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    McCracken Middle School

    Choral Handbook 2020-2021


    Choir at McCracken is a performing arts program.  Choir begins in the 6th grade and builds in skill level through the 8th grade.  Choir is taught as a year long class, but is registered by the semester.  It is encouraged to take both semesters each year if your schedule permits.  In choir, you will learn how to read music, learn proper choral techniques, as well as ensemble techniques.  As part of the choir you will perform in one virtual concert this fall and one virtual concert in the Spring (determined by grade). There will be no assemblies this year.


    Daily Choir Procedures

    1. Place book bag beside your assigned chair.
    2. Be in your seat at the bell with your charged computer.
    3. Work like a valued member of the team at all times.
    4. No gum allowed in the room or hidden behind your mask.


    Required Materials

    1. District Provided MacBook - MacBook must come to class charged every day as it will be used for instruction.
    2. MS365 Email - checked daily for notes from instructor.
    3. Schoology, Microsoft Teams - Used for daily class, assessment, and organization.
    4. Hybrid A-B Day students need Ear buds, Virtual students at home earbuds or headphones.
    5. Choir Uniform provided by teacher and t-shirt (purchased from your director)


    MacBook Expectations

    Your MacBook is a required material for our class as we will use it daily for instruction.

    If your MacBook is being repaired:

    1. If a MacBook repair is needed, the students must contact Mr. Jacob Jones for repair.
    2. Students must tell their director that their MacBook is being repaired.
    3. Due to COVID19 students will not be able to use any communal materials (binders, paper music). 


    The Choir Class Grading

    Grade – Each student must work to EARN their grade in choir.

    30%     Virtual choral performances (There is one required concert each semester)

    20%     Weekly rehearsal grades (A/B students –  participation in class; Virtual students – attending live-streaming classes)

               (daily grades are given for how each students rehearses in class)

     Daily Grade Breakdown:

                20%     Hand Signs: Using solfege hand signs and patsching rhythms

                30%     Posture: Bottom, Back, and MacBook

                50%     Value: Is your work adding to the success of the choir?

    20%     Formal Assessment (theory quizzes, prepared small group performances, etc.)

    10%     Informal Assessments (quick, on the spot assessment)


    Virtual Concert Policy:

    Chorus is a performance based class and participation in the scheduled  virtual concert is a must.  This class is a team and careful attention to balance of parts and voices is made within the group.  Not submitting your performance recording will change the quality and balance of a singing group.  YOU ARE IMPORTANT!! ☺


    You must make every effort to submit a recording for our virtual concert in the fall and spring.  Each Friday we will be virtual and STILL HAVE CLASS AND SING AT HOME WITH YOUR CLASS. You will be able to hear me and I will be able to hear you. We can mute and unmute to make sure Part I and Part II are heard and have a chances to unify vowels, check intervals,  and rhythm etc.


    Performance Expectations

    • Work diligently to learn your part in class and at home, submit your recording on time.
    • For virtual performances please wear your green choir t-shirt.
    • Please reserve a quiet place in your home (preferably your quiet bedroom) to record and upload to Schoology.



    Uniform consists of the McCracken Choir T-shirt this year. (normally we have a formal uniform)

    We will purchase a new choir t-shirt this year for virtual recording purposes. $15 is due no later than September


    Southern Accents Show Choir ( Due to Covid 19-we will suspend until furthur notice)

    Any 7th or 8th grade choral student is eligible to audition for MMS Show Choir “Southern Accents.”  The show choir rehearses after school once a week beginning in October, and will have the opportunity to perform in the community, at assemblies, and at concerts.


    Musical  Theater Class:

    The MMS musical has been suspended this year due to Covid)

    However, we will have Hybrid class


    McCracken Middle School Choirs

    MMS 6th Grade Choir

    MMS Singers (7th Grade Choir)

    MMS Chorale (8th Grade Choirs)Southern Accents (Show Choir, Audition Only)


    MMS Choir Director

                Ms. Leigha Pace Keller

    Master of Education, Converse College

    Master of Music, Vocal Performance, Converse College

    Bachelor of Arts Music, Winthrop University


    LMPace@spart7.org (My email will change sometime this semester and reflect LPKeller@spart7.org)


    MMS Assistant Director

    Mrs. Lindsey Wolfe-EP Todd Concert Choir

    Master of Arts in Teaching, Winthrop University

    Bachelor of Arts Vocal Performance, Furman University