Singer Handbook 2023-2024
Columbus Children’s Choir Pledge of Commitment
When you register your singer, you must check a box pledging you and your family will adhere to the policies and procedures included in this handbook.
Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Artistic Director email@example.com
Dr. Kerry Haberkern, Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tammy Gebara, Program Manager email@example.com
Jeanne Wohlgamuth, New World Singers firstname.lastname@example.org
Dameon Jones, Presto Choir email@example.com
Molly Rule, Vivace and Adagio Choir firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Zelenack, Allegretto Choir email@example.com
Rachel Fox, Young Musicians Class firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission Statement: Fostering the personal growth of children through meaningful experiences in music education and vocal performance
Columbus Children’s Choir sustains a children’s choral program of the highest quality, focusing on the following artistic and educational goals:
- To instill a love of music in our choir members
- To achieve a level of artistic excellence necessary to perform in a variety of settings, such as choral festivals, symphonic programs, city, state, and national events, recordings, tours, and concerts
- To ensure that choir members have the opportunity to gain knowledge and demonstrate literacy in musical concepts and skills
- To instill a sense of discipline, self-esteem, responsibility, professionalism and commitment among all choir members
- To provide access to the choir for children from all cultural and economic backgrounds
- To serve as a model for choral literature and vocal training in the field of children’s choral music, and as an advocacy group for music education in the community
- To foster new arrangements and compositions for children’s choirs
The choir is a learning environment designed to provide a rich and rewarding musical experience for each member. Masterpieces of music, from all styles and periods, form the foundation for musical learning and serve as the basis for the curriculum. The directors believe that “children should be led to musical masterpieces” through high quality music literature and that, “for the young, only the best is good enough” (Zoltan Kodály).
Concepts about music (melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, dynamics, form, style, and tempo) and musical skills (singing, theory, sight reading, part-work, memory, etc.) are taught through the music presented in rehearsals. While Columbus Children’s Choir is not a religious organization, the use of sacred music is a significant part of choral education and our repertoire.
The conductors teach using the Kodály Philosophy, which aims to develop music literacy while instilling a love of music in each singer. Singers are taught to read, think and hear music through the use of solfa syllables. Singers learn how to use their vocal instrument through exercise, posture, breath, and tone production. The ability to hear music, to conceptualize music, to perceive and respond musically develops naturally from the human voice. Singing skill and musical understanding are essential components of the creative process and a fundamental resource basic to music education.
Columbus Children’s Choir is first and foremost a traditional children’s choir, for treble voices. Enrollment is for an entire season (9 months) and each member is expected to stay active and committed to the program for the entire season, including performances and summer tours.
Our choirs exist to develop young singers’ musicianship and vocal artistry. Singers are placed in choirs according to their vocal and musical skill, maturity, and attendance record. Like reading literacy, musical growth is developmental. Most singers are placed in the same choir for more than one year. Our choirs include:
Young Musicians Classes: This non-audition group is a pre-choir preparation class and early learning experience for children in grades 1st and 2nd grades. The classes engage children in songs and games as they begin to discover their singing voice and initial steps to music literacy.
Adagio Choir: is an entry level choir for singers with no experience. This choir aims to instill good vocal habits and beginning reading skill in its singers. Literature is selected that will build vocal, reading, and part-work skills.
Allegretto Choir: is an entry level choir for singers with more experience in literacy and vocal skills. This choir aims to instill good vocal habits and continues to develop reading and musicianship skills. Literature is selected that will build vocal, reading, and part-work skills.
Vivace Choir: is for older beginning singers who need to further develop their musicianship skills and vocal artistry. Literature is selected that will build vocal artistry and develop reading and part-work skills.
Presto Choir: is for older singers with more experience and musicianship skills. This choir aims to refine part-singing and reading skills, and prepare singers for the New World Singers, our premier touring choir.
New World Singers: is the premier choir of the Columbus Children’s Choir and is for exceptional treble singers who have attained a high level of music literacy. This choir aims to challenge its members with a wide range of literature and performance experiences. Singers in this choir exhibit superior vocal and musicianship skills, as well as a fine sense of responsibility, emotional maturity, and commitment. This choir is the main touring group of the Columbus Children’s Choir, those accepted into New World Singers are expected to tour.
The Artistic Director makes all final decisions regarding a member’s place in the choir.
Location of in-person rehearsals: 760 E. Broad St. Columbus, Ohio 43205
Columbus Children’s Choir is located within, but not affiliated with, Broad Street Presbyterian Church. When you come to the choir space, please enter through the doors located on the east side of the building, across from the courtyard. You cannot access the rehearsal space through the main church doors.
- Singers should be in their seats, with their music, 10 minutes before the start of rehearsal.
- Choir Managers will be present at each location thirty minutes before call time.
- If a Choir Manager isn’t present you must stay with your singer until one arrives.
- Columbus Children’s Choir is not be responsible for children left before a Choir Manager is present.
- Do not arrive more than 15 minutes before the start of rehearsal. We cannot guarantee that the space will be open, or that a Choir Manager will be present.
- Young Musician’s I (1st grade) – 5:15pm-6pm Tuesdays
- Young Musician’s Class II (2nd grade) – 6:15pm-7pm Tuesdays
- Adagio Choir – 6pm-7:30pm Wednesdays
- Allegretto Choir – 6pm-7:30pm Tuesdays
- Vivace Choir – 6:00pm-8:00pm Tuesdays
- Presto Choir – 6:00pm-8:00pm Wednesdays
- New World Singers – 1:30pm-3:30pm Sundays AND 6:30pm-8:30pm Tuesdays
The choir schedule changes frequently as new performances are added to the season throughout the year. Make sure you are subscribed to your singer’s calendar. Instructions are in the Singer’s & Families page.
We expect that attendance at rehearsals and performances take a high priority in the lives of our singers and their families. A significant amount of material is covered at each rehearsal and every singer is important to the success of the ensemble. Like any other team, the choir relies on the consistent attendance of all its members. Important musical factors such as balance and blend are affected by the absence of even a single performer. Consistent attendance ensures that each singer feels confident and prepared for performances.
Singers are expected to attend:
- Dress Rehearsals: An absence for any reason from a final rehearsal may result in the singer being removed from the performance.
- Performances scheduled six weeks in advance
Singers in Adagio, Allegretto, Vivace, and Presto choirs are allowed three unexcused absences during each semester (September – December & January – April). New World Singers are allowed a fourth unexcused absence in the second semester. If your singer will be absent for any reason you must notify your choir manager prior to the absences. Excessive absences may be grounds for dismissal from choir.
An absence is considered excused for illness, death in the family, or conflict with a mandatory school music performance. School music performances are identified as performances for which a grade in school will be given (band, orchestra, choir) not an extracurricular activity (musicals, plays, sporting events, etc.).
Columbus Children’s Choir is noted for its members’ excellent behavior. It is the responsibility of each member of the choir to follow established expectations, not only so that the choir can achieve its goals, but also so individual needs can be respected. Upon enrollment, each member assumes responsibility for following the prescribed expectations. Additionally, the choir expects that parents will support their child in this effort and will also support the choir by respecting the expectations. A member of the choir must take responsibility for his/her actions at all choir functions and singing opportunities made available through the choir. The behavior of each member impacts the effectiveness of the choir as a whole. Any member whose actions demonstrate a failure to meet his/her responsibility may be asked to leave. If a choir member inadequately handles his/her own responsibilities in these regards, the choir may make its own determination of what it considers to be in the best interest of the choir.
Destruction of property is not tolerated and may result in dismissal from the choir. Any damages caused by a singer are the fiscal responsibility of the parents. Behavior is considered during auditions for the following season.
All singers are expected to practice their music at home. Practice at home includes breathing, vocal exercises, and work on the pieces you’re learning. From time to time, specific learning assignments are given to help members in memorization and confidence for a performance. Completion of these assignments will be evident in the choir rehearsal and may be checked on an individual or small group basis. We want you to be prepared and feel great about your performances.
Timely payment of tuition is appreciated. Failure to make payments in a timely fashion may result in dismissal from the program.
New World Singers: $692 until July 14 / $767 after July 14, 2023
Presto: $565 until July 14 / $628 after July 14, 2023
Vivace: $552 until July 14 / $612 after July 14, 2023
Allegretto: $520 until July 14 / $577 after July 14, 2023
Adagio: $482 until July 14 / $536 after July 14, 2023
YMC I & II: $394 until July 14 / $438 after July 14, 2023
Please visit the tuition page for additional information about payment options and policies, late fees, and scholarship opportunities.
In order for the choir to have a professional, polished appearance it is important that all members strictly adhere to the uniform. Singers who do not dress properly for performances may not be permitted to participate. Members should purchase uniforms in a timely fashion. Many items are custom made and require 6-8 weeks to process. Please use this link for details about your child’s uniform and item numbers. Uniforms must be purchased from:
Schoolbelles School Uniforms
(our online school code is S2735)
- All singers’ hair should be secured neatly away from the face.
- Only natural hair colors are permitted.
- All hair accessories must be the same color as the singer’s hair.
- Fingernails are to be clean and well groomed. Neutral nail polish only.
- If used at all, makeup should be neutral and minimally applied.
- Choir Pins: Columbus Children’s Choir yearly award pins may be worn on the left side of the singers’ jumper or vest, approximately ½” above the logo, or on the left lapel of the NWS jacket.
- Earrings: one very small plain pair of gold stud earrings (no dangling or sparkly earrings that may reflect the lights) may be worn in the lower ear lobe. No other earrings or ear cuffs are to be worn.
- Rings: One small ring may be worn on each hand if desired.
- No watches, bracelets, necklaces, or anklets should be visible.
*Additional appearance expectations may be required at specific performances, or at the director’s discretion.
*Please do not wear perfume, cologne, or after shave as some singers are allergic.