TMS Choir Handbook and Calendar



Tidwell Middle School

Choir Handbook




Table of Contents:

Page 2           Welcome!

Page 3           Concert Uniforms

Pages 4-5      Rules, Grades, and Policies

Pages 6          Performance Requirements

Page 7           Choir Fees

Page 8           Private Lessons

Pages 9-10    Behavior Contract and Handbook Receipt*

*MUST submit by September 7th, 2018





Greetings!  We look forward with much anticipation to inspiring our new and returning choir students through an exciting year!


Please reserve some time to review the entire 2018-2019 Choir Handbook.  The Choir Handbook will remain on the Tidwell Choir Charms and Google classroom sites all year along with the choir calendar.  All of our important dates are already posted, so please make note of them in your personal calendar.


With that, we'll let you get to reading!  Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.  The best way to reach us is via e-mail.


Most sincerely,


Mr. Lovell & Mr. Lane

Tidwell Middle School Choir Directors



















Concert Uniforms


Be it a concert or competition, the way we look when we perform is very important.  The way you dress tells the audience how proud you are to be a part of choir!


6th Grade Choir Concert Uniform

  • Choir shirt ($15), blue jeans, closed toed shoes



    Varsity Women, Bella Voce and Men’s Choir Uniforms

  • All students will purchase a choir shirt ($15). The choir shirt along with blue jeans and closed toed shoes will be our uniform at Fall, Winter, and Spring performances. Ladies participating in UIL will receive a black dress uniform but will be responsible for providing black, closed-toe shoes. Black dresses will need to be returned dry-cleaned with a receipt attached. If a student loses their dress the replacement fee is $65.


  • All students will purchase a choir shirt ($15). The choir shirt along with blue jeans and closed toed shoes will be our uniform at Fall, Winter, and Spring performances. Gentlemen participating in UIL may choose to provide their own black dress pants (no jeans), white/long-sleeve/button down white dress shirt (no graphics). If needed or preferred, they may borrow black dress pants and/or a white dress shirt. All gentlemen going to UIL will be provided a black tie but will be responsible for providing their own black belt, black socks, and black dress shoes. Any borrowed formal uniform pieces should be returned dry cleaned with a receipt attached. If a student loses their uniform the replacement fee is $65.





Classroom Rules, Grades, and Policies


The three basic classroom rules are:

Demonstrate Respect for directors, classmates, and musical equipment.

Be Prepared have your folder and pencil with you when you take your seat

Have a Positive Attitude everyone deserves to have a positive experience


40% of a student's average will be in the form of a daily grade based on class participation (formative grades).  This means that so long as a student shows up prepared, follows classroom rules, has all materials needed for class, tries his or her best, and maintains a positive attitude, he or she will receive full credit for class participation. The grade will be lowered in the event the above criteria have not been met.


60% of a student's average will be derived from performance exams (summative grades). Members of the Varsity Women’s, Bella Voce, and Men’s Choir will be given near-weekly performance exams to determine preparedness on both skill work and prepared music.  Members of the 6th Grade Choir will be given weekly performance exams so we may closely monitor each student's progress in both skill work and prepared music, allowing students to become comfortable and confident when it comes time to perform.


The Fall, Winter, and Spring Concerts are summative grades.  Students may only be excused from performing in the event if there is a family emergency or the student has an excused absence from school the day of the concert.  In this case, a parent needs to contact the director within 24 hours of the concert with a valid reason for the absence and/or a doctor's note.  In the event the above criteria have not been met, the earned grade will be M for missing until the alternate assignment has been completed.  The alternate assignment for a missed performance, excused or unexcused, is to perform portions of the concert music for the class while wearing the required concert uniform within one week of the missed performance.


Performance Eligibility

All performances are summative grades and therefore required for the course.  In preparation for our performances each student will need to “Pass Off” on a portion or portions of their music in order to participate in the performance.  This is to encourage all members to prepare adequately for all performances that represent our program and to provide a positive experience for all those who have met these standards.  These “Pass Off” times will be group performances in class. In the event of a student absence, the student will always be provided with multiple opportunities to make up a “Pass Off”. Students who do not maintain a minimum of an 80% in choir maybe removed at the discretion of the director(s). If a student is removed from a performance by a director, that student will not be ineligible for our next field trip. In the case of summatives, the final grade will be an average of each Pass Off test leading to the performance.


Concert Grades

The summative grade for a performance is determined by the following factors:

  1. Wearing the correct uniform
  2. Being on time
  3. Performing on stage and following behavior expectations!



At the discretion of the Director, students who have missed class due to ISS or OSS will not be permitted to perform with his or her choir.  If the missed performance is for a grade, he or she will complete the alternate assignment.


Final Exams

Each student’s spring semester exam is his or her audition for the next school year.  Students will be given an audition packet at least one month prior to his/her audition date to be performed the week before final exams begin. 6th Grade, Men’s Choir, Bella Voce, and Varsity Women’s Choir students will perform from an audition packet provided by Mr. Lovell and Mr. Lane while 8th Grade Choir students will perform from an audition packet prepared by the BNHS, NHS, or EHS Choir Directors.



Students will be promoted to the next level based on his or her performance at the spring semester audition at the end of the school year.  Additionally, to be considered for promotion, students must demonstrate mastery of skills taught, a positive attitude, teachability, and the ability to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Promotion/demotion at the end of the fall semester will be handled on a case by case basis.


Tardy Policy

Due to the new three-minute passing period, students may enter the room after the tardy bell without consequences, however need to complete their pre-class ritual before our timer expires. This is typically 1 minute after the tardy bell, but 6th grade students will have additional time at the beginning of the year.  Students must be in their assigned seat with folder and pencil before time has elapsed.  If these items have not been completed, the student is not ready to participate in class and will be considered tardy.


Religious Music Guidelines

A fundamental difference between choir and other music classes is the use of text. Per state allowances we are permitted to pick and perform music that references elements of different religions and faith systems. We do not want to make any student feel uncomfortable. In the event we select a song that conflicts with your belief system, your student will be excused from participating on that song with no penalty.


Performance Requirements




The Tidwell Choir Program will present three concerts per year; a Fall, Winter and Spring Concert.  Concerts will take place at Tidwell MS.  The 6th Grade Choirs will arrive at TMS by 5:40pm, perform at 6:00pm, and end at approx. 6:30pm. Varsity Women, Bella Voce, and Men’s Choir will arrive by 6:40pm, perform at 7:00pm, and end approx. 7:45pm. Students need to be picked up from events within 15 minutes of the end of the event.  Students not picked up within 15 minutes of the end of a performance or trip will become ineligible for the next field trip. If a student is not picked up within 30 minutes from the time an event ends, we will have to call NISD Security or FW Police to take the student home.


All-Region Choir (optional)

Region Choir is comprised of middle school orchestra students within Region 2. Participation is determined by audition.  Auditions will be held Saturday October 20th at Briarhill MS, and the Clinic/Concert is Saturday November 3rd at Lewisville HS. We will be having before and after school rehearsals to assist students with this process beginning the second week of school. Students will have to complete a “Pass Off” to audition for All-Region before October 5th. We will also be paying half of all All-Region audition fees. Dress for the concert is the formal Choir uniform.


UIL and Pre-UIL

UIL is an ensemble competition in which Varsity Women, Bella Voce and Men’s Choir participate.  The competition consists of two parts: Concert and Sight-reading.  At UIL we perform three pieces we have prepared, then must sing a piece sight unseen following a six-minute instruction period. We are given ratings in each category from a panel of judges.  Ratings are I through V, I being the best.  Pre-UIL is simply a practice UIL.  Students will have in class “Pass Offs” to determine eligibility for UIL. Dress is formal choir uniform.


Solo & Ensemble (optional)

In this contest a judge hears each student perform a selection of the student’s choice.  This can be done individually (solo) or in small groups (ensemble).  The purpose of Solo & Ensemble is for each student to receive an individual rating.  This reinforces the positive qualities the student may exhibit in his or her singing while receiving suggestions regarding what areas they may improve upon.  This is a performance, not an audition, so nice dress is required though not limited to concert dress.  Dress is formal choir uniform.




Choir Fees


We collect money for the t-shirt your child is required to have if they are a member of the choir.  Because both choir directors are new to Tidwell this year, we are still in the process of scheduling fun activities/field trips. 



Choir T-shirt Fee


  • Required for all choir students
  • You may purchase additional shirts for family, etc.


$15.00 per shirt


















Private Lessons


While it is not a requirement, it is encouraged that your child takes private lessons.  Any child at any stage of musical development can benefit from private music instruction. Through private instruction students get the individual attention only private lessons can provide and have the opportunity to expand their musical experience by challenging themselves with solos, All-Region auditions, and more.  Lessons are taught by qualified, district-approved teachers who are masters of their instrument.


Private Lesson Rate: $20.00 per 30 minute lesson


All lessons are designed to take place during the student’s orchestra class once a week.  If class-time lesson slots fill up or if you prefer your child not miss class, some lessons may need to take place, with parent permission, before school.


Our teachers keep track of lessons taught and will invoice/bill you personally. Attendance and make-up lessons are also at the discretion of the private teacher. All issues pertaining thereto should be addressed to the private teacher directly.


If interested in private lessons, please notify me by as soon as possible as lessons will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.









Choir Behavior Contract and

Handbook Receipt

Complete your acknowledgment agreements online by

September 7th, 2018


The directors hold all members of the Tidwell Middle School Choir program to high standards of discipline. The actions of each member of the choir program affect the overall image of the choir in both the school and the community. Students who choose choir as their elective are among the best students in the school and discipline problems are rare in the Tidwell Choir program.


MULTIPLE DISCIPLINE ISSUES WITH ANY TIDWELL CHOIR STUDENT MAY RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING: removal from a performance, removal from an orchestra social event, removal from a competition, or removal from the orchestra program.


Specific Behavior Expectations


  • Students will follow all classroom rules and director’s instructions.


  • Students will not taunt, make fun of, or bully other students.


  • Students may be removed from choir performances or field trips at the discretion of the director if he or she continually displays poor behavior.



______________        ______________

   Student Signature                                        Parent Signature


*This page will need to be signed and returned ONLY if we do not receive your receipt/acknowledgement response online.





Choir Handbook Receipt


Congratulations for completing the handbook!  Please remember we’re only an e-mail away if you have any questions!


Mr. Lovell                                    Mr. Lane