Panther Choir Newsletter | 05.05.20

Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday on the same day?! At least 2020 got something right.

While there is a stream of constant information coming from different places, we want to continue sharing all the needed information and upcoming expectations in one place to hopefully be a help to you all. If there are any questions, please reach out so we can help clear up any misunderstanding or miscommunication. We miss each of you and it becomes harder each day to not be in the classroom learning and sharing music together. While no online experience or assignment will ever fully take the place of those things, we are thankful to have an opportunity to create performances and experiences for each of you, and we hope you enjoy them as we do! Have an excellent week!

- 2020 Senior Singers -

Will Swinney Katie Brown Nick Beard

4 year choir member 4 year choir member 4 year choir member

Chorale, Chamber, Ovation Chorale, Ovation Chorale

After graduation, Will plans on After graduation, Katie plans After graduation Nick plans

pursuing Choral Music Education on pursuing Psychology on pursuing Business Administration

at the University of North Texas at Texas Tech University. and Ministry while playing football at Wheaton College

In order to continue recognizing our outstanding Senior class, we would ask that you take a moment to fill out the following form, linked below. We will need a photo of each of you as a part of this form. Please consider using a senior photo or having someone capture a new photo.

- Senior Information Form -

- 2020 Senior Signs -

We are excited to have an opportunity to celebrate our senior students this year. The class of 2020 is one characterized by exceptional talent, kindness, and strong work ethic, and we can't imagine a more equipped group of students to walk through a time of challenge like this. As a part of our senior tradition, we have photograph frames at banquet that other students can sign for each senior. In lieu of our normal tradition, our booster team has created a yard sign for each senior singer that we will be posting for others to come by and sign over the next several days. We hope you will all take the time to come by and support our seniors with this gesture. Please read the following requests and expectations regarding this process.

Signs will be posted at the home of the Beck Family:

708 Knott Court Euless, TX 76039

Social Distancing Expectations and Requests:

- Signs will be posted at least 6 feet apart. Please do not gather more than one person at a sign.

- Please do not gather more than 5 individuals in the yard at a time.

- There will be a box of Sharpies available for signing. They should be sanitized after each use, but please wash or sanitize your hands as well.

- Masks are not required to sign, but are highly encouraged during this time.

- Please plan to sign during daylight hours only: 8am - 7 pm.

If you prefer to not sign during this time, but would still like to leave a note for our Seniors, you may fill out the following form to be included:

- Senior Sign Notes -

- 2020-2021 Jazz Auditions -

We've had several questions and some confusion regarding Choir/Jazz Choir Auditions. We understand how difficult this can be with our current situation and with the issue of not having a face to face discussion. Please know that we are prepared to be extremely flexible and take care of every student's individual needs to make each audition equitable and best for each singer. We've been slow to release any results or make any final decisions because every student is dealing with unique challenges right now to get all of this done. We absolutely do not want our current situation to cause a problem for your choir placement next year - we will find a way to work all of this out.

The information for auditions is on our website at, however, it's possible there are still questions. Please reach out as soon as possible if there is any confusion.

While we placed a jazz choir audition deadline yesterday, we am prepared to be as flexible as needed to make sure you are taken care of. Please don't rush and submit a poor audition. We can get it done throughout this week as needed.

- Jazz Audition Information -

- Office Hours -

Monday - Friday | 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

As a part of the new online platform, we will be holding daily online office hours to answer questions, clarify any possible new content/materials, and provide encouragement and support as you need. Mr. Rinn and Mr. Gilliland will be online together during this time each day using Webex*. The link below will take you directly to the online meeting where Mr. Rinn and Gilliland will grant you access to join. If you are not granted access immediately, it may be because we are working with another student. You may also email to ensure current availability or ask questions. We will use the final 30 minutes of this time each day for an open "virtual lunchtime" with any and all students who want to join in. If you have a question outside of these office hours, please feel free to email and one of the directors will respond as we are able.

- Webex Choir Office -

- District Webex Instructions* -

- Learning@Home -

Final Recording Project

For the remainder of the year, we will be pursuing a full department virtual performance project to take the place of our final Spring Concert and awards presentation. Information is still being communicated in students' Google Classroom for all necessary pieces of this project. Each week, an exit ticket will be due regarding progress and challenges in the process with the final product being completed on May 15th. While this is a fairly quick timeline, we believe each of you has developed and furthered the skills necessary to complete this project quickly!

- New York Update -

Thank you for your patience as we have been working to make decisions to best preserve your investment in this year’s New York Trip.

Per our contract with US Integrity, we are entitled to a 25% refund plus 12% due to cancellation because it was unsafe to travel. Thankfully, USIT has a long relationship with us and is committed to doing more to help our situation. While hotels, airlines, etc. have continued to make a public message of being very flexible, in reality, they are not simply offering refunds to customers. I personally have several hundred dollars of airline tickets that are being given to me as a credit for future travel, but not as a refund. This same sort of response has been similar with hotels, theaters, etc.

All of this noted, USIT, has been working very hard to find ways to reclaim as much money as possible. This has taken time, as vendors in New York City of have been closed down and as you would expect, even communicating with airlines is a very slow process right now. We have worked with them to come up with the following plan:

We are seeking district approval to postpone our trip until April 2021. While the future of travel in GCISD is still unknown, we are working through this process with district administration. In this scenario, USIT has agreed to transfer 100% of funds to a 2021 trip. We are hopeful that this trip can be secured without any additional costs, however, they will have to renegotiate contracts with vendors and this will take time to verify.

Obviously, we have a group of seniors graduating that will not be able to travel with us in 2021. For these families USIT is prepared to offer a 75% refund immediately. If we are able to add new travelers to our group for next year, USIT will refund the remaining 25% of funds. As our priority is to take care of graduating students, any refund beyond 75% for any other students choosing not to travel can not be guaranteed, but will certainly be considered should our trip participation next year be high enough to support it.

In order to move forward with this, we ask that you complete the form linked at the bottom of the section. We will continue to communicate as we have more information concerning the timing of refunds and the approval of a trip for 2021.

Please feel free to contact me with further questions. While I know this situation isn’t ideal, I’m thankful we have a partner in USIT that has been willing to work with us in this way. This has not been the case with money schools and tour companies in our area and around the nation dealing with similar cancellations.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

- New York Funds Request -

- CHHS Solo Contest Finals Recital -

We are moving the Voice Competition Finals recital to an ONLINE format. Singers will prepare solos and record them. We will produce a digital recital video. These will be evaluated and judged by a college voice professor - all students will be given written feedback and we will award scholarships for overall winners and divisional winners. Details will come from your voice teachers (or from us this week if you aren't in voice lessons).

In an effort to continue building out our community together, we have put together a Flipgrid in which we are asking students to share music that has inspired and encouraged them or that they have made themselves. Our hope is that we will continue spreading music, both choral and non, during this time! Password is available in your Google Classroom.

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