CHS students selected for PMEA’s District 11 Chorus Festival

A big congratulations to five Cheltenham Choir members who were accepted to PMEA’s District 11 Chorus Festival, based on their audition this Saturday, November 19:

Maddie August (Soprano 2)
Grace Bitterman (Soprano 1)
Owen Davies (Bass 2)
Joe Reilly (Bass 1)
Mikayla Stone (Alto 2)

A total of 160 students were selected from a pool of over 300 auditionees from across Bucks and Montgomery counties.

These students will prepare several pieces for the three-day District Chorus Festival. The festival is January 12-14 at Lower Moreland High School, and it will be led by Dr. Amelia Garbisch, choral conductor and Associate Professor of Music Education at Bloomsburg University.

CHS Choirs Restaurant Night this Monday, Nov 21, at Pizza Box

Have some pizza this Monday, November 21 at Pizza Box in Glenside, and help our CHS singers!

Go to Pizza Box Monday between 10 am and 9 pm to enjoy some delicious food, show this flyer when paying the bill, and 10% of your meal’s cost will be donated to our program.

Pizza Box is at 43 Limekiln Pike, Glenside PA 19038.

Click below to print a flyer, pick up one from the CHS choir room, or show the flyer on your phone when you order.

Thank you! Your support makes a real difference!!!


Select Choir Delivers a Superb Performance at ACDA-PA Sat, Nov 5

Our Select Choir sang an outstanding concert at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Pennsylvania Fall Conference Saturday, November 5!!

Our CHS singers’ performance was energetic, committed, unified, skilled, beautiful, and giving. The audience at Susquehanna University’s Stretansky Concert Hall responded with a quick and full-hearted standing ovation. Saturday afternoon, as our singers walked the Susquehanna campus, they were greeted with spontaneous applause and numerous high compliments from fellow singers and from numerous accomplished professional conductors in attendance.

Cheltenham High School Select Choir was one of only six choirs in the state selected to perform at this statewide choral conference–a great honor. Before and after their performance, our students were able to watch several other outstanding choral performances. Our Select Choir members have had a wonderful time at the event, and they are justifiably very proud of their work.

If you like, check out some video clips of our concert here!

Thank you to our CSD Administration, Dr. McFall, Mr. Creighton, Select Choir families, and VPA Boosters for their support of this amazing experience. It was a tremendously fulfilling experience for all involved.

Congratulations, CHS Select Choir!!!


Just after Friday’s final rehearsal at CHS


Saturday morning, getting ready to head to the concert hall


On the way to our big performance


Soundcheck in Stretansky Hall–an amazing acoustic!

More soundcheck

More soundcheck work pre-performance


Saturday, happy and proud after our morning performance!


Saturday afternoon, in between concerts, and after receiving numerous enthusiastic compliments from the conference’s discerning audience members!

Win Pentatonix Tickets at Sunday’s Concert!

CHS Singers and Families! This Sunday, October 30, not only will you enjoy an outstanding afternoon of music-making with Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir–you could also win two tickets to an upcoming Pentatonix Concert!


Pentatonix, an outstanding a cappella group, and winners of The Sing-Off, will perform at Temple University’s Licouras Center Sunday, November 13, at 8 pm, and you could be there!

Go to the lobby Sunday pre-concert (between 3:30 and 4:00) or during our 15-minute intermission to enter the raffle. Tickets are 1 for $1 or 8 for $5. The winner will be announced at the concert.

Good luck to all!

1st All-Choir Concert this Sunday, October 30!

Our Cheltenham Choirs’ first concert of 2016-17 is this Sunday, October 30, in Stretton Hall at CHS. All students are called at 1:00, and the concert begins at 4:00.


This is an extraordinary opportunity for our Cheltenham singers to perform alongside two outstanding choral groups, Keystone State Boychoir (KSB) and Pennsylvania Girlchoir (PG). This week, Mr. Steven Fisher, Director of KSB and Co-Founder of PG, has been working with our students in their choir classes to prepare for the concert. It has been a tremendous learning experience already, and the concert is sure to be rewarding for performers and audience alike.

Students are called to Stretton Hall, with their binders and pencils, in required concert attire, before 1:00 pm. The required dress rehearsal is 1:00-3:30. The concert, which includes an intermission, will start at 4:00 and conclude around 5:45. Admission is free, and refreshments will be available at intermission.

Please see the above tabs for required concert attire and policies from the Course Expectations sheet, which each singer and family member signed in September.

Looking forward to a wonderful afternoon of singing and a great first choir concert of 2016-17!

Touring Ensemble Show this Sunday, October 23, 2pm!!


This Sunday, October 23, join the CHS Touring Ensemble for its annual debut show, at 2:00 pm, in Stretton Hall!

Our fantastic show choir performs varied, energetic song-and-dance numbers with instrumental accompaniment. Touring Ensemble’s 2016-17 show, Better When I’m Dancin, features songs ranging from The Jacksons to ABBA to Enrique Iglesias. Immediately following the show, this year’s CHS musical will be announced!

Seating is general admission, and tickets are sold at the door; $3 for students and $5 for adults. 

Hope you will join us this Sunday afternoon!

2016 Car Wash a Great Success!

Many thanks to student and parent volunteers, ticket sellers, organizers, and drivers who supported the CHS Choirs Car Wash on Saturday!

With your work, we raised over $1000 for our Vocal Arts programs, and we provided many happy drivers with shiny vehicles. Our student musicians showed commendable enthusiasm, attention to detail, friendliness, and team spirit. Great stuff.

Go, Cheltenham Vocal Arts!



img_4590 img_4598 img_4587

CHS Choir Car Wash Sat, Sept 15!


Please join us for the CHS Choir Car Wash this Saturday, Sept 15!

We’ll be open for business 9a-1p at the front flagpole entrance of CHS.

We are asking that each choir member sell 3 tickets. Tickets were distributed to to students last week, and more tickets are available in the choir room.

Volunteer shifts on Saturday are 8a-10a, 10a-12p, and 12p-2p. Students will sign up for particular duties and shifts this week in class. All choir student and parent volunteers are welcome.

Please join the efforts to publicize and/or patronize this fun and valuable fundraiser. Thanks to all!

CHS Singer on Philadephia Orchestra Playbill

If you attend a Philadelphia Orchestra concert in September or October, you’ll find CHS Choir member Lowell Hoyt on the front of your playbill!

In case you missed it, Lowell, a junior in Select Choir and Sons of Pitch, wowed Orchestra audiences and Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin with his conducting in April. Congrats again, Lowell!!


Up the Octave and Sons of Pitch Audition Results

Kudos to all who auditioned for our CHS a cappella groups. Auditioning takes courage, and you are all to be commended for your work. Below are messages from the student leaders of both groups. -Ms. Hutton

Up the Octave

To everyone who auditioned for Up the Octave this year, thank you so much. Congratulations to our new members! If you auditioned and did not make it, we hope very much that we will see you next school year at auditions. Again, thank you!

Up the Octave 2016-2017
*=New Member

Maddie August
Autumn Angelettie
Lauryn Banks
Gabi Bernstein
Grace Bitterman
Addy Colangelo
Maureen Conly
Katherine Cooper*
Maddie Coutts
Sarah England*
Alice Fodor
Lia Hyman
Catherine Kluchinski
Erin Kuchler
Jalayna Mancini*
Jess Pham
Mikayla Stone

Sons of Pitch

Sons Of Pitch would like to thank everyone who auditioned this year! Here is the list of Sons of Pitch 2016-2017! Congratulations to all new members! If you did not get into it this year I strongly encourage you to try out again!

Once again, Thank you.-
Greg & Joe

*= new member

Robert Austin
Elijah Crisden
Owen Davies
Greg Davis
Jeremy Elvas
Jordan Hood*
Lowell Hoyt
Simon Kaschock-Marenda*
Charles Miller
Patrick Nembhard*
Roy Nussbaum*
Colin Polisano
Adam Provost
Joe Reilly
Matt Ryan
Oren Schwartz*
Raymond Sibeudu*
Oliver Snook


First VPA Boosters Meeting of the School Year! Thurs, Sept 22, 7pm, CHS Choir Room

CHS Vocal Performing Arts Boosters Meeting this Thursday, September 22!

We are fortunate to have a vibrant parent group whose support is vital to our choir/vocal performing arts program. Please consider attending the CHS VPA Boosters’ first 2016-17 meeting this Thursday night, September 22, 7:00-8:00pm, in the CHS Choir room. Thanks very much for your support.

From VPA Secretary Laura Stone:

  • Please join us for our first monthly VPA Boosters meeting!
  • Come meet other choir parents and say hello to Ms. Hutton!
  • Learn about exciting upcoming choir events including our Oct. 15  car wash fundraiser, Touring Ensemble Show and Restaurant Nights!
  • Sign up to volunteer at an event.
  • Enjoy some light refreshments.

All are welcome! Let’s make this another great year for our singers! 

2016-17 Choir Events

Welcome to 2016-17!!

You can find this year’s overall calendar of events on the Calendar page, aboveCourse Expectations sheets, also above, contain important details for each choir class. Signed Course Expectations sheets are due Monday, September 12.

Looking forward to working with our wonderful CHS Singers this year!!

Home of Cheltenham High School Vocal Arts

Welcome! This is the hub for all things Vocal/Choral at Cheltenham High School.

Here is an overview of CHS Vocal Arts activities. More details are available on the tabs above. See the Cheltenham High School website for an overview of our performing arts program.

Questions? Please contact Ms. Hutton.

Touring Ensemble 2016-17

Thank you to all who auditioned for the Ensemble, and congratulations to all 2016-17 members, listed below!

ALL MEMBERS, please check your Cheltenham email in July for more information on this year’s August rehearsals.  Please make sure all rehearsals are on your family calendar. Attendance is non-negotiable. Please reference the contract and schedule. FYI, beginning in July, all communication will move to the Touring Ensemble website.

Thank you!

To those of you who auditioned but won’t be in the Ensemble this year, please check your email for a message coming soon. Thank you again.

Touring Ensemble, 2016-17

Ali Angelettie
Autumn Angelettie
Ava Angelettie
Maddie August
Ivy Austin
Sydney Aycox
Rebecca Banner
Gabi Bernstein
Grace Bitterman
Paloma Blackwell-Chang^
Katherine Cooper
Maddie Coutts
Greg Davis
Ruby DeMaio
Sarah England
Tiani Fitts
Alice Fodor
Jesse Fried-Petersen
Amani Gilliam
Jordan Hood
Erin Kuchler*
Jalayna Mancini
Kaylee McHenry
Charles Miller
Rebecca Neckritz
Patrick Nembhard*
Roy Nussbaum
Jazire Parker
Natalie Pomerantz
Dayel Pope
Adam Provost
Batya Reich
Joe Reilly*
Lily Reilly
Camille Ross
Matt Ryan*
Cooper Schwartz
Oren Schwartz
Adam Smull
Phoebe Toly*

*pending receipt of signed contract
^pending enrollment in choir class

PMEA District Chorus Festival! Music available now

Each school year, CHS sends several motivated singers to audition for the PMEA District Choral Festival. The experience is open to 10th-12th graders, and those in Select Choir will have class time to prepare for the audition. Here’s more on this exciting experience.

Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA)

organizes a yearly series of High School Chorus Festivals that bring together students from various school districts in our area, region, and state. Students learn a full concert program of music, rehearse it with a guest conductor, and perform a concert at the end of the three-day festival. Each festival is auditioned. Students who are accepted into the District Festival in January may have scores that qualify them for the Regional Chorus Festival in February; scores at Regionals can qualify students for the All-State Festival in April.

Here’s an example of the superb musical work you might do at Districts.  Under the direction of Dr. Lynn Drafall, the 2011 District 11 Chorus performs Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep.” (8 of these voices are from Cheltenham classes of ’11 and ’12!)

PMEA’s District Chorus Festival is open to 10th-12th grade students. Preliminary auditions of CHS students will be held at school a few weeks before the official PMEA District auditions. The CHS audition and the first PMEA audition consist of sight-singing and performing an excerpt of your vocal part in two assigned pieces. If you qualify for the District festival, the next official audition, on the first day of the festival in January, tests your preparation and performance on all 6-8 of the festival pieces. That audition can also qualify you for Regionals.

Here’s the rundown of District Chorus events:

  • Late October, after school:  In-House Auditions for Cheltenham’s District Chorus Candidates, CHS Choir Room
  • Sat, Nov 19, 2016:  PMEA District 11 Chorus Auditions at Upper Merion High School
  • Th-Sat, Jan 12-14, 2017:  PMEA District 11 Chorus Festival at Lower Moreland High School

Auditioning for PMEA District Chorus is a great opportunity for motivated musicians who want more experience learning new music, sight-singing, auditioning, and performing!

Here are the two audition pieces for 2016-17. 

Audition Piece #1: “He Watching Over Israel” from Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn [pdf] (from the Romantic Era)

Dr. Alan Raines conducting at Baylor University. (Note: a different piece starts at 3:41 on this recording.)

A lovely Seattle ProMusica performance conducted by Dr. Karen Thomas.

Audition Piece #2: “Exsultate Deo” by Alessandro Scarlatti [pdf]  (from the Renaissance Era)

Dr. Craig Arnold conducting Luther College’s Nordic Choir.

Auditioners will want to learn their voice part for the two pieces very thoroughly. Search YouTube for the piece name and your voice part (e.g., “He Watching Over Israel alto,”) and you’ll find plenty of resources for part learning.

In the audition, you’ll be given a starting pitch, then you’ll sing from a chosen point, a cappella, for about 10-25 measures. You’ll be evaluated on pitch, rhythm, vocal tone, and dynamics/articulation.

The audition will also consist of one sight-singing excerpt. You’ll be given a starting pitch, 30 seconds to study, then a starting pitch again.

For more details on the audition process, see this document.

For sight-singing resources, try here. If you’re interested in auditioning for District Chorus in November, have fun studying the Mendelssohn and Scarlatti!!

Sat, June 4 Festival at Temple University — Select & Women’s Choir

Here are details for the “I Sing Because….Festival” at Temple University Saturday, June 4!

Informational Letter with times, what to bring, etc.

Call time Saturday is 8:00 am. Buses drive away at 8:15 am.

Saturday morning, students should have a water bottle and a packed lunch, and they should be wearing their regular, long black concert attire.

Performances are open to the public. The event takes place at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, 1913 N. Broad St, Philadelphia. 


  • 9am-11am: Performances by GAMP,Northeast HS, Girard College HS, Cherokee HS.
  • 11:05 CHS Women’s Choir performance and clinic
  • 11:30 CHS Select Choir performance and clinic
  • 1:15-2:00  Mass Choir Rehearsal and Performance

Buses will arrive back at CHS around 2:30 pm.

Thank you!

Spring Concert: Reflection Assignment

Congratulations on a wonderfully enjoyable Spring Concert, CHS Singers!

Your written concert reflection, available here, is due this Friday, May 20 at 11:59 pm. (Students, note that you have to log in to your Cheltenham Google account to access the document.)

Printed copies of the assignment are available in the choir room. You’ll have some time in class to work on this assignment.

Spring Choir Concert Saturday, May 14

Our choir students are looking forward to our final concert of the year, Saturday, May 14, at 4:00 pm in Stretton Hall! This concert marks the first performance of the CHS Choirs with our new acoustical shell. Fantastic!

Shell on stage from pit

Students are called to Stretton Hall by 1:00 pm on Saturday for a pre-concert dress rehearsal. Students: please arrive very comfortably before 1:00 and check in with your President. Punctuality is very important. (See lateness policies.) Also, please bring a water bottle and a snack. Concert attire, detailed here, is the same as usual.

The concert will conclude around 5:30 pm.

Immediately following the concert, please join us for a celebratory picnic on the CHS front lawn (rain location: CHS cafeteria). All students and families are invited to attend.

Our CHS VPA Boosters will provide hoagies and pizza. As discussed in choir classes, each choir member is asked to contribute one item to share.

  • Concert Choir: drinks
  • Women’s Choir: side dish/snack/salad/entree
  • Men’s Choir: plates, napkins, cups
  • Select Choir: dessert

Please bring blankets and chairs, as well as outdoor activities, if you like. If you are able to lend a cooler, ice, or folding table, that would be a great help. Contact VPA Co-President Lisa Angelettie with questions about the picnic.

This will be a wonderful way to conclude our year’s work in choir. Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday the 14th!

Cosi Restaurant Night–this Wednesday, May 4

Join us for our restaurant night Wednesday, May 4 at Cosi in Elkins Park!

Go to Cosi Wednesday between 5 pm and 9 pm to enjoy some delicious food, show this flyer when paying the bill, and 25% of your meal’s cost will be donated to our program.

Cosi is at 50 Yorktown Plaza, Elkins Park, PA 19027.

Click below to print a flyer, or show the flyer on your phone when you order.

Thank you! Your support makes a real difference!!!
Cheltenham High School  Vocal Performing Arts Boosters #144 5-4-16-2

The Big Day!!!! An Acoustical Shell on the CHS Stage!

It’s been a thrilling day here in the CHS Music Department, with the arrival of our new acoustical shell!

Pics below, along with before and after videos. What a huge difference this makes for the singers and audience. Spectacular.

Thank you Jim Carlin, Carmen, Chris, Mike, Sergio!

Many thanks to Jim Carlin, Carmen, Chris, Mike, & Sergio for unloading and assembly!

Matt Berntsen--first time raising a shell section at CHS!

Mr. Berntsen–first time raising a shell section at CHS!

Select Choir students positioning shells

Select Choir students positioning shells on stage

Shell on stage from pit

Set up and ready to go for the band!

Shell on stage from House



A million thanks to the the Cheltenham School District Foundation, Dr. Marseille, Sue O’Grady, Mrs. Parker, our own VPA, the BPA, orchestra program, and the music department for helping to make this happen. This is truly the dawn of a new era for the CHS music program. Thank you, thank you!

Come see the Spring Choir Concert Saturday, May 14, at 4:00pm, and hear the results in person!