You’ve worked hard in choir all year; now it’s time to play hard. Katy, TX Choir director Ruben Alcala shares a comprehensive guide to planning an end of year banquet that sends your students off in style. You can recognize achievements, celebrate student-selected awards, and acknowledge your seniors in a heartfelt and memorable way. Check out the show notes for a detailed guide to planning your banquet, including a complete timeline and suggested award categories.

Listen


[Subscribe on iTunes] [Subscribe on Android]

Highlight to Tweet: “Banquets are celebrations of our students and the hard work they have done.” – Ruben Alcala

Show Notes:

  • Establish a Budget
    • Formal vs. Casual
    • Rental Cost
    • Food and Beverage Minimum
    • Buffet vs. Plated dinner service
    • Menu
    • Audio and Visual Needs (some venues only cover certain aspects, charge for the rest)
    • Time Frame of Event (some venues charge more depending on time)
    • Fundraising
    • Senior Gifts
    • Programs vs No Programs
    • Key People to recognize and invite
      • Principal
      • Choir Vice Principal
      • Booster Board
  • Venue
    • Will affect who can attend (Students only/ Family/ Dates)
    • Location and Transportation
    • School
    • Restaurant
    • Banquet Space
    • New Venue- Set appointment for site visit, begin to plan room layout
  • Set a Date
    • Avoid School, Religious, Community events
    • Set it at the end of your season
    • Contract timelines
    • Approval forms
    • Set deadline for attendance- prior to when venue needs numbers
    • Once order is in, that’s what you pay (Easy to add, cannot subtract)
  • Volunteers- Parent and Students
    • Student Officer Roles
    • No Theme vs Theme (Choir Council)
    • Slideshow (Historians)
    • Set Up
    • Parents
    • Student Check in
  • Time Frame
    • Set Up
    • Actual Celebration
    • Tear Down
  • Theme/ Decorations
  • Awards/ Recognitions
    • Student Chosen Awards (Jimmy Fallon-type awards)
      • Most likely to get caught texting
      • Best Dressed
      • Best Dancer (Guy/ Girl)
      • Biggest Bromance
      • Most Likely to lose something in the Choir Room
      • Choir Mom. Choir Dad
      • Punniest
      • Most Likely to Smile Through the Tears
    • Director Chosen Awards
      • Rookie of the Year (Guy and Girl)
      • Vocal Scholar (Top 2 GPAs)
      • Service Awards (Volunteer)
      • Best Dancer (Guy and Girl)
      • Director Award of Excellence (Every Grade Level)
      • Individual Ensemble Awards
      • Most Improved Guy and Girl
      • Booster Club Board Recognition
      • Award of Excellence
      • Scholarship
      • Four Year Member
      • 7 Year Member
  • Slide Show
    • Choir Historians Created
    • Email set for members to submit photos
  • Senior Video
    • Student Created if possible
    • Every Senior
    • How Long Have you Been in Choir?
    • What Was Your Biggest Achievement?
    • Most Difficult Part of Being in Choir?
    • Best Memory?
    • How has your experiences in choir prepared you for your future?
    • If you could give advice to yourself as a freshman, what would you say?
    • Any last words to the choir?
  • Senior Will and Testament
    • What are you leaving
    • To Whom
    • Why
    • Story
  • Traditions
    • Senior Girls wear prom dress
    • Officer Induction
      • Passing of the Flame
  • Dance
    • Playlist
    • Sample Outline
      4:45                Officers, Directors, and Parent Volunteers arrive to set up
      5:45-6:00        Guest Arrival and Check in
      6:00                Greeting: Choir President
      6:05                Meal Blessing
      6:05-6:45        Food Served
      6:45                Director Speech
      6:50                Slide Show
      7:00                Student Chosen Awards
      7:25                Letterman Jacket Recognitions
      7:30                Director Awards
      7:40                Scholarship
      7:45                Senior Video
      7:50                Senior Will and Testament
      8:10                Officer Induction/ Candle Lighting
      8:20-9:45        Dance

Bio:

Ruben has served as Head Choir Director at Mayde Creek High School in Houston, Texas since 2014. Prior to his work at Mayde Creek, he served as Director of Vocal Music, Head Wrestling, Head Baseball, and Asst. Football Coach at Santa Fe South Middle and High Schools in south Oklahoma City. Ruben graduated with a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma, studying with Richard Zielinski, and a Bachelor of Music from Houston Baptist University, studying with John Yarrington.

Ruben was selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Grammy Educator Award and lives in Houston with his beautiful wife- Rebecca, two dogs-Goliath and Billie, and just welcomed his first child, Aaron James.

Resources/links Mentioned:

  • Choir Nation group on Facebook – Going to TMEA? Meet up with other Choir Ninjas! Join the Choir Nation Facebook group for time and location.
  • Patreon – Support the podcast!

Sponsored by:

Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)

srfLogo 1

My Music Folders (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for “last column” or best pricing – usually reserved for bulk purchases only!)

18009657 10100785146152854 187971250 n 1