Thomas Jefferson High School

Vocal Music

Student Handbook



Dear Music Students and Parents,

Welcome to the Thomas Jefferson High School Vocal Music Department. This handbook is designed to communicate the procedures and expectations in the choir program. Please read this thoroughly and feel free to contact me: 720-423-7029 or regarding any questions you may have.

Students performing in the vocal music will be involved in several concerts and performances throughout the school year and it is vital that both student and parent understand that daily attendance and participation in ALL performances and rehearsals is required and that it is essential for each student to have the high level of commitment needed for excellence in the choir program.

The vocal music student will be exposed to and perform many styles and types of music from all over the world. Sight-reading, music theory, and literacy skills will also be stressed during daily rehearsals.

Please read through this handbook, sign the commitment page, and return it to me as soon as possible. This year I look forward to working with the students and parents and seeing you at our concerts. Communication is vital to a successful program. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Have a wonderful school year!


Tambyr Reed
Director of Choirs/Director of Theater
Thomas Jefferson High School
720-423-7029-Music Office
720-423-7000-Main Office

Thomas Jefferson High School

Classroom Behaviors and Expectations

Choral Rationale: Choir classes are designed to grow and develop the singer’s knowledge of music terms and notation, history, and appreciation. Students will sample music from all over the world from numerous cultures and religions. The content is intended to further the growth in the comprehension of music theory, history, and cultural diversity.

Choral Objectives:
  • • To sight sing/ sight read daily a varied repertoire of music
  • • To prepare and perform works of varying degrees of difficulty across multiple genres of music
  • • To listen and critically analyze music for style, period, and genre
  • • To understand and appreciate music from varying cultures and histories
  • • To write and notate music as well as understand the basics of music theory.

  • • Be on time to class
  • • Be in class every day
  • No gum, candy, pop, or food allowed (Building enforced)
  • • Have music, pencil, and paper ready at the beginning of each class and with you at all times.

  • • Treat all peers and all adults with respect
  • • Treat music, instruments, and all equipment with care
  • • Listen and follow the instructions of the teacher
    • No foul, disparaging, cursing, or inappropriate language (Building enforced) You WILL be asked to leave the classroom.
  • • Raise your hand to speak
    • • Do not have conversations during active rehearsal times when you are suppose to be singing. Doing so impedes the progress of the entire ensemble. You are a team. Work as a team.
    • Cell phones will be placed in the cell phone bin upon entering the room, just as you do for testing. Full focus on the class and being present is the only way to become the best musicians possible.
Charging your devices is no longer allowed in the classroom.

ü Give full participation and effort in rehearsal and performances every day
  • o Develop teamwork
  • o Attendance and participation at all rehearsals and performances are a critical component to a student’s grade, teamwork process, and quality of performance.
  • o Any student that does not maintain a 92% attendance record for choir class will have to be tested for music literacy on the concert materials by Ms. Reed on whether participation in the upcoming performance is feasible.
  • o Please note that any absence without a physicians note, parental excuse, school function, etc. will be considered unexcused and no points will be awarded for that day.

  • The Music Department of Thomas Jefferson High School will be performing in public, representing our department, school, and district with pride and excellence in behavior and performance.

Grading Policy





Rehearsal Points:
Each student will begin the week with 20 performance points. Quizzes will be worth 4 points with a rubric of 4= met all requirements, 3= approaching, 2= partially prepared, 1=unprepared. Other assignments will vary in points based on the time given time allotment and standard in music.
For each grading period it is possible to earn: 20 points for participation and prepared attendance, 4 points for Quizzes, 100 points for dress rehearsals and supplementary events such as caroling or community performances, and 400 points per concert.

Points will be deducted for the following infractions:
Unexcused absence
This is a loss of the daily points, or 10 pts.
Unpreparedness in rehearsal
No music, pencil, or misc. needed items is a loss of 5 pts.
Cell phones seen during rehearsal
Inappropriate behavior
Inappropriate behavior is not tolerated and will result in a loss of TWO days points, or 20 pts. Fighting, verbally harassing or bullying, and disobedience to the class expectations are all inappropriate behaviors.
ü No make up work will be granted for this type of offense. The following steps will be taken for habitual and repeated offenses:
  • o Student/teacher conference
  • o Escorted to the PASS room by security; parent contact
  • o Conversation with parents, student, counselor and/or administration to determine if a dismissal from choir is required.


Choir is a performance based class and participation in class rehearsals and concerts are required. MISSING A CONCERT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. In order to pass the class, all performances and rehearsals must be attended. The performance calendar is posted online, in the building, on the school calendar, in the newsletter, announced on Spartan Edition, and updated regularly. No absence will be given the full amount of points without 2 weeks prior written notice of athletic, academic, or job conflict. It is at the director’s discretion how points will be made up for the missing performance. Absences due to medical emergency need to be cleared with a physicians note. 70% of the points will be eligible for redemption.
  • Participation in a Choir Concert
◦ 400 points
Participation in a Community event/performance
▪ 100 points
Participation in all dress rehearsals
▪ 100 points
Missing any of these rehearsals or performance may lower the grade by as much as two letters.

Concert Dress

Just as any other team at TJHS, a uniform is required. The dresses for Women’s Choir may be rented, as well as the vest and tie for Men’s Choir. The fees for a year’s rental are $55. Damage or loss of the uniform is $55 and will be placed on the student account. Advanced choir and Monticello are responsible for purchase of their uniforms. Prices will be given class by class.
An order/rental form will be given to each student. Measurements must be accurate in order to assure proper and comfortable fit. Please round up in inches when writing the measurements down for your uniform.

Student Name
Measurement in Inches



Neck (Men only)

Arm-neck to wrist (Men only)


Dress Size (Ladies only)

Choir Shirt Size

Choir Hoodie Size

Thomas Jefferson High School

Vocal Music


Students in vocal music will be performing music of many cultures from all over the world using a variety of styles.

The student is expected to participate in ALL scheduled rehearsals and performances.

Contacting your student should be done through the main office. When in the building, students are the responsibility of Thomas Jefferson Faculty and Staff and should be formerly signed out to parents for appointments or communications.

Absence from a performance will result in a loss of 400 points from the student’s grade (2 letter grades). A parent contact is expected in advance of the event. Transportation problems are not a valid excuse. Please refer to the grading policy page for details.

The student is expected to be in class on a daily basis and agrees to conduct him/herself in an appropriate manner during rehearsal and performances whether performing or as an audience member.

Parent Signature_

Student Signature
Audience Concert Etiquette
1. Audience members should be seated and quiet when the performance is in progress.
2. If it is necessary to arrive late or leave before the concert is over, please do so between musical selections, during applause.
3. Clapping is the appropriate way to show appreciation for the performance. Laughter is acceptable when appropriate. Whistling, yelling, or screaming is not appropriate at any time before, during, or after the concert.
4. During a jazz concert or selection, clapping is an appropriate way to acknowledge a single soloist. During multiple solos, please wait for all soloists to finish performing before applauding.
5. Parents should keep small children seated with them at all times during the concert. If very young children become restless and disrupt others’ ability to listen, please take them from the performance area until they are quiet.
6. It’s customary to welcome each performing group and conductor to stage upon their first appearance with applause.
7. Extra sounds and movements from the audience distract listeners and performers.
8. Hats or caps should be removed during a concert. Food or beverages should not be present during the concert.
9. Watch the conductor when the music stops to decide whether to applaud. Some musical works have extended endings, several parts, or multiple movements. The audience should applaud only after all movements have been performed and when the conductor has put his/her arms down.
10. Cell phones, iPods, Kindles, Nooks and other electronic devices should be turned off and stowed in pockets, purses, or jackets.

Practice Policy and Guidelines

In order for students to grow their depth of talent as an individual musician, small group, or large ensemble, it is integral to the process that students rehearse their music outside of class. Students can find resources for recordings by locating their choir on the choir Wikipage and clicking the appropriate link for a full or partial recording. Individual part recordings will be made available on the same page.

It is recommended that students spend at minimum 20 minutes per day on music for their ensemble. Performing as a united, polished group can only be accomplished if all parts or persons are contributing to the whole or the entire ensemble.

Practice tips and tricks

  • When rehearsing a difficult passage, slow down and repeat at a slow tempo 5-6 times. This will allow you to hear/see your mistakes before you make them and correct them.
  • Vary your practice routine. Start with a different piece of music each time, working through tricky sections, and committing the music to memory. Varying the order and when you practice will help you to stay focused and not lose momentum toward your goal.
  • If you are nearing a quiz, test, or concert, have a family member listen to you rehearse and give feedback to what they observe. Using a phone or computer to record yourself is also a great way to hear your progress and address the areas that need improvement.
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror. Seeing your posture and technique is critical to maintaining vocal health and assessing how you can gain strides with your performance.
  • In memorizing music, start at the end of the song and work backwards, choosing 4-8 measures at a time and practicing: two-three times with the music in front of you; two-three times with the music covered, but still available for memory gaps; two-three times with music closed. It is also helpful to write down the text if it is difficult to remember. Putting a kinesthetic movement to the process helps commit it to memory.
When possible rehearse with members of your ensemble. Sing with like and different voice parts to gain independence on your line of the music and hear how the parts fit together in the piece of music.