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Director Notes - Beginning of School 2023

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Hello everyone! These Director Notes emails typically go out once a month to provide

information to our choir families of things happening and opportunities in the choir

department. Please read through the entire email.

I’ve really been enjoying this first week of school with the students! While we’re all adjusting to

being back at school, we've learned, shared, and made music and IT IS WONDERFUL!


1 Welcome new and returning students and families!

I am committed to making choir the best it can be and every student within those choirs the

best that they can be!  We will sing together! We will be doing concerts and events throughout

the year! We will continue to work on individual vocal production and music reading skills!  We

will move forward and grow and as a result be better!  We will do this together!  We ALL are a

choir family!


2 Fall Choir Retreat – THIS SATURDAY – August 19 – 2-10pm

This is our choir time of fun, games, and singing for ALL current choir members.

It happens here at Anderson in the cafeteria, gyms, and choir room.

Parent chaperones and I will be present during the entire event.

This is a great opportunity for students to get to know each other better within their

choir and across the other choirs. It is one of the most fun events we do all year!

We would love 100% of choir student participation at this event!


3 Choir BIG meeting – August 31 – 6:30-8pm - MANDATORY – Anderson Theater

This is the third year of this important new event! Back to School night is not set up well for you

to learn all about this choir program and I want to give an opportunity for everyone, students

and parents, to come learn about how things work. You will also have a chance to answer

questions as well as meet the Choir Booster Officers, Choir Council, and me. I’ll cover

everything from expectations and concerts to voice lessons and our spring trip.

6:30-7pm – Theater Lobby - opportunity for some up-close-and-personal looks at items we

offer for purchase, sign up for voice lessons, become a choir booster parent, or just say ‘hi’ to

our Booster officers or me.


7-8pm – Theater – Expectations, opportunities, introductions, and information about our spring

trip.

Choir Please put August 31, 6:30-8pm in the Anderson Theater on your calendar! See you

there!


4 Purchasing and paying choir fair share fees can be done ONLINE! Ideal due date = Sept 7

Please go to www.trojanchoir.com and click the PAY FEES ONLINE tab.

Here you can pay for (Most credit cards and Paypal accepted):

Fair Share Fees (student T-shirt included in this fee) – Please pay by Sept 7.

Join the Boosters at a chosen level of support.

Pay for All-State entry fees if desired – this must be paid by Sept 19.

Pay for Solo Contest fees if desired – this must be paid by Dec 14.

Support another choir student with an optional donation.


The following OPTIONAL items are available for purchase for a limited time only.

Sale ends on these items Sept 15.

Purchase a choir yard sign (limited time).

Purchase a T-shirt for parents (limited time).

Purchase a Duffle bag or Uniform bag (limited time).


5 First Choir Fund Raiser staring soon!

To help students raise funds for fair share fees or the spring choir trip or Madfest for

Chorale or voice lessons, we will be offering fund raising opportunities throughout the fall and

early spring. Our first will be selling World’s Finest Chocolates! Details will be shared in class

and at the BIG meeting.


6 REMIND

This is a one-way mass text messaging service that I use to communicate reminders

to the students. Parents are welcome to sign up as well. Each class has a specific text

in order to receive that class’s information. Students cannot respond to the text and

neither individual’s phone number is shown.


If you choose to participate, standard text messaging costs apply. Messages will show

up as Mr. Beussman: “message”

When you sign up for the first time, you will receive a text asking for your birthdate

(we can’t text students younger than 13) and your name to populate the class. Please

Use your first and last name. Once done, you’re done. If you already use Remind for

another class, you will just be added to the appropriate choir class as well. Many

students did this in class over the past two days. Parents are welcome to also sign up

for their student’s class.

If you have trouble signing up, try going to the Remind.com website

and download the app or choose to receive the texts via email.

Below is the easy way to sign up. Students should know which class to sign up for.

However, if they do the wrong class, I am able to move them.

Please use your first and last name when signing up:


3 rd period – Concert Choir - Tenor/Bass Choir:

text @3men to the following #: 81010

5 th period – Nova Voce - Treble Choir:

text @5freshmen to the following #: 81010

6 th period – Bel Canto: Treble Choir

Text @belcanto6 to the following #: 81010

7 th period - Chorale: Mixed Choir:

text @2chorale to the following #: 81010

Zero hour – before school – Madrigal Singers:

text @madsingers to the following #: 81010


7 Stay connected!

Website – www.trojanchoir.com

Volunteer to help, calendar, music, pictures, forms, general info, links etc.

available in one place.


Remind – see above

Instagram: @Andersonchoir

Follow and see pics from throughout the school year.

Blend – I will be using Blend for some assignments this year.


8 Handbook

The choir handbook can be found on our website and is attached to this email. Please read

through the handbook. Then have you and your student sign and return the handbook contract

(attached).


9 Heath Release Form

Please fill out this form (attached) as completely as you can. This not only will help me take care

of your student in case of an emergency, but also provides me with needed information

regarding allergies etc.


10 Calendar

Attached is our choir calendar for the school year. Please get all of these dates on your

family calendar immediately so that conflicts can be prevented. If you use google, you can

link the calendar on our website to yours!


11 Voice lessons

We offer one-on-one voice lessons for students who are interested. We have an incredible

voice teacher, Jenny Ohrstrom who will be working with our students once again this year. We

encourage everyone to consider lessons. If we have enough interest, I will hire more teachers.

Lessons can really help students accelerate their vocal development as well as give specific

attention to an individual’s music learning needs and voice concerns. Most of our students who

excel at the individual competitions take private lessons. We highly encourage your child to

take lessons particularly if they are participating in the All-State audition process and for

solo/ensemble contest. If interested, talk with or email Mr. B ASAP.


12 All-State info:

The All-State audition process is rigorous, but it’s also a great learning experience. I hope that

several of our students will participate in these auditions next year. If you are considering

competing in the All-State Audition process, I have some information to share with you. For first

year students, the first round of auditions is similar to Region auditions in middle school. 

However, the music is more challenging (we do 3 or 4 songs each round. You will know the song

selections, not cuts, in advance) and you compete against all grade levels on your voice part. 

First and second year students CAN do very well in this process.  It's all about being prepared. 

To help you get started, please do the following:

1 The TMEA All-State music has been announced and can be found at:  

https://www.tmea.org/divisions-regions/vocal/audition-material

You can also see voice range of each part to help you decide which to audition on.  Voice

teachers can also help you with this.  The voice part you sing in choir is not necessarily

the best part for you to audition on.  Not sure, please ask.

We have all the recordings on our website so you can listen, download and practice. Our

website is www.trojanchoir.com The password for that portion of the site is fireant.

I would suggest listening to choirs on Youtube singing these songs.  Here is a playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXcttZVhf0s&list=PLPdRfm9C_79IBbTRSTkom7k2O_ORLG

UaK

 

2 Let me know your name and what voice part you are planning to audition on.  It is

NOT necessarily the voice part you usually sing in choir. I will have a google form to fill

out soon.

3 Music packets can be ordered through www.jwpepper.com Type Texas All-State

School Choir Packets in the search box. Then choose either Large school Treble or Large

school Tenor Bass. These can be mailed directly to your house. Meanwhile, I can

provide Xerox copies until your order arrives.

Attached are the songs that will be judged each round. A lot of the

learning is done by the individual. However, we will also have group

rehearsals available starting this week.


13 FAQ Sheet

Confused about some of the events our choir or individual choir members participate

in? Read the attached FAQ sheet to get some answers. Also, come to the Choir BIG

Meeting mentioned above.


14 New fall concert, Short & Sweet and Follies

We have added a concert to the fall called ‘Short and Sweet’. This will be a fairly short

concert in early October, but is going to help us set up proper vocal technique for the rest of

the year. Additionally, we will once again be doing a Follies concert later that month. The Follies

concert always has a theme! This year’s is ‘The 2010s’. Please note that there are multiple

performances of Follies and a dress rehearsal.


15 Letter Jackets

Letter jackets are available through choir via a point system. This will be explained in

class and students will be able to track their progress throughout the year. Students who

earned their jacket last year will have their fitting on Tuesday, August 29 after school.


16 Anderson Choir Concerts – These are required co-curricular events. All choir students must

participate. These are graded performances as they are part of our curriculum.


17 Contact:

Director:

David Beussman – david.beussman@austinisd.org

Office phone – 414-7926

Booster President – Venus Dever – ahschoirtx@gmail.com

Choir Website: www.trojanchoir.com


Mr. B

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