How often do I hear my child sing?

All the choirs participate in four concerts per school year, usually during the week around 7:00pm in the large auditorium at Thomas Dale High School. Admission is usually around $7.00. If your child participates in a show choir, there are several more opportunities to hear him/her during competition season as well as at any events the chorus participates in.

Can I take pictures/video at the school concerts?

Like all theater productions, pictures with flash are prohibited during concerts. All four concerts offer a professional DVD copy of the entire concert, and as such no videography other than Roeber Productions is allowed. These DVDs offer a much higher quality and we recommend that you consider their purchase.

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What about costumes and fees?

There is a standard chorus fee listed when paying fees at the beginning of the year which covers basic costs for music expenses, transportation, accompanist fees, licensing fees and more. Show choirs also include a costume rental fee. During the year there may also be other fees such as All District audition fees, choreography fees, costume expenses or trip fees.

Where do I send my fee payments?

All fees are payable to the Choral Boosters and may be sent to P.O. Box 3657, Chester, VA 23831 or dropped off in the Choral Director's office. New to 2018  will be an online payment option currently in the works.

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Is it reserved seating?

No. Because the day is so long, people move in and out of the auditorium frequently. The host school generally requests that you try not to save seats as these competitions are quite crowded, particularly later in the day. Once a choir is ready to perform, the auditorium doors are closed and there is no admittance until they are finished. A choir will perform for approximately 20 minutes, then there is a brief break to change stage sets (roughly 10-15 minutes). This is the time when people move in and out, have a meal or take a break.

When and where are the competitions?

Competition season runs February to April, on either Friday or Saturday, depending on which choir is performing (generally girls show choirs perform on Friday and mixed show choirs perform on Saturday). They take place mostly in local area high schools with possibly an occasional out-of-town competition and generally run all day long. Please be alert for scheduling updates throughout the year as changes do occur.

Do parents (or others) really go to all the competitions?

Yes! Just like sporting events, many parents/friends will attend as many competitions as possible (there are generally 4-5 per season). Once you see your first show choir competition, you become addicted! For out-of-town shows, sometimes parents will get together and carpool.

How much does it cost?

Ticket prices vary according to the hosting school but can range from $5.00-$15.00. Sometimes you can purchase an afternoon or evening only ticket. Concessions are available throughout the day, as well as t-shirts sales. Most hosts will also have a professional videographer and/or photographer on site with DVDs or photos available to order. 

How long does the competition day last?

All day! Each choir is given a specific performance time slot (usually determined a week before the competition), the slots beginning in the morning and running through the evening with awards being given at the end of the night, usually between 9:00-10:00p.m. Feel free to just view your child’s show or better yet, watch some of the other competitors and enjoy their shows as well!


Because the day is so long, make sure your child has a water bottle to stay hydrated and money for food. We encourage supporting the concession stand as hosting is a big fundraiser for the host school and concessions help defray the cost. If your child has dietary restrictions, of course he/she can bring their own food/snacks.

Is this a traditional theater-type show?

No! Everyone is strongly encouraged to cheer and shout to let the performers know how well they are doing. During a slow song you may see students raise their arm and wave their hand up and down – this is the equivalent of “applause” during quieter times, but in general competitions are quite loud. The students can also be found in the audience when they are not performing and you will be amazed at how supportive all the schools are regardless of which school is on stage. It’s a wonderful lesson in comradery and sportsmanship.

So does that mean I can take pictures and video?

No. Each competition has its own rules but there is definitely no flash photography and no video  allowed. By disregarding this rule you may compromise Thomas Dale's eligibility to perform (yes, there is a possibility of disqualification).

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Show Choir

What is show choir?

Begun as a “Swing Choir” movement in the 1950s and 1960s, show choirs have gained in popularity to become a stylized performance encompassing all aspects of show production. Today show choirs are competitive groups that combine choral singing with dance movements and are usually accompanied by an 8-10 piece student band. The repertoire varies from pop to musical theater to jazz. Students must audition to participate.

Are show choir costume fees different from stand still groups?

Yes. Females will be required to purchase accessories such as tights, character shoes and other miscellaneous items. Males are required to have dance shoes and other possible items. These are the student's property. The actual costumes (dresses, pants, jackets, shirts, etc.) are purchased through the Choral Booster funds and are owned by Thomas Dale Chorus. Stand still choirs are required to purchase their own top/dress/tuxedo which are the student's property..

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Specialty Center

A Specialty Center offers students the opportunity to participate in optional academic programs related to special interests. Thomas Dale High School is the Specialty Center for Visual and Performing Arts and offers:


     - Intensive instruction in the student's chosen area of theatre, music, visual arts or dance
     - Accelerated courses in the arts as well as core academic areas (including AP and John Tyler Comm. College dual enrollment courses)
     - High level performance opportunities for students
     - Many residencies, master classes and internships for students with professional artists and arts organizations of regional and international importance
     - state-of-the-art auditorium
     - MEA Blue Ribbon School for Music
     - art and music technology labs
     - Tri-M Music Honor Society, guest artists

You can find more specific information on Chesterfield County’s website http://mychesterfieldschools.com/schools/specialty-centers/
 or on the Specialty Center's website https://sites.google.com/a/ccpsnet.net/tdhssca/


Does my child have to be in the Specialty Center to be in a choir?

No. Anyone can audition for chorus whether they are in the Specialty Center or not. The Specialty Center students are able to take an additional music class that often does not fit into a regular student schedule.

How does my child apply to the Specialty Center?

During the eighth grade year, children are given information from their middle school for local Specialty Centers. In the fall of that year, each Specialty Center has an Open House where you can visit, meet current Specialty Center students and learn more details about the application process. Vocalists are required to have an audition, generally around January or February, and are given music they will perform. Notification letters are usually sent in March.

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See Our Specialty Center Celebration!

Thomas Dale High School

3626 W. Hundred Road

Chester, VA 23831


Send Booster Payments To:

TDHS Choral Boosters

P.O. Box 3657

Chester, VA 23831

© 2015-2020 Thomas Dale High School

Choral Boosters