Choir Fall 2016

Welcome to Washington Cathay Future Center Choir!

We have a joyous, melodic musical journey planned this season for our choristers, through challenging and fun rehearsals and inspired performances.

As we begin this fun-filled and challenging learning experience, we as parents, choristers, and staff have a unique opportunity to set the Washington Cathay Future Center standard of excellence and artistry. To ensure that we can wholly focus on attaining these high standards, it is essential that parents, choristers, and staff follow the policies and procedures outlined in the following handbook.

I look forward to this most memorable season!
Phil Peng
Artistic Director, Washington Cathay Future Center Choir


To provide a superlative performance and educational experience for its choristers, building individual character and a lasting community. 
Music Education Philosophy
Singing is universal. Singing with deep musical understanding, skill, and humanity is truly an art. When achieved, it expresses and affirms what it means to be human, across cultures and time. We believe everyone is capable of experiencing this on some level and our mission is to provide the training and atmosphere to attain the highest mastery of this art form.


Singing is the major focus of the musical experience in the Washington Cathay Future Center Choir. The choristers are taught the use of their vocal instruments through exercises, posture, breathing, and tone production.
Choristers study and perform a wide variety of music, from contemporary to folk songs. The goal of the choir is for the children to grow musically and personally and for the group to develop unity and a longstanding bond.
Cathay Future Choir is divided into two groups.
  • Primary: This chorus is for students age 8 to age 12. Skills practiced include choral score, ensemble singing, singing technique, and music reading skills. Practices are once a week, on Friday at 6:30 PM.
  • Advanced: This chorus is for older students from age 13 to 18. Skills practiced include fluent use of music tools, singing technique, sightreading and dictation, ensemble singing, and score analysis and marking. Practices are once a week, on Friday at 7:30 PM.


Parents are invited to observe the first class. After the first class, parents are not allowed to sit in on their child's rehearsals. This is for the benefit of your child, so that they can fully be immersed and focused on the music making, and so that all choristers are comfortable with the same staff in the room. Choristers must sign in when they arrive. This is to ensure safety and monitor attendance. General attendance guidelines: In order to have a successful choir, regular attendance is vital. Parents/choristers are expected to notify the director for any and all rehearsal or concert absences, in advance whenever possible. Choristers are expected to be on time for rehearsals and should not miss more than two consecutive weeks of rehearsals. Missing an excessive amount of rehearsals and failure to learn the music as determined by the director will result in blocked participation in concerts. Practices are one hour long. Afterwards, parents must pick up children no later than 10 minutes after the practice’s end. A late fee of $10 for every 10 minutes will be charged after 10 minutes.

Music usage

The cost of copyrighted music use is included in tuition. The music is for the use of each chorister and should be protected in a designated folder.


The choir will hold performances and recitals as a part of the session. These will include local events and venues. Performance dates will be known in advance. Choristers will be expected to participate in at least two performances during the season. If the chorister cannot participate, the parent must let the director know in as much advance as possible.

Parents are welcome to attend chorus concerts and bring guests. Performances are a chance for your child to exhibit the effort and practice that he/she has put in and for you to hear and enjoy your child’s music.

Choir attire can be purchased directly from Cathay Future Center. The cost of the dress shirt, pants, and shoes will be determined closer to performances.

Withdrawal Policy

There is no reimbursement for withdrawal from the choir.

Conduct Policy

Cathay Future Choir sets a high standard of behavior for its members. Its Conduct Policy is designed to make each feel valued, safe, and that he/she can contribute to great music making. We expect the following behavior from our choristers:
  1. Respect and Kindness

    Choristers are expected to be courteous to other choristers and staff. Follow instructions the first time they are given. Be supportive of your fellow choristers; encourage them to gain more skill and confidence. Make new friends and to welcome and include new choristers. Respect yourself as a musician—always try to give the best of yourself in each rehearsal and concert.

    Respect the time commitment that choristers have pledged to each other and that you have pledged to yourself. Be on time, ready to sing when rehearsals begin, and miss rehearsal only when it is absolutely necessary.

  2. Responsibility

    Come to rehearsal prepared. This means handling all restroom, food, and water needs prior to rehearsal. Have your music and pencil with you at every rehearsal. Bring a water bottle with you at every rehearsal to ensure that you are properly hydrated. Have your music folder and pencil with you at every rehearsal. Be as focused and present in rehearsal as you can be. Put your music in order and be in your seat, ready to begin, at or before the rehearsal start time. Have all elements of your uniform clean, tidy, and with you at all concerts.

Discipline Policy

If a chorister chooses behavior in conflict with the Cathay Center rules, the director may intervene in the following ways:
  1. Chorister will be asked to change/improve his/her behavior
  2. Change of seat in rehearsal
  3. Removal from activity
  4. Director/chorister meeting after rehearsal

If a chorister is consistently unable to follow the rules over the course of repeated rehearsals, despite teacher encouragement and intervention, the following steps may be taken:

The director may call the parent(s) or request a face-to-face meeting to discuss the chorister’s conduct. Depending on the age of the chorister, the director may request that the chorister be present. Serious or repeated misconduct may result in a chorister being dismissed from Cathay Future Choir.

The following conduct is unacceptable at any choir rehearsal or function and will result in immediate disciplinary consequences:

  • Fighting or physical attacks on choristers or staff · Bullying
  • Disruptive or disrespectful conduct toward choristers, staff, volunteers, etc.
  • Verbal abuse or harassment
  • Defacing or destruction of property