About the Ridgeview Choral Program
For many years, Ridgeview Charter School has had one of the strongest middle school music programs in Fulton County. About 70% of the school's population is enrolled in band, chorus, or orchestra, and the school's performing ensembles consistently receive ratings of superior and excellent at Georgia's Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE). The chorus program alone has over 200 students from grades 6-8. These students are divided into six daily classes, with two sections per grade level. In chorus class, students are taught how to read sheet music, sing independent parts, and recognize one's significance as a team member.
For students who wish to pursue singing outside of their daily chorus class, there are many opportunities available to them, from after-school honor choruses, to district and state-level honor choirs, to an annual school musical.
|After-School Honor Choirs|
- Bella Voce – Auditioned honor choir of 40 members who sing advanced SSA repertoire and perform at both chorus concerts and the annual elementary school tour. Available to treble voices in grades 6-8. Rehearses Thursdays 4:15-5:15.
- Ridgeview Singers – Auditioned small ensemble of 15-21 members who sing advanced SSA repertoire and perform at both chorus concerts and various gigs throughout the year. Available to treble voices in grades 7-8. Rehearses Thursdays 5:15-5:45.
- Chamber Singers – Auditioned small ensemble of 12-16 members who sing a cappella repertoire. Rehearses Tuesdays 4:15-5:15.
- Guys' Choir – Non-auditioned ensemble of boys in grades 6-8. Rehearsals TBD.
- Our Spring Musical Production brings opportunities for students to show off their skills not only as singers, but as actors and dancers as well. Auditions are open to all Ridgeview students, and each year many students from the band and orchestra programs find a singing outlet in the musical. In addition to the cast, students may also serve on the crew with positions in lighting, props and set, curtain, costumes, and more. Auditions occur in December, rehearsals run January-April, and the show opens the last weekend of April.
Past productions include:
- 2018 – Cinderella ("Getting 2 Know" Rodgers and Hammerstein)
- 2017 – Music Man Jr.
- 2016 – Wizard of Oz Jr.
- 2015 – Hairspray Jr.
Community Honor Choirs & Adjudicated Performances
- District Honor Chorus – 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are selected by Ms. Gilbert to sing in the District 5 Honor Choruses.
- Performance: last weekend of October at Grace United Methodist in Atlanta
- All-State – 7th and 8th grade students from across the state take part in a rigorous, 2-step audition process to sing in a prestigious All-State ensemble.
Auditions: second Saturday of November and third Thursday of January
Performance: third weekend of February in Athens, GA
- 6th Grade Statewide – 6th graders are selected by Ms. Gilbert to sing in the 6th Grade Statewide Honor Choir
Performance: last weekend of February in Athens, GA
- Solo & Ensemble – 6th, 7th, and 8th graders perform one song as soloists or groups of up to 17 members and are adjudicated by professional chorus and voice teachers.
Performance: last Saturday of October at Grace United Methodist in Atlanta
- Large Group Performance Evaluation – Georgia's statewide performance evaluation of all band, chorus, and orchestra programs (elementary, middle, and high school). This is the opportunity to show everything students have learned about choral singing through the performance of two prepared songs as well as a sight-reading portion. Professional judges give groups ratings based on a rubric outlining principles of choral performance. As this is an important, cumulative, statewide evaluation, LGPE serves as the musical equivalent to academic Milestones tests. Last year, Ridgeview was represented by the 6th Grade Chorus and Bella Voce Honor Chorus.
This calendar will be updated throughout the year,
so please check it regularly!
Jesse Gilbert is now in her second year of teaching at Ridgeview. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she got her start in the choral world in the 4th grade when she began singing with the Chattanooga Girls Choir. She decided in high school that she wanted to become a choir director, so she studied vocal music education at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN where she served as Director of the Wesley Singers for two years. She then moved to Dallas, Texas to get her masters in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University. She spent a year as a private music teacher, giving lessons in voice, ukulele, and piano to students in pre-K through high school. She and her husband moved to Atlanta in June 2017 upon her appointment as director of choirs at Ridgeview Charter School.
Ms. Gilbert is a firm believer in choral music's ability not only to improve the lives of individuals but also to strengthen and build communities. She aspires to use choral music as a means of bringing about positive social change by building community first from within the ensemble and then expanding to the greater population the choir serves. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as choir director in a community so culturally rich and economically diverse.