• Lexington Middle School 

    Chorus Syllabus and Handbook


    Mrs. Heather Connell, Choral Director

    Email: hconnell@lexcs.org

    Room: 314 (right above the gym)

    Phone: 336-242-2567 Ext.3232

    August 2023


    Dear Students and Parents,


    Welcome! I hope you had a very enjoyable and relaxing summer. This letter is both an introduction for new members and a welcome back to returning singers. I am very excited to begin a new school year with you all. You will find a wealth of information in this handbook including concert dates, and important tips to help ensure musical and personal success. Please take the time to read through the entire Handbook as it has important information about grading policies and class expectations. I will also post the Handbook on Canvas and send it out to all students and families to view online.


    Please complete the following no later than Tuesday, September 5th. You can print a copy

    and give it to me, submit a Google Form, or complete/sign electronically. These forms are

    located at the back of the Handbook. The Handbook will be posted on Canvas for you to


    ● Complete/Sign the Handbook Acknowledgement Form (Student + Parent/Guardian)

    ● Complete/Sign the Concert Attire Acknowledgement Form (Parent/Guardian)

    ● Complete/Sign the Image Use/Permission Form (Student + Parent/Guardian)

    ● Complete/Sign the Medical Information Form (Student and/or Parent/Guardian)

    ● Complete/Sign the LMS Chorus Event Participation Agreement (Student + Parent/


    ● Complete/Sign the Extra Opportunities for LMS Choral Students Form (Student or


    ● Have a black binder, loose leaf paper and pencils

    ● Bring in $20 in cash to cover the rental fee for the concert attire .If you require financial assistance, please be

    sure to let me know by this date.

    I wish you a wonderful and successful school year both musically and academically. Please feel

    free to contact me via phone or email with any questions. Please be sure to check your Email, the

    Canvas page and Shared Drive, PowerSchool as this is the main source of communication I will

    have with you. I am very excited for the year ahead!


    Musically Yours,

    Mrs. Connell

    Course Description: Lexington Middle School Chorus is open to all students in grades 6-8 who have the desire to participate in rehearsals and performances of choral music in a variety of musical styles and technical difficulty. It is a goal of the Chorus to enhance and encourage each student’s understanding of musical concepts and terms with an emphasis on vocal technique through rehearsal and performance. 


    NC Standard Course of Study Competencies:

     Develop and demonstrate appropriate vocal practices and refine the use of the voice as an instrument. 


    Sing vocal literature, which may include changes in tempi, keys, and meters, written in modest ranges. Sing vocal literature representing diverse genres, styles, and cultures.


    Utilize instruments as appropriate 


    Develop skills in improvising, composing and arranging music. Develop skills in listening to, analyzing, and evaluating musical experiences 


    Apply reading and notating skills. Develop an understanding of vocal literature in relationship to history, culture, and other content areas. 


    Scope and Sequence:

     Vocal exercises will be practiced daily to improve posture, breath control, ear-training/pitch and rhythmic accuracy, range, tone quality/resonance, diction and blend. 


    Sight-singing skills and music vocabulary will be practiced routinely to develop the singers’ ability to respond correctly to melodic and rhythmic notation as well as other musical terms and symbols.


     Written music theory class work and homework assignments will be assigned to enhance comprehension of concepts necessary for musical composition. 


    Repertoire selected for rehearsals and performances will represent a variety of musical genres and cultures. 


    Students are expected to be respectful, responsible and productive members of the Chorus by:


     Being prompt and prepared for class


     Participating in all rehearsals and performances and working to achieve the class objective. 


    Completing class work and homework assignments on time—class/homework or tests missed due to absence should be submitted or made up within 3 days. Following class ground rules and regulations. 


    Understanding and applying the school handbook at all times—cheating is unacceptable and may result in a zero on written assignments and tests 


    Required Materials

    Students to purchase: 


    Concert Attire: 7th and 8th grade- rental uniforms from the school $20

    6th Grade- Ladies- white collared shirt with black dress pants or skirt. Black pantyhose if 

                                                             wearing a skirt. The skirt must be at least to your knee or longer. 

                                                             Black dress shoes.

        Gentlemen- white collared shirt with black dress pants, black socks and black       

                                                                    dress shoes.


    Materials:  Paper, pencils, and Black binder 


    Lexington Middle School Chorus will provide

    Sight singing/Ear training (Materials and Curriculum) 


    Choral Octavos for rehearsal, performance and audition 


    Students are financially responsible for all LMS materials loaned to them.


     Evaluation and Grading Scales Assessment methods:

     -Rubric based part singing quizzes (group/individual)


     -Written theory and vocabulary quizzes


     -Visual and Aural assessments for participation and effort in class and concert.


    - Digital Portfolio that shows the student their progress throughout the year.


    A. Performances –(Labeled Test 35%)-  Mandatory

    Participation in all dress rehearsals and performances is mandatory. Students who are absent from dress rehearsals and/or performances will receive a “0.” No make-up work will be given for missed rehearsals/performances. Should a scheduling conflict arise, written notification from a parent or guardian must be provided at least two (2) weeks in advance. The director reserves the right to determine whether the absence will be excused. This includes sporting events. Every effort has been made to work around sports. If it is excused and advance notice is given, a make-up assignment will be provided. Should an emergency situation arise, a parent or guardian should contact the director as soon as possible. These situations will be considered on a case by case basis. Each chorus concert is a part of a major test grade and a final reflection will be a part of their grade as well.


    Please be sure that all concert attire is properly washed and ironed in advance. Students that arrive at concerts in clothes that are not concert attire or in sloppy concert attire will not be allowed to perform: thus, points will be deducted from their grade and an additional assignment will be required. 


    No perfume or cologne of ANY type is allowed for performances. 


    Students should keep jewelry to a minimum for all performances and should be small (i.e. stud earrings, thinner necklaces). No facial jewelry. 


    Long hair must be pulled up, back, and away from the face. No exceptions! 


    Mark your calendars for these important dates. Students and parents are responsible for knowing these dates. If you do not have a ride, this is NOT an excuse, work it out ahead of time and please let the teacher know if there is a problem in advance.


     Important Dates-


    (Optional-(7th and 8th grade only)) All County Chorus October 8 &9 


    (Mandatory ALL) Fall Rehearsal Oct 12 (During school day)

          Fall Concert Oct 12 Call time 6 pm, concert at 7 pm (LHS auditorium)


    (Mandatory ALL) Winter Concert Rehearsal Dec. 12 (During School Day)

                                     Winter Concert Dec. 12 call time 6 pm, concert at 7 pm (LHS auditorium)


    (Optional 7th and 8th grade only) MiddleFest Date TBD (Usually in Feb)


    (Mandatory 7th and 8th Grade) MPA TBD (Usually in March)


    (Optional 6th-8th Grade)- All State Chorus- April 19 & 20


    (Mandatory ALL) Spring Concert Rehearsal (During School at Civic Center) May 9

                                    Spring Concert May 10 call time 6 pm, concert 7 pm (Civic Center)


    **Any other audition or community event will be given as far in advance as possible.**


     B. Classwork- 25%

    Both class work and homework assignments will be given on a regular basis. All work must be turned in on the specified due date. Please note that failure to complete assignments will likely result in inadequate preparation for quizzes and performances. 


    C. Quizzes-25%

    Quizzes are given for singing, sight-reading and theory. This will be done in class and a lot of the time orally. If a project is given, it will also fall under the Quiz heading.


    D. Participation- 15% (Listed as Homework)

    Students will be graded on their performance in class based on a rubric in Canvas and will be given a weekly grade. 


     Behavior expectations



    In CHORUS, we have individual goals and group goals. The effort level of each individual will affect the success of the group. Because we have a limited amount of time to produce a quality performance, it is essential that all members of the class: 


    1. Choose to be responsible 

    Be on time and bring pencil and notebook each day

     -Be in your seat with your notebook and pencil before class begins.

     -Your book bag should be under your chair AND your iPad and cell phone should be in 

       your book bag unless noted on the board.

     Follow directions and cues from the director

     Learn your part/Know your part 

    Complete assignments (memorization, theory, sight-reading, etc.) 

    Take good care of the music that you are assigned. 

    Do not leave the classroom without permission. *You should  sign out on the restroom board and take the hall pass. If you need to go to the office, you will need to get permission and a card from me.*

    Do not chew gum or eat in class (water bottles are allowed)

     No electronics unless the teacher gives permission for the chorus lesson. 

    ** Communication is very important! Please join Class Dojo and have your parents join**


     2. Choose to be respectful 

    Listen and pay attention 

    Participate cooperatively during all rehearsals

     -Always do your personal best

     -Share your ideas and ask questions during class discussions 

    -Be alert 

    Do not interrupt or distract others. 

    -No talking during rehearsals.

     -You are not to play games or be on technology without permission

    Do not touch the pianos, computer, stereo, and other equipment in the room, or sound equipment, lights and curtains on the stage unless instructed to do so. Encourage classmates, and treat them as you would like to be treated. Bullying will NOT be tolerated in any fashion.


     3. Choose to be productive

     Limit your requests to use the restroom—this disrupts/delays rehearsals. No one should leave the room in the first 10 minutes of class or the last 10 minutes of class. 

    Stay focused and on task 

    Work toward your personal goal and the group goal 

    Do not prevent others from being productive! 

    (Frequent disruption of the rehearsal prevents the group from accomplishing its goal in a timely manner. Nonproductive students will be given written assignments to make up for the lost time.) 


    The success of the choir is your individual responsibility. Remember that as a member of a performing ensemble, your actions and attitude are not only a reflection of yourself, but also of your choir and school


    Consequences for choosing inappropriate behavior


    1st Infraction: Warning (No warning for cell phones & technology after the 1st day of school.) 

    2nd Infraction: Individual student conference & extra assignment if needed. 

    3rd Infraction: Parent contact, alternative assignment (if needed) 

    4th Infraction: Office Referral


     * Please note that the order of consequences may be modified according to the severity of the infraction. Consequences will be tailored to the nature and severity of the incident. * Failure to adhere to behavior expectations may prevent students from participating in field trips and extracurricular activities related to the class. 


    Specific consequences for cell phones 


    –1st  One Warning is given

    -2nd - Teacher takes the cell phone until the end of class and parent phone call

    -3rd-Teacher takes the cell phone to the administration and parent phone call



    Here is the link that will take you to the google sign form. Please make sure you and your parents read the handbook in its entirety. This will be updated once I get the rights to it.

    Keeping Updated on Chorus Information:

    Website: www.lexingtonchorus.com and https://www.lexcs.org/lms –Go to my name under


    Handbook Acknowledgement Form

    My Child, __________________________________________ (please indicate name you would like in the Concert Program) and I have read the Lexington MS Chorus Handbook and understand the information included. We understand that the Handbook is subject to change.


    ● We agree to provide the necessary items needed for class.


    ● We understand the Expectations and Consequences in Chorus.


    ● We understand each school concert performance is mandatory. We understand that should a conflict occur with a performance, Mrs. Connell should be informed as soon as possible.


    Student Signature: ________________________________________


    Parent/Guardian Signature:___________________________________________________


    Parent/Guardian: Sign below if you are interested in being a chaperone. 



    Contact Info for Chaperone (Email/Phone):




    Best Contact for Communication (Phone for Class Dojo or Email ):____________________

    Google FormSignature

    Concert Attire Acknowledgement Form (7th and 8th Grade Only)

    To be completed by the Parent/Guardian:


    Student Name: _______________________________ Grade: _________


    Uniform Size: _________________________________


    ____ I have read the dress requirements for Lexington Middle School Chorus and will be able to provide a $20 Rental Fee.


    ____ I have read and understood the dress requirements but I will need financial assistance

    providing the rental fee. (Please be sure our contact information you submitted is up to date so I can contact you regarding assistance)

    Image Use/Permission Form


    May we have permission to use your child’s image/recording online? This will occur most

    frequently when recording classes or performances and posting for students/families to rewatch as needed. It may also occur in promotional materials, slideshows, virtual choir videos, social media, etc. The only name ever associated with the photo would be there first name (if at all)


    ______ YES ______ NO


    Parent/Guardian Signature:________________________________________________


    Student Signature: _________________________________________

    Google Form Signature

    Lexington City Schools


    Photo Release “Opt Out” Form


    Lexington City Schools (LCS) reserves the right to take photographs of facilities, events,

    employees, students, and guests in any areas of the schools and district where subjects would not have an expectation of privacy. LCS uses photographs, photographic images, names, and audio/video recordings of employees, students, or guests for general publications on its websites, on social media, in public relations, promotions, and advertising, etc. Your presence in or around LCS facilities and/or properties, as

    well as at off-campus LCS-sponsored events, constitutes your consent to capture and/or use your image or likeness without remuneration. LCS does not collect release forms from its faculty, staff members or guests for the use of images or videos taken on campus. LCS understands that there may be employees who may wish to not be photographed or have their image used forLCS-related purposes and can opt-out by completing a Photo Opt Out Waiver. Unless a fully completed Photo Opt Out Waiver is on file, your image and/or likeness may at any time be captured by still photography, videography, or other photographic or electronic means and used for LCS related purposes. Those who do NOT want to be photographed and have completed a Photo Opt Out Waiver on file are responsible for notifying the camera operator of their opt-out status, and/or removing themselves from any event where photographs/videography are in use. Failure to do so may result in the employee’s inclusion in a photograph or recording and will be treated as a release, allowing LCS to utilize that photograph or recording accordingly.


    If you are electing to OPT OUT, please sign below:





    Name (Print) : ________________________________

    Google Form Signature

    Medical Information Form (Completed by Student or Parent)


    Are there any medical issues, allergies, conditions of which I should be aware regarding the

    student? If so, please explain. Anything else I should know about you? How can I best support you this year?










    Google Signature

    Event Participation Agreement


    Being a part of LMS Chorus often means having opportunities to participate in events outside of the classroom. The purpose of this agreement is to ensure that all students and parents understand the expectations of additional events, and to help hold students accountable so they can be successful in any concert/trips/events in which they may participate. It is important to recognize that these opportunities are a privilege and only students who meet expectations in class will be allowed the opportunity to participate in events outside of class. The following are expectations of all members of Lexington Chorus. All students and parents are to review, complete, and sign this form, and return the bottom portion to Mrs. Connell in order to be eligible to participate in any events for the remainder of the year.

    - Maintain a C or above in chorus class

    - Participate regularly in class activities and rehearsals

    - Show respect for self and others

    - Acquire proper concert attire (black pants, black long-sleeve button down, black closed-toe dress shoes, black socks, black dress/blouse covering arm length). If you need assistance acquiring any of these items please let me know ASAP.

    Classroom behaviors that will automatically make you ineligible for any concerts or outside events

    - Fighting in chorus class

    - Vulgar language towards teacher/substitute in chorus classroom

    - Repeatedly walking out of chorus classroom without signing sign-in sheet or taking appropriate hall pass

    In addition to the above expectations, in order to be eligible to participate in any additional events students must be passing all classes, and have teacher permission for any class they miss during a trip. Students must not have been suspended, or spent any time in Jacket Academy or the Hive. This rule will reset at the start of each quarter. In regards to the December field trips, students must have participated in the concert the previous week in order to be eligible to participate in the trip. If for any reason a student loses their event privileges, they will be given an alternate assignment to replace a concert grade, and will not be penalized for missing any other event. If a student misses a concert for an unexcused reason without informing Mrs. Connell in advance, the student will complete the Concert Make-Up Assignment to receive appropriate credit. Failure to complete the said assignment may result in a deduction from the student’s grade.


    We have reviewed the expectations for concert and event participation.


    Student Name _______________________________________________


    Student Signature __________________________________________Date________________


    Parent Name ________________________________________________


    Parent Signature___________________________________________Date________________


    Google Signature