Darlington Choral Program

Darlington School

Choral Music

Darlington’s choral department provides students with a cohesive choral education beginning in pre-K and continuing through their senior year. Students in both the Pre-K to 8 division and the Upper School are exposed to a variety of styles of choral music in several different vocal ensembles, depending on grade level. In each ensemble, students work to improve their musicianship abilities, vocal technique, ensemble singing skills and musical literacy, all in an age-appropriate manner. In doing so, they gain confidence as artists through valuable performing experiences, as well as through critical thinking and evaluation of their performances.

In addition to performing opportunities on and off campus with Darlington’s choral ensembles, members of these groups participate in Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) district and state-level activities, Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA) choral events, and as guest choirs at university and college festivals.

For more about the specific choral offerings at each of Darlington’s divisions, please read below.

Pre-K to 8

At Darlington, choral music and vocal instruction begin in pre-kindergarten. Students are encouraged to sing solos and in groups from their very first music class. At each level, they develop more independence and confidence and are ready for a true choral experience in the fourth grade.

General Music: All students in pre-K through second grade participate in the General Music class, which allows them to learn through singing, dancing and playing instruments. Through these outlets, students learn to read, notate and express themselves through music to allow for support in choices of vocal or instrumental study in grades 3, 4 and beyond. Once students reach the third grade, they may stay in General Music or move to Strings, where they can play the violin, viola, cello or bass in a Beginning Orchestra class. In fourth grade, students choose between General Music, Strings or Band. In Band, they select an instrument to play in a beginning band ensemble.

The Darlington Singers: Students in grades 4 and 5 participate in the beginning choral ensemble, The Darlington Singers. This group meets once per eight-day rotation to reinforce music theory and sightreading, as well as musicianship, in a true choral setting. This encourages students to continue vocal study and prepares them for opportunities in grades 6-8 and beyond. The Darlington Singers perform at various school and community events throughout the year and participate in the annual GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation.

Middle School Chorus: Students in grades 6-8 may choose to take Chorus during the Art Block, which meets five out of eight days for an hour. This course allows them to continue in-depth study of music theory, sight reading and musicianship. Students learn to sing in unison and parts, working to develop skills in vocal technique. Those who do so have many opportunities to perform both on and off campus throughout the year. Each spring, choral students compete in the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation, receiving Excellent and Superior ratings the past several years.

Honor Choir: Students in grades 6-8 who would like to excel in choral singing may choose to participate in Honor Choir, an advanced ensemble, during the enrichment block. This ensemble performs at school and community events throughout the year.

Upper School

Ladies’ and Men’s Chorales: Both the Ladies’ and Men’s Chorales are non-auditioned ensembles, open to all students who enjoy singing and would like to improve their vocal skills. These ensembles rehearse daily and perform three concerts a year. Both groups have received numerous choral awards at the Southern Star Music Festival, the All-Star Music Festival and Festival Disney. Repertoire consists of pop, folk and classical styles, with an emphasis placed on love of singing. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in one of the chorales before auditioning for the Concert Choir, as choral singing fundamentals are taught throughout the year in both ensembles.

Concert Choir: The Concert Choir is a select ensemble designed for the experienced and motivated choral singer. The choir, which meets during the school day as a scheduled class period, performs several major concerts throughout the year and represents Darlington at numerous civic and school-related events, including a choir tour during the spring semester. The group performs a wide variety of choral pieces and has received numerous top awards at the All-Star Music Festival, Festival Disney and at invitation-only events such as Disney Honors. Membership in the ensemble is by audition only, and is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The Darlingtones and The Random Notes: These are elite vocal ensembles for ladies and men, respectively, that offer advanced students the opportunity to sing in an ensemble setting while performing literature written especially for the a cappella-type performing group. Their repertoire spans pop music arrangements to barbershop, to vocal jazz. The two ensembles perform both separately and combined and are auditioned from within concert choir and the extended student body. The Darlingtones and The Random Notes represent Darlington at a variety of events and venues both on and off campus. Each year in February, these groups sell sing-o-gram valentines to raise money for a special service project.

AP Music Theory: Offered every other year, this course develops a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of these goals is best approached by initially addressing the fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Exam. Prerequisite: The student’s ability to read and write musical notation is fundamental. It is also assumed that the student has acquired (or is acquiring) at least basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument.





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