• Sunflower Elementary 4th/5th Grade Choir

    Parent Information

    2016-2017 School Year


    I am very pleased that your student has indicated an interest in singing as a member of the Sunflower Elementary 4th/5th grade choir this year. This will be the Choir’s seventh year, and the group has a history of producing excellent performances with highly motivated students  Following is some very important information regarding being part of this group:


    Program Objectives:

    • Encourage students to work together toward a common goal
    • Encourage choral and solo singing
    • Prepare and perform concerts
    • Promote an appreciation for music.


    • Students will prepare and perform at least two concerts throughout the 2015-2016 school year:
    • Winter Concert: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016, 7:15 p.m.
    • Spring Concert: Thursday, May 18th, 2016, 7:15 p.m.
    • Both performances will take place at Southwest Middle School in the auditorium.
    • Other performance opportunities may arise during the school year; for example, the past few years the choir has participated in caroling performances at the Clinton Parkway HyVee. Stay tuned!

    Classroom Rules:

    • School rules are still in effect and should be followed during choir.
    • We are here to sing! This is not an activity for bored students or an extra time to talk to friends. Participation is a key expectation of being a member of this group.
    • Students are given two chances to be reminded to stay on task during rehearsal. If they need to be reminded to stay on task a third time, they will be dismissed from rehearsal for the remainder of the period. If this becomes a consistent issue, the student may be dismissed from the group at Mr. Gipson’s discretion.


    • A good portion of the music we sing in the Sunflower Choir involves 2-part selections. Before joining the choir, each student will be voice-tested to see which vocal part, soprano or alto, would best suit their individual voice. Students may do voice testing before and after school on the following dates and times:

    -Thursday, August 25th: 8:20-8:35 A.M. or 3:50-4:10 P.M.

    -Friday, August 26th: 8:20-8:35 A.M.

    -Monday, August 29th: 8:20-8:35 A.M. or 3:55-4:10 P.M.

    -Tuesday, August 30th: 3:50-4:10 P.M.

    -Wednesday, August 31st: 8:20-8:35 A.M.

    -Thursday, September 1st: 8:20-8:35 A.M. or 3:50-4:10 P.M.           

    • -Friday, September 2nd: Choir Assignments Posted
    • -A student must complete a voice test before they will be allowed to participate in choir rehearsals and activities



    • Rehearsals follow this schedule every week:
    • Wednesdays: Sopranos from 7:50-8:35 a.m.
    • Thursdays: Altos from 7:50-8:35 a.m.
    • Fridays: Full Choir from 7:50-8:35 a.m.
    • Attendance is very important! If your student is not at rehearsal, then they will not know the music. Please make every effort for your student to attend all rehearsals.I do not require a note when a student is absent, however if attendance/tardiness becomes a problem, your student may be placed on probation, with an ultimate result of dismissal from the group if the problem is consistent. This attendance policy will be strictly enforced-participation in the group may be revoked as a privilege if tardiness/absence becomes a major issue.
    • Students will be allowed no more than two unexcused absences during each concert preparation period (September-December, January-May) If a student is excused from school for the day, they are excused from choir rehearsal.
    • If you are well enough to come to school, you are well enough to come to choir rehearsal!
    • These rules are not intended to punish the students, but to encourage them to learn responsibility and to allow us to have the best possible performances.

    Excused vs. Unexcused Absences – If a student is excused from school on a given day, for illness, travel, or other reason, that student is excused from Sunflower Choir as well. However, if a student misses Choir, but is present for the rest of the school day, his or her absence from Choir is considered unexcused. An exception to this would be a medical appointment. However, if at all possible, please try to schedule such appointments at another time. Absences of any kind can negatively affect both the group and the student’s individual progress.


    Following are some unacceptable excuses:


    1. My parents were gone.
    2. I couldn’t find a ride.
    3. I didn’t know we had rehearsal.
    4. I didn’t hear the announcement.
    5. I forgot it was “Wednesday/Thursday/Friday.”
    6. I thought you said we didn’t have to come.
    7. My alarm didn’t go off.
    8. My throat was sore. (No fever? Come anyway. Use your brain instead of your voice!


    If your student will miss Sunflower Choir, a quick email or phone message is extremely helpful! However, please understand that simply emailing me about your student’s absence does not automatically make it excused. Choir members are expected to be at EVERY rehearsal. If you have a situation that would cause your student to miss many rehearsals, participation in this group may not be a good fit for your student at this time.



    • Choir rehearsals begin promptly at 7:50 a.m. every Wednesday (sopranos) Thursday (altos), and Friday (Full Choir).
    • Students are to enter the building through the outside entrance to the music room, located where Sunflower Elementary connects with Southwest Middle School.
    • Mr. Gipson will open the door for students beginning at 7:40 a.m..
    • Only choir members will be allowed into the building at this time. Siblings and friends need to wait until 8:20 and enter through the main entrance to the building.
    • I will lock the door at 7:55 a.m. If a student is late and cannot enter the music room, they may NOT enter the building through the Boys & Girls Club Entrance or through the front door, and their absence will be considered unexcused. Exceptions will be made for days with extremely rainy/cold weather.

    What if rehearsal is cancelled?

    On occasion, I will need to cancel rehearsal for various reasons. If I know I will be gone from school, I will announce this well in advance. In an emergency situation (ex: I need to stay home to take care of my sick child) I will send out both an e-mail and a text to parent’s accounts/phones. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address and cell phone information so that this will be possible. I use an App called “Remind” that will enable me to quickly send a text to all Choir parents simultaneously. You will receive an e-mail asking you to sign up for this free service in which your information will not be visible. I feel that this will be the quickest way to let parents know about rehearsal cancellations. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

    Limited Members Possibility:

                Though I have never had to turn away an interested student from participation due to high numbers, please know that while we have never reached our maximum potential number (for safety reasons-around 90-95 students), there is always the possibility that we could. If so, participation of some members may be dependent upon other factors, such as quality of vocal audition, attendance, etc. The only exception in a case like this will be made for 5th graders who participated in the Sunflower Choir during their ENTIRE 4th grade year. While I do not anticipate this happening, it is a possibility.




    • Information about concert apparel will be available at the earliest opportunity.