MS Choir Handbook

Mission Statement

We believe that setting high standards through the process of creating exciting music both in the rehearsal hall and in concert venues enriches the total educational experience for students at JaMissiorrell Middle School. As a team, the members develop camaraderie, dedication, commitment, and admiration for each other. Music is a gift! Music gives the student the opportunity to experience joy, discipline, exhilaration, and treasured opportunities that touch the human.

As a member of the Jarrell Middle School Choir program, we try our best to foster an environment that leads to success through Personal Accountability and Responsibility. When a group has a focus in these areas and is involved in a worthy goal such as music making, then that organization has a reason to exist. The emotional highs and lows that may be experienced in this process will prove to be exhilarating and produce a sense of accomplishment.

General Information

The Jarrell Middle School Choir program offers numerous opportunities for students to participate in full group activities. These opportunities consist of various choral performances on and off-campus during the school year. For those individual students who excel at these events, there is a more advanced competition available such as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) sponsored Solo and Small Ensemble Competition, Concert and Sight-Reading Contest, and Region Middle School Choir Competition.

The Choir Director is Judy Olson. For additional information, call 512-746-2124 or email at [email protected] Should you need to mail anything the address is: Jarrell Middle School c/o Choir Director, PO Box 9, Jarrell, Texas 76537. The school fax is 512-746-4280. My cell phone is 512-864-5093. My home phone is 512-863-3932 and the home fax is 512-863-6782.

Jarrell Middle School Choir Goals

1. Be the best musician you can be.

2. Be willing to learn and grow.

3. Be committed to the Jarrell Choir.

4. Be respectful of each other.

5. Have a positive attitude.

6. Be responsible.

Choir Goals

1. Always rehearse and perform at our best.

2. Maintain high standards of excellence.

3. Instill and maintain pride in our choir and our school.

4. Increase understanding and appreciation of the fine arts in the community.

5. Maintain a healthy balance of work and play.

Jarrell Middle School Choir Member Expectations

Our choral ensembles are essentially music teams. The actions of any individual can either help or hinder the entire ensemble in both rehearsal and performance. Self-discipline is not optional; it is required. Repeat offenders will be removed from the class at the director's discretion.

A system of checks and warnings will be used to promote proper ensemble behavior. Students will receive a check mark for any infraction in the following areas:

  • Be on time to all rehearsals and performances. (To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late.)
  • Be attentive and respectful at all rehearsals.
  • Be prepared for all rehearsals by having your music, textbook, and pencil with you.
  • Take care of all choir financial obligations in a timely manner and with proper procedure, (i.e., fund raising deadlines.)
  • Act appropriately and remain in assigned seats during rehearsal unless otherwise noted.
  • Participate in all singing activities.
  • Represent our choir well by embracing the highest standards of behavior and ethics.
  • Keep the choir room clean and neat at all times. Keep folders in their place, pick up after yourself, and be respectful of all who use this room. NO FOOD OR GUM IS ALLOWED IN THE CHOIR ROOM. THE ONLY TYPE OF DRINK ALLOWED IS WATER.
  • Respect the Jarrell Choir uniform. Wear if with pride and treat it with care.

Grades are earned by assessing each student's knowledge (classroom assignments, quizzes, and exams), skills (sight-singing and ear training assessments), and participation in daily rehearsals and required performances. Grades will be assessed on a point system as follows:

Rehearsals (50% of your grade - this includes being on time; being prepared; being attentive; and participating in all activities.)
Classroom assignments and quizzes (10% of your grade - this includes oral and written tests and assignments.)
Performance attendance (40% of your grade)
1. The performance of the choir is the primary function of the class and therefore Attendance is required.
2. Written excuses may be considered when submitted two weeks prior to the
concert in writing signed by both the student and the parent.
3. Unexcused absences for performances will result in no points being issued for that performance.
4. Students must wear the appropriate concert dress for performances. Failure to do so will result in a deduction of fifty percent of the grade.
5. If the concert is missed due to an excused absence (sick on the day of performance or approval by director), a makeup essay will be assigned and will be due within three days of the student's return to school.

Grading Scale
90-100 - A
80 - 90 - B
75-80 - C
70-75 - D
0 -69 points each six weeks - F


As this is a performance-based class, attendance at all performances is mandatory. The known dates and places are listed below. Please put these dates on your calendar now so that you can schedule around them. Why is attendance mandatory at performances?

Performing for an audience is the primary focus of this class. Concerts provide an experience that cannot be reproduced in the classroom.
Performances are the means by which the skills learned in class are evaluated.Choral singing is a group effort. The performance is weakened by every missing voice. We rehearse together and we perform together.


October 31, 2009: Region Auditions, Georgetown Eastside HS

November 15 2009: Region Clinic/Concert, Georgetown HS

December 15, 2009: Christmas Program - required

December 16, 2009 Christmas Concert at the State Capitol

March 29 or 30, 2010: UIL MS Choir Concert/Sight-Reading Contest

Leander HS.- required.

April, end of month, 2010: Solo/Ensemble Contest, Cedar Park MS

May 13, 2010: Spring Concert - required.

Please watch our web site for any additions or changes. Notices will be sent home.

The Jarrell Middle School Choir Uniforms

Informal Uniform:

Middle School Choir T-shirt
Denim Jeans(pants or skirt) with belt loops (Since the purpose is to be uniform, no spandex or leather)
White Tennis Shoes
White Socks
Black Belt

Concert Uniform

Girls: Black dress, black closed-toe shoes and black hose or socks.

Boys: Black pants, black belt, white long-sleeved shirt, black closed-toe shoes and black socks.

Wearing the Uniform

The bottom of the pants or dress should barely touch the top of the shoe so there is no break in the crease of the pants. Only sew the hem. Do not cut any part of the uniform and do not use any iron-on hemming product.

Never appear in public with the uniform worn in an inappropriate or disrespectful manner. If in partial uniform, wear it correctly and hang up of carry neatly the remaining parts. If in full uniform, always wear it correctly (i.e., no coats worn un-buttoned, no shirts worn un-tucked). Represent your choir with "class." No food or drinks other than water should be consumed while in uniform. Black shoes should be cleaned or polished before each performance. No dirt or scuff marks should appear on the shoes. Performance facial make-up for ladies should consist of light colors being used for blush a d lip gloss. Nail polish should be clear or a light color. No necklaces, bracelets, ankle bracelets, earrings, rings, or watches should be worn with the formal uniform. Hair should be well kept. It needs to be pulled back from the face for all performances.

Caring for the Uniform

The informal and formal uniforms are washable. At the conclusion of each performance, the uniform should be washed, hung up correctly, and turned into uniform storage. Please be responsible with your uniform - and always wear it with pride.

Fees and Expenses

Any fee not paid by the end of the school year will result in the student not receiving his/her report card until all choir fees are paid. The school will pay fees for all students participating in any choral contest. If any choir member chooses to participate in any choral contest and does not end up participating for any reason (sickness, ineligibility, etc.), he/she will need to reimburse the school for the fee. Any fee not paid by the end of the school year will result in the student not receiving his/her report card until all choir fees are paid.

Each student will be loaned a black choral folder with sheet music. This process will be done by instituting a library system. Each student is responsible for his/her folder and music. If any of the music or folder is lost, the school will need to be reimbursed. All folders will be checked three weeks before the end of each semester.

Account Deposits

Any time money is to be turned in your director request that the following guidelines be implemented precisely:

1. All money is to be turned in enclosed in a sealed envelope.

2. The envelope has the student's name, the date the money was turned in, and an explanation regarding the intended purpose for the money.

3. Use checks whenever possible. Make the check payable to JISD.

4. Turn all money directly to the director.

Do not ever leave money unattended or out in the open, especially cash. This is for your protection.

Music Entry Fees

If for any reason the student backs out of his/her decision to attend a contest, (sickness, ineligibility, etc.), he/she must reimburse the choir. Any fee not paid by the end of the school year, will result in the student not receiving his/her report card until all choir fees are paid.


Jarrell Middle School Choir complies with the specifics outlined by the district in regards to policy for fundraisers. Students will be given the opportunity to participate in fundraisers to help generate funds for the operational expenses of the choir program. These funds are used to purchase music, supplies, uniforms, and provide for parties and student related events. We will also do fundraisers to help students defray the cost of their fees. If students/parents prefer, they may choose to make a donation to cover their fees and operational expenses, rather than participating in the fundraisers.


Please refer to this hand book throughout the year. We can often resolve problems very quickly by referring to this handbook. Effective communication and clear expectations will allow all of us (teacher, parent and student) to work together for the greatest benefit of the student.

This is going to be a great year! If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 746-2124 or email: [email protected] Sincerely, Judy Olson, Choir Director


I have read and understand that my parents and I are responsible for all of the information contained in this handbook. I understand that this statement will remain on file during the school year as a symbol of my understanding.

I also understand that I am directly responsible for my behavior. I will do my best to see
that my actions reflect the pride of both the Jarrell Choir program and the Jarrell School District at all times. I accept this challenge with an open mind to determine what level of excellence I can achieve through my own hard work and dedication.

Your signature below indicates your agreement with the above statement.

Student's Signature ______________________________ Date ___________________

Parent's signature _______________________________ Date ___________________

Please return signed within two weeks of the beginning date of the school year.

Jarrell Independent School District
Activity Participation Release

_________________________ _____________________ _________

Last Name First Name . M.I/

_______________________________ ____________________

Date of Birth Home Telephone

Street Address

City and Zip Code

Parent/Guardian's Name

_______________________________ _________________________

Cell Phone Number Emergency/Work Telephone

I hereby give consent for the above name student to participate in choir activities and to travel with the sponsor or other school representative/chaperone(s) on trips.

If, in the judgment of any representative of the school, the above named student should need immediate medical care and treatment as a result of any injury or illness, I do hereby request, authorize, and consent to such care and treatment as may be given to said student by any physician, trainer, nurse, hospital, or school representative, including the administration of medication; and I hereby release the school and any school representative from any claim by any person whomever on account of such care and treatment of said student.

____________________________________________ _______________

Signature of Parent/Guardian Date

At certain times of the year, musical movies may be shown for instructional purpose. These movies will be rated G or PG. Examples are: "The Lion King", "Beauty and the Beast", "Wizard of Oz", "High School Musical", "Sound of Music" or "Charlie Wonka's Chocolate Factory". If you do not have any objections for your child to watch movies of this type please sign, date and return this form.


Parent's name



I Want To Be A Volunteer!

The choir program at Jarrell Middle School and High School will grow and prosper through the generous donations of time, talent, and resources from parents and community members. Is there a way you can help make our student's dreams of a successful choir program come to life?

YES! I want to help the Jarrell Choir in the following ways:


___typing and office work


___piano accompanist

___phone calling/phone tree

___hospitality - planning receptions, parties, etc.

___concert equipment set-up and take-down

___develop district music newsletter (quarterly)

___cooking or baking for receptions, parties, etc.

___computer input of data

___VCR or audio taping of concerts

___fundraising help


___help at Fall booth in October. Other: describe below in Comments

___help with the Homecoming Parade (decorating, driving, etc.)

My name is: _____________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: _________________________________________________________

Work Phone: ______________________________Can we call you at work? YES NO

Home Phone: ______________________________Best time to call? ________________

Cell Phone:________________________________________________________

E-mail: _________________________________________________________________