RHS Choir Handbook


A great musical group is like a great team! EACH individual's efforts are important and MUST be constructive. The goal of choir is not only to teach each student to become a better musician, but to also become a better citizen in their school and community. Students achieve this goal by:

1. Learning to appreciate the value of music as an art form.
2. Learning to work together in a cooperative ensemble setting.
3. Learning to set and achieve the personal goal to work hard and be dedicated.

What will make for a GREAT musical group? Here are the guidelines for success for EACH individual in choir:

1. ATTITUDE: I will do my best!
2. DISCIPLINE: I will follow the rules!
3. RESPONSIBILITY: You can count on me!


Because Choir is a performance based class, grades are based on a students' daily rehearsal behavior, performances and some written work.


Each student starts with five points on a daily basis. These points are maintained by following these simple rules:

1. Be in your assigned place on the riser, with your music folder, ON TIME!

2. Actively participating in the rehearsal, which includes the following:
    -giving complete attention to the director and her instructions.
    -learning and mastering proper group vocal technique.
    -stand, sit and take part in ALL activities of the rehearsal to the BEST
      of your ability.
3. Remember that EVERY element of the rehearsal is important.

An individual's efforts are important to the group and must be constructive. When a student chooses to be disruptive, his or her choice weakens the whole group! As a result, the following things can not be allowed in class and will result in the lowering of the daily participation grade:

1. Talking/disrupting rehearsals

Choir classes often require that a singer or section of singers sit quietly while another section receives attention. This is VERY important and requires much self control or self discipline and perhaps patience. Talking is disruptive and WILL negatively affect a students' daily grade, as well as causing a student to have to serve in detention. Any form of "rough housing" is also unacceptable.

2. Bullying in ANY form will NOT be tolerated! It is not only disruptive, but it is cruel and unnecessary! 

3. Gum, candy, food or any beverage OTHER than plain water is not allowed. Students are expected to get rid of gum or other food prior to rehearsals. If a student is chewing gum or other food in class, he/she will be required to dispose of it and will lose part of their daily participation grade.

4. Students may not leave the classroom for any reason, unless they have a signed pass in their planner. Students will be allowed TWO emergency restroom passes per semester.

5. Too sick to sing, but not sick enough to stay home.

Due to misuse of this "privilege" it is necessary for some guidelines to be set.
If a student is indeed too sick to sing and yet still be in school, he/she will need
a signed note from home. If a student does not have a note, he/she will still be required to 
participate by following in their music and following the normal rules of the
rehearsal. Please note, that I may still follow up with the parent or guardian, 
to verify the note.

6. Unexcused absences will result in the loss of the day's points.

In short, as it pertains to the rehearsal participation grade, following the rules is really quite easy. The simplest breakdown is to "sing when you are supposed and silent when you are not!" It just requires a bit of extra self discipline. Conversely, if a student CHOOSES to be non-compliant it affects their daily grade by loss of points and if bad behavior is chronic, it will result in detentions, as well. Ultimately the final grade is significantly lowered. Just as one is held responsible for any disruption, one will GREATLY benefit by actively participating in the group! 


ALL students are required to sing at ALL concerts. Missing a concert is equivalent to a student failing to take a final in another class. Each concert is worth 100 points. Students will only be excused from the concerts if there has been a pre-planned family event, such as a vacation, student is too ill, or a family emergency.  All excused absences require a phone call/voicemail, note or email from the parent.  All other absences will be unexcused.  Students with excused absences will be required to write a 1-2 page report on a topic assigned to them, in order to receive their points for the concert.  Unexcused students will not receive any points for the concert.   

Students should plan ahead and let employers or coaches of other activities know in advance of the performance dates. Every effort is made by myself and the activities director to make sure that there are no conflicts in the schedules. Please note that senior high choir students also sing at graduation.

Basic Music Skills/Knowledge testing

Choir students will be learning or refreshing their basic music skills, as it pertains to music notation, sight singing(using solfiege) and musical terms. There may be quizzes throughout the school year, for the purpose of assessing current skill level and growth through the school year. 


Concert Attire

1. Senior High Concert Choir members will be assigned a choir robe, for use at 
performances and large group contest. Students will still need to "dress up"
under their robes or follow the "dress blacks" rule. They will also need dress blacks for
performing at other events where robes won't be worn.

2. Junior High Choir members and 6th grade music students are to wear black and white or black and black(called "dress blacks") for concerts. NO mini skirts, jeans or flip flops. All attire must adhere to the school dress code!!  Girls with sleeveless dresses must have a sweater or something to cover with!


Senior high choir students participate in the large group choir
contest and have the opportunity to participate in the solo and 
ensemble contest. These contests are sponsored by the MN
State High School League and are held at schools within our 
conference. These contests offer the opportunity for 
competition as well as being able to hear other performing
groups. It should be noted that the same MSHSL rules and eligibility  that
apply to athletes also apply to music students. Choir students who do not meet eligibility requirements will not be able to participate in contest events!


Lessons are available during the school day for students who will be participating in the Solo and Ensemble contest.  See me to schedule.   


1. There are many opportunities for small groups to be formed, especially for 
performance at the solo and ensemble contest(senior high only). Interested
students should contact me.

2. Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota

This is a choir made up of choir students from many schools in the central
MN area/ The director, Garrett Lathe, also directs the choirs at Sartell High
School. This is a great opportunity for any student who is interested in choir
music. Auditions are held in May and open to choir students entering into 
grades 9-12. Interested students should contact me or click the link on my
links page.

3.  We are participating and performing as an honors choir, in a yearly choral festival.  This is sponsored by the USA 
     Community Choir from the Swanville/Upsala area.  This is a senior high event that occurs usually on a Saturday in 

4. Other opportunities may arise.


In past years, music organizations have had many opportunities to travel to festivals or other musical experiences. Traveling requires fundraising by the students, in order to keep the costs to families at an affordable amount. I am looking at some options for the future. Locally, within the Twin Cities area, there are many wonderful places and things to experience.  So far we have gone to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, to see musicals . We have now traveled to New York City.  Hopefully this trip will happen every three years.


I always look forward to the new school year and the opportunity it holds!   It is my desire that every student finds this year in choir to be a very rewarding experience and a source of personal growth. The choirs at RHS improve every year, because each students' commitment to these performing groups. Being in choir is more than just showing up and EVERY member is very important! So, let's have another great year!!

Contact: Cherie Ploof 584-4235