Academics
Curriculum

Fine Arts: Music

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY:

The Fine Arts Music Department desires to provide an opportunity—regardless of individual talent and level of experience—to develop the whole person through musical expression. Goals for participation in both instrumental and choral ensembles include music literacy, skill development, musical awareness and teamwork. All music courses, which may be repeated or taken simultaneously, are applied toward DSHA’s graduation credit requirements in the Fine Arts.

MEET THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT FACULTY:

CHORAL COURSE OFFERINGS:

List of 3 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 technique while experiencing the joy of making music together. Non-auditioned and open to all grades, the Concert Choir performs at the annual school concerts and liturgies. The course fee covers music, portfolio, and robe maintenance.

    1 or 2 semesters, $10 fee/semester
  • CAMERATA SINGERS – 6060

    The Camerata Singers, named after Italian musical schools of the 16th century, is designed for the highly 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, portfolio, and robe maintenance.

    Grades 10-12, 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 Cabaret. Outside performances are also required during the school year. Angelaires meet 1st , 2nd and 3rd quarters from 3:10 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, with additional workshops and rehearsals scheduled throughout the year. Concurrent membership in Camerata Singers is required for at least one semester during each year of membership. The course fee covers music, portfolio, and group fees.

    Grades 10-12, 1 or 2 semesters, $10 fee/year
    Prerequisite: Vocal audition that takes place in December, and one semester of DSHA Concert Choir
    Learn more about Angelaires

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.

INSTRUMENTAL COURSE OFFERINGS:

List of 4 items.

  • 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.

    Grades 10-12, 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 have the opportunity to 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.

    
    Grades 9-12

    1 semester, $25 music and accessory fee
    Class limit 11
  • ADVANCED HANDBELLS – 6210

    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 have the opportunity to 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.

    Grades 9-12
    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, students supply own instrument
    Prerequisite: consent of instructor

Why should students play in orchestra?

From Hamilton to Handel, from Prince to Pachelbel, the DSHA Orchestra is a 60 piece Symphony Orchestra, a band, a jazz ensemble, a chamber orchestra... It’s 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," we become lost to the world.
There are multiple opportunities to express musical talent at DSHA. View some of the music-related opportunities below:

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