Our middle school chorus classes have been hard at work on their fourth nine weeks composition project. Students were asked to "Compose within specified guidelines" using the pentatonic scale and learning the basics of music theory notation. Each class chose the lyrics for their piece from poetry by Shel Silverstein. We hope you enjoy the final products from each class! :)
Last week, all FIVE Dade County Chorus groups participated in the Georgia Music Educators Association's Large Group Performance Evaluation festival at Pepperell High School in Lindale, Ga. We traveled across three days so that each group had the opportunity to perform before GMEA selected judges who evaluated our groups according to the criteria set forth by the GMEA organization in Performance and in Sight-Reading. Our choirs received the following scores:
DCHS Mixed Chorus: II(EXCELLENT) in Performance and I(SUPERIOR) in Sight-Reading
DCHS Women's Chorus: II(EXCELLENT) in Performance and II(EXCELLENT) in Sight-Reading
DMS 8th Chorus: III(GOOD) in Performance and III(GOOD) in Sight-Reading
DMS 7th Grade Chorus: II(EXCELLENT) in Performance and I(SUPERIOR) in Sight-Reading
DMS 6th Grade Chorus: I(SUPERIOR) in Performance and I(SUPERIOR) in Sight-Reading
Please join in me in congratulating these students on a successful LGPE Performance Season and commending them for their hard work and dedication in the preparation for this evaluation. I am SO proud of EACH and EVERY one of these students! They have all done an AMAZING job in developing their musicianship this semester! :)
If you are not already a subscriber to our YouTube Channel(DadeCountyChorus), I would like to invite you to take a look! :) We have recently uploaded two new videos. The first is "Carol of the Bells." We recorded this to submit to perform at Universal Studios as a part of their STAR performance this December.
The second is "Ukuthula," a South African Xhosa prayer song. This song was recorded in conjunction with the VOICE4PEACE project. You can find out more about this project HERE. We were delighted to feature several of our talented soloists for this project. I was so impressed with the attitude the students brought to this video project and the seriousness with which they performed. I feel confident that these students can be the leaders of tomorrow and become advocates for peace in our local and global communities.
"We believe that a peace concert, a film, or even a single piece of music, is a moment wherein we can de-escalate violence and conflict. "
Our first fundraiser of the year, sponsorship for our 2016-2017 chorus shirts, kicked off on August 17th. Several students and parents have asked if we would extend the deadline till September 7th in order to give more time to visit local businesses and community organizations over Labor Day weekend!
Thank you so much for your support of our choral music program here at Dade County High School and Dade Middle. All proceeds from this fundraiser go straight to our students! We are partnering with Modern Woodmen of America in a matching fund grant up to $2500. If our students raise at least $2500 through our local sponsorship donations, MWA will turn that $2500 into $5000!!!
Sponsorship donations can come from local businesses in Trenton and the greater Chattanooga area, as well as from churches, community organizations and even individual family and friends who would like to show their student how much they support their involvement in Dade County Chorus!
All donations are tax deductible and will receive a receipt and letter of thanks from Dade County Chorus by providing a correct mailing address. A copy of the order form is available below if you need extras!
Andy Kidd of Kidd Graphics is hard at work creating the designs for this year's chorus shirts! The chosen design will be revealed here in mid-September along with the order form for your student's shirt!
Thank you again for your support of Dade County Chorus!
We have started this 2016-2017 school year rockin' and rollin' in all of the Dade County Chorus ensembles!
DCHS Mixed Chorus:
We have been working hard preparing for our video recording project in conjunction with AVoice4Peace (click HERE for more info on this project). The video recording will be on Friday, September 16th and will be available on our YouTube channel(click HERE to subscribe) soon after. The mission of AVoice4Peace is that "now, more than ever, we're in need of peace. We believe that a peace concert, a film, or even a single piece of music, is a moment wherein we can de-escalate violence and conflict." This is an exciting opportunity for our students to be a part of a global project.
DCHS Women's Chorus:
Our women's chorus has already been hard at work developing 3 part sight-reading and singing skills! Last week we began singing the piece "She Sings" by Amy F. Bernon and the girls have fallen in love with the beautiful message inspired in this song. I'm excited about the possibilities for this great group of girls!
DMS 6th Grade Chorus:
WOW!! This is a large and extremely talented group of 6th graders this year! We have been studying the difference between beat and rhythm, preparing for introducing quarter notes and quarter rests, and developing a pure vowel and relaxed vocal sound. They are ALL IN and working hard to unify their sound in preparation for our first pieces of music!
DMS 7th Grade Chorus:
Around April/May last year, I introduced 2 part sight-reading to this chorus and we got about 6 weeks of practice in this new challenge. Well, on day 10...yes, you read that right...DAY TEN of this school year, these students were sight-reading in three-parts and performing as if they'd been doing this forever. They were featured on our @DadeCountyChoir Twitter feed(click HERE to view tweet) this week and I am SO proud of how hard they have been working.
DMS 8th Grade Chorus:
We have been studying our letter names for the staff on the treble clef and creating our own acrostic/mnemonic devices to remember them. The winning entry for the letter LINES was from Drake Dupree: Come Eat Green Beans & Dead Fish and for the letter SPACES a combined effort from our men's section: Don't Fail At Chorus Ever! :-) The summer between 7th & 8th grade is usually a big leap in vocal development and this year was no exception for our 8th graders. They are sounding great and working on blending beautifully! I've gotten chill bumps from the beauty of those chords several times across the past week! Making beautiful music so early in the school year is most definitely a sign of GREAT things to come!
If you need a copy of the Chorus Handbook at any time, it will be right here on the blog! :) And if for some reason you have not returned your Charms/Commitment & Media Release Form, please do that ASAP! :) Charms should be activated for ALL choirs this weekend! Many thanks to Elizabeth Holdaway for updating our Charms student information system this year!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the renovations at DCHS this summer for the HVAC units, we will not be hosting our annual choir camp. However, there is a wonderful opportunity for upcoming 9th-12th grade students at the Harmony Explosion camp hosted by the Barbershop Harmony society right in Chattanooga!!! This is an awesome opportunity to continue to work on those intonation and listening skills in addition to vocal technique. The camp is July 14-17(with no activities on July 17: only dismissal) at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Below is the registration form which must be mailed(before July 1st) along with payment to the address listed on the bottom OR you can copy and paste this link(http://www.dixiedistrict.org/index.php/harmony-explosion-camp/camp-announcement) to register online with a credit card. I hope several of you are able to take advantage of this amazing musical opportunity right in our own back yard! :)
What an amazing winter concert season Dade County Chorus had this year!
Starting the first week of November till final week of December, Dade County Chorus has been performing all across the region.
District Honor Chorus: November 2 & 3
DC Chorus had 27 Middle School students and 22 High School students to perform in the Georgia Music Educators Association's District 7 Honor Choruses at Woodland High School in Cartersville, Ga. Students worked with renowned clinicians from across the Southeast for a day of rehearsals and then presented two FANTASTIC concerts to a packed auditorium each night.
Shorter Chorale Performance: November 9
DCHS Chorus was honored to host Shorter University's Chorale, Women's and Men's Choruses on Monday, November 9th, as they began their southeast recruitment tour. Two of our DC Chorus Alumni, Jacob Case and Ashley Phillips, are members of the Shorter Chorale and according to Dr. Cash, they have both represented Dade County extremely well. We are SO proud of our alumni and absolutely LOVE when they come back to perform!
Veteran's Day Performances: November 10 & 11
Dade County Chorus participated in both the Dade Middle and Dade County High School Veteran's Day Assemblies this Fall. These ceremonies truly honored our local veterans and the speakers gave inspiring talks about honor, integrity, and responsibility to our students.
On November 10, the DCHS Women's Chorus performed the National Anthem to open the assembly. Our Men's Ensemble performed the moving piece, Tell My Father, following the reading of the Gettysburg address by Coach McMahan. The DCHS Band and Mixed Chorus combined in a stirring performance of the Civil War hymn, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, to close out the assembly to a standing ovation from the student body and special guests. Click here to view the entire DCHS Veteran's Day Assembly.
On November 11, a duet by Rachel Thorne and Taria Johnson opened our assembly with the National Anthem. 8th Grade student, Daniel Murphy read a piece entitled, "United We Stand" before the 8th Grade Chorus performed the song, We Will Stand With You. The 6th Grade Chorus had their first public performance later in the assembly when they sang My America. Parents, students, and teachers walked away from the Veteran's Day Assembly saying it was one of the most veteran honoring and best assemblies we have had.
Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights: December 1
The DMS 8th Grade Chorus and DCHS Mixed Chorus performed to a packed out North Pole Lodge at the Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights. Selections from our upcoming Christmas concerts were performed to rousing applause from everyone there. The DCHS Mixed Chorus piece White Winter Hymnal featured five of our eighth grade chorus students performing the intricate clapping pattern of this piece. The students received free admission for themselves and one adult, as well as a free hot chocolate/drink coupon for their performance.
Trenton United Methodist Community Christmas Luncheon: December 4
The DMS 7th Grade Chorus was invited to be the featured performer for the TUMC Annual Christmas Luncheon. This luncheon was particularly special because Bishop Looney was the guest speaker. Bishop Looney's wife, Carolyn, was actually the music teacher and Dade High School back in the 60s and he told many humourous and touching anecdotes from their time here in Dade County. The attendees were very complimentary of our performance and kind to our students as they fed them a delicious lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, salad, and dessert in appreciation of their performance.
DMS Winter Concert: December 7
Our DMS Chorus students performed a wonderful concert on Monday, December 7. The 6th Grade Chorus performed pieces in Hebrew and Spanish as well as bringing down the house with Christmas...in about 3 Minutes. The 7th Grade Chorus featured a number of soloists on the classic holiday favorite, The Chipmunk Song. Our 8th Grade Chorus began their selections with an a cappella piece, Riu, Riu, Chiu. The finale of the concert, Christmas Chopsticks, featured a four hand piano accompaniment by our wonderful accompanists, Ms. Karen Swafford and Ms. Carey Dupree.
DCHS Mixed Chorus performs for State Superintendent: Dec 8
Georgia State Superintendent, Richard Woods, traveled to Dade County High School to recognize us for our great strides in improving the graduation rate of our students. To welcome him into the building, Principal Josh Ingle requested that the Mixed Chorus perform some of our holiday repertoire. We were honored to be asked and even more excited when we saw this tweet! :)
DCHS Winter Concert: December 10
The Dade County High School Mixed Chorus and Women's Chorus presented their Winter Concert on Thursday, December 10th. The Mixed Chorus started off the concert with a bang as they sang, Eatnemen Viulie, also known as the opening song of the Disney movie Frozen. The Women's Chorus performed several foreign language pieces to highlight Christmas around the world, as well as the new Ken Berg piece Bells of Christmastide featuring soloist, Sarah Jones. We closed the concert, as has become tradition, with The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah and invited our DC Chorus alumni to join us on the stage. With nearly 100 voices joined in song, this piece was the highlight of the evening.
DCHS Vocal Ensemble Caroling on behalf of the Dade County Chamber: December 12
A vocal ensemble from DCHS Chorus went caroling on behalf of the Dade County Chamber, Saturday December 12th to many businesses around town. We visited many locally owned restaurants where we asked to perform for patrons and employees alike. Every single business or restaurant we visited invited us to come back any time! Several patrons remarked, "This is SO nice! Nobody really does this anymore!" We were happy to spread the Christmas spirit with this and all our other Winter Concert season performances! We hope to see you at our Spring Concert Season events in 2016!
DCHS Chorus Christmas Coffeehouse: December 14
Our final event of the season was the Christmas Coffeehouse. This is an annual fundraiser where for $5 you get all the desserts you can eat and coffee you can drink while the students perform solos, in duets and other small groups widely known and celebrated Christmas songs. We had the debut performance of our Men's Quartet and we also featured our Mixed Chorus performing White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix. We had over 13 acts to perform and the students are already preparing for the Spring Coffeehouse on Monday, April 25!
Many thanks to our friends, families, and community partners who made the 2015 Winter Concert Season a rousing success!
From the National Association for Music Education
It's a new day for music education. For the first time ever, music has been recognized as a stand-alone subject in the definition of a Well-Rounded Education in a new federal education law.
Today, the United States Senate passed the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA) [S. 1177] by a final vote count of 85 to 12, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was reauthorized. With the President's signature, hopefully in the days to come, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will be no more.
We want to thank our members and all music education advocates for sending more than 20,000 letters to Congress. Your voice contributed to this monumental advancement for music education.
Here are the most important top line takeaways from the new bill:
To learn more about the bill, click here.
Passing this law with music listed as a stand-alone subject simply kicks open the door of opportunity to ensuring music's place in every school -- and leading in the decision-making for what that looks like.
Now you can take the lead in the next steps.
Dade County Chorus