• Samuel Clemens High School Choir Handbook



    1) This year we will have at least 1 representative in each eligible Region Choir.

    2) This year we will increase our representation at the UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest.

    3) This year we will improve our UIL Concert & Sight-Reading scores by one division.

    4) This year we will recruit 10 more students into the choir program.



    It is expected that all enrolled choral students will:

    • BE PROMPT – Students are to be in class or any outside rehearsals, with ALL of their required materials/music, BEFORE the tardy bell rings or the rehearsal call-time if outside of the class period.
    • BE PREPARED – Have all of your required materials with you EVERY DAY.
    • BE PRODUCTIVE – Off-task behavior is unacceptable. As a performance/participation based class, your choice not to participate or to prevent others from learning will result in an inability to perform at the required standard level, and will affect your grade. Off-task behavior includes but is not limited to: use of unauthorized technology during class, excessive talking, or refusal to participate.
    • BE POLITE – Be respectful and courteous to all teachers, and all fellow students. Treat other people the way that you would like for them to treat you. In all that we do or say, we as choir members should show respect for each other and our organization whether we are in the choir room or anywhere else. Negative comments, dissention, lack of pride, bullying, gossip, etc. have no place in an excellent choral program.





    1) Black Binder (provided by Mrs. Specht)

    1) Multi-colored highlighters (personal use)

    2) Pencil

    2) Colored pencils (for personal use)

    3) Face mask suitible for singing

    3) Composition book or notebook paper

    4) All assigned music

     4) Box of tissues (donation)



    Grading policies follow the SCUCISD Grading Policy. Summative grades shall constitute 50% of the student’s nine-week grade. Formative grades shall constitute 50% of the student’s nine-week grade.

    1. Formative Grades – Grades taken during the daily choir class period will be considered formative grades. These grades will include music theory worksheets, individual and small group sight reading grades, participation and preparation grades, individual and small group part checks, etc.
    2. Summative Grades – Major assessments will consist of written and performance based assessments given during the choir class period and required choir concerts or events. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), classes such as choir are considered to be Co-Curricular.  This means that all concerts given during the school year are considered part of the curriculum and considered major assessments.
      1. Concert Grades – Students will be assessed in the following areas at every concert:
        1. Musical Performance – This grade includes music memory, proper vowels, watching the director, musicality, etc. Are they doing everything that we have practiced and discussed in class to make this their best performance?
        2. Concert Etiquette – The Concert Etiquette grade is a reflection of their behavior as an audience member.
        3. Performance Etiquette – This grade is a reflection of the student’s behavior while they are on stage in performance and a test to see if they have mastered the behavioral skills necessary for proper performance etiquette.
        4. Written Concert Evaluation – A written concert evaluation will be completed following each choir concert. Students are required to listen to and analyze choral performances, in order to formulate plans for growth.

    To make an “A” in choir, a student must do the following:

    • PARTICIPATE in all areas of classroom instruction. This includes warm-ups, sight reading exercises, worksheets, repertoire rehearsal, etc.
    • ATTEND all required extra rehearsals and required performances.

    Work will be considered late if not submitted upon entering the classroom. Work is not to be left under a teacher’s door, in the teacher’s mailbox, or on the teacher’s desk. Students will submit work to the teacher personally. All late work will have an automatic 10 point deduction per day, not to exceed 30 points, plus any other deduction based on quality of work. After 3 days the assignment will not be accepted.



    Scheduled choir rehearsals and concerts are mandatory.  Choir members are expected to attend and be on time for all scheduled morning, afternoon or evening rehearsals and performances.  Choir members are expected to work out all job related conflicts, appointments, or conflicts with other extra-curricular activities, prior to the date of the event.  You will know of all choir activities in a timely manner to allow you to make plans accordingly.  Work and “not having a ride” are not excused absences. School-related conflicts can be easily worked out between teachers/coaches if the teacher is notified of the conflicts as soon as the student or parent knows!  It is entirely your responsibility to communicate with all affected sponsors in a timely manner, not the day of the event! This is also SCUCISD District policy as outlined in guidelines given by the district for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. 

    Failure to attend a concert or other major function will greatly affect your grade as these are test grades.  In the event that a student misses a concert or major function, it is the student’s responsibility to schedule a time with the teacher to make up their grade for that event. Make-up assignments will vary depending upon the events that were missed. If the student does not make up their grade in the time allotted, the student will receive a zero.  Points will be deducted in cases of unexcused absences, or excused absences not made up within the SCUCISD district guidelines for late work.  Failure to communicate a known absence prior to the event will result in that absence being automatically considered “unexcused.”

    Please note: Having an unexcused absence from any concert during the year makes you ineligible to attend choir field trips. You will also be considered ineligible for choir field trips if you are assigned ISS (repeatedly), or OSS, for any reason, including tardies.  No exceptions. 



    Fundraising is an excellent opportunity to raise funds to support the needs of the choir program. It is expected that ALL students participate in program-wide fundraisers. Monies from fundraisers go to support the following: contest fees, field trips, the end-of-year BBQ, and much more.




    Students have the opportunity to earn a letter jacket in choir. To earn a choir letter jacket, a student must earn 200 points. Points are earned by participating in various activities throughout the year. Points will be tracked online as each event happens. A letter jacket point worksheet is available for download on Mrs. Specht’s web-site.



    This year, there will not be a choir fee. We will still have choir t-shirts available to purchase. It is expected that every choir student purchase a choir t-shirt for group events. The t-shirt will cost $12. This year’s t-shirt design can be found on my web-site and in Google Classroom.



    Many of the events we participate in require students to be eligible (passing with at least a 70) in ALL of their classes. If you are struggling in a particular class, and need assistance, please ask for help. Events requiring eligibility include: Region choir auditions, Solo & Ensemble, other extracurricular performances/contests. 



    Informal Uniform – Choir polo (Purchased in My School Bucks for $30 – new choir students only.)

    • Fall Concert – Polo/Black Pants
    • Football games – Polo/jeans
    • Extracurricular gigs – Polo/jeans

    Formal Uniform

    • Women School provided black formal dress
    • Men School provided tuxedo (includes pants, jacket, black shirt, cummerbund, and blue neck tie)

    While the outer dress uniform will be provided, the choir participant supplies the following personal items to complete the outfit:

      • Women: Solid black CLOSED-TOE DRESSY flats or pump heels (no higher than 2”). NUDE (flesh-colored) panty hose or knee highs
      • Men: Black CLOSED-TOE DRESS BLACK socks
      • The following are prohibited: Open-toed shoes, platform shoes, tennis/gym shoes (NO VANS, TOMS, CONVERSE, SPERRYS, OR THE LIKE), sandals, non-black shoes, boots and dressy shoes with glitter, etc.
    • HAIR – Hair must be A NATURAL hair color for performances. If a student wears anything other than a natural hair color, he or she must cover the non-natural color for formal concerts. Hair should be pulled away from the face in a neat fashion. If bands or ribbons are used, they must be a modest matching style and color for the entire group.
    • JEWELRY – NO necklaces or bracelets. Small button style earrings up to ¼ inch only, no dangling earrings. Hoop earrings must be smaller than a quarter.
    • MAKE-UP – Due to bright stage lights make up is recommended. Lipstick should either be pink or red, no bold colors. No heavy eye make-up.
    • UNDER GARMENTS – Please ensure that you wear the proper under garments so as to maintain professionalism. (Sport bras do NOT work with our dresses.)

    Students should follow the SCUC and Clemens HS student code of conduct at ALL times, especially while in uniform. You are representing yourself, the choir program, Clemens HS, and SCUC ISD.

    The uniform listed above is property of SCHS Choir. All uniform parts must be accounted for when leaving the campus and/or school district and at the end of the school year. Uniforms that are missing, destroyed and/or maliciously vandalized will be charged to the student for replacement cost. Failure to account for and/or return uniform items is an offense that will be reported. Any replacement or repairs of the uniform become the responsibility of the student.



    Web-site: https://www.scuc.txed.net/Domain/2284

    CutTime: www.cuttime.net

    • If you already have a CutTime account:
      • From the main page, click on “Log In” at the top right corner. If you are on your mobile device, tap the menu icon in the top right corner, and swipe until you see “Log In.”
    • If this is your first time to use CutTime:
      • Click “Parent/Student Sign Up” in the upper right corner. If you are on your mobile device, tap the menu icon in the top right corner and swipe until you see “Parent/Student Sign Up.”
      • Fill out the form. Our school/group name is: Samuel Clemens HS Choir

    Remind: Text your class code to 81010, or use the code to join your class from the Remind app.

    • 5th Period: @ sckantori 
    • 6th Period: @ scchorale
    • 7th Period: @sccantabo
    • 8th Period: @scvoxforte

    Social Media                     



    During the course of the year, students are periodically recorded on video and/or audio for later critique. Recording is part of the learning experience, and this process is often crucial for the progress of the group. Occasionally, as part of our performing service to the community, we are asked to be a part of photographs or video taken by audience member and/or sponsor organizations. These photos are sometimes used in promoting a particular place or sponsor. The yearbook staff, our historians, or a school administrator may also sometimes take pictures of the choir during class or performances. These pictures may be published. We’d like all of our choir members to be a part of these pictures and recordings. No child likes to feel left out.

    Parents/guardians, please sign the attached permission slip for general permission for your child to be recorded on audio, video, or camera. If you have specific concerns about a particular event, please see Mrs. Specht (choir director) to discuss your concerns. Recordings made by the choir department WILL NOT be put on any social media web-site, however might be posted on a restricted access page on the choir web-site for concert reflection purposes. Pictures taken may be used in recruiting new students, posted in the choir classroom, and/or on the choir Instagram page or Twitter account.



    Parental involvement is a real necessity and is essential for the many events that choir students are a part of. Your support and encouragement, as well as your participation in chaperoning events, is essential for us to succeed. Together, we can give our students a challenging and rewarding experience. Volunteers will be required to follow the district procedures for gaining clearance. Feel free to call or e-mail me if you have any questions.