Ninth Grade Center
The NBISD Unicorn Choir Program strives to provide a rich music education for its students, emphasizing the development of strong character and relationships through participation in vocal music. Consistently earning the highest ratings at contests and festivals throughout Texas, Unicorn Choirs have established a long tradition of excellence. Individually, Unicorn Choir students regularly place in the TMEA Region Choir, Texas All-State Choir, and consistently receive superior ratings at UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest. Unicorn Choir students have performed throughout Texas and overseas.
Why Fine Arts?
Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status - Sir Ken Robinson
In UnicornChoir we believe that a comprehensive education in choral music at the highest level provides students with valuable skills as they enter the collegiate environment and ultimately the workforce.
Some of our students choose a career in music. These students are provided the opportunity to develop their skills during high school and prepare for the difficult task of music school auditions during their senior year. There is a great deal of merit based scholarship money available to students entering music school which many of our students are able to secure. We invite you to talk to our directors and alumni to see how many of our students receive substantial financial assistance in college through their participation in the choral program.
Most of our students do not pursue music as a career, but through their participation in music during middle school and high school they expand their creativity, expressive ability, reasoning skills, ability to work collaboratively, and ability to process the abstract. In addition to these concrete skills our students often reference the social aspect of the choral program and the environment of "family" and emotional support the program provides them during their time in high school.
Whatever the reason for participation in UnicornChoir, we strive to provide every student with a foundational music education that will allow them to be participants in and consumers of music throughout their lives.
Putting Together a High School Plan
Success in a high level fine arts program is a result of continuous focused instruction and practice. The UnicornChoir program is designed to provide a 3-year (MS) plus 4-year (HS) curriculum that builds skills each year of instruction. Completing this MS to HS cycle in addition to the basic middle school and high school requirements will result in students receiving the Arts & Humanities Endorsement on their high school diploma. While most MS students begin choral instruction in the sixth grade, we also accept new students in the 7th and 8th grade years. Most of our High School Choir students begin the High School program after having had superb instruction at one of our NBISD Middle School Choral Programs, however, we also accept new students into the high school program and have entry level choirs designed to provide these students with the tools to excel in UnicornChoir. It is possible, and we encourage students, to be a part of multiple programs at both Middle Schools and the High School, including Fine Arts, Athletics, and our rigorous academic program. The new HS Graduation plans combined with the NBISD high school schedule offering 32 possible credits makes it easy for students to develop a plan for high school that allows a broad education with many enrichment opportunities.
Download this Sample Plan
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What Course Do I Choose?
Students are placed in choirs based on experience and ability level at both middle schools and the high school. You may read more about our audition process in our online choir handbook and learn more about our individual choirs HERE. You can also see the complete UnicornChoir Program of studies which describes the UnicornChoir Curriculum in detail HERE. When making course selections please use the following guidelines noting that when courses are built the middle school and high school choir directors and counseling departments will make the needed changes to make sure you are in the appropriate ensemble. You do not need to audition before requesting choir as a course. We accept all students into choir in NBISD and make a determination of exact choir placement based on auditions, experience, and references from former choral directors.
INCOMING 9th Grade Students
For most students entering NBHS-NGC, Freshman Choir serves as our introduction to high school choir. This course continues on the skills built in middle school choir and prepares students to advance through the comprehensive choral program during their time in high school. No audition is required for Freshman Choir.
CURRENT NBHS Students
If you are currently in choir you will be auditioned during the Spring Semester for placement. When making your initial course requests, simply choose the choir that you think you will be a part of during the next year. After auditions, you will be able to select the proper class period.
Jazz Choir auditions will be held on [INSERT DATES]. Please see the AUDITIONS page for specific audition instructions.
Frequent Questions & Myths
Q: What choir should I sign up for?
A: See the information above and use your best judgement. After auditions the counselors will make any needed adjustments to your schedule.
Q: How do I audition for choir?
A: If you are currently in choir at ORMS or NBMS you will be given audition information during your choir class. If you are not currently in choir you may contact Mrs. Gallegos at NBHS firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Q: How can I change my schedule after the scheduling window is closed (after choice sheets were due)?
A: We will be able to change your schedule for you. Do not be concerned with the Scheduling deadlines as it pertains to choir. We can fix it!
Q: Choir does not show up for an option for me in txMyClasses, what do I do?
A: Contact any choir director, we can fix this.
Q: Choir shows up as an option for me in txMyClasses but it isn't the correct choir class, what do I do?
A: Contact any choir director, we can fix this.
Q: I'm interested in auditioning for Jazz Choir, should I go ahead and sign up for it?
A: Sure! We are thrilled you want to be a part of our Jazz Choirs. We will sort your schedule out after auditions.
Q: I have another class that conflicts with the choir class I need to sign up for, what do I do?
A: Contact the Choir Director of your school. In most cases we can come up with a solution for you.
MYTH: Participating in choir will harm my GPA and class rank.
A: Many of our choir students are also academically driven students who graduate in the top 20 students of their class.
MYTH: I don't have time in my class schedule to participate in choir.
A: There is more than ample time for a student to take choir throughout their time in both middle school and high school AND be involved in multiple other activities.
MYTH: Choir requires too much after-school time.
A: While there are a few out of school commitments (typically about 4 days per year) for all choir students the other activities of the choir program are optional. A student may choose to immerse themselves in the program and be engage often outside of class or they may choose to enjoy the benefits of choir by participating primarily during their class.
Have a question that isn't answered here? NO PROBLEM! Contact your school's choir director. We want every student in NBISD with an interest in singing to be a part of UnicornChoir. We will help you!