Licia Murrell, Choral Director

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Licia Murrell, Choral Director

Dr. Chris Richie, Principal

Susan Debardeleben, Assistant Principal

Claire Lyons, Administrative Assistant

4080 May Breeze Rd

Marietta, GA 30066

770-928-5562 ext 225


Welcome to Chorus at McCleskey. We have an amazing year ahead of us. I am thrilled to have your child in our chorus program. Our focus will be development in vocal technique, musical expression, sight singing and an additional emphasis on team work. As parents you will see a great deal of growth in your child, both musically and in self esteem and confidence throughout the year.

Chorus Expectations
We have a big performance year with several performances scheduled. You will find the dates on the attached calendar.
Each singer is expected to perform for each concert

It is imperative that each Chorus Member be present for each and every performance and stay through to the end.
Parents, please make every effort to attend the concerts as well. It means a great deal to each student to have someone listening to the product of their hard work and seeing them shine on stage. We work very hard on a unified sound. Chorus members missing compromises the entire group and the performance.
Attached is the standard for concert attendance sent from the Cobb County Music Department titled Expectations for Behavior at Choral Concerts. Please read this over with your child.
More detailed information about the curriculum and class expectations are listed on the Syllabus and I Understand forms found on the next few pages. Additional copies have been included separately to be signed and returned. This allows you to keep a copy for yourself.

Our concert attire will be very similar to last year. There are some changes for the men so please read carefully so that your singer will have the appropriate items. Shopping at the last minute will not provide you with what you need.

7th and 8th Grade Chorus

Ladies ~~

Black Uniform Tops (will be ordered through school),

Black skirt - ANKLE length

Black dress shoes (not higher than 2 ½ inch heel for safety reasons).

Necklaces are provided by the school.

Earrings, if worn, must be small; no bracelets please.

Gentlemen ~~

Black dress pants (such as black khaki’s)

White tuxedo shirt - long sleeved

Black cumberbund and bowtie

Black dress shoes.
Black shoes are needed for all students. NO tennis shoes will be allowed.
Let us know if there is any problem with acquiring the uniform. Arrangements will be made to assist in any way possible. Our goal is for student success!!
The skirts and pants and white shirt can be purchased at many stores in the area including thrift stores. Concert Attire will be needed no later than September 30, 2007. All items can also be ordered from school. See Uniform letter for more information.

6 Grade Chorus

Students in 6th grade Chorus will be wearing nice dress-up clothing that they own.
Girls – nice dresses, skirts and tops will be a good choice. Please make sure that all items fit within the school dress code.
Guys – dress pants (such as khakis) and a polo or dress shirt are good choices as well.
T-shirts and jeans will not be allowed for concerts.
We will be ordering McCleskey Chorus t-shirts and sweatshirts early in the fall to be used all year long.

Area Singing Opportunities
I often receive information about singing opportunities around the Greater Atlanta Area. The flyers are always posted on the bulletin board in the classroom. Please take advantage of some of these programs. They include Atlanta Boys Choir, Kennesaw Youth Singers, Sprayberry High School workshops or invitations to join a performance, camps at colleges among others. As I become aware of opportunities I will post them as well. Please feel free to send in what you come across
We will be working with the Kell Chorus and Drama departments throughout the year. Some of these activities will be after school. Please ask your child continually about letters coming home! Or better yet, send me your email for more efficient communication.

This year your child has the opportunity to take part in additional auditions

All-State Chorus in October(for 7th and 8th graders)


  • All-State participation is voluntary and extra curricular

  • Each student will need to prepare a solo piece from a given list and supply an accompaniment recording.

  • They also must know the major, minor and chromatic scales and master a moderate level of sight-singing.

  • Please note that outside work will be essential for each student to do well.

Honor Chorus(for 7th and 8th graders)

  • Honor Chorus is a group of the finest 7th & 8th singers from each school

  • Auditions will be held in the classroom

  • The concert takes place in November

Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School in February (for 8th graders)

  • If you are interested in Pebblebrook, the best place to get information is on their website found at

Other auditions may come up as well. Please encourage your child to take advantage of these. Preparing and going through the audition process is a valuable learning tool.

Fundraiser - please help support us financially
We will be selling cheesecake and baked items again this year to help raise money for our classroom. The monies earned will go towards accompanist fees, instrument repair, purchase of new instruments and some additional technology for learning. Our Fundraising Kickoff on September 9th. The items usually arrive in November. We will need parents to help fill orders on the day the items arrive to make this a success.
Spring Musical
The Spring Musical is scheduled for May to be performed by the 8th Grade Chorus. Students in the 6th and 7th Grade Choruses are asked to help with sets and backstage. We also count on the 6th and 7th Grade Chorus parents to assist with backstage. Many things need to be in place before we commit. In order to being able to do the musical, we will need a great deal of help from the parents.
Please take time to fill out the volunteer page for the Musical.
Opportunities to Help – We need YOU

Every great team’s success is due to the talents of many. In order to provide the best Choral program possible, your help is needed! Please take time to look over the list on the Parent Support page, select an item where you can share some time. Thanks a ton in advance!!!

The easiest way to get a hold of me is through the county e-mail system. I check it several times daily and get back to you faster than getting to a phone. My e-mail address is The school phone number is 770-928-5560 ext 225.
I will use e-mail a great deal to communicate with you. In order to set up an address book quickly and effectively, please take the time to follow the directions on the E-MAIL HOMEWORK section of the students information page. It will be a grade and will help us get information out to you more easily. Thanks.
I am also in the process of setting up a Chorus and General Music Blog. Once it is in place, I will e-mail it home to you. It will also be posted on the McCleskey website.

Chorus Calendar 2008-2009

Concert Dates 6, 7, & 8th Grades





Thursday, Oct 2

*Fall Concert

7:00 PM

Dale Pass Theater

Saturday, Dec 6

Caroling at Kroger

(full concert uniform)

11:30 – 12:30

Shallowford & Sandy Plains


Monday, December 8

Holiday Concert


Dale Pass Theater

Thursday, March 12th

Chorus Pre-Festival Concert

6:45 pm

Dale Pass Theater

Monday or Tuesday

March 23, 24

GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation (Choral Festival)


Burnt Hickory Baptist Church

Spring Musical Dates 8th Grade 6 & 7 help backstage





Saturday in Feb & March TBA


Set Construction Day


Chorus Room

Monday – Wednesday

May 4 - 6

Spring Musical Dress Rehearsals




Spring Musical


Dale Pass Theater

Celebration Dates 6, 7, & 8th Grades






Cast Party- 8th grade Chorus




Chorus Celebration

6 & 7th



Additional Enrichment Opportunities 7 & 8th Grades





 Monday, Sept 8th

GMEA Honor Chorus All State

Money /Application due

Class time

Chorus Room

 Saturday,

October 11th

GMEA All-State Auditions

Individual TBA

Woodland HS Cartersville

 Thursday, Nov 8

Friday, Nov 9

GMEA Honor Chorus

Th: 6:00–8:15pm rehearsal
Fri: All Day Rehearsal

7:30pm Concert

Piedmont Baptist Church

 Fri or Sat

Jan 9-10

GMEA All State

Final Audition


Hightower Middle School

 Thurs-Saturday

Feb 26-28

GMEA All State


Savannah, GA

Fundraiser - please support us financially!


Begins on Sept 9

Orders and money

due on the 23rd

Please sell

Please support

Parent’s Guide to your Child’s Musical Experience

Your support is an essential element in your child’s success with music.

  • Have your child attend all of his or her concerts with the school chorus.

  • Encourage your child to sing for family and friends.

  • Offer compliments and encourage regularly.

  • Expose your child to a wide variety of music including concerts and recitals.

  • Listen together to music on the radio and talk about what you hear.

  • Encourage your child to become involved in a community singing organization or even better, do it together!

  • Help build a musical library.

  • Ask your child about the music he or she is learning in Chorus and what is it like singing music of that style.

  • Share your positive musical experiences with your child when you were his or her age.

  • Most importantly, as mentioned first, attend all of your child’s concerts.

Be careful of

  • Insisting your child sing for other when he or she does not want to.

  • Pointing out or making fun of mistakes or less-than-perfect singing.

  • Apologizing to others for your child’s weak performance.

  • Not attending your child’s concerts.

Student Information Sheet

To be returned to Ms Murrell

Please print clearly

Student’s Name___________________________________________________

Grade______ Home room teacher & room number_______________________


Parents’ Names___________________________________________________
Phone Number______________________________
Parents’ e-mail address_________________________________________________
Is there anything you would like for me to know about your child?

e-Mail Homework

Please take a quick moment to follow these directions. It will allow for quicker more accurate communication.



  • e-mail Ms Murrell at

  • You must put McCleskey Chorus in the Subject box so it will not be spammed out.

  • Tell me your child’s name, grade and your name.

Assignment due: Friday, August 15th ☺ Thanks a million!! ☺

If you do not have any access to e-mail, please let me know on this form.

Chorus Handbook Signature Page

To be returned to Ms Murrell by Friday, August 15, 2007

Please initial each line.
Parent Section

I have read the Chorus Handbook and an aware of that:

______ my child will need to be at every performance

______ my child will need to have the designated uniform as described in the

uniform letter of the Chorus Handbook
I also am aware that there is an opportunity to support our Choral Program

  • through our fall fundraiser by encouraging my child to sell items.

  • by volunteering to help with various jobs listed on Parent Support Page of the Chorus Handbook

  • by being an active part of the Spring Musical

_____ I have filled out the Parent Support Page

_____ I have e-mailed Ms Murrell

Student Section

I have read the Chorus Handbook with my parents.

_____ I am aware that I have a specific uniform and will have it ready for each concert.

_____ I am aware that I am an important part of the Chorus and make a commitment to be at every concert.

Student’s Name (print)_________________________________ Grade_____
Student’s Signature____________________________________
Parent Name (print)__________________________________________
Parent Signature_______________________________________

Dear Parents of 7th and 8th Grade Chorus Students,

At McCleskey, we have a quality choral program and your students make up a quality chorus. As always we want to make sure that not only do we sound like a quality chorus but we also present ourselves on stage the best way possible. Last year we had great success with our uniforms. We want to continue that success this year.
The Ladies’ tops must be ordered through school, other pieces are available too, however they can be purchased in area stores. Here are prices for uniforms if ordered.
Ladies ~~

Black Uniform Tops (must be ordered through school) $34.00

Black skirt - ANKLE length skirt (unhemmed) $28.00
Gentlemen ~~

Black dress pants $20.00

White tuxedo shirt - long sleeved $14.00

Black cumberbund/bowtie set $10.00

Add $5.00 for plus sizes.

Please see handbook for complete uniform information. Students who purchase gowns and tux pants/shirts for the Band program may wear this uniform for Chorus as well.

All pricing covers the item and shipping and handling. This is not a fundraiser!
Let us know if there is any problem with acquiring the uniform. Arrangements will be made to assist in any way possible. Our goal is for student success!!

Information on sizing and ordering the new top for the ladies will come home soon.

Thank you for your cooperation and I look forward to a fabulous year!!
Musically yours,
Licia Murrell

Choral Director

McCleskey Middle School

To see additional pieces listed above:

Formal Fashions website:

Men’s slacks style # 2700 Tux shirt style # 2181 Lady’ skirt #504FAA

Opportunities to Help With Chorus
We need a Chorus Parent to help! Below are many opportunities. Please select any area you can offer help and return the form to Ms Murrell. We ask that all parents help with at least one thing. Many are simple and won’t take more than one hour.
All of our efforts combined will provide the best possible program for our kids!!!

Please Circle Your Choice ↓
Rehearsing- joining us either during class or

before/after school to help students with

harmonies or rhythms. WE esp need male singers Weekly Monthly Every so Often

Classroom Help

Filing Weekly Monthly Every so Often

Organizing Weekly Monthly Every so Often

Coordinating Volunteers I can help with this!!

Filling Orders in November I can help for 3 hours 2 hours 1 hour
T-shirt order

Collating orders I can help for 3 hours 2 hours 1 hour

Chaperone Trips Kroger in December LGPE in March

Concert Nights

Crowd Control while warming up Oct Dec March May

Tech/Backstage Oct Dec March May

Videotape Oct Dec March May

Spring Activity and Chorus Celebration

Researching sites Sure, I can help!

Planning Sure, I can help!
Digital Photography – transfer photos to computer Power Point
Parent’s name ____________________________________Phone______________

Parent’s e-mail_________________________________

Student’s Name________________________________ Grade __________

Spring Musical Interest Form
We have our Spring Musical scheduled for the 8th graders to take place in May. We will need a great deal of parental involvement to make this work. In order for us to make the best decision for the students, please fill out the form indicating where you would be able to help us. Below are some area that we think we will need assistance. Mark those to which you would like to lend a helping hand or co-chairing with Ms Murrell.

____ General Parent Volunteer Organizer

____ Costumes (helping to plan, gather or to make them)
____ Costume Closet (organizing the costumes we have)
____ Set design
____ Set Building
____ Backstage/Props nights of the dress rehearsals and show
____ Tech/ Curtain nights of the dress rehearsals and show
____ Programs
_____ Cast Party
____ Other_______________________________________________

Please share any talents or ideas that you may think maybe helpful. Thanks!

Student’s Name____________________________________ Grade_________
Parent’s Name and Phone_____________________________________

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