CCMS Chorus 2019-2020
Cane Creek Middle School
Choral Department Handbook

Welcome to the Cane Creek Middle School Choral Music Program! We will be constantly striving for excellence in this program, and I am glad to have you join me in the pursuit of that goal. Your participation in this organization will not only enable you to become a knowledgeable singer and musician for a lifetime, but will also help you become a more responsible, disciplined, focused, and well-rounded individual. The chorus at CCMS will provide you with wonderful, memorable experiences. In addition, your involvement in this program will develop skills that will help you progress in all aspects of your life.

Membership in this program requires much responsibility. Thank you for taking the time to read carefully through the following handbook outlining the rules, policies, expectations and opportunities for chorus students. If you have any questions, PLEASE contact me at the number below. If you have access to email, you may utilize it to get in touch with me in the timeliest manner.


Mrs. Kathryn Strickler
Director of Choral Activities
Cane Creek Middle School


1. Be on time to class – that means in your place before the tardy bell rings. My tardy policy is as

1st Tardy - warning
2nd - lunch detention/email or phone call home
3rd - minor referral

Repeat offenders... Per CCMS Policy, 3 minor referrals equal a major referral.

2. Always be prepared with your folder, pencil and paper.

3. Be respectful – of yourself, your peers, and the teacher

4. No food or sodas are allowed in the chorus room (water is encouraged, however) – THIS

5. NO CELL PHONES or other electronic devices are allowed in the chorus room unless a specific
activity has been planned by Mrs. Strickler.

6. Materials from other classes are to be kept outside the rehearsal area – only CHORUS
materials will be allowed at your seat.

- Entering Class: Students should get their folder and items from the cabinet, if applicable. Students should read the board for further direction. Those in the last class of the day should put their backpack and other items against the wall away from their place in the group.

- Punctuality: Class begins promptly after the bell. Students should be in place by this time. Late students will fill out a tardy form before finding their place in the group. If you have a note from the office or a teacher, fill out a form and attach the note so that you will be excused. Students will lose 10 points from their weekly Artistic Work Habits test grade for each tardy.

- Restroom: Singers must use the restroom between classes and/or during lunch.

- Fundraisers: Various fundraisers and fees will be collected throughout the semester. Singers MUST place $ in a labeled ziplock bag or envelope before turning it in.

- Leaving class: The director will dismiss singers, not the bell. The area should be clear of trash with all personal items taken out of the room.

- Silence is an absolute necessity during rehearsals. The better we hear, and the more we hear, the better we sing. The director will dismiss students from rehearsal if they are disrupting the rehearsal environment.
- Mark all musical directives in your score with a PENCIL. Professionals mark their scores. Amateurs say they will remember and later forget.
- Speak well of the group and the group will speak well of you. This includes comments both verbalized and written. Failure to remain positive may result in removal from the program.
- Keep an open mind about all musical selections. Each piece was selected for a reason and it part of a larger plan to help you grow as a singer and as a musician. Commit to fully learning a piece of music before passing judgement. Remember ENTERTAINMENT is meant to by easily accessible and instantly gratifying. ART is designed to have greater substance and to become more meaningful through study and exposure.
- Singers are expected to treat the conductor/teacher and each other with the utmost respect. Singing is a very personal and often vulnerable activity. Be supportive of your fellow singers. You are working with them, not against them.
- Singers are expected to remain actively engaged in rehearsal at all times. There is always room for improvement in individual performance. Hard work is expected; it is not optional. If the teacher is not working with your part, it is still your responsibility to be following along in your score and marking their directives as well.

- Property left in the chorus room will be turned in to Lost and Found.
- Students must ask permission to play pianos or use other equipment in the room.
- Absolutely no food, gum or sodas in the chorus room. A bottle of water is encouraged.

1. Verbal warning 1. Praise, Praise, Praise!
2. In Class Isolation/ 2. Stretch break during class
Lunch Detention 3. Tickets for prizes
3. Parent Contact 4. PBIS bracelets
4. Referral 5. SUCCESS!!!

*Per CCMS policy, 3 minor referrals equal a major referral


These items may be kept in the chorus room in a cubby if desired.

 Folder with brads and pockets or ½ inch three ring binder with pockets
 Notebook paper
 Highlighter
 Concert Attire – see information on the following page

DRY ERASE MARKERS, TISSUES, HAND SANITIZER, BAND-AIDS, SOCKS (washed if worn!), PANTYHOSE and DARK TIES and BLACK DRESS SOCKS/TIGHTS are all supplies for the chorus room that are not required, but very much needed. We will use the items for activities to build musicianship! Students will be given 50 points extra credit for donating any of these.


Music will be kept in the chorus room at all times unless a student has asked for special permission to check out a piece to take home to study. Students will be financially responsible for replacing music that they lose or mistreat.


In addition to learning the music in class, rehearsals, and individual practice, each chorus student must prepare his/her appropriate and special clothing for being a member of the choir. Uniformity of dress creates a professional look for concerts. Please see the information below. Examples of appropriate items are also available on Mrs. Strickler's website.

ALL GENTLEMAN: White, long sleeve, button-up shirt. Honors and Advanced Chorus members should wear a black tie (provided by CCMS) and Semester chorus members should wear a dark tie. Black dress pants, black socks and black DRESS shoes. NO TENNIS SHOES. Shirts must be tucked in; please wear a belt!

6th and 7th Grade LADIES, ALL SEMESTER LADIES: Black blouse with sleeves – no sleeveless shirts or tank tops; black FLOOR/ANKLE LENGTH dress pants, slacks or skirt. Black, closed-toe dress shoes with black hose or tights. Target, Walmart and Payless are all examples of stores where you can find this attire for reasonable prices; even Goodwill! No boots, Toms, sandals or flip-flops. Ladies, please make sure your shirt is appropriate for the stage. No low-cut, revealing neckline!

8th Grade Honors LADIES: Formal gown rented from the CCMS Choral Program. The $10 rental fee will pay for dry cleaning the dress which should be turned in, along with the rental fee, no later than Friday, May 29, 2020. Plain black stockings/hose/tights are required, along with flat, black DRESS SHOES. Target, Walmart and Payless are all examples of stores where you can find such shoes at a reasonable price. No boots, no Toms, no tennis shoes, no sandals or flip-flops. Please do not wear jewelry for concerts.

*** Help may be needed with fitting students in these dresses. Please indicate on the following form if you would be willing to help.

PLEASE purchase necessary items in advance. BEGIN LOOKING NOW so you’ll be ULTRA prepared come concert time. If I am informed the day of the concert that a student does not have appropriate concert attire, I cannot help them. Students will not be allowed to participate in a concert without their appropriate uniform; therefore, the student suffers a grade deduction. PLEASE contact me if you have questions or concerns about these items.

- Hair must be pulled back away from the face. Hair color and style must be natural looking and
not a distraction to the audience (as determined by the director).
- Jewelry must not be worn during performances. The only exception is a single stud in the earlobe
and/or nose. Wrists should be bare.
- Students are expected to wear concert attire in the appropriate manner as directed by the teacher.
- All choir members are expected to remain dressed in full concert attire until you, the performer, no
longer represent the CCMS Choral Department.


Grades may be checked on PowerSchool at any time.
- Parents have access to the online PowerSchool program to view student grades and
progress. PowerSchool is updated periodically through the reporting term but may not
always reflect the most updated information. Students and parents may request an
updated current grade at any time during the reporting period.

Per Buncombe County Schools policy, grades are calculated on a 10 point weighted scale:
60% Tests, Projects and Artistic Work Habits; 20% Quizzes; 20% Assignments/Homework

Tests, Quizzes and Artistic Work Habits:
- Students will be given one Artistic Work Habits grade each week. The rubric for this grade
should be accessed by the Assessment and Grading section of Mrs. Strickler's webpage on the
CCMS site.
- All performances will be counted as test grades, as will periodic class tests.
- Quizzes may be given announced or unannounced throughout the term.
- Quizzes will be based on information previously taught in the classroom or outlined in
previous assignments. Students will not be given quizzes on material not covered in class or in a
previous assignment.
- All missing quizzes and tests must be made up by the last day of the reporting term. Quizzes and
tests not submitted by this day will be entered as an F.
- It is the student's responsibility to schedule to stay after school for quizzes or tests. Students will
not be reminded.

- Occasionally students will be assigned homework that must be submitted by the date indicated
for full credit.
- Late homework assignments will result in a lowered grade.
- Some assignments will be posted on the Chorus webpage or Google Classroom. They will not be passed out in class. Students without internet access at home will need to plan to utilize resources here at CCMS either before or after school to access the posted assignment.

IMPORTANT: Students not maintaining an adequate score in any of the categories above or in the Artistic Work Habits rubric will be removed from the choral program. In addition to public performance, in-class studies revolve heavily around music literacy skills and making connections to other subjects such as math, language arts, foreign language, history, social studies, and more. National Standards regarding music education content outline the following concepts:

- Singing, alone and with others a varied repertoire of music.
- Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
- Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
- Reading and notating music.
- Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
- Evaluating music and music performances.
- Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
- Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
- The North Carolina Standard Course of Study requires the performance of literature that is both
sacred and secular. Balance of music selected and performed from among historical and
contemporary composers, genres, and periods is achieved through the course of a year’s
instruction – not necessarily within any individual concert.


PARTICIPATION IN PERFORMANCES IS MANDATORY. If any student is unable to perform with the group, the teacher must be notified prior to the concert, by phone and in writing. Exceptions include extreme illness (doctor’s note required) or family emergency. Excused performances are at the director’s discretion. Missed concerts will result in a two letter reduction of the student’s grade. Extra rehearsals will count as a test grade; you will be notified AT LEAST two weeks in advance for such rehearsals. A calendar has been provided with this handbook. MANDATORY EVENTS ARE LISTED WITH AN ASTERISK ON THE CHORUS CALENDAR. Tardiness to an extra rehearsal or concert outside of school hours will result in a grade deduction.

*Athletes should let Mrs. Strickler know their practice and game schedule at the beginning of their season. Mrs. Strickler will work with the players and coaches for a solution if there is a conflict.

For all scheduled activities outside the school day...
"To be 5 minutes early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is unacceptable."


The main source of general information for students and parents is the chorus website. This handbook provides a comprehensive resource for all students and parents. It is posted on our website. Parent letters and emails will be sent home periodically as a written notice of choral news and events.

I encourage you to enroll in our Remind group to receive additional chorus reminders via text.
Please visit and follow the instructions given
text the message @3f4g8d to the number 81010


- All CCMS rules apply to every chorus member at all chorus functions.
- Follow all instructions of the director, chaperones or other adults who are part of the trip.
- Performance is an outgrowth of the program. Some performances may be scheduled at other
locations during the school day. The choir's work ethic, sense of responsibility and maturity will
impact trip opportunities.
- Field trips will not count as a school absence.
- Students receiving inadequate grades in chorus or on a report card in another subject area will
not be eligible to travel with the choir. If the director or another teacher feels it is in the best
interest of a student to remain in the classroom on a field trip day, it will be so.
- Chaperones accompanying the choir on field trips should be treated with respect as authority
- Be where you are supposed to be BEFORE you are supposed to be there.
- Keep up with your personal belongings
- All students will be responsible for keeping the bus clean and orderly.
- Use of inappropriate language is unacceptable.
- Complaining will not be tolerated
- When a students misses another CCMS class for a chorus activity, they are expected to ask their
teachers WHAT THEY WILL MISS BEFORE the chorus activity. They are expected to then turn in
their work before it is due.

For overnight trips involving hotel stays, the CCMS chorus has an additional set of policies to ensure student safety. These will be sent home prior to each overnight trip along with a travel contract.


Choral Department
Cane Creek Middle School
2019-2020 Calendar of Events

August 2020
Fri. August 19 First day of school
Sat. August 24 NC Middle School Honors Chorus Audition Workshop: UNC-Greensboro

September 2018
Sat. September 21 Chorus Car Wash-a-thon: Ace Hardware - 1888 Hendersonville Rd. (9am-3pm)
Fri. September 27 NC Middle School Honors Chorus Auditions – Corinth Reformed Church
- this will occur during the school day - Hickory, NC

October 2019
Fri. October 4 East TN Music Study Trip Deposit Due
Tues. October 14 ***Roberson District Choral Concert (8th Grade Honors Chorus ONLY)
7:00 pm - TC Roberson HS Theater
Mon. October 21 **Fall Informance Concert (Semester and 7th Grade Advanced Chorus ONLY)
7:00 pm - Skyland United Methodist Church

November 2019
Fri.- Sun. November 8-10 North Carolina Middle School Honors Chorus - by audition only
Winston-Salem, NC
Sun. November 10 North Carolina Middle School Honors Chorus Concert
Stevens Center; Winston-Salem, NC - by audition only

December 2019
Fri. December 6 2nd East TN Music Study Trip Payment Due
Tues. December 10 ***Reynolds HS Holiday Concert (8th Grade Honors Chorus)
West Asheville Baptist Church 7:00pm*
Thurs. December 19 ** Winter Concert - Skyland United Methodist Church 7:00pm

January 2020

February 2020
Fri. February 4 3rd East TN Music Study Trip Payment Due
Fri. & Sat. February 7-8 Wingate University Choral Celebration - by audition only
Mon. & Tues. February 24-25 All County Chorus – by audition only
Thurs./Fri. February 27-28 Solo/Small Ensemble Music Performance Assessment
Stanley First Baptist Church

March 2020
Tues. March 10 - Sat. March 4 American Choral Directors Association Honor Choir - selected students
Mobile, AL

April 2020
Thurs. April 2 **Large Ensemble Music Performance Assessment
Bryson City First Baptist Church
- This will take place during the school day. It is the choral
equivalent of an EOG test -
Fri. & Sat. April 17-18 NC Middle School All State Chorus – by audition only

May 2019
Tues.-Wed. May 5&6 East TN Music Tour - Advanced and Honors Chorus
TBA - based on EOG testing **Spring Concert 7:00pm - Skyland United Methodist Church

June 2019

* Required event for Advanced and Honors Chorus students
** Required event for all chorus students
*** Required event for 8th Grade Honors Chorus

In the case that an event must be added or moved, notification will be sent home NO FEWER THAN two weeks in advance.



Opportunities will be available as part of involvement in the Cane Creek Middle School Choral Program. Fundraising maintains and builds the program by allowing our students chorus related trips as well as: honor chorus registrations, all state registrations, concert music, rewards and prizes, bus expenses, fuel and drivers for trips, classroom needs, new equipment and teaching materials, and guest clinicians. Music alone can cost THOUSANDS of dollars a year.


Parents, please consider donating your time and/or talents. The chorus calendar includes events, concerts, field trips and more that need parent volunteers. Volunteer information is included in the Student/Parent Information section of this form, and additional materials will be sent out as needed.

A Final Word…

I am glad you have chosen to become a part of the Cane Creek Middle School Choral Program and look forward to a great year. Music is for many an outlet of expression, but music education serves much more than that. Creating music requires the use of both brain hemispheres simultaneously, therefore helping build new neuronetworks in the brain. The process of learning to read and perform music is like learning a new language. It takes dedication and perseverance to succeed in mastering the smaller parts that make up the sum. Expect to work hard, love music and be proud of your accomplishments!

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