Alabama School of Fine Arts | 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. | Birmingham, AL 35203 | 205.252.9241
Credits. Students grades 9-12 earn two units per semester, one for Applied Music and one for Practical Music.
Semester Juries. Juries serve as final examinations in Applied Major Study. Jury performances are evaluated by a panel comprised of the music faculty.
Recitals. All students perform in recital at least once each semester. Students receive specific assignments. Participants dress and act with appropriate concert decorum in order to project a positive image for the department.
Junior and Senior recitals. In lieu of a semester jury, juniors present a half recital of solo repertoire and seniors present a full recital. The senior recital is the culmination of applied music study. Through this experience the candidate for graduation demonstrates not only technical accomplishment but also an understanding of musical form and style pertinent to various historical periods; awareness of the composer's artistic intent and the means to aesthetically convey that in a performance environment, and a well-developed stage demeanor and personal poise.
Extracurricular performances. Students participate in extracurricular performances to the extent that such performances do not interfere with scheduled ASFA activities, and that they reflect favorably upon the individual and the institution.
Enrichment activities. Students customarily participate in competitions, orchestral ensembles, and All-State Band and Orchestra, summer music camps and festivals, and independent study with guidance by faculty advisors.
Student Recitals are scheduled at 10:15 a.m. in the Hess-Abroms Recital Hall on designated Wednesdays throughout the academic year. All music majors are required to perform in a Student Recital at least once each semester. To ensure balanced programming with regard to repertoire and length, students will be given specific assignments. Student Recitals fulfill three specific needs:
(1) Students are afforded the opportunity to "try out" a work-in-progress under actual performance conditions.
(2) Periodic performance at regular intervals allows the music faculty to monitor individual student progress.
(3) Since Student Recitals are free and open to the public, peers from other disciplines as well as interested persons from the community are able to enrich their own cultural experience by attending.
Although presented on campus, Student Recitals are public performances nonetheless. Participants dress and act with appropriate concert decorum in order to project a positive image for the Department of Music.
The Semester Jury constitutes a final examination grade in Applied Major Study. Accordingly, it represents one-fifth (20 percent) of the semester Applied Major Study grade average. Semester Juries are scheduled in continuous 15-minute increments near the end of each semester. Semester Jury requirements include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
(1) Demonstrated proficiency in the execution of selected scales and arpeggios from memory for instrumentalists, vocal exercises for singers.
(2) Performance of at least two contrasting pieces, movements or songs with keyboard accompaniment. Vocalists and pianists will perform from memory; instrumentalists must perform at least one of the solo works/movements from memory.
(3) Sight-reading, i. e., demonstrated proficiency in the execution of music at first reading for instrumentalists, sight-singing with solfege syllables for vocalists.
The Applied Major Study instructor may have additional requirements for each examination; therefore, it is advisable for the student, instructor and parent(s)/guardian(s) to communicate at regular intervals throughout the semester to ensure compliance with all requirements.
Semester Juries are evaluated by a panel comprised of the music faculty and a guest juror from the community, using established grading criteria:
TONE PRODUCTION/INTONATION: For instrumentalists and vocalists this refers to both the quality of sound and the degree to which the soloist is able to match pitch with the piano and/or any other participating instruments or voices. For pianists, this refers to the evenness of sound.
DYNAMICS: The range of volume from extremely soft to extremely loud and the skill with which the performer is able to control the volume.
ARTICULATION: This refers to the control of attacks and releases of sound. Diction and foreign language pronunciation will also be considered in the case of vocalists.
PHRASING: Inflection of the melodic line to communicate the composer's musical intent, analogous to the inflections of speech an actor would utilize to convey the essence of meaning in the words of a play.
TECHNICAL FACILITY: The degree of physical proficiency with which the music is executed, including memorization, when applicable. Technical facility applies to all aspects of physical execution specific to each instrument or voice.
ARTISTIC IMPRESSION: The aural and visual effect of the presentation including the aesthetic qualities of the performance, appearance and stage demeanor.
The final Semester Jury grade is calculated by averaging all the grades submitted by the panel. Juniors and seniors are exempt from Semester Juries during the semester in which the Junior or Senior Recital is presented and the Recital grade replaces the Semester Jury grade as the final examination grade in such instances.
In lieu of a Semester Jury, music majors present a half recital of solo repertoire during the Junior year, and a full recital during the Senior year. Senior Recital is the culmination of applied music study at ASFA. Through this experience the candidate for graduation demonstrates not only technical accomplishment but also an understanding of musical form and style pertinent to various historical periods, awareness of the composer's artistic intent and the means to aesthetically convey that in a performance environment, and a well-developed stage demeanor and personal poise. Thus, Senior Recital indicates artistic growth and maturity requisite for matriculation to advanced study at the college/conservatory level. Since this experience is unique to ASFA, it is also a time of celebration, for it delineates one of the final phases of preparation. In partial fulfillment of the Department of Music requirements for graduation, all music majors must present solo public recitals as follows:
JUNIOR RECITAL - Thirty minutes (or more) of standard solo repertoire, including ensemble chamber music, if appropriate.
SENIOR RECITAL - Forty-five minutes (or more) of standard solo repertoire, including ensemble chamber music, if appropriate.
(1) The recital date will be selected as early as is practicable. The major applied music instructor, student and chair will collaborate on date selection. The chair will secure clearance and approval from the music faculty, subject to availability for grading. Appropriate calendar requests will be submitted by the chair with the concurrence of the music faculty.
(2) Keyboard accompaniment, as needed, will be provided by ASFA on the following basis: Three hours of rehearsal for Junior Recital and five hours of rehearsal for Senior Recital. Pending departmental approval, non-ASFA accompaniment may be used; however, in such instances the student assumes complete responsibility for any and all costs incurred. In the event the program includes chamber music, the student is responsible for ensuring the quality of participating musicians as well as any costs incurred. Composition majors are responsible for securing all musicians needed to render their works selected for presentation, as well as any costs incurred.
(3) In keeping with current standard American conservatory practice all vocalists, pianists and guitarists must perform the entire program from memory, except as noted in paragraph 4 below. All other instrumentalists must demonstrate the ability to memorize by performing at least one substantial work from memory.
(4) When practical and appropriate, ensemble chamber music may be included on any recital program; however, ensemble chamber music can comprise no more than 25 percent of any recital. Chamber music performances, including those presented by vocalists, pianists and guitarists, need not be memorized.
(5) Appropriate attire will be worn for all recitals. While desirable, formalwear need not be purchased or rented; however, at minimum, ladies are expected to wear a conservative dress and gentlemen are expected to wear a conservative dark suit. All performers must demonstrate proper performance demeanor and appropriate acknowledgment of participating performers and audience response.
(6) Recitals will be evaluated by at least two members of the music faculty, using the same criteria as Semester Jury. An overall grade for the recital will be calculated by averaging all of the grades submitted. To ensure objectivity, the major applied music instructor will not participate in this evaluation so as not to unduly influence the overall average grade.
(7) All recitals will be scheduled to commence at 3:15 p.m. on Tuesdays as well as some Thursdays throughout the academic year. Only seniors may petition for a scheduling variance. Any scheduling variance for a Senior Recital must be by mutual consent of the student, parent, applied music instructor and accompanying musicians pending written departmental approval.
90 DAYS PRIOR TO PERFORMANCE - The recital date will be considered firm.
45 DAYS PRIOR TO PERFORMANCE - A complete program, computer typeset, camera ready, with program notes written by the student and signed as approved by the applied music instructor, will be submitted to the chair for departmental review and final approval. Program notes will be evaluated as part of the student's Music History grade during the semester in which the program is presented. Samples of previous programs with page setup specifications will be provided for reference.
30 DAYS PRIOR TO PERFORMANCE - The student will play representative selections for a music faculty review committee, comprised of at least two faculty members. The faculty review committee may elect to hear part or all of any and all selections to be programmed. If the student has elected to utilize non-ASFA accompaniment, the accompanying performer(s) must be present for this preliminary performance review to ensure compliance with ASFA performance standards. Pending approval, the recital will be presented as scheduled. If in the judgment of the music faculty the student does not demonstrate requisite competency, the recital date will be postponed. When a recital is postponed a meeting among the student, parent(s), applied music instructor, counselor(s), music faculty and Director for Curriculum and Instruction will be scheduled as soon as possible to review the reason(s) for postponement and to discuss steps necessary to effect remediation. A subsequent preliminary performance review will be scheduled within two weeks of this meeting. If in the judgment of the music faculty sufficient progress has been made, the recital will be rescheduled. If the student has not made sufficient progress, the recital will be cancelled. When a Junior Recital is cancelled, the student will prepare and perform the program in its entirety at the regularly scheduled time for Semester Juries at the end of the semester in which the recital was to be performed. The faculty committee empanelled for Semester Juries will evaluate the performance, and the average grade attained will be recorded as the final grade for the semester. When a fall semester Senior Recital is cancelled, the student will prepare and perform the program in its entirety at the regularly scheduled time for Semester Juries at the end of the semester in which the recital was to be performed. The faculty committee empanelled for Semester Juries will evaluate the performance, and the average grade attained will be recorded as the final grade for the semester. The program will then be rescheduled for public performance during the spring semester. When a spring semester Senior Recital is cancelled, the senior will not be permitted to participate in commencement exercises. In order to receive the ASFA diploma, the student will be required to perform the complete recital during the first week after school has ended for the summer.