Vocal Music Study and Grading

PerformancesPerformance attendance is comparable to a final exam. Take this responsibility seriously. If you know that you will miss a performance, turn in a WRITTEN explanation, signed by a parent, well in advance of the date.

If you have a conflict with another school activity, please let me know what that activity is and the sponsor/director/coach's name. We work together well here at Washington, but we need you to alert us of any conflicts of which we might not be aware. Look ahead!


Students will be expected to be prompt for each rehearsal. Rehearsals begin with important departmental announcements and vocal warm-ups designed to prepare the singing mechanism. It is imperative that all students participate in these opening rehearsal procedures.

Daily Rehearsal Expectations

The Vocal Music Department is proud of the outstanding accomplishments of the choirs and individual members of the program. The continued success of the ensembles is dependent upon the daily contribution of each member. Each individual must approach every rehearsal with high expectations and a willingness to work toward the fulfillment and realization of those expectations.

Students will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of rehearsal time. (Be in their seats with their folder and all necessary materials at the bell. A PENCIL IS REQUIRED FOR ALL REHEARSALS)
  • Focus all their mental energy to the director and choral literature. (No talking during rehearsals.)
  • Focus all their physical energy to the correct application of good singing technique. (Sit tall, breathe deep, sing with space)
  • Demonstrate respect for the rehearsal facilities and equipment. (no playing piano prior to rehearsal, keep the room clean)
The choirs are working and learning organizations with high expectations and goals. Students interfering with the learning process of the choir or any of it's members, not participating fully in rehearsal activities, or otherwise presenting negative rehearsal behavior will receive academic penalty and possible reevaluation of their continued participation.

Academic Evaluation

Students' grades will be determined following a rubric using these criteria:

  1. Daily rehearsal preparation and participation.
  2. Evaluation of individual performance in concerts and public performances.
  3. Written work.
  4. Students will be evaluated on the quality of their daily participation, application of proper singing technique in rehearsal and performance, and satisfactory completion of written work.
  5. In addition, students in all ensembles will be required to demonstrate proficiency on their literature by performing individually or in small ensembles for academic evaluation.

Students are expected to know the material covered in class. Music will be memorized for performances, which may require extra study time spent outside of class rehearsal. Students will be given written assignments that are expected to be completed in a timely and thorough manner.

Choral Literature and FoldersStudents participating in courses offered by the Vocal Music Department at Washington High School will study and perform a variety of choral literature. The selection of literature is determined by the instructor based on the following criteria:

  1. The literature will aid the physical development and function of the vocal mechanism.
  2. The literature will include representation from the historical periods of Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Twentieth Century.
  3. The literature will be of composers of historical significance or those that represent valid programming opportunities.
  4. The literature will represent a wide variety of text sources and types.
It is our goal to familiarize students with quality choral literature that will provide historical and global perspective, and create a positive awareness of musical aesthetics.

Concert Choir will be assigned numbered folders and music, and all singers are encouraged to take those folders home to practice.

Singers are responsible for their folder and music; lost items (folders, music, robes etc.) will be charged to the student's account.

Washington Singers and Varsity Chorale will keep a three-ring binder of choral music for their respective ensemble.

Out-of-school Performance Policy

Performing in the Vocal Music Department requires a commitment to be present not only for classroom activities, but for out-or-school class performances and presentations as well. Parents and students should review the calendar together and make arrangements to be present at all out-or-class performances and presentations.

The following extenuating circumstances will be honored as an APPROVED ABSENCE from a performance:

  • Personal Illness: The parent is to notify the director PRIOR to the performance.
  • Family Emergency: The parent is to notify the director PRIOR to the performance.
Unapproved absences from pre-scheduled performances will negatively affect the student's grade.

Students frequently represent Washington High School off-campus. School rules apply while participating in school-sponsored trips and exemplary behavior is expected. Singers will provide their directors with a parent permission slip as well as a medical information form prior to trips off-campus. Those who will miss normal class time for a trip must inform and secure teacher approval with an orange slip provided by your director.