Fine Arts: Music


The Fine Arts Music Department desires to provide opportunities for all students  — regardless of individual talent — to develop the whole person through musical expression. Music educational goals include skill development, music literacy, artistic expression, music appreciation, and aesthetic awareness, among others. All music courses, which may be repeated or taken simultaneously, are applied toward DSHA’s graduation credit requirements in the Fine Arts. Additional non-credit music opportunities include leading musical worship at school liturgies, being a part of the musical theatre production, and participating in the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) Solo and Ensemble Music Festivals (for credit-taking music students only). Our department collaborates regularly with Campus Ministry to support weekly and monthly school liturgies. 



List of 8 items.

  • CONCERT CHOIR – 6010

    Concert Choir explores choral music through spirituals, part songs, and a wide variety of styles. This performance ensemble helps singers to read music and develop proper vocal techniques while experiencing the joy of making music together. Non-auditioned and open to all grades, the Concert Choir performs at the annual school concerts. The course fee covers music. This course may be repeated. 

    1 or 2 semesters, $10 fee/semester

    The Camerata Singers, named after Italian musical schools of the 16th century, is designed for the motivated singer who has already been in Concert Choir. It is a continuation of the Concert Choir curriculum, focusing on more advanced choral repertoire and comprehensive musicianship. The Camerata Singers perform at the annual school concerts and liturgies. The course fee covers music. This course may be repeated. 

    10-12th grades, 1 or 2 semesters, $10 fee/semester
    Prerequisite: one semester of Concert Choir or consent of instructor
  • ANGELAIRES – 6111 and 6112

    Angelaires is open by annual audition to singers desiring to become better musicians through the advanced musical study of showtunes, vocal jazz, and popular standards. This select ensemble performs at the annual Angelaire Christmas show and Spring concert. Outside performances are also required during the school year. Angelaires meets 1st quarter through the beginning of 4th quarter (up to the Spring concert) from 3:15-4 p.m. daily, with additional workshops and rehearsals scheduled throughout the year. Camerata Singers is the pre-requisite for Angelaires, but may be taken concurrently. The course fee covers music and group fees. 

    10-12th grades, 1 or 2 semesters, $10 fee/year
    Prerequisite: Vocal audition that takes place in December, and one semester of DSHA Concert Choir. Concurrent enrollment in Camerata Choir is required for at least one semester during each year of membership. 
    Learn more about Angelaires. 
  • DIVINE STRINGS - 6121 AND 6122

    Divine Strings is open by annual audition to instrumentalists desiring to become better musicians through the advanced study of music for chamber orchestra. This select ensemble performs at annual school concerts and all-school liturgies. Several outside performances are also required during the school year. There will also be opportunities for small ensembles such as strings quartets, trios, and duos. One full year of zero-hour orchestra is required as a prerequisite for joining Divine Strings.

    10-12th grades, 1 or 2 semesters, $10 sheet music fee
    Prerequisite: consent of the instructor and one year of orchestra| students supply own instrument | If taking for one semester, must be enrolled in zero-hour orchestra the other semester.
    Learn more about Divine Strings. 
  • HANDBELLS - 6200

    Open to anyone regardless of musical background, students will learn to perform in a traditional Handbells choir. Students will learn to read music, be exposed to a variety of music literature, and performance techniques. Highlights of this class may include concerts on and off campus at area schools, nursing homes, parishes, and other events.

    1 semester, $25 music and accessory fee
    Class limit: 11
  • HANDBELLS II - 6220

    Open to students who have completed Handbells I or who have taken or are currently enrolled in Orchestra or Camerata Choir, or with permission of the instructor. Members can learn to perform in a traditional Handbells choir at an advanced level. Students will explore a variety of music literature and performance techniques. Highlights of this class include concerts on and off campus at area schools, nursing homes, parishes and other events. This course may be repeated.

    1 or 2 semesters, $25 music and accessory fee
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or previously enrolled in Handbells, Orchestra or Camerata Choir
    Class limit: 11
  • ORCHESTRA - 6231 AND 6232

    Open to anyone with at least one year of performing experience, students have the opportunity to perform on a standard orchestra instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, euphonium, harp, and percussion. Pianists interested in orchestra will need to audition for the director.) Students will develop their musicianship as individuals and as part of an ensemble. Highlights of this class include concerts on and off campus.

    2 semesters, $35 sheet music fee 
    Prerequisite: consent of instructor | student supply own instrument 
  • AP MUSIC THEORY - 6311 AND 6312

    The AP Music Theory course corresponds to two semesters of typical, introductory college music theory coursework that covers topics such as musicianship, theory, and musical materials and procedures. Musicianship skills, including dictation and listening skills, sight-singing, and harmony, are an important part of the course. Through the course, students develop the ability to recognize, understand, and describe basic materials and processes of tonal music that are heard or presented in a score. Development of aural (listening) skills is a primary objective. Performance is also part of the curriculum through the practice of sight-singing. Students learn basic concepts and terminology by listening to and performing a wide variety of music. Notational skills, speed and fluency with basic materials are emphasized. Prospective students should be able to read and write musical notation and have basic performance skills with voice or an instrument.

    2 semesters, $10 fee/year
    Prerequisite: 2 semesters of an ensemble music course (Orchestra, Divine Strings, Handbells, Concert Choir, Camerata Choir, or Angelaires) | consent of instructor 

Why should students sing in choir?

  1. Choir students learn to stand up straight.  To enhance their vocal projection, all vocalists must have correct posture. Practicing such good habits directly translates to maintaining those habits in situations that really count, such as a college or job interview. 
  2. Choir students learn how to project and speak clearly.  In class, we practice the mechanics of connecting breath with singing vowels and manipulating clear consonants. As a result, singers are more confident speakers. As one can imagine, no one is allowed to mumble in choir and articulating lyrics correctly carries significant weight. 
  3. Choir students learn teamwork and preparation.  Vocalists perform in ensemble. Literally this requires every student to act as a member of a team. To create harmony, each member literally and figuratively has a part. We’re all working towards a shared goal —creating the best auditory experience for our audiences in the forthcoming concerts.

Why should students play in orchestra?

The DSHA Orchestra is a 60-piece symphony orchestra, band, jazz ensemble, and chamber orchestra. The group plays in an auditorium filled with people giving our musicians a standing ovation. It’s a place you can express yourself and be who you are or who you want to be!
Instrumental music expresses thoughts and feelings that are too deep for words. When making beautiful music together, we get a glimpse into the heart of God himself and intimations of eternity. As God took clay and brought forth life, we too experience the joy of creation as we take objects of metal and wood and make something wondrous out of nothing. For a transitory moment we are one with our Creator. To paraphrase the words of Gustav Mahler, “Ich bin die Weld abhanden Gekommen, which translates to "we become lost to the world."

Music Department Opportunities

List of 5 items.

  • Liturgical Music Team Co-Curricular

  • Fall Musical

  • Winter Play

  • Community Theatre Works

  • Multicultural Production

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