General Information About Our Choir Program

There are various requirements and responsibilities to consider when joining and participating in our choir program. Read on to keep updated.

Choral

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled some of the questions about CAP+S that we usually receive from parents.

• Academic success is of the utmost concern, especially for our students who are involved in activities/athletics/performance groups. The points below outline our commitment to keeping students focused on their studies.
i. Participants in school activities/athletics must be passing 2.5 credits (each academic class is equal to 0.50 credits) in order to remain eligible. Physical education credits do not count toward the total of 2.5 credits.
Further consequences may be assigned by the director/coach to maintain appropriate discipline and morale within an organization.
ii. Directors/coaches must turn in the list of participants to Ron Kiolbassa, the assistant principal of Student Activities. This allows tracking of students’ grades on a weekly basis.
We ask that parents also make a habit of checking school logic on a regular basis. Consequences for weekly failing grades are to be determined.

iii. Students in fine arts and performing arts who are not passing 2.5 credits will be removed from participation in performances, contests, and rehearsals.
Those in performance classes who meet for academic credit during the regular school day are not excluded from meeting the requirements of a class.
Students in nontraditional academic credit performance classes who meet beyond the regular school day (i.e. show choir/chamber orchestra, etc.) may be withdrawn from those classes at the discretion of the instructor.
All of the above would be ineligible for IHSA, IMEA, trips, and other “extracurricular” performance opportunities.
For further clarification of the details above, contact Kyle Marquette, the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator, at (847) 718-4884 or kyle.marquette@d214.org.

• 30% of the grade for all choir ensembles is based on attendance (see enclosed Grading Policy) at choral concerts as indicated on the choral calendar.
Attendance is mandatory. Since you will have these dates prior to the start of the school year, only extraordinary excuses will be acceptable.
Excuses such as work or appointments are not acceptable, since dates are given well enough in advance to avoid conflicts.

A request to miss rehearsal form must be completed, signed by both parent and student, and turned in two weeks prior to the concert. Blank forms are available in the Choir Office from Ms. Michael/Ms. Langley.

• 40% of the grade for all choir ensembles is based on class participation. This includes rehearsals (see enclosed Grading Policy). From time to time, Ms. Michael will call a special rehearsal prior to a concert.

Attendance is mandatory. If you must miss rehearsal for an unavoidable conflict, a request to miss rehearsal form must be completed, signed by both parent and student, and turned in to Ms. Michael prior to the rehearsal.

Excuses such as work or appointments are not acceptable, since dates are given well enough in advance to avoid conflicts. Blank forms are available in the Choir Office from Ms. Michael/Ms. Langley.

This policy is also in effect for the show choirs, Dickens Carolers, Commercial Break, Pulse, and Heart and Soul.

Choral

• A Student Account is the CAP+S bookkeeping account set up for each choir student. It spans the entire length of the student's high school career. It works very similarly to a bank account, with funds going in, coming out, and a statement published monthly.

Each choir student has an individual student account. Money earned through fundraisers is added to this account.

Funds from the account may be used for voice lessons, choir fees, summer camps, or any fine arts-related activity (must be approved by the director).

Students must fill out a student account payment request form and submit it to Ms. Langley. Blank forms are available in the choir office and on the website. A student may check the balance in their student account online.

If you have questions regarding your student account or payments, email jhhscaps@gmail.com. You may also contact the CAP+S co-treasurer Dawn Chmielewski, at (847) 436-0070 or treasurer@herseychoir.com

• Any choir charges are “invoiced” to the student and appear as charges on their account. Any payments that you make towards these invoices are applied to your Student Account.

• If you have a credit balance (a negative balance on your account statement), this means you have money available that you can use toward payment for choir fees, show choir fees, CAP+S memberships, trip payments, voice lessons, OR you can just leave the money in the account to use at a future time. When you want to use available funds in your student’s account, please email jhhscaps@gmail.com and request to use the funds. Information to include in the email request includes:

1. Student Name
2. Parent Name
3. Amount of Funds To Be Used
4. Date of Request
5. Description of what the funds will be used to pay for (i.e., concert tickets, theatre performances, voice lessons, spring choral banquet, accompanist, apparel, other fine arts-related expenses, etc.)
6. If the money is to pay for private lessons, please indicate the teacher’s name and the address of where the payment should be sent.

• Money applied to your student’s account is from the payments you make to CAP+S by credit card, cash, or check for fees and charges assessed by the choir program. It can also be from fundraising credits your student earned during a specific fundraiser (each fundraiser for CAP+S rewards your student’s selling success by allocating a portion of the net profit from what they sell into your Student Account).

• This is the most exciting part of the program! Fundraising is part of your fiscal plan to pay down choir fees. We have many fundraising opportunities over the choir season. Our CAP+S treasurers will track your fundraising efforts all year and allocate funds into the student account. Stay tuned for communications and updates from your choir liaison, the website, Remind, and newsletters for fundraising opportunities.

• If you have a negative balance in your student’s account at the end of the year, the following options are available to you:
1. Underclassmen will roll over their accounts from year to year.
2. Seniors may gift their balance to a sibling or another student. Fundraising earnings remain with CAP+S and are then allocated to the scholarship fund.
Any questions regarding your student’s account should be directed to the treasurer's email at treasurer@herseychoir.com

• All choirs have a specified costume that they are expected to wear for all performances. Each student will have a fitting within the first few weeks of school.

Girls wear a long, black concert dress (owned by Choir Dept.), 2” black heels, and rhinestone earrings (owned by the student but purchased by the Choral Dept. and included in the choir fee).

Boys wear a black tuxedo, vest, tie (owned by Choir Dept.), and white tux shirt (owned by the student but purchased by the Choir Dept.). Black shoes and socks must be worn but are not provided.

Please make sure to have nice jeans.

The costume for our first concert, the Middle School Tour, and choir festivals will be the choir shirt every student will receive, along with a pair of black pants.

The shirt will be purchased by CAP+S. Additionally, the cost is included in your choir fee. However, we ask that you purchase the black pants.

Please make sure the pants are not cargo pants or jeans. We prefer classic dress pants that are not oversized or cut low. Both men and women will wear pants.

Please make sure you have these pants ready for the Choir Kickoff Concert (Fallapalooza) in October.

Show choir members will wear designated costumes that they will purchase and own at the end of the school year unless designated otherwise. Payment is separate from the choir fee, and a payment schedule will be sent home.

Dickens Carolers will wear costumes owned by the choral dept. They will be responsible for their own shoes.

For Commercial Break, Pulse, and Heart and Soul, the costumes and their costs are to be determined.

Choral

• Each choir student must pay an annual fee to cover the use of the concert costume (including maintenance and alterations), the purchase of the choir T-shirt worn during the Middle School Tour and other community performances, and the choir folder.

In addition, the new choir member fee will include shoes and earrings for the women and a tuxedo shirt for the men.

The new member fee is $85, and the returning member fee is $50. The student account may be used to pay this fee. Checks should be made payable to CAP+S (due during the first week of school).

• The payment of choir fees, concert tickets, show choir costume fees, etc. may be made by the following:
1. CHECK
You may pay by check made payable to CAP+S. Please make separate checks for each fee being paid (i.e. do not include the costume fee with the concert ticket payment).
2. CASH
You may pay in cash. If possible, please send the exact amount since it is difficult and time-consuming to have to prepare a change. The payment of check or cash should be placed in an envelope with the student’s name and choir on the outside of the envelope, as well as what the payment covers.
3. STUDENT ACCOUNT
The student may also use their student account for payment by completing the mentioned form.

• Our staff includes private voice teachers on staff. Students may take private lessons during one half of their choir period once a week. Lessons are 25 minutes. They cost $24 per lesson paid to the individual teachers.

Payments may be made by check to the individual teacher, cash, or through the student account.

The teachers will make a presentation during the first week of school. During that time, students can sign up for lessons.

Students are urged to take private lessons if possible. Chamber Singers are required to take private lessons.

• CHORAL ASSOCIATION OF PARENTS AND STUDENTS (CAP+S)

CAP+S is our parent booster group. We invite all families to become members to show their support of the choral program. Refer to the enclosed form for the fees.

The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM in the faculty lounge. Parents are urged to attend all meetings and become involved.

It’s a great place to get information firsthand since Ms. Michael/Ms. Langley attends each meeting.

The need for parent volunteers doesn’t end in junior high. This group’s work benefits each student and has a major impact on the opportunities we are able to provide for our students. Contact the president of CAP+S for more information.

• We provide several fundraisers during the year. These provide students with opportunities to earn funds for their student accounts. In most cases, students earn 30%–50% of the profit for their account.

We also hold a gift card fundraiser sale each month.

  • We use the funds raised by CAP+S in different ways, including the following:
    • Additional Accompanist Fees
    • CD Burner
    • Choral Risers
    • Clinician Fees
    • Concert Expenses
    • Grand Piano for the Choir Room
    • New Choral Costumes As Needed
    • Newsletter/Announcement Mailings
    • Pianos for the Private Voice Studios
    • Professional Musicians To Accompany the Choir
    • Sound System for Choir Performances
    • Student Awards
    • Student Scholarships for Summer Camps and Financial Needs
    • Transportation for Choirs Going to Festivals

    Through fundraisers, CAP+S makes every effort to enhance the choir experience for all our students.

    • We do not prohibit students with financial needs from participating in choir or show choir activities. CAP+S offers various financial aid scholarship opportunities.

    We’ve outlined the criteria in the letter/application form. The criteria must be met in order for payment to be made.

    This scholarship is held in strict confidence. The application form is available from Ms. Langley. Additionally, the application must be made prior to the beginning of the payment cycle.

    • We recommend becoming involved with the Choral Association of Parents and Students (CAP+S), our booster organization. Every family is invited.

    Becoming a member isn’t just a means to support the choral program. It’s an excellent way to meet other parents.

    • No. CAP+S is really for everyone! We encourage all parents to attend the monthly CAP+S meetings (every second Tuesday at 7:00 PM) in the faculty lounge.

    • You will get firsthand information from Ms. Michael and Ms. Langley. Most of our teenagers aren’t very forthcoming about the information regarding their activities.

    At CAP+S meetings, you’ll learn about competitions, concerts, volunteer opportunities, etc.

    You’ll also get to know parents just like you who are excited about this amazing program. You may even hear some funny stories about your student!

    • Parents who have done this always say, “I wish I had gotten involved earlier.” These high school years fly by. You will be amazed by the way your support and involvement can make the choral experience even more fun and meaningful.

    • Click here to learn more

    Do You Have Any Questions?

    Call the choir office at (847) 718-4942. You can also email Ms. Michael
    (sara.michael@d214.org) or Ms. Langley (joann.langley@d214.org).