Chapa Cougar Choir ~ Jan 7th 2020

Medals, Patches & Field Trips, Oh My! (January 6th 2020)

Happy New Year Choir Families

Choir Handbook Reminder

Welcome back to a swing of things. I hope your days are getting smoother as time passes, I understand it takes a bit to get back into a routine but i'm super excited to be back!

As you hopefully know, this is a full year course. I would like to take the time to remind everyone that we do have a handbook that every family was required to sign with information about tons of things that happen in our choir world.

Please take the time to review this information to refresh you and your student with our program's expectations so everyone can have a smooth semester :)

I have also included a digital copy of the choir calendar, please take the time to review and notice that NOT ALL items are for ALL students/choirs. Watch for more info as we get closer to events :)

All-Region MS Choir [Deadlines Approaching!]

Why MS All-Region Choir?

- Great resume builder!

(Fine arts show dedication and creativity for college and future employers)

- Training for the All-State audition process in High School

- Exclusive Letterman Jacket Patch for MS All-Region Choir Members Only

- Campus bragging rights (Featured on the District Website) ! Begin & continue a hand print tradition!

- Free Lunch on day of Clinic & Concert provided by CMS Choir

7th & 8th Grade Students have received information about this process in the mid fall (oct) and have been instructed to practice both individually and at the weekly practice times provided after school although only two practices have been required so far. Please note that it is NOT too late to finish getting ready for this audition if a student truly wants to put in the effort to learn & practice this music (does not need to be memorized!) . Final Deadline to turning in Region Paperwork- Wed. Jan 8th (Look like i'm only missed four people). On Friday Jan 10th all entries will be official and all students signed up will be responsible for attending Sat. Jan 25th Audition. Bus is usually provided to and from. Failure to attend the audition will result in re-payment of $18 student audition fee. If a student attends and auditions, no fees will apply.

Notice these final practice times are specific to which choir the student is auditioning for:

  • 7th Grade SSA Region Practice - Wed Jan 8th 3:45-4:45 PM

  • 8th Grade SSA Region Practice - Mon Jan 13th 3:45 - 4:45 PM

  • TTB [Men only] Region Practice - Wed. Jan 15th 3:45 - 4:45 PM

  • (ALL) DISTRICT PRACTICE[Lehman HS] - Fri. Jan 17th (No Bus) 4:30-6:30 PM [Pizza!]

    • ~ALL Region Auditionees must attend district practice.

  • Wed. Jan 22nd - Auditions cuts will be released. Please note that at this point auditionees will only need to focus on two of the three songs and only certain portions for the audition that Saturday 25th.

  • Sat. Jan 25th[Cedar Creek MS] - Auditions will be a full day process. We usually have a bus for our district auditionees that picks up EARLY morning at our HayCISD bus barn in the front by the I-35 access road. Students only need to stick around for their audition time slot. After completion of their audition they may call for their ride in the designated cell phone zone. Students may bring cash, food & non-electronic games/activities. If students must take bus back, they may end up waiting until late afternoon to return to Kyle. All Auditionees will be announced and celebrated in class the following Monday.


If a student places in the All-Region Choir they will then be responsible for knowing all four(4) songs entirely by Sat. Feb. 8th. Students who make it MUST practice on their own and I will offer tutoring times the two weeks prior to the big concert.

  • Sat. Feb 8th [Austin ISD PAC]- Clinic & Concert day we normally have a bus for all our region choir members depending on how many students place in the choirs in our district. This will also be a full day event. I will order lunch for these students during their clinic day. Students will be responsible for bringing formal wear. The (free admission) concert is that late afternoon around 4pm. It is recommended that you show up a little early for parking & best seating. Students should arrange for rides home after the concert (please talk to Mrs. Garcia prior).

Music Memory- Tuesdays!

Please note that Music Memory practices are now held on most Tuesdays from 3:45-4:45 PM in the Choir Room. All students must have attended at least nine (9) practices in order to compete on February 22nd!


What is music memory?

  • Learn about 16-20 different pieces of music from different musical eras.
  • Memorize what they sound like and how to spell their names (Title, Composer, Major Work).
  • You compete AS A TEAM: meaning you can work together during the test with your two other 6th grade team members.

We currently have two (2) spots open that need to be filled ASAP! Please contact Mrs. Garcia quickly so we can catch them up and get them going.

Spots are open to ANY CMS Student, they do not have to be currently enrolled in a music course to compete! Please talk to your students :)

  • Competitors will be eligible for some free food and party benefits as well as a chance to win medals!

  • CMS Music Memory has a history for sweeping all gold medals! Last year two out of the three teams earned gold, 7th grade earned silver.

District Solo & Ensemble [Performance Grade]

Yearly, all choir students have the opportunity to compete for a medal at our District Solo & Ensemble competition. This year's competition is on Sat. April 4th. ALL Choir Students will need to choose before this time to compete for a medal or just for a grade in class.

Student Assessment Details

For Choir Class: Every student will be required to perform at least 1 (one) Solo or Ensemble for a test grade assessment. This will be to measure your ability to sing alone and in small groups as list in your yearly choir goals (TEKS).

GRADE: You will be graded similarly to how you are graded for Sight Reading Assessments. The following categories are selected based on how you can demonstrate the following skills (none, sometimes, most of the time, all of the time, etc.) :

  1. Tone - Can you sing the song on pitch (not sharp or flat)?

  2. Beat - Can you sing the song on beat (not too fast /slow)?

  3. Rhythm- Are you singing the correct rhythmic values in the song?

  4. Posture/Presentation - Do you use singers posture and can you hold yourself professionally as you would do (or better than) with a choir?

CHECKPOINTS: You will have a series of checkpoints to complete before your final test grade performance. After every checkpoint you will receive verbal feedback that you are expected to use in your practice in preparation for your next assessment.

PERFORMANCE DAY: You will have three options of how to perform you Solo or Ensemble. After a certain deadline you may no longer change your choice. You will be expected to dress professionally (no jeans/shorts)

  1. Sing only in front of the teacher.

    1. after school by appointment , no other students around in the choir office.

  2. Sing in front of class.

  3. Sing in front of 1 (one) judge (not Mrs. Garcia) at the Solo & Ensemble Competition.

    1. If you choose to do this you will have a sign up by a deadline for an outside school event on Saturday April 4th 2020.

    2. If you do very well at this event you could receive a medal for your performance (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)!

Reminder: Choir Google Classroom & Grades

Students MUST read Google Classroom Weekly for Choir

Please encourage & remind your students to use and read google classroom every single week for choir class. Students are reminded and shown how to use it daily in class. There are also many options for students to use class devices during, before, after class and before and after school. Students are to be responsible in planning in advanced to check their google classroom so they do not miss any valuable information!

We use google classroom for the following:

  • Occasional Video Homework
  • Practice track resources for required and non-required performances
  • Study resources for assessments and written work (ie. Video & Paper Quizzes)
  • Tips & Reminders for choir assessments and practicing

So when you ask your student - "Do you have any homework?" This answer is almost definitely "Yes" because all students should be reading/practicing/studying every week for choir in order to better build their skills. Even if nothing is posted specifically about their songs, they can study some sort or material or just you tube research their songs they are working on.

If any student is unable to access online work it is their responsibility to bring home their binder from class to practice/study when necessary.

Choir Grading/Practice/Studying

Our students have been completing a STUDENT TRACKER for their grades in choir. They had one from the first nine weeks and they now have a new one for this nine weeks.

Every Monday students have been given the opportunity to write everything down that they have done, I have printed out grades for them to see if needed and they review a list of reminders for grades and events coming up as a class.


This nine weeks students will mainly be evaluated weekly through skills demonstrations (including self evaluations), written work and some video work that will be completed in class mostly. If any student does NOT complete work in a timely manner they may be assigned homework to catch up. Late points apply to missing work.

3rd Nine Weeks MAJOR GRADES:

This next nine weeks students will have a slightly different major performance experience which include a class (both solo/ small group- some on video only) performances and possibly a school assembly performance depending on which class they are involved in. Because there is NOT a major concert during this 3rd nine weeks it is IMPERATIVE that all students take all written work seriously and study when required for our theory work and other projects.


Students in choir who have low test grades mostly result from lack of practice/study/effort/demonstration of skills. Students are working DAILY on all skills needs to be successful for major grades in choir.

For the low daily/homework grades, It has been experienced that some students often say that don't understand something but they rarely sign-up/show up for the extra instruction time that has been provided weekly. Please encourage your student to sign-up for extra instruction if needed. I am more than willing to assist/re-teach and do what it take to get any student on track in time for submission of the assignment. Please not that students can loose points due to late submissions per district grading policy.


Outside of choir they have the opportunity to practice at home with materials provided on google classroom or they can sign-up for time to stay after school to use school resources/practice areas. Students can always take home their binder to study for anything and study resources are provided on classroom as well for symbol quizzes.

Houston Trip: 2 Payments due by Jan 24th!


Houston Trip Parents (7th & 8th Grade) MAY 16th 2020~

I wanted to touch base with you on a couple of things regarding the Houston Trip payments.

Trip payments are made through Unique Travels and Tours, NOT through the Chapa Choir Store.

Note that this information also applies to any adult planning on chaperoning with us as well.

Please follow the instructions below to make your payments:

Payment Information

o Link:

o Set up a new account by entering an email and password

o Confirm your email by clicking the link that will be sent to your email address that you entered

o Enter Code: Chapa MS 2020 (enter as shown)

o Follow directions after entering the code to begin making payments and submitting your required documents for travel.

FEES :It was brought to our attention that there is a 4% online credit card processing fee added to transactions. We take full responsibility for not catching this on our contract with Unique and for not making sure to disclose that in advance to you in the Houston paperwork. We assumed that any fees associated with the online payment system would be included in the per student price, but this ended up not being the case. You are welcome to continue to pay via credit card, or you have a couple of other options.

ACH :There is an option on the payment screen that allows you to make an “ACH” payment. This will act as a payment with a check and you supply them with the routing and account numbers. It says there is a 1% fee to process this, but I have been reassured that this fee is covered and will not result in any additional charges on the balance of the trip.

MAIL : You can send in payment by mail to: Unique Travels & Tours, Inc. P.O. Box 516 Hooks, TX 75561
i. Be sure to include the name(s) AND indicate that it is for the Chapa Middle School Houston Trip.

DEADLINES: While last week was the deadline for the first payment, We believe the only “hard deadline” is the January 24th, at which point all members must be up to date on payments.

If you need to wait a bit longer to register your student, or if you didn't get around to it soon enough, I don't believe there will be any problems getting you situated.

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving Break. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

1st Payment - Nov. 22, $75.00

2nd Payment- Dec 20, $75.00

(MUST BE UP TO DATE WITH PAYMENTS BY Jan. 24th 2020 to Secure Spot)

3rd Payment - Feb 2, $75.00

4th Payment - March 6, $75.00

5th FINAL PAYMENT - April 3rd (ONLY $49.00)

6th Grade Choir/Band Field Trip

As a reminder all sixth grade choir students in good standing will be invited to our yearly end of the year field trip on Saturday May 2nd 2020. This is a full day trip complete with yellow bus transportation, plus snack and meal bands. Students must attend all required performances, exhibit appropriate behavior on campus, and pay in full for the trip by the deadline.

All the specific information will be going out at a much later time this semester however I can say that in the past this trip cost around $60.00 per student (transportation, snack and meal). Chaperones will be needed as well at same price. Please stay tuned for more information an use this trip as a way to encourage their hard work (or need to work harder).