The Helena Middle School Choral Department is an exciting elective offering skills in musicianship, teamwork, communication, leadership, and community. Students should expect to have a variety of performance opportunities, develop vocal abilities, and have a place where they are valued as an individual within a group setting.
The Goal of our Choral Department is to develop independent musicianship, appreciate cultural diversity, establish a program committed to choral excellence, to develop excellent singing habitsand to instill a love for singing.
Music is a discipline which requires goal setting, concentration, individual responsibility, group conformity, quick decision making, and thriving under pressure. These are skills that leaders and productive citizens retain as they grow. The Choral Program will teach these skills to our students and guide them in transferring these skills to other areas of their lives. Success in our program leads to success in life.
The HMS Choir performs many times throughout the year, but rarely after school. Many of our performances our scheduled during the school day with coordination from our administration and the rest of our faculty.
Four times a year the choir will hold a formal concert to perform repertoire that we have studied in class, and give the students an oppotunitiy to show off all of their fine work. These concerts occur after school and represent 20% of the student's grade. The dates are listed on our calendar. They are the Winter Concert, The Festival Concert, State Festival Performance Assessment, and the Spring Concert.
The performances will occur at Helena United Methodist Church and almost always begin at 7pm. Concerts normally last an hour to an hour and a half, and are followed by a reception. I strongly encourage parents to attend their singers' concerts because they want you to be there to support them (though they may not admit it). Parents and family can expect a wide variety of choral literature featuring our students, and you may come dressed casually. The singers have a strict dress code covered in our uniform section of the choral handbook.
The HMS Choir will perform for a variety of events and in a variety of settings over the course of the year. Many of these performances will be in T-shirt and jeans, and couple will require the formal uniform. These events change from year to year, but this is a pretty close rendition of the performance opportunities choir offers the students outside of the Winter, Festival, and Spring Concerts.
Helena Middle School choir members are ambassadors of our community, our school, our families, and our choir. Over the years the Helena Middle School Choir has used this opportunity to sing and explore at some terrific venues across the country. Our kids have a great time. Everything is taken care of in advance, so the students can have a great trip. In case you're wondering, we LOVE roller coasters in the Choral Department!
What's the Big Noise?
People were made to sing and make music! No additional parts needed. Choir at HMS is the perfect opportunity for students to learn about music, develop a better singing voice, make lasting friendships, increase teamwork skills, and be a part of successful organization. Singing is a skill that students WILL use for the rest of their lives. Everyone would like to be a better singer. Students who exceed in singing can expect many performance and solo opportunities that will begin in the 6th Grade.
Singing is Fun!!
Our culture loves music. It is a regular part of our lives and a form of artistic expression. Choral rehearsals occur every day, during the school day, as an elective. This experience will be different from your Intermediate School Choir. 6th grade choir students can expect to enjoy:
Daily vocal training; Improved vocal abilities; Singing in harmony with others; Basic piano skills; A variety of shared musical experiences; Music listening from a broad range of styles; A Minimum of six concert opportunities including State Festival and the Choir's Spring Trip
Our 6th graders perform at all of our major concerts along with the 7th and 8th grade. We are ambassadors of Helena Middle School and we have many opportunities for student performance. Practice, hard work, and a willingness to learn are necessary traits to become a successful choir. Students will be amazed how singing an hour a day will dramatically improve their abilities.
Be a part of a great program!
The Helena Middle Choral Department is one of the best choral programs around. Our choirs have scored Superior ratings at State Performance Assessment every year we've been open. Superior Ratings are the best!
The HMS Choir regularly performs in venues like New York City, Disney World and Universal Studios.
Students learn all about music
HMS choirs are not just about performance. Students learn how to read and sing music right off the page. Our students score top marks in sight-reading every year. Choir members learn to interpret musical symbols, and develop code reading skills. They will have exposure to classical, jazz, and alternative forms of music and develop the skills to write their own music.
This elective offers great opportunities to display your talents. Another important trait is the ability to perform in front of others. Public speaking is a fear that outranks death. Public singing is a fantastic medium to develop confidence on the stage, and in front of others. That's a skill that translates to any field.
Students can play sports and be in the Choir
Many of our performances occur during school. With the exception of the 9 week performances, almost all of our performances are optional. We want you there, but we understand most of you are carrying multiple commitments. Don't let that discourage you from joining!
What can your student expect from being in the 6th grade choir?
In short, a lot.. 6th grade Choir students learn a minimum of 10 choral works over the year, participate in all of our concerts, are eligible for the Spring Trip, Festivals and Competitions, develop competitive sight-reading skills, receive skills in music literacy, and lots of vocal training. That makes a big difference. Students who start in 6th Grade and stay in our program for three years can expect to be very good singers by the time they finish middle school. They will receive every opportunity to develop into terrific singers.
Many of our students are already, or soon develop to be, accomplished singers. These students are given the opportunities to sing solo works in our concerts, sing solos with the choir, and participate in State Wide Choral Festivals that put the best middle school choristers under one roof to make one of the finest middle school choirs in the nation. These opportunities are the Alabama All-State Choir and the Young Voices Festival Choir.
If you want to sing, come on over
The Choir is looking for students who want to sing. Our philosophy is "the more, the merrier." We are currently 160 singers strong. Come be a part of a great program where YOU are important, everyone participates, and you work with a team!
The Alabama All-State Choir is the highest honor a choral student may receive in the State of Alabama. Students are required to audition alone in front of a judge, and their peers. It is a difficult audition process, and the students auditioning must be superbly prepared. The rewards for this hard work are enormous.
Simply stated, this choir is one of the best in the country. It combines the best choral musicians in our state together to join in song under the direction of the finest choral directors in the country. The singer's experience changes them forever. All-State is the annual ultimate experience for a choral musician from 7th grade through 12 grade. The concerts are amazing. It is an awakening to the depth and beauty of choral music when every participant is talented and committed to excellence. The highlight of the year. Don't miss it.
Choir is a unique and exceptional elective choice. Singing is a skill that students WILL use for the rest of their life, and there are so many other intangibles that are grown in this wonderful process of group singing...
and it's Wicked Fun!!!
Let me know who you are, and say "I want to join the choir!"