Wando Chorus Handbook 2016-2017

Hanbook Form 2016-2017

Music Advocacy’s Top Ten for Parents

The Wando Chorus Program
Chorus Classes at Wando
Rehearsals/Class Procedures & Policies
Wando Chorus Code of Conduct
Wando Chorus Culture
Concert Attire
After School Rehearsals & Concerts
Attendance Policy
Conflicts with Chorus
Placement Testing
Field Trips & Traveling
Fees & Fundraising
Student Accounts
Senior Awards, Honors & Scholarships
Parents’ Responsibility to the Chorus
The Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters, Inc.

Music Advocacy’s Top Ten for Parents

1. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument or sing are less likely to have discipline problems.
– Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.

2. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills
– Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.

3. A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background.
– Dr. James Catterall, UCLA.

4. A 1997 study of elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that students’ math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased.
– “Arts Exposure and Class Performance,” Phi Delta Kappan, October, 1998.

5. First-grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction.
– K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academeic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992.

6. In a Scottish study, one group of elementary students received musical training, while another other group received an equal amount of discussion skills training. After six (6) months, the students in the music group achieved a significant increase in reading test scores, while the reading test scores of the discussion skills group did not change.
– Sheila Douglas and Peter Willatts, Journal of Research in Reading, 1994.

7. According to a 1991 study, students in schools with arts-focused curriculums reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group.
– Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.

8. Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives.
– “Cassily Column,” TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.

9. In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.
– The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.

10. College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.
– Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades,” The Associated Press, October, 1999.

The Wando Chorus Program

The chorus program at Wando High School is one of the strongest in the state of South Carolina and the Southeast. We consistently have one of the top numbers of students in the state that make All-State Chorus and annually place over 50 students into the Charleston All-County Chorus.

Our program is known locally, nationally, and internationally. In June 2016 and 2013, we traveled to Italy for a ten-day performance tour. The choir sang at mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City and performed in churches in Venice, Florence and Rome. In 2014 Wando Bella Voce was invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Convention in Jacksonville, FL. This is one of the highest honors a high school choir program can receive. In 2012 and 2014, Wando Chorus traveled to Orlando, FL to perform in Festival Disney. Both times, the chorus earned “Best in Class,” placed in the top three choirs, and earned Superiors for their performance. In 2010, we traveled to New York City for two performances in Carnegie Hall. The chorus performed a solo concert and premiered a new choral work, “Sea Fever” by David Brunner. The very same day, the chorus sang the “Gloria” by composer John Rutter. In years past, the chorus has participated in international choral festivals in London, Vienna, and Prague. The chorus has also earned gold medals in major choral festivals held in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

We strive to provide a well-rounded music education for all chorus students. A successful chorus music education program has several necessary components, which contribute to the success of all students. It is our goal to:

  1. Provide a comprehensive music literacy program.
  2. Develop excellent small and large ensemble musicianship skills.
  3. Teach information about music theory and music history.
  4. Develop student leadership and teamwork skills.
  5. Encourage the development of organizational and practice skills.
  6. Instill a love of Chorus music that will last a lifetime.

In a chorus, EVERY student is of equal importance. No one student is of any more or any less importance than any other student. Every student has unique, important gifts, which contribute to the whole. We are not a collection of soloists, but a group of musicians each striving for the same goal: excellence in choral singing.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and the hundreds of Wando Chorus alumni and alumni parents who have an expectation of excellence. The Wando Chorus also has a reputation of excellence in the East Cooper community, in greater Charleston, and indeed, in the state and region. University Choirs regularly travel from all over the Eastern United States to recruit our students.



Chorus Classes At Wando

Mr. Eric Wilkinson
Chorus Director
Phone: 843-881-8255
Email: Eric_Wilkinson@charleston.k12.sc.us

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Morton
Associate Chorus Director
Phone: 843-849-2830 ext. 23825
Email: Mary_Goodson@charleston.k12.sc.us or Mary_Morton@charleston.k12.sc.us

Mr. Matt Taylor
Associate Chorus Director
Phone: 843-849-2830 ext. 24099
Email: Matthew_Taylor@charleston.k12.sc.us

Concert Choir (CP – 1 ½ units) The Concert Choir is the first level of the Chorus sequence at Wando High School. All students who go through the honors chorus and upper-level choirs will complete this course. During the fall semester, the class meets 90 minutes a day. During the spring semester, the class meets every other day, alternating with Fine Arts Health class. Members of this class perform at three major concerts and two performances during the year. Class instruction focuses on sight-reading, pitch and rhythm exercises, and independent singing.

Advanced Concert Choir (CP – 2 units) This class is the second through fourth levels of the Concert Choir sequence and performs at three major concerts and various other performances throughout the year. Members may choose to audition for All-State Chorus and Solo & Ensemble. This is a year-long class and meets for 90 minutes a day. Class instruction focuses on advanced sight-reading, pitch and rhythm exercises, and independent singing/harmony skills as well as varied repertoire.

Wando Singers (Honors – 2 units) Wando Singers is a year-long class that meets for 90 minutes a day with a few mandatory outside rehearsals. Members will perform several major concerts and must audition for All-State Chorus. Members must have a very strong commitment to the chorus program and must demonstrate the ability to work well with others as a group and in sections. Students must have a strong work ethic, be solid individual singers and have great stage presence. This chorus participates in Cabaret, as well as major concerts and performances. Class instruction focuses on advanced sight-reading, pitch and rhythm exercises, independent singing/harmony skills and varied chorus repertoire.

Men’s Choir (CP 1 ½  units or Honors 2 units)This is a single-gender chorus and placement is by the director. To be considered for this class, students must demonstrate superb musicianship and music reading skills. Students will sing advanced music in a variety of styles and languages. This choir will perform with Wando Choir throughout the year and by themselves several times. This is a year-long class.

Ladies Honors Choir (Honors – 1 unit) Ladies Honors Chorus, “Bella Voce,” is a highly selective ensemble that meets year-long for 50 minutes a day. Members will prepare a varied selection of advanced choral repertoire in order to perform at several major concerts each year. Members also must audition for All-State Chorus. Tuesday evening rehearsals are mandatory and are scheduled regularly throughout the entire school year. Class instruction focuses on highly advanced sight-reading, pitch and rhythm exercises, melodic dictation and independent singing/harmony skills. This Chorus performs regularly for school orientations, open houses, school programs, community events and also prepares the annual spring production “Girl’s Night Out.”

Show Choir (Honors – 1 unit) Show Choir is a highly selective SATB ensemble that meets for 50 minutes a day. Members will prepare a varied selection of advanced chorus repertoire in order to perform at several major concerts each year. Members also must audition for All-State Chorus. Tuesday evening rehearsals are mandatory and are scheduled regularly throughout the entire school year. Class instruction focuses on highly advanced sight-reading, pitch and rhythm exercises, melodic dictation and independent singing and harmony skills. This choir performs regularly for school orientations, school programs, community events and also prepares the annual spring production “Cabaret.” Members of this ensemble must demonstrate the highest levels of musical ability in all areas such as: vocal technique, sight-reading, diction, and expression.


Rehearsals/Class Procedures & Policies

  1. ARRIVE ON TIME AND BE PREPARED TO START CLASS. Students should pick up their music folder and classroom supplies, read the board in the front of the room for the class rehearsal plan. All book bags should be stored out of the way. When the tardy bell rings, students will be standing in front of their assigned chair humming a “G” pitch and be prepared to begin rehearsal. Students will remain in their assigned seat for the duration of the rehearsal unless otherwise directed or given permission to be out of their seat.
    Consequence: The school tardy policy will be enforced.
  2. ALWAYS have your music and a pencil in class. Mark your music appropriately during rehearsal. Pay attention to the director’s comments and make markings in your music without being asked. This will help you learn the music much faster.
    Consequence: You will lose ten points from your daily grade for that day.
  3. NO TALKING DURING REHEARSAL. Whether the director is standing or sitting at the piano, students should follow their music, and pay attention, even while their section is not rehearsing.
    Consequence: First time-10 points deducted from daily grade- Second time-20 minute detention, Third time-45 minute detention and call/email home.
    A. Gum, Food, Drinks, Candy or other consumables. (Water bottles are allowed and encouraged).
    B. Putting on make-up, brushing hair and other personal grooming.
    C. Horseplay, wrestling, or goofing off.
    Consequence: First time-10 points deducted from daily grade- Second time-20 minute detention, Third time-45 minute detention and call/email home.
    A. Piano and sound equipment are off limits. Please do not touch.
    B. Directors’ offices. No student will be allowed in the directors’ offices without permission.
    C. Unsupervised Chorus room. Students may not be in the Chorus room without a teacher, administrator, or substitute. The Chorus room will be closed during lunch and after school, unless otherwise notified.
    D. CELL PHONE USE! Consequence: The school cell phone policy will be enforced.
  6. CLEAN UP: Put choir supplies back where they belong. This includes your own folder, equipment, chairs, and office supplies. Pick up your own trash. We need to keep our own room as clean as possible.
    Consequence: First time-10 points deducted from daily grade- Second time-20 minute detention, Third time-45 minute detention and call/email home.
  7. RESTROOM POLICY: Using the restroom or getting water during class/rehearsal is a distraction to the entire class. Students should use the restroom before or after class. If students absolutely need to use the restroom during rehearsal, they will ask the directors’ permission at an appropriate time. When given permission, the student will sign out/in using the designated form. Each student will be allowed to go to the restroom up to three times per semester.
    Consequence: You must make up the lost class time before or after school.


Wando Chorus Code of Conduct

The Importance of Attitude
The greatest single factor that will determine the success of any individual or organization is attitude. The kind of person you are is an individual choice, and how you feel about something is one of the few actual independent choices you have in life. It takes intense dedication to reach goals. Students should learn discipline themselves to practice fundamentals daily. The right attitude must be present along with sincerity, concentration, and dedication as the basic foundations. Such an attitude makes an artistic performance inevitable and is the difference between a winning organization and a mediocre group. The chorus can do much for you. Make the most of it in every rehearsal and performance.

The Importance of Discipline
Because of the nature of the organization, chorus discipline must be strict! Chorus students and parents must believe in the ideals, principals, and philosophy of the organization. Each member must always be aware of good behavior and think for him-or herself. Any misconduct casts a bad light on the school, community, and chorus program. Any member who discredits the organization by his or her conduct or actions in chorus, in another class, or on a trip shall be subject to dismissal from the chorus program or may lose a privilege within the program. This may include the chance to go on a spring trip. This decision will be at the directors’ discretion.

We cannot compromise participation in choir activities with substance abuse or blatant disregard for school or choir policy. These consequences are in reference to program membership and are in addition to the school policy. Infractions that are against the law are more serious in nature and will be handled accordingly. During an exclusion period, students will not participate in any chorus activity, pending litigation.

Tobacco violations:
1st offense: Sit out a performance
2nd offense: Dismissal for a semester
3rd offense: Dismissal from the program

Drug/Alcohol violations:
1st offense: Dismissal for a semester
2nd offense: Dismissal from the program

1st offense: Dismissal for a year
2nd offense: Dismissal from the program

Other arrests:
1st offense: Dismissal for a year
2nd offense: Dismissal from the program

1st offense: School consequence
2nd offense: Director consequence
3rd offense: Dismissal from the program for the year

1st offense: Dismissal for a year
2nd offense: Dismissal from the program

Students’ Responsibility to the Chorus
As members of this organization, you have a great deal of responsibility. These expectations coordinate with the privileges, rewards, and duties of the chorus program.

To Ourselves: You have the primary responsibility of developing your own abilities. There are many life lessons and skills that you will learn through the study and performance of choral music.  The benefits of the individual practice and private lessons can never be overestimated. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. The directors are always available for your guidance and encouragement, just ask!

To the School: The school district provides us with the resources for rehearsals and performances. The chorus booster club also provides supplies, music, fundraisers, volunteers and a support network, both financially and philosophically. We are proud to be Wando Warriors and have the responsibility to be positive ambassadors and provide the best possible services to our community.

To Music: Music has always been a part of our culture. We must take what we have and use it for the betterment of that culture. Choral singing has been around for hundreds of years and it is an art form that expresses much of the human condition. It is our desire to continue the art of great singing into the next generation. When it comes to great singing the notes, rhythms, and words are just the beginning. We expect you to open your heart and mind to the music we are performing. Use your imagination to consider deeper meanings of the text and how we can create beauty in our performance.  No one expects you to be an opera star, only to do the very best you can. The joy of music be discovered and created.

 To Each Other: We must always do what is best for the welfare of the group. There can be no selfish acts solely for the benefit of the individual. Respect each other. If there are conflicts, find a way to resolve them. Never insult another chorus member’s integrity. Treat other students like you want to be treated.

Practice: As with any activity, you get out of it what you put into it. Chorus will not be fun unless you practice. There are many values in the study of music as a discipline that transfer to other areas of life. Although this will not immediately happen, persistent practice will lead to enthusiastic, driven practice. Remember: “perfect practice makes perfect!”

Here is a suggested plan of study:

  • Pick a set time each day
  • Find a room with good acoustics
  • Use our daily warm-up and think “tone”
  • Increase endurance (15 minutes of full singing)
  • Review all scales and tonal pitch exercises
  • Increase range (highest note with good tone)
  • Practice sight-reading and solfege tonal patterns
  • Practice the selected repertoire for the upcoming concert
  • Memorize the selected repertoire for the upcoming concert


Wando Chorus Culture
In every program there is an established culture of the way things work. This is “how we do things” in the Wando Chorus program.


      • Be on time to all rehearsals and performances. Early is on time—on time is late!
      • Upon entering the rehearsal setting, get your music and pencil, and go directly to your seat.
      • When the director steps to the front or asks for your attention, all talking should cease.
      • Come to the rehearsal with a good attitude.
      • Make a real effort to improve on a daily basis, and establish a good practice routine.
      • At the end of rehearsal, put all materials in their proper place.
      • Maintain a strong academic standing in all course work. Performance privileges may be suspended if a student is failing other classes.
      • Assume responsibility for your own actions. Admit when you are wrong.
      • Have proper respect for yourself, other chorus members, and those in authority.
      • Read and perform music with insight-have musical expectations.

Choir Room Procedures

Sectionals: Work fast, focus. Don’t socialize. Come back to class when done.

Before class: Get your folder, pencil, white board & supplies, read the front board.

After class: Put away all materials and clean up the risers.

Entering directors’ offices:  Knock for permission to enter.

Morning questions: Greet adults with “Good morning” before blurting out questions.

Music pass-out: Bring your folder and scan the bar code. Stay in line. Keep quiet.

Music return: Collect by row, by piece, turn into the blue plastic crate “ Music to be scanned.”

Practice rooms: Do not bring food in the practice rooms. Do not bang on the piano!

Questions in rehearsal: Raise your hand. Do not just blurt out questions.

Class discussions: Listen to your classmates. Raise your hand to speak.

Book bags: Leave your bags behind the risers. Do not bring your bag to your seat.

Turing in money: All checks and money get deposited in the safe in Mr. Wilkinson’s office.

Turning in forms: Turn in paper work and forms in the class folders in the front.

Black folders: Keep your folder in good condition and keep track of your music! Or else!

Lost music or folder: Ask your class librarian for help. Look around the room and in all of the cabinet slots. Ask students around you. Ask your teacher last.

Copy machine: This is for the directors only. Not for you to copy, or try to fix.

Evening rehearsals: Early is on time. On time is late. Don’t forget to sign in.

Lunch rehearsals: Come to the chorus room for the first 5 minutes of lunch. Don’t forget to sign in.

Chaperones & Parent Volunteers: Please verbally thank each parent volunteer after a trip or special event.


Concert Attire

Every chorus member is responsible for purchasing his or her own concert performance outfit at the beginning of the school year. Students must arrive at each performance completely dressed for the concert.

Men will wear a black tuxedo. They are responsible for the purchase and alterations of their tuxedo. Students must also provide their own black shoes and socks. Tuxedo purchase is your financial responsibility. We will place an order during the first week of school in order for the tuxedos to be ready for the first performance. Please return all paperwork and payments in a timely fashion.

 Women will wear a black concert dress and will be measured and fitted during the first few days of class. After being fitted, students will be given their dress size and ordering information. Students are responsible for ordering their own dresses by August 29th, as well as providing their own black close-toed shoes and pearl necklace and earrings. Black character shoes are appropriate.

Black Concert Dresses may be purchased from:

Formal Wear-Outlet


Adult Melisma Dress, Item #D605

In addition to the black concert dress, female members of Show Choir and Bella Voce will be required to purchase an honors dress and black character shoes. It is the students’ responsibility to order their dress as soon as possible. Students also have the option to buy dresses from chorus alumni. If you choose to purchase a used dress from a chorus alumnus, you must arrange this on your own.

Show Choir and Bella Voce Dresses may be purchased from:

Stage Accents


Omni Dress, Item #8711 Color: Red (refer to Size Chart D)

Black Character Shoes may be purchased from:

Stride Rite-On the Common*

210 Coleman Blvd.

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464


*Mention you are in Wando Chorus for a 15% discount!

It is essential that all persons in a performing group dress and groom themselves uniformly. A student’s jewelry, make-up, clothing, fingernails, and hairstyles need to be such as not to call attention to them as an individual. For example, if a student colors or styles their hair in a way that we think would call attention to them and away from the ensemble, then they should not expect to sing in the concerts. Remember, all of us must put the group first.

Black concert dress (with hem)
Black, close-toed shoes
No rings, watches, or other jewelry
Pearl stud earrings & Pearl necklace
Professional Concert Make-up
No perfume
Hair must be pinned back

Black tux jacket & pants
Black bow tie & cummerbund
Black dress shoes
Black socks
Clean, white tux shirt
No jewelry/No cologne
After School Rehearsals & Concerts

After school rehearsals are a necessary part of being in a successful high school chorus program. Students will be given ample notice for rehearsal. TUESDAY NIGHTS ARE CHORUS NIGHTS. We will schedule mandatory rehearsals as early as possible. CCSD attendance policies apply to after school rehearsals. You must be at school for over 50% of the day in order to participate in an after school activity! You must have a valid parent or doctor’s note to miss rehearsal. An unexcused absence will reflect negatively on a student’s grade. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the director regarding an absence.

Show Choir and Bella Voce members meet regularly on Tuesday night.

  • Bella Voce: 6:00 – 7:30 PM
  • Show Choir: 7:30 – 9:00 PM

Students preparing for “Girl’s Night Out” or “Cabaret” will have many nights worth of rehearsals before their shows. Attendance is mandatory at these rehearsals. Please plan ahead! With ample warning, there can be no excuse for missing homework or doing poorly on an assignment or test for another teacher. Good time management skills are a necessary part of being a successful student.

Students who have jobs after school and on weekends must arrange to get off work for rehearsals and performances.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact their work supervisor or manager. When informed well in advance, employers will allow a student time off for a graded school activity. If you have a conflict due to athletics, see the directors far in advance to find a solution.

Attendance Policy

The only excusable absences are pre-arranged school conflicts, religious holidays, immediate family wedding or other activities pre-approved by the directors. The only emergencies that will be excused are severe illness or a death in the family. Individual needs will be addressed as they occur.

For all after school event absences, the student and parent must observe the following procedure. Failure to follow this procedure will result in a Performance No-Show.  The mere filing of an absence request form does not constitute approval. This policy is cut-and-dry in regard to what is excused.

For pre-arranged absences:

  1. The directors must be notified well in advance (two week minimum) via email, phone call or conference.
  2. In addition, an absentee request form must be printed from the website, filled out, and submitted to the directors two weeks in advance of the requested absence.

For illness or emergency:

  1. In a sudden illness or emergency, a parental or doctor’s note must be submitted upon the student’s return.
  2. If the student is absent from school and there is a chorus event that evening, email the director to inform him or her of the absence and why. Submit a proper doctor’s note upon your return to school.
  3. Follow-up is the sole responsibility of the student!

Performance No-Shows: The student will receive a zero for their performance grade if they do not attend a performance. Performances and after school practices are 40% of the student’s grade.
Conflicts with Chorus

Resolving conflicts between chorus and other activities or events is the responsibility of the student. Rehearsal and performance schedules are given out at the beginning of the school year so the arrangements can be made for the entire year. Students should not become involved with activities that may directly conflict with chorus. If it is a situation that should only happen once, the student will need to consult with the directors about possible alternatives. Students should have a calendar and be aware of all chorus dates well ahead of schedule. It is a policy of the chorus directors to assist students when conflicts occur within the scope of the chorus policy. All conflicts with performances must be resolved in favor of chorus participation. Work is not an excuse for missing any chorus activity. 


Grading Scale                           Participation/Daily Grades….…….…….10%
90-100 A                                    Written Evaluations………………….… 25%
80-89 B                                      Singing Evaluations.…….………….….. 25%
70-79 C                                      Semester Concerts & Rehearsals…………..40%
60-69 D
Below 60 F
1. Participation/ Daily Grades- 10% The teacher observes students on the physical elements of singing, which include but is not limited to posture, head position, holding music, attention to the director, following instructions, and being prepared at the beginning of class with a pencil and music. Student must refrain from excessive talking during rehearsals and remain on task at all times.
2. Musical Understanding- 25 % (Quizzes, Tests, Critiques, Homework, Practice Logs) These test the student’s knowledge of the voice, the elements of music, musical terminology, music reading, and singing skills. These evaluations will be, multiple choice, fill in the blank, or essay.
3. Performance Skills- 25% (Vocal Pitch Exercises, Excerpts from Repertoire) These test the student’s knowledge of the voice, the elements of music, music reading, and singing skills. Students will be asked to sing in large groups, small groups, and individually.
4. Semester Concerts and Rehearsals- 40% Major concerts will be given each term. All students must participate in the dress rehearsals and concerts in order to pass the class for that grading period. Students will arrive on time and stay through the entire event. Rehearsal end times will be announced before the event so transportation can be arranged. Parents/families must see that the student gets to the appropriate place at the proper time.
Placement Testing

Every May after the Spring Concert, each chorus student will take an individual singing test to determine his or her chorus class placement for the next school year. The audition will consist of four sections for a total of 50 points: prepared song (20 pts.), sight-reading (20 pts.), tonal dictation (6 pts.), and fourth quarter participation grade (4 pts).  A packet of audition information will be posted on the chorus website and will also be distributed during class well in advance of the testing days. All 9-11 grade chorus members will take the placement test. No student is exempt.

Field Trips & Traveling

  • All CCSD rules and regulations apply.
  • All students must pay their chorus fee to participate in chorus trips. This includes All-State, State Festival, Honors Choirs, and any other trips.
  • Males and females are not allowed in each other’s rooms.
  • Obey all chaperones as if they were Mr. Wilkinson, Mrs. Morton, or Mr. Taylor.
  • All students must have a signed permission form.
  • Curfews must be strictly observed.
  • If a conversation or singing can be heard in the front of the bus, it is too loud!
  • There will be no hanging out of or talking out of bus windows.
  • Please lower the volume considerably when entering towns or busy areas. This is for your safety and is courteous to the bus driver.
  • Please keep the bus clean, pick up after yourselves, and always thank the chaperones and driver.

In Hotel Situations
• Parents and students will be responsible for paying for any incurred charges, including lost room keys.
• Rooms are to be locked at all times.
• There will be no one of the opposite sex in your room. This is a CCSD policy!
• All school rules will be enforced on trips.
• All students should realize any personal agendas may have to be put aside for the duration of the trip in order to facilitate large group control and management.
• No one is to leave the hotel alone. Any student found leaving the premises without permission will be dealt with severely.
• Chorus members and chaperones are expected to be in the right place, at the right time, ready to go.
Fees & Fundraising


Please pay this fee on or before the Fact & Fee night for Wando Chorus, or within the first 10 days of classes. Students can drop the check into the booster club safe in Mr. Wilkinson’s office. Please put the check in a labeled envelope with your name and the intended recipient.
Please make checks out to:

WHSCMB or Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters

A. All Female Members: Black Concert Dress
B. Bella Voce Dress (red)
C. Show Choir Dress (red)
D. Men: Tuxedo

What does the fee money pay for? Expenses include:

• Choral music (approximately $100 per student, per year)
• Concert production
• Transportation
• Piano tuning
• Sound equipment
• Chorus t-shirt
• Classroom supplies and teaching materials
• Festival registration fees
• Guest clinicians
• Accompanist and instrumentalists
• Choreographer
• Security
Student Accounts

Through fundraising and sponsorships students may raise money specifically to go into their “student account.” This account money may be used for upcoming chorus trips. The money may also be used for chorus fees, but only if they have enough money in their account for the entire fee amount.

If a student graduates without using the balance of their account, the money will be assumed into the general chorus operating fund. However, if the graduating senior has a younger sibling, the money may be transferred to their account.

Awards & Scholarships

Every year the chorus program honors graduating seniors and all Wando Chorus students at Spring Awards night.

The following awards will be presented at this event:
1. Most Outstanding Choral Student-at least one per choir class
2. Best Sight-Reader- at least one per choir class
3. The Quincy Jones Musicianship Award
4. The Fred Waring Director’s Award
5. The National School Choral Award
6. The Marilyn J. Austin Scholarship Award
7. The DeWolff Family Scholarship Award

The Most Outstanding Choral Student
Some students go above and beyond what is required of them on a daily basis. Therefore, at awards night at the end of the year, one student from each class will be named The Most Outstanding Choral Student. This person is an example of a positive, proactive, and passionate performer. This student leads the class by example- in all actions and all levels of musicianship. An Outstanding Choral Student carries themself with pride, and treats all with respect.

The Best Sight Reader
Wando Chorus is known for its exceptional sight-reading abilities, and we achieve these abilities with especially gifted readers. These valuable singers work especially hard on their reading skills, and as a result are able to lead their section each day. One exceptional student from each class will be awarded the Best Sight Reader award at the awards banquette.

In his long career Quincy Jones has done it all as a composer, arranger, performer, producer and teacher. The Quincy Jones Musicianship Award honors outstanding students in chorus for their creativity and musicianship. They have boundless energy and musical versatility. Students that receive this prestigious award will be given a plaque at awards night and their names will be engraved on the wall plaque that hangs permanently in the Wando Chorus room.

Fred Waring (1900-1984) was one of the leading choral directors of the 20th century. The Fred Waring Director’s Award for Chorus recognizes the talent and enthusiasm of outstanding choral members. He composed and arranged music, and his choral group, The Pennslyvanians, spread the popularity of choral singing. Students that receive this prestigious award will be given a plaque at awards night and their names will be engraved on the wall plaque that hangs permanently in the Wando Chorus room.

The National School Choral Award is the highest honor for high school choral performers. It recognizes the dedication and musical achievement of the top male and female choral students. Students that receive this prestigious award will be given a plaque at awards night and their names will be engraved on the wall plaque that hangs permanently in the Wando Chorus room.

The Marilyn J. Austin Scholarship was established in 2006 by the Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters to honor Mrs. Austin, for her many years of service to Wando High School as Chorus director (1991-2006). Mrs. Austin believed that instilling a love of music in her students was the most important job of any music teacher. She also wished for her students to carry that love of music with him or her to college and beyond. The Austin Scholarship recognizes the musical accomplishments of a senior member of the Wando Chorus program. The scholarship is for a one-time, lump-sum amount of $1,000 payable to the college or university where the student will be enrolled.

Students who apply for the scholarship must be enrolled in a music major program at a four-year college or university, or must demonstrate that they will be involved in an official collegiate Chorus/vocal ensemble.

The Grace Elise and Louis DeWolff Foundation Music Scholarship Award
Grace DeWolff was President of East Cooper Habitat for Humanity at its inception. Mr. DeWolff was a Board member of the Charleston Concert Association, where he worked to bring the arts to the stage both in music and dance. Mr. DeWolff spent many evenings with his children and grandchildren at concerts, and impressed upon them, the need to sustain the arts in classical and contemporary music and dance. Louis and Grace spread philanthropic culture to their children and grandchildren, and with the establishment of the Grace Elise and Louis DeWolff Foundation, the DeWolff family is able to continue assisting local charities in our community.

For 2013 the Foundation has established a $2,000 scholarship in memory of their passion and devotion to the arts, specifically in the area of music. This scholarship is awarded to a student annually, based on their love of music, academic success, and passion to pursue the musical arts as a profession.

In order to apply for the scholarships mentioned above, students must meet the following minimum requirements:
1. Must currently be a senior in the Wando Chorus Program, with plans to graduate in the spring.
2. Have been a member of the chorus program at Wando for four years, or if a transfer student, must have been enrolled at Wando for two years.
3. Have maintained an A average in their chorus studies.
4. Be in good standing with the administration at Wando.
5. Be in good standing with the Chorus directors.
6. Have no outstanding debts with the Chorus Booster Club.

Applicants must complete the following:
1. Application (available from chorus director)
2. Resume
3. Recommendation from an academic teacher

An audition recital will be held in the spring, before a selection committee, that will be composed of the chorus directors and local musicians. Each applicant must perform two pieces of contrasting styles, with one, preferably, in a foreign language. At the audition, members of the audition committee are free to ask the students any questions they may have regarding the student’s application and/or goals.

The winner will be announced at the Wando Chorus Spring Awards night. Upon confirmation by the chorus director that the student is in a music program and/or a Chorus ensemble, the director will authorize the Chorus Booster Club Treasurer to mail a check to the university or college where the student is enrolled.


Parents’ Responsibility to the Chorus

How Parents Can Help
It is the responsibility of every parent and guardian to see that the policies outlined in the handbook are followed and that the form in the back is signed and returned by 8/19/16. This states that you understand the policies set within and that any questions are to be directed to the chorus director by making an appointment. Each parent is responsible for the attendance of his or her child at all chorus functions. It is the responsibility of each parent to see that the child practices regularly. The hands of the directors are tied without the help of parents.

When a chorus question arises, it is important that you get factual information before discussing it with others. We do harm to ourselves, the chorus family, when we talk about things that contain one or more falsehoods presented as facts. If questions arise, it is important to remember this axiom: If it is a performance issue or anything dealing with the Chorus proper, contact the student’s chorus director. If it is a fund-raising or booster club related issue, contact the booster club.

  • Show an interest in the musical study of your child.
  • Check the Wando Chorus calendar before scheduling family events, trips, etc.
  • Update contact information online at Charmsoffice.com
  • Purchase a Wando Chorus Sponsorship
  • Turn in fund-raising money and fees on time.
  • Volunteer for chorus: retreat food, chaperone events, etc.
  • Sign up and help with Wando Chorus Boosters committees and fundraisers
  • Arrange a regular time for your child to practice.
  • Notify the directors if the student is to be absent for rehearsals or lessons.
  • Visit www.wandochorus.com frequently to be informed of current events and how you can be an active participant.
  • Listen to performances of practice material when asked to do so.
  • Encourage your student take care of their instrument! The voice is part of the body! Eat healthy, rest, and stay hydrated.
  • Teach your child to be prepared and on time each rehearsal or lesson.
  • Provide for private lessons.
  • Make faithful attendance at all chorus activities important!
  • Buy your child a personal planner for marking important dates.
  • Keep the chorus Handbook in a safe place and refer to it often.
  • Visit rehearsals occasionally.
  • Attend booster meetings, concerts, and special events.



Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters, Inc.

The Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters is a 501 © (3) non-profit organization. As stated by the bylaws, the purposes of the organization are to provide organizational and financial support of the Wando High School Chorus ensembles; to promote and encourage school board, administrative, faculty, student, and community interest and support of the Wando High School chorus music department; to promote the development of student leadership and musicianship; and to foster a closer relationship between home, student, and chorus department faculty through parental involvement. Under the provisions specified in the bylaws, this organization is governed by the elected Board Officers and the membership, with the cooperation of the school’s chorus Director and Associate Chorus Directors. The Chorus Booster Club operates strictly for charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All parents and legal guardians are full, voting members of the organization.

In support of the chorus directors, the main functions of the Boosters are to:

1. Assist in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of a yearly budget for the Wando Chorus Program inclusive of student accounts and Chorus Booster funds.

2. Disseminate information to parents and chorus supporters.

3. Serve as a liaison between the school, school organizations, the community, and the local school board by collecting and disseminating information about chorus activities and achievements.

4. Coordinate fundraisers to provide monies for the chorus program and provide opportunities for students to offset their chorus membership fee, dress purchase and participation in trips.

5. Make recommendations regarding a parental involvement/networking plan to insure that all parents are informed and have an opportunity for meaningful input into the Wando Chorus Booster decisions.

6. Foster school spirit throughout the Wando community.

Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters, Inc.
Board Members and Duties

The Wando High School Chorus Music Booster Board is comprised of the Chorus Director and Associate Directors, as well as the President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, Co-Treasurer and Vice-Presidents of Communication, Fundraising, and Volunteer Coordination.

The President serves as the chairperson of the Executive Committee and oversees all activities of the organization. He or she presides at booster meetings. Following his or her term of office, he or she will serve as Past President. The Past President shall be a full voting member of the Executive Committee.

The Secretary coordinates all correspondence for the organization, provides a written report of all meetings and serves as the archivist of the organization. In the absence of the President, the Secretary serves as the Acting President.

The Treasurer and Co-Treasurer maintain the financial records of the booster club including student records and account income and expenses. He or she signs all vouchers and is responsible for presenting the budget to the general membership for review and adoption. The Treasurer presents a detailed financial report at each monthly meeting of the organization.

The Vice President of Communication is responsible for all chorus department communications including the website, meeting/event announcements, and newsletters. He or she is also responsible for concert and event publicity.

The Vice President of Fundraising is responsible for all chorus fundraisers, which include but are not limited to, Poinsettia sales, sponsorships, and event fundraisers.

The Vice President of Volunteer Coordination is responsible for many aspects of the day-to-day functions of the organization, including chaperone recruitment and coordination, transportation, hospitality and receptions.

The Concert Committee Chairperson is responsible for the logistics regarding all major concerts. This includes but is not limited to volunteers, chaperones, tickets, recording orders, front of house setup, and seating.

The Sponsorships Chairperson is responsible for the logistics of the WHSCMB Sponsorship program.

If a parent has questions about fundraising, student accounts, volunteering or anything booster club related, please contact a member of the executive board.
If you have questions about concerts, classroom procedures, assessments or absences please contact the chorus directors.

Wando High School Chorus Music Boosters, Inc.
Board Members

President: Stan Davis  danstena@mac.com

Past President: Steve Bare stevebare@att.net

Secretary:  Julie Ratliff   julieratliff68@gmail.com

Treasurer:  Julie Fitch  pjfitch@comcast.net

Treasurer: Christy Ivey  iveycrew555@gmail.com

Treasurer-Elect: Kelly Ranney   kranney33@gmail.com

Treasurer-Elect: Gina Orvin   lorvin@bellsouth.net

Communications:  Kimber Wiggins  mgwiggins@bellsouth.net

Concert Committee Chair: Pam Hall                        pamhallsc@comcast.net

Fundraising:Lisa Marino          lmarino26@yahoo.com

Fundraising: Julie Garner          juliegarner@alumni.clemson.edu

Fundraising:  Marilyn Young              marilynbosley@yahoo.com

Volunteers: Dana Sandvig       myutopiamtp@yahoo.com

Volunteers-Elect: Joanna Strickland kensgirl1985@yahoo.com

Sponsorships: Jenny Baldwin      jennybaldwin@gmail.com

Sponsorships-Elect: Jenny Stewart      jens_address@yahoo.com

Please kindly add these email addresses to your address book in order to insure receipt of
emails from the WHSCMB board members and to avoid important information landing in your spam folder. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation and we look forward to a successful year!