Tidwell Choir Handbook
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to the Tidwell Middle School Choir program!
The following handbook serves as your all-inclusive introduction to our program.
Inside you will find information on performance opportunities, fund-raising,
eligibility rules, classroom routines and expectations, grading policy, annual
choir/uniform fees, online support, Extra-Curricular Code of Conduct and
Handbook Acknowledgement form. Please read the entire handbook and return the
last page (Handbook Acknowledgement Form) to Ms. Epperson by Thursday,
September 20, 2012. All students who turn in their handbook form by this day are
invited to an Ice Cream Social on Thursday, September 20th in the TMS Cafeteria
from 4:30-5:15 pm. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
I look forward to an exciting year with you!
Ms. Olivia Epperson
TMS Choir Director
[email protected]
Choir room: 817-698-5895
Office fax: 817-215-017
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”- Victor Hugo
The goal of the TMS Choral Department is for each student to grow as
a musician/performer, lifelong learner and as an individual. Through their
participation in one of our performing choirs at Tidwell, students learn how to
work cooperatively with others, become better leaders and contribute to a
positive learning environment at Tidwell and in our communities.
To access the Tidwell Choir website you can the following link in to your browser
www.nisdtx.org/Page/26691. The website may also be reached by visiting www.nisdtx.org, selecting
“Tidwell MS” from the “Select a school” drop down menu. When redirected to the Tidwell MS site
click “STAFF” then “Epperson, Olivia – Choir”. Ms. Epperson also has a netschool course which can
be reached by visiting the Tidwell choir website and clicking on “netschool” on the left hand side of
the page.
Charms Office is an online office assistant for fine arts programs. Using Charms Office you can access
receipts (ex. annual fees, trips, t-shirts), study guides, see the choir calendar, students can practice their
music online and most importantly I can send you information via email (event reminders, notices of
handout distribution and updates/important changes) safely and quickly. Please update your personal
information online update by Friday, September 14th. The personal information you choose to enter can
only be seen by you and Ms. Epperson. It will never be shown to another student or parent. If you do
not have internet at home please fill out the Charms update on the last page of this handbook.
1. Go to https://www.charmsoffice.com/
2. Hover mouse over Enter
a. Click Parent/Student/Members
b. Enter School Code: TidwellMSChoir (no spaces)
c. Student area password – your student Tidwell ID Number. If you have troubles with
your password email Ms. Epperson with “Charms Office” and your name as the
3. Update your student/parent information by clicking “Student Info”. This is the second icon
on the top of the page. *Please provide parent/guardian name, email and phone number.
The more information you provide the easier it will be for me to get in contact with you.
Make sure you click on update! You know you are updated when you see the green “you
have been updated” message.
Varsity TREBLE CHOIR (3rd Period)
Members of this choir are our ladies in 7th and 8th grade. They are strongly encouraged to participate in All-Region
auditions, as well as the NISD District Solo/Ensemble competition. Mandatory events include Pre-UIL, UIL and the
Spring Choral Contest in May 2013 as well as required concerts.
Varsity TENOR BASS CHOIR (6th Period)
Members of this choir are our 6th, 7th and 8th grade gentlemen. They are strongly encouraged to participate in AllRegion auditions, as well as the NISD District Solo/Ensemble competition. Mandatory events include Pre-UIL, UIL
and the Spring Choral Contest in May 2013 as well as required concerts.
Beginning GIRLS CHOIR (2nd, 5th, 8th Period)
This group is comprised of our 6th grade ladies. All choir members are encouraged to participate in the NISD
District Solo & Ensemble competition, and all will compete in the Sixth Grade Choral Festival & Contest as a choir.
All members must attend required concerts.
Beginning BOYS CHOIR (1st and 7th Period)
This group is comprised of 6th grade gentlemen. All choir members are encouraged to participate in the NISD
District Solo & Ensemble competition, and all will compete in the Sixth Grade choral Festival & Contest as a choir.
All members must attend required concerts.
Show Choir
This group is comprised of auditioned students from our TMS choir program. Show choir will meet before and
after school for practice. These students have a separate performance calendar in addition to performing at TMS
Choir concerts. In order to be eligible to audition a student must be enrolled in a Choir performing group, maintain
good standing in conduct, academics and rehearsal work ethic.
Solo and Ensemble: Students learn a solo or song in a small group to perform at Solo and Ensemble
competition. This opportunity is open to all choir members and is a great way to build musicianship, performance
skills and confidence. The competition is on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Byron Nelson High School. Students will
be given individual performance times prior to contest in 10-15 minute windows.
All-Region Choir: Students learn three pieces before or after school. In addition to support in rehearsals students
can download practice tracks to their netbook or mp3 player through www.Charmsoffice.com. At auditions
students perform two of the three pieces and sight-read a short excerpt. To protect the sight-reading process no
cell phones are allowed during auditions. Students selected for the choir will participate in a mandatory all-day
clinic and concert on Saturday, November 10, 2012. Opportunities for growth include: the study of complex choral
music, gaining audition experience, improved sight-reading skills and meeting other young musicians from
different districts and make great memories! Open to 7th and 8th grade students only. Mock-auditions will be on
Friday, Oct. 19th TMS Choir Room. All-Region Auditions are Saturday, October 20th at Wilson Middle School,
Northwest ISD. Please clear all day for the auditions.
Voice Lessons:
Taking private lessons is a wonderful way for students to receive personal vocal training. Mrs. Leah Rockwell, our
private lessons instructor, is a seasoned teacher with a history of producing highly successful students. Students
study various types of music and work on building their own musical skills. Individual voice lessons are $18.00
per lesson or students may take choose to take “buddy lessons” with another student for $9.00 a lesson. This is a
district set rate for all private lessons. For more information please visit the choir website.
The TMS choir department will do one fundraiser this Fall to raise money to buy music, materials, enter
competitions, cover transportation expenses, hire clinicians/accompanists, provide opportunities and rewards for
students. Student participation is optional but donations are always accepted. This year our fundraiser is called
Perfect Presents. Items will come in before the holiday season starts. A parent letter will go out about the
fundraiser which kicks off September 19, 2012. Thank you for your support!
Texas state law is very clear about when students can and cannot participate in choir activities. It is important for
students to follow these guidelines. Eligibility applies to six weeks grading periods. So, it is possible for a student
to pass a certain class for a semester and still be ineligible due to a grade of below 70 on the six weeks grade. If a
student becomes ineligible, he or she cannot participate in contest or performances outside the school day, with
the exception of an on campus performance that is specifically required for a grade.
Every class will begin with vocal technique lessons, breathing exercises and warm-ups that relate to the day’s
rehearsal and sight-reading or other music theory activities. Every student must have their music binder, pencil,
and planner and be in their assigned seats by the time the bell rings. During the rehearsal, there may be times
when the director must work with a specific section other than their own. During this time, all students are
expected to review their music/music theory discussed in class and participate in guided listening activities
assigned in class by Ms. Epperson.
Students are expected to follow classroom rules and guidelines set by the director for a successful daily
rehearsal. Please review the following to techniques and procedures below.
1. Students will have their half inch binder with music, pencil and notebook paper in class. Planners
should be brought to every class.
2. Students will be in their assigned seat when the tardy bell rings.
3. Students will use correct singing posture when singing while seated or standing.
4. Students are not allowed to touch any sound equipment, computers or other musical instruments in the
choir room.
5. There will be no talking during a rehearsal.
6. No gum chewing is allowed in the choir room, students may bring their own bottled water.
7. Students are expected to participate everyday unless a doctor’s note is provided for not participating.
8. Students are expected to be responsible for their actions and not to disturb the learning environment in
the choir classroom.
9. Students are encouraged to bring ear phones, ear buds, or head phones for use with their netbooks in
class. However, students must have these with them and will not be able to go to their locker.
Daily Grades are 40% of the students average and will be taken on written work, musical
development during class, music theory, performance knowledge etc.
Tests count as 60% of a student’s final grade. There will be 3-4 written tests throughout the
year. Each required concert is a test grade.
Absence from a performance may be excused for illness or a family emergency if written parent
contact is submitted (72 hours) before or after the concert. In this case an alternate assignment
will be provided.
Concert Transportation: students it is your responsibility to contact Ms. Epperson as soon as you
see any conflict in the choir calendar including your transportation to and from choir concerts.
Ms. Epperson will help you find an alternative ride if notified a week before the concert or
event. If no attempt is made to contact Ms. Epperson in a timely matter and a student does not
attend the concert, the concert is then considered an unexcused absence.
Here you will find a description of fees, payment due date and payment options. If
you choose to pay by check please pay careful attention the required documentation
for checks in NISD.
Beginning Choir Students fee is $25.00 per year. This includes a choir
shirt, binder and music. Beginning students wear their choir shirt and provide
their own “nice looking” dark wash jeans and closed toed shoes for concerts. At
performances shirts will be tucked in, hair pulled up and away from the face (half
up half down for girls) and all jewelry, except for one pair of stud earrings, should
be removed. Plain belts may be worn during concerts if needed.
Varsity Choir Student fee is $35.00 per year.
This fee includes a choir shirt, formal uniform rental, binder and music.
Varsity students will also wear their choir shirt and provide their own “nice
looking” dark wash jeans and closed toed shoes for informal concerts or
competitions as well as rent a formal uniform from the TMS choir department.
Varsity students Formal uniforms
Gentlemen, you are responsible for wearing black dress socks and black dress
shoes with your formal uniform. Hair should be groomed and pulled away from
your face. Provided under choir fee - rental of a white tuxedo shirt, black pants,
tie, cummerbund and alteration.
Ladies, you will need to provide a pair of black close toed shoes for your
formal uniform rentals. Hair should be worn in half up and half down style and
only one pair of stud earrings may be worn if desired. Provided under choir fee
– rental of black formal dress and alteration.
All students please note: loss or damage of uniforms will be the financial
responsibility of the student to replace.
*All items below must be included in order to pay by check.
1. Make payable to Tidwell or Tidwell Choir
2. Parent/Guardian Phone number
3. Parent/Guardian Date of birth
4. Driver’s License number
5. Student name and class period on the memo line.
Extracurricular Activities, Clubs, and Organization
Participation in school and school-related activities is an excellent way for a student to
develop talents, receive individual recognition, and build strong friendships with other
students; participation, however, is a privilege, not a right.
Eligibility for participation in many of these activities is governed by state law as well as
rules of the University Interscholastic League (UIL)—a statewide association overseeing
inter-district competition.
The following requirements apply to all extracurricular activities:
 A student who receives a grade below 70 at the end of a grading period may not
participate in extracurricular activities for a time period, as stipulated in the UIL Sideby-Side FM(Legal). Students in advanced courses, such as pre-AP, AP, GT courses,
and dual credit college courses, are required to maintain a passing standard of 60 or
higher in order to maintain UIL eligibility FMF(Local). Students who fall below this
passing standard will lose UIL eligibility in accordance with UIL regulations and for
the period of time identical to students who lose eligibility in non-advanced courses.
 A student who has an individualized education program (IEP) who fails to meet the
standards in the IEP may not participate for a time period, as stipulated in the UIL
 An ineligible student may practice or rehearse.
 A student is allowed in a school year up to ten absences not related to post-district
competition, a maximum of five absences for post-district competition prior to state,
and a maximum of two absences for state competition. All extracurricular activities
and public performances, whether UIL activities or other activities approved by the
Board, are subject to these restrictions.
 A student who misses a class because of participation in an activity that has not been
approved will receive an unexcused absence unless the absence is excused by campus
Sponsors and coaches of extracurricular activities, including but not limited to: interscholastic
athletics, cheerleaders, drill teams, and marching bands, may develop and enforce standards
of behavior that are higher than the District-developed Student Code of Conduct and may
condition membership or participation in the activity on adherence to those standards. These
higher standards are outlined in each extracurricular group's guidelines and constitutions.
Extracurricular standards of behavior may take into consideration conduct that occurs at any
time, on or off school property. No provision of an extracurricular behavioral standard shall
have the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex, race, disability, religion, or ethnicity.
Expected standards of behavior shall be approved by the principal and the Superintendent or
designee before they are communicated to students. Students shall be informed of any
extracurricular behavior standards at the beginning of each school year or, in the case of
interscholastic athletics, cheerleaders, drill team, and marching band, at the time the students
report for workouts or practices that occur prior to the actual beginning of classes. Students
and their parents shall sign and return to the sponsor or coach a statement that they have read
the extracurricular behavior standards and consent to them as a condition of participation in
the activity, as well as signing the District’s “Extracurricular/Co-curricular Student Pledge of
Organizational standards of conduct of an extracurricular activity are independent of the
Student Handbook and Code of Conduct. Violations of the organization’s standards of
conduct that are also violations of the Student Handbook and Code of Conduct may result in
school-assessed disciplinary actions. Likewise, students who violate the District’s Student
Handbook and Code of Conduct will be assessed appropriate disciplinary consequences for
the infraction and the consequences may result in a student’s removal or limited participation
in an extracurricular activity if the disciplinary action or level of offense violates the higher
standards of conduct specified by the student’s extracurricular organization.
Administrators and sponsors are expected to discipline students according to established
Sponsors of student clubs and performing groups such as the band, choir, and drill and
athletic teams may establish standards of behavior—including consequences for
misbehavior—that are stricter than those for students in general. If a violation is also a
violation of school rules, the consequences specified by the Student Code of Conduct or by
local policy will apply in addition to any consequences specified by the organization.
[For further information, see policies FM and FO.]
Extracurricular and co-curricular activities are a privilege. Students who participate in
extracurricular and/or co-curricular activities in grades 6-12 are held to a higher standard.
Inappropriate behavior including but not limited to the following will not be tolerated:
drinking alcoholic beverages or using tobacco illegally, taking illegal drugs or being in
possession of drug paraphernalia, or attending or remaining at an activity where alcohol,
drugs, or tobacco are being consumed illegally. Other offenses that violate the Student Code
of Conduct and comprise the integrity and credibility of the organization(s) may comprise
other examples of such behaviors. The consequences for violating the Pledge are outlined in
detail on the pledge form. The Pledge is in effect at all times. The Pledge in no way replaces
or supersedes the Student Code of Conduct or Texas Education Code, and in no way
supersedes the mandates of the Texas Education Code. Violation of the Pledge may also
constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. If it does, disciplinary action under the
Student Code of Conduct may also be imposed by the District. Students who participate in
extra/co-curricular activities are required to follow the Pledge in order to participate in those
activities. The “Extracurricular/Co-curricular Student Pledge of Conduct” follows:
I pledge to abide by requirements
established by Northwest Independent School District
in order to be allowed to participate in any extracurricular/co-Curriculum activities.
Consequences for violating the “Extracurricular/Co-curricular Student Conduct” will be in
effect for all students participating in extracurricular/co-curricular activities for up one full
calendar year from the date the student and parent were notified of the known violation.
 The suspension from extracurricular contest/competitions will cover 15 instructional
school days, including weekends and/or contest/competitions following the date the
student and parent are notified. If the incident happens during a holiday the student may
not participate during that time and once school reconvenes.
 During the period of suspension, the student will be allowed to practice before or after
school, attend, and participate in any practice of extracurricular or co-curricular
The University Interscholastic League may set other standards, which will require
compliance of students in UIL-sponsored groups.
 The student shall be suspended from any extracurricular activity for 90 instructional
school days, including weekends and/or activities following the date the student and
parent are notified. If the incident happened during a holiday the student may not
participate during that time, and once school reconvenes, the student will continue the 90
day suspension from the activity.
 During the period of suspension, the student will be allowed to practice before or after
school, attend, and participate in any practice of extracurricular or co-curricular
 The University Interscholastic League may set other standards, which will require
compliance of students in UIL-sponsored groups.
 The student will be removed from participation in extracurricular or co-curricular
activities for one calendar year. After the one-year suspension, the student must apply for
reinstatement to a campus committee that will review the student’s academic, attendance,
and behavior records.
 The University Interscholastic League may set other standards, which will require
compliance of students in UIL-sponsored groups.
In order for a student to be considered in violation, any one of the following conditions must
1. The student must admit to a violation.
2. The parent of the student must admit to the violation.
3. A NISD staff member must witness the student in violation.
4. A local agency report or citation must be filed. (Including, but not limited to, DWI–
Driving While Intoxicated, DUI–Driving Under the Influence, MIP–Minor in
Possession, and MIC–Minor in Consumption)
A violation is defined as follows:
1. The use, sale, possession, and/or possession of illegal drugs and/or alcohol.
2. The depictions of the use, sale, possession and/or distribution of illegal drugs and/or
3. The presence at a gathering where illegal drugs and/or alcohol are used, possessed,
sold and/or distributed illegally.
4. Any offenses for which a student can be according to the Student Code of Conduct:
 suspended,
 placed in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP), or
 expelled.
5. Any other offense that violates the Student Code of Conduct and comprises the
integrity and credibility of the organization(s).
Choir Handbook Acknowledgement Form
Please return to Ms. Epperson by Thursday, September 19th, 2012. Thanks!
Student Name (first and last) _____________________________ Class Period ______
I have read and understand all of the schedules, expectations, and requirements listed in the Tidwell
Middle School Choir Handbook.
Student Signature _____________________________________ Date_______________
Parent Signature_______ _______________________________ Date _______________
Are you interested in volunteering? Please visit the Tidwell Choir website at
http://www.nisdtx.org/Page/26691 to find out how. Please note approval of parent chaperones
and volunteers takes two weeks so apply early. 
Charmsoffice.com Information (Only Fill out if you don’t have internet access at home)
*Student Name (first and last) _________________________________________
Student Phone # __________________________________________________
Student Email ____________________________________________________
*Birthday ________________________________________________________
*Parent /Guardian Name _______________________________________
*Cell or best # ______________ home _________________ work_______________
*Email _____________________________________________
Parent #2 Name (first and last) _______________________________________
Cell or best # ______________ home _________________ work_______________
Email _____________________________________________
T-Shirt/Uniform Order Form
Student Name ____________________________________
Size (circle one):
Youth Large
Adult Small
Adult Large
Adult XLarge
Adult XXLarge
Period _______
Adult Medium
Beginning Choir uniform fee (6th grade): $25
Advanced Choir uniform fee (7th & 8th grade): $35
All money is due Friday, October 5, 2012.

6. No gum chewing is allowed in the choir room