• South Forsyth Middle School Chorus
     
    New Website!
     
    We have a fancy new website with lots of great info, pictures, and videos of our Chorus Program.
     
    You can see the new website at the link below!
     
     
     
     
    About Chorus:

    Chorus is one of several year-long connections classes offered at SFMS. Founded in 2013, the Chorus program is one of the largest organizations at the school, with a typical enrollment of around 275 students.

    The six different ensembles that make up the South Forsyth Middle School Chorus program consistently receive Superior ratings at GMEA’s Large Group Performance Evaluations and other music festivals around the state. A frequent visitor to Orlando, the Chorus program has earned several Best-in-Class and Gold Awards at Festival Disney. In 2020, the SFMS Chamber Choir was one of only two middle school choirs selected as a featured performer at GMEA’s Annual In-Service Conference.

    SFMS Chorus students have also enjoyed many individual successes; the program’s representation in Georgia’s All-State Chorus has been one of the state’s most prolific for the past six years. SFMS Chorus was Georgia's top-performing middle school program in 2019, 2022, 2023, and 2024 with an all-time high of 32 students selected in 2024. Members of the SFMS Chorus have also received accolades for solo performances at Festival Disney. SFMS Chorus Alumni have gone on to perform well at the high school level, winning Shuler Awards, State One Act Championships, and State Literary Championships, among others.

    Mr. Marshall also hosts the school’s Glee Club, an extracurricular activity that gives students a chance to put on musical performances for their peers. Many use it as a creative outlet or a means to overcome stage fright in a supportive environment.

     

     Class Overview:

    The main areas of study in my class can be broken down into two overarching components; music literacy and music performance. I consider both aspects of the curriculum to be equally important.

    Learning to read music is much like learning a new language. It is a challenging, yet rewarding process that will give your child access to centuries of history through music, and the ability to speak a common language with millions across the world. That’s an awesome power, and precisely why I put a big focus on teaching my students to read and read well. 

    The students will study over a dozen pieces of music during their sixth grade year, preparing each for public performance. Along the way, the students will learn about healthy vocal technique, expression through singing, and how to become detail-oriented in their preparation. They will also learn what it means to be part of a team; how to keep balance in an environment that is both collaborative and competitive; and how to contribute to a collective effort that is bigger than just themselves, while also striving for constant self-improvement.

    The students will put on four concerts as a full choir; two in the Fall and two in the Spring. A fifth day-trip performance will have them singing in front of judges for an evaluation and potential honors.

     

    Program Overview:

    Outside of class, the Chorus program also accounts for quite a few opportunities, including optional trips, performances, ensembles, and clubs. When I started this program ten years ago, I had a vision for what kind of opportunities I’d like to eventually offer. The program still evolves year-to-year, but I can say with confidence that it’s fully-featured at this point. 

    Over the course of a three-year tenure in Chorus at SFMS, each chorus student will have the opportunity to put on over a dozen concerts and three showcases, sing at school and professional sporting events, travel to compete in state and local chorus competitions, and the big one -- compete at Festival Disney in Walt Disney World, an annual Spring Trip just for Chorus students. It’s a great balance of rewarding work and deserved fun!

    The Chorus program also offers students quite a few ways to continue their music studies outside of the Chorus class. Our most popular extracurricular is Glee Club, a performance-oriented club that gives students a chance to perform songs of their choosing for an audience of their peers.

    As members of the Georgia Music Educators Association, we also participate in GMEA-sanctioned events, including Performance Evaluations, Georgia’s All-State Chorus, and Honor Chorus events at every level. These events provide opportunities for personal pursuits in the music world.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does my student need to audition for Chorus?

    No! My sixth grade class is open to both students with a lot of musical experience and those with none at all. This course assumes no prior knowledge and begins with the fundamentals of singing and reading music.

    In seventh grade, we offer an on-level Concert Chorus for new students that does not require an audition. The on-level class also provides a strong fundamental foundation, so even students that are joining late have a chance to catch up to their peers and participate in all of chorus' offerings.

    Eighth Grade students are expected to have a baseline level of music knowledge. Enrollment requires previous experience in Chorus. Students with other relevant musical experience (band, piano, theatre) may complete a placement test for admission.

    All current Chorus students that are rising Seventh and Eighth Graders must complete placement testing in lieu of an audition to determine their ensemble placement (accelerated or on-level). See below.

    ***As of the 2023-2024 School Year, all chorus classes will have a maximum enrollment of 48 students. Once the classes have reached capacity, additional students will be added to a waitlist.

     

    I’ve heard about Chamber Choir and Accelerated Chorus. How can my student join these groups?

    At the end of the sixth and seventh grade year, all chorus students take a placement test that will determine their class for the following year. As seventh and eighth graders, they will be placed in either the “on-level” Concert Chorus or the “accelerated” class, which includes multiple advanced ensembles. Students that are new to the chorus program or SFMS may also take the placement test if they have previous music experience.

    Bear in mind that the accelerated class is as the name implies. Enrollment in this course is quite selective, as all members need to showcase a certain level of music literacy, vocal ability, and rehearsal demeanor.

     

    What is the after-school time commitment for being a Chorus student?

    Typical Chorus students have four (4) concerts that they are required to attend after school hours, roughly one per quarter. These are most often hosted in the evenings around 7PM. They will also put on a Chorus Festival performance during school hours as a “field trip.” All other opportunities are optional, and the vast majority of the work is given and completed during class time.

    Students in our Accelerated ensembles usually have a more robust calendar, including additional performances and some outside-of-school rehearsals.

     

    How much does Chorus cost?

    Our dues are typically around $100 for the year, depending on the grade and ensemble that your student is in. This figure includes our uniform, t-shirt or other merch, travel expenses, venue rentals, piano accompanist fees, and event registrations. This fee covers the cost of all required Chorus to-dos -- we won’t ask for more money unless your student is pursuing an extracurricular opportunity.

    *Beginning the 2022-2023 school year, Sheet Music is no longer included in the Chorus fee, as this is now covered by County funding. This allowed us to lower Chorus fees by 20-33%. 

     

    Can my student drop Chorus in the middle of the year?

    No. Joining Chorus (and/or Band) at SFMS is a year-long commitment. We want the students to see the commitment through to the end; a lot of the hard work and struggle comes during the first half of the year, whereas the self-improvement and rewarding experiences come at the end. Over 94% of chorus students that make it to the end of the year choose to return the following year. Stick with it!

     

    How do I register my student for Chorus?

    We have an online form that families can use to select Year-Long connections classes at SFMS. The form will be open from now until April 19th. Follow this link to complete the form: https://forms.gle/fhq1AdxQYFVKTTxf8  

     

    I hope to see your students singing at SFMS next year! Please get in touch with me if you have any questions about the program!

     

    Follow us on Instagram: @sfms.chorus

     

Last Modified on Monday at 4:13 PM