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2017-2018 West High School

Choral Handbook

Director of Choirs

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Table of Contents

Welcome Letter ........................................................................ 4

List of Choirs ............................................................................ 5
General Guidelines and Expectations ...................................... 6
The Typical Choir Class ........................................................... 8
Extracurricular Music Activities ................................................. 9
Grading Policy ........................................................................ 10
Music Calendar ...................................................................... 11

Welcome Letter

Dear Choral Friends,

I welcome you to the choral program at West High School for the 2017 –
2018 school year. I am beyond excited to be continuing this program and can’t
wait to collaborate with the wonderful musicians found at this school to bring a
meaningful and well-rounded choral experience to every student that is
interested. First of all, I would like to introduce myself!

My name is Mr. Brunner. I graduated in May of 2015 at the Ohio State

University with two degrees, Bachelors in Music Education and Psychology. This
will be my second year at West High but I am very excited in engaging with
students and hopefully making a positive musical difference. I would like to
quickly speak of my hopes and aspirations for this year!

I would love to go a step further in introducing thematic material to our

choir concerts in order to show the power of music that can take over us. Our first
concert will will be called “Harmony.” Music that musically is full of harmony but
also music that has the main goal of bringing together people, the city, and this
world. “

There will be three more concerts to follow, a holiday concert in

December, a collaborative concert in February, and a Senior Concert in April.

Use this manual for all information pertaining to this year, and enjoy the
what this year has in store!


List of Choirs
Mixed Choir II (The West Side Singers)
Mixed Choir II or The West Side Singers will include students who have
the ability and drive to sing music in harmony and on a consistent basis. Chorale
consists of students from all grades mostly 10-12. Chorale performs a wide array
of music, some known and popular, others that fit the theme presented in the

Yearly Goal: West Side Singers will be able to sing in 3-4 part harmony and
be introduced to music in different languages and forms, and begin
sightreading and learning aural skills.

Mixed Choir I (Junior Choir)

Mixed Choir I or Junior Choir, is the beginner choir at West High for
students who are in need of an art credit and are interested in singing and vocal
music. Junior Choir is usually taken before admittance into West Side Singers.
Junior Choir consists of students from all grades but mostly 9-10. Junior Choir
performs a wide array of music, some known and popular, others that fit the
theme presented in the concert.

Yearly Goal: Junior Choir will learn basic harmonic techniques with the
goal of singing 2-3 part harmony. Junior Choir will also learn the basics of
music theory in order to improve music literacy.

Urban Harmonix
Urban Harmonix is the after school a cappella group formed at West High.
Auditions are Wednesday, August 30th 2017 at 2:45. We are planning on
competing in the International Competition of High School A Cappella this year!
Come and audition!


Music Survey Elements and Skills

Period 8 Everyday!


In this class, we will be covering basic elements of music and music theory. At the end of this
course, you will be able to:

 point out certain elements of music in current and past music

 decipher between musical eras and genres
 evaluate and respond to music
 analyze current and past music


Required Background

 There is no pre-requisite for this course.

Required Materials

 To successfully complete this course, you will need a folder, notebook.

Additional Print Resources

 Excerpts from books, websites, and other multimedia resources may be used


 Music Theory
o Notes, Rests
o Key Signatures
o Rhythm
o Notation
o NOTE: Music theory days will be Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.
You will learn and complete work on those days.
 Musical Genres/Eras
o Analyzing Learning Different Styles
 Singing
o We will have singing days. Two days a week, one day for the men, one day for
the women. This is to learn basic skills, musically, through singing.
 Musical Instruments
 Music Technolog

General Guidelines and Expectations

Our mission this year is for our choir to become a family. We should be able to lean on
each other, help each other, and commit to each other. That way when it is time to sing
and improve, we can do it together. We all have things we go through on a daily basis.
This room and this group is a safe zone. Our biggest rule this year is to simply respect
each other. Respect goes a long way. Singing in front of people can be scary, but
together we can make it something very special.

The 4 “I Will” Rules:

I will be respectful.

I will try my hardest.

I will show up and take healthy risks.

I will ask for help when needed.

Rehearsal Expectations

Cell Phone Policy: Do not use your cell phone while singing and warmups PLEASE.
This will go against your participation. If cell phones are a problem, you will be required
to put them in the “cell phone jail.”

1st offense: warning

2nd offense: call home

3rd offense: 190

Phones CAN be used when doing individual work. You may listen to music, etc, while
doing work as long as you are completing the work at hand.

Singing/Class time: You are expected to take place in classroom activities. If you refuse
to sing, you will not do well in the class. Participation will be your biggest grades. If you
sing and contribute in class, you will be fine. If you are on your cell phone, doing other
work, I will see that and your participation will suffer. Just come, sing, and have fun!

Computer: Please ASK permission to use to computer. The computer is usually not
needed during class time.


LIKE HOT CHEETOS. Drinks are allowed, but if you make a mess, please clean it.

Absences: This class will follow West High’s policy on attendance. Show up on time and
on a daily basis and you will be fine. Tardies can result in lunch detentions.

*Concerts are MANDATORY and worth 100 points of your grade. Work is not an
excuse. If there is a legitimate excuse for missing a concert, I will need a note from a
parent or guardian and I would like to know ahead of time. You WILL have a makeup
assignment. It will not be fun or easy.

The Typical Choir Class
The typical choir class will go like this:

1) Take choir folders: Take choir folder with your name on it, to your seat!
2) Warmups/Stretches: If you have song ideas to stretch too, please tell me!
PLEASE STAND for this portion.
3) Musical Activity: Reading rhythm cards, theory, clapping/singing exercises
4) Rehearse music: Self-explanatory, rehearse concert music. This could be in a
large group, small group, individual. If I am not working with you at the time, you
may do other work, use your cell phone, but most importantly please be quiet
and respectful until it is your turn! You will be asked at times to stand.
5) Put away choir folders: Neatly in a stack on the table. Please don’t line up at the
door, this isn’t elementary school.

Open Mic Friday

Most Fridays, we will have an open mic during classtime. This is your chance to sing
music individually or in a small group for the rest of the class. It is a great way to get
feedback and continue to improve your individual voice! This is a lot of fun and when
done properly can be very rewarding. If you are afraid to sing in front of others, it is a
great opportunity to work to overcome that fear. I will do whatever it takes to help! Also,
NEW this year, we have two wireless mics for classroom use! No more wires!

We will have four concerts this year and a Senior Honors Cabaret/Dinner. Concerts are
mandatory. Times and Dates are subject to change.

Concert 1: Monday, October 23rd at 7pm. Call time is 6:30

Concert 2: Monday, December 11th at 7pm. Call time is 6:30.

Concert 3: Thursday, February 22nd at 7pm. Call time is 6:30

Concert 4: Thursday, April 26th at 7pm. Call time is 6:30.

Extracurricular Music Activities

Honor Choirs
Otterbein Honor Choir

At Otterbein University

Wednesday, October 25th from 8:00am to 6:45pm

Musical (TBA) Dates


Field Trips
Field trips do pop up over the year. Look for upcoming trips to see musicals,
performances, etc during the year.

Grading Policy
Grades this year will be broken down into categories:

Bell Ringers (Junior Choir)

Solfege Exercises

Quizzes and Tests

This will usually include theory quizzes and tests.

Singing Tests

Assesses how well you are learning your part, also tests solfege and sight-

In Class Assignments

Worksheets, singing assignments


100 points every quarter. 4 grades of 25 points each.


100 points each. No concerts during quarter 1, TWO (2) during quarter 2. One
concert during quarter 3.


Bonus work for going above and beyond. You get 1 point of extra credit for every
Friday that you sing Open Mic! These really add up.

Participation Breakdown

Cell Phone Use

On Task

Completed Work

Open Mic

13 points/week for choir

5 points/week for survey