This course explores the essential concepts and techniques for arranging choral music at the elementary and secondary school levels, including voice types and ranges; notation; harmonic principles; the importance of text in regards to mood and melodic shape; keyboard accompaniment; homophonic and contrapuntal textures; two-, three- and four-part densities; and adapting an existing arrangement to a different setting. Lectures, discussion, analysis of musical examples, quizzes, arranging exercises, projects and performance of all projects and arranging exercises are all components of this course.
Course requirements: Textbook: Contemporary Choral Arranging by Arthur Ostrander and Dana Wilson (Pearson, ISBN 978-0131697560); Notation software: Sibelius is preferred, but Finale, Noteflight, Musescore, etc. will work; Online chat capability: There is a mandatory chat once a week, time and day to be determined by the instructor based on students' schedules. Students will need to have headphones and a microphone (built into computer is acceptable) to participate in chat sessions.
* Choral Arranging is offered at two course levels. Students enrolled in the MMEd program at VanderCook are eligible to enroll at the 500 level. Students not enrolled in the MMEd program who wish to earn graduate credit as a continuing education student should register at the 7000 level. The difference in credits earned and tuition cost is attributed to the difference in tuition rates between the two programs. If you are unsure which section is best for you, please contact us at

Instructor: Thomas Jesse

Jesse,_Tom_headshot_2015Tom Jesse studied music at Michigan State University and got his Music Education at Northern Illinois University.  He earned his MMEd from Vandercook College of Music in 2013.  In his teaching career, Mr. Jesse has taught K-6 general music, 6-12 chorus, Musical Theatre, Music Technology, Guitar, Acting and Theatre Technology.   He has studied jazz arranging with Jennifer Barnes and choral arranging with Mary Ann Krupa.  He has written arrangements for professional a cappella groups as well as numerous arrangements for Women’s chorus and Middle School chorus. He currently sings for FAMEntertainment and teaches 6-8th grade chorus and 6ht grade general music at Kennedy Junior High in Lisle, IL.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288