Panther Choir Newsletter | 05.13.20

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!

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 -

- Virtual Performance and Awards Ceremony -

Tuesday, May 25 | 6 - 7 pm

While we cannot perform together as we would like to. We are still planning to hold our final concert and awards ceremony on May 25th to honor our students and specifically our seniors. We will showcase a few projects we have been working on during this time of distancing as well as solos and award announcements! Please join us this evening!

- Uniform Return: Urgent -

The CHHS Panther Choir has been assigned Tuesday, May 19 as our only official uniform and equipment turn in day. Please note that uniforms and music checked out to students are district owned property and any items not returned or returned damaged will be charged as fines. Please bring all uniforms pieces and any music (not photocopies) that was checked out to you.

Important Notes:

- If your blue uniform bag is in great shape and undamaged, please return it. If it is damaged at all, please keep it and throw it away.

- Uniforms do not need to be cleaned before returning. We will send all uniforms for cleaning. Tuxedos are DRY CLEAN ONLY. Last year several students ruined their uniforms by attempting to wash them.

Procedures:

Please see THIS MAP for detailed instructions.

In order to protect students, staff, and families, the following procedures will be used for uniform turn in.

  1. Students must sign up for a drop off time on this google sheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17lRUvbBpP6VuOs2hUPyW_SvaDJUsQqD-3J55elpNqcA/edit?usp=sharing

  2. No more than 3 students should be signed up for any drop off spot

  3. Either the student or parent should enter the school alone to drop off the uniform.

  4. You are encouraged to wear a cloth mask - Directors will wear mask for your protection.

  5. Enter CHHS through the door at the end of the Fine Arts Hallway (see attached map). The doors will be propped open so that you do not have to touch anything.

  6. Enter the old choir room through the doors from the practice room hall

  7. Students will read barcodes/numbers from uniforms to directors and drop them in laundry bins.

  8. Exit the old choir room and proceed to the new choir room

  9. Return any music brought from home and/or remove your choir folder and empty its contents

  10. Exit the New Choir room through the doors to the outside. You must exit the building immediately, we cannot have groups of students in the building together.

Like all things this spring, this is not how we envisioned ending the year with you, but is the procedure we must follow in order to return materials and keep you safe. We look forward to seeing you in person next week one more time before our summer break.

- 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 and then asking you to complete any missing work from this period away from school. All submissions for the "Found Tonight" performance are due this Friday, May 15th. All solo videos wanting to be considered for our virtual performance should be turned in through the form in Google Classroom by Monday, May 18th. Please don't hesitate to let us know should you have any questions or need anything.

- 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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