Bloomington High School

Choral Program

"A Tradition of Excellence"

The purpose of this webpage is to improve communication between the BHS Choral Program and its students, parents, alumni and community supporters.  Thank you for your interest in the BHS Choir and Music History Classes.  We believe that every student who desires to receive a music education should have the opportunity to have the best possible experiences in this important and beloved form of human expression. 

 

Music education for every student--because our children are worth it.​​

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Important Documents

About the choir program...

 

The Bloomington High School Choral Program consists of four class ensembles: Voices, Mixed Chamber Choir, Chorus, and Concert Choir.

Chorus is our introductory choir where students can learn the basic skills they need to continue performing in more advanced choirs while at the same time experiencing all the joys and benefits of participating in an active performing ensemble.  Students learn songs in many different languages, learn how to sightread simple melodies and rhythms, and perform as an ensemble a minimum of four times a year on campus.

Voices (Treble Chamber Chorale) is our advanced choir for treble voices.  All students in an advanced ensemble are accepted via an audition process that includes performing a prepared solo, sightreading music, as well as vocalization exercises and scales.  Advanced ensembles perform at least 5 times a year on campus and perform at least twice off-campus in various competitive choral festivals.

 

 

Mixed Chamber Choir is an advanced choir for mixed (male & female) voices.  Like Voices, Mixed Chamber Choir is an auditioned choir to ensure balance between the vocal sections (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass).  The advanced choirs at Bloomington High School consistently earn high ratings at choral festivals and perform for a variety of community functions as well as frequently performing on-campus.

Concert Choir is our newest ensemble and is an additional performance opportunity for students already in the choral program or for select students whose schedules preclude them from participating in one of the other ensembles.  Based on both music and theater standards, this class is an ideal training ground for drama students who want to improve their singing and dnacing skills.  This class meets during 7th period and focuses on overall performing arts skills.  Students in this class are encouraged to audition for lead roles as well.  Special ensembles (such as Men's Ensemble and Broadway Bruins - see below) may be formed out of this class.

Men's Ensemble (affectionately nicknamed Beast Choir) is an after school choir for men of any vocal ability.  It is occasionally part of the Concert Choir and is open to any interested male student.  It is a fantastic way for young men to try out the choir experience if they cannot join a choir during the school day.

Broadway Bruins is the production name for the combined choir and theatre class that puts on a Broadway-style musical each year.

History of the Choir Program

The Bloomington High School Choral Program has been active on the BHS campus since the school opened in 1962.  Many directors have contributed to the growth and continuation of the choral program over the past five decades.  In 2004 the black-box theater was converted as the demand for choir classes neccesitated the creation of a dedicated choir room.  Today the choir program includes nearly 100 young musicians in all four grade levels.  The BHS choirs consistently bring home top ratings from festivals and are recognized in the community as a point of pride.  Many choral alumni have received college scholarships to study vocal performance and music education.  Others have pursued careers in the music industry.  It is the goal of the choral program that every student will be equipped to continue making and experiencing music in vibrant ways for the rest of their lives.

How to join choir....

Any interested student can join the choir program. Even those students who feel they cannot sing well are welcome in our ensembles. The BHS Choirs are an educational experience and students will learn the skills they need to succeed in a safe, yet challenging, environment.  Any student interested in joining choir should first contact their high school counselor.  We recommend that all students begin with at least a semester in chorus to develop the necessary music reading and performance skills.  If you are unable to fit chorus into your schedule, we recommend that you join either Men's Ensemble or Broadway Bruins (the school musical) which meet after school.  An audition is not required for any of these ensembles, simply come and begin your musical journey.

Students who feel they are ready to join an advanced ensemble (Voices or Mixed Chamber) should contact the choir director to schedule an audition.  Mass auditions are held each year in May to place students in the following year's choirs.  For your audition please prepare:

  • Major, Minor and Chromatic Scales on Solfege or any neutral syllable

  • Sightreading an 8-16 measure exercise

  • A solo performance of a classical, jazz, Broadway or lyric pop song.  Ideally, you should have an accompaniment track with which you can perform.

We look forward to having you in our choral program.

Useful Links

Why music classes are important for our students...

 

Education in the arts is critical to a well-rounded education…

  • "The term 'core academic subjects' means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts , history, and geography." - No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101 (11)  

  • "Students with coursework/experience in music performance scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 36 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts." - Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, 1998.

  • "Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without programs (90.2% as compared to 72.9%). In addition, those that rate their programs as "excellent" or "very good" have an even higher graduation rate (90.9%). Schools that have music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than do those without programs (93.3% as compared to 84.9%)." - Harris Interactive Poll of High School Principals conducted Spring 2006

  • "Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district. Students in top-quality music programs scored 22% better in English and 20% better in math." - MENC Journal of Research in Music Education, Winter 2006, vol. 54, No. 4, pgs. 293- 307; "Examination of Relationship between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results" Christopher M. Johnson and Jenny E. Memmott, University of Kansas

Education in the arts prepares students for a productive future…

  • "In every successful business…there is one budget line that never gets cut. It's called 'Product Development' - and it's the key to any company's future growth. Music education is critical to the product development of this nation's most important resource - our children." - John Sykes, President, VH1

  •   "Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." - Gerald Ford, former President of the United States

  • "The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st Century." - "The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education," Business Week, October 1996.

  • Data show that high earnings are not just associated with people who have high technical skills. In fact, mastery of the arts and humanities is just as closely correlated with high earnings, and, according to our analysis, that will continue to be true. History, music, drawing, and painting, and economics will give our students an edge just as surely as math and science will. - Tough Choices or Tough Times: The report of the new commission on the skills of the American workforce, 2007, page 29.

Education in the arts provides opportunities for students to learn and express themselves in a creative and uplifting way…

  • "There are human experiences that defy the power of words to describe them. To express our most intimate, most profoundly moving feelings and ideas we use a more sensitive, subtle language we call the arts… Music, dance, and the visual arts are no longer just desirable, they are essential… [We] need to understand the unique ability of the arts to affirm and dignify our lives and remain the means by which the quality of a civilization can be measured." - Ernest L. Boyer "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate," Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.

  • "The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of the nation, is close to the center of a nation's purpose - and is a test to the quality of a nation's civilization." - John F. Kennedy

 

For more information on the value of music education, please visit Mr. Duckworth's Music Advocacy Site at https://wke.lt/w/s/YwZdE9