This course explores essential concepts and techniques for arranging choral music aimed for the elementary and secondary school levels: 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.


Required software: Students must have a full version of Sibelius or Finale music notation software and basic skills in the use of either.

Required materials: Contemporary Choral Arranging by Ostrander, Wilson (ISBN: 9780131697560).

* Choral Arranging, Band Arranging and Theory Review each have two course levels. Students enrolled in the MMEd program at VanderCook are eligible to enroll in online courses at the 500 level. Students not enrolled in the MMEd program who wish to earn graduate credit as a MECA 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 for the MMEd and MECA Continuing Education programs. If you are unsure which section is best for you, please contact us directly 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