Friday, December 23, 2011

Gala Music

Some of you asked if I could post the links to the new pieces so you could hear them again! That definitely makes a chorus teacher smile :) Here they are! Enjoy

Eric Whitacre's Cloudburst

Gyorgy Orban- O Mistress Mine

Caldwell- John the Revelator

Lauriden- La Rose Complete

You can also look up Mozart's Requiem. We are performing the Introit, Kyrie, Dies Irae and Lacrymosa with the Orchestra!

We have our work cut out for us :) See you in 2012!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lesson Schedule for Gala and Spring

Here is the lesson schedule for the remainder of the year. There is no time to makeup lessons so keep track and be organized!!

Gala comes up in 9 weeks!



Mrs. Christy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Concert Makeup Assignment

This assignment is for the few of you who missed the night of the winter concert. Sickness definitely swept through the choir last week, so please complete the following assignment by JANUARY 5, 2012 in order to replace the grade.

Your essays should be three pages in length, double spaced, using times new roman. Any adjustments in margin will be penalized. Please use proper grammar and make sure you spell check. Your papers should be well thought out and insightful.

Option 1)
Using the recording of the winter concert, analyze the performance in a written critique using the guidelines for NYSSMA Majors. This will involve getting back the music from me so that you can cite measure numbers and sections of the different pieces properly.

Option 2)
Cloudburst, by Eric Whitacre has been written for both chorus and band. Listen and compare the two pieces. What is more or less effective about each performance? How does the use of text in the choral performance enhance/ detract from the piece?

This is partially your opinion, but if should also include a section that discusses the background of the piece and composer. What piece came first? (The choral or band) Why did he make the choice to set it for both ensembles? What changes in each performance?

Option 3)
O Mistress Mine! by Gyorgy Orban is a setting of Shakespeare's text from the Twelfth Night. How does it reflect the meaning of the text? How was the piece used in the original work and how has Orban interpreted the setting? Why has he interpreted it this way? Are their literary clues that can be found in the music and vice versa? Can you find other choral settings that have set the text differently? Cite them and discuss how their interpretation of the text differs.

Option 4)
This Gala we will be performing Mozart's Requiem. This is a Major body of work and is a standard of both choral and orchestral literature. Listen to the entire work. Research Mozart and his style. How is it reflected in this piece? What makes it such an effective piece of music? How has he shown the meaning of the text in the voicing and orchestration? How does this piece show how Mozart's style developed and changed as a composer over the course of his lifetime? Please include a brief historical background of Mozart however, the focus of the piece should be on the Requiem.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Performance at Sertino's

This Wednesday, the Jazz Band & Jazz Choir will be performing at Sertinos Cafe in Smithtown. Please come and support your fellow students!

Smithtown West
Jazz Band & Jazz Choir
Enjoy a night of performances & delishious coffee that will put 
you in the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, December 14th
6-9 pm
at Sertino's Cafe in Smithtown

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jazz Choir

Hey all,

This week because of the conference day I will not be seeing you for rehearsal. However, you do need to take a look and start memorizing your carols! We only see each other three times before your first performances of these will begin.

Here is the list of songs with the verses that you should know:

**= we need to take a look at these still!

Angels We Have Heard On High (vs. 1 & 2)
Away in a Manger (vs. 1 & 2)
Carol of the Bells
Come Light the Menorah **
Deck the Hall in 7/8
The First Noel
God Rest You Merry Gentleman **
Hark the Herald Angels Sing (vs. 1-3)
Hiney Mah Tov **
Jingle Bells **
Joy to the World (vs. 1,2 & 4)
Light the Candles
O Come All Ye Faithful
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Silent Night (vs. 1,2 & hum)
White Christmas

Also please remember that for some of these gigs I need a few of you to take some initiative and learn either solos/ duets/ quartets etc. so that there is more of a variety to the program. I know we cover a lot of songs in our set list, but here are a few suggestions:

Baby it's cold outside
Frosty the Snowman
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)
Let it Snow
Silver Bells
O Holy Night
Santa Baby
Winter Wonderland
Dreidel Song

Have fun getting in the Holiday Spirit!!! See you next week.

Ms. Christy

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to School Night!

Welcome parents of the 2011-12 Concert Choir!

It is a pleasure to meet you (and in some cases see you again)! This is the Concert Choir blog spot where I will post important updates and reminders for this class. We accomplish a lot within the course of the year and it is a testament to your childrens dedication and hard work that this is possible.

Here is a brief overview of my course requirements/ expectations. More information can be found in the previous posts.

In my class I look for students to come in with a desire to sing and a willingness to learn about vocal technique, musical literacy and different musical styles. In small pull out lessons, which occur once a week, students will learn how to read music using the solfege system as well as with count singing. We tackle a multitude of languages throughout the year and these lessons will assist them in finessing their pronunciation as well as grasping more advanced vocal techniques in a smaller class setting.

I ask that they refrain from texting, chewing gum and talking in my class so that we can have a productive and effective working environment. For the most part, they do a wonderful job of adhering to these classroom rules.

The concert dates are listed below. The night rehearsal will be scheduled so that you have at least one months advanced notice. Their attendance at this rehearsal is imperative for the concert to be a success, since it is our only time with the accompanist.

Winter Concert- Thursday, December 15

Jazz Festival- Thursday, April 19

HSW Gala Concert- Saturday, March 24

Spring Concert- Thursday, June 5

I look forward to another successful year of concerts and NYSSMA adjudications! Thank you for coming tonight. Attached there is a link to the rotational lesson schedule. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. My email is: and my number is (631) 382-3044.


Sarah Christy

Lesson Schedule

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gentle Reminder

Hello all,

The first few weeks have been going well and its been a pleasure getting to know your voices! Just a few reminders about lessons!

- Make sure you are following the rotation!!! I have had multiple emails about some of you doubling up on particular periods two weeks in a row. Remember you should not miss a class more than once a month.

- Bring your music and a pencil!! Some of you are not receiving a full credit for the lessons because you are unprepared.

- Come to lessons!!! This is the bulk of your grade so don't forget.

See you in class!

Ms. Christy

ps. Here is a video of 'Ezekiel' that one of our sopranos found. Enjoy :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lesson Schedule!

Happy Weekend All!

Sorry it took me a little longer than expected to get this up. Here is the attachment to the lesson rotation schedule as well as your assigned lesson group. If you need any help figuring out when you should come to your lessons, talk to me or your section leader.

See you Monday!

-Mrs. Christy
Lesson Rotation
Lesson Groups

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jazz Choir Auditions

Next TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 I will be holding auditions for Jazz Choir after school. This is a select ensemble of about 20 students who perform frequently throughout the community. We rehearse every Tuesday. In addition they participate in concerts throughout the year and will hopefully be attending another competition this spring. While there is a high level of dedication needed, it truly is a blast and I hope you all consider auditioning.

For this years audition you will be preparing a verse and chorus of a jazz standard, as well as a short sight-singing excerpt that will be given to you at the audition. If you have ANY questions about song selection, please COME FIND ME!! I have a lot of resources available to you and I am more than happy to help.

Listening is the KEY to success in vocal jazz. Jazz has a very special technique that it is easy to grasp when you hear it performed. Some artists or groups I recommend you explore are;

Jane Monheit                                        Ella Fitzgerald
Sarah Vaughn                                       Billie Holiday
Diana Krall                                           Ray Charles
Frank Sinatra                                        Michael Buble
Nat King Cole                                      Harry Connick Jr.
Jaime Cullum                                        New York Voices
The Real Group                                    Singers Unlimited
Manhattan Transfer

If you are wondering what I am looking for, it is NOT the biggest solo voice I've ever heard. Remember this is not theatre, so you should be singing with as choral or "classical" or a sound as possible. In jazz, the low register in my women sections can have NO BELT. The jazz vocals and harmonies require a round tone with little or no vibrato and lots of the lifted soft palette that we began to talk about in class. Remember you will be singing with a group, so blend, intonation, support and subtlety will be more important than projection.

Please come with questions if you have any!!! I can't WAIT to hear you all next week :) Sign up sheets for audition times will be on the board in the hall of the music suite.

Best of luck :)

-Mrs. Christy

ps... here are some videos that I've posted... remember to look and listen for more!! Some of these tunes are pretty complicated. Remember to come speak to me and we will figure out an audition piece that will work for you.

Dona Nobis

Here is the link to the PDF for Dona Nobis. Just print out the first page for class. Thank you for your help with this! See you tomorrow.

Mrs. Christy

Dona Nobis


Welcome back everyone to another year in Concert Choir. I am looking forward to another productive and successful year with you all.

Attached is the course syllabus. Please download it and review it with your parent/guardian. Bring me back the signature sheet by Monday, September 12.

Please remember that you need to come see me for your vocal placement test before the end of the day on Friday.

-Mrs. Christy

Concert Choir Syllabus

For those of you who are having trouble opening the google doc, here it is. You can copy paste it into word so you can print it.

Concert Choir Syllabus

Mrs. Christy

September 7. 2011

Course Description:

The 9-12 grade Concert Choir is a mixed choral ensemble that performs in three concerts and one adjudication throughout the school year. The ensemble will develop their knowledge and abilities as musicians through performing a variety of choral repertoire as well as utilizing sight-singing materials.

Course Objectives:

- Students will be provided with a high quality performance experience.

- Students will successfully perform a variety of choral repertoire for the school and community.

- Students will explore and become aware of different styles of music, with emphasis on various historical and cultural styles. Students will study text in a variety of languages.

- Students will develop musical competencies: sight singing, music theory, and correct vocal technique.

- Students will be able to correctly use and define various musical terms and concepts.

- Students will be provided with an environment for vocal development as an individual and ensemble.

- Students will be prepared for evaluations of material covered during class, by performance, written tests and individual vocal assessments.

- Students will foster an appreciation for music that will continue for the rest of their lives.


No. 2 Pencils

Small Notebook

Black Choral Folder / Binder

Choral Repertoire (provided by Smithtown HSW)

Sight-singing book- Mixed level 1 (provided by Smithtown HSW)

Concert Dates:

Winter Concert- Thursday, December 15

Jazz Festival- Thursday, April 19

HSW Gala Concert- Saturday, March 24

Spring Concert- Thursday, June 5

Other Important Dates:

November 18 All County 2011

November 3-5 HSW Drama Production

December 8& 13 West Winter Concerts

March 8-10 HSW Musical Production

March 10 SCMEA Concert

March 30 & 31 All State Solo Festival

April 18 & 19 NYSSMA Solo Festival

May 17, 22 & 31 West Spring Concerts

June 6 SFOM Awards Night

Rehearsal/ Attendance Policy:

All rehearsals and concerts are MANDATORY. The Smithtown High School West attendance policy applies for this course and students should strive to arrive early to rehearsals so that they many begin on time. Three tardies will be considered to be one absence.

Prior to all concerts there will be an additional, MANDATORY rehearsal in the evening. If a student fails to attend this rehearsal, they will not be permitted to sing in the concert. This means all coaches and employers must be notified in advance of these rehearsals. If a student is ill, but has been in school that day, they are still expected to attend rehearsal that evening. These students will follow along with their music while sitting in the audience. ONLY the director may authorize an absence from the evening rehearsal or concert. Please understand this policy is in place so that our choir may have a most successful performance.

Course Grading:

- Daily Grade/ Class Participation- 50%

- Attendance (lessons and rehearsal)- 30%

- Quarterly Exam- 10%

- Quarterly Sight-Singing Exam- 10%

Daily Grade/ Class Participation:

Class Participation is the most important aspect of this ensemble. Each week there will be 100 points given for each student. (20 points/day) Students are expected to warm up, stand, sing and will be responsible for the information that is discussed in rehearsal. Students can loose points for:

- Food/ Drink/Gum – (10 points)

- Cell Phones- (20 points) **

- Behavior Issues- (20 points)

- Does not participate in class- (20 Points)

- Tardiness- (10 points)

If you are too ill to quietly follow along and mark your score, you are too ill to be in school. Even if you are physically unable to sing, you are expected to have your music open and be listening to the rehearsal. Reading or doing homework for another class is not an option and will result in an additional loss of 20 points.

***Cell phones are not permitted in rehearsal. If you are caught with a cell phone you will lose the 20 points and receive a warning. After your first warning, the phone will be confiscated and can be picked up from the main office at the end of the school day.

Please remember that three tardies are equivalent to one absence. Excessive absences will result in failure or at the least, a lowered grade.

Please remember that the return of classroom materials does impact your grade. You are expected to hand back the music, folder and sight-singing materials in the condition they were received with your assigned number at the top.

Lesson Requirements:

Students are expected to follow the rotating lesson schedule and come once a week to the lesson with their assigned lesson group. Failure to attend lessons will result in a lowered grade. In their lessons they will follow the same classroom rules and come prepared with the same materials. Students will work on their choral repertoire as well as the development of their vocal technique. They will have tests as a small vocal section and individually. They will be responsible for all the material covered in lessons. This material will be on their written exams and assignments.


We will be emphasizing sight-reading skills using the do based solfege system and definition of terms. Sight-singing materials will now be given to each student and will be incorporated into our warm-ups.

Classroom Rules:

- Be on time.

- Be courteous and respectful.

- Do not talk during instruction.

- Bring a pencil to every class.

- No gum.

- No food or drink other than water.

- Be ON TIME for all rehearsals and lessons.

Concert Attire:

Men: Black Suit Jacket, Black dress pants, White button down shirt, Tie, Dress Shoes.

Women: Full length black dress with black dress shoes.

I have read and understand the course syllabus. I recognize that I am required to attend all concerts and rehearsals to be a successful participant in this class.

Student Signature: ________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: ____________________________________________

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I cannot express how excited this year has made me! You did such a MARVELOUS job on your concert and it was a wonderful evening to experience and share with you.

Thank you for a wonderful year! I can't wait for us to continue to grow next year!!

-Mrs. Christy is the video I played you today :) Very inspirational!! Just keep practicing!

Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Final Lesson Schedule!

This is it! The final lesson schedule for the year. We are going to wind down the year very quickly so be sure to keep up to date on your lessons. It is nearly impossible to catch up if you get behind.

-Mrs. Christy

final lesson schedule

Monday, February 14, 2011

Third Quarter Lesson Schedule

The time has finally arrived! Here is the lesson schedule for the remainder of the quarter. See you there!

-Mrs. Christy

Third Quarter Lessons

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Lessons

Hey guys!

So we are back to school tomorrow and I hope that you all had a wonderful & restful break. Here are the lessons for the next three weeks. If I have switched your voice part, come talk to me after class on Monday and I will give you your group.

Can't wait to see you all!

-Mrs. Christy

January Lessons