Choir Handbook



The White Oak ISD Choral program includes three basic areas of involvement.
Daily classroom rehearsal, which takes place every day in the classroom.
Performance, which is a culmination of our rehearsals and daily work.
Competition, in which students have the opportunity to participate in various auditions/contests throughout the school year.
The guidelines outlined on the following pages are designed to help bring about success of our choral program at White Oak ISD. In complying with them you will fulfill a commitment to the Choir, our community, and first, yet foremost, a commitment to yourself to follow your dreams and discipline yourself to be the best you can be in life.

To teach an appreciation and understanding of the performing arts and how music influences and reflects history and culture
To teach the importance of self-discipline, cooperation, loyalty and respect for others, as well as individual responsibility
To create in students a desire and appreciation for excellence in the performance of any endeavor
To teach students how to set individual goals in life, and how to accomplish those goals through dedication, self-discipline and persistence
To teach students the skills needed to perform to the best of their ability

Always conduct yourself with honor and integrity, being honest and fair to all others.
Be regular in attendance and account for all absences.
Be prepared for all rehearsals and performances and be on time.
Become responsible for and expect to assume the benefits or consequences of his/her actions.
Be personally clean, neat, and dressed appropriately, in school as well as participation in our choral extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.
Be personally responsible for all information regarding the choir, rehearsals, events, and schedules and in relaying such information to parents and/or guardians.
Cooperate with fellow choir members and share with them the responsibilities and privileges that are part of this choral program.
Be responsible for the upkeep and cleaning of your uniform. as well as the return of all assigned uniform articles at the close of this school year.
Follow all classroom rules, school handbook rules, regulations, and travel instructions for trips.
Always strive, persevere, and maintain a positive attitude toward achieving your goals as a choir member. No one is expected to be perfect….but everyone is expected to give their all!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Choir is considered an extra- curricular course. **UIL rules require our students to follow the NO PASS, NO PLAY guidelines. Participation in competition is allowed only if the student has a passing grade (70 or above) in all courses. If ineligibility occurs, the student must regain his (her) eligibility through passing all courses by the next 3-week progress report to participate in another activity. To remain in HS Varsity Mixed Choir, this is a MUST! Every member’s participation is necessary for the success of our Varsity program.

Fines are assessed for lost or damaged materials (classroom furniture, music, uniform items, etc.). All fundraiser collections are due AT THE CONCLUSION of that particular fundraiser. Fines are also assessed for entry fees from unattended competitions, even if this has resulted due to ineligibility: if the student signs up to participate, then he (she) must be responsible for maintaining his (her) eligibility in all courses, and committed in auditioning and/or performing; otherwise they must reimburse the district for the cost of their entry fee.

The raising of funds allows for scholarships toward various activities, as well as help students to defer the cost of travel to participate in Music Festivals & State Events.
Most of these are one-day events. All students participating in the fundraising activities are eligible for the trips of the various choirs. Any student may choose not to participate in a fundraising event. But, if the student desires trip participation, money will likely need to be collected. Fundraiser accounts are on an individual basis, and everyone must be responsible for their own merchandise and money.

Grades are based on the following criteria:
Attitude & Participation: daily class and outside classroom scheduled events.
Attendance at Extra Rehearsals, as well as Attendance for our Entire Concerts.
Proper attire for the concerts.
No student will be allowed to “exempt” any Concert. Your Grade on a concert will be determined by your participation, behavior, and the act of observing other Choirs on the concert program, and not allowed to exempt. It will be calculated as a Major 9 wks. grade, counting 60% of your 9 wks. grade, and not your Semester Final.
Each student earns a weekly participation grade of up to 100 possible points calculated from their daily participation that week, and based upon teacher observation. Self-discipline and a proper attitude are absolute requirements. Disturbances, by any choir member in rehearsal, will result in the lowering of the participation grade.
Homework assignments may also be given. This would primarily involve marking their music according to my instruction, but could include rehearsal, memorization, etc. of music. If an assignment is given, each student is expected to complete this work by the assigned date! These assignments will count as a weekly test grade.
Rhythm or Melody tests may be given and averaged into the daily grades, also.
All choir members are expected to attend extra rehearsals and performances as requested by the director. Advance notice will be given prior to these rehearsals.
Performances are the finished products of our rehearsals; therefore this area is a requirement, and not acceptable to missing.
Their participation, attendance and attire during the entire concert evening will be a major test grade. All choir members are expected to attend the entire length of our concerts. This allows the student to observe other choirs, as well as show respect to these other students who have worked diligently preparing for their concert. This also relates directly to the student in fulfilling TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) requirements through participation, demonstration, illustration, and/or observation.

Choir folders and music are comparable to textbooks of other classes. The student is responsible for having his (her) folder with all contents for the beginning of each rehearsal. A storage bin is provided for the safekeeping of folders in the choir room. Below is the list of supplies required:
a 1” BLACK, “hard-surface” folder (with inside pockets) which has 3 rings
a 3-hole pencil pouch with 4 pencils, and 2 YELLOW highlighters
7th grade students bring a box of Kleenex
8th grade students bring 1 dispenser of hand sanitizer.

Our Music is very expensive. Special care of music is a necessity; therefore any lost, damaged or unnecessarily marked music is your responsibility; fines may be assessed accordingly.
If you lose your pencils, please replace them with other pencils, immediately.
NEVER USE AN INK PEN IN YOUR MUSIC, unless instructed by me to do so!
Individual competitions such as All-Region, Pre-Area, and Area auditions are used as the Texas All-State Choir selection process. These are optional for the student to participate in the 1st round, but are required once you are selected to participate in the next round of auditions. Also, these must meet all eligibility requirements to participate. For 7th & 8th Gr. students, the only level of auditions are at the Region level, although you will also be required to perform in the All-Region Concert in November, if selected to a choir.
UIL Solo/Ensemble, and UIL Texas State Solo & Ensemble are also optional, but are highly encouraged as these types of events challenge the student to develop his (her) talents more fully and earn honors for themselves that could lead to College Scholarship opportunities. Students must meet all eligibility requirements to participate.
Group competition will be UIL Concert/Sight-Reading Contest, which is REQUIRED from all members who meet all eligibility requirements to participate.
High School choral students will be offered excellent opportunities for choir workshops, in which area colleges conduct to help prepare the students for individual contests such as HS Mixed Region to Area competitions. Advancements at these contests lead to selection to the Texas All-State Choir. These will be at the expense of the student (usually $20.00 for a Saturday workshop), and may involve the student providing his (her) own transportation to and from the workshop. Eligibility requirements apply!

All members will travel to competitions, performances, destinations, etc. on school-approved transportation, unless otherwise noted by separate permission forms. Students may ride back from any of the above with a parent or guardian, if they have signed out on location with the director or supervisor in authority. NO STUDENT WILL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE LOCATION OF THE EVENT WITH ANYONE BUT THEIR PARENT OR GUARDIAN, unless PRIOR arrangements have been made with the choral director, and are subject to the approval of the school’s principal.
Additional Parental Supervision will be needed at most all of the above mentioned activities. At all of our competitive events, I will be required to Judge in a contest room. Therefore I am not available to supervising the students while the contest is in session. I NEED Parent Helpers to supervise the safety of our children during those hours. If your child is involved in any of the above, please be in agreement with assisting us if I call on you to supervise. Your student’s safety will be of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE! If there are no parent volunteers, then our students will not be allowed to participate in the event. So, PLEASE help us.

Contact Numbers:
HS & MS Choir Director/ Amy Kessler/903-291-2051/903-563-0353
High School Principal /Donna Jennings/903-291-2001
Middle School Principal /Becky Balboa / 903-291-2055

High School: All high school members will receive a formal concert uniform. All parts of the uniform are the responsibility of the student. Uniforms are issued ready for performance. The uniforms will need to be returned, in your garment bag, at the end of this school year, along with money for our cost of dry cleaning: Men-$15.00 / Women-$5.00

High School: Uniforms
Men: Issued Tuxedo includes Black Jacket & Pants, White Tux Shirt, Bow Tie, Cummerbund & Garment Bag.
All guys need to provide their own Black Dress Shoes and Black Crew Socks.

Women: Issued Formal Black Dress, Garment Bag; Provide your own Black Flat Dress Shoes, or use provided shoes.
Both Men & Women: Choir T-Shirt – – Small/Med./Large; $12.00 – XL; $13.00 XXL $14.00; with DARK blue jeans or Black blue jeans. Girls will NOT wear leggings.
A test grade of 50 will be given if the proper uniform is not worn and the student will not be allowed to perform.

Middle School: Uniforms

Both Men & Women: Choir T-Shirt – $12.00 – SML; $13.00 XL; $14.00 XXL; $15.00 XXXL. With DARK blue jeans or Black blue jeans.
The Girls who will compete in Concert and Sight Reading will wear solid black dresses or solid black skirt and blouse; knee length or longer with flat black shoes and nude hose. Boys competing in Concert and Sight Reading will wear a solid color black shirt with solid black dress pants and black shoes and socks.
A test grade of 50 will be given if the student does not have proper attire at a concert and he/she will not be able to perform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *