Vocal Music

 

All students in grades 6-9 take choral music and students in grades 10-12 can choose further training and performance (course descriptions listed below). The annual Mennonite high school choir festival provides an opportunity to perform with musicians from schools throughout the U.S. and Canada. Students also have opportunities to learn to lead worship in chapel, participate in school musicals, and take private lessons. The select high school choir has received first-place ratings at district contest each year since 1997.

Vocal Music 6

This exploratory class invites students to discover the language of music, tools for composing, history of our present contemporary styles of music (both sacred and secular), with hands on creating and visual expression of music.  In a rapidly changing culture, students experience music in worship and recreational forms. With a limited exposure to diverse styles, this class enables students to see music broader than their personal tastes.  Students become active listeners and participants in creating and understanding music through a lens of faith, structure, and culture, making music relevant to their life experiences beyond passive listening.  

Vocal Music 7 and 8

Self-expression is an important part of development. Seventh and eighth grade students need music tools to navigate through the vocal changes happening within their own physical and psychological development.  Students are challenged to find their own voice. Through creating music students develop the ability to listen, respond, and problem solve. By making connections between their own lives and music, students learn the relationship between faith and music, as well as their daily use of music in an ever-changing culture.

Semester 1: This exploratory class invites students to discover their own voice, experience singing in a group, with a cappella and accompanied literature in a gender specific setting. Activities in this class include singing, hands-on creating and composing, and experimentation with the voice. Instruction is designed to enable students to connect, examine, imagine, define, try, extend, refine, and integrate music study into other subject areas. A limited number of public performances serve as a culmination of daily rehearsal and music goals. Students must participate in performance opportunities, outside of the school day, that support and extend classroom learning.

Semester 2: A continuation of semester 1 for students desiring further vocal learning, but in a combined-gender class. Instruction is designed to enable students to connect, examine, imagine, define, try, extend, refine, and integrate music study into other subject areas. A limited number of public performances serve as a culmination of daily rehearsal and music goals. Students must participate in performance opportunities, outside of the school day, that support and extend the learning in the classroom.

Beginning Chorus (grade 9)

Chorus classes provide instruction in creating, performing, conducting, listening to, and analyzing music, in addition to focusing on the specific subject matter. Students develop the ability to understand and convey the composer’s intent in order to connect the performer with the audience. By making connections between their own lives and music, students learn the relationship between faith and music, as well as their daily use of music in an ever-changing culture.

Students develop musicianship and specific performance skills through large and small ensemble singing in gender specific classes for one semester. Activities develop quality repertoire in the diverse styles of choral literature appropriate in difficulty and range for the students. Instruction is designed so that students are enabled to connect, examine, imagine, define, try, extend, refine, and integrate music study into other subject areas. 

Concert Choir (grades 10-12)

Through singing, students express themselves creatively, while acquiring knowledge of reading music, and creating music from varied traditions and cultures equips them to learn and experience new music independently throughout their lives. The ability to listen with understanding provides students with a broad cultural and historical perspective. The skills, knowledge, and habits developed in the study of choral music equip students to create and enjoy music, as well as develop a lifelong appreciation for aesthetic values.

Students develop musicianship and specific performance skills through ensemble and solo singing. The Concert Choir is composed of mixed chorus singing of a cappella and accompanied literature from the Renaissance to the present century. Instruction is designed to enable students to connect, imagine, define, try, extend, refine, and integrate music study into other subject areas. Coursework provides instruction in creating, performing, conducting, listening, analyzing, and focusing on specific subject matter. Students develop the ability to understand and convey the composer’s intent in order to connect the performer with the audience. 

The choir performs in local churches, district choral contest, and takes an annual tour. Each April the choir joins twelve Mennonite high schools across Canada and the U.S. for the Mennonite Schools Council choir festival. Participating schools host the event on a rotating basis.