My name is Dana Sewall and I am the Choir Director at The Northwest School!  This Teacher Page is only used  for general choir information, and is not updated throughout the year.  Communication with choir students and families will be done through OBA and email.  Thank you for your interest in NWS Choirs and contact Dana with any questions, comments or concerns!

Thank you !

Dana Sewall


Performance Dates

The Fall Choir Concert (MS and US) is on Thursday, November 17 at First Covenant Church (across from 401 Pike/NWS) at 7:00 pm (students arrive by 6:30 pm).

The Spring Choir Concert (MS and US) is Tuesday, March 7 at Plymouth Congregational Church (downtown Seattle) at 7:00 pm (students arrive by 6:30 pm). 

The ArtsFest Gala is Thursday, March 23 at Town Hall at 7:00 pm (students at Town Hall all day).

The Upper School Year-End Choir and Strings Concert is Wednesday, May 31st at Plymouth Congregational Church at 7:00 pm (students arrive by 6:30 pm).

The Middle School Year-End Music Concert is Thursday, June 8 at Greenlake Methodist Church at 7:00 pm (students arrive by 6:30 pm).


Concert Attire

The general attire for our choir concerts is Dressy, Black and White.  It is our goal to keep costs to a bare minimum regarding performance attire, so the same attire can be used for all performances.  Students can choose their own dressy black and white clothes to wear.  No tennis shoes, jeans, or shirts that have logos please.


Syllabus 2016-2017

Welcome to Choir Class!

There is a tradition of music excellence here at the NorthwestSchool and I feel honored and excited to be working with all kinds of students in the choir classes this year. My door/ear/voicemail/phone/email is always available, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions throughout the school year.

Choral Music Objectives

Education:  To develop interested and knowledgeable musicians, and to provide challenging exploration of music history, theory, creation, and performance.

Literacy:  To enhance choral music literacy thorough study of notation, text, world language, and expression while exposing students to a variety of choral music, performance techniques, and stylistic nuances.

Culture:  To promote understanding, respect, and acceptance of a variety of human histories, traditions, and rituals reflected in the music and text from diverse communities, styles, and eras.

Service:  To actively participate in the school community, share our performance abilities, and collaborate with colleagues and neighbors.

Class Expectations

Contribute to a respectful, positive, and collaborative choir environment.

Use courtesy and common sense at all times in choir class.

Take responsibility for your own class preparation, participation, and focus.

Work toward becoming a more literate and expressive musical performer.


As a choir of individuals, we work toward a musically literate, technically proficient, and emotionally moving singing experience.  Work toward these goals is categorized in three areas for the student choir grade (percentages are approximate):

            Participation                65%

            Written Work              15%

            Performances               20%

Participation:  Each individual will be assessed regarding their personal growth as a musician and their contribution to the advancement of the ensemble in six areas:

            Preparation                            Cooperation

            Focus                                      Musicality

            Effort                                      Interaction


Written Work:  Credit will be given for all completed written work, including journals, notation, music literacy, reflections, and other forms of written work.  Most written work is completed during the regular choir rehearsal.

Performance:  Each choir performs 0-1 times per quint. Rehearsals and performances are the culmination of our in-class work and credit will be given for all required concert rehearsals and concerts.

Extra-Credit:  Credit is earned by a student during daily rehearsals, written work and concert performances.  There may be rare and specific occasions when extra-credit may be offered toward the written work portion of the choir course grade.

Grading Scale:  Please take note of this grading scale!  It is different than most.

            A                     95-100%          Consistently outstanding work and participation

            A-                    92-95%            Consistently excellent work and participation

            B+                   89-92%            Strong overall work and participation

            B                      86-89%            Generally good work and participation

            B-                    83-86%            Satisfactory work and participation

            C+                   80-83%            Fair work and participation

            C                      77-80%            Below average work and participation

            C-                    74-77%            Poor work and participation

            D+/D             65-74%            Minimum fulfillment work and participation

 Please take note of the participation evaluation chart on the back of this syllabus.  It provides a clear framework for the ways a student can evaluate their own class work and participation.  It is also used as an assessment tool by Dana Sewall during each grading period.  Choir students should/will refer to this participation chart regularly to become familiar with the qualities and attributes that they should strive for as developing musicians.

Due to the participatory nature of this choir class, attendance and participation are a very important part of our success as a choir.  Punctual attendance to class is required, and attendance at concert rehearsals and performances is mandatory (unless written notification has been provided to Dana Sewall in advance for an emergency or illness).


If a student is late to class unexcused (arriving after the class has begun without a teacher note), the student lose points on their participation grade.  We use every minute of class time, so plan ahead and be on-time.  We want you here in class!!

Make-Up Work

Students are responsible for contacting Dana Sewall concerning any missed work for a daily absence or excused performance absence.  Please contact her immediately during class.