Attendance Matters

I am very disappointed in the attendance problems at our 1st sectional rehearsals.  This is a crucial time for balancing the choir.  Everything we do for the year is based on getting the mix right.  There were  13 Sopranos absent and 3 tardy.  There were 10 altos absent and 5 tardy.   There are 60 kids in Caiman Chorus just dying to be moved up.  If you know you are not going to be in GCC please tell me so I can move them next week.    These absences count against the maximum number allowed. see below and read under Gifford Choirs on top.   If a student has not made any rehearsals so far and misses any next week I will assume they are not in choir and replace them.

Attendance Policy:   Any student that misses more than two rehearsals in a semester must make an appointment with the director to make up the rehearsal time and or show their readiness to perform at the director’s convenience. If students do not do this they may be asked to attend concerts as an audience member. Anyone who misses four or more rehearsals may be dropped from the choir without refund of any choir expenses at the discretion of the choir’s director. Missing a concert for anything but an emergency involving hospitalization of the student, attendance at funeral of an immediate family member or contagious illness where directed by a doctor to stay at home can result in a student being dropped from an auditioned choir. Contact should be made with the director prior to the concert or if this is not possible, as soon after as is practical. If you have a conflict with a performance date you should speak to your director as soon as the calendar is published. Parents of choir members should check performance and rehearsal dates of the choir before signing kids up for other events such as sports.


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6 Responses to Attendance Matters

  1. Amy Sladky says:


    Is it possible that at the very start of the year, a hard copy be sent home with the choir kids to remind parents about rehearsal days and that all your future communication will be done through this webblog (and the address of this blog)? I can imagine especially for new choir parents, they may not be in the habit of looking here yet and with all the other activity of a new school year it could be missed when there is nothing “in your face” to remind you. If this is something you’d like help with, I’d be happy to write something up and coordinate it going home in backpack mail (but I would need the list of kids and rm #s). I wouldn’t want to see a child miss out on choir just because of hiccup in communication.

    -Amy Sladky

  2. joinchoir says:

    Almost every parent has already received an email about checking the blog. I do not have a list of which room kids are in that I can share with a parent and I simply do not have the time to stop the essential things I am doing for the choir to look them up and send a letter. Thanks for the offer of help but the master list of students that contains the room numbers also contains personal info that I can not share with a parent. I would have to assemble that and I just don’t have the time. The kids have all been reminded at school about rehearsals. I have personally spoken to many that were not at our first rehearsal and they still missed. Parents have got to take on the responsibility to check for info here on their own.

  3. Tori Schram says:

    I found out just today that Garrett was one of the kids that was late to rehearsal last week Thursday. There is no excuse for it as I had only dropped him off at TLC at 7:40, reminded him several times about it and TLC announced choir at 8am. I talked with him about the consequences, and on his own he has recruited two friends from the choir that also go to TLC to help him remember practices from now on (they’re also altos so they’ll be able to help both days). So he, for one, should hopefully no longer be a problem.

    However, for the sake of other kids and their parents, PLEASE remember that you are working with children who are no more than 10 or 11 years old. Many of them probably still forget to brush their teeth in the morning, let alone tell their parents when practice is.

    You have a parent that has volunteered to help. I can’t imagine that it would take that much time in your day to make a copy of the roster and cut out the personal information before giving it to Mrs. Sladky. Alternately, you could cover the personal information with another paper before copying it. A response like “I don’t have time to help you help me” doesn’t seem reasonable when you’re getting a group of elementary school kids together and organized. This only needs to be done once and then it’s done – and could be a world of help and even used at other times throughout the year.

    I’d hate to see something so very good fall apart because frustrations are rising so early in the year.

  4. joinchoir says:

    What you can’t imagine is very much a reality for me. I am very good at many things, making any kind of list takes me hours. The price that choir families have to pay in working with me is understanding what an adult with ADD can and can not do well. Parents have to be responsible to check the blog for info. I know it comes off as arrogant when I say I do not have time but you don’t realize what it takes to plan the entire year for the second most watched children’s choir in the US. I spent the last 4 hours in forums and emails with music publishers and professional musicians trying to learn the process for and to secure the mechanical licenses and synchronization licenses for YouTube and digital download sites. This is not the first four hours I have spent as it is a maze of “We cover this, not that” and legal cases that effect whether I and the school could be sued for copyright infringement. I have had to contact people in Russia and other parts of the world for help after spending hours trying to locate print music for the pieces I have planned for the year. Since that music was not available I have spent at least 10 hours transcribing music, most of it on Monday night in order to be ready for our 1st sectional. In the last two weeks I met with and reviewed products from three different fundraisers, found an accompanist for the Community Choir that I am starting at Gifford on Oct. 7, made overtures for collaborations with UWParkside, Choral Arts Society, Pat McCurdy and other arts groups, organized a resurrection choir for the memorial service of a musician friend’s husband (involving contacting and communicating with dozens of former students of mine), worked on narrowing the field of destinations for the choir, found a place for the 3rd graders in GCC to participate in addition to tour and advocated for the choir to the TV producer who is trying to put a show together about us. I do not have a couple hours to put together, edit and send home print versions of information that is available to all of our members (except two) on line. Parents need to be responsible for reading what is posted here. How do I have time to write lengthy responses like this? This pops up in my email so I can just click over and take care of it in 5 minutes. It uses a different part of my brain. Please don’t take offense at this response. I think you gave voice to what many are thinking. I simply feel it necessary for everyone to realize what it takes to volunteer to put this all together for your children and mine and how your help is essential in making this thing work. Keep smiling, it will be an amazing year!

  5. Tori Schram says:

    Here’s the thing, Mr. Senzig (and please don’t take offense to this either). The very first thing you say is that we need to understand what a person with ADD can and cannot do, and yet maybe you don’t realize you’re expecting children with ADD (i.e. my son) to do the things you can’t. And he hasn’t had as many years’ experience living with it as you have – he’s still learning what he needs to do to overcome (i.e. recruiting friends to help him remember to go to practice, 20 minutes after I drop him off at school).

    This will be Garrett’s first and last year with GCC because he’s in 5th grade. I honestly don’t remember if anything was mentioned in previous notes sent home about checking the blog daily (if it was, I don’t remember seeing it). However, I’m lucky enough to know another choir mom and she stressed the importance of it to me. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t remember something that was mentioned once, three months ago, either.

    Keep your chin up. We do realize what you go through. We know the amount of work that goes into these things. Most of us have been to the rodeo once or twice in planning events and activities for our children, and what you do is on a much greater scale. We really DO appreciate everything you do for our children!

    I know you’ve put time into helping other teachers plan their concerts, events, fundraisers, etc…. maybe you could ask for the same in return? Even if you can’t give that personal information to a parent, maybe you could recruit a fellow teacher to strip that information off the list so it could be given to a parent?

    Another thought I have is Facebook. I’m sure a good many parents are on it already. A Gifford Choirs page could be created, we could all become fans of it, and anything posted would show up on our “wall” as soon as you’ve posted it. I know you like watching the YouTube views click up, imagine how exciting it would be if a GCC Facebook page clicked up over 100,000 fans – and that’s individual people; not clicks that could possibly all be from a smaller group of people. 🙂

  6. joinchoir says:

    No offense taken. I appreciate when people feel free to express their opinions openly here. “Been to the rodeo…” I like that:)

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