525/7836 Choral Arranging

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.


Click to Register for Fall MECA Courses

Course Information

525/7836 Choral Arranging (Online)
Instructor:Thomas Jesse
2 graduate credits: $1,100 tuition, due in full with registration
3 graduate credits: $990 tuition, due in full with registration
MMEd students (2-credit option): register for 525
MECA students (3-credit option): register for 7836

MECA Online Course Details
VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology ( Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.

Fall 2020 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, Sept. 21. Soon after you register, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of Sept. 21, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy school schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!

Online grades will be reported by mid-October. If you are in need of a transcript please visit the online transcript request page. If you are in need a quick turn around time for your transcript please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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