• Welcome to the Chamber Singers!
    This page will be used to locate specific information about this course, including part tracks for practicing music.
    Parent Contact Information:
    Click HERE to access the parent contact information google form.
    Click HERE to see instructions to access the choir discord server. 

    Higley High School

    Choir Syllabus

    Mr. Robert Decoste

    Office Hours by Appointment Only

    Robert.Decoste@HUSD.org - (480) 279-7421


    Course objectives

    This is a vocal music course for high school students who have a desire to learn, sing and perform music. The goal of this course is to teach students the fundamentals of music, help create independence while learning and singing music and to become confident singers and develop an appreciation for music.


    Some objectives for this year include:

    Learning the fundamentals of music.

    This includes but is not limited to The Staff, Clefs and Lines, Solfege, Rhythm Names and Syllables, Rest Names, Note Names and Syllables, Accidentals / Chromatic Solfege, Time Signatures, Key Signatures, Dynamics, Articulations

    Demonstrating proper breath support

    Demonstrating proper tone production

    Demonstrating knowledge of musical terms

    Mastering the beginning levels of sight reading

    Understanding and demonstrating blend and balance within a choir


    ** I reserve the right to change, add or remove anything in the syllabus **


    Grading Policies

    Grades will be determined each semester through the following criteria:


    Concert Performances and Dress Rehearsals – Assessment (60%)

    There will be two performances each semester and each performance will be worth 25% of your grade. Each performance will be accompanied with a dress rehearsal shortly before the concert start time. Each of these dress rehearsals will be worth 5% of a student’s grade. Because of the nature of performances, being tardy to a dress rehearsal will forfeit your 5%. Being tardy to a concert will not allow you to perform, forfeiting your performance grade.

    I understand that life events may occur. If there is a situation that will cause any tardies or absences, I must be notified two weeks prior to the concert. This will not guarantee you being excused but will allow you to work with me to find a solution.  In the event of an emergency, each situation will be handled individually

    Class and Homework (20%)

    Weekly quizzes will be administered to focus on that week’s musical topic. End of week quizzes will be closed book quizzes and will often occur on Friday. I will not assign pop quizzes. We will always review the materials for the quiz the week of the quiz. Combined quiz scores will be worth 20% of your grade.


    Final Exam (20%)

    The final exam will be a cumulative report from the semesters work. There will be ample opportunity to prepare for the report.


    Grading Scale:

    90% - 100% = A

    80% - 89% = B

    70% - 79% = C

    60% - 69% = D

    59% or less = F


    If a student is struggling or a parent is concerned about a grade, please email or call me to discuss the situation. I am more than happy to help resolve and issues and my top priority is to help students learn and be successful.


    Choir Club

    Being enrolled in the choral program automatically enters you into the choir club. Meetings will be held during class time, occasionally before or after school and there will be opportunities for students to be elected into officer positions. Club Dues will be mandatory for all members and is set at $20 per student. This will be paid during the first month of school.


    ** I reserve the right to change, add or remove anything in the syllabus **


    Concert Dates

    Throughout the course of the school year, there will be a minimum of 4 concerts at the HCPA or other to be determined locations.

    Concerts are a major part of your grade and require you to be in attendance and on time. Call times for concerts will be determined as the date approaches and I will be sure to give you ample notice of when these times are.

    Fall Concert – September 18th 2019

    Winter Concert – December 18th 2019

    Feeder Concert – January 16th 2020

    Spring Concert – March 3rd 2020

    Spring Pop Show – May 13th 2020

    There may be opportunities for additional opportunities for performances and these will be discussed as they present themselves. Again, ample time will be given to adjust calendars and schedules



    Fundraising will be an important for our choir program here at Higley High School. Fundraising opportunities will allow students to earn credit towards tour prices, classroom accessories and even classroom parties. Currently, there are no fundraising opportunities that I can share with you but there are some in the works. It’s important to know that fundraising will help our program grow and allow us to purchase new and important materials for our classroom. More information to come!

    Concert Attire

    The choral program requires formal attire be worn for most of our concerts. The Higley Choral Program will provide Tuxedos and Gowns for all members and therefore, parents will not be responsible to providing attire beyond socks and shoes.  A small club fee will be issued to all members each year to help clean, maintain and restore our Tuxedos and Gowns.


    ** I reserve the right to change, add or remove anything in the syllabus **



    Like all of your classes, attendance is mandatory. In the real world, if a musician is late or absent, they are fired. In the classroom, points will be deducted from your Performance Practice grade. This is to help clarify what it is to be a true musician. Being tardy will deduct point for a given day but with good performance, points can be earned back. Being absent will deduct points for the day but those points cannot be refunded.

    Additionally, as per school policy, the following policy will be enforced regaring tardiness:

    1st tardy is a reminder

    2nd tardy is a phone call home

    3rd tardy is ASD (after school detention) with the classroom teacher

    4th tardy is an office referral


    Letter to the Parents


    Dear Parents,

                I am so excited to begin the 2019-2020 school year at Higley High School. For those of you who are joining me for the first time, welcome to the family. I’m glad you and your child can be part of this wonderful program at Higley. This is the beginning of my fourth full year and I can now safely say that this train is now at full speed. Last year, you, your children and myself made some amazing strides in the choral program. We had our largest concert at the Spring Pop Show, sang the national anthem at the Diamondbacks game, earned two superior rating at the Jazz/Mad festival, the highest this program has ever achieved and toured throughout southern and northern California with performance stops in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

                It’s never a dull moment here at the Higley choir program and I am excited to have you joining us. We have a lot of things planned for this year and I am looking for your help to make this year even better than last year. We have a magnificent booster club that needs new members and leadership. If you have any experience or simply want to offer assistance, please be sure to let me know in Syllabus Acknowledgement form located on my teacher page. It’s going to be a year for the history books with our program and I hope that you can join us for the ride. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


    Musically Yours,


    Robert Decoste, Director of Choirs