INSTRUCTOR: DR. BORDEN -- ROOM: 010 Alexander Hall


I.  Course Description: US Singers (Vocal Music) is the premiere choral group at University School.  It is designed to provide beginning choristers the opportunity to develop singing and choral skills and advanced choristers an opportunity to further develop singing and choral skills in a performing organization.  Being a member of the US Singers is an honor and a privilege that also carries certain responsibilities enumerated below and elsewhere.

 II.   Prerequisites:  Audition with Dr. Borden during initial weeks of class.

III. Course Requirements:

        A.  Students, alone and together, will be required to sing correctly and enthusiastically on a daily basis in class.

        B.   The US Singers will present a number of performances throughout the school year.  Many will occur during non-school hours and off campus.  Since little homework is required for US Singers, these performances are considered as homework time equivalents.  Students missing a performance with an excused absence must make up the missed performance within the time prescribed in the student handbook.  Students are responsible for making arrangements with Dr. Borden to complete make up assignments. Unexcused misses will earn a zero. An unexcused absence or an excused absence that is not made up from a major performance will result in a failing grade in chorus for that nine weeks.

        C. Please note that excused does not mean exempt.

        D. Choristers are required to have a usable pencil at all times during class and other rehearsals. 

        E.  Choristers will keep a music notebook for class notes, vocabulary, performance dates, and other pertinent information.

        F.  Choristers are responsible for notifying parents or guardians of performance dates and other requirements.

        G.  Choristers are responsible for maintaining the music, books, and equipment assigned to them during the year.  The student will be responsible for replacing or paying for lost or damaged materials.

        H.  The US Singers represent University School and East Tennessee State University in many public appearances.  It is imperative that each US Singer exhibits responsible citizenship as a chorister, as a student and as a member of our community.  Choristers demonstrating poor citizenship or behavior may be subject to disciplinary action, suspension or dismal from the US Singers.


        A.  The nine weeks grade will be based on the following categories

                        1. Daily class participation, cooperation, quizzes: 40%

                        2.  Tests (written and oral), solo songs, music reading: 30%

                        3.  Performances: 30%

                        4. Unexcused tardy = minus two points off final grade

                        5. Unexcused absence = minus five points off final grade

        B.  The semester grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two nine week's grades.

        C.  The yearly grade will be an average, 50/50 of the two semester grades.                              

        D.   Daily grade: Students are expected to give significant effort in singing during rehearsals each day.  Grades will be reduced if students do not comply.

        E.   Performances: The US Singers is a performance organization. Therefore, each singer is expected and required to participate in all performances.  Excused or unexcused misses must be made up in a timely fashion. Make up work may include but is not limited to singing the performance music solo for Dr. Borden during class, writing a research paper on an assigned related topic, or performing service for the chorus such as library work or class room cleaning. If allowed, make up work for an unexcused missed performance will receive a maximum grade of 70.  A grade of zero will be given to an excused or unexcused absence if the make-up work is not completed in accordance with the student handbook. 

                        1. Performances are a significant part of the US singers experience.  The number of performances during a nine-week grading period and the importance of each performance will determine the grade for each performance.  Students can count on performances each nine weeks.  During the holiday season and toward the end of the school year, there will be many extra requests for performances.  Students will be notified as soon as possible of performance dates to allow for adequate planning and personal arrangements to be made.

                                        a. Excused misses for extra rehearsals and out of school performances will include personal illness, death in the immediate family, or regularly scheduled religious services. 

                                        b. Non-excused events include but are not limited to birthdays, work, parties, vacations, sporting events, packing and so on.  If you are in doubt, consult with Dr. Borden at least two weeks prior to the concert. A note about athletics: Performances take priority over athletic practices and games. Extra rehearsals take precedence over athletic practices. A final dress rehearsal will also take priority over practices and games (Dr. Borden may make an exception in special circumstances) Care will be taken to avoid conflicts.

                        2.  Wardrobe for concerts will be described in class. Students may be required to provide certain items as part of concert attire such as shirt, shoes and so on.

                        3.   There is a $20.00 music participation fee. Please make the check out to University School and give to Dr. Borden. No student will be denied participation due to inability to pay this fee. See Dr. Borden if you have a question concerning this fee.

        G.  Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.  If a student continues with inappropriate or disruptive behavior or demonstrates new but still inappropriate behavior, the instructor may, depending upon the situation and the severity of the disruption do one or more of the following.  He may reduce the student's grade, or send the student to the office for administrative assistance.  Continued or significant misbehavior can result in the suspension or expulsion of the student from the US Singers.  An F will be given to students suspended or expelled from the US Singers. 

H. Classroom policies include but are not limited to:

                        1.  No food, gum, candy, or non-water drinks will be permitted in the classroom or during                                                 rehearsals elsewhere. 

                        2.  No hats or other head coverings are to be worn in class.

                        3.  An unexcused absence from class is minus one on the final grade.

                        4.  Three unexcused tardy marks equal one unexcused absence and minus one on the final grade.

                        5.  Each excused absence is minus one on the final grade unless made up.

                        6.  Students will not use or otherwise tamper with equipment, material, or other items located in the choral room.

                        7.  Students will treat one another with the utmost respect.  This is a team effort.

  V.   Schedule

        A. The Singers will participate in a number of concerts, trips and festivals. Students are expected to participate in all of these events if possible.

        B.  Students will need to raise money to pay for many of these events.  Details and dates will be forth coming. Some of these events will not be advertised until fall when most schools are beginning their school year.  However, we will notify you of these events as soon as possible.

VI.   Singing:

        A.   Students are expected to sing each day in class. This may be alone, in small groups or with the large group.

        B.    Students may be required to learn at least one solo song chosen by Dr. Borden. Students will be encouraged to perform the piece in class.

VII. Scope: This document does not contain every detail of the course.  It is subject to change to adapt to situations that may arise. We will notify you of any changes that may occur. Specific questions and problems will be handled on a case-by-case basis as fairly as possible.






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