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High School Chorus Syllabus

Oxford Preparatory School HIGH SCHOOL CHORUS Course Syllabus

2017-2018 - 6th period

Mrs. Sarah Stallsmith - vocal music teacher



Welcome to Oxford Preparatory School High School Chorus!  This is going to be a great year singing together and growing the music program at our school. The success of our class will be a group effort, with each member doing his/her own part to contribute to our ensemble. This class is comprised of beginning and experienced musicians (no previous experience required).


EXPECTATIONS - Students are expected to be actively engaged in class each day and are expected to be on-time (counted tardy after the second warm-up is over).  Students should come to class ready to participate with a pencil.   No gum, candies or cell phones during class (strictly enforced).  Water bottles are encouraged and may be kept under chairs (no other food/drinks).


MUSIC LITERACY - As we learn various styles of music and prepare our songs, we will also be learning aspects of music that will be assessed. One of our goals is that each student will become an independent musician who is musically literate.  We will focus on three major areas:   

1. MUSICIANSHIP (aural/listening, music theory, rhythmic & melodic reading,  improvisation)

2. ENSEMBLE SKILLS (tone, balance, phrasing, breathing, dynamics, tempo)

3. VOCAL SKILLS (singing in tune, posture, vowel formation, vocal health, singing independently)


SECTION/MIXED ENSEMBLE TESTS  - Time will be spent in class learning vocal parts and occasional tests will be given to “spot check” students’ mastery of their own singing parts. This will be done in a non-threatening environment such as small groups or partners. Occasional mixed ensembles may be formed to prepare group songs for assessment. Individual assessments will be given as students progress in their music skills (pitches, rhythms, part-singing,sight-singing, etc…)


PERFORMANCE - This is a performance-based class, therefore being present for all performances is essential.  Major performances should not be considered optional, rather they will be counted as an exam grade and should be a priority. One of the goals of our choir is to get involved in our community so we can expect that new opportunities will arise throughout the year.  A tentative calendar is attached for you with known dates and will be updated as the year progresses. Look for future communication via e-mail as events are planned.



Your grade in choir will be comprised of three main parts:

40%  Class participation, vocal skills, music literacy practice (rehearsals)

10% Quizzes (vocab, rhythmic & melodic dictation) & Homework

50% Performances & Mixed Ensemble Tests

PERFORMANCE POLICY  ** Our performance policy will be as follows:   If a conflict arises, you must inform me within 2 weeks of the performance in which you have received advance notice. Failure to do so will result in a loss of points/lower grade.  This will also apply to absences due to illness or emergencies as they arise (give teacher as much notice as possible).  Conflicts related to other OPS activities will be worked out on a case-by-case basis. Make-up work may be assigned depending upon the situation.


Concert Attire: Depending on the performance venue and purpose, we may wear OPS t-shirts and jeans for casual/community events or more formal concert attire for festivals and concerts such as black dresses for ladies and black pants, white dress shirt and tie for guys. I will be sure to give advance notice on attire before each performance.


Parents: Parents will be given many  opportunities to volunteer/assist with various choir events: set-up, transportation, sound, food, fundraisers,  etc… I am open to your ideas as well, so please feel free to contact me if you’d like to get involved. Some possibilities are listed below.  Let’s work together to make this choir great!


Possible activities:

Community service opportunity such as Christmas Caroling (at local nursing home/Senior center)

Choir fundraiser (Krispy Kreme, Fruit Sale or other???)

End of year Talent Show/Spring Concert with bands

More Choir Field trips

Other ideas???? Feel free to share opportunities/places for us to perform!


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High School CHORUS calendar Fall 2017:


Thursday, Oct. 26  - Field Trip to McGregor Hall, Henderson NC to see “Hairspray” the musical


TBD :  Sing the National Anthem at a home basketball game


Friday, Dec.1 - Oxford Christmas Parade Lighting of the Greens performance before parade

(in front of old courthouse across the street from Stovall’s Gift Shop) time TBD


Thursday, Dec.7 - 6:30pm Christmas Concert (OPS Choirs and Bands)


Please KEEP THE SYLLABUS and SAVE THE CALENDAR DATES. All Chorus students and their parents/guardians please sign this page and return to Mrs. Stallsmith by Friday, Aug.25 2017.  Thank you for supporting the Fine Arts at OPS!  

Student & Parent High School CHORUS agreement:

I/We have read and understand the syllabus for High School Chorus at OPS during the 2017-18 school year. I/We are aware of the general expectations of the class, the performance policy, and the important dates listed above (with the expectation that more dates will be added Spring semester).

Student Signature: _________________________________________   Date:_____________


Student E-mail: _________________________________________

Parent Signature:___________________________________________  Date:_____________


Parent E-mail: ___________________________________________