Fine Arts Academy
The McCallum Choral Department is an award-winning and highly recognized performing ensemble that provides its members with a rich and varied musical experience throughout each school year. The six competitive choirs consistently receive superior ratings at the annual UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contest and individual members of the choir are frequently recognized for their remarkable musicianship. In 2017, three McCallum Choir members were named as outstanding soloists at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest and one student received first place in the 11-12th grade classical division at the South Texas NATS contest. The McCallum Choir performs throughout the Austin area, Texas, and beyond. In 2017, the members of the McCallum Choir performed in New Orleans, LA and in 2018 the choir will travel to New York City to perform on the stage of Carnegie Hall. Each school year, the McCallum Choir has the incredible opportunity to perform major choral works with the award-winning McCallum Orchestra. Past performances include the Mozart Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. In 2018, they will partner to perform Schubert’s Mass in G.
Another highlight of the choral calendar is the annual Cabaret – a fully staged, costumed, and choreographed show filled with Broadway and pop-style music. This show has been a tradition at McCallum for over thirty years and allows all students to experience participating in a full-scale production while allowing many soloists and small groups to be featured.
For students who enjoy pursuing solo singing opportunities, the choir program encourages students to participate in the TMEA All-State audition process, the UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest, and the NATS vocal contest. All choral students may also audition for the two annual school musicals. Past shows include The Music Man, Titanic, The Producers, Ghost, Chicago, South Pacific, Once on the Island, Me and My Girl, Anything Goes, Evita, and Fiddler on the Roof. For Choral Majors with a strong interest in musical theater, they should consider the addition of the Musical Theatre Certificate to their Fine Arts Academy plan.
The McCallum Choir Program consists of one Tenor/Bass choir, one mixed choir, and four treble choirs-Chorale, Concert Choir, Varsity Choir and Chamber Choir, all of which perform competitively. The choir also has a small select mixed choir called First Edition which performs jazz and pop music around the community. Choral Majors at McCallum have a wide variety of available courses to further enrich each student’s musicianship including Vocal Studies for Majors, Music Theater, Music Appreciation, Class Piano, AP Music Theory, and Songwriting.
Choral Studies Course Descriptions
Chorale is a 9th through 12th grade treble choir that offers students an introductory experience with music theory and provides a class which builds a strong foundation of sight-singing skills.
Concert Choir is an auditioned 9th through 12th grade treble choir that requires strong sight-singing skills.
Varsity Choir is an auditioned 10th through 12th grade treble choir that requires strong sight-singing skills and a strong comprehension of music theory.
Chamber Choir is the most advanced treble choir for 11th and 12th grade students. This is a small pre-professional chamber ensemble, which requires very strong singers with a strong work ethic.
Tenor/Bass Choir is a 9th through 12th grade varsity choir. This choir allows underclassmen singers to have the opportunity to work with and learn from upperclassmen leaders.
First Edition is a small auditioned mixed choir comprised of members of the Tenor/Bass Choir and Chamber Choir. This group meets outside of class time and frequently performs pop/jazz styles throughout the community.
Vocal Studies for Majors is a course which offers students the opportunity to further develop their vocal performance skills through a master class setting. Students receive private instruction and in depth study of vocal styles, technique, diction, and more in this class that is unique to the McCallum Fine Arts Academy and is not offered at any other AISD high school.
Music Appreciation offers students the chance to listen to and discuss great music from throughout history up until the present day. The course is a creative exploration of music from a wide range of times, places, and circumstances, through the lens of certain topics. Students also learn fundamentals of music theory and compose their own original pieces.
Musical Theatre is a course in which students develop skills in singing, dancing, and acting for musical theatre, while learning about musical theatre history. Students also get the opportunity to write and workshop their own original musical.
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