Choir 6, 7, 8, 15S

School Chorus 25S, 35S, 45S Concert Choir 20S, 30S, 40S Vocal Jazz 30S, 40S

From the very beginning choral music has been at the core of how we as Mennonites have expressed our faith. Also, “music is a uniquely rewarding discipline. The successful performer portrays an aesthetic awareness that touches basic human emotions within both performer and listener” (Deral Johnson).

It is for these reasons, amongst others, that we make choir compulsory in Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9.

In choir classes students will sing through a wide range of choral music. In our warm-ups and through the singing of different choral repertoire we will work on developing the following choral skills:

  • sight reading
  • matching pitches
  • vocal blend
  • proper breath support and control and singing in two and three part harmony (Grades 6-8)
  • singing in four to eight part harmony (Grades 9-12)
  • the role that posture plays in producing a good tone
  • good vocal production
  • musical phrasing
  • choral diction
  • aesthetic awareness

In our choir classes, attendance at concerts is a vital part of the course assessment. Concerts are to choir class what final exams are to academic subjects. Because of this all Grade 6-9 students and School Chorus members are expected to participate in the Opening Program, the Christmas Concert and the Spring concert.

In Grades 7 and 8 all students will also study music theory and music history.

Grade 7

For the first five months theory rudiments are taught. We then turn our attention to the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century and Contemporary music eras.

Grade 8

For the first five months theory rudiments are taught. We then turn our attention to the history of Rock and Roll.

School Chorus

This choir is open to any Grade 10-12 student attending Westgate. There are no auditions. If you want to sing you are welcome. A student will receive 0.5 credit hours for successfully completing this course.

Concert Choir

This choir is an elite and demanding choral ensemble of 40-45 singers in Grades 10-12. Concert Choir requires a successful audition before students can be registered in the course.

Auditions take place the first week of school. Students will learn to sing at a high level, and are expected to be at many performances and to work at their repertoire. Part of the assessment in this class consists of singing in quartets three to four times a year. Students receive 1.0 credit for successfully completing this course. If a student is in Concert Choir they must sing in School Chorus.

Vocal Jazz

This choir is an elite and demanding small choral ensemble of Grade 11 and 12 students. Maximum enrollment is 16 students. Vocal Jazz requires a successful audition before students can be registered in the course. Auditions take place the first week of school. The repertoire for this ensemble is a mixture of contemporary, jazz, pop and sacred music. Students will work with a sound system. Students in this course will also look at the history of jazz, study music theory, listen to and review 20 vocal jazz/jazz albums and review six concerts.