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.
Become acquainted with voice categories, scoring rules and notation
Know melodic and harmonic principles, especially those for setting a text
Understand the challenge and purpose of keyboard accompaniments in regard to mood, intro, endings and transitions
Know the various textures (homophonic and contrapuntal) and planning the arrangement
Technically be able to arrange a basic 2, 3 and 4 part setting with accompaniment
Be able to adapt an existing arrangement and score for a different density


Tom Jesse studied music at Michigan State University and earned his music education at Northern Illinois University and his master’s from VanderCook. In his teaching career, Jesse has taught K-6 general music, 6-12 chorus, musical theatre, music technology, guitar, acting and theatre technology. He studied jazz arranging with Jennifer Barnes and choral arranging with longtime VanderCook professor 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 6th grade general music at Kennedy Junior High in Lisle, IL.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288