Everyone Can Sing
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
In the middle of the musical preparations, we also repeat our 7/8 grade portion of the fall concert the third week of January at the high school for the annual high school recruitment at Leyden HS called “Sing ‘n Share”.
In December, the select chamber group called BASSically TREBLE does several performances at local community events such as the Chamber of Commerce holiday luncheon and perhaps a nursing home or hospital. In February, they sell and perform Singing Valentines around the school as a fundraiser for the chorus scholarship fund.
The large chorus then has six or seven weeks after the musical to prepare for the annual Variety and Chorus Awards Concert. We perform this concert in the evening for parents, and then for all three elementary schools as a recruitment tool for the upcoming year.
After this concert, 8th grade chorus members have six or seven rehearsals to prepare two songs to sing for graduation.
Specific Budget Breakdown
- 1200 – choral music for three choirs and two concerts
- @800-1000 royalty fees and materials for the musical
- 900 – choreographer
- 1500-2000 – costumes made by seamstress and parents
- 800-1000 – extra musicians/professional and high school
What was your total program enrollment during the prior school year?
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New or recurring project?Recurring
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Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
Our parent group has shown great initiative over the past several years to help with the cost of costumes and other expenses for the musical. They have implemented a silent auction as well as other concessions and homemade souvenirs to be sold at the door for the musical and other concerts. They have also brought in concessions to be sold at the fall school open house to help raise money for the music department.
This past year we performed a Junior version of Mary Poppins, and I was able to convince my superintendent to bring in an outside company to fly Mary, Bert and Miss Andrew during the production. This was the first time we had tried something like this, and it did take some convincing, especially as relates to liability and cost, to get the administration to agree. The effect, however, was spectacular and an amazing experience for the students who were flown as well as for the audience. Two former Hester students who are currently in college also came in to learn how to work the equipment and fly the characters. Since it is not a usual expense, the district agreed to cover the $4000 cost outside of my regular budget.
It is also always a challenge to help students learn the amount of material that we perform in the short amount of rehearsal time that we have. I have learned to use online rehearsal recordings and video of choreography and the students, so that they can review and work on materials at home.
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?