A close-up of Arioso singers singing during a concert, wearing red blouses and long black skirts

The Arioso curriculum solidifies rhythmic and melodic readying skills and teaches healthy vocal production throughout the voice change. Singers perform a variety of music in unison and multiple parts. Arioso performs on both the fall and spring Girl Choir concerts in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel; singers may have the opportunity to participate in one additional community performance or event.

Students registered for Academy ensembles are also expected to participate in a curricular (during the school day, for credit) performing musical ensemble when available; Arioso should not substitute for curricular music programs.

Auditions for Arioso are held in April for the following year. Auditions for the 2019-20 season are now closed. Please fill out our interest form to receive information about auditions next spring.

Tuition assistance is available to families who demonstrate financial need.


  • November 10, 2019 - Gratitude Performance UPDATE
    • Ms. Kottman is unwell and will be unable to attend the gratitude performance and rehearsal today.
      • The gratitude performance will continue as planned. Please report to the choir room in uniform at 10:00 a.m. Girl Choir artistic director and Bel Canto teacher-conductor Karen Bruno will conduct.
      • There will not be rehearsal held after the performance. Please plan to pick up your singer after the service at approximately 11:30 a.m. There also will be no rehearsal on Monday, November 11.
  • Concert tickets on sale
    • Tickets are now on sale for the December 14 Girl Choir concerts. Tickets may be purchased from the Lawrence Box Office  ($15/adults, $10/students and seniors). Please note that the box office will be closed Nov. 27–Dec. 13; tickets will be available online through Dec. 13.
  • December 9, 2019 - Rehearsal venue change
  • March 23, 2020 - Rehearsal venue change



From 10/28 for 11/4
  • "Cuncti Simus"
    • pretend you're either Soloist 1 or 2 and practice singing only YOUR part on a neutral vowel/consonant combination of your choice (la, lee, noo, etc). Sing the other part in your head!
  • "Little Tree"
    • we solfeged and practiced the 3 part divisi at m.24-25 and then going into our 2 part split at "because." As we continued, we noticed that the same chord comes back at the bottom of p.7!
    • We noticed that the Do keeps changing... why do you think this is?
    • Review mm.61-69 and m.97 to the end so we're ready to come back to that on Monday.
  • "Kalanta of the New Year"
    • memorize the Greek at the beginning :-)

**Our gratitude performance and rehearsal is coming up next weekend! Mark your calendars and make your plans. This counts as a regular Arioso rehearsal, just on a different day**

Uniforms are required for the Nov. 10 gratitude performance. To those who have not paid for and received their uniform bottoms ($33), you have two options:

  • Come to the Academy (100 W Water St., Appleton) during office hours to pay for and pick up the garment. We are open Monday-Thursday, 8:30-5:00pm and Friday, 8:30-3:00pm.
  • Pay online, and your garment will be delivered at the next rehearsal.


Past Assignments:
From 10/21 for 10/28
  • "Kalanta"
    • Use these practice tracks to master the Greek from m.13-22: Call & Response and Spoken in Rhythm. Add the pitches on your own :-)
    • Memorize the English melody (m.22-30)
  • "Little Tree"
    • We worked in sectionals on the Soprano and Alto parts from mm.53-70. Practice this at home! Where are we in unison? Where do we split?
    • We identified that this section is sort of like a "bridge" in this piece. It doesn't quite sound like the other sections we've learned (beginning and the end). The Altos called it "the teenage years" of the piece, because it goes back and forth from dark to light, upbeat to melancholy, and seems sort of confused overall (haha!). The Sopranos identified that these changes are due to multiple changes in the key and the tempo.
    • Reflection: "little tree" celebrates the Christmas Tree as a central feature of this celebration. Inspired by this poem, write your own ode to something central to one of your celebrations (doesn't have to be Christmas!). Your poem can be in ANY form, and can have a rhyme scheme... or not! Needs to be at least 3 verses long and should paint a picture for the listener about this object, its story, and how it makes you feel.
  • "Sleigh Ride"
    • Review your part in the two-part split!
  • Uniforms
    • Uniforms are required for the Nov. 10 gratitude performance. To those who have not paid for and received their uniform bottoms ($33), you have two options:
      • Come to the Academy (100 W Water St., Appleton) during office hours to pay for and pick up the garment. We are open Monday-Thursday, 8:30-5:00pm and Friday, 8:30-3:00pm.
      • Pay online, and your garment will be delivered at the next rehearsal.


From 10/14 for 10/21
  • "Cuncti simus"
    • ​review the verse melody on a Latin vowel/consonant combination of your choice. Watch out for repeated notes and quarter vs. half notes!
  • "Little Tree"
    • Sopranos: practice m.88 to the end on solfege (90%) and words (10% only if you've mastered the solfege!)
    • Altos: words from m.88 to the end, checking for rhythms and pitch accuracy
  • "Sleigh Ride"
    • ​GREAT work with Ms. Rissel in sectionals on this! Review on your own under tempo (slowly). Do NOT sing at top speed yet! Altos: be intentional about singing through those jazzy notes.
  • To those who have not paid for and received their uniform bottoms ($33), you have two options:
    • Come to the Academy (100 W Water St., Appleton) during office hours to pay for and pick up the garment. We are open Monday-Thursday, 8:30-5:00pm and Friday, 8:30-3:00pm.
    • Pay online, and your garment will be delivered at the next rehearsal.


From 10/7 for 10/14

We spent much of rehearsal getting voiced into our new seating chart! Think through this process... how did the sound (of your group or others) change as we moved people around? How do you think this voicing process will feel or sound different next time we do it in a few months?

  • "Little Tree"
    • Read the poem in the front cover of the piece. Select your favorite example of imagery (using words to paint a picture). What do you like or appreciate about this line of text?
    • Map out your part from the beginning to the bottom of p.5. Which line will you be on when we're only in two parts? How about three?

  • "Hashivenu"
    • Plan where you're going to breathe! When you practice this piece, use the breaths as an opportunity to really Tank Up :-) We looked at the physical mechanics of breath last night. How does this knowledge of your body help you to sing, especially with long phrases that take a lot of supportive air


From 9/30 for 10/7
  • "Hashivenu"
    • We began by learning another piece in relative minor (la-minor), "Hashivenu." We were able to sightread the melody on solfege... without writing it in! (If you missed rehearsal, please write in your solfege and learn how to sing this melody for Monday) We gradually added the text and planned where to breathe.
    • Arioso singers described the sound of this piece as mournful and sad. We looked at the English translation and reflected on why it may sound this way, given its meaning.
    • Personal practice: review what we learned for next week (singing the melody on text)
    • Next week, we will sing this piece in a beautiful round!

  • "Kalanta for the New Year"
    • We sang the melody at m.22-30 on solfege as a recap of last week's homework assignment.
    • We added text, paying close attention to where the melody moves or repeats notes.
    • Some singers shared what they had discovered about vasilopita. We found clues and connections in the text to the refrain! This led to a fun discussion about other holidays and traditions from our own lives that involve finding. Some memories shared in rehearsal included: Three Kings Day in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, Chinese New Year, Easter egg hunts, family scavenger hunts, and several "find the pickle on the Christmas tree" traditions.
    • Reflection: choose someone in your life who is at least 10 years older than you. Share with them what you've learned about vasilopita, describing this special bread and the significance of its tradition. Ask them to share a similar tradition from when they were growing up. See if you can start a conversation with them similar to the one we had in rehearsal, where we connected vasilopita to our own lives and celebrations!

  • "Cuncti Simus"
    • We brought the refrain up to tempo!
    • Personal practice: Practice the refrain at tempo on text using a metronome set to the tempo marking listed.
From 9/23 for 9/30
  • Cuncti Simus
    • We started rehearsal by exploring 3/4 meter through handclapping games. Our focus was on keeping a steady tempo, subdividing, sending energy through all beats equally, and changing emphasis.
    • We used our handclapping patterns to figure out the rhythm for the chorus of "Cuncti Simus." Practice singing and clapping it in rhythm this week. By next Monday you should be able to sing and do it without your music! Beat 1 = pat, Beat 2 = clap, Beat 3 = snap/pat the air like a partner is across from you. Be careful of the tricky "Ave" !!
  • Little Tree
    • ​We reviewed all of our Christmas Tree sections and spoke through the other sections in rhythm. Everyone was paying close attention to the rhythms, which made reading this piece go quite smoothly! And we figured out that the "spangles" are all the sparkly stuff ;-)
  • Jubilate Deo
    • ​We started our voicing process using "Jubilate Deo." Please review this piece, especially if it's not familiar to you or if you're singing next week - it's in your music packet.
  • Kalanta
    • ​We learned that the relative minor scale is from La to La!
    • Write in the solfege for mm.22-30 of "Kalanta" and learn to sing it on solfege. Here is our Do for this piece:

A staff with a treble clef. There is a whole note on the second line of the staff (G).

  • Reflection due 9/30 (write on your reflection sheet in the box for this week):
    • What is vasilopita?
    • When is it enjoyed?
    • What is one of the unique traditions involving vasilopita?

**Come to rehearsal next Monday with the answers.**


From 9/16 for 9/23
  • We began rehearsal with creating a tall sound by creating space on the inside and relaxing the jaw. This sound transferred beautifully into our singing for the rest of the evening - brava, Arioso!
  • We went outside for some team-building time, passing energy and sound around our circle and then getting to know each other with the game "The Winds Are Blowing."
  • The melody from last week's assignment and warmup reappeared in "Little Tree!" We identified this melody as the primary theme of this piece and traced it through the composition. As chosen by the choir, we marked its first appearance at the pickup to m.7 with a little Christmas tree, decorated it with a star at the pickup to m. 36, marked the pickup to m.88 with a tree incorporating an excitement squiggle, and m.97 with a tree that has an ornament on it.
  • Everyone was reading thoughtfully and paying close attention to the rhythms, especially quarter notes vs. eighth notes!
  • We spoke mm.22-30 of "Kalanta of the New Year" in rhythm, trying to create a gentle and connected sound.
  • Use this practice track to learn the pronunciation of the chorus of "Cuncti Simus"
  • Reflection assignment: bring your small picture with you to rehearsal next week! Be ready to show it to someone and describe what it would feel like to be in the picture.


From 9/9 for 9/16

Thank you for a lovely first rehearsal, Arioso! And many thanks to everyone who was able to make it to the Parent Meeting.

- Check out this melody Arioso Week 1_1.pdf . Review the top line (hint: it's what we learned from the board tonight!) in solfege. Then figure out how to sing the bottom line. Can you find the first four measures hiding somewhere in the second bit? :-)
- Draw a small picture of your special celebration on a notecard, Post-It, or bit of paper and turn in on your way in to rehearsal next week!
- Make sure our Gratitude Performance at First English Lutheran Church on Sunday, Nov. 10 is on your family's calendar! Be there by 10am in your performance attire. We will have rehearsal directly following the service until 12:45 (no rehearsal the next night Monday 11/11).


2019-20 Dress Rehearsal and Concert Dates

Tickets for the winter concert go on sale October 30, and tickets for the spring concert go on sale March 9. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office online, over the phone, or in-person.

Dress Rehearsals
Friday, December 13, 2019 3:45-6:30 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Friday, March 27, 2020

3:45-6:30 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel
- 7:00 p.m. concert will be available
to view online via Livestream.


Sunday, March 29, 2020


2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Lawrence Memorial Chapel
- 7:00 p.m. concert will be available
to view online via Livestream.

2019-20 Calendar

Click the button below to view a draft of the 2019-20 Arioso calendar. Please note that the calendar will be updated in September.

2019-20 Calendar

Policies and Required Materials

Registration in an Academy program indicates your understanding and acceptance of our guidelines. In addition to the Academy guidelines, please click through the subjects below to read about Girl Choir-specific policies and required materials.

Girl Choir Handbook
Please refer to the Girl Choir handbook for a comprehensive list of guidelines. Click here to view the handbook.
Electronics Policy
Cell phones, iPods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and back stage during concerts. If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.
Concert Uniform
  • A red performance top is provided by the Academy. The tops are the property of the Academy and must be returned washed and in good condition at the end of the season. Please do not alter the tops. There will be a fee assessed for the cost to repair or replace a damaged uniform.
  • Each Arioso singer will need to purchase a uniform black skirt or pants, and wear black pantyhose and black closed toed, flat-heeled dress shoes. The skirt/pants will need to be hemmed to the top of the foot while wearing your performance shoes.
  • Post-style earrings for the concerts are acceptable, no hoops.
  • Hair must be a natural color, or sprayed a natural color, for performance. Singers with longer hair should pull or pin hair back so that it does not obscure their face while on stage. Hair accessories should be small and the color of the hair.
Choir Materials
  • Arioso singers must bring a three-ring binder and two sharpened pencils to every rehearsal.
  • Music is the property of the Academy.
  • Singers new to the program will receive a tote bag that becomes theirs.
  • Additional or replacement bags can be purchased through the Academy office for the price of $10 plus tax.

A close-up of Arioso singers singing during a concert with a piano in the foregroundFour Arioso singers smile at the camera with their arms around each other while backstage at a concertArioso singers singing and smiling during a concertStylized Girl Choir typography designed to look like a treble clef