students enrolled in the choir program! Being a member of the choir program actually HELPS students in their academic life. Many of the top ten students in each class at OHS are involved in choir! This will help ANY student as they prepare for scholarships, college, and life after Oñate High School!

We encourage student to be well rounded and to develop their talents and interests. Choir is one of the popular choices Oñate has to offer as it provides experiences and skills that will last you a lifetime. Some of our highlights from the past year include:

  • New York City Carnegie Hall Debut
  • Hollywood Performance Tour
  • Grand Champions of the Best New Mexico A Cappella Competition
  • Record number of students making the New Mexico All State Choirs as well as receiving Honors and Superiors at Solo & Ensemble Festival and our districts Music Performance Assessment
  • Commissioning actual music from living composers of today like Timothy Takach and Z. Stroope
  • Yearly collaborations with our award-winning Band & Theatre Programs for All-School Musicals
  • Performances and Master Classes with The Concordia Choir and Voces8

Lastly, please keep an eye out for a weekend show choir camp that we will be hosting. For only $30, participants will receive sheet music, a t-shirt, professional music and choreography instruction, as well as an opportunity to perform for friends and family that same weekend! We cannot wait for this event and we hope to see you/them participate in the camp AND choir next fall!