Director: Sutton Hennessy




    Welcome to the 2018-2019 Gainesville Jr High Choirs!  We eagerly look forward to the possibilities of this coming year and are excited that you have chosen to be a part of the Gainesville Leopard Choral Program!


    Your Choir Director is Mr. Hennessy. Mr. Hennessy has been a teacher of GISD for 4 years and has been the Jr High Director for 1 year. He will begin his 2nd year in this program. I encourage students and parents to get to know more about me and the program.


    The mission of the Gainesville Independent School District is to provide opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for immediate and future success for all students, PK-12, through a cooperative effort of school, home and community.” This mission will be reflected in our Choral Program. My mission is to develop the knowledge of Choral singing and music reading, to equip the students with the necessary skills to read the music and to correctly sing the notes, and build a positive choral environment so that all students will learn and grow as vocal Musicians. I will equip both students and parents with ways to grow this program together to achieve excellence in our music program.


    With the combined effort of students, parents, and staff, I hope we can build a strong Choral program that will continue to grow for years to come.


    I look forward to the 2018-2019 year and I hope you do as well!


    Sutton Hennessy



    • Girls Choir:  This Choir is going to be built as a Beginners Choir for girls who have little to no experience in singing vocal music. We will focus on the development of proper vocal singing, starting with posture and good vocal sound to reading the music on the page using proper Solfege techniques.


    • Varsity: This Choir is our girls Varsity Choir. This group is the flagship to our program. They will perform at UIL Competition and will be leading the way in our choral program. This Choir will be an Audition Choir with expectation in knowledge of Sight Reading and Proper singing techniques.


    • Boys Choir: This Choir is being built as a Beginning Boys Choir. This Choir will be available to all boys as we explore the voice and build an excellent sound for young male voices. We will learn proper singing techniques and the ability to read music using proper Solfege techniques.


    Classroom Guidelines:


    The Classroom Guidelines follow the rules and regulations that are in place at GJHS Campus. The following guidelines will be in place for my classroom.

    • No Food, Drinks, or Gum allowed in the classroom. This attracts bugs and prevents the best possible sound that can be produced vocally. Water Bottles are allowed and encouraged to be brought to class.
    • Do not talk while the director or guests is/are talking, even if you are talking about the music. If you have a question and/or comment, please wait until the director is done talking, and then raise your hand
    • No Cell Phone Usage is allowed.
    • Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself
    • Respect each other, and the traditions of GJHS Choirs by serving as a model citizen in the choral program, the school, and in the community
    • Be seated with folder, pencil, and music in hand when the bell rings


    Class Grading Policy:


    The student’s daily grade consists of work done during the choral rehearsal. Each day is worth 20 points, making each week worth 100 points, and each six-week grading period worth 600 points. Deductions will occur for the following offenses:

    Talking (-5) Food/Gum/Drink (-10) Tardy (-10) Office Referral (-20)

    There will also be a weekly Sight Reading assignment that students must sing. It will be assigned each monday (or Tuesday if school is out) and be sung to me by the end of the week (Friday). Each weekly assignment is graded at 100 points. This is how the Points will be calculated:


    Rhythms (25)        Pitch (25) Solfege (25)         Hand Signals (25)



    Please note that Concerts are REQUIRED for all Students and WILL BE A GRADE. Performance outside of the school day is a necessary component of performing in choirs. Attendance is required for all concerts and outside rehearsals, as they are a form of assessment in choir. Performance dates are listed on the calendar of events, and other extra-curricular activity dates will be given to students with adequate notice. Absence from a concert will significantly reduce the student’s grade. An excused absence will be awarded only on a case-by-case basis. Parents must contact me prior to the concert if there are any circumstances that keep the student from performing. Students are expected to be on time to all concerts and outside rehearsals. Concert grades are double-weighted. One grade is given for performance and the other is given for concert etiquette. Concert grades are figured with the following guidelines:

    Concert Performance: Tardy (-10) Incorrect attire (-50, Will not Perform)


    Concert Etiquette: Talking on Stage (-20)     Misbehaving backstage or on stage (-50)  


    If a student is ineligible for a concert, or has been granted an excused absence, they will be given an alternative assignment to replace the zero in the grade book.


    Dress Code:

    • For informal concerts we will wear
      • GJHS Polo Shirt (School Provides)
      • Blue Jeans (No Holes)
      • Closed Toe Shoes


    • For Formal Concerts we will wear
      • Button up for Men
      • Dressy Top for Women (No spaghetti straps, keep it appropriate for school)
      • Black Dress shoes for Men
      • Black heels (no larger than 1 inch) or flats or dress shoes for Women
      • White Shirt
      • Black Pants (or appropriate length skirt for Women)
      • Dress Shoes


    The GJHS Choirs will follow the same guidelines as the rest of the GJHS Campus.

    Choir Council:

    This Year we are going to introduce the “Choir Council”, a student based leadership team that is to help the growth of our choir and show responsibility for choral students. In order to hold an office, students must have a 70 or higher in all classes and not have any discipline referrals (ISS, Detention). We will have officer meetings after school. The offices and what they do are:


    • President: Offered only to 8th Graders In Varsity Choir and acts as my assistant throughout the year. S/he will know the music warmups that we practice everyday and be able to run them during rehearsals. S/he will also be running rehearsal time during school when a sub is needed in their particular class. They will also be preparing their own piece to conduct at the end of the years Spring Concert.


    • Vice Presidents:  Open to all grade levels. The VP is available in each choir class. They hold the same responsibilities as President but also run errands for the choir during class time (coping music, notes to office or other classes). They will fill in for the President if s/he is missing during that day. Also, VP will run rehearsal if a sub is needed in class.


    • Secretaries: There will be one for every class and open to all grade levels. Their Job is to make sure attendance is done during class AND outside events (Concerts, UIL). They will also be responsible to make sure the music is in the folders. They will also help organize and keep track of our music library.


    • Section Leaders:  Each Choir will have one Section leader for each sections (sop1, sop2, alto 1, alto 2, tenor, bass) and will be auditioned. They make sure that their section focuses on their music and helps them during sectional times. This position is for every grade level BUT they can be challenged by other students to obtain the role. The Audition is: 1) Sight Reading and 2) Solo singing from a prepared piece of music (can be a section of the music we are currently singing). Best Singer wins!

    Parent Volunteers: We can always use a little extra help at our Concerts/Events/UIL Trip/Any Trip. So parents are more than welcome to sign up to volunteer to help us in this endeavor. I ask that you fill out the necessary forms and turn them in as early as you can so we can add you to a rotation/ put you in a spot that will be beneficial to our program. For any scheduling conflicts, please notify me as soon as possible so we can fill your spot. To Access the Volunteer and Background Check Forms can be found on the main web page and attached to our physical copy of the hand book. Here is the link.