The University of Hawai‘i Mānoa University Chorus
MUS 114—Spring 2018

Course Objectives

The objective of the UH University Chorus is, first and foremost, to love making beautiful music together. We do this as an ensemble and community of hard working, committed, earnest musicians gathered to appreciate and understand music through rehearsal and performance. Together, we develop the processes of preparing and performing choral repertoire from a variety of cultural backgrounds and periods.

This course also meets the department’s Performance Skills Student Learning Objective by addressing:

This course develops performance skills encompassing technical skill with your voice, ability to perform in an ensemble, confidence and stage presence, and, perhaps most importantly, aesthetic judgment.

In this ensemble you will develop your ability to hear, analyze, and read: all essential to musical study and the music profession. We will also address issues of music history connecting our work to the broad liberal background of the university as a whole.

Finally, our repertoire is diverse and fosters cross-cultural appreciation and understanding of diverse musical traditions.

Course Description

This course consists primarily performance and the regular rehearsals needed to prepare. Additional preparation time may been needed outside preparation for rehearsals.

Course Materials

A pencil and music are required in each rehearsal. A UH Choirs concert folder will be provided to each singer near concert time. Folders are free to borrow, but lost folders must be replaced ($20) before grades are released.

Because budgets are always lean in a public university, members of the UH Choirs must purchase their own music. In order to make this quickest and affordable, music is mass-ordered and provided for purchase near the beginning of each semester. Course materials must be purchased in order to participate. Students are required to purchase within the first week of classes and bring this music to every rehearsal and performance. No one will be allowed to perform without music. If you loose your music, speak with the GA to see if extra copies are available for purchase or how to buy replacement copies of your own. All purchased music is the property of the student; it's yours to keep.

Those who are unable to pay on time or pay the full fee should speak directly and privately with Dr. Felipe. All students must pay some amount, but there is limited support for those in need.

Course Requirements & Expectations

All members are expected to come to rehearsal and concerts ready to give their honest best. This expectation includes attendance, punctuality, proper materials (music and pencil), mental focus, appropriate preparation, and physical effort. Our potential is exponentially increased when these basic expectations are met.

Concerts are an essential in this performance-based class. Participation in a concert is absolutely mandatory to earn any credit for this course. Further, attendance at the complete dress rehearsal is required. Those who do not attend the dress rehearsal can not perform and, therefore, will also receive no credit for the course (an “F”).

Although we are a class at a University, we are also a community. Each person in the choirs is, therefore, expected to serve this community as a part of membership. Service may include setting-up chairs, setting-up or transporting risers, publicizing our concerts, helping the graduate assistant, coordinating post-concert receptions, or other small tasks to serve the UHChoirs.

A chorus is an organism greater than the sum of its parts. It takes time to develop a group’s culture and frequent changes in personnel are disruptive to this organic process. Therefore, those who join UHChoirs, regardless of registration status, are expected to commit for the full semester at the least. In other words, singers are expected to begin very close to the start of each semester and to continue through to the final performance of the semester; partial participation is not possible.

As an aside, graduate students who are registered in this ensemble are expected to show superior musicianship. They are also expected to offer a higher level of contribution to the ensemble’s music-making commensurate with graduate standing.

Evaluation and Grading

Grades are based on attendance and participation. For all singers, some notes:


Your physical and mental presence at every rehearsal forms the foundation of this ensemble’s identity. Anytime a voice is missing, we are all incomplete. Therefore, attendance is required at every rehearsal.

That said, life is complicated and unexpected matters sometimes thwart our best intentions. For this reason, a policy has been laid-out in which every tardiness and absence has a grade impact but in a way that one can still earn an ‘A’ if absences are within reason. Those with chronic attendance problems will find their grade more difficult to maintain.

How the absence is considerd in the UH Choirs:

Special Points:

Grade Key

Absences will reduce your final grade as detailed in this chart:

1st absence -4%
2nd absence -6% (-10% total)
3rd absence -8% (-18% total)
4th absence -10% (-28% total)
5th absence -12% (-40% total)

Tardiness will be deducted in a manner similar to absences (2 tardies equal an absence) and according to this chart:

1st tardy -2%
2nd tardy -2% (-4% total)
3rd tardy -3% (-7% total)
4th tardy -3% (-10% total)
5th tardy -4% (-14% total)
6th tardy -4% (-18% total)
7th tardy -5% (-23% total)
8th tardy -5% (-28% total)
9th tardy -6% (-34% total)
10th tardy -6% (-40% total)

Course Schedule & Important Dates

Dates will be shared at the beginning of each semester. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, you are encouraged to link the Google Calendar for University Chorus into your own calendar software. You can also print out the list of events from the website.

Concert Attire

YES: Solid black top with at least ¾ length sleeve
NO: T-shirts, spaghetti straps, bare shoulders, tank tops, plunging necklines, etc.

YES: Solid black slacks or black skirts/dresses that are at least ankle-length
NO: Short skirts, jeans, fabrics with visible pattern, etc.

YES: Black shoes with optional black socks; Close-toed shoes preferred
NO: slippers or high heels

Please arrive clean and odorless. Avoid heavy perfumes or other strong scents.

Academic Integrity

It goes without saying that all ensemble members are expected to deport themselves in an honorable way. In the unusual event that a student's behavior causes concern, the UH policies on Academic Integrity will be consulted.


Any student who feels she or he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability is invited to contact me privately. I would be happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program (Office for Students with Disabilities) to ensure reasonable accommodations in my course. KOKUA can be reached at 808-956-7511, 808-956-7612 (voice/text), or in room 013 of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Center for Student Services.