Jazz Choir Syllabus/Description Jazz Choir Syllabus

October 8, 2015
Dear students and parents,
Welcome to Shorewood choral music for 2015 – 2016!
Please carefully read the class syllabus, course description, expectations, grading policy, and schedule
for this year, and mark the dates of this year’s events in your calendar. You can find them at my website
(address below). Click on documents, and open the SW Choir course description 2015-16.
(You will also find this parent signature form there, to download if you need another one). If there are
questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me.
Please sign your name below and return this page to me as soon as possible. Signing this assures me
that you have received and read this information. Thank you.
Mr. John Hendrix
Email: john.hendrix@shorelineschools.org
Website: http://learn.shorelineschools.org/shorewood/jhendrix/index.php
Shorewood High School
Choir policies and schedule
Please sign and return to Mr. Hendrix as soon as possible.
Student name (PRINT) _____________________________ Class ________________
I have read this course description, and I understand it.
Student’s signature
Parent’s signature
Shorewood Choirs
Instructor: John Hendrix
E-mail: john.hendrix@shorelineschools.org
Website: http://learn.shorelineschools.org/shorewood/jhendrix
 60% attendance and participation in rehearsals and concerts
 10% semester project (see details on separate page)
 15% tests – either written or singing tests
 15% attitude & effort (evaluated subjectively)
 Attendance and punctuality considerations will constitute an important part of the grade. If at all possible,
students are expected to give advance notice of anticipated absences from concerts or rehearsals close to a
performance engagement, and bring written excuses according to the SWHS Attendance Policy. Unexcused
absences/tardies and excessive “excused” absences will affect quarter and semester grades. Communication
 Each unexcused absence (or 3 unexcused tardies per quarter) will result in a grade loss. Missing a concert
usually results in a grade being lowered one full grade, but variables may result in a different interpretation
(student phoned in, complete no-show, etc.) If a student knows he/she is going to miss a concert, it is very
helpful if he/she or a parent calls before the final rehearsal, so that changes can be made in standing
arrangements, vocal balance, etc. Again, good communication helps!
Procedures and expectations related to homework:
 Jazz choir members are expected to regularly work on their music outside of rehearsal time. Members of all
choirs will occasionally be given specific rehearsal assignments, and are always encouraged to learn music on
their own time.
 Very little actual “homework” will be assigned, but students will be expected to be especially accountable
for performances and other activities outside of the school day. Students must keep a calendar of music
engagements and other activities related to school, jobs, family commitments, etc. Since many students hold
outside jobs, it is impossible for the school to schedule around such individual work schedules. Therefore, a
job will not be considered a legitimate excuse for missing a choir concert.
 Organizational requirements such as returning field trip permission slips, fundraising money and/or materials,
acquiring uniforms, etc. are also an important part of participation in choirs at Shorewood High School.
Students in Vocal Jazz (After Hours) will purchase outfits agreed upon in class. For all other Shorewood choirs
there is a uniform black dress for women and tuxedos for men. These may be purchased (Dress - $65, Tux $115) or rented (Dress - $35, Tux - $65). Families are encouraged to purchase when possible to help the choir
with expenses. With the tuxedos, the men will wear black dress shoes and black socks, and the women will wear
black dress shoes and nylons with their dresses. Guidelines for women’s shoes will be discussed in class.
Choir T-shirts and sweatshirts will be available for all singers. We ask ALL singers to purchase a T-shirt for an
alternate performance/travel outfit. Choir sweatshirts are usually optional for all singers.
(See the instructor about monetary concerns. There is financing available, BUT please inform Mr. Hendrix early
because time is needed to process the paperwork).
All students in Shorewood Choirs must complete one of the following three options by the end of each semester.
Due dates are Jan. 22 for 1st semester and June 10 for 2nd sem.
Attend a choral concert and write a short report about the experience. The concert must be oriented toward
serious, artistic choral literature to be approved for credit. (Check with Mr. Hendrix to get approval).
Students will not only hear great choral music performed at a high level of proficiency, but they will also
become acquainted with some of the many fine choral groups in the Seattle area.
The report must include:
 the printed program of the concert
 A paragraph about the music (literature) performed. Was it familiar to you or unfamiliar? Did you enjoy
the selections? Why or why not?
 A paragraph about the choir’s technical skill. Comment on their tone, diction, intonation, expressiveness,
etc. In other words—all the things we work on in rehearsal.
 Any other general reactions to the concert that you wish to include.
When available, brochures and posters about concerts presented by approved choirs will be
posted on the classroom wall. In addition, please check Mr. Hendrix’ teacher website for
links to many choirs’ websites, where you can find concert information, purchase tickets,
Attend a rehearsal of a high-quality choral group in the Seattle area and write a report
about the experience. If you are interested in this option, you must tell Mr. Hendrix
because this rehearsal visit must be arranged in advance. The report should include
comments about the literature, the choir’s technique, and general observations about
the choir’s rehearsal routine (similar to the outline of the concert report above).
3. Prepare and perform an ensemble selection with other students in the class. This
must be an ensemble of four or more people and the literature should be in the category of serious choral
music. It must be approved by Mr. Hendrix, and must be performed either in class or in a concert where Mr.
Hendrix is able to attend. To be approved the music must be challenging, so that a significant amount of
rehearsal is required to make it ready to perform.
Note: Students are welcome to prepare individual or ensemble numbers to be included in our scheduled choir
concerts. Selections must be appropriate and compatible with the rest of the concert and you must demonstrate
well in advance that the performance has a good chance of being successful in order to be approved for the
concert. Please plan to submit your song at least 3 weeks before the concert date. A quality performance of an
ensemble selection performed in one of the choir concerts can be used to meet the requirements of Option #3
2015-2016 Performance Schedule for SW Choirs
(This schedule is subject to revisions. Some dates are still being negotiated. Everyone will be informed of
changes as early as possible. Trips are still in the planning stage, though some possible short trips are mentioned.
All choirs will be notified about specific trips and performances as they are determined).
Evening concert time is 7:30 pm, unless otherwise noted.
Homecoming Assembly (National Anthem)
Fall Choir Concert, SW auditorium
Jazz concert, SW auditorium
all SW choirs
After Hours
Jazz Symposium @ Meadowdale HS
Olympic Jazz Festival – Bremerton
After Hours
After Hours
Winter Choir Concert, SW auditorium
all SW choirs, Einstein?
Jazz concert, SW auditorium
Pacific Vocal Jazz Festival – Bellevue College
After Hours
After Hours
Sno-King Solo & Ensemble contest – Meadowdale HS
12-14 All-State Honor Choirs – Yakima
(auditions in Sept/Oct)
29-30 State Solo & Ensemble contest - Ellensburg
Edmonds Jazz Connection – Edmonds
After Hours
Jazz concert, SW auditorium
Spring Choir Concert, SW auditorium
After Hours
all SW choirs
Westside Choral Festival @ SW
with 6th grade Honor Choir
SW choirs?
Shorewood High School
Name of Course:
Year: 2015-2016
Jazz Choir (Select Vocal Ensemble)
Semester: I & II
Instructor: John Hendrix
Year long: yes
Brief Narrative Course Description: Jazz Choir (a.k.a. After Hours) is the premiere jazz course for
advanced-level vocal jazz musicians, designed to offer the qualified vocalist the opportunity to study
and perform a variety of jazz styles and further develop jazz skills. Concurrent enrollment in a concert
ensemble is a prerequisite for participation. The various styles and trends of jazz are studied and
understood through performance and active listening. Students will work for mastery of music reading
skill, develop a jazz vocabulary, jazz theory and performance skills. All students enrolled are required
to participate in all performances.
Classroom Expectations:
Maintain good attendance and punctuality at rehearsals and performances.
Participation in performances is mandatory!
Take responsibility for learning the music and concepts presented in class (including – but not
limited to – text (words), diction, pitch, rhythm, entrances, cut-offs, and intonation
Display a positive and cooperative attitude
Participate and be attentive
Strive to improve in vocal development and sight-singing skills (get better and better…)
Demonstrate responsibility to organizational requirements of the group (returning forms, money,
acquiring uniforms, etc.)
Take care of materials (music, folders, uniforms, etc.)
• Jazz Improvisation –students
improvise using scales and
modes as appropriate
• Group performance – Students
perform vocal jazz music
from early to contemporary
jazz idioms
Develop understanding and
appreciation of jazz through
performance and listening
Power Standards
Singing tests: in-class or recorded
Written assignments: listening homework
Concert assessments
Students will be able to
improvise over a chord
progression such as a I-IVV-I blues progression
Students can perform vocal
jazz music using
appropriate style of rhythm,
articulations, and
Students can identify
different eras of jazz by
listening to live or recorded
Approximate Time Frame
All of the concepts are year long
course goals.
60% attendance and participation in rehearsals and concerts
15% tests – either written or singing tests
25% attitude & effort (evaluated subjectively)
Possible Curriculum/Textbooks:
Sheet music as assigned for performance and/or sight reading
Additional Resources/Technology:
Audio CDs
Video DVDs
YouTube videos
iTune recordings
Professional artists and coaches as needed and scheduled