- District Survey: Your feedback is needed to help direct the future of our school facilities in Batavia. The district has been engaging in a master facilities planning process for two years, and before final recommendations are made to the board, your feedback is needed. Go to www.bps101.net/boft to review the details and take a survey.
- Encuesta de distrito: Su opinión es necesaria para ayudar a dirigir el futuro de nuestras instalaciones escolares en Batavia. El distrito ha estado participando en un proceso de planificación de instalaciones maestras durante dos años, y antes de que se hagan las recomendaciones finales a la junta, se necesitan sus comentarios. Vaya a www.bps101.net/boft para revisar los detalles y realizar una encuesta.
Here are the placements for the 2021-22 choirs. As always, I make my assignments based on making five viable choirs. This year it looks like we'll have five choirs of around 26-28 students each.
We don't have 'auditions', per se. I make placements based on what I have seen from the students over the course of the year. Students who wish for higher choirs can always do more advanced music theory or sight-reading over the next school year. That often lets me know who is really trying to get even better, and who is content to just enjoy a less challenging class where they can make music! In the few instances where I need additional information before making a decision, I have asked those students to individually complete additional work for me.
The 2021-22 choirs will be:
Hello, students and parents!
I apologize for the delay on forming show choir plans - I had been trying to find a stable enough break in the changing plans to establish a solid plan, but I'm really quickly realizing that this situation is going to be continually changing and our best option is just to roll with things as we go along and continue to adapt our plan as best we can with SAFETY at the forefront of every decision we make.
For this year, I would like to make show choir available to everyone. None of us are going to need to be worried about the pressures of competition or anything like that, so I want to use this year to really try to allow as many students to be involved as would like to be involved. Because of this, my initial plan was to just have 1 large group of all show choir students, assuming we were going to be virtual all year. However, now that we are able to have rehearsals (these are NOT going to be 'normal' rehearsals... more on that in a moment) in person, we do need to keep the number of students per group under control. So, before I make the decision of whether to split into Legacy and Swingsingers again, I need to know how many students are planning to be involved in show choir this year. If we only end up with 30 interested students, we will just have one group, but if there are more like 70 for instance, we will absolutely split.
During rehearsals: we are going to try to have in-person rehearsals when and where we can - if it is SAFE. Rehearsals outdoors are doable until it gets too cold, and then we can use larger spaces and MASKS ON with no singing indoors to socially distantly work on choreography and teambuilding. We will hold vocal rehearsals when we can outdoors, and virtually on Zoom when being outdoors is not an option.
I want to say thank you to all the students and parents that participated in the surveys I sent to returning students. When reading the answers, particularly to "why are you interested in participating in show choir again?" I was so moved to read that almost every single student mentioned missing the family atmosphere of show choir. I know that everything is going to look a lot different for the Batavia Show Choirs this year, but we are still a family, and we can still have each others' backs and build and strengthen a community, even over Zoom, or spread out in a parking lot with masks on.
So, I would like to schedule an informational Zoom meeting for students and parents on Monday, October 19th at 7PM. I will get a headcount of students planning to participate this year, give information about 'auditions' for the season, and be available to answer questions from everyone. We will get the audition process rolling next week, and will get to rehearsing and building our show choir family!
Please feel free to reach out with any questions ahead of time, or just make a note to ask them in the Zoom meeting, as others may have the same question.
Hope to see you all then!
Director - Swingsingers, Legacy
Batavia High School
PS: The link to the Zoom call is posted in Google Classroom for all choir students, and in the email sent home. If you would like to have it sent to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All of us remember how remote learning worked last year in regards to attendance. This year, our school district has enacted some other guidelines for our classes regarding attendance. You must follow your class schedule online.
This year, we are using MusicFirst, an online music suite of programs where you will submit assignments each day and can use to help increase your musical knowledge. These programs are included in your course fees and will have no additional costs. They include:
MusicFirst will track individual assignments so you can always see your current progress. Every two weeks, I will update PowerSchool. If you are concerned about what's showing up in PowerSchool, make sure any past due work is turned in before every two-week update.
We will be remote learning for an indeterminate period of time. As such, we need students to be present in their digital learning. Here’s what you can do:
Making Music at Home
PARENTS: It can be terrifying to sing or play instruments in front of your family, especially when you are just learning a new piece or technique. Your students will have to sing for our class, but I am sensitive to their desire to try to sing PRIVATELY.
Here’s how you can help:
I'm sorry that I can't yet give you final decisions about what everything will look like since what I am able to do will be affected by the numbers of in-person students. I can tell you a little about what I'm planning, however.
Regarding the choir class, I do not believe that it is safe for us to be singing full choir songs together in the classroom as usual. We will still be singing individually or in smaller groups, but I'm happy to say that I believe that our music team has new ways to explore the music education standards that are exciting and engaging. I'm very excited about a suite of software (accessible through Chromebooks) that we will be using to make music together. I'm trying to structure things in such a way that if we are in class or if we are all locked down again, we should still be able to do the same things.
We won't just be doing 90 minutes of Music Theory every day; while we will still reinforce the skills we learned before, we will be adding elements of composition/songwriting, music creation with Digital Audio Workstation software, etc.
I'm hopeful that since I'm structuring things this way, I will be allowed to fully involve remote learners in this curriculum as well. I can't promise that, however. It is possible that new guidelines will mean that students electing to do remote learning will not be included in these activities. Please know that I will be advocating for our remote learners, and doing my best to help them grow musically.
Chromatics and show choir will be largely virtual as well. Students interested in show choir should see this note from Miss O'Neill.
Please know that I completely understand how difficult it is to choose between in-person or remote learning without full information about what will be done. I understand how tough this decision can be; Mrs. Barsch and I are still deciding what we are going to do with our 7th & 8th-grade children.
Please feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.
A message from Miss O’Neill, Batavia HS show choir director:
Show choir this year is going to look a lot different. Until there is a vaccine readily available, it just isn't going to be safe for large groups of people to be together, which means that competition season as we know it is not going to be possible. Please know that I am just as heartbroken about this as you are, but that your safety and wellbeing is way, WAY more important to me than going to competitions.
Show choir in person is also going to be really challenging. Singing together in one space is already risky, but adding in the element of dancing, which makes you more out of breath and requires you to breathe even harder, is much more risky.
That being said, I still think it is very important that we try to do something. I am working hard with Brian and Ellie (our arranger and choreographer) to come up with a way for us to still have a show, and I have been talking to other schools/directors about ways that we can still get to know each other virtually and share musical experiences together - even if they aren't competitions.
Our show choir experience is likely going to be completely virtual this year. My promise to you is that I will work as hard as I can and do whatever it takes to make sure that you get to learn new choreography, new music, and that you get time to spend together socially and make new and stronger friendships. I strongly encourage you to still participate in whatever we are able to do this year.
I am open to hearing from any/all of you about what you'd like to see/do for virtual show choir this year. The good news is that without competition season we don't have such a hard deadline to finish things, we won't need to spend so much time cleaning, and we can start right at the beginning of the year if we want to!
My imagination right now is that we'll have maybe 1 night/week all year and maybe we'll do one new song each month. We can provide you with resources to help you learn the music on your own a little, and I will teach some virtually. We will also be able to bring Ellie in virtually to teach new choreography (we might also even get to meet some other choreographers this year, depending on what we're able to do with other schools!).
If all goes as well as possible and there is a vaccine or something available in the Spring and it becomes safe for us to get back to show choir as we know it - WE WILL ALREADY HAVE SO MANY SONGS LEARNED!!! :-) We'll be able to jump right back into singing and dancing together like we know how!
I promise you to continue to be in touch with the rest of the community regarding what we're doing and what is safe, and if we're able to adjust what we can do or how we can do it, I will do everything in my power to give you the best experience I can while keeping you AS SAFE as I can.
Again, I understand the sadness and frustration you're feeling at reading this. I promise you I have felt all the same things and I continue to feel them. Plenty of tears have been shed on my end over how much I miss you, how worried I am about you, and what I can do to keep you safe. But I hope that you remember this: as much fun as it is to sing and dance with you, and as much as I love the talented performers you are, I love the human beings you are even more, and it is way more important to me that you're all healthy and safe than that we get to hang out in the choir room together.
Please, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me with questions/comments/concerns/suggestions.
I am very much wanting to start a dialogue here about what you all feel happy and comfortable with and what I can do to best facilitate this situation. We're all going through this for the first time together, and I want you to be a part of it, too. You can reach me by email at email@example.com, by phone at 630.421.3845 (call or text), or on the Band app groups from this past school year.
Director, BHS Show Choirs
Here are the first few things you need to do:
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
The Latest News from BHS Choir
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions