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CHORAL STUDIES PROGRAM

The McCallum Choral Department is an award-winning and highly recognized performing ensemble that provides its members with a rich and varied musical experience throughout each school year.  The six competitive choirs consistently receive superior ratings at the annual UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contest and individual members of the choir are frequently recognized for their remarkable musicianship. In 2017, three McCallum Choir members were named as outstanding soloists at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest and one student received first place in the 11-12th grade classical division at the South Texas NATS contest.  The McCallum Choir performs throughout the Austin area, Texas, and beyond.  In 2017, the members of the McCallum Choir performed in New Orleans, LA and in 2018 the choir will travel to New York City to perform on the stage of Carnegie Hall. Each school year, the McCallum Choir has the incredible opportunity to perform major choral works with the award-winning McCallum Orchestra.  Past performances include the Mozart Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah.  In 2018, they will partner to perform Schubert’s Mass in G.

Another highlight of the choral calendar is the annual Cabaret – a fully staged, costumed, and choreographed show filled with Broadway and pop-style music.  This show has been a tradition at McCallum for over thirty years and allows all students to experience participating in a full-scale production while allowing many soloists and small groups to be featured.


For students who enjoy pursuing solo singing opportunities, the choir program encourages students to participate in the TMEA All-State audition process, the UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest, and the NATS vocal contest.  All choral students may also audition for the two annual school musicals.  Past shows include The Music Man, Titanic, The Producers, Ghost, Chicago, South Pacific, Once on the Island, Me and My Girl, Anything Goes, Evita, and Fiddler on the Roof.  For Choral Majors with a strong interest in musical theater, they should consider the addition of the Musical Theatre Certificate to their Fine Arts Academy plan.

The McCallum Choir Program consists of one Tenor/Bass choir, one mixed choir, and four treble choirs-Chorale, Concert Choir, Varsity Choir and Chamber Choir, all of which perform competitively.  The choir also has a small select mixed choir called First Edition which performs jazz and pop music around the community.  Choral Majors at McCallum have a wide variety of available courses to further enrich each student’s musicianship including Vocal Studies for Majors, Music Theater, Music Appreciation, Class Piano, AP Music Theory, and Songwriting.

 

CHORAL STUDIES MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

LARGE CHORAL ENSEMBLE

To be taken every year.

MUSIC THEORY I/ PIANO I

Required in 11th grade.  Both theory and piano performance are part of the curriculum.  (Option to test out prior to spring break in 10th grade.)

AP MUSIC THEORY

Required in 12th grade.  Can be taken pass/fail.

PARTICIPATION IN UIL SOLO CONTEST

Must be completed every year.

EARN A MINIMUM GRADE OF 70 IN EVERY CLASS

Evaluated every six weeks grading period.

EARN A MINIMUM GRADE OF 80 IN ALL FINE ARTS CLASSES LISTED ABOVE

Evaluated every six weeks grading period.

MAINTAIN A 90% OR ABOVE IN-CLASS ATTENDANCE RATE & HAVE NO SERIOUS BEHAVIOR INFRACTIONS

Evaluated every six weeks grading period and as needed.

ACADEMY ENRICHMENT PARTICIPATION ASSIGNMENT

To be completed in 9th, 10th and 11th grade.

GRADUATE ON THE DISTINGUISHED PLAN

(4 core academic courses all 4 years)

 

MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE - FOR CHORAL STUDIES MAJORS

This is an optional pursuit you can choose to do or not to do.  In addition to your Major requirements, you would need to complete the following expectations.



The Musical Theatre Performance Certificate program is an add-on to the primary major in Choral Studies, Performance Theatre, or Dance. To graduate with the performance certificate, students complete the additional four courses linked below in addition to all courses in the primary major.

CURRICULUM:

Acting the Song

Choreography

College Audition Prep.

Contemporary and Golden Age Performance Styles

Musical Theatre Dance Styles

Musical Theatre History

Musical Theatre Writing

Voice

EACH OF THESE COURSES ARE REQUIRED FOR THE MTPC:


MUSICAL THEATRE I & II

Recommended in 11th & 12th grade.

THEATRE ARTS I

Recommended in 9th or 10th grade.

DANCE I

Recommended in 9th or 10th grade.

PARTICIPATION AS CAST IN FACULTY-DIRECTED SHOW

Require one musical every year.

THEATRE PRODUCTION FEES

Must be paid every year.  Contact Director for scholarship info.

 

CHORAL STUDIES COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

CHORALE

This is a 9th through 12th grade treble choir that offers students an introductory experience with music theory and provides a class which builds a strong foundation of sight-singing skills.

CONCERT CHOIR

This is an auditioned 9th through 12th grade treble choir that requires strong sight-singing skills.

VARSITY CHOIR

This is an auditioned 10th through 12th grade treble choir that requires strong sight-singing skills and a strong comprehension of music theory.

CHAMBER CHOIR

This is the most advanced treble choir for 11th and 12th grade students.  This is a small pre-professional chamber ensemble, which requires very strong singers with a strong work ethic.

TENOR/BASS CHOIR

This is a 9th through 12th grade varsity choir.  This choir allows underclassmen singers to have the opportunity to work with and learn from upperclassmen leaders.

MUSIC THEORY I/ PIANO I

(Taken in 11th grade.)

This course is designed to provide students an understanding of keyboarding skills. An emphasis is placed on developing technique and music reading. These skills will be demonstrated in both informal (class) and formal (recital) performance settings throughout the school year. An ability to read music in both bass and treble clef is suggested, but NOT required. Piano I is a great class for beginner pianists as well as pianists with previous experience but who have not had rigorous lessons recently. All students will work out of the same textbook, however, solo pieces will range in difficulty contingent on previous piano experience. Students will not only learn beginner to intermediate piano repertoire, but an extensive understanding of basic to intermediate music theory concepts as well.

AP MUSIC THEORY

(Taken in 12th grade.)

This course is designed to prepare you for the freshmen experience in music theory at the university level.  Strong emphasis is given to listening skills, particularly those involving recognition and comprehension of melodic and rhythmic patterns, harmonic functions, small-scale forms, and compositional techniques.  Fluency in reading musical notation and a strong grounding in music fundamentals, terminology and analysis is required.  Throughout the course, you are encouraged to listen to musical works attentively and analytically, developing your “musical memory” and your ability to articulate responses to formal, stylistic, and other aesthetic qualities of the works.  Study both in and outside of the classroom is expected.  You will need to have a basic command of the piano keyboard and be able to play simple scales, chords and two, three and four-part harmonization.  Though not required, it is highly recommended that students take the AP Music Theory exam during the spring semester.

FIRST EDITION

This is a small auditioned mixed choir comprised of members of the Tenor/Bass Choir and Chamber Choir.  This group meets outside of class time and frequently performs pop/jazz styles throughout the community.

VOCAL STUDIES

This is an Academy Major course which offers students the opportunity to further develop their vocal performance skills through a master class setting.  Students receive private instruction and in depth study of vocal styles, technique, diction, and more in this class that is unique to the McCallum Fine Arts Academy and is not offered at any other AISD high school.

MUSIC APPRECIATION

(not currently offered)

This course offers students the chance to listen to and discuss great music from throughout history up until the present day.  The course is a creative exploration of music from a wide range of times, places, and circumstances, through the lens of certain topics. Students also learn fundamentals of music theory and compose their own original pieces.

MUSICAL THEATRE

This is a course in which students develop skills in singing, dancing, and acting for musical theatre, while learning about musical theatre history.  Students also get the opportunity to write and workshop their own original musical.