CCMS Chorus 2020-2021
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.


Ms. 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 follows:

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 and highlighter

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) –

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: It is possible for fundraising monies to be collected during 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 MAY NOT play pianos or use other equipment in the room unless okayed by
Ms. Strickler
- 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.

 Student computer/device and charger
 Folder with brads and pockets or ½ inch three ring binder with pockets
 Notebook paper
 Highlighter
 Water Bottle

DRY ERASE MARKERS, TISSUES, HAND SANITIZER, DISINFECTING WIPES, BAND-AIDS and SOCKS (washed if worn!) are all supplies for the chorus room that are not required, but very much needed. We will use some of 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.


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:
33% Artistic Work Habits; 33% Tests/Quizzes/Projects; 33% Assessments/Homework

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 main website.

- 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 make up 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.
- Assignments will be posted on Google Classroom. They will not be passed out in class.

IMPORTANT: 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
- 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 the
year’s instruction – not necessarily within any individual concert.


PARTICIPATION IN PERFORMANCES IS MANDATORY. All performances will be virtual until further notice.


The main sources of general information for students and parents are Google Classroom and the CCMS Chorus website found on the school's main webpage. This handbook provides a comprehensive resource for all students and parents. It is posted on our website. Parent emails will be sent home periodically as a written notice of choral news and events.


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. 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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