Gifford Choirs

7.10.17 (Rough Draft)

Every Choir member’s family should read this before accepting a position in the choir.
The Gifford Children’s Choir (GCC) is our highest level auditioned choir for students in grades 3-5. The choir is directed by Jack Senzig and possibly the new music teacher at Gifford elementary.  The students are very dedicated and proud of the work they do. Mr. Senzig is especially proud of their mastery of vowels which creates a beautiful tone color.

We will miss Mr. Griffin’s leadership. He has decided to share his copious skills at another Racine school. However he will still be involved. Mr. Griffin is now the Executive Director of Our Musical Life Inc. The choirs at Gifford will be under the umbrella of this organization as well as RUSD.   Similar to the Afterzone clubs and activities held after school at Gifford, there will be a small fee for participating.   When this is decided completely I will update this post.

The Gifford Children’s Choir will perform in uniform of a specific white shirt ($14) and any solid full length black dress pants ($18)  We will also perform as Children’s Choir of the Internet and will be joined by Mr. Griffin’s choir and possibly others for those performances and video shoots.  The members will need a “teh” shirt ($10).  Altos will meet on Tuesdays and Sopranos on Thursdays and both sections will meet on every other Friday. Rehearsals are at 7:40 AM in the middle school choir room. To be a member of Gifford Children’s Choir students must also be a member of Caiman Chorus which will meet on every other Friday and is for students in 2nd-5th grade without audition.  That means GCC members will meet twice a week every week.  Nearer to concert time the choir will meet Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.  These will be on the calendar in advance.


  1. Parents are responsible for retrieving information on this blog. The day before each weekly rehearsal, parents of GCC members must check the blog for any new information. Volunteers will be sought to be a liaison to parents without internet access.
  2. Parents of GCC members must have an email address or be willing to accept phone calls from parent volunteers. In the case of emergency or time sensitive information needing to be given out, Mr. Senzig will send out that info in email.
  3. Members of GCC must have parental permission to be photographed, videotaped and recorded and such images and recordings may be used by Mr. Senzig, Gifford School, Racine Unified School District and Our Musical Life Inc. for advertising, publicity, or other choir related purposes. Recordings of your GCC member may be used for profit by the above mentioned parties. Examples of such use include: posting videos and still photos on internet sites such as YouTube and the choir blogs, TV appearances and shows, podcasts, itunes etc.
  4. There are no current plans in place to travel but I would like parents to begin considering the possibility. We will do all we can to keep the costs down but being a part of GCC means you are willing to let your child travel with the choir in principle. Should costs be prohibitive, some members of the choir may participate while others do not. When we planned a trip in the past, some parents of younger students chose to drive to the location themselves and would have kept their child with them if we stayed anywhere overnight.
  5. All GCC members are a part of Caiman Chorus. If a student does not follow the attendance policy for Caiman Chorus they may not participate in GCC.
  6. GCC Members need a specific uniform. See the links to the right of this page.

The Caiman Chorus is our intermediate level auditioned choir of about 150 singers that will meet every other Friday morning at 7:40 AM. All Gifford students in grades 2-5 may join this choir. The Caiman Chorus uniform will be a choir T-Shirt and dark pants or slacks. The t-shirts will cost around $10.
Grade Level Choruses: Each grade level from K5-5th grade is a non-auditioned choir. These perform twice a year at the all school concerts. There is no cost to membership in these choirs.
Attendance: Any student that misses more than three rehearsals in a semester must make an appointment with a director to make up the rehearsal time and or show their readiness to perform at the director’s convenience.  A “Dress rehearsal” counts as 2 rehearsals missed.  If students do not do this they may be asked to attend concerts as an audience member. Anyone who misses Five 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.

Check out the official blog: that we will use to communicate with the broader public and Mr. Senzig’s YouTube channel “Joinchoir” for more videos. New videos will be posted either at MusicElem or OurMusicalLife YouTube channels.

9 Responses to Gifford Choirs

  1. Laurie Nikolic says:

    Like the idea of the ribbon applique. Kids would get a kick out of that. Sofia loves the “belts” in recorder too. She shows people those belts on her recorder with pride.

  2. Mystical Listrom says:

    To keep costs down, how about a different color tie for the boys & matching color blouse or hair ribbon for the girls?

    Would the second, combined rehearsal be in the morning as well? Like Thursday morning or something to that effect?

  3. joinchoir says:

    We would have Sopranos on Tuesday, Altos on Wednesday and combined on Thursday. All would be in the morning from 8-9 AM. There will be many Thursdays we still will not rehearse due to teachers convention, delayed start, Thanksgiving, etc.

  4. Cathy Andersen says:

    Love the of adding to their uniform to show years of service. How about something like a sash, similar to what is used in scouting. I do like the tie idea, maybe a scarf with a slide? Many years ago I was in the All District Choir with Mr Duncan and we used the scarf and slides. Anxious to help where ever you need me.

    Thanks for all your hard work with the kids. They were fantastic!

  5. Debbie Crenshaw says:

    I like the idea of pumping up the look of the uniform…maybe a different color shirt than white? Although, this might be hard to get all these to look similar with so many different shades.

    Also like the suggestion for a ribbon or other identifying applique. I believe that gives the kids a little extra sense of pride to show how many years they have participated.

    I would enjoy hearing more soloists or the opportunity to for you & the kids to interject more variety into the expression of the songs.

    One thing I just thought of, with school starting a little later next year, will this affect anything with regard to practices, etc.?

  6. Brian Dessart says:

    I would like to be notified via email of the new posts.

  7. joinchoir says:

    Click on the comments under any post. Write a comment. At the bottom is a check box that says “Notify me of new posts via email” Click it and then submit. You can also click on subscribe but I’m not sure if that sends posts announcements to your email. Anyone done it?

  8. Jenny Petrick says:

    Hi Mr. Senzig. This is Jordan’s mom. I just had a few thoughts about fundraisers. I had two ideas both requiring the use of Gifford:

    1-Zumbathon – This is a 2 hour exercise “party”. My friend is an instruction and I believe she would do the Zumbathon for fairly inexpensive. All the other ones I have been to charge around $7.00 per person. The kids could perform during the break and they could sell some concessions. I would recommend bottled water, granola bars and fruit.

    2-Rummage Sale – We could charge $25-$35 per booth and open it to the school. You could also sell concessions, have a bake sale and have the kids perform.

    If either or both interest you, I would be more than happy to get more information and talk to the PTA.

  9. Nancy Arnold says:

    I like the Zumbathon idea!

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