"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:1
Singing comes naturally to children, they sing while they play and while they work. That love of singing is encouraged and developed at Northland. From Kindergarten through High School our students have several opportunities to express this form of art. At the secondary level, students are encouraged daily to hone their God-given talent of singing and to offer it in worship back to Him.
Students are encouraged to take their singing to the next level by competing in individual auditions and contests, and all of the choirs have at least one festival or competition that they perform in. Northland Choirs always come away with top honors!
Elementary Choir Director: Tamara Nelson
MS and HS Choir Director: Craig Harmann
Students in grades K-5 attend music class several times a week. K-2 students attend music 4 times a week for 30-45 minutes a class! This general music class focuses on rhythm, singing, and most importantly, playing music games. Students learn pitch, beat, rhythm, social skills and many other things while singing and playing games. They are introduced to music notation and basic music symbols. Square dancing is a fun unit learned in the month of February leading up to the Houston Rodeo. On the last day of square dancing, parents are invited to come to school to watch the square dancers perform learned dances and are even asked to join the fun! Students in grades K-2 also perform 2 concerts a year--Christmas and Spring. These programs are in the evening.
Students in grades 3-5 are given the choice between music/theatre and orchestra. These classes meet 3 times a week for 45 minutes a class. The music/theatre class emphasizes advanced rhythm reading, choral singing, sight reading, and general music skills learned through singing games. Stage and theatre skills are also introduced and developed through several class performances such as: Patriotic Musicals, Readers’ Theatre performances, Christmas musicals, and the Spring concert. Parents are invited to all performances. Some take place during the school day and others at night. The smaller class size allows more opportunities for acting roles and helps all students to develop their “stage presence” and performing skills whether singing and/or speaking. Students also participate in a square dancing unit in February leading up to the Houston Rodeo. Parents are invited to watch on the last day and are even invited to join the fun! Beginning percussion instruments such as xylophones and hand drums and composition are an important part of music/theatre as well. 5th grade students will also learn to play the recorder. Instrument, singing, and performance skills are all essential elements of the music/theatre class.
All students in grades 3-5 are invited to join the Elementary Honor Choir. This group meets before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:40-8:10. The Honor Choir is the premier performing group and is asked to represent NCS frequently. Honor Choir members learn 2 or 3 part choral music and are expected to follow a choral score, sing in harmony, and learn music not taught during regular music/theater or orchestra class. Rehearsals are fast paced but fun! Ensemble singing is emphasized over solo singing. Honor Choir membership runs between 50-60 members and is an additional fee (usually $25-30 per semester to cover field trips, t-shirt, music and accompanist fees) Auditions are NOT required for Honor Choir but may be used to limit membership if necessary. Any 3rd-5th grader can join as long as he/she attends all rehearsals and performances. Honor Choir performs 2 concerts at Northland -- Fine Arts Christmas Extravaganza with Middle School and High School Choirs, and the Spring Concert. Honor Choir also attends a choir contest, takes special field trips, and performs throughout the community.
6th Grade Choir
1 or 2 semesters
Students in the 6th Grade Choir will learn the basics of rehearsal technique, vocal technique, performance etiquette and audience etiquette. They will evaluate choir performances as well as solo performances at different times of the year.
They will have the opportunity to attend a few social events, and will go on a Goodwill Tour with the Bel Canto. In the spring, they have the option to prepare a solo or participate in an ensemble for the TPSMEA Solo & Ensemble contest. In May, they will perform a few selections at a local choir festival, and then end the year with a performance in the Fine Arts Extravaganza.
Bel Canto (7th & 8th Grade)
The Bel Canto choir is the intermediate secondary choir. With the majority of the students having been a member of the 6th Grade Choir (although this is not a prerequisite, and entering 7th or 8th grade students will have the opportunity to learn at the same level), the choir as a whole is able to take their learning and competing to the next level. Standards of music reading, rehearsing and performance increase, as students gain more understanding and experience in performing through singing. Students participate in several concerts throughout the year, same as the 6th Grade Choir, and are always encouraged to participate in the extra contests (Solo & Ensemble), as well as various social events throughout the year.
The High School Chorale is for all levels of singers. This one choir contains beginning, intermediate and advanced choir members (Choir I - IVH). Every student will learn about developing healthy vocal technique through daily group vocal instruction, music notation and performance technique, rehearsal and concert etiquette. Chorale performs music in several different languages and many different styles spanning the array of musical eras in history.
Chorale attends the TPSMEA or TAPPS Concert & Sightreading Contest in the Spring, as well students are encouraged and supported through various auditions and contests as individuals and small ensembles. Several students have placed membership over the years in the renowned TPSMEA All-State and All-Region Choirs.
At Northland, a very heavy focus is placed on devoting our knowledge, skills and talents back to the Lord, for He is the One who gave them to us to steward. Through weekly worship time in our choir class in addition to the worship time allotted during the weekly Student Chapel, students are able to lay aside all cares for a few minutes and devote our voices in unison and as an offering of praise and worship back to our Creator.Vocal Point
The Vocal Point ensemble is the auditioned group of students (an average of 12-16 students, selected from the HS Chorale) that meet before school. This group performs pieces of music that are better suited for smaller ensembles. Most of the music performed by this group is an array of vocal jazz, contemporary pop songs, and other genres. Vocal Point performs at all concerts, as well as smaller community venues throughout the year. They also perform at the TPSMEA Choir Contest in the spring.
Students have extra opportunities through a number of different organizations to audition for and compete in different vocal contests and performances. These include, but are not limited to Solo & Ensemble, All-Region and All-State Choir, the fall musical (see Theatre Productions), singing the national anthem at professional and local games and events. Resources are also available to direct students to private vocal coaching during the summer and school year to further hone their individual skills.