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6-8 Chorus

December 6, 2019 | Jessica Smith

Instructor: Dr. Jessica Smith

Course Description

Chorus is a time when students work both individually and collectively to build their music skills in singing, sight-reading, and ear-training. Students receive grades in the categories of: Leadership & Participation and Skill Development.

Each year different repertoire is chosen based on choral standards, the group’s strengths, and to further vocal development. For the sake of a strong high school application as well as diverse experience under a different director, sixth graders are required to join chorus. Seventh and eighth grade students usually continue to serve in chorus, but by audition.

Why sectional?

While chorus during the school day builds the group musically as a whole, sectionals allow for vocal development within the comfort of their own voice part. Sectional also serves as a community building time, where for their ten-minute break pre-rehearsal, they snack and bond as a unit. This builds the confidence to attempt solos and independence vocally, as well as peer-support and a group identity.

Schedule Information

Meeting times: twice weekly (including required after school sectional)
Sectional assignments were emailed to parents in June. Please contact Dr. Smith if you are unsure which day your child should attend.

  • Wednesdays, 3:15-4:30pm: Soprano sectional (begins Sept. 18, 2019)
  • Thursdays, 3:15pm-4:15pm: Alto sectional (begins Sept. 19, 2019)
  • Thursdays, 4:30pm-5:30pm; Alto II/Changing Voices (begins Sept. 19, 2019)
  • Fridays, 10am-11:00am: All students

Audition Dates for 7th & 8th grade students (6th grades students do not need to audition):
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2018, 3:15-4:30pm


In December, students will serve the community through caroling and Christmas/Holiday performances. Before Christmas break, the chorus will perform at Mustard Seed School’s Las Posadas celebration on Friday, December 20, 2019. At the close of the fall term, students will start learning new repertoire for the spring concert on Thursday, May 15, 2020. On Friday, June 5, 2020, students will participate in the Choral Showcase. Throughout the year, students will study music from the western choral tradition as well as music from different cultures. They will sing in many languages. Emails will be sent home regarding other performances offered to the chorus this year. Participation in performances is required when announced three weeks or more in advance.

Dress Code

There is a dress code for chorus performances. Students are expected to perform in black shoes (not sneakers), pants/skirt (fitting the school dress code) and a shirt. Boys need a button-down black shirt for performances as they will be supplied with uniform ties for performances. Girls may choose to wear a solid black dress instead of the skirt and blouse, provided it follows the school dress code regarding length and shoulder width. Please speak to Dr. Smith if it is a challenge to find the required performance dress clothes/shoes.

Contact Information for Jessica Smith

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. The best way to reach me is by email at [email protected]. I can also be reached by calling the main office at 201.653.5548.

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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