Rock Ridge offers a variety of choral opportunities and incorporates many different styles of music.
Rock Ridge is fortunate to have Mr. Jordan Markwood as the director of our choral department. Mr. Markwood has a bachelor of music from Houghton College in Music Education with a concentration in voice. He graduated from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a master of music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance.
Mr. Markwood comes to us from Stone Hill Middle School (SHMS) also in Ashburn, Virginia. Under Mr. Markwood's leadership as department chair at Stone Hill, SHMS was labeled a Blue Ribbon School for its superior performing groups in Band, Orchestra, and Chorus during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.
During his time at Rock Ridge, the choirs have consistently received top ratings at the District Choral Assessment and Music in the Parks Festivals. Choirs from Rock Ridge have been invited to perform at the Virginia Music Educators Association Annual Conference, Music in Our Schools Month Celebration on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, FSASSY Department of Education Awards, Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Kickoff, and many more events and locations.
Rock Ridge has been named a Blue Ribbon School for the Performing Arts every year since 2015 with all top performing band, chorus, and orchestra ensembles receiving Superior Ratings at their state assessments.
For more on Mr. Markwood, please read his bio.
Freshman girls and those without previous choir experience who have a desire to sing can participate in Cantus Avem. Through participation in this class, students will build musical skills, self-confidence and the concept of teamwork. Basic vocal technique, music literacy and sight reading are components of this class. Students will develop choral literacy by singing a wide variety of choral literature that is both sacred and secular. Participation in ensemble rehearsals and performances is required.
This Intermediate Mixed Choir of mostly upperclassmen is a larger group of highly motivated and committed students with previous choral experience who are seeking more performance opportunities. Members of this group will continue to build their individual skills by performing in a variety of settings. Students will develop choral literacy by singing a wide variety of choral literature that is both sacred and secular. Music literacy and sight reading are components of this class. Participation in rehearsals, concerts as well as certain choral competitions is required. Students are selected by audition for this ensemble during the previous school year.
Rock Ridge Chamber Choir
This Small Vocal Ensemble offers unique opportunities for highly motivated and dedicated singers who can perform at a high level of proficiency. Students receive specialized coaching in singing techniques and perform music in a wide variety of styles. Music literacy and sight reading are components of this class. Students will develop choral literacy by singing literature that is sacred and secular. Participation in ensemble rehearsals, workshops and competitions is required both during and outside of the normal school day. Students are selected by audition for this ensemble during the previous school year.
Musical Theater Ensemble
This specialized Vocal/Theater Ensemble is geared toward students with a passionate interest in pursuing musical performance at the collegiate/professional level. Students will receive specialized coaching in singing and drama techniques. They will also have the opportunity to perform musical selections in a multitude of different styles. This course will increase their understanding of the entire realm of theater, providing students the ability to put theory into practice through singing, acting, directing, and design. Students are selected by audition for this ensemble during the previous school year. (Note - Students in the Music Theater Ensemble must also be registered in another Chorus or Drama class.)
"Rockappella" - Our Student A Cappella Club
This specialized vocal ensemble is an extracurricular group created by students with the vocal discipline necessary to perform a cappella, which means without instrumental accompaniment. The meeting time for this group for the 2020-2021 school year is TBD.