Here's this week's newsletter. Key points and new information are in bold type.
A link to each post will be sent through the choir Twitter and Facebook accounts, to whatever parent emails I have on file, and to the students through Google Classroom.
The beginning section will always be about curricular choir and the following information will pertain to the extracurricular activities, so you only need to read what applies to your student. The most updated and comprehensive calendar is always on bataviamusic.org.
- Assignments: We had a large number of assignments recently, but most students are current. If your student's grade has fallen recently, ask about their GLE 6A & 6B, or contact me for details.
- Difficulty level progress in SRF (Updated 3/11): Our average difficulty level keeps climbing! The average level for all 125 students moved from 1.26 in the first week up to 3.16 on the most recent assignment. Very few students are at level 1 (though, I'm happy they are if it is the appropriate challenge for them!), and many students are regularly working at level 4 or even 5. SRF has 6 possible levels, so there's plenty of room to grow, even for our most advanced singers. Here are some breakdowns: All 9th graders are averaging 2.73, Varsity is 2.50, Treble is 3.53, and Chamber is 4.70.
- The Choir course assignments for 2016-17 are done! Please see the next section!
Over the course of this year, one of the things that I heard about most was the disappointment over last year's curricular choir audition process. Of course, many people won't be happy with the results of any audition. It is clear though that many students didn't feel like the last year's audition process gave a clear picture of who they are or what they could do. With that in mind, here are some changes to the process:
- I will be the one making decisions. Since I'm the one who has worked with your student all year, I'll be the one making decisions about what is best for each student and for the overall program.
- We will not have a one-on-one "Audition". All of the factors under consideration will be things that the students can prepare at home, or have been working on over time.
- I have discussed this with students individually and in class. I didn't want this to be a surprise to anyone, and I wanted the students to have as much of a say as possible. Several of the factors listed below are based on student suggestions.
- Here are the factors I'll be including in my decision-making process:
- Screencastify videos: We recorded several "takes" of music that we performed. The recordings were made in class, with everyone singing together. The idea is that since students sing together in class daily, the assessment should be done similarly. Students then took home the recordings they made, assessed themselves using this rubric, and submitted the one video they feel is their best. This will allow me to assess not only their pitch and rhythm accuracy, but also their tone quality, consonant energy, and attention to expressive elements.
- SightReadingFactory: Not only will I pay attention to how they have scored on their SRF assignments, I'll also take into consideration the difficulty levels they've chosen for themselves. Are they challenging themselves to improve? Or are they just trying to get by without really trying to get better? Obviously a perfect score on very easy lines won't be as attractive as an attempt at lines with an appropriately challenging difficulty level.
- The overall voicing and structure of the groups: Not only do I have to find the best fit educationally for all of my students, I also have to create a course structure where we have the right voice parts covered so we can perform music of appropriate difficulty and educational content. I need to make five viable choirs; that means I need to determine the number of kids in each class and each voice part accordingly.
- Rehearsal technique: I reserve the right to consider a student's rehearsal technique. This will be a secondary consideration because of its qualitative nature. Essentially this will help serve as a tie-breaker between two equally capable kids.
- I will be happy to discuss any student's audition after the list is posted, but I won't discuss how any other student did. I'd be happy to review any student's video or SRF materials with them to help them see what helped or hurt them. I will not tell them about how any other student did, however. Many excellent students will get beat by others and not move to the advanced choirs. All students can trust that their videos and scores will remain confidential, and that I will not be talking about them behind their back.
- I'd be happy to take any questions about the process, but not over the weekend. Please take the weekend to cool down before contacting me. Once that has happened, please contact me with questions.
- PLEASE DON'T POST ANYTHING ABOUT THIS TO SOCIAL MEDIA, not even congratulations. Don't tell anyone, (not by text, tweet, call, or carrier pigeon) how they did. You may only tell them the list is up and give them the link. You may also re-tweet the choir Twitter note that the list is up. Let people have a chance to react to the news in their own way.
- Please click here for the list.
The Buffs are giving away money! Read below to find out how to get your share!
- General Scholarship Info Page: https://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/scholarships/
- Scholarship Policies: https://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/scholarship-policies/
- General Apply Online Page: https://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/apply-online/
- Direct Link to Summer Camp Scholarships Online Application: http://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/batavia-music-buffs-residential-summer-camp-scholarship-application/
- Direct Link to Gertrude Petit Collegiate Online Application: http://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/gertrude-petit-memorial-scholarship-application/
- Apply By Mail Page: https://www.bataviamusicbuffs.org/apply-by-mail/ NOT PREFERRED.
Application deadline is April 25th. 1st Checks will be needed by May 3rd for 1st of the final year end concerts.
- Tuesday, May 3: Spring Choir Concert, 7pm (Please note this change)
- Tuesday, May 17: Music Senior Awards night (Please note this change)