Downloadable PDF version of the handbook HERE
Downloadable .DOCX version of the handbook HERE
Lopez Middle School Choir
Mrs. Trammell, Director
The Lopez Choir Program
The Lopez Choir Program consists of beginning, intermediate, and advanced choruses. Students are placed in a specific choir according to grade level and/or experience. Choirs that are currently offered include the 6th Grade Beginning Choir, the Intermediate Treble Choir, the Advanced Treble Choir, and the 7th/8th Grade Tenor Bass Choir. New ensembles may also be created by combining different choirs for specific events.
Our Mission Statement
The Lopez Middle School Choral Program will continually work to create a superior fine arts experience, instill a sense of community among its members, encourage each member to strive for personal and group excellence, and nurture a shared appreciation of choral music for both the performers and their audience.
We will work to serve our community in meaningful ways through the sharing of our time and talents.
Choir Goals and Objectives
In accordance to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the following musical elements will be stressed:
Correct vocal techniques for solo and ensemble singing
Cultural awareness through the study of music history and choral literature
Recognition of quality performances based on pitch, style, tempo, rhythm, blend, balance, phrasing and the use of dynamics
Basic music theory concepts
Music reading skills
Proper audience etiquette
Enter the choir room courteously and orderly.
Place all personal belongings in the bookshelves (or backpacks against the wall)
3. Students are to check the rehearsal agenda written on the board each day. Students will then obtain all materials needed for that day's class and place them in the correct order.
4. A student is considered tardy if he/she is not seated in the proper chair/riser position and ready to rehearse when the class begins. (This includes having music in order and pencils sharpened.)
5. Rehearsal behavior will be observed either when the director or student leader begins vocal warm-ups or stands in front of the class (whichever occurs first). NO FURTHER GROUP OR INDIVIDUAL TALKING DURING REHEARSAL WILL BE PERMITTED.
Always maintain the appropriate posture while you are singing.
1. Follow directions the first time they are given.
2. Always give your best effort.
3. Be in your seat at the bell with all materials.
4. Quietly raise your hand to speak or leave your seat or riser spot
5. Respect everyone’s feelings and personal space.
6. This is a cell phone free zone.
(Exception: phone use instructed by the director for rehearsal purposes only)
7. Only water is allowed (no food, drinks, or GUM)
1. Teacher-student conference
2. Parent contact
3. Loss of classroom privileges and/or change of seat
4. Lunch/after school detention
Administrative office referral
In repeated cases, or issues of safety, a student may be REMOVED from the choral program.
Members of the Lopez Middle School choirs are graded as follows:
Daily grades are based on (but not limited to) the following:
Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the material presented
Active participation throughout the rehearsal
Making good use of the rehearsal time
Worksheets and other written assignments
Recordings made in class/outside of class
Students must bring all of their needed supplies to class every day. This includes 3 sharpened pencils, a small pencil bag, the music currently being used and the assigned sight-reading book. Students who are consistently lacking needed materials may receive a lowered grade or disciplinary action due to the availability of provided materials in the choral classroom.
Homework (part of daily grade in average) which may include but is not limited to:
Practice recordings (class and individual repertoire)
Weekly practice records
Writing solfege syllables/rhythmic patterns in the music
Worksheets and other written assignments
Quizzes and tests (part of daily grade in average) which may be administered as:
Performance-based, demonstrating mastery of the repertoire which has been rehearsed in class
Orally reciting the text of music which incorporates foreign language
Performance of acquired musical skills
Demonstrate sight-reading objectives
Demonstrate proper vocal technique
Demonstrating mastery of the current class repertoire
Participation in mandatory rehearsals prior to a performance
Participation in concerts and special events
Choir members are required to participate in all concerts. Concerts are an extension of what is learned in the classroom, and therefore, participation in each is mandatory.
AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE FROM A PERFORMANCE OR MANDATORY REHEARSAL WILL RESULT IN A ZERO FOR THAT ACTIVITY.
Choir is a performance-oriented course. Daily activities in the classroom are specifically designed to culminate in the performance of vocal music in either a concert or contest. The Texas Education Agency lists the public performance of music learned in the classroom as one of the Texas Essential Knowledge of Skills for approved music courses. Additionally, the Northeast ISD Manual of Instruction states, "While performance is not the only consideration for a final grade, it is a legitimate part of a total grade. If a performance is the culminating activity based on Essential Elements so stated in lesson plans, a grade may be given for participation or non-participation as the case may be. Extenuating circumstances should be considered for missed performances."
Choir students receive a grade for each performance in which they are expected to participate. It is assumed that each student will be present for all special rehearsals and all performances. A list of scheduled events can be found on the choir webpage. The directors must be notified in writing no later than October 1st if a child has a previously scheduled activity which coincides with one of the dates on the choir calendar. After this time, students will be expected to be present for all mandatory rehearsals and performances. Additionally, in the event that a date is added to the choir calendar, students and their parents will be notified within a reasonable time frame to ensure participation.
Choir is a cooperative activity that fosters personal and group responsibility. Parents are requested to help their student develop this sense of responsibility by making sure he/she attends every rehearsal and concert on this school year's choir calendar. Serious illness and family emergencies will result in an excused absence only if the student brings a written note signed by a parent within two (2) school days of the missed activity. Please note that students must be present during the entire concert in order to receive credit for participating. Students who leave a concert early will have points deducted from their grade. We cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
Lastly, it is important to your child to have his/her parents present at our concerts. Parent attendance at choir functions is a practical way to show your child that you are supportive of their extra-curricular endeavors. Additionally, your presence will assist in making our concerts a memorable event for your child. With these things in mind, we respectfully ask that parents make every attempt to attend these important events.
Students who enter contests or who desire to be a member of a select ensemble/choir will be required to attend rehearsals before and after school. These rehearsals will occur more frequently as the performance and/or contest date approaches.
On occasion, full dress rehearsals and extra rehearsals will be called before or after school in order to prepare for an upcoming event or concert. These rehearsals are necessary when several groups are scheduled to perform together. Please make every effort to have your child in attendance as it affects the ensemble as a whole.
The pre-concert rehearsal/warm-up is a crucial element in the preparation for a good performance. Students are required to check in at their ensemble’s assigned “call time” prior to each concert. It is the student's responsibility to inform the director if he/she will arrive late due to a scheduling conflict. Notification must be given prior to this important rehearsal. A late arrival to the pre-concert rehearsal/warm-up will result in points being deducted from the student’s overall concert grade.
After-school rehearsals and functions
Students will be instructed as to when an after school rehearsal or function will end. NEISD School district requires club sponsors to remain with all of their students until they are picked up. Picking up your child late results in the director(s) staying at school longer than needed and impedes on their family and personal time. Please be courteous! Parents should pick up their child no more than 10 minutes after a rehearsal or function ends. We have several choir parents that will be happy to assist you and your child with transportation when needed. It will be the responsibility of the student and their parent(s) to make arrangements for their child’s transportation if they themselves cannot pick their child up on time.
Choir Excursions and Out of town Competition
The choir directors may choose to take one or more groups on an excursion or competition/ performance out of town. These trips are not required and are on a voluntary basis. These events are not tied to the student’s choir grade in any way. Students are qualified to attend if they meet the following criteria:
They are in good standing with the Lopez Choir department.
They have been present at all required concerts and functions. (emergencies excluded)
They are able to demonstrate mastery of the repertoire that the choir will perform for the event.
They have maintained passing grades in all of their classes for a designated period of time (the amount of time can vary depending on the activity).
They have not been assigned in school suspension (ISS), suspended from school or any other serious disciplinary action from a school administrator.
They have fulfilled all financial obligations required for the activity.
The choral directors and the school administration, should a situation occur, will decide if an exception to these requirements is warranted.
It is important to understand that refunds for paid trips are not possible. Our organization must send a payment to our tour company and/or transportation company when our trip is booked. As a result, we are required to pay specific fees for each child who commits to attend this event. These payments are non-refundable to our organization and therefore are non-refundable to the student(s) who previously committed to participate. The refund policy of the tour groups and/or transportation company will be included in the initial correspondence for the activity if applicable.
NO PASS, NO PLAY
Senate Bill 1, Chapter 39, Education Code reads:
Sec.33.081(c) A student who is enrolled in a school district in this state or who participates in a University Interscholastic League competition shall be suspended from participation in any extracurricular activity sponsored or sanctioned by the school district or the University Interscholastic League after a grade evaluation period in which the student received a grade lower than the equivalent of 70 on a scale of 100 in any academic class other than an identified honors or advanced class. Extracurricular activities as stated in Senate Bill 1 include NEISD Solo/Ensemble contest, Region Choir auditions, and all out of town excursions. Any student who receives a grade lower than a "70" is unable to participate in these activities. It is important to note that the “No Pass, No Play” rule does not affect a student's ability to participate in all on-campus concerts or events, including those which take place in the evening. Senate Bill 1 and NEISD consider such activities to be co-curricular events. Additionally, the Lopez MS Choir Department policy requires that students maintain passing grades in order to participate in choir activities that require students to miss all or part of the school day. The director(s) will monitor grades through progress reports, Teacher Portal and report cards. If a student’s grades and/or eligibility are questionable prior to a choir event or competition, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain written documentation from their teacher(s) stating their current grade. Failure to provide this documentation within four school days of a contest or activity may result in exclusion from the activity in question.
Taping of Performances and Rehearsals
Performances and rehearsals will be video and/or audio recorded as needed. These recordings will be used for, but not limited to, analyzing performances and/or rehearsals, self-evaluation, auditioning for honor choirs, performances at conventions, as teaching tools for universities and/or music in-services/workshops and to allow our groups to receive critiques from outside sources.
Private Voice Lessons
We have voice coaches that are available for private voice instruction. Although private lessons are not a requirement, students interested in individual coaching should consider joining one of our voice studios. Students and their parents are responsible for scheduling lessons and paying the private instructors. Lessons are taught during your child’s scheduled choir class, during lunch periods or after school. Please contact the choir office if your child is interested in studying privately. This is a year-long obligation.
I have several ways of communicating important information to our choir members and their parents. These include emails, my teacher web page, student google classrooms, announcement board in our classroom and through Remind.com. It is imperative that as instructions for these communication sources are sent home, parents and students read all papers thoroughly and complete all needed forms and links.
Teacher Web Page:
(1st, 2nd, and 7th period) Beginning Choir: Text @986cf2 to 81010
(3rd period) Tenor Bass Choir: Text @e37a4kg to 81010
(4th and 6th period) Intermediate Treble Choir: Text @699hg2 to 81010
(8th period) Advanced Treble Choir: Text @e7hdg3 to 81010
Example picture of Remind text
Figure 1 example picture of REMIND sign up screen
Choir council members must consistently show the following qualities:
Above-average leadership ability
Dependability, showing dedication to the Lopez Choral program at all times
Good academic standing
Student officers are elected by Mrs. Trammell through an application and interview process. Students should not apply for a leadership position unless they meet the qualifications listed above and are willing to carry out all duties of their office. If a choir officer fails any given subject, is suspended from school, or exhibits behavior that is unbecoming of a choir member, he/she will be asked to resign his/her position.
Elected officers selected from total choral enrollment may include:
President: provides leadership, assists the conductor during rehearsals and concerts and collaborates with the Vice-President on designated events.
Vice-president: helps in planning social activities, assists with publicity for upcoming concerts and events, collaborates with the President on designated events.
Historian(s): Takes photos of all choir events throughout the year to share with Mrs. Trammell in preparation for the end of the year slide-show. Follows all media guidelines.
Council Member: assists with social and curricular activities, maintains organization or choir room and materials, works alongside Mrs. Trammell to plan and execute calendar events, general support of the choral program.
REGION CHOIR (7th/8th grade)
The Texas Music Educator's Association sponsors an activity to honor outstanding middle school choir students from Bexar and surrounding counties. Seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to audition for this choir. The members of the Region Choir are selected based on an audition of prepared music. Those students selected for the Region choir will be involved in a clinic and concert under the leadership of well-known conductors. The Region Choir is an extremely high honor and it is hoped that many of our choir students will set this as one of their goals for the coming year. An entry fee is required to participate in this audition. This fee is non-refundable in the event a student becomes ineligible to participate, unable to attend, or is disqualified from the contest for any reason. No Pass/No Play rules apply to this event.
UIL CONCERT/SIGHT READING (7th/8th)
The University Interscholastic League sponsors this group contest annually. Choirs consisting of seventh and eighth grade students are eligible to compete at UIL. Groups entering this contest prepare three selections from a prescribed UIL list. In addition to the prepared selections, choirs are also required to sight-read a piece of music. For each of these activities, the group receives a rating. The UIL contest is the most difficult contest of the school year. If a choir is selected to attend this contest, each member of the selected choir will be required to participate. Failure to participate will result in a lowered grade for that nine-week grading period. The Lopez Choir department and/or NEISD Fine Arts will pay for any fees associated with this contest. Participation in this event requires a high level of dedication by each member. Before/after school rehearsals assigned in preparation for this event are required. Any member who has a two or more unexcused absences from these rehearsals may not be allowed to participate in the contest.
SOLO/ENSEMBLE CONTEST (6th/7th/8th)
The Reagan HS vertical team sponsors a middle school Solo and Ensemble contest. This contest is open to all choir students in grades six through eight who academically qualify (no grade below 70 at the time of contest registration). It is hoped that many choir students will participate in this contest because it offers an excellent experience in musical growth and development. Students entering Solo and Ensemble contest pay an entry fee per event to participate. This fee is non-refundable in the event a student becomes ineligible to participate, unable to attend or is disqualified from the contest for any reason.
A permission slip will be sent home prior to each off-campus activity. Please read the material carefully and return the permission slip signed by the student's parent/guardian. NO STUDENT MAY LEAVE THE SCHOOL CAMPUS WITHOUT HAVING RETURNED A PERMISSION SLIP. As the date of a specific event approaches, a notice concerning all pertinent information will also be sent home. Each of these notices will include the date, time, location, and appropriate attire for the event.
Music, Books, and Folders
Music will be issued to each student enrolled in choir. All students are responsible for the music they receive. To preserve our music for future use, please follow the following guidelines: (guidelines below refer to ORIGINAL copies)
Students should only use pencils when marking their ORIGINAL COPIES of music. (xeroxed copies may be marked in color)
Students should not fold or deface their music in any way.
Students should not make any marks in their music that doesn’t assist in the learning process of that piece.
The student and his/her parent(s) must replace music, books and folders that are lost, damaged or destroyed.
Due to a decrease in funding and an increase in the cost of supplies, it is necessary to collect a $30.00 program fee for participating in choir. These funds will assist us in purchasing music, hiring accompanists and various other expenses, which are incurred by the choir department throughout the school year. The program fee should be paid at the beginning of the school year unless a financial issue prohibits you from doing so. Please keep in mind that we never want finances to keep a student from participating in choir events. Financial obligations will always be worked out in a mutually agreed upon solution.
Appropriate awards are given at the final choir concert of the school year to members who have demonstrated that they are worthy of individual recognition. The director chooses the recipients of these awards based on grades, cooperation throughout the year, leadership, dependability and the demonstration of musical ability.
UPDATE FOR 2023-2024 - due to the large increase in participation and the limited number of uniforms - concert black uniforms may be required of your child’s ensemble. In that case - the uniform fee will be waved.
Choir uniforms must be worn for every concert/event unless otherwise instructed. Students who are issued part or all of their uniforms are responsible for keeping their uniforms clean, pressed, and in good condition. Students may be asked to bring their uniform to school prior to a concert. This is to assure that each student's uniform follows the criteria mentioned below. A fee is required for each 7th and 8th grade member. This fee will be used to clean, repair, and maintain our uniforms. Uniforms should not be washed, they are to be dry-cleaned only. The uniform fee is to cover dry-cleaning. If a student does not turn in their formal uniform by the set date, they will become responsible for the dry-cleaning of their uniform before returning it to the choral department. A student will only be allowed to perform with his/her choir if he/she is in full uniform.
ANYONE WHO IS UNABLE TO PURCHASE/RENT A UNIFORM SHOULD NOTIFY THE DIRECTOR IMMEDIATELY SO OTHER ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE. PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW UNIFORM EXPENSES TO KEEP YOUR CHILD FROM PARTICIPATING IN CHOIR.
All choir students will be provided a choir shirt as part of their program fee.
7/8th grade students will pay a rental fee for using the "formal" uniforms. This fee will be collected at the beginning of each school year. Money collected will be used to purchase/replace uniforms as needed as well as final dry cleaning at the end of the year.
Care of the uniform is the responsibility of the choir member and his/her parents. If a rented uniform is damaged, the students and/or parents will be responsible for replacing it. Because of this, rented uniforms must be dry-cleaned and not laundered.
The material of the formal uniforms (dresses and pants) cannot be cut. As a result, the hem will be rather large. Cutting material will limit who can use the uniform in the future. If a child’s uniform has been cut due to alterations, his/her parent will have to pay for the cost of replacing the garment.
Hemming tape/glue should not be used on any part of the formal uniform.
Rented uniforms will be dry cleaned by the school at the end of the year. Please remove all hems before the turn in date. The turn in date will be communicated in advance. It will take place in the Spring semester. Students will be assessed a fine if their uniform is not returned in good condition.
Students are expected to follow the listed uniform guidelines. No variations will be allowed.
Informal uniform for all choirs/beginning choir uniform:
Choir shirt (provided through the program fee)
Blue Jeans (no holes or tears)
Closed-toe shoes (not more than an inch heal, closed toe and closed heal)
If your child chooses to wear a T-shirt under his/her choir shirt, it must not be visible.
Choir shirts MUST be tucked in for concerts and performances.
7th and 8th grade Treble Choirs:
Choir dress to be checked out from the choir department
Black hose (knee-highs are also accepted)
Black dress shoes- must have a closed toe and heel. Shoes should not have more than an inch heel. These shoe specifications are strictly for your child’s safety.
7th and 8th Grade Tenor Bass Choir:
Black dress pants and a long-sleeved white shirt, vest, and bowtie will be rented from the choir department.
Students are responsible for obtaining
Black dress shoes
A black belt
Plain white undershirt
Continue to the next page for an outline of the Behavior Contract for competitive ensembles.
Lopez Choir Behavior Contract
2023-2024 school year
I understand that being a member of the Lopez Choir is a privilege and a serious commitment. Due to the large headcount of our program and the important nature of our events, it is important that we consistently work as a team. Maintaining positive and active participation in class, treating each student and the director with kindness and respect, as well as preparing for and attending our events are characteristics required of every Lopez choir member.
The safety, growth, and musical advancement of all students in choir are directly affected by their classmates. Therefore, all students will abide by the class rules consistently (all rules and expectations are outlined in our handbook,) or they will be assigned consequences appropriate to each situation.
In addition, Mrs. Trammell reserves the right to REMOVE any student demonstrating repeated disruptive and/or unsafe behavior in the choir classroom or at our choir events from the Lopez choral program.
By signing below, you acknowledge your understanding and acceptance of our behavior contract, and you have reviewed our rules and expectations as outlined in our handbook.
Students Signature Date
Parents Signature Date