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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Mr. Cairee Mayfield

Albright Middle School

Director of Choirs

cairee.mayfield@aliefisd.net

281-983-8411 ext. 24700

www.albrightmschoir.weebly.com
My Name is Mr. Mayfield and I am the Choir Director here at Albright Middle school. I have a Bachelor
of Music Degree in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University, and I am certified to teach
in the state of Texas. I hope to give all of my students an early introduction to music that will provide
them with the necessary tools to achieve success in all areas. I look forward to bringing my love of
music and passion for teaching to every student I meet this year. I am a very proud Alumni (2006) of
Albright Middle School! When I attended Albright, being in choir was such an amazing, life-changing
experience for me. I knew that I wanted to be choir director because the experiences that I had during
that time stayed with me: I made life-long connections, and learned very important life skills. In High
School (Elsik High School, Alief ISD), I was very involved: I participated in theatre, National Honor Society,
community service, I was the vice-president of the Math Club, and in choir I was section leader and
president. While in college, I fell in love with opera and many other styles of music. I sang lead roles at
my school and out of state. In previous summers, I’ve performed opera in Arkansas, Philadelphia, and
Utah. While in college, I was honored to receive the President’s Award for Outstanding Music Recitalist
of the Year, and with my choir in college, I was fortunate to be able to tour the European countries of
Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Italy. I’ve also performed at the Vatican in the Vatican
City! I graduated Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin State University in December of 2015.

I believe in being a well-rounded individual. I have an eclectic approach to teaching that incorporates
many different learning styles and abilities. I try to be a well-rounded individual and I encourage all of
my students to be the same way. I like to stress the importance of being involved in as many activities as
you can, and to be like a sponge, willing to soak up information.

I am no stranger to excellence. I have been a part of Albright’s history of excellence, and I have no
choice but to continue this tradition and strive to be the best middle school choir program in the district!
I am looking forward to continuing down the path to success with all of your students. Together we will
cultivate a positive working environment and foster a sense of comradery! During the rest of the school
year, I hope to foster the same respect and connection that I had with my choir director and replicate
for my students the unforgettable experiences that I had.

I have a lot of events planned for this semester, and I will try my very best to have open communication
with all of the parents. I will be sending home a handbook for this semester, as well as the rules and
procedures that I would like you and your child to sign. In addition, I will do my best at emailing parents
choir newsletters so that you can know exactly what is happening in class!

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me! I want to have an
open line of communication will all parents so that we can work together to make this semester an
amazing experience for your child!

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Purpose
The purpose of this handbook is to provide information for students and parents on the organization and
operation of the choir program here at Albright Middle School. Choir is a class that teaches students
music skills and singing techniques through group and solo singing. Students are expected to participate,
practice, know and demonstrate these skills. As indicated by the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
(TEKS), students will demonstrate characteristic vocal technique, use standard musical terminology,
perform expressively, demonstrate appropriate performance techniques, sight read, identify music symbols
& terms, perform music representative of diverse cultures, evaluate the quality and effectiveness of music
& musical performances, and exhibit proper concert etiquette.

Benefits to Being in Choir

 Learning musical skills, discipline, and perseverance


 Learning how to read, write, and speak a foreign language - music
 Ability to continue to participate in other activities, such as athletics or clubs
 Obtaining many wonderful memories
 Reinforcing language and math skills as well as the knowledge and skills in other content areas
 Having an opportunity to earn vocal scholarships at many colleges and universities throughout the
United States (often times with or without majoring in music)
 Choosing how much challenge they want-students decide the level that they want to be involved.
 Having fun while learning music concepts
 Increasing their spatial reasoning skills (as shown by studies-sometimes called the “Mozart Effect”)
 Learning a lifetime activity
 Opportunities to enjoy professional musicians on the stage
 Having little to no homework-students can concentrate on their academic studies.

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

GRADING POLICY
Grade Breakdown
15% Other Grades
Choir Quizzes
Written or sung Assessments
Choir Binder Checks
Extra Rehearsals – Attendance and Participation

35% Minor Grades


Rehearsal Technique Grades
a. Actively Participating (Trying to the best of your ability)
b. Behavior in Rehearsal
c. Having Materials and being prepared
AVID Binder Checks
Written or sung assessments

50% Major Grades ***Choir Concerts will be counted as TWO Summative Grades
Performances – Active Participation Peripheral Grade Performance Grade
Singing, Sight-reading, and/or - Having correct choir - Memorizing Music
Ear Training Tests uniform parts (shoes, - Entering and
_____ Written Tests socks, dress, hair neat) exiting stage
- Audience etiquette appropriately
100%

***Extra credit may be earned for attending other concerts, such as Albright band or orchestra concerts or other
middle school or High School choir concerts, etc. Students should bring a program from the concert with his/her name
on it and a parent signature. The program may be turned in or handed to Mr. Mayfield, and credit will be given for that
grading period. Other extra credit can also be given at the teacher’s discretion.

Rehearsal Technique Grades


Participation within the daily choral rehearsal, extra rehearsals and performances are an essential part of the class. Student’s
participation grades will be assigned according to the following criteria:

A Student actively and consistently participates in daily classroom activities, including, but not limited to, singing, correct
posture, and correct use of hand signs.
B Student’s active participation in daily classroom activities is inconsistent.
C/D Student does not actively participate in daily classroom activities.
F Student refuses to participate in daily classroom activities.

Conduct Grade
Student’s conduct grades will be assigned according to the following criteria:

E Excellent – Student is rarely called on for poor conduct.


S Satisfactory – Student is called on multiple times for poor conduct. However, when the behavior is mentioned, he/she
quickly fixes the problem.
N Needs Improvement – Student is called on often for poor conduct, and when the behavior is mentioned, he/she is not quick
to fix the problem.
U Unsatisfactory – Student has been referred to the office for an incident within that grading period, and/or the student is
called on often for poor conduct and becomes belligerent and argumentative with the teacher. *

*Students who do not agree with the teacher’s assessment of a situation are encouraged to speak with the teacher about
the situation after class or after school when the student is in a calm state of mind. The teacher will be more willing to
listen to the student’s case at this time.

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Albright Choir
Make-up Assignment Cover Page

Name: __________________________________________________
Choir: _______________________________
Event Missed: ____________________________________
Reason Missed: __________________________________________________________
Paper Due Date: ___________________________________
Individual Performance Date: _______________________________

100 PTS Part One:

Speak with Mr. Mayfield before or after class about scheduling a time to perform the concert songs from memory
for one of your major grades.

50 PTS Part Two:

Composer Research Project

1. Pick one of the composers of your songs and write an expository essay. This must be a typed, single spaced,
one page essay. The essay can be included as decoration for your posters, but it also must be turned in as a
separate, typed document. Works cited should also be on a separate page.

 Paragraph 1 - Use at least three different sources to summarize the life, most famous works, and musical
contributions the composer had toward choral music for the introduction.

 Paragraph 2 – Choose one song and compare two different youtube videos of performers or choirs singing the
song. Using everything you know about performer and audience etiquette to write about good things and also
things that could be improved in each video.

 Paragraph 3 - Research other songs the composer has written besides the ones from the concert. Pick two other
songs the composer wrote. Listen to them and compare and contrast at least three elements of the songs.
Examples of elements include, but are not limited to: speed, tempo, mood, text, articulations, and interpretation.

 Paragraph 4 - In what way can the mood of the songs performed in the concert relate to your life?

 Paragraph 5 – Conclude by Writing about what you think are elements of a professional - looking choir concert.

 Include a Works Cited Page. Please make a list of all the websites or books that were used a sources. Consult
www.CITATIONMACHINE.NET for MLA formatting.

**Each paragraph must have at least 5 sentences. I will check for spelling, grammar, correct sentence structures, and
that the paper makes sense. NO PLAGIARIZING. You cannot cut and paste from Wikipedia or other websites.
You must rewrite the information you find in your own words.

50 PTS Part Three:

2. Create a poster board of the composer and their life. Must have pictures and words.

**Part one or Part Two may be waived only if the student attended the dress rehearsal or at Mr. Mayfield’s
discretion.
***Consult Mr. Mayfield in the morning, before or after class, or after school during tutorial hours if any assistance
is needed.

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Extra Rehearsal & Performance Attendance Policy


 Extra Rehearsals – Participation in all extra rehearsals is for a grade. If a student must miss a
rehearsal, a written note signed by a parent/teacher must be turned in, preferably before the
rehearsal date. Failure to turn in a note will result in a zero for the missed rehearsal. All excused
absences must be approved by the director. Some absences that are excused are for illness, death
in the family, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for a ride home from or
to a rehearsal. Not having a ride home is considered an unexcused absence. Most students are
able to arrange a ride home with a friend.
 Performances – Participation in all concerts is a grade. If a student must miss a concert, a written
note must be turned in signed by a parent, preferably before the concert. Failure to turn in a note
will result in a zero for the missed concert. All excused absences must be approved by the
director.
 Eligibility Rules – All competitions, performances where admission is charged, and activities which
cause a student to miss school are subject to the no pass/no play law. Students who are ineligible
will be notified as soon as possible and given alternate work.
 Scheduling Conflicts
 School Activities – All choir members are encouraged to be involved in other school activities.
When a conflict arises between two school activities, it is the student’s responsibility to inform
both teachers involved as soon as possible. The teachers will work together to help the student
be involved in both activities if possible.
 Non-School Activities – Most choir members are involved in non-school activities. Entering our
choir activities for the year into the family calendar will hopefully prevent many conflicts from
occurring. However, some conflicts cannot be helped. All conflicts should be brought to the
directors’ attention as soon as possible. Some conflicts can be resolved, but please keep in mind
that choir is a class, and therefore, should be a top priority. Unless approved by the director
prior to the conflict,

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT PLAN


CORE Rules
 Have a Good Attitude
• Things happen in life to all of us, but do your best to come to class every day with a smile, willing to learn.
• Leave all negativity outside of the door before you walk into the classroom. Attitude is everything!!
 Communicate
• Do your best to let Mr. Mayfield know about anything he can help you with.
• Be responsible for your actions and your belongings
 Always Follow Directions
• Listen carefully to instructions and follow them the first time they are given.
• Follow classroom procedures
 Respect
• Be courteous, positive, and supportive of yourself and fellow choir members.
• Raise your hand and wait to be recognized before you speak.
• Refrain from talking during important rehearsal time
• All property belonging to the school, classmates, the teacher and places we visit will be respected.

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Daily Procedures
Each student will:
 Enter the room calmly and quietly.
 Place all backpacks, purses, electronic devices, and all other personal items on the side of the room
where indicated.
 Check the student table for any handouts
 Read the board for bell assignment, retrieve music, and look for announcements, and instructions.
 Be seated and prepared for class before the bell rings.
 Speak to the teacher about private matters after class except for emergencies.
 Turn in all written work/letters to Mr. Mayfield.
 Turn in all money by placing it in the student’s money envelope and giving it directly to Mr. Mayfield.
 Refrain from writing on marker board, playing the piano, entering the practice rooms, storage rooms,
music library, or office unless given permission.
 Immediately get silent and give attention to Mr. Mayfield when he claps or raises his hand to get the
classes’ attention.
 Wait until dismissed by the teacher before putting up materials and preparing to leave class.

Choir Folders/Pencils

Students must purchase a plain, black, 1 inch, three ring binder choir folder for their use during the year. (Please
do not purchase black binders with a clear insert cover on the outside.) Students are expected to have a
sharpened pencil for class every day. Students are not to write on their music with anything but a pencil unless
given permission by their director. Also, students are not allowed to write on or tear up their music or any other
items placed in their possession by the director. If a student loses their pencil during the year, the student is
responsible for providing a new one or may purchase one from the choir for 25 cents, or Warrior Bucks. If a
folder is lost or destroyed, it will need to be replaced by the student. Missing or damaged music will result in a
deduction from grades for not having materials. Mr. Mayfield reserves the right to do random pencil, music, and
material checks as a quiz grade.

Social Media

The Albright Warrior Choir has a Twitter and Instagram page that will mainly be used to post pictures and
messages about choir events and what is going on in the choir. And to show off how talented the students in the
Albright choir are.

Follow the Warrior choir on Twitter @AlbrightMSChoir


Follow the Warrior choir on Instagram @albrightmschoir
Choir Website – www.albrightmschoir.weebly.com

With the popularity of social media, students are reminded that anything that is uploaded is available to anyone
at any time. Use good judgment when uploading videos or pictures of yourself and/or your peers. Also, think twice
in regards to what you say about others as well. In other words - if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say
it (or type it). Be respectful of others as you represent yourself as well as the Albright Choir on the internet!

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Miscellaneous

 Class Tardies – Students who are not in their seat and prepared for class when the bell rings will receive
a class tardy. These tardies will result in the lowering of the weekly participation grade. Mr. Mayfield’s
classroom will follow the school’s Tardy Policies.
 Bathroom Policy – All students will be issued three bathroom passes every nine weeks for restroom
breaks. After a student uses their restroom passes, they will not be allowed to use the restroom
anymore until the next nine weeks, except in cases of emergency. If a student has a medical condition
that requires frequent use of the restroom, the director and school nurse will need to be notified by the
parents so that other arrangements can be made.
 No open food or drink is allowed in the choir room without the permission of the director. ONLY WATER
is allowed in the choir room!
 Students may not chew gum or candy during the rehearsal. Students will lose at least ten points on
their weekly participation grade for each incident because it inhibits proper vocal technique. Excessive
gum/candy chewing will result in a pre-referral and/or referral.

Negative Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior


Our choral ensembles are music teams. The actions of any individual can help or hinder the entire ensemble in
both rehearsal and performance. Self-discipline is not optional; it is required. Repeat offenders may be
removed from the class at the director’s discretion and asked to complete written assignments to earn their
grade.

Students begin each week with a clean slate (100 points). A tally will be taken by the director each day and
points will be deducted at the end of each week from the student’s weekly grade.

-10 points: no music/binder


-10 points: no pencil
-10 points: chewing gum
-10 points: tardy
-10 points: out of seat without permission
-10 points: each reprimand for behavior (talking or other disruptions) or redirect to participate
-20 points: failure/refusal to participate in lesson

 Generally, the first time a student breaks the rules during a class period, he/she will be given a
warning. Depending on the offense, there may not be a warning before points are deducted from
the student’s grade, e.g. chewing gum.
 The second and following times, because misbehavior is keeping the student and others from fully
participating in the class, that student’s name will be recorded, which will lower the student’s
weekly participation grade.
 Other consequences may be assigned based on the nature of the behavior problem. These are a few
examples:
Parent phone call and/or email Loss of privilege
“Time out” Behavior Contract
Alternate Assignment Office Referral
Student-Teacher conference Exclusion from a choir concert**

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

This list is not exclusive. In order for the consequences to logically follow the
inappropriate behavior, we may choose a consequence that is not on this list.

**The director feels strongly that as a “team” effort, the choir is dependent on each student’s full
participation and cooperation. If one student is causing consistent problems for the choir as a whole, the
director feels that it is not right for the one student to poorly affect the other students’ hard work.
Therefore, if necessary, that student may be excluded from performing at a concert with the hopes that
the student will realize what he/she is missing, and that the student’s behavior will, in the long run, improve
because of this experience.

Positive Consequences for Appropriate Behavior


Positive note Team building
Positive call home Sense of accomplishment
Student success A more enjoyable class
Special Friday Rewards! Positive Office Referral

We are a Team Sport!

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Fundraising Info

We have worked hard to provide the highest quality experiences available to us within and
outside the city of Houston. In order to keep providing these kinds of opportunities to our
students at the best possible price, the choir will be promoting three fundraisers this year:

**There may be multiple fundraising opportunities for students throughout the year.
Additional Information will be furnished in advance.

Parent Volunteers
Each year we have many activities that require a little extra help from parents. Parent
participation is a vital part of our success and we appreciate the tremendous support our
parents give to the Albright choir students’. If everyone will pitch in a little, a great deal can
be accomplished!

If you would be willing to assist us occasionally this year, please complete the Parent Volunteer
Form and return in to the choir director.

Refund Policy
No Refunds will be given for field trips if the cancellation is after the permission slip has been
turned in, or if the reason for cancellation is due to student ineligibility.

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Remind.com

This free website will allow the teacher to communicate with the students and parents if they
choose to sign up. Text reminders will be sent out with information about our program and is a
good way for Mr. Mayfield to issue quick announcements. Sign Up information can be found on
the Choir Web Page.

You can either download the app, or text the following codes with the “@” symbol to 81010

1st Period Piano: @piano1stp


3rd Period Beginning Choir: @8fb3kb
4th Period Intermediate Treble Choir: @48g3aa
5th Period Men’s Choir: @hkf6gb
6th Period Beginning Choir: @9ba462
7th Period Beginning Choir: @9hh8c6
8th Period Advanced Treble Choir: @kcgb8

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

UNIFORMS

Uniforms are expected to be worn by each member for every performance. Just as athletic teams wear
uniforms, choirs wear uniforms as well. Uniforms create a good impression for an audience and a judge, and
they also allow the students to look and feel their best as individuals and as a choir. For all performances, no
jewelry or watches should be worn except for stud earrings for the girls (stud pearl earrings and a pearl
necklace can be paired with the formal dress). Also, all girls must wear their hair so that it does not cover
their face.

Choir T-Shirts - All students will be expected to purchase an Albright Choir T-Shirt. These T-Shirts are
subject to change every year. The Beginning Choirs will wear this to all Concerts. These shirts will be worn at
informal performances with:
 Blue jeans (free of decoration and free of rips or tears)
 Appropriate closed-toe shoes

Formal Uniforms (Advanced Girls’ Choir and Advanced Boys’ Choir) – Advanced Girls’ Choir students will be
issued a uniform for select choir concerts. Advanced Men’s Choir students will be issued a tie for use in choir
concerts. See below for details. The uniforms do not need to be cleaned before they are returned. However,
we expect students to maintain the cleanliness of the uniform while it is in their possession. Parents may need
to dry-clean the uniform before its first use. Advanced Girls and Boys will have to have their Dress/Slacks
hemmed to the appropriate length. Students will be charged for items that are not returned.

Advanced Girl’s Choir: 7th & 8th Grade Girls


Each student will be provided with a floor length dress. Students must provide:
 black, closed-toe, comfortable dress shoes with a heel no higher than 2 inches
 appropriate undergarments
 appropriate make-up,
 no perfume
 yes deoderant

Advanced Men’s Choir: 7th & 8th Grade Boys


Each student will be provided with a tie. Students must provide:
 black socks
 black dress shoes
 black dress slacks
 black dress shirt
 black belt
 no cologne
 yes deoderant

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Albright Middle School Choral Department

CHOIR EVENTS
Performances
The following is a list of our major performances. We will also be singing at various other times
during the year, but you will be notified of those as the year progresses. These concerts are a
major portion of each student's nine week’s grade. Students who continually miss events with
no valid excuse will be removed from the class.
The no pass/no play law does not affect most of our concerts. Therefore, all students must
attend our performances unless otherwise noted. Students will be notified as soon as possible
if they are not eligible for an event.

Fall Concert
All choirs will participate and perform standard choral literature. All Choirs will be in their Choir T-Shirt and
Jeans.
Winter Concert
All choirs will participate and perform standard choral literature. Advanced Choirs will be in their formal
uniforms. Beginning Choir will be in their Choir T-Shirt and Jeans.
Pre-UIL Competition/ Spring Concert
Chosen Advanced Choirs will participate and perform prepared music and sight-reading exercises that they
have prepared as preparation for the UIL Choir Competition. They will have a clinician giving comments to
increase student success. All choirs will participate and perform standard choral literature. They will have a
clinician giving comments to increase student success.
National Anthem
Selected students will gain the opportunity to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” at various venues. Examples
of past performances include Albright Games, High School Games, Rice University Games, and Houston Astros
Games.
Caroling
Selected Members of the advanced choirs perform music during the December holidays for the school and
community.
Spring Concert
The Beginning Choir will put on a concert of standard choral literature. It may be a combined concert with the
advanced choirs.
Bro Night
All men in the Choir Program are participating in a District-wide Men’s Choral Social. Hundreds of Men will
make up this Alief Chorus and perform music together.
Honor Choir and Region Choir
Selected students are honored as the best of the best in combined choir concerts with students from other
schools in Alief, Houston, and Katy ISDs.
UIL Concert & Sight-reading Contest
Selected 7th and 8th Grade ensembles will perform three songs for three judges who give comments and a
rating. The concert portion of the contest is followed by the sight reading of a newly composed piece, which is
heard by three other judges who also give comments and a rating. If they earn a rating of “Superior” in both
the concert and sight reading portions of the contest, they earn “Sweepstakes” and a trophy.
Pop Show!
All choirs will perform popular music. All students will be allowed to audition to perform music of their choice.
All choirs may have some choreography, costuming, etc.
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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Field Trips/Social Events


The following is a list of the exciting Field Trips & Musical Enrichment Opportunities students will be
provided with here in the Albright Choir program this year. We hope to see you there. More events will
be added throughout the year.

 Albright Choir After-School Social Parties


 Spring Trip – Main Event
 National Anthem with the Houston Astros
 *Other trips will be added throughout the year.

Individual Competitions
Students are highly encouraged to participate in these events, some are optional and others are mandatory. However, students
in the Advanced Choirs are expected to participate in these activities.

Alief Honor Choir


Very similar to Region, this is an opportunity for 7th & 8th grade individuals to audition for a choir whose members are
selected from students in Alief. Auditions are based on the student’s knowledge of the choral music chosen for the year’s
Honor Choir. If the student is accepted into the choir, the student will participate in the Honor Choir Clinic and Concert.
These auditions are similar to the All-State Choir audition process in high school, which enables students to receive
scholarships.

All-Region Choir Auditions & All-Region Clinic & Concert


This is an opportunity for 7th & 8th grade individuals to audition for a choir whose members are selected from students in
our region. Auditions are based on the student’s knowledge of the choral music chosen for the year’s All-Region Choir. If
the student is accepted into the choir, the student will participate in the All-Region Choir Clinic and Concert and receive a
patch for his/her participation. These auditions are similar to the All-State Choir audition process in high school, which
enables students to receive scholarships.

Solo & Ensemble Contest


This is an opportunity for 7th & 8th grade individuals to perform a standard solo for a judge who will give comments and a
rating. Students who earn a rating of “Outstanding” will receive a medal. There may be an accompaniment fee.

CHOIR EXPENSES
The following is an anticipated list of choir expenditures that will occur throughout the year. They are
listed to help you plan your budget. Please note that in some cases, fees are approximate. Required
expenditures are so indicated.

Beginning Choir
$15 T- Shirt Fee
Money for Food for Select Field Trips
*Optional $20 a week Private Voice Lessons - (Highly Recommended)

Advanced Choirs
$15 T- Shirt Fee
Purchase of Uniform Parts – See Uniform Section
$20 Honor Choir and Region Choir Entry Fees
Money for food for select Field Trips
*Optional $20 a week Private Voice Lessons - (Highly Recommended)

**Other expenses might include other choir T-Shirts, Secret Santa Gifts, choir trips, and professional
performances, some of which would be optional.
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Albright Middle School Choral Department

Private Voice Lessons

Private voice lessons are a wonderful asset for students who plan on auditioning for Region, Honor Choir, Solo
and Ensemble, or preparing for any competitions or auditions outside of school. Private lessons strengthen a
student’s vocal technique, and the one-on-one assistance is invaluable. If you are interested in private voice
lessons for your student, please email Mr. Mayfield for more information and a teacher will contact you to set
up private lessons. Please note that signing up for private lessons is a monetary commitment. (More information
on the Voice Lesson Contract sent home with Student paperwork the first week of school.

REFUND POLICY

Most fees charged to the student involve advance payment for a service or item. In such cases (i.e.
accompanist fees, trip fees, game tickets, etc.), the choir has a deadline for receiving reimbursement from
the supplier. Because of this, the following policy will be strictly followed: There will be no refunds in any
case where a student has paid for an activity or supply, but is no longer able to participate. This
policy applies no matter what the reason is for withdrawal and specifically includes but is not limited
to the situations of ineligibility, illness, unexpected family travel, or withdrawal from the Albright Warrior Choir.

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